Minister: S’wak only wants education autonomy due under IGC Report

Roland delivering his ministry's winding-up speech at the DUN sitting today (May 22, 2023). Screenshot taken from Sarawak Public Communications Unit's (Ukas) Facebook livestream.

KUCHING, May 22: Sarawak will not seek anything more or anything less than what has been stipulated in Paragraph 17 of the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report for education autonomy.

Sarawak Education, Innovation and Talent Development Ministry Minister Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn said his ministry is working within the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) committee to pursue the matter.

Sagah said this during his winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.

On the matter of education autonomy for Sarawak highlighted by people’s representatives for Tanjong Batu, Pujut, Batu Kitang and Kota Sentosa, Sagah said that the autonomy of education for Sarawak is only limited to Paragraph 17 of the IGC report, 1962.

According to him, Paragraph 17 does not grant full autonomy of education to Sarawak but it sets conditions for the use of English and Malay languages, religious education, and special position of the indigenous people.

“It also affirms the need for the Director of Education Sarawak to consult and seek advice from the Sarawak government. It also allows for local authorities to continue as agents for primary education.

“Pertaining to higher education, Paragraph 17 also stipulates the need for Sarawak to be given special consideration in the expansion of the facilities,” he added.

Meanwhile, during a press conference held at the DUN Complex media room later, when asked about the unsuccessful request to have a meeting with Minister of Education Fadlina Sidek during her recent visit to Sarawak, Sagah said he did meet the minister during her courtesy call on Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“So far, no dates (has been set) yet. I can accept that maybe because (she is) too busy because she is new, but I hope in the new future she will be able to see us.

“The most important thing is about what want we discuss with them; they must take it seriously. If we are to go there and then just talk only, it will useless.

“I don’t want to waste my time on those sorts of things,” he said. — DayakDaily