KOTA KINABALU: Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik should focus on improving the country’s education system instead of deviating from his ministerial tasks, said Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).
It's secretary general Datuk Jahid Jahim said he was unimpressed by Malik’s recent statement urging religious teachers from Peninsular Malaysia to turn the Borneo states into their preaching grounds or ‘medan dakwah’.
“There are far more urgent matters that need his attention, he should just focus and concentrate on improving the country's education standard, empowering teachers and students, and to prepare teachers in facing the new generation (of students),” he said in a statement here on Friday (Dec 21).
He said there was also a pressing need for the education syllabus to be reviewed, giving special attention to historical events like the formation of Malaysia and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“I feel this is more significant because many young people, including some politicians are not aware about the birth of our nation,” Jahid said.
As for schools in Sabah and Sarawak, he said some buildings are dilapidated and are operating with broken chairs and tables, limited textbooks, and incomplete teaching materials.
“There is no need for unnecessary intrusion on religious studies here. If he (Maszlee) wants to ‘berdakwah’ (preach), he can do it in West Malaysia,” he said.
Jahid said people here in East Malaysia live well together, despite coming from different races and religions.
“He (Maszlee) needs to understand that even within our own family, we have Muslims and non-Muslims living together harmoniously,” he said.
“Our tolerance level are high here in Sabah and Sarawak. He is welcome to come and learn our way of living, we will show him we do not need preaching on how to live and accept one another’s religions and beliefs,” Jahid stressed.
He added that Maszlee should focus on not just producing learned people, but also one who respects and can tolerate diversity in cultures.
“If he really wants to preach, he should do it in West Malaysia so they would know how to live harmoniously and co exist in this multiracial country,” he said.“I don't think this is the new Malaysia that the people hoped for. He has to set his priorities right and not try to confuse the people by coming up with unnecessary statements that could be detrimental to our harmonious environment,” Jahid said
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