Naim praised for reviving abandoned projects

GOING TO THE GROUND: File photo of Wee (left) and Hasbi (second right) making a ground visit to SK Menuang last year.

LIMBANG: Naim Holdings Berhad’s efforts to save schools categorised as ‘sick’ or abandoned, including two schools in Limbang, have received the thumbs-up from parents, school staff and the community in this area.

Construction of two such schools – SK Limbang and SK Menuang – has restarted following Naim’s collaboration with Sebiro Holdings Sdn Bhd to revive the abandoned projects so they can be completed and used as soon as possible.

Expressing his jubilance at the reviving of the construction of SK Menuang, longhouse chief Tuai Rumah Sengat, 66, said it would bring much relief to students in the area, including the Education Department which had been worried about the abandoned projects.

“This is indeed good news for the people in Limbang. We welcome Naim Holdings in taking over the construction of SK Menuang,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.

“Certainly it would be easier for residents from nearby areas including those from the around seven longhouses to send their children to school,” he said, adding that his granddaughter is a Year 2 student at the school.

Dara Akan, 53, said the construction has brought cheer and joy to the people as the school is expected to be completed this September.

“Many students are eager to study in a new school which is more comfortable and equipped with better facilities than the old school,” said Dara who has many family members and relatives studying at SK Menuang.

Another resident Gebral Alau, 49, pointed out that SK Menuang has been producing satisfactory results and is among the best in the district.

“We fully support Naim Holdings taking over construction of the school, because we don’t want it to be abandoned,” he said.

He said the school’s strategic location between Medamit and Batu Danau made it the preferred school for parents and children in the area.

ON TRACK: Construction works at SK Limbang.

Meanwhile, the school’s headmaster Bernard Chong, when contacted by The Borneo Post, said he and his staff were very happy about the development and hoped the construction would be completed as soon as possible.

He also hoped that when completed, the new school would be equipped with modern facilities and have sufficient classrooms.

Expected to be completed on schedule in September this year, it is understood that about 86 per cent of the construction had been carried out.

Meanwhile, SK Limbang is about 83 per cent completed, with full completion expected by December this year.

Many parents from the surrounding villages have expressed their happiness with its progress.

Kasmah Brahim, 34, disclosed that many parents were not aware  the project to build the school had been categorised as ‘abandoned’.

“We were very relieved after we heard that Naim Holdings had made the pledge to continue with the construction of the school which is progressing smoothly,” she sighed.

She also praised Naim for reviving the project, saying it fits nicely with the Ministry of Education’s aim to restart abandoned school projects in the country.

Kasmah also revealed that many parents and people were not happy when the project was abandoned as they were looking forward to sending their children to the new school.

“The construction site was abandoned after the project stopped and we feared that it would lead to negative consequences, including becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Thanks to Naim Holdings, who are concerned about the difficulties and problems we face, we are looking forward to the completion of the new school later this year,” he said.

A resident Chua Eng Hin said the new SK Limbang is needed to replace the old school which is rather small and cannot accommodate the increasing number of new students.

He said he had received numerous suggestions from the community that the previous contractors involved in the construction of the school be replaced by a local developer with a proven track record to complete the project.

“With the selection of Naim Holdings as a contractor to continue and proceed with the construction of SK Limbang, we hope the new school will be completed soon so students can study in an environment that is comfortable and conducive for learning,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Limbang MP Hasbi Habibollah said the problems faced by SK Menuang and SK Limbang were often voiced in Parliament and the ministry took a serious view of the matter.

In fact, he said, former deputy education minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong had seen the condition on the ground (of both schools).

“It doesn’t matter which party takes over construction of these projects as what is important is that they can be completed as soon as possible because they have long been abandoned.

“What concerns us is the problem faced by the students who have to squat at the old SK Limbang which is considered not very safe and comfortable,” he told The Borneo Post


At the same time, Hasbi thanked Naim Holdings Berhad for coming up with the offer to solve the problems.

“We hope the schools will be completed properly and not just only for the sake of completing them. This requires the cooperation of all parties so they can be in operation later,” he said.

He also set a target for both schools to operate by early next year.