KUCHING, Aug 31: Fixing dilapidated schools in the state, including coming up with the funds to do so, is the responsibility of the federal government.
It is stated in the Federal Constitution, said Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) information chief Datuk Idris Buang.
The Muara Tuang assemblyman was critical of the federal government, particularly Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik, for coming up with little to no financial solution, before the Sarawak government provided RM350 million as part of its contra loan agreement to fix the dilapidated schools.
He said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has been very considerate when the state channelled the fund.
“The inviolable fact remains that it is constitutionally the federal government’s responsibility to do all these.
“Ministers Lim, Mazlee and many others had made little or no financial solution or in road at all before Abang Johari provided the fund. What if Abang Johari did not provide this initial RM350 million. Would this problem perpetuate further until next year or beyond?” Idris asked.
He also took swipe at the recent remark of Sarawak Pakatan Harapan chairman Chong Chieng Jen, blaming the state government for relying solely on the federal government to fix the dilapidated schools.
Chong’s remark had drawn a lot of flak from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders.
Idris advised Chong to stop bickering “like a grumpy old lady” over the issue and start doing his job tackling the issues of high cost of living, being Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.
Idris also lamented that since Pakatan took over Putrajaya after GE14, it cancelled a lot of development projects for Sarawak that had been approved by the previous government.
This included bridges, flood mitigation projects, as well as the RM1 billion for Sarawak to fix its dilapidated schools.
He said Pakatan had given excuse that the national coffer has been exhausted but approved a lot of mega projects in the peninsula since taking over Putrajaya, such as the new multi-billion ringgit Kedah Airport, Penang Light Rail Transport (LRT) and transportation system, as well as the most recent RM21.6 billion Fiberization project.
“No fund is not the excuse since they also have secured foreign loans by issuing the samurai bonds to see to their needs.”
He urged the federal government to carry out more positive commitments and real efforts in carrying out incomplete works, which were very much needed in Sarawak.
After all, it is constitutionally and legally the bounded responsibility of the federal government to provide and execute, he continued.
“Even though our chief minister and the GPS government of Sarawak are keen and sincere to assist the federal government in solving this matter, that does not mean that they are relieved of their Constitutional duty.
“Remember that we also have alternative avenue to go for legal recourse to seek justice and even ask the court of law to impose the equitable remedy of ‘Mandamus’ to force the federal government to provide execute and/or implement the needful things they are bound by the law as entrenched in the Federal Constitution, as well as in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) read with the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report thereon, to provide execute and/or implement.” — DayakDaily