KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) is questioning why only 10 per cent of the more than 500 teachers posted to Sarawak this year are from the state, with the rest from the Peninsula.
Its Youth chief Liwan Lagang thus urged the Ministry of Education (MoE) to look into the matter seriously, saying locals should be given priority to be trained as teachers and posted to the state.
“Out of more than 500 teachers posted to Sarawak this year only 52 or 53 of them are from Sarawak. There should be more local teachers posted to the rural areas as this will solve the problem of people coming from outside (the state) suffering from culture shock. Now we are facing a lot of such problems,” Liwan told The Borneo Post yesterday.
He also urged MoE to employ more qualified Ibans as Iban language teachers in the state.
“Now we even have problems with teachers who can’t teach the Iban language in our schools. This is very serious. Why don’t we train a lot of Ibans to become Iban teachers?
“In this regards, we are not lacking in qualified candidates by looking at the result of those teachers who have been posted here. We feel that there are a lot of qualified people from Sarawak who can be trained as Iban teachers,” said the Assistant Minister of Culture and Heritage.
Liwan also cautioned that there appeared to be too many West Malaysian Muslim teachers in Christian majority schools in the rural areas.
“The Ministry of Education must look into the local sensitivity when employing people like this. In this regards, we don’t mind local Sarawakian Muslims because they understand the sensitivity of the issue in our local context,” he stressed.
Liwan also hoped that this year, more Sarawakians especially the Dayaks would be employed as civil servants in both the state and federal governments.
“And as mentioned by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem in his Budget Speech in the last DUN sitting, rural development must be speeded up and must be well distributed. There must be no area that is left out in the development of facilities or economic activities,” he asserted.
On another note, Liwan thanked the chief minister for barring religious bigots and extremists from entering Sarawak, be they Christians or Muslims.
“We are fully behind him on this issue,” he quipped.
The latest case involved controversial academician Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, who was invited to give a religious talk in Sematan on Dec 26.
Meanwhile, the Belaga assemblyman also appealed to both SEB and Sarawak Hidro to give priority to local people in terms of jobs and contract works such as security guards, maintenance, cleaning services and debris removal from both the Murum and Bakun HEP dams.
“We have sacrificed so much for the country such as logs and power supply. So we hope that both Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) and Sarawak Hidro will give job opportunities to locals who are capable of carrying out such works. In the long run, we want to be part of development and not just bystanders,” he added.