Federal, state governments failed late Catherine, rural students — PBDSB leader

Sylvia John

KUCHING, July 27: Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) Women’s chief Sylvia John Gemok today blamed the Ministry of Education and the Sarawak government for the death of 25-year-old teacher Catherine Janet Tiwi on Wednesday morning in a school fire.

She said it was because of the negligence of the ministry and the state government that led to the fire that gutted the teachers’ quarters of SK Batu Bungan in Mulu.

In a statement yesterday, Sylvia said the state government and the Ministry of Education had long neglected the needs of rural schools in terms of basic necessities and infrastructure for the teachers and students.

“PBDSB recalled a press statement by the previous Minister of Public Utilities, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan. He had said in a Borneo Post article that 95 per cent of the rural people will have 24-hour electricity by end of 2013. What happened to that promise? Did they achieve 95 per cent at all?” Sylvia wondered.

“Now is already 2018, did they (state government) achieved it? Because if they did, it should be 100 per cent by now because 2013 had passed five years ago.”

She also raised the recent issue of diesel supply shortage in many rural schools that rely on generators for electricity.

“Sadly, it is truly a disappointment that Sarawak government had failed the rural Dayak native indigenous people by not keeping its promises to achieve the needed rural transformation,” said Sylvia.

She hoped the new federal government would treat this matter seriously, especially now that the Works Minister is Baru Bian, who is Selangau MP and Ba’Kelalan assemblyman. — DayakDaily