KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh today pushed Education Minister Datuk Radzi Jidin to remove hurdles impeding Opposition lawmakers from entering schools within their constituencies with immediate effect.
The DAP politician cited the Memorandum of Understanding on Political Transformation and Stability signed between the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob last year as the reason why Opposition representatives should be granted access.
She said that elected representatives should be able to visit places within their constituencies, including schools, to check on how public funds are being used. This includes grants and allocations for repair work, upgrades, new infrastructure and other school programme and activities.
“With the existence of the MoU, this outdated ban should no longer be in effect because it makes no sense, is unfair and even causes educators in schools to be stuck and scared.
“I was saddened to see the head teachers and school principals scared when I arrived at the school gate to see the repair work that had been completed. This does not reflect the spirit of the teaching staff who should be allowed to do what is right,” she said in a statement.
In Malaysia, Opposition elected representatives are required to obtain the Education Ministry’s permission through the state education directors before they are allowed to enter public schools.
Federal Opposition MPs have repeatedly protested against this rule, more so after Election 2008 when their ranks widened, especially in urban areas.
This requirement was also in force when PH was in power, based on a circular issued by then education minister Maszlee Malik.
PH and the Ismail Sabri government inked the MoU on September 13 last year to establish bipartisan cooperation covering the areas of strengthening the plan to fight Covid-19, transformation of the administration, Parliamentary reforms, ensuring judicial independence, the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and formation of a steering committee.