By Dorcas Ting
KUCHING, Aug 29: Sarawak Pakatan Harapan chairman Chong Chieng Jen has explained what transpired between the state and Finance Ministry (MoF) over funds to repair dilapidated schools.
The Stampin MP rubbished claims that the Finance Ministry had not kept its word to repair dilapidated schools in Sarawak, in reference to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s announcement on Aug 4 that the state government had made its RM350 million contra loan payment.
He explained that even though the transfer has not been completed, MoF had issued a letter on Aug 5 to the Education Ministry (MoE), informing them to get ready to implement the projects to repair dilapidated schools.
“On Aug 8, MoF confirmed that the transfer has been completed, the money had been transferred to a consolidated account.
“On Aug 14, MoF issued a letter to MoE, instructing the ministry to carry out the project. The following day MoE issued a instruction to the Public Works director-general, as well as informing Sarawak JKR (Public Works Department) that projects amounting RM350 million ought to be implemented straight away,” Chong told a press conference here today.
The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister said this showed that there was no delay on the part of the Federal Government to implement the project.
“Sad to say, on Aug 25, 10 days after Sarawak JKR received the instructions, baseless statement accusing the federal government not holding up to the part were made,” he reiterated.
Amid the brouhaha over funding to repair dilapidated schools, Chong said he was puzzled why the state government did not take its own initiative to start the repair works, if the Gabungan Parti Sarawak government felt it should be made a top priority.
“They keep on saying that if the federal government do not want to do this and that, then Sarawak government will come out with funds to do it.”
However, for dilapidated schools in Sarawak, nothing was said about Sarawak government wanting to come up with funds to carry out the repair works, Chong continued.
He asked whether repairing dilapidated schools was a top priority for the state government. — DayakDaily