Posts Tagged ‘Tamil school’

SJKT St Joseph’s plight highlighted AGAIN

January 21st, 2013
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I searched my own blog and found that SJKT St Joseph was in the limelight way back in January 2011. Its been 2 years since then, and we just at the stage of  “identified land for relocation” and “waiting for decision”. Aren’t we ashamed to say such things? By now the new building should be under construction lah!

The school boasts of high achievers who had gone on to be politicians, newscasters, businesswomen etc, but their alma mater is still like this.

This school is took the best SJKT award for best UPSR results and percentage of “cemerlang A” for 2012 (refer here). In my books this is a high performing school. Nothing much given, yet able to get some good results.

I hope we don’t read about the same problem in another 2 years time!

 

Stuffy: The store room doubles as a library but because of the lack of space, the pupils have to take their books outside to read them.

Stuffy: The store room doubles as a library but because of the lack of space, the pupils have to take their books outside to read them.

THE Tamil primary girls school in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur may be sitting on prime land in the bustling new township with modern facilities, but there is nothing modern or new about the school which still stands on wooden stilts.

Old, rickety and leaking, the 89-year-old SJK(T) St Joseph, like the proverbial grandfather’s clock, is still ticking, but barely. And parents are pleading for a new building with proper facilities for their children.

Built in 1924, the school does not have a canteen, field, library, science lab or computer room.

Termite-infested: The original facade of the 89-year-old school sits on stilts until today.
Termite-infested: The original facade of the 89-year-old school sits on stilts until today.

Its pupils sit under trees to eat their lunch and have been using the roadside for sports activities for the past nine decades.

What’s worse, matters have come to a head now because the owner of the land has told the school authorities to relocate.

“We are in limbo,” said the school’s parent-teacher association (PTA) chairman Alice Fatimah.

“The land belongs to the St Joseph’s church and they had allowed us to stay here all this time.

“Now, we have been told to move. We have been asking the government for a new site but nothing has happened,’’ said the 42-year-old.

The situation has made the school’s predicament worse as it is unable to even upgrade its faciltiesnow.

“We received some funds from the Education Ministry last year to repair the leaking roof and termite-infested building, but we do not know what to do now,” she said.

PTA deputy chairman Kobi Subramaniam said there was also talk that the school may be shut down for safety reasons.

“This has led to a drop in enrolment. We used to get 190 pupils per new intake but now, the number has dropped to 135,”’ he said.

Former student Parameswary Thanapal, 48, said she was disappointed that her daughter, Sanjena Kumari, nine, was suffering the same fate she did almost 40 years ago.

“There were no basic facilities then, no canteen, library or a proper toilet during the 1970s when I was schooling here. To see my daughter having to go through the same situation is just not right.’’

Sharing Parameswary’s sentiments is Vijaya Letchumi, 53, whose daughter had studied at SJK(T) St Joseph and now, her granddaughter is a pupil at the school.

“It breaks my heart that my daughter had to suffer such discomfort just to get an education and now, it’s my granddaughter. Things must change,’’ she said.

A check by StarMetro showed that the school is in a dilapidated state, with leaking roof and toilets.

The stilts that hold up the structure are termite-infested.

An old steel cabinet is the “Kedai Buku’’, while a storeroom has been turned into a mini library.

“As you can see, there is hardly space for the pupils to read here. They have to take the books outside and find a place to read them,’’ said Alice, adding that as there was no science lab, experiments were conducted in a classroom, posing danger to the children.

The school also does not have a computer room and the teachers staff room is cramped.

Despite these problems, school headmistress B. Valarmathi said the pupils were doing well in their examinations.

“We have produced high-achievers,” she said proudly, adding that some had even become politicians, newscasters and businesswomen.

“We have been judged as the best Tamil school in terms of academic results for several years in a row now,’’ she said.

“Imagine what these girls can achieve with better facilities.’’

The partially-aided school has five classrooms, 135 pupils and 15 teachers.

Meanwhile, Deputy Federal Terri-tories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk M. Saravanan said the government had identified a three-acre land near the Batu People’s Housing Scheme (PPR) in Kuala Lumpur to relocate the school.

He said the land belonging to the Education Ministry would be ideal for the school and could also accommodate a football field..

“We are waiting for a decision and hopefully, it will be positive,” he said.

source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2013/1/18/central/12586487&sec=central

RM50 billion suit for discrimination against Tamil Schools

January 15th, 2013
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Not sure how many readers know about this. RM50 billion suit has to be the largest so far in the country. Usually its in millions only.

RM50 billion! Imagine what can be done with such a huge amount. Probably the country will go bankrupt if lose this case. Anyway, even if they win the case, I doubt the award will reach billion ringgits.

Let’s have a look at Article 12 (1):

Without prejudice to the generality of Article 8, there shall be no discrimination against any citizen on the grounds only of religion, race, descent or place of birth –

  • in the administration of any educational institution maintained by a public authority, and, in particular, the admission of pupils or students or the payment of fees; or
  • in providing out of the funds of a public authority financial aid for the maintenance or education of pupils or students in any educational institution (whether or not maintained by a public authority and whether within or outside the Federation).

And here is the famous Article 153:

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
  2. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, but subject to the provisions of Article 40 and of this Article, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall exercise his functions under this Constitution and federal law in such manner as may be necessary to safeguard the special provision of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and to ensure the reservation for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable of positions in the public service (other than the public service of a State) and of scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government and, when any permit or licence for the operation of any trade or business is required by federal law, then, subject to the provisions of that law and this Article, of such permits and licences.
  3. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may, in order to ensure in accordance with Clause (2) the reservation to Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of positions in the public service and of scholarships, exhibitions and other educational or training privileges or special facilities, give such general directions as may be required for that purpose to any Commission to which Part X applies or to any authority charged with responsibility for the grant of such scholarships, exhibitions or other educational or training privileges or special facilities; and the Commission or authority shall duly comply with the directions.
  4. In exercising his functions under this Constitution and federal law in accordance with Clauses (1) to (3) the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall not deprive any person of any public office held by him or of the continuance of any scholarship, exhibition or other educational or training privileges or special facilities enjoyed by him.
  5. This Article does not derogate from the provisions of Article 136.
  6. Where by existing federal law a permit or licence is required for the operation of any trade or business the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may exercise his functions under that law in such manner, or give such general directions to any authority charged under that law with the grant of such permits or licences, as may be required to ensure the reservation of such proportion of such permits or licences for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may deem reasonable, and the authority shall duly comply with the directions.
  7. Nothing in this Article shall operate to deprive or authorise the deprivation of any person of any right, privilege, permit or licence accrued to or enjoyed or held by him or to authorised a refusal to renew to any person any such permit or licence or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of a person any permit or licence when the renewal or grant might reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events.
  8. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, where by any federal law any permit or licence is required for the operation of any trade or business, that law may provide for the reservation of a proportion of such permits or licences for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak; but no such law shall for the purpose of ensuring such a reservation-
    • (a) deprive or authorise the deprivation of any person of any right, privilege, permit or licence accrued to or enjoyed or held by him;
    • (b) authorise a refusal to renew to any person any such permit or licence or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of any person any permit or licence when the renewal or grant might in accordance with he other provisions of the law reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events, or prevent any person from transferring together with his business any transferable licence to operate that business; or
    • (c) where no permit or licence was previously required for the operation of the trade or business, authorise a refusal to grant a permit or licence to any person for the operation of any trade or business which immediately before the coming into force of the law he had been bona fide carrying on, or authorise a refusal subsequently to renew to any such person any permit or licence, or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of any such person any such permit or licence when the renewal or grant might in accordance with the other provisions of that law reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events.
    1. (8A) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, where in any University, College and other educational institution providing education after Malaysian Certificate of Education or its equivalent, the number of places offered by the authority responsible for the management of the University, College or such educational institution to candidates for any course of study is less than the number of candidates qualified for such places, it shall be lawful for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by virtue of this Article to give such directions to the authority as may be required to ensure the reservation of such proportion of such places for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may deem reasonable, and the authority shall duly comply with the directions.
  9. (9) Nothing in this Article shall empower Parliament to restrict business or trade solely for the purpose of reservations for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak.
    1. (9A) In this Article the expression “natives” in relation to the State of Sabah or Sarawak shall have the meaning assigned to it in Article 161A.
  10. The Constitution of the State of any Ruler may make provision corresponding (with the necessary modifications) to the provisions of this Article.

With my limited understanding, Article 12 seems to say that every student and school must be given the same treatment in terms of funding. So, you can’t be allocating RM5 for SK student and RM4 for tamil school student for extra co-curricular activities, for example.

I also wonder, recently Tamil schools were to be given photostat machines (as announced by MIC President) via an anonymous donor. Does it mean that things like photostat machines are not provided by Education Dept/Ministry, or do they only provide for national schools or fully-aided schools, or based on any other parameters? Does that count as discrimination? Other things like salaries are standardised, so no issue of discrimination (that’s due to Article 136).

This is going to be an interesting trial, provided it gets its place in court and not simply dismissed.

 

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin may soon be compelled to answer in court allegations they had discriminated against Tamil schools after the Court of Appeal today allowed a DAP lawmaker’s challenge.

Kota Alam Shah assemblyman, M. Manoharan and Indian politician P. Uthayakumar, were found by a three-man bench to have locus standi, Latin for the right to bring legal action, against Najib (picture), Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, and the federal government for what they said was a clear breach of constitutional rights on equality and access to education.

“The Court of Appeal allowed our appeal and said we have the locus standi… the case will go to trial,” Manoharan told The Malaysian Insider when contacted.

The High Court had last June struck out the civil suit, ruling that neither Manoharan nor Uthayakumar had a direct personal interest in the matter.

But the appeals court panel, chaired by Datuk Mohd Hishamuddin Mohd Yunus, said the duo could do so as their claims were premised on Articles 4, 8 and 12 of the Federal Constitution, which is public law and not private law.

Article 4 holds that the constitution is the supreme law while Article 8 guarantees equality in the law. Article 12, which Manoharan said was key to their suit, lays out the non-discriminatory rules with regards to access to education and its public funding.

“We want the PM to come and answer our claims.

“When the Constitution says education is equal, why is there a difference [in treatment] between Tamil schools and national schools?” Manoharan raised.

The lawmaker said he and Uthayakumar were seeking a declaration from the government that all 523 Tamil vernacular schools nationwide be fully-aided schools, and to be given financial assistance equal to that granted national schools.

Currently, only 370 Tamil schools nationwide receive any government funding, and even that is only partial, Manoharan said.

They also demand 10 acres of land be set aside for Tamil schools; a Tamil vernacular school for every district and in every state except for Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu — the latter “because there are not many Indians there” according to Manoharan — and a Tamil educational institute, equivalent to the current junior science college set up for Malay students, built.

“And also a RM50 billion fund for 55 years of neglect of Tamil schools, to undo the injustices,” added Manoharan, who is also a lawyer.

He said the High Court has set January 29 for case management of his suit.

Despite Putrajaya’s various moves and initiatives, some Malaysians remain dissatisfied with the government’s role in helping vernacular schools.

In last year’s Budget 2012, the government gave a special supplementary allocation of RM100 million for the upkeep of vernacular schools.

source: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/najib-muhyiddin-sued-rm50b-for-discrimination-against-tamil-schools/

Tamil schools not allowed to take holiday for Ponggal???

January 9th, 2013
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Another ridiculous move by the MOE if the news below is true. Previously, Tamil schools can take special holiday for Ponggal which falls in mid January.  And surely no one in the right mind will put a day before Thaipusam as replacement class! What in the world are these guys having for food? Is this only in Kedah or nationwide directive?

THE Indian community is unhappy over the Education Ministry’s decision not to allow Tamil schools to take a day off as a special holiday for the Ponggal festival which falls on Jan 14, reported Tamil Nesan.

It quoted Sungai Petani MIC division deputy chairman T.H. Subra as saying that education officers did not understand the significance of the festival.

He was also unhappy that Jan 26 had been marked as a school day to replace additional holidays given for the Chinese New Year celebration.

“This is unsuitable as most Hindu children will be busy preparing for Thaipusam, which falls on Jan 27,” he said, adding that until last year, Tamil schools were given the flexibility to take three days off a year for religious festivals.

He urged education officers to be fair to all communities.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/1/9/nation/12549401&sec=nation

Education Ministry studying proposal for secondary Tamil school

October 16th, 2012
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“currently studying the proposal”? Seriously? Are these guys trying to pull our legs? Wonder when the “study” will end.

 

PENANG MIC has proposed that the Government set up a Tamil secondary school in the state.

Its acting chief L. Krishnan said a memorandum on the matter had been handed over to the Education Ministry which was currently studying the proposal, reported Tamil Nesan.

Krishnan hoped the school, if it becomes a reality, would be able to provide continuous education to students from Tamil primary schools in the state.

Currently, many students from Tamil primary schools, after finishing their Year Six, end up being involved in unwanted activities as there are no one to guide them once they enter secondary schools which are alien to them, he said.

Krishnan also urged Indian non-governmental organisations to organise more activities for such students so that they would not be led astray.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/10/16/nation/12175235&sec=nation

SJKT Ladang Minyak gets 2 acre land from UMW as compensation

March 12th, 2012
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Good news amidst some bad ones, SJKT Ladang Minyak gets compensation land from UMW Holdings to construct new building.

Anyway, I thought that such redevelopment of estate land must incorporate proper settlement of ex-workers and relocation of schools, temples etc. Remember reading about it somewhere. Not sure if under state or federal policy.

