Media Statement by Johor DAPSY committee member and Executive Secretary for DAP Political Education Bureau, Wong Shu Qi, in Kulai on Friday, 11th Jan 2013:

Johor District Education Offices’ instructions to schools are proof of political interference in the education system and a consequence of BN’s one-party rule for the past five decades.

It was reported in a Malaysiakini exclusive today that Johor District Education Offices (DEO) had instructed some schools to invite BN leaders to distribute the one-off RM100 cash aid for students and display banners publicising the event until the next general election.

Furthermore, some schools were instructed to display banners with the photos of UMNO President Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

These directives blatantly show how desperate the BN government is in the 100-day countdown to the 13th General Election.

First of all, DEOs should not take any political stand since they are supposed to be a non-partisan government agency. DEO personnel/staff should serve the government of the day and not political parties.

Therefore, DEOs have no power to direct the schools to invite or ban certain figures from attending functions in schools.

Secondly, cash aid for students as part of school allocations is something that the federal government should give periodically. It should not be given as a ‘gift’ only before a by-election or general election.

If the BN government is sincere in helping people, they should learn from the Pakatan Rakyat state governments where allocations are given to Tamil, Chinese and religious schools on an annual basis.

For instance, the Pakatan Rakyat-led Penang government allocated RM12 million for Tamil, Chinese and religious schools in 2013 even though the state was allocated only RM1.1 billion by the federal government in its RM252 billion Budget.

It is despicable that the BN government abuses its power in using educational institutions to serve their own political interest.

The DEOs should instead be more constructive in discharging its duties and responsibilities, such as reducing the administrative tasks that burden our teachers and ensuring that they focus on the business of teaching our students.

Wong Shu Qi