‘Terminate service if contractor fails to fulfil obligations’

Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail

LIMBANG : Assistant Minister for Agriculture Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail called for a thorough investigation into the latest episode of fuel shortage hitting over 40 schools in Sarawak and urged the government to terminate the service of the contractor involved if there was failure to fulfil its contractual obligation.

Dr Abdul Rahman who is also Bukit Kota assemblyman said he supported the government’s decision to terminate the contract for any failure to comply and fulfil its obligations but said immediate steps must be taken to overcome the current disruption of fuel supply to schools in the Sarawak.

“We are deeply concerned and strongly urge the government to take the necessary action and if need be, seek alternative solution such as direct supply of fuel through the (education) department,” he said.

The assistant minister said this in response to the fuel shortage which has affected schools in the state, including those in Limbang and Lawas districts.

Dr Abdul Rahman said the Sarawak government viewed the problem seriously as students and teachers should not suffer needlessly from fuel shortage woes when the school term resumes.

“ The overriding concern should be to ensure students and teachers are not affected when school re-opens,” he said.

Some schools were hit by the diesel shortage over 10 days ago as the appointed contractor has allegedly fell behind in stocking up fuel tanks.

All the rural schools except SK Long Semado in Lawas district had ran out of fuel last week while scores of others in Miri and other divisions had also faced similar predicament.

This fuel shortage was reported to also hit schools in central Sarawak, including Selangau where Sarawak PKR chief and Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian is the newly elected member of Parliament of the constituency in the 14th general election.

Paulus Palu Gumbang

Dr Abdul Rahman and Sarawak Backbenchers Club chairman and assemblyman in Batu Danau, Paulus Palu Gumbang, said Limbang district was more fortunate as only seven schools were affected due to most schools were connected to the local grid system.

He hoped the remaining schools in Limbang would be connected to overcome dependency on fuel-powered generators to run school electrical appliances.

Parents and teachers have voiced their concern of a repeat of schools going dark when school re-opens due to similar incident in January 2017.

Schools themselves remain operational as administrative staffers still turn up for work

and are in need of power and water supply – both of which require fuel to run the generator set.

Without fuel, generators could not provide power to the electrical appliances and the school water supply system.

The district education officer could not be contacted for comment on the issue, but The Borneo Post has learnt that a police report has been lodged by the Ministry of Education in Putrajaya on the matter two days ago for investigation to be carried.

Minister of Education Dr Maszlee Malik and Baru could not be contacted for comments on this shortage woes.

Source: http://www.theborneopost.com/2018/06/17/terminate-service-if-contractor-fails-to-fulfil-obligations/