KUCHING, July 28: Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong clarified that his ministry had in June last year submitted a detailed report on dilapidated schools to the Ministry of Education.
The report included a detailed listing of schools that required fixing or rebuilding. Out of the 1,454 schools in the state, 1,020 are classified as dilapidated — including 415 that are “critically dilapidated” and need to be rebuilt.
The list also spelled out 113 schools that can be connected to the state electricity grid and 428 schools that can be connected to the state water supply grid.
Replying to the statement by Deputy Minister of Education Teo Nie Ching, who came to the wake of Catherine Janet Tiwi at Kampung Skio yesterday, Manyin told reporters at the funeral this afternoon that even though the minister and deputy minister were still new, the ministry’s officers should have all the documents.
“Politicians come and go but the officers are there,” said Manyin. “And the state education department last year had already furnished everything to them (Ministry of Education).”
Manyin reiterated that the Pakatan Harapan government should follow up with the Education Ministry’s officers on this matter.
“Don’t just come here and say you have not received it, as if we didn’t do our job. We have furnished everything to you,” he said.
Manyin said although RM1 billion had been approved to fix or rebuild Sarawak’s dilapidated schools under the federal budget (during the Barisan Nasional’s reign), “not a single sen” had been received thus far.
Meanwhile, with regards to Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd’s contract to supply diesel to schools that use diesel generator sets for electricity, Manyin refuted the company’s claim that he was trying to terminate their contract without consulting them.
He pointed out that neither his ministry nor the state government were parties or signatories of the contract.
“My ministry and the state Education Department are not a party to the agreement of the contract. We have nothing to do with the contract, so we cannot suggest terminating it,” he emphasised. “The contract was between them and the Education Ministry”.
On Jepak’s claim that they wanted to get in touch with him, Manyin said, “So far, I haven’t heard anything from them.” — DayakDaily