Maszlee’s resignation good for Sarawak, says state minister

During Maszlee Malik’s time in office, schools in Sarawak were warned not to invite GPS leaders for their events.

KUCHING: A Sarawak minister said Maszlee Malik’s resignation as education minister was “positive” for the state.

“Maszlee’s policy of barring Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders from attending parents and teachers’ functions in schools had created anger as we had never used schools as platforms for political purposes,” state’s tourism minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said.

It was reported in November last year that GPS leaders must obtain permission from the education department director if they wanted to enter any school in the state.

Some GPS leaders had also said they were informed that school principals and headmasters had been “warned” by their superiors not to invite GPS leaders to attend events at their schools.

Karim told FMT that it was the most honorable thing for Maszlee to resign as the education minister.

He said Maszlee’s two years in office had been marred by controversies and the former minister seemed to be lacking the skills to manage crisis and public criticism.

Karim said among others, asking school students to wear black shoes, the learning of Jawi calligraphy for Year Four pupils and urging hotels to allow schools to use their swimming pools were all done without proper consideration.

“We hope to see a much better minister handling the education portfolio after this,” he added.

Meanwhile, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How said Maszlee was hardworking and had only wanted the best for all the schools in the country.

He said Maszlee had visited Sarawak three times and was concerned about the dilapidated schools in the state.

“He even asked us to provide him the list of all the dilapidated schools in the state and visited a few of them.

“But he’s very much an academician and lacks in handling things politically. I think he had done his best but it’s difficult to please everyone,” he said when met during the Back To School programme at SK St Andrew here, today.

See said more than 2,000 pupils had received school bags, shoes and stationery since last week via the programme, which was initiated by Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamarudin.