Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ex-SJK (C) Damansara team backs Seaport school

10:28AM Jan 22, 2014

Ex-SJK (C) Damansara team backs Seaport school

-Malaysiakini

Former SJK (C) Damansara Save Our School action committee members yesterday visited the Seaport Tamil primary school to show solidarity with the parents who want the school to stay for their children.

Several former members of the committee, including advisers Tang Ah Chai and Bock Tai Hee, as well as then acting chairperson Hew Wah, were present at the school, over which controversies have been sparked over its forced relocation.

After their meeting with the school’s de facto headmaster G Murugasu and Malaysian Tamilan Today Welfare Association national secretary K Gunasekaran to learn about the latest development on the matter, they held up a banner in front of the main gate of the school to show their support for the struggle.

The banner was then hung up in the school compound, facing the main road.

The Selangor Education Department has instructed the pupils to move to a new school in Kampung Lindungan, some 4km away, saying the school site is owned by Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS).

However, although the Selangor government, which owns PKNS, said it was prepared to gazette the said land for the school, federal authorities are insisting that the Seaport Tamil school moves out.

So far there has been no concrete decision from the state government on the land ownership.

'Let the school stay there'

Speaking to Malaysiakini, Tang, who also the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSAH) chief executive officer, called on the Selangor government to let the school stay at its original site and at the same time, to build a new school in Kampung Lindungan.

He said both the new and old schools could co-exist without any contradiction, so as to provide education opportunities to both communities.

Tang said KLSCAH will also organise a forum to provide a platform for parents of children in Seaport Tamil school to tell the public, especially the Chinese community, the whole episode of this issue and why they are refusing to send their children to the new school.

He also said KLSCAH will run a fund raising campaign to assist the school to make sure that the pupils’ lessons will not be interrupted.

“The teaching and learning process of the school must not be stopped. It must have stable resources in terms of teachers and be able to hire teachers. We cannot rely on volunteer teachers, because teachers have to earn a living,” he said.

Tang said the former members of the action committee would also share some of their technical and organisation experiences with the parents.

Gunasekaran - who is serving as a volunteer teacher at the school - expressed his gratitude and described the support from the former SJK (C) Damansara Save Our School action committee members as “very good”.

“We will learn from their experience… We would like to take their chairperson as our adviser,” Gunasekaran  said.

Ramasamy to write to Khalid Ibrahim

Later, after a visit by DAP’s Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran, Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy also visited the school.

Speaking at a press conference, Ramasamy said he will write letters to both Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and the Education Ministry to ask both the federal and state governments to leave the school be at its original site.

“I will write to the Selangor menteri besar and ask him if PKNS can decide to stop building any bungalow there. Maybe the bungalows can be relocated.

“I will also write a letter to the Education Ministry to ask them what’s wrong with keeping this school here,” Ramasamy said.

The Perai state assemblyperson also slammed Deputy Education Minister II P Kamalanathan for failing to protect Tamil primary schools in the country and said Kamalanathan should resign for his incompetence.

“He is not doing his job. He should resign. He is not fit to be deputy education minister II,” Ramasamy said.

Kamalanathan has called on the parents to send their children to the new school in Kampung Lindungan as soon as possible and he also insisted that the school has been relocated.   

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