Putrajaya agrees to RM1 bln debt repayment from Sarawak to solve dilapidated schools issue

The press release from MoE.

KUCHING, Feb 20: The Federal Cabinet has today approved that RM1 billion in debt repayment owed to the federal government by the Sarawak government will be used to address issues of dilapidated and critical schools in the state.

According to a press statement from the Ministry of Education (MoE), this agreement between the ministry and the Sarawak government was achieved following a courtesy call by Education Minister Maszlee Malik on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday (Feb 19) to discuss issues that could benefit the 436,000 students throughout Sarawak.

A special committee comprising MoE, Finance Ministry and Sarawak government representatives will be set up to ensure a clean administration and implementation of transparent processess.

In the implementation stage, the Public Works Department (JKR) will be the implementing agency.

The Cabinet has also agreed that the projects be closely monitored to make sure that the RM1 billion will be genuinely utilised efficiently and benefit the children and teachers in affected schools.

Earlier this year, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng revealed that the Sarawak government has about RM2.5 billion in outstanding loans with the federal government as of December 2018.

This meant instead of directly settling Sarawak’s outstanding loans with the federal government, the state government will use the RM1 billion debt to address the dilapidated schools issue in the state. — DayakDaily