There is a need to establish another secondary school in the Batu Kitang constituency to cater to the increasing number of schoolchildren.
In pointing this out, Lo Khere Chiang (GPS-Batu Kitang), he said the population in Padawan, including Batu Kitang, was growing fast and there were many children in Padawan and Batu Kitang who were forced to travel a fair distance due to the lack of a secondary school there.
“I wish to propose that this secondary school be built in Batu Kitang. I would also like to call for Sarawak teachers to be given priority to teach in all schools in Sarawak.
“This is in line with Sarawak’s call for education autonomy to be returned to the state,” he said this yesterday (Nov 24) in his debate speech on the Supply Bill (2023) 2022 on the fourth day of the 19th State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting.
He also pointed out that Padawan needed a fire station urgently.
He added that Batu Kitang was not spared from experiencing floods as well.
“Sarawak may need to plan for major drainage reserves as developers will not be able to carry out these major drainage works as such heavy costs will render their projects unviable.
“The federal government ought to come in to help build up these drainage reserves
“Billions of ringgit are required to efficiently address flooding issues in Kuching and Greater Kuching alone, not to mention the whole of Sarawak,” he added.
Touching on Marris funds, he pointed out the RM22 million from the funds for Padawan Municipal Council was grossly insufficient to address the issues of reconstructing drains and footpaths, especially back lanes in old housing estates in the Batu Kitang constituency.
“Marris funds come from the federal government and there is an unreasonable condition attached to them — they cannot be used to repair to back lanes.
“With RM80 billion siphoned from Sarawak annually, Marris funds should be reviewed and increased substantially to meet the needs today,” he added.
Lo also stressed the need to widen internet coverage and connectivity, especially to rural communities.
He called for the authorities concerned to beef up the construction of more telecommunication poles so that access to WiFi and phone services would not be disrupted.
“In some suburban areas, people have difficulty connecting to their wifi.
“Now that we are in the technology era, it is important that more telco towers are constructed so that students will have internet access to do their schoolwork.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, many rural students were unable to study due to the lack of internet connection. This is something we need to look into seriously,” he emphasised.