Return education autonomy to Sarawak if you can’t handle it — Kho

Kho Teck Wan

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KUCHING, Aug 27: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) women’s wing is questioning the ability of the federal government to manage the state education matters and school infrastructure, if their recent statement is anything to go by.

SUPP women chief Kho Teck Wan said if Putrajaya is not able to manage education in Sarawak, then is should allocate all the budget for Sarawak education back to the state and return its education autonomy.

“Upon receiving the complaint from Sarawak chief minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on the lack of action by federal government after the advanced payment of RM350 million loan was made, Malaysia’s finance minister Lim Guan Eng rebuked swiftly by saying that he was disappointed at Abang Johari’s statement, as the repair works for the dilapidated schools had already began,” Kho said in a statement.

In the mean time, Works Minister Baru Bian, whose department is in charged of carrying out the repair works, had indicated that he was not aware of such RM350 million payment, she cited Baru as saying in recent media reports.

Baru however indicated that a RM100 million budget was allocated earlier during 2019 budget to repair the dilapidated schools in Sarawak, and with that, some tenders to repair school were out and should be awarded soon.

“With that, SUPP Central Women would like to raise two questions for Lim.

“How did the repair works of dilapidated schools begin when the tenders to carry out such repair are not even being awarded yet and when Lim mentioned the repair work had begun, did he meant those tenders that was worth RM100 million as mentioned by Baru?

“If so, what about the remaining RM250 million that had been paid by our Sarawak government?

“If the tenders were not part of the RM350 millions loan payment and were indeed part of the 2019 budget indicated by Baru, then Abang Johari is right to say that no action was taken after the advanced loan payment is made by Sarawak government,” Kho said.

She pointed out that Sarawakians pay taxes just like the rest of the nation, while questioning the rationality that the state government was required to do advanced payment of loan just to get the budget for school repair.

Reminding the federal government that education is their responsibility, she asked, “Isn’t all these playing politics?” — DayakDaily