KUALA LUMPUR: The circular on politicians needing to obtain permission to enter school grounds will be reviewed on Friday (Nov 23), says Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik (pic).
"In the spirit of New Malaysia, I have discussed the matter with Pakatan Harapan leaders and even Umno leaders, who suggested that the circular needs to be revised.
"We will revise the circular tomorrow (Nov 23)," he told reporters in Parliament on Thursday (Nov 22).
Dr Maszlee clarified the current circular was issued to state education departments in 2008.
"It is an old circular and it does not say ban, but merely sets a condition that permission must be obtained before a politician can enter a school," he said, adding the circular applied to politicians, irrespective of their political affiliations.
"Politicians are elected by the people and deservedly should be able to visit schools," he said.
Dr Maszlee said the review will look at not just doing away with needing permission to enter schools grounds, but also the need to inform the state education director of their visits.
"This is what they want.
"If I say that the politicians must inform, then they will say I'm banning them," he said.
The issue arose on Monday (Nov 19) when Dr Maszlee said that Opposition lawmakers must obtain permission from their respective state education directors before they can enter school grounds.
He said this to question raised by PAS Jerai MP Sabri Azit who sought a clarification on the circular.
Dr Maszlee’s stand was slammed by several Pakatan and Opposition lawmakers, including civil rights groups.