TUARAN June 24, 2011: Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun has asked Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi to keep his promise to build Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Nabalu, about 45 kilometres from here.
“Politics here is taken in different situations. In fact the people in this state stick to promise and sincerity, if there are leaders (from outside) who can’t fulfil their promises, don’t make such statements in Sabah,” he said.
“Don’t make promises if they can’t be honoured and I hope there are no more empty promises for Sabah people,” Masidi said when asked to comment on the school’s project, which still had not started since two years’ ago.
Dr Mohd Puad made a promise to the community in Ranau two years ago that SMK Nabalu would be constructed within two months after his visit.
Last week, the Sabah Kadazandusun Murut Welfare and Education Association (Pekadin) called on the Education Ministry to honour its promise to start construction of the school costing about RM45 million, this year.
Pekadin was quoted as saying after Dr Mohd Puad made the announcement on Aug 21, 2009, that people in the area had high hopes that the school would become a realty.
Masidi who is the State education exco, said the people of Sabah understand that the government had its own budget constraints, but the deputy minister should not have made a promise he was unable to keep.
“Don’t make a promise and then forget about it,” chided Masidi. He also said that local leaders were placed in a bad position due to the inability of others to keep their promises.
“In sincerity, I say this is not being influenced by feeling of anger, but more out of frustration,” Masidi said.
He said he had referred the matter to the Education Ministry which gave the explanation that the construction of the school was postponed due to a change in the tender.
“I was informed there’s a slight technical problem on the issue, because when the school project was opened for tender, it had exceeded the approved financial budget and had to be re-tendered.
“When I was in Kuala Lumpur end of last year, I was told the change in the tender had been completed and during the recent visit by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, we have told him about it and the issue would be given due attention,” he added.
He also said the delay in the appointment and absorption of temporary teachers in Sabah had affected the academic achievements of schools in the rural areas.
Masidi said the delay had resulted in the poor results attained by rural students in three very important subjects which are English, Mathematics and Science.
He urged the Education Ministry to speed up the appointment of these teachers as it will help address the shortage faced in Sabah, particularly in the three main subjects.
There are 84 temporary secondary school teachers in Sabah who are teaching English (34 people), Mathematics (27 people) and Science (23 people).
It is understood that 578 temporary teachers in Sabah had their contract terminated since December 31 and they are waiting for their contract to be renewed.