(March 26, 2008): Schools in the five states controlled by the
opposition coalition have been verbally adviced to take a neutral stance
in inviting executive councillors or state assemblyman for official
And this is being interpreted to mean that the schools should refrain
from inviting executive councillors or assemblymen from opposition
parties, at least until further notice.
Following a statement by Deputy Chief Minister II Prof Dr P.
Ramasamy that there were rumours schools were issued verbal instructions
not to invite state executive councillors for functions, theSun checked
with the education department and confirmed that there was such a
Acting state education director Ibrahim Mohamad said schools have been
verbally told to take a neutral stand for the time being.
"For now, the ministry has adviced that schools should invite government
officials and not anyone from any political parties as we do not want to
offend any party," Ibrahim said in a telephone interview.
He said the directive was issued by the department after being advised
by the Education Ministry to take a neutral stand.
Ibrahim said he understood that the same directive was issued to
education departments in all five states governed by the opposition.
"For now, we have been asked to take this stand until further
instructions from the ministry," he said.
Earlier, Ramasamy said State Secretary Datuk Jamaludin Hasan has been
asked to investigate whether such a directive existed.
Ramasamy, who is also education committee chairman, said he had heard
about verbal directives being issued to schools but there was no written
instruction to that effect.
"I heard about this a few days ago when I went to visit a Tamil school
which was in a poor condition. However, I did not go into the compound
and stayed outside.
"I have not verified this and to be fair, it is not right for me to say
anything since we do not know if this is just a rumour. I will give them
the benefit of the doubt as it might not be true and we have to clarify
"We have asked Jamaludin to check on this and get back to us," Ramasamy
said after a press conference chaired by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said so far, no official invitations had been extended to the state
government by schools. "If they invite us, we are obliged to go and no
one should stop schools from inviting us."
When contacted, a school in Petaling Jaya said they had enquired about
this but were told to wait for a directive before doing anything.
http://www.sun2surf .com/article. cfm?id=21191
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