KUCHING: The price of compulsory workbooks for primary school pupils should be standardised across the country, said Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen.
Citing several examples, he said the books were more expensive by 30sen to 60sen in Sarawak compared to peninsular Malaysia.
For instance, the Year Six English activity book is priced at RM5.30 in the peninsula and RM5.60 here, Year Six English language revision book at RM4.30 and RM4.80 and Year Five Bahasa Malaysia exercise book at RM5.70 and RM6.30 respectively.
“The price difference in primary school activity books is an issue the government should seriously look into.
“This is an additional burden for parents in Sarawak and it is unfair that they have to pay more than their counterparts in the peninsula.
“Since the books are compulsory, there should be a uniform price,” he told a press conference at state DAP headquarters here.
Chong called on the state government to look into the matter as part of its efforts to regain Sarawak’s rights and autonomy.
“The state government should not only be talking about the power to appoint contractors and build schools.
“The price difference of the books is a basic matter that has been overlooked, but it is something that affects every parent in Sarawak,” he said.
He also said the Government should step in to absorb the shipping costs if necessary so that the price of the books could be the same as in the peninsula.
“The shipping cost should not be a reason for the price to be higher because the books are compulsory for the pupils,” he added.