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Sabah gets RM78m to put 35 run down schools in order
Published on: Wednesday, September 18, 2019
By: Larry Ralon
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File photo from Bernama.
SABAH has been given RM78 million allocation from the Finance Ministry for repairing or rebuilding dilapidated schools, especially those categorised as in dangerous condition, this year. 

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, who announced this, hopes the funding will be able to resolve the problems at 30 to 35 dilapidated schools in Sabah. There are 587 dilapidated schools statewide. 

He said the Ministry, in its 2019 Budget, had allocated RM10 million to Sabah for the purpose but it is only enough for small repairs at 79 such schools, each allocated about RM100,000 plus.

“The Chief Minister has expressed great concern and asked the Finance Ministry to try look for funds to repair more schools, especially those in dangerous conditions.

“Similarly, the Prime Minister also gave attention on this and ordered me to try find money for this year, not next year, so at least we can see the work process started. 

“So due to the concerns of both leaders, and the directive from the Prime Minister, the Finance Ministry has successfully raised RM78 million for repairing or rebuilding of existing dilapidated schools whose buildings are in dangerous condition and neglected for over 15 years by the previous government. 

“I also do not understand why repairs were not done before this,” he told reporters during a press conference held together with Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal after he attended the Budget 2020 Dialogue. 

Guan Eng said that is the problem faced by the current Government, which is not caused by them but they have to resolve it and they would face it. 

“My Ministry hopes with RM78 million at least over 30 such schools can benefit. We will do strict evaluation. It is up to the discussion and evaluation to be done by the Education Ministry, Finance Ministry and Work Ministry, together with the Sabah Government. 

“We have a new formula now where the State Government will get involved actively. It is a fact that when repair works is done at schools in the Interior, seldom or we will not know the status of the work being done. 

“Sometimes, we think the works have already completed but the true situation was different. That’s why the involvement of the State Government is very important,” he said, adding his Ministry has issued out an agreement letter for the allocation on Aug. 30.

On the dialogue, Guan Eng said the budget consultation especially on tourism is the first of its kind being held by the Ministry in Sabah and the topic focused on is one of the sectors vital for the State economy.

He said the feedback received from stakeholders concerned have been good and their suggestions will be taken into account by the Ministry in formulating the budget for next year. 

“But I do need to remind that we are still in the process of restoring our financial fiscal. Because we are involved in financial scandals inherited from the old government, involving a huge sum, about RM150 billion, which will take some time. 

“Anyhow, we will try to strive to ensure that development can still be continued,” he said. 

Mohd Shafie said the State Government and the people of Sabah thanked the Federal Government and Finance Ministry for approving the allocation.

“I am confident this will be able to assist us in our effort to provide better education amenities including in the rural areas of Sabah,” he said. 

He also appreciated the dialogue held in Sabah as it enables more direct interaction between the Government and the people whose voices can be heard and given apt attention. 


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