DAP welcomes Abdullah’s pro-active stance in demanding explanation from Musa why streaming of students was race-based and calls for exemplary discipline against those responsible for such anti-national action

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Tuesday)DAP welcomes the pro-active stance of the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in demanding an explanation from the Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad as to why the streaming of students was being done on a racial basis.

The racially-based streaming of classes at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pelabuhan Kelang where Indian students placed among the top five in their form are relegated to the second class  is outrageous, against national unity, the  Rukunegara, the Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia concept.

The Education Ministry should take firm exemplary action  to  suspend  and discipline all those responsible for such racial segregation of students as a lesson to all education ministry officials, principals and teachers to be model Malaysians rather than racists.

What is the use of the government talking about Vision Schools to promote national unity when Education Ministry officials and principals are allowed to turn schools into racial ghettoes by racially-based streaming of classes?

The reason given for such racial streaming of classes - to make it easier to conduct religious classes for the children and for the benefit of weaker pupils - is completely unacceptable and raises the disturbing question whether this is one of the immediate consequences of the government declaration that Malaysia is an Islamic state.

There are many things which are very wrong with the education policy, measures and practices in the country, and  Abdullah should exercise pro-active oversight of the Education Ministry, as in also calling on Musa to explain other outrageous educational practices, such as:

In today’s Star, the Malaysian Academic Movement (MOVE) chairman Dr. Wan Abdul Manan Wan Muda confirmed the existence of  the outrageous and unreasonable regulations governing the conduct of research  projects in Malaysia by foreigners or Malaysians studying in foreign universities which are totally inimical to the twin  concepts of academic freedom and excellence.

Wan Abdul Manan said that such a policy had already been in place for many years and he urged the Government to lift restrictions on local academics.

The question is why local academicians and their representative organisations had not protested against these ridiculous and unreasonable regulations, in particular the most recent one forcing local academicians to be “spies” over foreign researchers.

It is sad that I had to learn of these ridiculous and outrageous regulations on research students and scholars from overseas (including Malaysians in foreign universities)  when I visited London last week from aggrieved  research students and scholars, raising the question as to why the Malaysian academic movement has become so tame and submissive  in the protection and promotion  of the legitimate academic  interests in the country.  Under these circumstances, what right or hope  has Malaysia to claim to want to be a knowledge economy and information society?


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman