group wants goverment to preserve old school
8.Feb- Two student groups have come out in defence
of parents involved in the SRJK (C) Damansara relocation issue,
stressing the 70-year-old school should be maintained.
Malaysian Youth and Student Democratic Movement
(Dema) international affairs secretary Jasmine Ng Fui Sung
said the group was also not satisfied with the manner in which
the education minister has handled the whole situation. "The
education minister and his deputy should handle this matter
in a sincere manner and meet up with the parents who want
to maintain the old school," Ng told malaysiakini today.
"Although those protesting are of a minority
group of parents, this shouldn't be used as an excuse not
to meet up with them," she added.
Eleven Dema members and six students from the
Federation of Peninsular Islamic Graduates (Gamis) visited
the old school this morning.
These students, who are currently studying in
Universiti Malaya, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Kolej Tunku
Abdul Rahman, also met with parents whose children are studying
at makeshift classrooms in a Chinese temple next to the school.
The "tug-of-war" between the Education
Ministry and parents over the temporary relocation of students
from the Damansara school to SRJK Puay Chai (II) in Bandar
Utama has been going on for more than a month.
The students were directed to move to the new
school early this year when the new school term started. The
ministry then sealed the old school, citing an unfavourable
environment for learning due to over congestion and pollution
from the new Sprint highway nearby.
As of today, the majority of 1,400 students
have moved but some 60 pupils have remained behind and are
adamant to stay put in the old school.
Deputy Education Minister Hon Choon Kim has
urged the protesting parents to review their decision and
transfer their children to the Puay Chai school, pending the
completion of the new building promised them in Tropicana.
Parents have expressed fears that should their
children were to temporary move to Puay Chai, a new school
would not be built. In addition, there were rumours that the
reason for the hasty relocation is because the old school
site would be used for a development project.
Recently, the Education Ministry announced that
the new building in Tropicana will be constructed within eight
months with a Finance Ministry allocation of about RM9 million.
Jasmine said that Dema is urging the ministry
to respect the minority's decision not to relocate to the
new school because the matter can be resolved by rational
Meanwhile, Gamis secretary-general Mohammad
Faisal Abd Rahman said that his group has carried out some
research by meeting with parents and inspecting the new site
proposed by the parents.
He added that they were shocked when they saw
that the new school will be built near high voltage cables.
"The site is also near a rubbish dump.
The unhealthy environment will definitely be
harmful to students and their teachers," said Mohamad.
Mohamad said that the students groups want the
education minister to explain why the old school which is
situated in a safe environment had to be shut down.