KUCHING, Aug 29: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Parliamentary Whip Chief Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof lashed out on Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen for not speaking out for Sarawak at the federal level despite being a member of the ruling federal government.
According to Fadillah in a statement today, RM1 billion had been approved by the previous federal government to fix dilapidated schools in Sarawak for 2018 and 2019, but the allocation was cancelled after the new government took over in May 2018.
Chong, who is also Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, being in the federal government of the day, should have taken a stance and fought for the allocation. Instead he has only voiced out on trivial concerns or issues that have been politicised for his personal and party’s interests, claimed Fadillah.
“It is unbecoming for Chong to criticise the state government as not giving priority to fix the state’s dilapidated schools.
“The project to fix Sarawak’s dilapidated schools was delayed after the last general elections (GE14) when the previous allocation allocated for it was cancelled. So when this and several other development projects for Sarawak were cancelled by the federal government, did Chong and other state PH leaders voiced out for Sarawak’s rights? No.
“Chong only voiced out concerns to politicise any trivial issues for his and his party’s personal interests, as if they were still the opposition in the federal level,” stated Fadillah.
He explained that the reason why Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg voiced out his concerns, including demands to speed up work to fix dilapidated schools in the state, was because he puts Sarawak and its people first.
In fact, Fadillah continued, the state government was willing to abide by the terms set by the federal government, particularly Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, to pay up RM350 million to ensure the work to fix the state’s dilapidated schools could be carried out.
He noted that the federal government according to the Federal Constitution is obliged to carry out the project because education matters are under the purview of the federal government.
“The state government’s sincerity has also been proven when the state government even offered a RM1 billion loan to the federal government to ensure the project to fix the state’s dilapidated schools could be carried out promptly, since the allocation from the previous federal government had been cancelled by the present new government.
“After that the new federal government imposed four conditions, including contra to the RM1 billion state loan from the federal government, by paying in advance RM350 million (of the state’s loan to the federal government), which had already been repaid by the state government,” he said.
According to Fadillah, the previous government had approved RM2.5 billion to fix dilapidated schools nationwide for 2018 and 2019, where RM1 billion was for Sabah and Sabah each respectively, and RM500,000 for the Peninsula.
The previous government had already prepared to disburse RM419 million to build and fix dilapidated schools in Sarawak for 2018, with the remaining RM581 to be disbursed in 2019, he added. — DayakDaily