(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik should stop cheap and irresponsible politicking on the SJK © Damansara school issue by making baseless attacks against the DAP and explain why the MCA cannot support the "one-school, two premises" or two schools win-win solution which can also help alleviate the long-standing acute shortage of Chinese primary schools in the Klang Valley.
Liong Sik yesterday again hit out at the DAP for confusing and instigating parents to oppose the relocation of SJK © Damansara. If Liong really believes that the parents concerned had been made pawns by the DAP, is he prepared to personally go down to the Damansara school to meet with the parents to "debunk" these DAP tactics and win over the parents to his point of view? Or is he only good for making wild allegations?
If Liong Sik is prepared personally to meet the Damansara school parents who want the retention of the original school for their children but who also respect the wishes of other parents who want their children to be relocated to a new school in Tropicana, I can assure him that no DAP official would be present at such a dialogue - including Ronnie Liu, who is involved in the Damansara school issue not as DAP national publicity secretary or DAP Selangor State Deputy Chairman, but solely as adviser to the committee for retention of original school and construction of another school premises.
Liong Sik and other MCA Ministers and leaders should themselves stop playing politics with the Damansara issue and recognise that the root cause of the problem is the long-standing refusal of the Barisan Nasional government to build adequate new Chinese primary schools to meet increasing needs from pupils of all races.
In 1976, there were 1,318 Chinese primary schools with 560,985 pupils, but 23 years later, there had been the closure of 34 schools leaving 1,284 while the total Chinese primary school enrolment had increased to 609,206 pupils.
Is Liong Sik aware that great inconveniences and even hardships had been caused to parents as a result of the long-standing refusal to build new Chinese primary schools to meet community needs to provide schooling accessible to pupils that there are Chinese primary school students have to wake up at 5 a.m. to catch the school bus and who do not return home until some 12 hours later at 4 pm to 5 p.m.? Why is there no outrage from Liong Sik at such an oppressive and unjust educational system?
While a sizable majority of the Damansara school parents want their children to remain temporarily relocated to Puay Chai II to go later to the new school in Tropicana, there is also no doubt that there would be several hundreds of pupils who want elect to remain at the original Damansara school if the original premises are retained.
The splitting of the original Damansara school site into two premises or two schools would be the most ideal "win-win" solution, as it would be able to meet the wishes of all the parents concerned in particular with regard to accessibility and community schooling, reduce the congestion at the original school premises to release space for various educational facilities, as well as increase additional Chinese primary schools and school places to meet increased demand from pupils of all races.
I am still at a loss whey Liong Sik and the other MCA Ministers and leaders are so opposed to the win-win solution to the Damansara school issue of "one-school, two premises" or two schools.
Liong Sik should adopt such a formula, advise the Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad to withdraw his one-week ultimatum and conduct a registration exercise as to how many parents would want their children to remain in the original Damansara school premises with the adoption of the "one-school, two premises" or two schools formula.