Tuesday, March 1, 2011


The government through the Education Ministry has allocated RM80 million to undertake maintenance of 600 schools and teachers quarters in Sarawak that are said to be at the verge of being condemned. The question that I would like to ask is why announced the allocation now? Why wait for the schools and quarters for teachers to reach such a poor condition before a maintenance allocation is handed out? It is unlikely that deterioration of the schools and teachers quarters occurred a few months ago? Definitely, it has started to deteriorate several years ago.

What has the state Department of Education or the Education Ministry been doing all this while? Wasn’t there a request for maintenance been made by the schools? I am quite certain there must have been some form of maintenance allocation, and where have the allocation disappeared in the past. Don’t tell me that there was no maintenance allocation at all.

Remember, I wrote an article on January 24, 2011 regarding Sekolah Menengah Sains Miri, Bakam, Sarawak were the students were told to relocate to another school, because their school was in such a poor condition and had to be torn down. I do not know what had happened to the school now.

Now, I want to be straight and cynical. Is it because of the up-coming state election that had awakened the Education Ministry and its minister to come up with such an allocation? And please do not tell me that it is coincidental or some ‘cock and bull’ story that the allocation has been planned many years ago, and the announcement made only recently? And don’t tell me that in the past, no state/federal ministers or state department/ministry officials has ever visited these schools or cared to visit the homes of the teachers? I have visited some schools in the interior of Sarawak and I can only say that some schools are slightly better than a chicken coop. Is this the way the state Education Department takes care of its students and teachers?

Now, what about the CM of Sarawak? Does he not know that the schools are about to collapse? Or is he too busy to even care about finding out, or does he go blindfolded during his round of visits? If what is written in Sarawak Report about the CM is true, then he is one filthy rich person. And why doesn’t he be like billionaire Vincent Tan who announced recently that half his wealth will be given out to charity. I am quite sure the CM has some extra to give out, and I think a few million as charity to schools is not too much for him to give out, if what is written about him is true. We all must thank Vincent Tan for his generosity and sets a sterling example for the CM to follow.

Honestly, I just cannot understand what is actually happening to Sarawak and the Education Ministry in particular. They say that education is so important and that the ministry gets one of the highest budget allocations. Yet they could lose sight of providing sufficient allocation for the maintenance of schools and teachers quarters, especially those in Sarawak, and may be in Sabah as well. Is this how the ministry interprets the famous slogan “Rakyat Di Dahulukan, Pencapaian Di Utamakan”. Are students in Sarawak not the rakyat of this country, to be attending schools in such dilapidated condition?

And it is only today that I knew the government has set aside an allocation of RM18.4 million to be paid to teachers and supporting staffs as incentive for their excellent performance. While I am not disputing that our teachers deserve such incentives, and in fact much more; but why give them now at a time prior to two by-elections and an impending state elections in Sarawak? I hope this is not going to be a one-off incentive, with the next incentive just prior to another by-election. If giving out such incentive is the government’s way of enticing votes, which most believe is the case; then I say that the Education Ministry’s action is insincere.

The education ministry can act like Santa Claus this time, but let’s see if they can do the same when the 13th General Election comes in about two years time.



komando said...

Try and check out some schools in SABAH too, Dato' Pak Chad. Pulau BUM BUM in particular..the last time I was there...my goodness!

WELL IT Looks just like a "KANDANG KAMBING" !

komando said...

Rakyat didahulukan..bayar saman...becos ministers travel with pdrm escort, can beat all the lights, park anywhere, stop anytime!

Perfect isn't IT ?

benadam said...

I am agreeable that the teachers deserved it. But as you rightly pointed out why now. Yes indeed why now. Its all boils down to timing ….and when you put 2 and 2 together you began to wonder if all this by-election window dressing are actions that can be labeled as “mother of all corruptions”. Period.

benadam said...

Dear bro komando,
Just to share with you and other friends. I wrote this letter in 1995.
I quote”
16 September 1995

The Editor,
The New Straits Time
31, Jalan Riong
59100, Kuala Lumpur

Dear Sir,

It is with mixed feeling that I am writing to enlighten your reader on what many rakyat would described as unpleasant encounter with the "'high and mighty", Let me be more specific. The day was Thursday, 14 September 1995, the time 1 pm and the location, Sungai Besi Toll Plaza.

