Against Community Learning Centres for Indonesian kids
Published on: Sunday, June 02, 2019
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Against Community Learning Cent

Community Learning Centre (CLC) a foreign entity operating in Sabah under the purview of the Indonesian Consulate office in Tawau blatantly advertised themselves as “Kementerian Pendidikan and Kebudayaan” of Indonesia in Sabah.  

This amounts to kicking our teeth and trampling on our sovereignty. It is only right to ask our Ministry of Education whether such parallel “Ministry” can exist in Sabah.

We are informed there are more than 400 such schools dotted around in the east coast of Sabah and inside oil palm estates.

They are operating such schools exactly like in Indonesia, having their own curriculum and importing their own textbooks, complete with their brown school uniform and singingthe Indonesian National anthem. 

And turning the school compound into a little Indonesia where it can only be accessible to themselves.

CLC claims there have an BN era Bilateral Agreement with the Malaysian government which provided CLC with total unfettered access to any location in Sabah as they deem fit and even have the audacity to establish CLC without first obtaining  prior permission from the Ministry of Education.

We strongly urge the PH Federal government and Warisan State government to make available for public viewing this lopsided BN-era bilateral agreement and let Sabahans decide for themselves whether such lopsided bilateral agreement is justifiable and beneficial to us or  have it terminated.

If educating the foreign workers children in Sabah is CLC priority than we would urge the Warisan State Government and the Sabah Immigration Department to do away with the family’s visa which allow foreign workers to bring in their  children.

By doing so those children can stay back in Indonesia and be expose to the education system of their country of origin.

There will be no reason to establish CLC in Sabah.

And for those foreign children who decided to reside with their parents in Sabah, Malaysia, they should be bound by our education system – Malaysian curriculum.

We observed a vast number of the 400-odd CLC establishments are not licensed by the Education Department which shows their arrogant attitude of “establish first and talk later” approach and a total disregard to the Rule of Law. 

We urge the State Education Department to close all CLC schools for those with or without School Permit and the Enforcement units of the State Education Department in Sabah should do their jobs without fear or favour.

And with the influx of more than 1,000 CLC teachers “imported” from Indonesia, some maybe agent provocateurs or Intelligence Officers actively going around estates to provoke foreign workers to oust local NGO operating in the estates as happened in Sg Balung Estate and Madai Estate, both belonging to Sawit Kinabalu, our own State Government Link Companies.

Furthermore, the CLC teachers also double-up doing consular works such as renewing passports and we strongly urge the Immigration Department to check whether those extra activities contravene their working visa.

We observed CLC have the leverage over our local estates as they could assist the renewal of worker passports and this resulted them arm-twisting local estates into establishing CLC in their properties, unabated.

If those unhealthy activities remain unchecked and with the huge number of CLC teachers in the State, it will in the near term create a security risk to our country.

As the saying goes, “While in Rome do as the Romans do.” 


The Nationalist.

n It is difficult to understand the basis of your arguments when the fundamental question should be whether these schools are funded by their own tax payers or Malaysian tax payers.

These children are in all likelihood not going to remain in Sabah but return to Indonesia and find jobs there. Hence making them subject to our education system may render them jobless later once there.

For your information, less and less Indonesians are coming to work in Sabah anyway as their economy has improved by leaps and bounds and is expected to surpass Malaysia's in the not-too-distant future.

When that happens, we better have a local capable workforce that can replace them in the plantation sector or the billions of ringgit worth of oil palm fruits would be rotting away on the trees.

And what is the issue about these CLCs doubling up to assist their workers in renewing their documents? Would you rather they run foul of the law for being unable to make the long trip to their consular office to ensure their papers are in order?

I'm only basing these on reports about this same issue that we have covered in the past. It is best that the consulate respond to the matters raised.

Coming back to the question of funding, I believe the salaries of the teachers are met by the plantation firms themselves partly through Humana and EU as an obligation and not by our Education Ministry. Please don't add another reason for the EU to not buy our palm oil on a human rights issue.  – Ed


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