KUCHING, Oct 26 — The women’s wing of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today to separate schools from politics of war in foreign countries.
Its chief Kho Teck Wan said the unity government should not create a precedent as it is not appropriate for primary and secondary school students to get involved in street politics.
“I am shocked and concerned to learn that all schools under the Malaysia Ministry of Education are instructed to organise Solidarity with Palestine Week in school on the week of October 29 to November 3,” she said in response to a circular to all schools issued by the ministry dated October 21.
She said Sarawak is made up of people from multiracial and multi-religious backgrounds and as such involving schoolchildren with international conflicts can potentially create unnecessary frictions among multiracial and multi-religious communities.
“I am of the opinion that one has the freedom to express sympathy and show support toward a certain country or race, especially when it involves human rights.
“However, schools, especially primary and secondary schools should not get involved in matters related to war involving other countries,” she stressed.
Kho, who is also a political secretary to the premier of Sarawak, added students can form their own opinions, however, the Ministry of Education should not involve school children with international conflicts.
In a circular issued by Education deputy director-general Azman Adnan, schools were instructed to organise activities such as set up a donation fund, hold video and song presentations that are appropriate to humanitarian issues in Palestine, and hold “solat hajat” for Muslim students.
They are also instructed to organise special co-curricular activities related to humanitarian issues in Palestine such as song, poem and poster creation competitions.