The circular on VIPs attending programmes organised by schools and the use of school premises by outsiders is a guideline, says Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.
“The Cabinet decision only applies when a project or programme is by the Federal Government. So, is it fair that a representative from the government is invited?
“I think that should not be a problem,” said Teo.
“If the project is by the Federal Government, I think that is not right if we invite those from the opposition,” she said in reply to a supplementary question from Mohd Shahar Abdullah (BN-Paya Besar) during Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (Nov 18).
Shahar had asked whether opposition MPs can freely accept invitations to school and university programmes.
Teo said the ministry, in 2008, issued a circular containing guidelines to ensure programmes organised by schools are not misused by external parties.
For events at public institutions of higher learning, she said, the ministry’s stance is that opposition lawmakers can attend so long as the functions have gotten the nod from university authorities.
“Autonomy is granted to these varsities to make decisions based on appropriate considerations.”
Teo said that the Education Ministry had approved 515 visits by Gabungan Parti Sarawak leaders and 16 visits by Opposition leaders in Terengganu to attend programmes at schools, compared to 170 visits by Pakatan Harapan leaders.
“What else do you want to ask here? This shows that the Pakatan-led government is fair,” she said.