PRESS STATEMENT from Chong Chieng Jen
The State Government must give Sarawakians a full explanation on how it comes up with the two ridiculously high budget for the rebuilding and upgrading of the 2 primary schools in Sarawak provided under the State Budget 2020. These 2 schools are namely: SK Ulu Segan, Bintulu and SK Maludam and Asrama Betong.
In 2018, in the name of upgrading rural schools, the State Government provided in the Budget 2019 the rebuilding of the 2 schools which will be fully funded by the State:
1. For SK Ulu Segan, Bintulu, the State Government approved a total budget of RM53,762,500 for the whole project. A sum of RM23,000,000 was allocated in the State Budget in 2019. A further sum of RM15,000,000 will be allocated in the year 2020. The remainder sum likely to be allocated in year 2021.
2. For SK Maludam and Asrama Betong, the State Government approved a total budget of RM48,200,000 for the whole project. A sum of RM20,700,000 was allocated in the State Budget in 2019. A further sum of RM20,000,000 will be allocated in the year 2020. The remainder sum likely to be allocated in year 2021.
At present, SK Ulu Segan has 270 students while SK Maludam has 347 students.
To budget RM53.76 million for the building of a school which only has 270 students or to budget RM48.2 million for a school which only has 347 students is unbelievable and too extravagant at best.
The total budget of RM101 million can be used for the repair, upgrade and rebuild easily 12 schools of such scales, with the budget of RM8 million per school. In other words, it is 600% over the reasonable costs of building schools.
With the same amount spent, at least another 10 dilapidated schools can be repaired and rebuilt. However, instead of rebuilding 12 dilapidated schools, only 2 were rebuilt.
At this rate of budgeting and spending, no amount of resources and allocation will be sufficient to meet the repair of dilapidated schools. That explains why after 55 years of BN rule, there are more than 1,000 dilapidated schools in Sarawak. How much of the allocation had gone into the private pockets of the past leaders?
If the GPS leaders are still of the mind that the Pakatan Harapan Government will continue to let them spend the way they used to spend, they will be in for a big surprise.
While the PH Government is keen to repair and rebuild the dilapidated schools in Sarawak, the PH Government will not allow such projects to be made by GPS as their ATM Cash Withdrawal machines as was in the past.
Chong Chieng Jen
Sarawak Pakatan Harapan Chairman