Work on school repair projects has begun, despite claims otherwise: Chong

Chong Chieng Jen

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

KUCHING, Feb 19: DAP Sarawak says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg should check facts with Sarawak Works Department before making baseless accusations against the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.

“The dilapidated schools repair projects from the RM350 million allocation was right from the beginning managed by the State JKR and the 37 schools to be repaired were also chosen by the state government,” said Chong in a press statement today.

Chong, who is also Stampin MP, said a quick check with JKR Sarawak yesterday on the repair projects of the 37 dilapidated schools revealed that two school projects had been awarded tender on Jan 14, 2020 where work has begun and the projects are expected to be completed by July 2021.

Another four school projects had been awarded tender on Feb 14, 2020 where they are expected to be completed by August 2021.

Chong said 15 school projects will be awarded tender in March 2020 and the expected completion date for these schools was September 2021.

He said another 16 school projects were still under review and tender will be called in March 2020. Awards of the tenders are expected to be in May 2020 while work was expected to be completed by November 2021.

“The review of the value and scope of the 16 school projects was necessary because the state government has attached too high costs in respect of the repair of those 16 schools,” said Chong.

Chong, who is also Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, said that as Sarawak chief minister, Abang Johari should have access to all this information.

“In fact Abang Johari is in control of JKR Sarawak which is under the state government. Why had he not sought verification with JKR Sarawak before making such a baseless and sweeping statement? Is it out of sheer ignorance or ill intent?

“Looking at the progress of these 37 school repair projects, I do not think that the State JKR is delaying the projects to sabotage federal-funded projects,” said Chong.

Yesterday at state-level “Kolokium Keagungan Al-Quran” held at Sarawak Islamic Complex, Abang Johari said despite the repayment of loan of RM700 million by the Sarawak government to the federal government, until now, not even one rundown school is repaired.—DayakDaily