PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 has criticized Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik for new guidelines where opposition politicians need approval to visit schools.
The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections is called a policy in which opposition leaders need approval from the relevant state education director as "discrimination against opposition parliamentarians who are democratically elected" and "do not respect the will of voters in their constituencies".
This reminds Dr. Maszlee that this new policy is similar to the Barisan Nasional rules when opposition lawmakers were not allowed to enter public schools while Barisan representatives did not have such restrictions.
"Are the Pakatan governments that have just been acting on the Opposition what they themselves object to when they are in opposition?" Clean steering committee said in a statement Tuesday (November 20).
"In multi-party democracies, voters have the right to choose from various competing parties and they should not be revoked from the services of their representatives if they turn out to be on the opposition bench after the election."
Bersih said it did not question the Ministry's right to provide guidelines to protect schools from any "negative influences", but only questioned policies carried out according to partisan politics.
"If there are legitimate concerns about politicians entering school, then every policy must apply to all politicians regardless of their affiliation," he said.
Bersih added that if the Ministry of Education's concern was that some messages carried by politicians might not be suitable for regulating school or university education, it must be dealt with using blind-party standard operating procedures for all visiting politicians.
He asked Dr. Maszlee to immediately revoke partisan instructions by his Ministry and replace them with appropriate non-partisan guidelines for all politicians invited to attend school events.