Sarawak welcomes return of autonomy over education, health, says state minister

KUCHING: Sarawak looks forward to the return of education and health autonomy to the state by the new Pakatan Harapan-led unity government.

State Deputy Education, Innovation and Talent Development Minister Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee said Pakatan had pledged to decentralise powers to Sabah and Sarawak in its manifesto for the 15th General Election (GE15).

"One of them is autonomy in health and education. We hope this will become reality in the near future," he said when replying to a question by Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman (GPS-PBB) in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly on Friday (Nov 25).

Pakatan's manifesto pledge included four areas for the decentralisation of powers to Sabah and Sarawak, which are education and health autonomy, electricity supply administration, village community management council and native employment.

Under education and health autonomy, the manifesto promised to strengthen the role of the state government in matters such as upgrading dilapidated schools, expanding the teaching and learning of ethnic languages and improving health laboratory facilities.

Dr Annuar also told the House that Sarawak had identified 247 dilapidated schools in need of repair since 2019.

Of the total, he said 62 had been rebuilt or repaired while 185 were in various stages of planning and implementation.

"The work to repair the schools has picked up again now after the pandemic and we hope it can be completed as quickly as possible," he said.

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