Semenyih visit planned way before by-election announcement, says Maszlee

Education Minister Maszlee Malik. (Bernama pic)

KAJANG: Education Minister Maszlee Malik today defended his official visit to schools in Semenyih, just a day after another minister attracted criticism for his working visit to the state constituency ahead of the by-election on March 2.

He said his visit had been planned long before the Semenyih by-election was announced.

“Whether there is a by-election or not, the education ministry will carry out programmes nationwide,” he said at a press conference at SMK Bandar Tasik Kesuma in Beranang, Selangor.

“These programmes, including the ones in Beranang and Semenyih, are conducted annually,” he added.

Beranang is located in the Semenyih state constituency where Maszlee’s party, PPBM, is expected to field a candidate to represent Pakatan Harapan in the upcoming by-election.

Maszlee’s visit follows Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s visit to the constituency just a day before.

Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 had criticised Syed Saddiq’s visit, calling it an abuse of government machinery and against the principles of clean and fair elections.

Earlier today, Maszlee also visited SK Taman Pelangi Semenyih, which is under construction.

He said the project, which was supposed to start in 2012, was approved by his ministry in October last year with a cost of RM20.7 million.

He said it was held back due to a delay in the Economic Planning Unit’s processes.

The school, which will have 24 classrooms, is expected to be completed on Oct 19 next year.

“We told contractors we no longer want ‘sick projects’, abandoned projects and delayed projects.

“This project is contracted for 106 weeks and, if possible, we want it completed before the stipulated time frame,” he said, citing examples of projects in Putrajaya which were completed ahead of the delivery date.