Wednesday, 22 February 2006


On the occasion of International Mother Language Day today, a citizen group and a political party representing different ethnic groups sent two separate memorandum to the Education Ministry, demanding educational rights for their communities.

PAS Youth, in its memo, has urged the government to revive the yearly financial grant for people's religious schools or Sekolah Agama Rakyat (SAR) while the Save Our School committee of Kampung Damansara Baru (SOS Damansara) repeated its request to the ministry to re-open their school which has been closed for nearly five years.

On the annual grant to SAR, PAS Youth stated that political retaliation has been responsible for disrupting and destroying the religious education of Malaysians.

The financial grant to SAR was terminated in 2001 after the government felt that the subjects taught in the schools were not in accordance with government's objectives. Last year, the grant was revived on condition that the schools must register with the Education Ministry and endorsed the Akujanji (pledge of loyalty).

The PAS memorandum also requested the ministry to reveal the report on SAR conducted by the Murad Committee under the instruction of the Malay Rulers Council.

Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein did not meet the PAS delegation which was led by its deputy chief Idris Ahmad (right) and vice-chief Mazlan Aliman.

According to the minister’s private secretary, Amiruddin Mohd Ariff, who received the memorandum in the lobby of the Education Ministry in Putrajaya, Hishammuddin was in the midst of a meeting.

Section 17 school

Idris also voiced PAS Youth's support to SOS Damansara, saying that mother tongue education is a democratic right of all citizens.

SOS Damansara chairperson Yong Yoke Sung, in handing over the memorandum to Amiruddin, expressed his dissatisfaction over the closure of SRJK (C) Damansara.

"Why can't the government open another Chinese school to fulfil the needs of residents in Petaling Jaya section 17?"

"The school building is still in good condition and it won't cost the government a cent to re-open it," he told reporters.

The school was relocated by the ministry in 2001, much to the chagrin of parents and educationists.

Refusing to move their children, the disgruntled parents and supporters formed the committee. Since then, classes have been conducted in air-conditioned containers placed in a neighbouring temple.

The makeshift school now has of 52 students, 10 teachers and one headmaster.

Language switch

PAS Youth also urged the government to reverse the policy of teaching Science and Mathematics in English which was implemented in all primary schools in 2003.

They claimed that the policy had jeopardised the status of Bahasa Melayu as the national language.

Other issues raised in the memorandum include safety and social ills among students, hiking of education cost, unbalanced development between urban and suburban schools, and the malfunction of schools as a tool in fostering national integrity.

The memorandum also touches on the examination-oriented education system, downgrade in standard of public examinations, corruption in the building of school infrastructures, and political intervention in the promotion of education officers.

Dipetik dari Malaysiakini



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