Malaysiakini News

Solar project hits another snag, blackout for schools in S'wak

Published:  |  Modified:

The controversial project to power rural Sarawakian schools through a combination of solar energy and diesel has encountered another setback, with several of these schools expected to lose electricity supply beginning tomorrow.

A letter sighted by Malaysiakini, written by a subcontractor to a district office in Sarawak, said it has to cease the supply of diesel as it had not received payment from the main contractor since March.

Among the affected schools are in Kapit, Song and Belaga.

Education Minister Maszlee Malik, in a series of Twitter postings, acknowledged the problem and promised to address the issue urgently.

"I am fully aware that several schools in Sarawak currently do not have electricity due to a lack of diesel supplies and have brought up the matter in our post-cabinet meeting last Wednesday.

"The welfare of our teachers and students is the primary concern of everyone here within the ministry, and we are doing our utmost to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

"My prayers are with the teachers and students in Sarawak, and I humbly ask for everyone's patience as we try to resolve this matter. Rest assured, we will provide everyone with updates on the issue," he said.

The RM1.25 billion project was granted to Bintulu-based Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd through direct negotiation.

The company was accused of failing to deliver on the contract, a claim which it denies.

The MACC had since arrested several company executives to assist in the investigation. Also hauled up was a former aide to Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.

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