National education system tarnished not by statements and media reports but by the anti-national activities of streaming students according to race

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petling Jaya, Friday): Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi got the wrong end of the stick when called for a stop to statements on race-based student segregation in some schools as it can give rise to an unhealthy situation in the country.

He said those involved in the issue should instead wait for the outcome of investigations being conducted by the Education Ministry and that the issue should not arise as it can tarnish the national education system.

The Deputy Prime Minister should realise that the national education system is tarnished, not by statements and media reports, but by the anti-national activities streaming students according to race.

In fact, the only way to ensure that the problem of segregation of students according to race -  which Malaysian Malay Headmasters Congress, Dr. Abdul Rahman Daud had publicly admitted had been “practised for years” - is not swept under the carpet is to keep the full glare of media spotlight on this educational scandal and  to let Malaysians know its full magnitude and what is being done to root out the pernicious practice.

Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad, after the National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam had accepted his challenge to name the schools  which stream students according to race, has directed his officers to carry out immediate investigations into the pernicious practice in primary and secondary schools.

Firstly, why was Musa so cut off from what is happening in the primary and secondary schools under his direct charge that he could issue such a ill-considered challenge to Siva and to have it immediately accepted? This is a major blot in the record of performance of Musa as Education Minister, reflecting poor on his  competence, efficiency and professionalism!

Secondly, how can Education Ministry officials be expected to be independent and thorough in investigating into the streaming of students according to race, when Education Ministry officials themselves  must be held responsible for their negligence and professional failures in allowing such pernicious practices to continue unchecked for years under their noses?


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman