AN UMNO Youth leader has urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to send the 12 PKR elected representatives who opposed the Palestine Solidarity Week programme in schools to a humanitarian mission in Palestine.
Its leader Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh said such move will give them a better understanding of the situation on ground while educating them on not negatively judging Malaysia for its support of the Palestinians.
“I would like to suggest to PMX (Anwar) to send the 12 [elected representatives] on a humanitarian mission to Palestine so that they will better understand the situation there, if they are still in the dark about what happened,” Dr Akmal said in a Facebook post today (Oct 30).
On Saturday (Oct 28), the 12 PKR elected representatives issued a joint statement calling for a review of the initiative in order for schools and public institutions to be free from elements of “hatred and violence”.
Those who signed the statement included Gopeng MP Tan Kar Hing, Petaling Jaya MP Lee Chean Chung and Miri MP Chiew Choon.
The other signatories were Kebun Bunga assemblyman Lee Boon Heng, Rawang assemblyman Chua Wei Kiat, Semambu assemblyman Chan Chun Kuang, Simpang Pulai assemblywoman Wong Chai Yi, Chuah assemblyman Yew Boon Lye, Bukit Tambun assemblyman Goh Choon Aik, Kajang assemblyman David Cheong Kian Yong, Bukit Batu assemblyman Arthur Chiong Sen Sern and Bakar Arang assemblyman Adam Loh Wei Chai.
This followed the circulation of images on Friday (Oct 27) showing Malaysian schoolchildren brandishing toy guns while donning headbands voicing support for Palestine as well as the black and white Palestinian scarf.
Dr Akmal said that he wanted the Education Ministry (MOE) to proceed with the proposal of organising the Palestine Solidarity Week programme in schools.
“We (UMNO Youth) fully support the organisation of Palestine Solidarity Week programme in schools and there is no need to cancel it,” the Merlimau assemblyman further remarked.
“The module on the real issues that occur in Palestine and the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict needs to be taught to the students so that they can truly understand and empathise with this issue.
“This understanding is important so that the new generation of Malaysians has complete understanding about how the Palestinian people are oppressed, what are the causes, who and which institutions are involved and what steps can be taken to help.
“This is not a question of violence or vengeance. It is related to increasing awareness about the Palestine-Israel conflict.”
In the meantime, Penang PKR Women’s wing also agreed that the Palestine Solidarity Week programme should go on, despite calls by various quarters to stop the programme.
Penang PKR Women Chief Nurhidayah Che Rose said Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek should not bow down to pressure to stop and review the programme.
“The issue has been explained by Fadhlina because the viral footage of a celebration supporting Palestinians at a school with elements of violence and extremism was not part of the Palestine Solidarity Week programme.
“Fadhlina explained that the event did not adhere to guidelines set by the Education Ministry, which has launched a probe into the incident,” Nurhidayah was reported as saying by New Straits Times today (Oct 30).
Elaborating, she said Fadhlina had already explained that the Palestine Solidarity Week programme was a form of solidarity towards the human values of peace, which is something universal. – Oct 30, 2023
Main pic credit: Facebook/Akmal Saleh