By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Nov 28: Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen urges the State Planning Authority (SPA) to expedite the approval of the development and building plan for SJKC Kai Nang which will be relocated from Sibu to a new site in Kota Samarahan here.
Chong had today handed over the approval letter for the relocation of the school from its existing location in Sibu to a proposed new site near Riveria in Kota Samarahan here to the school’s Building Committee chairman Lee Jin Chiew.
Following SJKC Kai Nang Board of Management’s application, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has formally approved the relocation including in principle, an initial allocation of RM2 million for the building of the new school.
Chong reiterated that the sum is now pending disbursement by the Ministry of Finance.
“(Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi) Abang Johari (Tun Openg) has also promised that for every ringgit collected by the (school) board, the state government will match the grant RM1 to RM1.
“So if that’s the case, very soon, this school will be up and standing and students will be coming in,” he told reporters after handing over the approval letter.
He was optimistic that the state government will assist in the matter, highlighted that the state government has previously announced about RM40 million in allocation for the building of SK Maludam in Betong that will cater to less than 1,000 students.
As for the new SJKC Kai Nang, construction of the school will be done in two phases with a total cost of approximately RM13 million — RM8 million for Phase One and RM5 million for Phase Two.
“Once completed, the school can cater to 2,000 students,” he said.
Phase One will comprise of a four-storey administrative block and four-storey classroom block including facilities such as library, resource centre, workshop, pre-school, science lab, music room and health room, amongst others.
“The location of this site is good as there are a lot of new houses being built and a fast growing population in this area. With that, the demand for a Chinese school is high,” Chong pointed out.
Furthermore, he added that there were already excess of about 200 students from SJK Chung Hua No. 2 annually, who were unable to enrol into the school as the enrolment capacity has been exceeded.
“Next is for the school board to apply for SPA approval, building plan approval and followed by development approval from MoE.
“So we now call upon SPA to speed up this process of approving the building of this school so that construction works can start soon,” he urged.
SJKC Kai Nang Board of Management submitted the application and building blueprint to SPA on Oct 7.
Meanwhile, SJKC Kai Nang, which is currently located at Sibu, is facing a huge problem in recruiting students as the school is located near two other Chinese primary schools.
The school’s Board of Management thus decided to relocate the school. A developer had in 2017 proposed to donate a piece of land of approximately 10 acres in Kota Samarahan here for the relocation of the school.
In April this year, the school’s Board of Management approached Chong to get his help to follow up with MoE on the application for the relocation of the school.
Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong and Association of the Boards of Management of Aided Chinese Primary Schools of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Division president Jonathan Chai Voon Tok were present. — DayakDaily