That day as I was approaching the Toll Plaza from Bangi, cruising at the mandatory speed of 60kmph, a convoy of obviously VVIP driven cars with two police outriders and a close escorts vehicle plus at least two Mercedes and Volvos zoomed past with the outriders' siren creating deafening wails. The outriders were also gesticulating authoritatively to us lesser mortals to get out of their way. The VVIP car buzzed through the toll booth lane. The whole episode left me sickens to the core.

Here are the issues. First, is there a special right for VVIP to turn the public highway into special VIP lane and treat it as Batu 3 Shah Alam circuit to boot? The fact that the VVIP convoy was speeding was beyond doubt. It was done consciously with blatant disregard of the law and in this particular instance orchestrated and abetted by the custodian of the law no less. My minds began to wonder, are these people above the law or are my beloved country practicing two sets of law. One law for the rakyat and another set for the "high and mighty".

Given the fact that VVIPs are busy people carrying out their responsibility and need to be whisked from one place to another at speed hardly qualify as good justification. It would not be presumptuous to say that 90 percents of the road users that day were doing their bits that also contribute directly or indirectly to the well being of the country. But there is definitely a difference - they did not break the law and they pay their dues at the toll booth unlike the VVIP and entourage who went past without stopping let alone paying. This is my second issue.

The irksome part of this issue is that the toll rate is now being considered by the "high and mighty" and "the high and mighty" is on record to say that if the request is justified than the rate will be increased. For us the rakyat, we may not know what constitute these justification standard. I shall not belabour this issue with details but suffice it is to mention that we the rakyat have to bear the burden of paying toll to perform our diverse responsibility daily. Lest it be misconstrued, I am not advocating free passage through the highways. I am saying that even the current rate is burden enough.
(continued below)

benadam said...

The issues in this episode are the ultimate in ironies for one whose public image is clear abhorrence on double standard. Always quick to lash other people of practicing double standard, but did not this episode suggests that our VVIP are also the guilty party? Or what is preached is full of air and bubbles.

_Double standard aside, the episode to me is piquant and smack with high handedness and the exhibition of arrogance in all its nakedness. It is a likely sight to behold for like-minded few. Little wonder that now grassroots members of a dominant political party are fighting for top party posts. The prize is that they can some day be accorded the same perks and privileges after holding high political office and in the governments.

What this episode auger for the rakyat is something that one can only speculate. But the bottom line is for the rakyat to wonder on how can they 'expect people of responsibility to consider the rakyat's plight in better light when they by their action are not part of the system. They may know the problem but can they feel the consequences of the problem?

If my observation hurt the ego of some, so be it. Because in the name of equal justice and road safety, battered ego is better than such truism "the speed that thrills is the speed that kills". Will the VVIP in the vehicle with registration number WDL 2 stand up and be counted?

Thank you,

Yours sincerely,"
end of quote: Yes sir you guessed it right. The letter never saw the light of day at NST

Mohd Arshad Raji said...

Dear Benadam,

Well written and as I have also experienced, anything that you write to the mainstream media that sounds 'anti' will not get published. That is one of the reasons I got into blogging.

Kamal Sanusi said...

When the political tsunami hit Malaysia in the previous GE-12, BN has realized that their life line is in Serawak. Majority of their sitting in Parliament come from this state.

So, very timely such announcement been made. We should know why... As for Sabah, be patient, your time will come soon.

We are good in building those so-called white elephant but when it come on maintenance issue, you know, I know laaaa.... Same thing with the asset of ATM.

Kamal Sanusi said...

Sorry Dato', some additional comment.

Reference is made to your posting and comments by komando.

If buy-election can bring instant development & solve problems within a minute & many issues are given prompt attention I would advise all ADUN/MP to start praying for their health because many people are praying for their death.

There is no point having wakil rakyat who is alive and unable to deliver what being promised during election campaign.

Mej. A R Ramachandran (Retired) said...

Flying in by helicopter (rakyat's money?)and as Education Minister visit school near buy election area (to justify trip?), then attend to party politics. Who are you all trying to bluff? I am disgusted.

wira said...

Reminds me of Siad Barre of Somalia. He was infamous for bringing his motorcade onto the runway in Mogadishu so much so approaching aircraft had to be diverted to other airports.
The funny thing about it was, shortly after the incident, he was overthrown....
Do we see similarities in VIP misbehaviour here?
Remember the attributes and behaviour of 'the hamba raja class' and how much the humble rakyats despise them! in Abdullah Munshi's hikayat...
Perhaps these VIPs, some king-lings included are displaying similarly despicable attiudes in modern times...
I just wonder if these so called VIPs remember who put them where they are?