Bersih hits out at Maszlee’s discriminatory school decision

(The Sun Daily) – Bersih 2.0 has urged Education Minister Maszlee Malik to revoke a recent decision which makes it mandatory for opposition MPs to obtain approval from the ministry before visiting schools.

In a statement released today, Bersih’s steering committee said if there were legitimate concerns about politicians entering schools, then any policy that is implemented should apply to all politicians regardless of their affiliation.

During his winding-up speech for Budget 2019 in the Dewan Rakyat, Maszlee said opposition MPs were required to get permission from their respective state education directors to enter schools in their constituencies.

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

Bersih pointed out that in a multi-party democracy, voters have the right to choose from various contending parties and they should not be deprived of the services of their representatives if they ended up on the opposition bench following an election.

Bersih said under Barisan Nasional (BN) rule, opposition representatives were not allowed to enter public schools even though BN representatives were allowed to do so.

It asked whether the new Pakatan Harapan government’s actions against the opposition is what they themselves objected to when the roles were reversed before the last general election.

“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,” it stated.