The poor condition of a rural school in Sarawak.

Reactions To Lim Guan Eng’s Demand For RM350 Mln Advance

KUCHING: Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) has called upon the federal government to keep its promises of granting Sarawak RM1 billion to repair dilapidated schools in the state.

Commenting on Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s demand to Sarawak to first repay RM350 million owed to Putrajaya before starting any repair work, SPA president Datuk John Lau said, “A promise is a promise that needs to be kept so that citizens of Malaysia can trust what the Federal ministers say or will do in future.

“We are very happy to learn from Lim that the federal government is ready to channel the money to repair the dilapidated schools. But we are also perturbed that it needs the state government to repay RM350 million first.

“SPA notes that dilapidated school buildings are a concern but the primary concerns are students studying in broken classrooms which may collapse to injure the teachers and students.”

Images of poor conditions of the rural schools in Sarawak.

Lau pointed out there were 415 dilapidated schools that required immediate attention.

“If they give way, young souls will be injured in schools. This will not be good publicity and we do not want to see this happen,” he said.

He pointed out if the federal government had the funds to construct big projects like the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL), it should be able to help repair schools in the state as education was also under its purview.

“A promise is a promise, otherwise it will become a broken promise,” said Lau.

He added in its election manifesto under promise 44, Pakatan Harapan (PH) wanted to improve the quality of the education and healthcare services in both Sabah and Sarawak.

“So please treat Sarawak as an equal partner so that Malaysians living in Sarawak can enjoy the same type of educational facilities as fellow Malaysians living in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.

“I urge the federal government to remember to honour what has been agreed upon on in our Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63).”

Images of poor conditions of the rural schools in Sarawak.