KUCHING: DAP has refuted the Sarawak education ministry’s claim that a mathematics graduate who applied for a teaching position was rejected because she had submitted her application for a job advertised by the Sarawak Islamic Department.
Wong Wang Yuen, 31, had applied to become a mathematics teacher. Her application was rejected by the state religious department last month because it did not meet its “filtering criteria”.
In a statement today, state DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen, who has taken on the applicant’s case, said Wong never applied for a job advertised by the Sarawak Islamic Department.
He said she had applied through three websites – JobsMalaysia, Education Service Commission and e-recruitment – for the position of “pegawai perkhidmatan pendidikan gred DG41” or DG41 grade education service officer.
The screenshots of her applications on the three websites were provided in his statement.
In a press conference yesterday, Sarawak education minister Fatimah Abdullah said Wong had applied for a job advertised by the state religious department through the e-recruitment website.
Fatimah was responding to Chong who on Thursday asked Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg to clarify whether the religious department had been given the authority to vet and reject non-Muslim applicants for teaching positions in the public sector.
“The application was rejected because the applicant was not suitable for the post. It is about job matching and has nothing to do with race,” Fatimah said.
However, Chong said there was no indication on the e-recruitment website that the application was to be processed by the Islamic department.
“How and why did Wong’s application for the position of ‘pegawai perkhidmatan pendidikan gred DG41’ end up in the religious department?” he asked, adding that Fatimah’s reply yesterday did not answer the question.
Chong also questioned why applicants from other states were hired over qualified local graduates.
“Why did the state education department, in the recruitment of teachers in Sarawak, give priority to teachers from other states over a fellow Sarawakian who has all the necessary qualifications, such as a Master of Education?”
Wong graduated in 2013 with a master’s degree specialising in mathematics education from the Sultan Idris Education University.
Sarawak has a shortage of 600 teachers, including 64 mathematics teachers, according to the state education department.
“Yet, we have here in the case of Ms Wong, a person who is holding a Master of Education, specialising in mathematics, who has applied for the job for three years but was not recruited by the government,” Chong said.
He said if the state government is serious about defending the rights of the common Sarawakian it should immediately direct the education department to engage her as a mathematics teacher.
freemalaysiatoday march 4,2017