Education system will still be Malaya-centric despite minister change, warns PBK

Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) Miri ordinary member Leslie Ting.

KUCHING, Jan 4: Sarawakians should not be overly optimistic about the change in education minister because the outcome in the country’s education system will still remain Malaya-centric.

Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) Miri ordinary member Leslie Ting pointed out that the power to make policies and decisions concerning the national education system still lies in the hands Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government regardless of whoever replaced Dr Maszlee Malik.

“And the policies and decisions will be made solely based on Malaya’s political situation, Malaya’s culture, interest of the Malaya’s political parties and the Pakatan.

“I can’t find the reason they would put into consideration the interests of the people of Sarawak when it comes to making any decision and policies,” he stated in a press statement today.

As such, he said there was nothing to be overly excited about and people should not be too hopeful or have high expectations on the change of Education Minister following the resignation of Maszlee on the advice of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Besides Pakatan, Ting also criticised Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), saying that both federal and state governments had failed to put adequate efforts in protecting the interest of Sarawakians in terms of education.

“The GPS state government has not done enough and persistently to pursue matters important to our education system such as the introduction of Jawi (calligraphy) in schools and recognition of the United Examination Certificate (UEC) by the federal government,” he added.

Ting thus urged all Sarawakians to deny both Pakatan and GPS in the coming state election not only because of their poor performances, but the fact that Sarawak has been treated unfairly and that the formation of Malaysia did not comply with customary international laws.

“Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) being a Treaty for the formation of Malaysia, signed by Sarawak was considered by legal experts as void. Being void, the Treaty was unenforceable under international law to create Malaysia,” he added.

Maszlee resigned on Thursday (Jan 2) after serving 20 months as Education Minister. His resignation took effect from Friday (Jan 3).

Since the early days of his time in office, he had courted controversy following a number of policy changes announced.

He was heavily critised and came under intense public pressure after proposing to implement Khat calligraphy in the school syllabus of vernacular schools. The initiative has received widespread complaints, strong opposition from certain quarters and public outcry over alleged Islamisation of public education.

He is the first minister to leave his post since the Pakatan coalition came to power in May 2018. —DayakDaily