KUCHING, Oct 26 — Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen said he has confirmed with the Ministry of Education that the Palestine solidarity programme is not compulsory for schools and education institutions in the state.

“I have confirmed with the Deputy Minister of Education (Lim Hui Ying) that it is not compulsory for schools in Sarawak to organise the programme of ‘Solidarity Palestine Week’,” Chong said in a statement today.

A circular issued by the Ministry of Education on October 21 declared October 9 to November 3 as Solidarity Week for Palestine and directed all schools in the country to do programmes in support of Palestine.

“Such directive has caused great concerns amongst all sectors in Sarawak.

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“It is the stand of Sarawak DAP that the Ministry of Education should not involve school students in the international political conflict of Palestine and Israel as the conflict is a very emotive and complicated issue. Anger and hatred are normally associated with such issue.

“These are not what we want our young children to get involved in during their childhood in schools,” the Stampin MP said.

In the dialogue between the Minister of Education and the Unity Government’s MPs yesterday in Parliament, Chong said he had made clear of DAP Sarawak’s concerns and objection to such programme being run in schools in the state.

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“Today, I have obtained the confirmation from the Deputy Minister of Education, YB Lim Hui Ying, that the programme is not compulsory for schools in Sarawak.

“While we all are against the atrocity of war and wish for peace, we do not want our children to get emotionally involved in the Palestine/Israel conflicts at such young stage,” he said.

“As it is now made clear that the programme is not compulsory for schools in Sarawak, I hope the management of the schools in Sarawak will not feel compelled by the directive to organise such programme,” he added. — Bernama