Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING: Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Family, Women and Childhood Development Minister, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, has lashed out at the federal government concerning the repayment of a RM1-billion loan.

“Move on, please! If you’re willing (to help), then proceed. Save us the waiting. If it’s a no, say it outright,” she said in response to a statement by the Finance Ministry last Saturday.

In the statement, the federal government agreed in principle to partially accept the RM1-billion loan repayment from the Sarawak government subject to prescribed legal mechanisms. However, the federal government has not received a response from the state government.

Fatimah Abdullah

“The present situation is very exasperating. Education is under the federal list. Thus, it is the federal government’s responsibility to ensure that there is equality and equity of access to safe school buildings for all Malaysian children,” she said.

She pointed out that Sarawak had submitted a list of its dilapidated schools to the federal government and when the federal government said it is short of fund, a solution was proposed by the state government.

“Statements after statements have been issued by the federal government with regards to the state’s proposal,” she said.

“Precious time is wasted. Children are growing older by the day (while) their dilapidated schools are getting worse.”

With this dilly-dallying going on, Fatimah can’t help questioning whether the federal government has any intention of taking care of the state’s dilapidated schools. She hopes it is not the case.

“I also wonder whether or not the people concerned know how to handle the state’s loan proposal of to the federal government,” she said.