KUCHING, Dec 18: Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik’s recent statement suggesting to make Sarawak and Sabah the ‘medan dakwah’ (propagation field) of Islamisation proves he is unfit to be a minister, said a non-governmental organisation today.
Expressing this point, Movement for Change Sarawak (MoCS) founding chairman Francis Siah urged for the minister to be removed.
He was referring to the recent parliamentary reply by Maszlee who appealed and encouraged ustaz and ustazah from Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah who are teaching in Sabah and Sarawak not to return to Peninsular Malaysia and make the two Borneon states their Islamic propagation field (medan dakwah).
“Sabah and Sarawak have now awakened to the lies and injustices that have been fed to us through our education system in every form and manner,” he lashed out in a press statement today.
He added that MoCS had been observing Maszlee closely since he was appointed a minister, due to concerns expressed about his radical views by those who claimed to know his background well.
“We do so for other cabinet members also. But at first, we, in Sarawak, chose to ignore them seven months ago so as to give him a chance to prove himself. It is now clear that Maszlee has not changed at all.
“We find the Education Minister’s statement to make Sarawak and Sabah the ‘medan dakwah’ of Islamisation insensitive and intolerable,” he stressed.
Siah expressed disappointment that Maszlee had not done any serious homework on education issues in Sarawak before making his comments on such a sensitive matter.
“We conclude that Maszlee is unfit to be a minister and wishes to see him removed,” he urged.
He pointed out that under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), both Sabah and Sarawak have full autonomy over religion and education.
“Sabah and Sarawak have freedom of religion with no one religion being the ‘main’ religion. In fact, Christians are the majority in Sarawak.
“As for education, Sarawak has full autonomy to use English as the medium of instruction and teaching in schools together with other native languages,” he added.
This provision in MA63, he elaborated, was unlike the directive from the Ministry of Education, where schools are forced to use Malay as the only medium of instruction and teaching.
He observed that Maszlee would do well to remember that he is not only representing one race and one religion above all else.
“He is an elected representative of the people, who are made up of a diverse group of races, religions, sexual preferences, social backgrounds, etc.,” he said.
The education minister would also do well, Siah added, to remember that the colours of shoes and socks would not enhance children’s future nor do preferential religious ideologies or racial inequality or any other injustices that had been carelessly thrown out from time to time.
“We, Sarawakians, want our Education Minister to be knowledgeable and respectful of our cultures and beliefs and not seek to impose his beliefs and fancies on us.
“By doing so, he is outrightly and disrespectfully telling us that our unique Sarawak culture is of no importance but that the ‘Malayanisation’ of Borneo is high on the agenda of the government,” he emphasised.
Siah added that this was directly in breach of MA63 and the now redundant Pakatan Harapan (PH) manifesto to allow the Borneonisation of our government and public sectors, including schools and health services.
“We urge the new PH government to not overstep the boundaries that they had promised to protect and return or restore to Sabah and Sarawak.
“We have allowed you to cross over into our territories and now you chose to outrightly gobble us up at every turn,” he criticised. — DayakDaily