Fixing dilapidated schools: Proper mechanisms, procedures cannot be rushed, says rep

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING, Aug 26: The state government should not expect all proper procedures, including a proper open tender process and transparent selection process, amongst others, to be done within three weeks, according to Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.

He was responding to reports that the state had made the initial repayment of RM350 million of a federal loan around August 4, 2019.

According to Dr Yii in a statement today, there are four main mechanisms that was agreed upon between the federal and state governments to repair the dilapidated schools in Sarawak which must be adhered to.

One of them is that the repair works should be offered by open tender, to ensure transparency and fair value based on the current federal government’s financial arrangements.

“Under the new government, there are proper procedures that have to be done and adhered to before any contract is awarded. This is the same whatever the amount, including the use of my own constituency funds.

“So the issue again, is not just about ‘allocations’, but whether it has been fully and properly utilised for its intended purpose. If there are no steps or conditions (open tender, proper monitoring.. etc) in place to make sure wastage or corruption do not happen, no matter how much money is allocated, it will still never be enough.”

Dr Yii said that he understands the importance and the need to expedite this important issue as he himself has continuously debated on this issue in Parliament and had urged all the relevant parties including the federal and state governments to finalise the necessary arrangements.

He said that he will follow up with the relevant departments including the Ministry of Education on the status of the project.

“I believe it should be given priority and expedited for the interest of our students and the good of our community.

“But while we push for it to be expedited, it is also important proper mechanisms and transparent selection and monitoring is in place to prevent any risk of corruption or abuse which will then cause more wastage of our public funds.”

He also said he did not want the issue to be widely politicised as the school children will be the ones caught in the political crossfire.

“So I do welcome the assurance given by the state government and federal government that they will work together to resolve this long-standing issue,” he said.

Yesterday, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg urged the federal government to use the RM350 million loan repayment which the state has already made to start repair works on dilapidated schools in the state immediately. — DayakDaily