By Lian Cheng
SARIKEI, Jan 28: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg says the Sarawak government will settle the remaining RM650 million of its RM1 billion contra loan to the federal government this year so that more rural schools may be repaired and upgraded.
Abang Johari said the Sarawak government has been eager to make payment because the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government viewed education as utmost important.
“Education is very important. Because of that, we believe that our schools must be upgraded. Our rural schools, some of them are not in good condition. Because of that, Sarawak government is making early settlement of RM1 billion (loan) for the rebuilding of schools in rural areas, including those schools in Sarikei and Bintangor,” Abang Johari said at Repok assemblyman Datuk Seri Huang Tiong Sii’s Chinese New Year Open House held at Dewan Sentral Sarikei today.
“Last year, I paid RM350 million to the federal government so that it could rebuild up our schools in rural areas as well as those in town areas. Don’t be slow. We want the rebuilding to be done fast.
“This year, we will give RM650 million to build up rural schools. Schools are important to us,” said Abang Johari.
He said good schools were needed to educate Sarawakian students to prepare for the new digital and technological economy.
Apart from upgrading of school infrastructure to provide more conducive learning environment for Sarawakian students, Abang Johari said Sarawak’s educational programmes were in tandem with what the students will be facing in this era which will be focusing heavily on technology and digital.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari also outlined other welfare programmes for different groups such as RM20 million to equip fishermen, RM1,000 for each newborn, RM450 for each new mother, Kenyalang Gold Card initiative for those above 60 years old and other programmes that directly benefit the people.
He stressed that the GPS government was a caring government that looks into the welfare of the people.
“Only Sarawakians can take care of Sarawak. We look after our Sarawak and we will protect our rights.
“Now we are fighting for our oil and gas rights. Should there be any increase in our income, we will share with Sarawakians in both the rural and urban areas,” said Abang Johari. —DayakDaily