By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Sept 15: The president of Sarawak United People’s Party Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian has been tasked to head the newly established Special Unit for Aided Chinese Primary Schools in Sarawak.
In making the announcement today, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the special unit will help to coordinate the requests and needs of all Chinese schools in Sarawak.
“I have just announced the setting up of a special unit under Professor Dr Sim and there will be a working committee, including Johnathan (Chai) and a board to manage the assistance from the Sarawak Government for all the SJK schools.
“What happened is that we have received many requests but they are not properly coordinated and therefore we have decided to set up a special unit under Dr Sim and the unit will coordinate and at the same time to supervise the assistance from the State Government is giving to SJK.
“So, (for instance) if there is a request, I will refer to that unit and upon its recommendation, we will assist the SJK school,” Abang Johari told a press conference after officiating the opening ceremony of SJK Chung Hua Bako, Outer Ring Road, Kota Samarahan today.
For its initial funding, Abang Johari who is also Finance Minister, said the state government had allocated RM8 million for the special unit.
The RM8 million would be in addition to the RM9 million the state government had allocated to the Chinese Middle schools in Sarawak for this year.
“Yes, the total allocation for the Chinese schools in Sarawak this year is RM17 million. This is on top of amount given by our YBs (elected representatives). So, we will manage it (the fund) properly,” he stated.
The Chief Minister also explained that through the special unit, the state government could estimate the annual allocation for these Chinese schools.
“So, with that kind of setting, we can give consistently to the Chinese,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, the Chief Minister stressed that the state government will continue to put greater emphasis on education.
“When president of the Association of the Boards of Management of Aided Chinese Primary Schools Johnathan Chai came to see me taking about this Sekolah Bako, I told him, you try to raise the fund and I promised you (that I will) give one to one. He said he got a donation of about RM3 million, so I gave RM3 million,” he said.
He also disclosed that the state government has assisted other schools too.
Chai and the organising chairman and deputy president of the Associations of the Board of Management of Aided Chinese Primary Schools Rodger Chan also spoke at the function.
The total cost of the school is RM7 mil, which has come from donation, either individually or from various organizations. — DayakDaily