KUCHING, May 26 — PAS Bintulu criticised Education Minister Maszlee Malik today for failing to mention Gawai Dayak and Pesta Kaamatan in his video message to teachers and students in conjunction with school holidays.
“There is nothing wrong with his video, posted on May 23, except that he fails to mention Gawai Dayak and Pesta Kaamatan celebrations regarding the school holidays and the upcoming Eid ul Fitr celebration,” PAS Bintulu chief Zharudin Narudin said.
He said the failure to mention the two celebrations may look insignificant in Peninsular Malaysia, but to the people of Sabah and Sarawak, it was unacceptable.
“It definitely hurts the feelings of teachers and students celebrating the two major festivals. After all, Gawai and Pesta Kaamatan are celebrated earlier than the Eid this year.
“It gives the impression that the minister has no interest in Sabah and Sarawak. Hence, his oblivion,” Zharudin said.
He said as a federal education minister, Maszlee should be more alert and conscious of the existence of the ethnic groups in Sabah and Sarawak.
“His video manifests ignorance towards the east Malaysian’s community,” he said.
He added while the Dayaks which consists of several native ethnics of Sabah and Sarawak might be a minority in the peninsula, they form the majority of Sabah and Sarawak population.
“Thus, to be ignored or forgotten by a federal leader really hurts,” he said.
The Gawai Dayak celebration is held on June 1 and 2 in Sarawak, while Pesta Kaamatan in Sabah is on May 30 and May 30.
In his video message posted on May 23, Mazslee wished teachers and students a long school holidays, beginning from May 24 to June 8.
He urged them to be extra careful while they were travelling on the roads and he hoped that they reached their villages safely.
He said the school holidays are a good time for them to be with their families and relatives as Hari Raya celebration falls within the school holidays.
“During the school holidays, I hope that there will be no school activities or extra classes be held,” he said, adding it is a time to celebrate Hari Raya.
Mazslee also urged the students to take care of themselves and not to play with firecrackers as this could pose a danger to them.