Former education minister Maszlee Malik today questioned the government’s rationale in allocating RM725 million to repair 50 dilapidated schools nationwide.
Maszlee said when he was in office in 2019 only RM652 million was allocated to fix 534 schools, during which 10 times more schools benefitted from a smaller sum of allocation.
“To pro-rate the amount, each school will get about RM14.5 million that’s a large sum of money.
“So, I want to ask for a clarification on why such a huge amount has been allocated to only 50 schools.
“Does it include Sarawak’s loan arrears owed (to the Federal Government) and a contra is done? If that is not the case, I want to ask where is the balance payment going?” Maszlee asked during his debate on the Budget 2021 Bill today.
He also asked what extraordinary measures the education ministry is taking to monitor such a large-scale project that would only involve a small number of schools.
“Before this (during the Pakatan Harapan administration), we monitor this very closely and by high ranking officers in the education ministry.
“We also made available a dashboard that the public could access and the education ministry at that time would update with progress reports on the schools.
“Will this be the same method adopted by the education ministry to ensure that every cent of the Rakyat reaches the project?” he said.
In the Budget 2021 announcement on November 6, the government announced that RM725 million would be allocated to upgrade buildings and infrastructure in 50 dilapidated schools nationwide. – MMO