(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): It is most distressing, unethical and most uneducational that the Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamadís threat to abandon the construction of a new Chinese primary school in Tropicana unless all the SRJK© Damasara pupils relocate to SJK © Puay Chai II within a week has been used to polarise divisions and set the parents with pupils in the school against each other.
Parents of the SRJK © Damansara pupils should not allow themselves to be divided and fight among themselves but should solidly unite on a common stand for a win-win formula which respects the wishes of all the parents by adopting a two-point solution: retaining the school at its original site, serving as a community school for the new village and adjacent areas, and building a new primary school to be known as SJK © Damansara II in Tropicana in less than two years for pupils temporarily relocated to Puay Chay II to meet the demands for places in Chinese primary schools for Petaling Jaya and even the Klang Valley.
Parents at the SRJK © Damansara can disagree as to whether to remain at the original site or relocate to new school premises, but they should all respect each other as parents who have the best educational interests of their children at heart and not fall into any political trap by blaming others for have becoming political pawns or are politicising the issue to sacrifice their childrenís educational future.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin yesterday urged parents of SJK (C) Damansara pupils who have refused to move their children to temporary premises to use their good judgement and resolve the issue amicably and not be ruled by emotion in the issue.
I fully agree with Abdul Aziz that good senses should prevail over emotions in the resolution of the Damansara school issue, and this is why the Education Minister should reconsider his formula and ultimatum so as to remove any form of intimidation or strong-armed tactics, while fully respecting the wishes of all the parents concerned.
Instead of trying to "politicise" the Damasara school issue by launching baseless attacks against the DAP and DAP National Publicity Secretary, Ronnie Liu, for his role as adviser to the committee to preserve SJK © Damansara, MCA leaders at all levels including MCA Ministers should be prepared to sink their differences with the DAP and work together to bring about the "win-win" solution to the Damansara school issue - a "one-school two-premises" formula.
It is most shocking that MCA Ministers and in particular the MCA Deputy Education Minister can support Musaís threat not to build the new school in Tropicana unless all pupils relocate to Puay Chai II and are not prepared to see the merit of the "one-school two-premises" formula.
MCA Ministers and leaders should realise that the root cause of the Damansara school issue is the long-standing government refusal to build adequate Chinese primary schools to meet increasing demands, and any government reneging in abandoning the building of the new school in Tropicana can only confirm and justify the distrust of Malaysians on the governmentís bona fides in promoting mother-tongue education.
DAP is prepared to work in unison with the MCA for the "win-win" solution to the Damansara school issue on the basis of a "one-school two-premises" formula. The ball is now in the MCA court.