Hishammuddin should give an ultimatum that unless the hostel wardens of SM Agama Datuk Kelana Petra Maamor, Seremban and its principal are suspended immediately for the tragic death of Mohd Farid as a result of assault by seniors, the religious school would be suspended for not being “crime-free”
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Friday): Although the Negri Sembilan State Government has said that it will come up with a system of training school hostel wardens to deal with rebellious students and to respond to emergencies, it has failed to respond adequately and satisfactorily to the death of Mohd Farid Ibrahim, 16, at the SM Agama Datuk Kelana Pertra Maamor hostel in Seremban as a result of assaults by seniors on Sunday.
There have been reports that both the hostel warden and assistant warden were not at the hostel for the over 10 hours during which time Farid was assaulted several times, which would constitute gross negligence and irresponsibility.
It is no use the Negri Sembilan state government, which is responsible for the religious school which comes under the state religious department, to talk about plans for the future when it is not prepared to take the most severe action against the school wardens and authorities for their negligence and irresponsibility resulting in Farid’s death – as in immediately suspending the wardens and the principal of the school concerned.
This will send a clear message to all school authorities about their strict responsibility for serious breakdown of school discipline such as gangsterism, violence, crime and murder in schools.
The new Education Minister, Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein, has expressed his personal concern and outrage over Farid’s death, declaring that school thugs will be treated like criminals from now as there would be no place in the country’s school system for students who behaved like gangsters.
Such condemnation and denunciation by the new Education Minister for the killing of Farid, while welcome, are not enough and will do nothing to arrest and resolve the mushrooming problem of indiscipline, gangsterism, violence and crime in schools.
Hishammuddin must develop a full and proper culture of responsibility at all levels of the education system, and he should start by giving an ultimatum that unless the hostel wardens of SM Agama Datuk Kelana Petra Maamor, Seremban and its principal are suspended immediately for the tragic death of Mohd Farid as a result of assault by seniors, the religious school would be suspended by the Education Ministry for culpable negligence and irresponsibility, and failing to provide a crime-free and safe environment for the students.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman & Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor