Sabah clear in its direction to protect people's rights, develop state

Avila Geraldine

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal has assured that the Sabah government stood firm under a new leadership, with commitment to ensure matters were executed according to the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63). “We are clear of our direction for the state of Sabah and the people in protecting our rights as well as efforts to develop Sabah. “Moving towards this direction, it is important for us to be united because I believe we can achieve more and implement matters stated in MA63,” he said, today.

Shafie was speaking to members of United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) at the party’s fifth MA63 forum here. Present was Deputy Chief Minister cum State Trade and Industry MinisterDatuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, who is also Upko acting president.

Shafie said that in line with MA63 Sabah had its very own health and education ministries formed for the first time under the new leadership.

He also said the state government had plans to rebrand some schools in the move to build professions.

Speaking further on education, Shafie stressed there should be no limit to the use of English as medium of instruction in schools.

Although Bahasa Malaysia was a national language, he said English language should be allowed to be used for the teaching and learning process.

“It is stated under the law that there is no limit to the usage of English. It is widely used even in private schools and court proceedings,” he said. Shafie was responding to an online news, which reported that the Education Ministry was against the use of English as the medium of instruction in national schools.

It was the Ministry’s written parliamentary reply to Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri, who had asked for the ministry’s stance on Sarawak schools using English as the medium of instruction.

The report stated the Ministry said the use of English violates Article 152(1) of the Federal Constitution and the National Language Act 1963/67, and contravenes the spirit of the Education Act 1996. Earlier, Madius said they had to look into this matter at state level and that was why Upko had proposed certain schools be made completely English-medium.

Madius also stressed on the need for Sabah to have control over its oil and gas, strenghthen industrial development, and improve water as well as electricity supplies.

Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, shakes hands with UPKO acting president Datuk Madius Tangau at the Malaysia Day Forum organized by UPKO in Kota Kinabalu. (NSTP/EDMUND SAMUNTING)

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