TAMPARULI: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor has full confidence  that cooperation between the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah-Barisan Nasional (GRS-BN)  State Government will continue after the 15th General Elections (GE15). 

“The GRS-BN formula has proven that at the state level we have achieved a solid working  relationship to govern and brought much development to the state and the people. 

“Of course … it is a continuity of the mandate given by the rakyat during the last State  General Elections. So, we need to have strong cooperation to ensure we uphold this  mandate,” he said when met after opening the new building at Sekolah Menengah Advent  Tamparuli (SMAT) here today.  

On whether the Sabah State Government will declare the eve of elections, November 18  as a public holiday, Hajiji who is also the president of GRS said the matter needs to be  looked into first. 

Earlier, he said education is important for the state’s development, hence he said the  State Government has 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 has agreed to increase the overall state  allocation for non-Muslim religious bodies, Chinese and mission schools by RM7 million  to RM54 million next year. 

In his speech at the opening of SMAT new building that can accommodate 500 students  at any one time, Hajiji commended the school known previously as the Seventh-Day  Adventist Secondary School or SASS, for producing many successful students during its  more than 80 years in existence. 

He cited Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Joniston Bangkuai  who is also Kiulu Assemblyman and GRS candidate for Tuaran MP as one of them. 

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

As an appreciation to SMAT’s teaching staff, the Chief Minister announced an allocation  of RM100,000 to assist the school’s management in enhancing its academic programmes. 

At the same time, he said the State Government would also consider SMAT’s requests for other educational facilities including a roofed basketball court. 

Present were District Officer Syahrin Samsir, Tamparuli Assistant District Officer Herman  Tugingging, Sabah SDA Mission Executive Secretary, Pastor Earie Madius, Malaysia  Union Missions of SDA Director Golden Gadoh and SMAT Parent Teacher Association  Chairman George Teo. 

Earlier in the morning, the Chief Minister said education is high on the agenda of the GRS BN State Government, hence human capital development is among the main pillars of  the Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ). 

For this reason, he said he did not hesitate to approve a 0.25-acre land application by  SJK (C) Chung Hwa for its Green and Nature Park project. 

He commended SJK (C) Chung Hwa Tamparuli management board and its teaching  fraternity for their high commitment to building the Green and Nature Park, which will be  beneficial to the pupils. 

“It will educate the pupils to care and respect for our environment, which is a very  important aspect in moulding our younger generation to contribute to the nation’s  development,” he said. 

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

“This government is a people’s government that was given the mandate to develop Sabah  and ensure the wellbeing of the people regardless of race. 

“I hope the people understand that we need a strong and stable government so that we  can develop our state and provide assistance such as to SJK ( C ) Chung Hwa Tamparuli,”  he said.  

Also at the ceremony were Education Director Datuk Tah Nia Jaman, SJK (C) Chung Hwa  Tamparuli management board chairman Chong Hong Kong, Headmaster Brandon Lim,  Parent Teacher Association Chairman George Teo and local community leaders.