KUCHING, Feb 15 — Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS Baru) will submit a memorandum urging the Education Ministry not to post religious teachers from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah to rural schools where all the students are Christian Dayaks.
PBDS Baru president Cobbold John Lusoi said the memorandum will be submitted to the ministry after the Tanjong Datu by-election on February 18.
“We will oppose any plan by the ministry to post outside religious teachers to rural schools of Sarawak where all the students are Christian Dayaks,” he said, when responding to Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid’s statement yesterday that the ministry will bring in religious teachers to teach Islamic Studies in Sarawak.
Lusoi expressed fears that the religious teachers would use their position to influence Christian students to become Muslims.
“We have seen in the past where religious teachers and non-governmental organisations from Peninsular Malaysia were attempting to influence Dayak students to convert to Islam,” he said, referring to a case in SMK Balai Ringgin in 2014 where attempts were made to convert Dayak students from the school to Islam through an “Anak Angkat” programme.
Lusoi said the attempts failed after the students informed their parents.
However, he said the party is not against posting religious teachers to schools where there are many Muslim students or to schools in Malay areas.
Mahdzir, who was helping to campaign for the Barisan Nasional’s candidate Puan Seri Jamilah Anu in the by-election, had said that the lack of teachers teaching the Islamic Studies subject in Sarawak was very critical at the moment.
He claimed that Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg had agreed with the ministry to bring in religious teachers from the peninsula and Sabah to Sarawak.