Monday 30 January 2012

Chinese schools: DPM, deputy education minister under fire

Selangor exco Teresa Kok takes the duo to task over the rejection to build additional branches of Chinese schools.

PUCHONG: Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his deputy Wee Ka Siong have been taken to task over the ministry’s rejection to build additional branches of Chinese schools despite land being offered by the Pakatan-ruled Selangor state government.

Speaking to reporters here, Selangor exco Teresa Kok said: “Muhyiddin and Wee were hammering the state government during the Hulu Selangor by-election and in Parliament that we do not provide land and yet now they turn down our effort. Why turn down the state government’s offer?”

“Who is the Education Ministry to decide on the land? Land is a state matter. The ministry only needs to approve,” she added.

On Sept 25 last year, Selangor approved 13 acres of land for the construction of new branches for SJK (C) Yak Chee II and Catholic High School II. The land also was meant for the Autistic Children School. All three plots of land are located in Taman Tasik Prima here.

Five days later, the Education Ministry supported the state government’s plan. However, a letter dated Nov 25 last year to the Selangor state secretary indicated that the ministry intented to maintain the abovementioned lands for the construction of SK and SMK Taman Prima Puchong.

Petaling Chinese Development Committee deputy chairman Lee Kim Chuan, who was also present at the press conference, said that the need for extra Chinese schools were pressing.

“In total, there are more than 12,000 kids in these two schools. Ideally, the average number of school children should be 1,500,” he said.

Catholic High School’s Chong Fatt Leong said the ministry’s decision wronged both Chinese and non-Chinese students.

There are 200 non-Chinese out of the 3,400 students in Catholic High School whereas 4% of the 3,000 SJK (C) Yak Chee students are non-Chinese.

‘Not walking the talk’

Meanwhile, Puchong MP Gobind Singh criticised MCA for claiming to champion Chinese schools but failed to do so.

“They are not walking the talk. The decision shows that Barisan Nasional is not connected with what is happening in Puchong,” he said.

In an unrelated development, Kok criticised MCA Seputeh member Dr Colin Tiew from Insan Welfare Society for Brain Injured Children for attending Perkasa’s Chinese New Year celebrations.

“Knowing the racism that they are spewing and the nature of Perkasa, why did he mobilise retarded children?” she asked.

Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali hosted a Chinese New Year bash at the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman in Kuala Lumpur.

He gave out ang pows in white packets and this had raised the ire of the Chinese community.
Commenting on this, Kok said:”His actions are absurd and uncalled for. White angpows are only given for death.”

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