Rep wants PH Sarawak to state stance on usage of English as medium of instruction

KUCHING, Sept 6: Education and Technological Research Assistant Minister Dr Annuar Rapaee questions the stance of state Pakatan Harapan (PH) on the usage of English in national schools in Sarawak.

He said the Education Ministry’s recent statement that it was against the federal constitution to use English as a medium of instruction in national schools was from the federal government.

“I just want to know what is the stance of the state Pakatan Harapan because in the state PH manifesto before the 14th General Election, they were fighting for wider usage of English in Sarawak,” Dr Annuar told DayakDaily.

Dr Annuar was responding to the Education Ministry’s statement which says that it is against the use of English as the medium of instruction in national schools as it violates Article 152(1) of the Federal Constitution and the National Language Act as well as contravenes the letter and spirit of the Education Act, 1996.

The ministry, in a written parliamentary reply to Batang Sadong MP Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri when asked on its stance on Sarawak schools using English as the medium of instruction, said Article 152 (1) of the Federal Constitution stipulates that Bahasa Malaysia is the national language.

Dr Annuar who is also Nangka assemblyman said the Sarawak government’s stance on English Langauge has been clear and consistent.

“We will not change our present policy of English usage. That has been why we are using English in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly,” said Dr Annuar.

He said in the Inter-Government Committee Report (IGC) on Education, it was stipulated that Sarawak’s education system and administration should be under the purview of Sarawak government where any major amendment would need to be passed by the Sarawak Legislative Assembly.

“Based on the above, Sarawak has full authority to decide on the usage of English. And since there is no change in Sarawak’s policy, the usage of English will continue in Sarawak,” said Dr Annuar. — DayakDaily