Monday, August 10

Chong: Opposition members not prohibited from visiting schools in Sarawak


Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING: There is no prohibition against opposition MPs or state elected representatives from visiting schools in Sarawak, stressed Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen.

Chong pointed out that in fact, many Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) elected representatives have been granted permission to enter schools in the past year.

“There were 515 permissions granted to GPS and PSB elected representatives to enter schools and attend events.

“By comparison, only 170 permissions were granted to Pakatan Harapan (PH) elected representatives to enter schools,” he said in a statement today.

He was responding to a recent outcry by several GPS leaders on the directive from the Ministry of Education barring Sarawak ministers and GPS elected representatives from attending school events starting next year.

The Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman believed that GPS elected representatives were now playing victims and crying foul to this policy because “they can no longer enter schools as and when they wish to do their political campaigning.”

“They have been so used to abusing the system for political gains all the time that when a fair system was implemented, they felt victimised,” he remarked.

Chong, who is also Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, said there is nothing unfair about the new policy.

“Schools, in the first place, should not in the first place be used by any political parties to do political campaigning.

“The PH government is only righting the wrongs that was done by the past Barisan National (BN) government and the GPS leaders should learn to accept the fact that they can no longer abuse the right to enter schools to do their political work as was done during their time.”

Chong revealed that prior to PH taking over as government, the opposition elected representatives were totally banned from entering schools.

“I had personally experienced getting an invitation by the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PIBG) but the invitation was cancelled at the last minute simply because the mere fact that I was then an opposition elected representative.

Chong also claimed that GPS leaders have been bringing their party logos and giving political speeches in schools during PIBG events and treated schools as their political platforms.

“Under the new government, this is no longer allowed and it applies equally to the PH leaders as well,” he emphasised.