Media Statement (20 November 2018): Maszlee Must Revoke Partisan Instruction to Prohibit Opposition MPs Entering Schools


Maszlee Must Revoke Partisan Instruction to Prohibit Opposition MPs Entering Schools

Bersih 2.0 expresses grave concern on the statement made by the Education Minister Maszlee Malik during his winding-up speech for Budget 2019 in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that opposition Members of Parliament are required to get permission from the State Education Director to enter schools in their constituencies.

If there are legitimate concerns about politicians entering schools then any policies should apply to all politicians regardless of their affiliation.

We do not question the right of Ministry of Education to impose policies or provide guidelines to protect schools from any negative influences, but we do question the partisan implementation of policies.

Minister Maszlee is reminded that discriminating democratically-elected Opposition MPs is simply disrespecting the will of the voters in their constituencies. In a multi-party democracy, voters have the right to choose from various contending parties and they should not be deprived of the service of their representatives if they turned out to be on the Opposition bench after the election.

A frequent complaint of the Opposition representatives during BN’s rule was the fact that they were not allowed to enter public schools while BN representatives were allowed. Is the new PH government doing to the Opposition what they themselves objected to when they were in opposition?

It is not uncommon for schools to invite their local MPs to grace their events. If there are concerns that some messages brought by politicians through their presence in campus may not befit the educational setting, such concerns should be dealt with party-blind guidelines and standard operating procedures on violations for all visiting politicians.

We therefore call on Minister Maszlee to immediately revoke the partisan instruction by his Ministry and to replace it with appropriate non-partisan guidelines for all politicians who are invited to attend school events.

Statement issued by:

The Steering Committee of Bersih 2.0