TUARAN, Nov 10 — Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor has full confidence that Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and Barisan Nasional (BN) will continue their cooperation in the state government after the 15th general election (GE15).

The GRS chairman said the GRS-BN formula had proven effective in forging a solid working relationship that had brought much development to the state.

“Of course … it is a continuity of the mandate given by the rakyat during the last state election. So, we need to have strong cooperation to ensure we uphold this mandate,” he told reporters opening the new building of Sekolah Menengah Advent Tamparuli (SMAT) here today.

On whether the state government would declare polling eve on Nov 18 a public holiday, he said the matter would be looked into.

On education, he said it was important for development, and the state government had allocated a total of RM3.38 million to non-Muslim religious bodies, Chinese and mission schools in Tuaran this year.

From the figure, RM1.078 million was for non-Muslim religious bodies and the rest for Chinese and mission schools in the Tuaran district.

He reiterated that the state government had agreed to increase the overall allocation for non-Muslim religious bodies, Chinese and mission schools by RM7 million to RM54 million next year.

In his speech when opening the new building, which can accommodate 500 students, Hajiji commended the school, previously known as the Seventh-Day Adventist Secondary School (SASS), for producing many successful students.

“I trust SMAT will continue its educational excellence by providing opportunities for students to excel, particularly those from the rural areas,” he said.

He announced a RM100,000 allocation for the more than 80-year-old school to enhance its academic programmes, adding that the state would consider SMAT’s requests for other educational facilities, including a roofed basketball court.

Hajiji said education was high on the agenda of the GRS-BN government and hence human capital development was among the main pillars of the Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ).

For this reason the government did not hesitate to approve SJK (C) Chung Hwa’s application for a 0.25-acre land for its Green and Nature Park project.

Hajiji also gave SJK (C) Chung Hwa Tamparuli teachers and pupils a pleasant surprise by approving RM150,000 for the Green and Nature Park, smart boards and the school’s brass band as requested by its management board chairman Chong Hong Kong in his speech earlier.


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