KUCHING, Jan 4 ― Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today hoped that the next education minister would come up with a clear policy on the teaching of mathematics, science and English rather than arguing over petty issues like Jawi lesson in schools.
“Our education policy should be geared towards the teaching of these subjects, but I leave it to the new minister to decide what direction he wants to take,” he told reporters after handing over a condominium unit to national diving star Pandelela Rinong here.
“We must have a certain kind of vision where want to go to, and once we know our vision, we know which direction we want to go to,” he said.
The chief minister stressed one of the things that Malaysia should do is to provide training to prepare the people for the fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0).
“But as far as Sarawak is concerned, giving emphasis to the teaching of mathematics, science and English is our policy.
“That is why I am building five international schools, using Cambridge university syllabus, in the state,” the chief minister said, adding that this will provide the people the opportunity to define what their future should be like.
“We don’t go for petty things. Now we are preoccupied with argument over Jawi script to be taught in schools or whether we understand what is Jawi all about or not,” he said.
He said the Education Ministry should leave the Jawi issue to the parents to decide.
“They know what they want or maybe they want their children to excel in sports, just like Pandelela diving,” he said, adding that sports is also a career.
Asked if he had been happy with the performance of Maszlee Malik, who resigned as education minister yesterday, as far as Sarawak is concerned, Abang Johari said the former minister has his strengths and weaknesses.
“I have had a good discussions with him on the issue of dilapidated schools in Sarawak,” he said, adding that it was out of one of these discussions that he came with the idea of using the state funds to fix the dilapidated schools.
He said he agreed to pay in advance the state loan of RM1 billion to the federal government which would be used to fix the dilapidated schools.
“One of Maszlee’s weaknesses is with regards to the appointment of a non-Sarawakian as the new chairman of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) without informing the state government,” he said, referring to the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research chairman Tan Sri Dr Kamal Mat Salih who replaced Tan Sri Sulong Matjeraie as the new chairman.
Tenaga Stabil Sdn Bhd gifted Pandelela with the condominium unit for winning a silver medal for diving at the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.