In directive via WhatsApp, Education Ministry allows GPS reps in school functions but no speech


Dato Sri Michael Manyin – File photo

KUCHING: The Education Ministry permits Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) elected representatives to attend functions in schools but not to speak or give speeches, the State Legislative Assembly was told today.

The state’s Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong said this was the latest directive from the ministry to the state Education Department via the mobile messaging app, WhatsApp.

He pointed out in his winding up speech that there has been no written circular from the ministry on its decision on GPS leaders and that the state Education Department was now making an appeal against the directive.

“As far as the Education Department is concerned, they only received directive in Whatsapp, and the Education Director actually has gone to have a meeting with the Ministry of Education Chief Secretary, and they promised to issue a written circular,” he said.

“So up to date the Education Department (Sarawak) has not received a written circular. The decision (as written in Whatsapp) was actually according to the Ministry of Education based on the decision of the federal cabinet.

“So the State Education Department is, at the moment, making an appeal so that they (Ministry of Education) can quash that decision.”

Manyin said this in response to Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep who was told by a headmaster of a school in his constituency that he was not allowed to attend a function at the school.

The GPS lawmaker had also questioned if the directive has been formalised, and if GPS reps were not allowed to attend functions in schools, should they still contribute their Minor Rural Projects and Rural Transformation Programme funds.

“We have to think very seriously, if we go for tit for tat, who are the ultimate victims? Sarawakians will be the ultimate victims, our students will be the ultimate victims, probably that is what Pakatan Harapan (PH) wants,” Manyin replied, criticising the federal government.