SUPP leader criticises curbs on GPS lawmakers visiting govt schools

Kho Teck Wan (2nd right) cited a case of a primary school in Dalat, Mukah, last month when permission was refused. — Picture by Raynore Mering
Kho Teck Wan (2nd right) cited a case of a primary school in Dalat, Mukah, last month when permission was refused. — Picture by Raynore Mering

KUCHING, Dec 5 — Sarawak United People’s Party’s (SUPP) Women wing today called it illogical for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government to impose restrictions on lawmakers from the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) who visit schools on official business.

Kho Teck Wan reminded the federal Ministry of Education (MoE) that many rural schools have received some funding from GPS lawmakers through their allocations or Rural Transformation Programme fund.

“Moreover, the rural schools’ administrations have good relationship with the local GPS lawmakers through their donations and collaborations over the years.

“The restrictions imposed on GPS lawmakers while at schools will greatly reduce the schools’ access to resources as most fall under their areas,” the SUPP Women chief said, stating that the victims of the restrictions are the students and school administrators.

On headmasters and principals needing permission from the state Education Department before allowing GPS lawmakers into their schools to officiate events, Kho said permission was not always granted.

She cited a case of a primary school in Dalat, Mukah, last month when permission was refused.

“I hope the PH federal government looks beyond its agenda and puts the politicking aside when it comes to school funding and visitation.

“Without the GPS representatives, can state PH ensure that all schools in Sarawak will be taken care of by its 10 lawmakers?” she asked.

She also questioned if these 10 PH lawmakers could channel their funding and report on issues related to over 1,600 schools in Sarawak.

Yesterday, Sarawak PH chairman Chong Chieng Jen said GPS lawmakers were not barred from visiting schools to officiate events.

However, he had said schools that wish to invite GPS lawmakers must seek permission from the state Education Department.

He also said the same rule applies to state lawmakers, including those from PH.

Chong, who is also the deputy minister of domestic trade and consumer affairs, repeated that lawmakers, either from GPS or state, are not allowed to bring party flags to or make speeches when officiating events at schools.

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