Chong doubts state government’s ability to fight for autonomy
KUCHING: Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen wonders how Sarawakians can have confidence in the state BN government fighting for autonomy if it cannot even fight for a teaching position in a government school for a fellow Sarawakian.
“I am referring to the matter relating to Wong Wang Yuen’s application to be a teacher in government school. Wong has obtained a Bachelor Degree in Education from Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (Unitar) in 2010.
“She then applied through Jobs Malaysia and SPP (Education Service Commission) website to be a teacher in government school. As there was no positive response to her application, she then took up a Master Degree in Sultan Idris Education University and obtained a Master Degree in Education (Mathematics Education) in 2013.
“With the said Master degree, she continued to apply, year after year, to be a teacher in government schools (Pegawai Perkhidmatan Pendidikan Gred DG41) through the Jobs Malaysia and SPP websites,” he said in a press statement yesterday.
Chong, who is also DAP Sarawak chairman and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said the applicant was still not accepted despite the fact that “there is a shortage of teachers in Sarawak this year.”
He said the state Education Department earlier this year wrote to Education Ministry requesting for 640 teachers from other states to teach in Sarawak.
Out of the 640 teachers requested, the department requested for 64 Mathematics teachers, he added.
“When I posed the question (why a qualified Sarawakian was not recruited when there is a shortage of teachers in Sarawak) to (Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk) Fatimah (Abdullah), who is the state minister in charge of education in Sarawak, she has no answer except to say that recruitment of teachers is a federal matter and she could not do anything about it. This is a totally irresponsible answer to the plight of Wong in particular and to all Sarawakians in general.”
Chong pointed out that the state BN had been talking about fighting for more autonomy for Sarawak including education matters.
“But when it comes to a small matter as in the recruitment of a teacher in Sarawak, the state minister in charge simply pushed it off without even making any attempt to fight for Wong’s rights to be a teacher.
“If the BN Sarawak cannot even resolve a small matter like this, what confidence do the people of Sarawak have in BN Sarawak to fight for us in a much bigger matter such as Sarawak’s autonomy?
“Moreover, in all perspectives, Wong has the necessary qualification to be a Mathematics teacher. Sarawak currently is short of Mathematics teachers. However, she was not recruited because of the unreasonable and unfair recruitment policy of the government.”
He said it is the duty of the state government to resolve the problem for a fellow Sarawakian instead of brushing it aside by attributing it as a federal matter.
“All we want is a Sarawakian’s rights to be employed as a teacher teaching in Sarawak. Is that too much to ask of Fatimah and the state BN government?
“As the minister in charge of education in Sarawak, Fatimah’s action is most irresponsible. Is she too fearful of the officers in the SPP unit or the Ministry of Education that she does not dare to voice out the plight of Wong and to resolve her problem?
“If such were the case, then what can we expect of the state BN when they come face to face to with the much more powerful Umno ministers in the negotiation for Sarawak’s autonomy? Is that also the reason why (Chief Minister Datuk Amar) Abang Johari (Tun Openg) can only beg from (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib (Tun Razak) for more allocation in substitution of the 20 per cent oil and gas royalties which we had demanded during (former chief minister the late Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri) Adenan’s (Satem) time?”
Chong thus said he would bring up the matter in Parliament.
“For BN Sarawak, this matter is a test of your true mettle. All Sarawakians are watching to see if Abang Johari’s administration has the courage to stand up to the unfair Umno’s system to defend the Sarawakian’s rights.”
Wong’s case recently came to light when her application through e-recruitment was rejected by the Sarawak Islamic Religious Department (Jais).
After Chong went to the press about this issue, Fatimah called for a press conference to clarify that Jais had the right to reject the application because the job was not suitable for the applicant.
Following Fatimah’s clarification, Chong issued a press statement alleging that the minister was trying to divert the issue. In a response to this, Fatimah said a minister could not intervene with the appointment of teachers, which is the sole jurisdiction of agencies such as SPP.