Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Call for a bipartisan parliamentary committee to conduct fresh probe into the SK Seri Pristana “meals in changing room” incident



Media Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on September 25, 2013

Call for a bipartisan parliamentary committee to conduct fresh probe into the SK Seri Pristana “meals in changing room” incident

Yesterday, I received written parliamentary replies to my questions related to the meals in changing room incident at SK Seri Pristana. 

I have submitted the questions for oral replies but unfortunately the questions were slotted as numbers 44 and 54, thus they had no chance of being replied as oral questions and I missed the chance to ask further questions. 

My first question was to ask the Education Minister why he had kept silent or failed to take any action against the headmaster and teachers who had bullied and ostracised whistle blower Guneswari’s daughter. 

The reply stated that there was no proof to show that either the school administration or the teachers were engaged in any act that would cause disharmony among the multi racial students. It also said that the allegation that Gunewswari’s daughter was ostracised is not true.

I find it hard to believe that the allegations which were widely reported in the media were all found baseless. 

Is the Education Ministry prepared to reveal all the details of the probe like who were interviewed and what were said by each interviewee?  

My second question was to ask the Education Minister if any probe was carried out into the meals in changing room incident, who headed the probe and what were the probe results. 

The second reply stated, among other issues that Selangor Education Director headed the probe and that the changing room was used by Malay, Chinese and Indian students as well as teachers since March 2013 as the canteen was not able to accommodate all the students during recess time.

What surprised me first is that the answer says that even the teachers had been eating in the changing room since March this year! 

So was it right for such a practice in the first place? If the Ministry thinks it is okay, then why should Deputy Education Minister P Kalamanathan offer his apology when he visited the school?  

If the Ministry thinks otherwise, then why no action was taken against the headmaster for making such an unacceptable decision.

Nevertheless, there was also allegation that the canteen could have been opened for students’ use during the Puasa month and that the school administration’s explanation about the canteen being under renovation then was not true.  

I therefore urge the Education Minister to allow a bipartisan parliamentary Committee to conduct a fresh probe into the entire “meals in changing room” incident.

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