Johor govt: No instructions given for drawing competition, says exco member

JOHOR BARU: No instructions have been given for schools to carry out a drawing competition depicting leaders of the state government, says Norliza Noh.

In response to a viral poster of a portrait drawing competition, the Johor education, information and communication committee chairman said that the program was undertaken by the school in Pasir Gudang itself.

“A poster for a portrait drawing competition of ‘Negarawan Johor’ (Johor statesmen) with photos of Johor Mentri Besar (Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi) and state executive councillors has been circulating online,” she said.

“I would like to stress that the state government has never instructed any group to carry out this competition,” added Norliza.

She added that her department checked and found out that the programme was conducted by the school on its own initiative as part of its Merdeka month activities.

In a statement on Facebook here on Wednesday (Aug 10). Norliza added that while she appreciates the school’s effort to lift up the Merdeka spirit among students, the use of the term ‘negarawan’ (statesmen) to describe the state leaders is inappropriate.

“As the education state executive councillor, I appreciate the proactive move by the teachers in igniting the Merdeka spirit and celebrating the talents of their visual arts students,” she said.

“However, the term ‘negarawan’ that is used in the viral poster is not suitable to be used to address state government leaders who are still in service,” she added.

Norliza said that she hopes that the matter would not be stretched further or used as political points.

“I understand that this mistake has given a negative image to the state government. I hope that this issue would not be discussed further as it could affect the school and teachers involved,” she said.

Earlier, the poster dubbed ‘Pertandingan Melukis Potret Negarawan Johor’ (Johor statesmen portrait drawing competition) of a secondary school in Pasir Gudang made rounds on social media.

In the poster - which features photos of Johor Mentri Besar and several state executive councillors, including Norliza - students are required to re-draw the portrait of the state leaders given to them in a drawing paper.

The poster also notes that winners of the competition stand a chance to get prizes and meet up with the respective state leaders they have drawn to personally hand over their drawing.

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