Sarawak minister to meet Maszlee over GPS leaders attending school functions

Sarawak Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Michael Manyin (left) and his assistant Annuar Rapaee speak to reporters after an event in Kuching today.

KUCHING: Sarawak Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Michael Manyin hopes to meet Education Minister Maszlee Malik next week to review conditions imposed on Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders attending functions in schools.

GPS leaders had been told in two circulars sent by the education department in May and November that they must obtain permission from the department director if they wanted to enter any school in the state.

Manyin said there was also a directive stating that the leaders could attend school functions but were not allowed to deliver any speech.

He said he had raised the matter to the state cabinet and was advised to arrange a meeting with Maszlee to see if the conditions could be reviewed.

“I have written in (to the education ministry) and I hope to meet him on Monday or Tuesday,” he said after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Sarawak Research Development Centre (SRDC) and Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences here today.

Manyin also refuted Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s claim that GPS leaders had brought their party logos and given political speeches in schools during Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) events.

“We never bring our flags or touch on politics. We only speak about the importance of education.

“I don’t think Chong knows what is going on. I don’t think he’s aware of the two circulars. I don’t know why he likes to talk about other ministries. Why doesn’t he speak about his own ministry?” he said.

He said Chong, who is the deputy domestic trade and consumer affairs minister, had no locus standi to speak on behalf of other ministries.

It was reported that Chong had accused the GPS leaders of “playing victims and crying foul” of the education ministry guidelines because “they could no longer enter schools as and when they wish to do their political campaigning”.

He also claimed that GPS leaders had been bringing their party logos and giving political speeches in schools during PTA meetings, “turning schools as their political platforms”.