KUCHING, June 17: The “sick” school-repair projects that were highlighted by a local daily recently could be under the purview of the Education Ministry, not the Works Ministry.
Former Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said this was because Phase 1 of the `Upgrading of Sarawak’s School Projects’ involved 116 schools, where 50 were to be implemented by the Works Ministry and the remaining 66 by the Education Ministry.
Speaking to reporters covering his Hari Raya open house at CIDB Convention Centre here today, Fadillah claimed JKR Sarawak, the main implementer of the project, had told him that of the 50 school repair projects under his former ministry, 23 were ahead of schedule and another was on schedule.
“The remaining 26 are experiencing delays, but the delays are only between 0.43 per cent and 30.76 per cent,” said Fadillah, who also issued a list of the affected schools.
Recently, The Borneo Post wrote that some projects under this RM21.6 million initiative were 85 per cent behind schedule.
When reporters approached state Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong on June 15 for comments on this delay, he replied that his office had no say in it and referred the newsmen to Fadillah for answers.
Fadillah, who is also Petra Jaya Member of Parliament, said when he was the Works Minister, the Letter of Approval for upgrading the 50 schools in Sarawak using the Industrialised Building System (IBS) was issued on Feb 23 this year.
“Under the first phase, 13 contractors were picked by Sarawak JKR to implement them under 13 packages.
“I was made to understand by JKR that so far 23 of the 50 projects in Sarawak are ahead of schedule,” he said.
The 23 schools that are ahead of schedule are SK Rentap in Sarikei (27.79 per cent ahead of schedule), SK Pujut Corner in Miri (19.45 per cent), SK Sg Petai in Sarikei (16.98 per cent), SK Kpg Pangtray in Daro (15 per cent), SK Sungai Sugai in Julau (13 per cent), SK Ulu Sungai Salim in Sibu (13 per cent), SK Limpaki in Limbang (12.51 per cent), SK Sebangki in Lubok Antu (10.47 per cent), SK Sungai Pinang in Puncak Borneo (10 per cent), and SJK Hua Kwong in Miri (9.29 per cent).
Other schools that are ahead of schedule are SK Melaban in Lubok Antu (9 per cent ahead of schedule), SK Sekarok in Lubok Antu (9 per cent), SK Kampung Teh in Mukah (8.95 per cent), SK Sungai Semerah at Puncak Borneo (8 per cent), SK Ridan in Lubok Antu (7.58 per cent), SK Tengin/Sedarat in Lubok Antu (7.19 per cent), SK Ulu Daro (7 per cent), SK Nanga Kumpang in Lubok Antu (6.23 per cent), SK White Land at Sarikei (4.59 per cent), SK Kuala Mendalam in Limbang (4.76 per cent), SK Ulu Strass in Sarikei (3.01 per cent), SK Ng Lipus in Kanowit (1.10 per cent) and SK Rantau Kemiding in Kanowit (0.80 per cent).
Repair works on SK Assun in Sarikei is on schedule, with 72 per cent completed.
On the remaining schools that are experiencing delays, Fadillah said he was told by JKR that land issues had affected piling works, which stopped on March 17 but resumed on May 4 after the issues were resolved.
“Problems with contractors, material supplies and weather had also caused the delay,” said Fadillah.
He explained that IBS technology was used for the upgrading of the dilapidated schools in the rural areas because repair could be done faster compared to conventional methods.
“All 50 projects implemented by the JKR Sarawak should be completed by this coming June 27,” he said.