KUCHING: Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has lashed out at two senior Sarawak DAP leaders for allegedly trying to take advantage of Chinese education in the state for political mileage.
In a statement today, the Bintulu MP demanded that Sarawak DAP’s chairman Chong Chieng Jen and state organising secretary Violet Yong apologised to the Chinese community.
“Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen and Pending assemblyman Violet Yong should stop making a show of defending Sarawak Chinese education integrity merely for political mileage.
“Their continued cover up of DAP’s hypocritical and incompetent handling of issues affecting Chinese education is shameful,” he said.
Tiong claimed that Chong, a Federal deputy minister, had appealed to the Cabinet to handle decisions affecting Chinese primary schools on a case-by-case basis but for years, he had denounced the policies of the previous Barisan Nasional government and stoked anger towards the government, which led to a loss of confidence in the Education Ministry.
“He fails to realise that the people of Sarawak are not enraged because they lack confidence in the previous government. He should acknowledge the fact that Sarawakians are now dissatisfied with the shoddy implementation of contradicting and unpopular policies,” he said.
He added that Chong continues to swear to defend Sarawak’s agenda of ensuring education independence when in fact this very agenda is among the key policies implemented by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and also by the previous federal government.
“Chong and his cohorts should look in the mirror and really examine themselves and review all the U-turns they have made over and over again,” he said.
Taking aim at Yong,, Tiong said the Pending assemblyman and other DAP lawmakers had issued a joint statement disagreeing with the implementation of Jawi calligraphy lessons in schools when their own party veteran Lim Kit Siang had defended the government decision.
“This shows that Yong’s group is putting up yet another show to garner more political mileage at the expense of our Chinese education and community.” he said.
He added that Deputy Education Minister of Education Teo Nie Ching from DAP had also positioned herself as a prominent defender of the Chinese community but today made a U-turn over the issue.
“How exactly has she defended Chinese education since she took office?” Tiong asked.
After a meeting with Chinese and Tamil education groups in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Teo said they had reached a consensus and have agreed with the introduction of khat lessons for Year 4 pupils starting next year.