S'wak's 'build first, reimburse later' approach cuts costs, says Dr Annuar

SIBU: Sarawak's "build first, reimburse later" approach helps save substantial time and costs in repairing and building schools and clinics, says Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee.

The state Deputy Education, Innovation and Talent Minister said under this approach, Sarawak would use its own funds first and the Federal Government will reimburse the cost later

He said the cost saving had been proven in the construction of seven schools built by the state government including schools in Daro, Ulu Sengan, and Meludam.

“Another four are still under construction. The most important aspect is that their cost is lower than what was done by the federal Education Ministry before.

"That's why the Federal Government agreed to use the state government's approach because it saves costs and speeds up the process," he said.

Speaking to reporters after visiting two community leaders in the Kemuyang area on Wednesday (April 17) night, he gave an example of schools built at lesser cost.

“Previously, some primary schools required up to RM60mil (for construction). But the schools built by the Sarawak government in Ulu Sengan cost less than RM40mil,” he said.

He added that the state government was able to achieve a significant cost reduction of the school buildings as it did not indulge in over-designed work for the schools.

“They just need to function as schools, be durable, and require minimal maintenance. That is what's most important,” Dr Annuar said.

In addition, the Sarawak state government could also quickly identify schools in need of repair.

“The procedure involves the state government approving new land or sites and subsequently awarding contracts to local contractors in Sarawak.

“This process involves less bureaucracy compared to going through the federal government. Hence, we are grateful to the Federal Government, allowing us to expedite the repair of dilapidated schools and clinics in Sarawak,” Dr Annuar stressed.

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