SEPANG: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has called for better control of Palestine solidarity programmes in schools amid reports of students and teachers carrying toy guns at the events.
“We have to control this. We discussed this in the Cabinet meeting. We encourage schools to do this (show solidarity) but we do not force them.
“Secondly, we have to control it so it won’t become a problem,” he told reporters after Friday prayers.
A 55-second video that went viral on social media showed an event held in a school involving what appeared to be a man wearing a bulletproof vest, a balaclava mask and pointing a toy rifle at students while leading a group of teachers into an assembly.
One of the teachers was seen holding a placard while others waved the Palestinian flag or wore Palestine-themed scarves across their faces and shoulders. Some also held toy rifles.
Several social media screenshots of an event at a school in Klang, which has also gone viral, showed children wearing green bandanas with the words “Save Palestine” across their forehead while carrying toy guns.
In response, the Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) told the education ministry to provide a stern warning against schools who were involved in allowing the students to bring toy guns for Palestine solidarity week.
Magpie chairman Mak Chee Kin said the incident is worrying as children should be instilled with positive values.
“Please leave the young ones alone and let the leaders tackle this issue (Palestine and Israel conflict),” Mak told FMT.
Separately, when asked about an MP’s call for the government to boycott the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Economic Leaders’ Week happening next month, Anwar said: “We’ll look at the situation and then decide.”
Yesterday, Malaysiakini reported that Bersatu’s Machang MP, Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal, urged Putrajaya to boycott the event as a sign of the country’s protest against the US government’s stance on the conflict in Gaza.
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