We thank the management of the Sri Kaliamman Temple for inviting us to meet up with its members and the local Indian community to discuss Indian related issues. Over 200 people from all walks of life attended the talk.
Among the speakers were Lawyer N.Selvam, Sdri. Kamachee, and Sdr. Kalimuthu and myself.
We also screened the parliamentary debate on the issue of interlock at the talk. It was well received and many attendees took copies of DVD for distribution to others who could not make it to the talk. In my speech I spoke on the following issues.
Inetrlok literature text being used in Zone 2 of the country is the most controversial book ever to be used, despite the wide spread criticisms against its usage by the civil society.
The contents of the book are not only misleading as the facts stated are false but the novel will destroy the fabric of the multiracial strength of our country.
Malaysia is a multiracial, multi lingual and multi religious society. Any written work or book to be used as a text book should not be offensive to any community. It must be acceptable to all the communities of the country.
All communities must be well treated and due respect must be accorded to them. But the book is just doing the opposite as the contents are poisonous and are offensive especially to the Indian community.
It is puzzling why this particular book is retained as a school text though it is so clear that it is simply unsuitable as a school text.
The Education Ministry should do what is right and substitute the novel with a suitable one.
Upon the request of the local community in Sg.Petani, I and concerned citizens recently visited the Harvard Division 2 Tamil school at Gurun, Kedah.
This school started operation in 1935. At that time there were nearly over 200 Tamil families who were employed as rubber tappers. Thus to cater for the children of the labourers the estate management built this school.
At one time it had a student population of over 200. But over the years the number of labourers started to leave and migrate to the towns.
Presently there are only less than 30 families left and the student population has dropped to 26. We were given to understand that the head master and the teachers of this school have all been transferred to other schools. This means the school will cease to operate.
All these years the BN has always stated that no school will be closed even if there is only one student left
Why then this particular school is being closed down? Why has the BN Government not kept its promises?
In 1957, there were 1082 Tamil schools in the country. But over the years, the migration of Indians from the estates to the urban areas has resulted in the drop of student population in estate Tamil schools.
If the closure of Harvard Division 2 school becomes a precedent, then 30% of Tamil schools all over the country will face the fate of being closed down.
We therefore need a clear statement and guarantee from the Government that it will keep this school operational
Presently the interest to send children to Tamil schools has grown stronger. Today, over 60% of the Indians parents are sending their children to Tamil schools.
In the 80’s, there were less than 80,000 students in the Tamil schools. Now,
the enrollment has ballooned to over 120,000 and is still growing every year.But there is an acute shortage of class rooms in most of the urban SJKT.
The government must therefore allow estate schools to be relocated to urban areas and /or build new SJKT in the urban areas.
Surely MIC, the so called sole Indian representative in the BN, cannot be unaware of the serious problem of the Tamil schools. Can the MIC spell out in detail how this problem will be attended and resolved?
What is required is a clearly set out blue print on Tamil schools for the whole country.