KUCHING: State DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen is urged to go through matters contained in the Federal List, State List and Concurrent List prior to making any statement that would eventually expose his ignorance and lack of knowledge on federal-state relationship.
Assistant Minister for Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said this in rebutting Chong’s claims that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s talk on autonomy for education was merely hot air and more of paying lip service rather than taking real action on matters regarding the development of English education.
He said he was surprised that Chong, as an MP, was unaware that education was contained in the Federal List of the Malaysian Constitution.
“Any change in policy or request by Sarawak or Sabah on the subject has to be referred to the federal government. It is on that matter that the chief minister has mentioned that he wished to apply to the federal government for approval of more private English-medium schools in Sarawak knowing fully well that the approving authority is in Kuala Lumpur,” he said in a statement received here yesterday.
Abdul Karim, who is also Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports, reiterated that this had nothing to do with ‘paying lip service’ as alleged by Chong or that the state Barisan Nasional (BN) was merely spinning stories and creating false hope.
“At the very least, the federal government would lend an ear if the request comes from the chief minister or the state BN. If ever Chong or DAP Sarawak were to knock on the federal government’s door, it will never be opened.”
He also said Chong’s latest outburst showed a sign of desperation from the state DAP leader to undermine Adenan’s efforts as well as to seek cheap publicity.
“He has not been able to move the matter in parliament and to hide his weaknesses, he decided to pin on Adenan’s effort as ‘nothing but a farce’.”
Abdul Karim added Chong’s suggestion that Sarawakian ministers in the federal cabinet could easily approve more private schools in their weekly cabinet meeting further proved that the Bandar Kuching MP was also ignorant on matters related to the country’s education system.