MoF dither­ing de­lays re­pairs of schools

The in­de­ci­sion over ap­point­ment of project im­ple­menter stymies school re­pair project

The Borneo Post - - Front Page - Sa­muel Aubrey

KUCHING: The in­de­ci­sion by the Min­istry of Fi­nance (MoF) on ap­point­ment of project im­ple­menter is de­lay­ing the re­build­ing and up­grad­ing of di­lap­i­dated schools in Sarawak al­though a to­tal RM700 mil­lion has al­ready been paid in two tranches for this pur­pose.

Education, Sci­ence and Tech­no­log­i­cal Re­search Min­is­ter Dato Sri Michael Manyin Ja­wong told re­porters yes­ter­day it has been more than five months since Sarawak gov­ern­ment paid the first tranche of RM350 mil­lion of the RM1 bil­lion part pay­ment of its fed­eral loan which the fed­eral gov­ern­ment agreed to be used for school re­pairs and up­grades in the state.

De­spite the de­lay, Sarawak gov­ern­ment paid the sec­ond tranche of RM350 mil­lion to the MoF on February 7.

Un­der the ar­range­ment with MoF, Sarawak gov­ern­ment is to pay the third and fi­nal tranche of the con­tra loan re­pay­ment of RM300 mil­lion in June this year.

“As per agree­ment of Fed­eral and State gov­ern­ment, Min­istry of Fi­nance ap­pointed JKR (Pub­lic Works De­part­ment) Sarawak as the Project Im­ple­menter through its le er dated Au­gust 5, 2019. How­ever a le er dated Septem­ber 18, 2019 from JKR Malaysia ap­pointed JKR Sarawak only as As­sis­tant Project Man­ager.

“One month later, there was an­other le er from JKR

Malaysia to in­form that the ap­point­ment JKR Malaysia as the Project Im­ple­menter has been can­celled.

“On De­cem­ber 10, 2019, MOF is­sued in­struc­tion that JKR Malaysia is the Im­ple­ment­ing Agency and that JKR Sarawak has been ap­pointed only as Project Man­ager,” he said.

Al­though the State Education De­part­ment and JKR Sarawak have fi­nalised the list of schools and the scope of work and were ready to ten­der these projects, the in­ter­ven­tion by the MoF to review the scope as well as the list of schools has de­layed the ten­der­ing process, he added.

“Work has not started at all, not even in one school. The state is very dis­ap­pointed and wants all par­ties to hon­our all the ear­lier de­ci­sions made be­tween the state and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment,” he said.

Manyin hoped JKR Sarawak would be ap­pointed as the Im­ple­ment­ing Agency and ten­ders for the project would be submi ed to the Fed­eral Ten­der Board in Sarawak.

He also hoped only con­trac­tors that are based in Sarawak are awarded these jobs.

“If JKR Malaysia has to be ap­pointed as the Im­ple­ment­ing Agency, we hope that JKR Malaysia can give JKR Sarawak a blan­ket au­tho­ri­sa­tion to is­sue le ers of ac­cep­tance and to sign con­tract for all the re­build­ing or up­grad­ing projects un­der this RM 1 Bil­lion ini­tia­tive.

This will help to ex­pe­dite the process and al­le­vi­ate the long suf­fer­ing that our stu­dents and teach­ers have en­dured.

“Also, fund should also be given di­rect to JKR Sarawak for ef­fi­cient man­age­ment of the fund and speedy im­ple­men­ta­tion of the project.”

It has been pre­vi­ously re­ported that there are 1,020 di­lap­i­dated schools in Sarawak out of which 415 are in crit­i­cal need for re­pairs.

Work has not started at all, not even in one school. The state is very dis­ap­pointed and wants all par­ties to hon­our all the ear­lier de­ci­sions. Dato Sri Michael Manyin Ja­wong

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