Monday, 26 March 2012

Serdang Tamil School: “Siapa akan tanggung kos bangunan ini? PIBG atau LPS?”

-Gopal Thirumalai/Vinod, 25.3.12
SRJK(T) Serdang is located less than 1km away from Universiti Putra Malaysia and a mere 10 minutes’ drive from Putrajaya.
The school was started in 1936 with one teacher and 40 students. The current enrolment is about 700 students and is one of the 132 fully aided schools from the total of 523 Tamil Primary schools nationwide.
As a parent of one of the students of the school and as one of the former students from the same school, I would like to highlight the plight of the students and parents of the school, which also reflects the state of other Tamil Schools in the country.
Although the school is fully aided, we literally have to beg with the Education Department for everything, including the maintenance and repairing of the infrastructures of the school.
At times, the PIBG will contribute some fund to do minor repairing works. The newspaper cutting above is from the year 1963, when the new building was officiated by the then Menteri Besar.
The building was declared unsafe by JKR in 2002. Despite several appeals, the JKR never lifted their fingers and always came up with the standard answer “Tiada peruntukkan tahun ini” (No budget allocation for this year). It was a disaster waiting to happen and it duly happened at around 8am on the 16th February 2012.
The ceiling in one of the classes collapsed suddenly while lesson was going on and luckily, the teacher managed to bring all the students out from the class before it collapsed further, bringing down huge amount of debris. By God’s grace, no one was injured but the real drama started only after that.
The school is located in the Sri Serdang state constituency, under BN ( Datuk Satim bin Diman) and under Serdang Parliamentary seat, under PR. Datuk Satim, who won the seat by less than 50 votes in the last election, did not even bother to respond or visit. Meanwhile, politicians from PR were barred from entering the school compounds, as per one circular from the Educational Department in the 1990s.
The school authorities contacted the respective departments and personnels. Datuk K Devamani immediately paid a visit, promised to build temporary cabins within two weeks for the students to study, with plans for another permanent building in future and bragged about the amount of money spent by BN in the past few years (in the region of few hundred millions at least) for Tamil Schools as well as some unrelated stuffs like ETP and etc.
Some of my friends cheekily said that this a normal “Wayang Kulit” show as he has no power to do anything. I realised it now that they were just telling the plain truth.
It is almost 3 weeks already and our children still don’t have classroom to use. Lessons are conducted at canteen and some empty space between buildings. The children are suffering due to hot weather and cannot concentrate on their studies. A lady officer from JKR visited the school recently and said that JKR is willing to build the new building but asked a funny question, “Siapa akan tanggung kos bangunan ini? PIBG atau LPS?” (Who is going to bear the cost? PTA or The School Board?
Can someone tell this lady that this school is a fully aided school and it is the responsibility of the present government to provide the basic infrastructures? By right, we should sue the department for failing provide a safe building.
Some even suggested that we should approach the state government, but I disagree. As far as I know, I have been paying taxes since 1993 to the Central Government under BN, just like all Malaysians so why the hell should I go around and begging people?
Isn’t it BN’s duty to provide basic infrastructures as we pay tax to it? And don’t tell me that you don’t have enough money. 1% of the loan given to Sharizat’s family is enough to build a 3 storey building here. Imagine that this is happening to a fully aided school! How about partially aided schools? Don’t you collect taxes from them too?
Why are you discriminating us, BN? The PM wants us to put `nambikkai’ (trust) on BN and I don’t have to give a better example on why we shouldn’t trust the BN government!

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