Letter to editor
ALTHOUGH the Solidarity Week with Palestinians is supposed to be a week-long programme to educate young Malaysians as in school-going children to empathise with the plight of Palestinians, the good intention was exploited to the fullest by certain parties.
In the first place, whose initiative was it to organise the programme in our local schools? Fingers are now pointed towards the Education (school operation sector) deputy director-general Azman Adnan who drafted the letter dated Oct 21.
But unless the higher-ups establish who initiated the Solidarity Week programme, this will repeat itself under different circumstances. Lessons must be learnt from last Friday’s incidents in certain schools which have a potential embarrassment to the Madani government.
However, it is interesting to note that an event of such magnitude – one that involves schools nationwide – was not undertaken and implemented with care by the Education director-general Datuk Pkharuddin Ghazali himself.
Assuming that the idea was first mooted by either of them, did the Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek herself approve of the event? Why did Fadhlina appear to be so naïve that she did not foresee this as a potential flashpoint that could be abused? Was this even discussed with the deputy education minister Lim Hui Ying? What was Lim’s reaction?
Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim has called on the ministry to “stop holding Palestine solidarity programmes in schools”.
Or did this idea come from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PMX) himself that the minister finds herself in a difficult position to cancel?
But then again, if Anwar has made a wrong decision involving school children, Fadhlina as a minister is expected to advise Anwar knowing very well that the programme would create a lot of sparks.
Had the idea came from Anwar himself, certainly he did not envisage how things turned out, when overzealous school teachers and principals went to the extent of allowing children to take on toy weapons.
Anyone with an analytical mind should ask why a number of schools went ahead to organise the event before the official date (Oct 29) announced by the ministry? Who is behind it? Why were photographs and video clips intentionally viralled out?
Similar to the dress code controversy, investigation must go deeper to establish whether there were hidden hands behind incidents.
Even though the Education Ministry gave the assurance that its officials will control the schools, will it be fool proof? Fadhlina has to weigh her decision carefully. – Oct 28, 2023
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.