Follow Sarawak in having own education ministry, Sabah urged

Mohd-Azis-JammanPETALING JAYA: Parti Warisan Sabah wants the state government to follow Sarawak’s lead in having a new state ministerial portfolio for education in its push for greater autonomy.

Its youth chief, Mohd Azis Jamman, said the move by Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg showed it was not impossible for such a state ministry to be set up despite education being under the ambit of the federal government.

Aziz said this was an investment to ensure future generations in the two Borneo states got a proper education to remain competitive and self-reliant.

He said the BN government in Sarawak had before this cited constraints such as lack of financial resources to provide for such a ministry.

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu’s (PBB) Michael Manyin was appointed as Sarawak’s new education, science and technological research minister in a state cabinet reshuffle announced on Saturday. He had previously held the post of youth, sports and solidarity minister.

Azis said the state education ministry’s functions would complement federal education policies.

He said by having their own ministers to oversee education, the two east Malaysian states could ensure academic institutions and universities gave proper focus to the needs of local industries.

They could also enable institutions of higher learning gain transfer of technology and knowledge from advanced countries like Germany and Japan, he added.

“Our education can then also give due emphasis to teaching Sabah’s history, and build students’ character by absorbing the cultural values and mores of our state.”

Azis said the state would also be able to pay more attention to English in the education system.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan yesterday urged the federal government to allow Sabah to set up its own state-funded English-medium schools.

The Kota Belud MP said he had broached the subject with the prime minister, the Sabah chief minister and his federal cabinet colleagues. Most of them were supportive of the proposal, he added.