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KUCHING, Dec 20: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Youth chief Michael Tiang has joined the chorus of angry calls for Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik to resign following his recent ‘medan dakwah’ (Islamic propagation field) statement.
“Maszlee has repeatedly created policies and statements that shocked the public since his appointment, including the perception that recognising the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) of Chinese independent schools would affect the unity and harmony among Malaysians,” Tiang lashed out in a press statement today.
“As an Education Minister, he should do his part in bringing reforms to national education and assist in resolving the dilapidated schools issue in Sarawak. Instead, he focused on propagating Islamisation.”
Expressing strong concern over the development of the country’s education system, Tiang described as “absolutely outrageous” Maszlee’s remark to encourage religious teachers from Peninsular Malaysia to continue serving in Sarawak and Sabah as the Borneo states would be their ‘medan dakwah’.
“This shows that the minister cannot grasp the East Malaysian cultures and sentiments; and worse still, the minister failed to respect Sarawakians’ emphasis on religious freedom. He even attempted to disturb,” he exclaimed.
While acknowledging that Islam is the official religion of the Federation of Malaysia, Tiang, however, pointed out that there was no official religion in Sarawak.
Sarawak, he added, had been advocating religious freedom since 1841, in which all religions practised would be treated equally.
Tiang also emphasised that this was the very reason why the late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem insisted that 99 per cent of teachers in Sarawak must be Sarawakians.
“After all, only Sarawakians can truly comprehend Sarawak’s social culture and promote Sarawak’s educational model according to Sarawakians’ aspirations,” he said.
“From Maszlee’s performance in the past few months, especially in terms of Sarawak’s education needs, he is incompetent and unfit to serve as an Education Minister for all,” said Tiang, and appealed to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to remove Maszlee from his office.
In addition, Tiang is also perplexed with the silence among the 12 Sarawakian Members of Parliament (MPs) from Pakatan Harapan (PH) when this issue was raised in Parliament.
“It’s been more than a week since the sitting, but it seemed leaders from PH Sarawak, especially the DAP, have remained silent inside and outside of Parliament. How can they represent Sarawak in defending Sarawak’s rights and interests?” he asked. — DayakDaily