Stampin MP: Upgrading of dilapidated schools in Sarawak too costly, too slow

Chong in Parliament today (Sept 29, 2021).

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

KUCHING, Sept 29: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak holds that the project for the repair and upgrading of dilapidated schools in Sarawak is way too overpriced and too slow.

DAP Sarawak chief Chong Chieng Jen said this morning, he had asked the Education Minister in Parliament to state the number of dilapidated schools upgraded and restored in 2019, 2020 and 2021 in Sarawak, the progress of these projects and their respective expenditure, as well as the number of students who had benefited from these projects.

“According to the reply of the Deputy Minister of Education, from 2019 to 2021, there were approximately 180 dilapidated school projects undertaken with an estimated costs of RM1.5 billion. Amongst these 180 projects, some were completed and the majority is still a work in progress.

“That is a shockingly high figure for the repairing and upgrading of dilapidated schools project, averaging RM8 million per school,” said Chong, who is also Stampin MP, in a statement today.

To the Deputy Minister’s answer, Chong said he raised a supplementary question on how the government can justify such high costs of repair and upgrading of these schools, given that these schools on average have only 100 – 200 students per school, questioning the RM8 million per school figure.

He further pointed out that as of November, 2020, it was reported that there were still 647 dilapidated schools in Sarawak waiting for repair and upgrading.

“At the rate that the government is undertaking the work, when will all these dilapidated schools in Sarawak be repaired?” he questioned.

Chong expressed regret that the deputy education minister did not answer his supplementary question directly, but merely said that the cost of repairs and upgrading of schools in Sarawak were agreed amongst all agencies of the government and the State government.

He then alleged that since the Perikatan Nasional became the government, it seemed that GPS was no longer very insistent on the swift implementation of the repair and upgrading of dilapidated schools in Sarawak. — DayakDaily