Thursday, 20 February 2014

Putrajaya shoots down Tamil secondary school proposal in Penang

FEBRUARY 19, 2014
The Penang government today expressed disappointment that its application to set up the first Tamil secondary school in the country in Bagan Dalam in Butterworth has been rejected.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (pic) said the state's sincere offer to set aside a piece of land for the building of the school was not considered by Putrajaya or Barisan Nasional's Indian-based party, MIC.
"We are only asking for one Tamil secondary school in the whole country. It will not jeopardise anyone.
Lim said he will make an appeal to Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, before taking the matter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Asked what other options the state has in pursuing the matter further apart from going to Muhyiddin or Najib, Lim said the state cannot do much as the setting up of the school, even as a private institution, would require a license from Putrajaya.
"We also would not have the funds," said Lim, who is the Bagan MP.
The state was informed via a letter dated January 8 from Education Department director-general Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof that there are no provision under the Education Act 1996 for the setting up Tamil secondary schools.
The letter stated that the act only provides for national secondary schools to cater to the education needs of all races in the country.
Lim said he wrote to the ministry last year about the application several times, explaining that a Tamil secondary school will cater to the education needs of the Indian community in Bagan Dalam, which makes up 24% of the total constituents, but the state never received feedback until Khair's letter.
He said Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan was not telling the truth when he reportedly denied receiving any letters about the application from the Penang government.
"He said there were no letters from Penang, but then the education department has actually sent us a reply. Kamalanathan should not lie," he added.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy, who is also state education exco, said the state had even appealed to BN parties to put politics aside and give their support for the setting up the school.
However, he said even the Indian-based parties did not voice their support and it was the Chinese educationist group Dong Zong that backed the state's proposal instead.
"I think the federal government fears that this will set a precedent and other places may request for Tamil secondary schools too," he said.
To this, Lim quipped: "No. I think if we have it in Penang, then they can forget about Penang." – February 19, 2014.

No comments:

Post a Comment