Manyin hopes for a good outcome from his meeting with Maszlee regarding a federal government’s directive barring GPS members from speaking in schools in the state. Photo: Ghazali Bujang

KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders never bring party flags to and give political speeches at schools, said Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong.

He was responding to Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s allegation that the GPS lawmakers had done so when officiating at school events, treating schools as their political platforms.

“Chong is always criticising other ministries (especially lawmakers from the ruling GPS) and I don’t even know if he knows what is going on. He (simply) just says this and that.

“None of Chong’s allegations is correct. We never brought our flags, we never touched on politics. We only talked about the importance of education,” he said.

Manyin asked why Chong, who is Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister liked to dwell on other ministries.

“Why doesn’t he talk about his own ministry? As a minister, there is a rule — you don’t touch on other ministries,” he said.

According to Manyin, there were two circulars sent to the State Education Department in May and October, which stated that if lawmakers from the ruling GPS wanted to go into any school, they had to get the permission from the director of the Education Department.

“Sometimes, the director cannot give permission because he has to refer to the Ministry of Education and there are also hints that we (lawmakers) can go (visit the schools) but we are not allowed to make speeches but at the same time, we are welcomed to contribute funds.

“I have brought up this matter at a Cabinet meeting recently and the Cabinet has directed me to meet the Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik and discuss whether the circular can be reviewed,” he added.

Manyin pointed out that all GPS elected representatives had received more than RM1 million each to be disbursed for minor rural projects (MRP) and rural transformation programme (RTP) purposes which included funds to schools in their constituencies.