KUCHING: Pakatan Harapan (PH) should not fear Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders going to schools in the state. Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring) Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali expressed her hope that the federal government would have the good sense not to allow such a ban.

She was responding to an article on Tuesday (November 12) which said that Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin would seek clarification from Federal Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik over an alleged federal government instruction barring GPS lawmakers from speaking at events held in schools in the state.

“It is ridiculous because schools in our constituency have always had a good relationship with us, ‘wakil rakyat’ (the people’s

“We are here for our children and our constituents. We go to schools to assist and contribute whatever we can for the wellbeing for our children,” said Sharifah.

The Samariang assemblywoman emphasised that they never spoke of politics in the schools.

“What PH should do is focus on delivering its promises and try to fulfil its manifesto, and as it promised — to make sure the cost of goods does not keep increasing,” she said.

Meanwhile, GPS Youth chief Gerald Rentap Jabu highlighted that education is a basic human right which should not be politicised.

“In most cases, the schools are poorly maintained and lacking in funds to organise activities — that is where we GPS representatives help,” he explained.

However, the Layar assemblyman felt that such a decision by the Federal Ministry of Education (MoE) was akin to practising
political discrimination.

“Who loses out? The children of Sarawak do,” Gerald remarked.

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) deputy youth chief Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman said, “The minister should reconsider this barring of GPS representatives from attending programmes in schools.”

The Tupong assemblyman emphasised that from the first day of becoming an elected representative, he had never talked about politics in any school programmes, and yet he was still not allowed to attend a programme organised by one of the schools in his constituency.

“Even though school infrastructure development is the responsibility of the federal government, we are happy to work together with them and assist in developing the school infrastructure all this while — all for the sake of the children,” he said.

Fazzrudin added that GPS leaders wanted to assist schools in producing the best students, which in return, would contribute to the society and Sarawak in general.

On the same issue, Demak Laut assemblyman Dr Hazland Abang Hipni said that the alleged
instruction was unfair.

“Sarawak should be given administrative autonomy on education. PH should return our rights back to us as stipulated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) — nothing more, nothing less,” he said.

“Therefore, the Federal MoE should not impose the ban on GPS representatives for the good of the students,” he stressed.