Rise in cost limits size of Tamil school to be built

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 17 Mar 2018

THE size of SRJK (T) Ladang Coalfields in Ijok, Kuala Selangor, was reduced based on advice from the Selangor Education and Public Works departments, a state executive council member said.

Plantation Workers, Poverty and Caring Government Committee chairman V. Ganabatirau said the rise in the project cost from the state’s initial budget of RM4mil to RM7mil had also contributed to the state government’s decision.

Although the Selangor government announced in 2012 that a school with 18 classrooms would be built at Coalfields to replace the existing school, Ganabatirau said the state had to wait until 2016 to iron out various procedural issues related to taking over the land from developer KL Kepong Property Development Sdn Bhd, who also contributed RM2mil for the school project.

He said the land had to be surrendered to the state and be gazetted as a school land before the project could start.

Ganabatirau said the estimated cost of the project went up due to a rise in the cost of building materials and Public Works Department told the state that it could only build a school with six classrooms with the RM4mil allocation.

“The state Education Department is of the view that six classrooms are sufficient to cater to the less than 100 pupils in the existing school,” he said

On the construction of the hostel project, Ganabatirau said it had been relocated from Coalfields to SRJK(T) Ladang Midlands in Shah Alam.

He said the decision to relocate the hostel project was made by Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali following consultation with relevant parties.

“Work on the school at Coalfields has started and the hostel will be built in the near future.

Former Selangor mentri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim announced a school hostel was proposed to be built at a cost of RM7mil on the 3.1ha land offered by the developer.

“The former mentri besar had said the SRJK(T) Coalfields would be the first Tamil school in the country to have hostel facility.

“However, the school project was shelved following the GE13 as Dr Xavier Jayakumar was dropped from the State exco line-up and Tan Sri Khalid’s tenure ended in 2014,” MIC national information chief P. Punithan said.

After Datuk Seri Azmin Ali replaced Khalid as the new mentri besar in 2014, Punithan said the SRJK (T) Coalfields school project took a new twist.

In 2016, he said, Azmin announced that the SRJK(T) Coalfields school project had been altered to six classrooms and would be built by the State Public Works Department (JKR) at a cost of RM4mil.

“However, the school’s board of directors and Parent-Teacher Association were not consulted or informed of the change in plan,” he said

Punithan also said Coalfields residents, including former workers from the Coalfields Estate, were upset when Azmin’s announcement in last year’s state Budget that the hostel project would be moved from Coalfields to SRJK(T) Midlands in Shah Alam.

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