“Where’s the budget to set up international schools?”

Chong (seated centre) speaking to a press conference in the presence of other DAP Sarawak leaders.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Nov 7: Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen has described the state government’s plan to set up five international schools in Sarawak as a ‘half-hearted’ commitment.

Referring to the 2020 State Budget speech by the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, he said there was no budget amount allocated for the establishment of the proposed international schools by the state government.

“As such, I urged the Chief Minister to give the specific figure or budget allocation (for the proposed international schools) in his winding-up speech in this DUN sitting later,” he told a press conference in the Media Room of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex here today.

Pointing out that Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak had made this proposal in the DUN back in 2015, Chong said he had then suggested that the state government set aside 10 per cent from the budget to set up private English medium schools which collect no fees from Sarawakian students.

“I am glad that after five years, the state government has adopted our suggestion but I see that it is a half-hearted adoption.

“There is not a single ringgit allocated (for the international schools). Millions and billions have been allocated for other initiatives but not a single sen mentioned for the internationa schools. It is mind-boggling. I call this a half-hearted commitment,” he said.

“Also, there is no timeframe stated for the implementation of the international schools as well. It only goes to show that this is a half-hearted effort as there is no clear intention or resolve to establish international schools.

“But if he (Abang Johari) can really provide the figure then I will congratulate him. Although he was five years late after we have made the suggestion, late is better than never,” he added. — DayakDaily