KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has given his assurance to lawmakers that he will raise the matter of the construction of Mara Junior Science Colleges (MRSM) that has dragged on for several years with the Finance Ministry.
This came about after MPs from Tanah Merah, Sik, Lumut, Kinabatangan and Lawas asked the Deputy Prime Minister on the status of the construction of the boarding schools in their respective constituencies.
“We will negotiate (this with MOF) so that all four MRSM will be built. Not forgetting my friend from Lumut, we will make sure that a MRSM can be established there,” Ahmad Zahid, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, said while winding up his speech on the 12th Malaysia Plan mid-term-review.
Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (PN-Tanah Merah) said the MRSM in his constituency was supposed to be constructed at the same time as the school in Bagan Datuk, which is Ahmad Zahid’s constituency, was built.
“The Bagan Datuk one has been completed but the one in Tanah Merah has yet to be completed,” said Ikmal Hisham.
“When can it be completed?. I hope it will be a reality. If it is completed, maybe Tanah Merah will go to Barisan Nasional?” Ikmal added.
This was followed by similar questions from Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman (PN-Sik) and Nordin Ahmad Ismail (PN-Lumut).
Ahmad Zahid said the allocation for the Bagan Datuk school was approved by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
“If our friends from the other side return to us faster...it will be easier...we will expedite it,” Ahmad Zahid said in jest.
Ahmad Zahid said the initial allocation for Tanah Merah was RM100mil but it has since increased to RM126.86mil while for Sik, the initial allocation was RM99.4mil but the cost has since increased to RM121.04mil.
“As for Lumut, the land has been set aside for the MRSM,” he said.
On another note, Dr Hajah Halimah Ali (PN-Kapar) suggested the setting up of a Commission for Orang Asal (natives) where the affairs of the Orang Asli in the Peninsula and Orang Asal in Sabah and Sarawak will be housed under the same commission.
Ahmad Zahid said the suggestion will be considered.