Where are the annual federal grants for Chinese-medium schools in Sarawak, questions Tan Kai

Tan Kai surveys the damaged roof of SJK(C) Stapok in this undated photo.

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KUCHING, Nov 29: Politcal secretary to the Chief Minister of Sarawak Tan Kai today questioned where are the annual allocations from the federal government for Chinese-medium schools in Sarawak this year.

“Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen has announced funding of RM200,000 for SJK (C) Stapok four days ago but is that allocation given as annual allocation or special allocation or is it part of the RM50 million allocation approved by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government?

“There are 222 Chinese-medium schools throughout Sarawak but we have not heard about nor received any grant so far this year,” he said in a statement.

Tan pointed out that education is under the federal government’s jurisdiction and thus it should be responsible in disbursing funds to assist the maintenance of schools.

“Moreover, there are many dilapidated schools in Sarawak that require immediate funding to be rebuilt and repaired. So when can the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government fulfill their promises in their manifesto including returning education autonomy and oil royalty of 20 per cent to Sarawak?” he questioned.

He revealed that Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian in his position as a former Senator, and currently Batu Kawah assemblyman and Local Government and Housing Minister, has since November 2015 successfully obtained grants totalling nearly RM1.2 million for SJK (C) Stapok.

“He was merely carrying out his duty and responsibility towards the people and especially towards the improvement of education for children in Sarawak.

“Dr Sim will continue to provide assistance for the completion of the multipurpose hall of SJK (C) Stapok,” he assured while urging Chong to also help to ensure this project can materialise.

Tan also urged the federal government to learn from and follow the steps of the Sarawak government in increasing allocations for Chinese-medium schools annually as well as give due recognition to the Unified Examinations Certification (UEC).

“The elected representatives from Sarawak must always remember that they are from Sarawak and to also put Sarawak and Sarawakians’ interests as priority especially to pursue funding from the federal government,” he added. — DayakDaily