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Idris lashes out at purported ban on GPS reps speaking in schools
Posted on : 14 Nov 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Idris lashes out at purported ban on GPS reps speaking in schools POSTED ON NOVEMBER 14, 2019, THURSDAY AT 12:15 AM

Idris Buang

KUCHING: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Information chief Dato Idris Buang has hit out at the purported directive from the Education Ministry barring Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) elected representatives from speaking at events held in schools in the state.

The Muara Tuang assemblyman said the directive, if proven to be true, is “simply irrational, irresponsible and in bad faith”.

“The schools and anything that concern our children in Sarawak are pretty much our responsibility to ensure they are safe and functional for our children and that they will get the best education and teaching.

“We are concerned because they are principally our own Sarawakian children and we cannot be lackadaisical about it. We engage with parent-teacher associations (PTAs) and teachers in order to know and be updated about school-going children and the condition of their schools,” Idris said in a press statement yesterday.

Text messages regarding the purported ban were sent to GPS lawmakers by the state Education Department earlier this week, informing that they were allowed to attend official functions in schools but barred from giving speeches.

Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin had said the text messages were not considered official, and that the Sarawak government was waiting for a circular from the Education Ministry on the purported ban.

He also said he understood the unannounced ban was decided by the federal cabinet.

Idris, meanwhile, pointed out that the Sarawak government has given and still gives assistance in many forms to help schools and PTAs for repair works as well as educational and sports activities.

He said for his constituency, he found that most PTAs and schools there faced difficulties due to the federal government being slow in getting things done for them.

“In effect, the directive is a punishment on the PTAs, school teachers and the children. Is it fair to deprive them of having our (GPS) assistance and our care? Is this the way federalism works in the era of Pakatan Harapan as the government at federal level?”

Idris, who is a lawyer by profession, added there was “nothing in the law that can allow this sort of directive”.

The federal government should appreciate the willingness of the Sarawak government to assist in every way to uplift the well-being of schools in the state, he stressed.

He also mentioned that Putrajaya, the Education Ministry and its minister Dr Maszlee Malik may be brought to court over the matter.

“I have just heard through the grapevine that some people are contemplating to challenge this draconian and disingenuous ‘directive’ which cannot be supported in the name of justice and democratic principle,” he said.