Published on: Sunday, June 29, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: There has never been a moment of anxiety about the possibility of having to give up her ministerial portfolio in view of the much-bandied about Cabinet reshuffle.
Deputy Minister of Education I, Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching, said this when asked whether she felt relieved that she has been retained.
"I have always trusted in the Almighty God for everything that has happened, is happening and what will happen in my life, political or otherwise.
"I consider my appointment as Deputy Minister of Education I as a calling from God to serve our nation. So even if I were to be instructed to move to a new portfolio, it would undoubtedly still be service for Malaysia," she said in a telephone interview.
Yap, who is Member of Parliament for Tawau, added that she has also placed trust in the wisdom of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in appointing her to a ministry where he considers best suits her capabilities, competency and work experience.
Answering another question, she said she knew that there had been attempts to discredit her as the Deputy Minister of Education I.
"Yes, I am very much aware that prior to the Cabinet reshuffle, a Barisan Nasional (BN) component party had been trying to discredit me even to the extent of going to the media to say that I have not been looking into the needs of the Chinese schools. That was a baseless accusation that did not reflect any truth at all.
"I am not one who would try to gain personal political mileage and brag about everything that I have done as I don't need such publicity to prove myself," she pointed out.
Yap reiterated that education is more than just SJK (C) and SMJK schools, saying "I am a Malaysian Deputy Minister of Education who invariably champions education for all, regardless of race, religion and ethnicity."
She pledged to continue looking into education from the pragmatic and educational perspectives to further enhance the existing system "because the very minute education is politicised, it loses its focus at the expense of the future generation."
She strongly believed that the calling from God to continue to serve in the field of education is her strongest moral imperative.
"If we work with sincerity and integrity to serve His purpose, it does not matter what and how the irresponsible people would want to paint us because it would not take much effort and time for others to notice, realise, appreciate and commend on the good work carried out to glorify Him," Yap asserted.
"The recognition from Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Education, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, when he remarked to me, 'To continue with your good work', is a clear testimony that my work has been appreciated." Sharing her thoughts on the recent appointment of three new full Ministers and three Deputy Ministers, Yap said : "If we look at the line-up of the new Cabinet, there is no reshuffle as our Prime Minister has appointed Ministers and Deputy Ministers to fill up the portfolios that have been vacant. So we are having a bigger Cabinet now."
On the generous increase in Chinese representation in the Federal Cabinet, Yap said the move has articulated the 1Malaysia Concept meaningfully "as we forge ahead to realise Vision 2020."
"I salute the wisdom of the Prime Minister in retaining all the current Ministers and Deputy Ministers in their respective portfolios as this strongly implies that we have been performing and he is happy with the line-up.
"This will also allow us to follow up and follow through on the planned programmes towards achieving what we have been working on arduously without any interruption," she said.
On Wednesday, when Najib announced the appointment, he said he is happy with his current Cabinet line-up, which did not require him to undertake a major overhaul.