Sarawak to receive RM1B contra loan for school repairs

KUCHING (Bernama) – The Sarawak government has already discussed with the Federal government through Malaysian Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik the proposed RM1 billion contra loan to be allocated for repairs of dilapidated schools in the state, said Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the arrangement to offer the RM1 billion as contra payment to the state loan of some RM2.4 billion had been agreed in principle by both parties.

“We have also sent a letter (regarding the matter) to the Ministry of Finance (MoF),” he told reporters at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Satok Gawai Raya event at Kampong Segedup last Saturday night.

Commenting on a statement by the MOF last Saturday that the state government had yet to provide any official feedback to the Federal government on the matter, Abang Johari also said he was not notified of any changes in the initial agreement with Maszlee during their meeting last May.

He had yet to see the details of the four prescribed legal mechanisms by the MoF on the proposal for the Sarawak government to utilise the contra loan repayments to repair the dilapidated schools, the Chief Minister said.

In the statement, the Malaysian Finance Ministry had said the Federal government’s stand on the method of dilapidated school repairs in Sarawak via four legal mechanisms had been explained to the Sarawak government during a meeting at the ministry on March 11, 2019, followed by a letter dated March 20, 2019.