Liong Sik should explain why he has become the chief protagonist opposed to the "3-Win" formula to resolve the  Damansara  school controversy   by becoming the  first political leader to pronounce the old school premises as  no more suitable for use and should logically be demolished



Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang 

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sikís  swift rejection of the proposal of a  "Damansara School unity" talk involving the DAP, MCA and Gerakan as well as other Barisan Nasional and Barisan Alternative parties is a great contrast to the instant support given by MCA for UMNOís  proposed "Malay Unity" talks extended to Malay-based political parties.

Instead of giving a Chinese New Year angpow  to the people and country by agreeing to a "Damansara School unity" talk for all political parties to  reach agreement on a "3-Win"  formula of "one-school, two premises" or two schools to resolve the SJK © Damansara school relocation dispute, Liong Sikís rejection has spoiled the whole Chinese New Year atmosphere by ensuring that the Damansara school dispute hangs as a cloud to dampen the Chinese New Year festivities in Petaling Jaya and throughout the country.

It is most shocking that Liong Sik has emerged as the chief protagonist opposed to the "3-win" formula to resolve the Damansara school dispute to achieve the triple aims of :
 

I believe that the absolute majority of the parents of the 1,400 pupils at Damansara school support the "3-Win" formula to resolve the dispute, where the minority does not impose its views on the majority and where the majority does not trample on the rights of the minority.

I agree with "concerned parents" who have taken out newspaper advertisements that "It is illogical for the Education Ministry to tell us that without 100% support of the parents, we would have to shift back to the old SJK (C) Damansara and that the proposed school premises in Tropicana will be cancelled", and this is the reason for the "3-Win" formula to resolve the dispute.

Parents who wish their children to remain in the original school premises in Section 17 have declared that they fully respect the wishes of other parents who want their children to remain at Puay Chay II until a new school in Tropicana is built.

I do not believe that the overwhelming  majority of the parents who want their children to remain at Puay Chay II until the new school in Tropicana is constructed object to the continued use of the original school premises as a community school for pupils in the immediate vicinity - or will object if a portion of the pupils now at Puay Chay II voluntarily shift back to the old Damansara school.

Why then should Liong Sik object to a "3-Win" formula based on a "one-school, two premises" or two school solution?

Liong Sik has become the first political leader to declare that the old SJK © Damansara school is no more suitable to be used as a school and must be closed down - a view that was never taken by the Selangor Education Department, the Education Ministry or the Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad himself.

When last Tuesday, Musa issued the one-week ultimatum that 1,400 pupils now relocated to Puay Chay II would have to revert back to the old school premises  if the school board could not get unanimous agreement among the parents to shift, the Minister was in fact conceding that the old school premises are suitable to continue to be used, although the majority of the parents  want a new school building for their children - which is  completely different from claiming  that the  school is no more suitable and should be condemned, closed and even demolished.

How did  Liong Sik come to the conclusion that the old school premises is no more suitable to be used as a school and logically  must be closed down and demolished without ever  visiting the school site, despite repeated invitations by the parents in the school?

The least that Liong Sik should do before coming to such a drastic conclusion that the old Damansara school is no more suitable for use as a school and  that it must logically  be closed and demolished is to visit the school first.  Is Liong Sik prepared to make a visit to the old Damansara school during the Chinese New Year?

Can Liong Sik explain why he has suddenly become the chief protagonist to demand the demolition of the old Damansara school in his   rejection of "Damansara School unity" talk proposal - the first political leader to claim that the premises are no more  suitable  for use and should logically  be demolished?

Yesterday, Liong Sik cited the Sprint Highway as a reason as to why the old Damansara school is no more suitable to be used as a school.  This is most surprising, as the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report before the approval of the Sprint Highway project stated that there would be no adverse environmental impact on the Damansara school.

Did the Selangor Education Department and the Education Ministry lodge environmental objections to the construction of the Sprint Highway, and why was the EIA report that the Sprint Highway would have no adverse environmental impact on the Damansara school accepted by the government?

For the sake of a "3-win" formula to resolve the Damansara school dispute which can satisfy the wishes of all the parents concerned, as well as having an additional Chinese primary school in Petaling Jaya, Liong Sik should reconsider his role as the chief protagonist opposed to the "3-Win" formula to resolve the  Damansara  school controversy, pronouncing  the old Damansara school as unsuitable to be used as a school.

If Liong Sik is prepared to reconsider his hasty and ill-considered rejection of the proposal for "Damansara School Unity" talk, DAPís standing invitation to the MCA President and Gerakan President for a "Damansara School Unity"  talk still stands.

(23/1/2001)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman