KOTA KINABALU 5th July, 2011: The Ministry of Education has not taken too kindly remarks by Sabah Education Department director, Datuk Dr. Muhiddin Yussin for the department to be given greater power on decision-making and implementing development projects.
Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Puad Zakarshi said Dr. Muhiddin should not have raised the issue because it concerned all matters including the recruitment of teachers.
“As far as the intake of teachers is concerned, how can we allow every state to handle that? We must maintain the quality and standards in hiring teachers,” he said.
He was responding to the statement by Dr. Muhiddin in a local newspaper last week saying that the state department should be given greater empowerment on decision-making and implementation of development projects, especially maintenance, training and recruitment of teachers.
Puad said the statement could confuse the public as it appeared to undermine the credibility of the Education Ministry and that as a civil servant, he should understand that he needs to abide by procedures concerning financial matters. Nevertheless, he promised to raise the matter at a post-cabinet meeting.
“We will discuss his statement and whether he as a civil servant could make such statements,” said Dr Puad.
In his statement, Dr. Muhiddin had asked that the state department be allowed to manage their allocations based on the concept of “Let the manager manage”. He said the department was not empowered to manage any allocation for development even when the project cost is below RM500,000.
Before Dr. Muhiddin’s statement, Sabah State Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Tun Said had suggested that the Sabah Education Department be given more power and autonomy.
He said this was to enable the local administration to decide on relevant matters precisely and speedily because excessive bureaucracy meant having to refer even minor matters to Putrajaya.