“Sick” school project fiasco: Fadillah, Manyin urged to issue joint statement

KUCHING, June 18: Sick of Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong pointing fingers at each other and at him, Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen wants the duo to issue a joint statement on who should be responsible for the delay in upgrading four dilapidated schools.

Chong said the two, who are Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) senior vice-presidents, should sort out the mess among themselves instead of accusing him (Chong) of making baseless claims.

“There is no question of the delay in the implementation of the projects. I am only stating a fact as reported in the papers. It was (state Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri) Michael Manyin who pushed the responsibility to Fadillah.

“Therefore, between the two of them in PBB, it is better that they sort it out among themselves and come out with a joint statement as to who is culpable for the delay,” said Chong in a press statement today.

Chong, who is also Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said the mess was created during the reign of Barisan Nasional (BN) but the PH-led federal government would have to clean it up.

The fiasco came to light when The Borneo Post reported that several school-repair projects using the Industrial Building System (IBS) were up to 85 per cent behind schedule.

In the article, the English daily wrote that work on SK Asajaya Ulu in Kota Samarahan was supposed to be completed in March this year but was only 19 per cent done, SM Matang Jaya in Kuching was to be completed last month but was 85 per cent behind schedule, SK Kampung Melayu in Kota Samarahan was supposed to be completed this month but was 84 per cent behind time, and SK Endap in Samarahan was also supposed to be completed this month but was experiencing an 85 per cent delay.

It also reported that the director-general of the Implementation and Co-ordination Unit (ICU) in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Ahmad Zaki Ansore, said the projects were awarded to a company via a package worth RM21.6 million.

When met by newsmen on June 15, Manyin rejected blame for the delay of these projects and referred the media boys to Fadillah, who is also former Works Minister. Manyin claimed he had no say in these projects.

Yesterday, when reporters met Fadillah, who is Petrajaya MP, he said the government had identified 116 dilapidated schools that needed upgrading in the state. Of this number, he claimed, 50 came under the purview of his former ministry and the rest under the Education Ministry.

He further claimed that of the 50 schools under the Works Ministry, which delegated the responsibility to the state JKR, work on 23 of them were ahead of schedule, one was on time, and the remainder delayed due to piling, contractors, material supplies and weather problems.

“The remaining 26 are experiencing delays, but the delays are only between 0.43 per cent and 30.76 per cent,” said Fadillah yesterday. — DayakDaily