KUCHING: The Sarawak government will continue to help Chinese independent schools which have made significant contribution towards nation-building.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said vernacular schools have played an important role in educating both the Chinese and non-Chinese community, with increasing enrolment from bumiputra students.
This year, the state allocated RM7mil in annual grants to 14 Chinese independent secondary schools, continuing with the tradition started by former chief minister, the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
Since the first RM3mil grant in 2014, the state government has allocated financial assistance every year with an annual increment of RM1mil.
“I came here to fulfil my promise to Chinese schools. Last year, the grant was RM6mil and this year, I will add another million to make it RM7mil.
“Education is important for our development. Chinese schools have played a significant role over the years to educate Chinese and non-Chinese students and the state government will continue to help in the development of these schools,” Abang Johari said at the grant presentation ceremony at SM Min Lit Batu Kawa here.
He presented the cheque to Sarawak United Association of Private Chinese Secondary School Management board chairman Temenggong Datuk Vincent Lau.
Also present was Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, who is also Batu Kawah assemblyman.
“To become a high-income state, Sarawak must develop a strong foundation in education, which remains key to achieving progress and development,” said Abang Johari.
The Chief Minister also announced that the state government had identified land in Miri to be utilised to generate sustainable income for the management of the 14 private Chinese secondary schools in the state.
At the event, he also announced an allocation of RM500,000 for the building of SM Min Lit’s new academic block.
Lau, in his speech, said the management board needed at least RM20mil to support the annual expenses of Chinese independent secondary schools.
“We are grateful for the support received from the state but we need to continue to raise more funds for expansion and physical development of the schools.”
Lau pointed out that vernacular schools have played a major role in assisting the nation to progress and develop and should not be seen as an obstacle to national unity.
Of the 14 schools, five are located in Kuching, five in Sibu, two in Miri and one each in Sarikei and Bintulu.
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