Baru Bian: Repair of run-down schools is ongoing, despite problems

  • Nation
  • Monday, 09 Jul 2018

KUCHING: The Works Ministry will look into the repair of dilapidated schools in Sarawak, particularly those projects facing delays or which have not been approved yet.

Works Minister Baru Bian said 415 extremely dilapidated schools had been identified in the state, of which 116 were currently in the process of being upgraded in the first phase.

"What is now being budgeted and implemented is 116 schools, 50 by the Works Ministry and the rest by the Education Ministry.

"There are still other schools which were not included in the first phase. We will carry that into the next planning and budget," he told reporters after a briefing by the state Public Works Department (PWD) here on Monday (July 9).

Baru said the dilapidated school repairs allocated to the Education Ministry appeared to be facing some problems, whereas those implemented by the Works Ministry through the state Public Works Department (PWD or JKR) were nearly completed.

Contrary to public perception, he said it was not the industrialised building system (IBS) and its supposed unsuitability that was causing the problems.

"From what I've been told, the schools that use the lightweight IBS are all implemented in time and done properly, so that is not the issue.

"As I understand it, it is the method of implementation. Probably there is no close supervision, that may be a reason," he said.

He added that all the 50 projects implemented by the state PWD would be completed by August, with only one school left to be done.

Baru also said he was briefed on the progress of the Pan Borneo highway project.

"It is on schedule although certain sectors are a bit delayed. The highest delay is at the Serian roundabout to Pantu junction stretch.

"But overall it is 22% completed, which is about 2% ahead of schedule," he said.

Earlier on Monday afternoon, Baru paid a courtesy call on Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and conveyed his ministry's willingness to work with the state government on infrastructure projects, including schools and hospitals.

"He was very open and gave his assurance that they are prepared to work with us as well.

"That's a good spirit which I think we need, politics aside. As far as development for the people is concerned, we must focus on developing the state and nation for the sake of the rakyat," Baru said.
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