By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Nov 7: Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee was upset when pointing out that Sarawak was not allocated a single sen for dilapidated schools in the 2020 National Budget.
He told the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today that the RM350 million was actually the advanced repayment of a loan by the state government.
“It (the funding allocation) should be over and above. In other words, if we didn’t pay the loan, we will actually get zero for dilapidated schools,” he emphasised.
“For 2019, Sarawak was allocated RM100 million (for dilapidated schools) but we were supposed to be given RM500 million,” he added.
Dr Annuar took the opportunity to question the contribution of the federal government for dilapidated schools in Sarawak when responding to Balingian assemblyman Abdul Yakub Arbi’s question on plans for schools facing disaster risks.
He also rebutted reports that 90 per cent of dilapidated schools in Sarawak have been repaired.
“It is nonsense, it is not 90 per cent, it is less than 50 per cent dilapidated schools (which have been) repaired,” he added.
He also reminded the august House that in 2017, the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government had approved and allocated RM1 billion for dilapidated schools.
Sarawak has 1,020 schools, out of which, 450 schools were categorised as critical.
“A sum of RM419 million in budget allocation was spent on 116 schools, out of which 50 schools were under the Public Works Department (JKR) which have been completed, while 56 schools were under the Ministry of Education, and of that figure, 13 were considered as sick projects.
“So I need the help of Pakatan Harapan (PH) Members of Parliament (MPs) to raise these issues with the federal government,” he emphasised. — DayakDaily