RM3 million pledge fulfilled

KUCHING: The pledge was fulfilled when the Federation of Board of Management of Aided Chinese Primary School of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Division received RM3 million fund from the state government yesterday.

The amount will be used to cover half of the total cost to relocate and rebuild Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (C) Chung Hua Bako (SJK Chung Hua Bako) in Taman Berlian, Kota Samarahan.

The school was forced to close down in 2010 due to low student enrolment. In 2009, the school only had four pupils (a boy and three girls) with three teachers.

The cheque for the amount was presented to the federation’s chairman Jonathan Chai Voon Tok by the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg presenting the RM3 million cheque to Jonathan Chai, and looking on are members of the Federation of Board of Management of Aided Chinese Primary School of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Division.

Chai said that the amount was the pledge made by the chief minister during a fundraising dinner held in March this year.

“We are very happy to receive the fund from the state government even before our project started,” he exclaimed.

According to Chai, the project is expected to begin in August this year and to be completed by next year. The school is expected to be open for the schooling session in 2021.

He added that the relocation project would cost RM6 million, adding that another RM3 million was successfully raised during the fundraising dinner.

“We are overjoyed with the contribution from the state government today as we badly need the fund for the project,” said Chai.

On the relocation of the school, Chai said there were high demands in Kota Samarahan as it has become densely populated with booming housing estates, establishment of higher learning institutions and government departments and agencies’ offices.

He added that the relocation of the school from Bako to Kota Samarahan has never been an easy process but the board had managed to resolve the problems with the Ministry of Education and other relevant authorities.

“Recently we got the confirmation on the approval of the building plan from the Kota Samarahan Municipal Council,” said Chai.

He explained that the courtesy call on the chief minister yesterday was also to inform him that the building plan for the extension of a building block of Chung Hua Primary School No. 2 at Stutong has been approved by the Kuching South City Council (MBKS).

He said the whole project is expected to cost about RM8 million involving the construction of a building block of 30 classrooms and a multipurpose hall with a total cost of RM8 million, and construction will commence very soon.

“We have extended our invitation to the chief minister to officiate at the earth-breaking ceremony, expected either in July or August,” he said.

According to Chai, the extension was required because SJK Chung Hua No. 2 was overcrowded with the high number of student enrolment. Last year alone, 144 pupils were turned away to other schools because of the lack of space in the classrooms to cater for the need of primary one pupils.

“For this project, we also requested for funding from the state government to which the chief minister replied that he will look into the request.

“We hope we will have positive feedback from him soon,” said Chai.