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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Commotion in Dewan Rakyat about politicians entering schools and campuses



A commotion erupted in Dewan Rakyat after Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching (above) spoke about permission for opposition politicians to enter schools and campuses.
This prompted Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof to remind the parliamentarians that they should not debate during the question-and-answer session.
"This is a question-and-answer session, not a debate (session). We want to listen to the question-and-answer," he said after Teo answered an additional question from Mohd Shahar Abdullah (BN-Paya Besar).
Teo denied that the government barred opposition politicians from entering schools, adding that politicians from both side of the divide have to apply before they are allowed to enter schools to attend programmes.

She said the circular stated that the programme organiser has to apply for approval if it planned to invite a renowned personality, including lawmakers, to attend the event.
"The ministry had issued a guideline for school administrations via a circular," said Teo.
Chaos broke out after Teo, who is also Kulai MP, said: "I want to ask if BN ever invited Kulai (MP) when BN was the government?"
Shahidan Kassim (BN-Arau) (above) described Teo's reply as a provocation.
His BN colleagues, Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (Pasir Salak), Noh Omar (Tanjung Karang), Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (Baling) and Azalina Othman (Pengerang) also appeared not happy with Teo whom they accused of attempting to confuse the House.
The speaker then urged Teo to proceed with her answer to Shahar, who asked in his additional question about racial speeches in the schools.
Teo said racial speech is not allowed in schools.
Tajuddin then accused DAP of making a racial remark. Teo immediately protested and asked him to retract his remark or substantiate his accusation.
The speaker then instructed Tajuddin to retract his unreasonable accusation of DAP, but the latter declined.
Noh said Teo should retract her statement as the answer provided by her was incorrect.
Ariff once again reminded the lawmakers not to debate during the question-and-answer session.
"If so, (since the opposition lawmakers did not give Teo a chance to reply) there is no need for her to continue to reply," he said.
"We are supposed to hear specific questions and answers today. Join another forum another time if (you) want a debate," added the speaker.
Earlier, Teo said any renowned individual has to apply before he or she is allowed to enter the schools.
She said the government had approved more than 500 applications from the opposition parties in Sarawak to enter schools, while only 170 applications from Pakatan Harapan were allowed in the Borneo state.
She said lawmakers can participate in an event at a public university if the event is approved by the vice-chancellor of the university.
This is in line with the autonomy given to public universities, she said. - Mkini

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