10 acres were allocated, of which 8 was given as compensation to estate workers by handing over the land to RV Globals Sdn Bhd. Which sounds weird but maybe its some legal requirement to have an entity to represent the workers. This company will subdivide the land and built houses and other infrastructure for the 136 ex-workers.  It seems the chairman of LPS is also involved in RV Globals.

Below is the news on the 8 acres transfer ceremony done in 2007:

Dato’ G. Palanivel, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Women, Family & Community Development today witnessed the signing of the transfer of 8-acres of UMW land in Serendah, valued at RM2.0 million, as compensation to ex-workers of the New Serendah Estate, through RV Global Sdn Bhd, which acts as a legal entity to represent the ex-workers.

The Transfer Agreement was signed by Dato’ Dr Abdul Halim Harun, UMW Group Managing Director & CEO and En Meor Mohar Azhar Abd Ghani, Executive Director, on behalf of UMW Corporation Sdn Bhd, whilst Mr A Ramarao and Mr A Kohilan Pillay, Managing Director and Director, respectively, signed on behalf of RV Global Sdn Bhd.

Also present at the ceremony were Tan Sri Asmat Kamaludin, UMW Group Chairman, senior MIC officials, representatives of New Serendah Estate and senior management of UMW Group.

When UMW acquired the New Serendah Estate Land from the Selangor State Government in 1992, there were 136 ex-estate workers occupying the workers’ quarters on UMW’s land. On compassionate grounds, UMW allowed them to continue staying at the quarters with free water supply and subsidized electricity.

Over the years, UMW went through numerous discussions and negotiations with representatives of the New Serendah Estate and other related parties, on how best to compensate the 136 ex-estate workers who were affected by UMW’s purchase of the Serendah land.

In August 2006, the UMW Holdings Board of Directors approved a proposal to transfer the 8-acres of land to RV Global Sdn Bhd, which will act for the interest of the 136 ex-estate workers. RV Global will undertake to further sub-divide the land for the construction of houses, as well as build a community hall and a playground for the ex-estate workers and their families.

In his speech on behalf of UMW Corporation, En Meor Mohar Azhar Abd Ghani said, “YB Dato’ Palanivel, in his capacity as the Hulu Selangor Member of Parliament, has been instrumental in enabling UMW Corporation and the ex-workers of Syarikat Ladang New Serendah Estate to reach a mutually agreeable solution to resolve this particular issue. In spite of his tight work schedule, as a Deputy Minister and a member of Parliament, he has made the time to ensure that this amicable settlement is made possible.”

He added, “On UMW’s part, the transfer of the land to RV Global signifies the fulfillment of our social responsibility to the Serendah ex-estate workers community. We are glad that the parties concerned have been able to resolve all related issues amicably.

source:  http://www.umw.com.my/news/PressReleases/Pages/070718_news_release.aspx

So, after 5 years, now the balance 2 acres has been given to the school.

AS PART of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) effort, UMW Holdings Berhad donated two acres of its land in Bandar Serendah, valued at RM800,000, for the purpose of building a Tamil school for the local community. The property will be transferred in favour of “Lembaga Pengelola Sekolah, SJK(T) Ladang Minyak, Bestari Jaya” in Kuala Selangor which will relocate the school to Bandar Serendah.

Previously, the UMW Holdings’ Board of Directors had approved the transfer of up to 10 acres of land as part of the resettlement of the ex-estate workers of the former New Serendah Estate. Eight acres of the land had been transferred to a legal entity known as RV Global Sdn Bhd, which undertook the responsibility of safe-guarding the interests of the ex-workers and families after UMW acquired the New Serendah Estate Land from the Selangor Government.

The transfer letter was handed over by UMW Corporation Sdn Bhd executive director Suseela Menon to Amaran Krishnan, secretary of Lembaga Pengelola Sekolah, SJK (T) Ladang Minyak, Bestari Jaya. The event was witnessed by Member of Parliament for Hulu Selangor P. Kamalanathan and chairman of Lembaga Pengelola Sekolah A. Rama Rao. [MyNadi chairman is also present in the photo].

Also present at the ceremony were management representatives of the UMW Group and representatives of MIC and Gerakan.

UMW has always believed that a company, a community or a nation can only stand strong and continue to grow and thrive, if it is supported by a strong pillar of knowledge and education.

UMW embarked on this programme because the group believes that education should not be a privilege limited to a few, but a basic right that should be easily accessible and available to all.

It is hoped that the development of this school, to be located on the former New Serendah Estate land, will greatly benefit and further enrich the minds of the children of the ex-estate workers and the local community.

source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2012/3/12/central/10883559&sec=central

Hopefully the school will be allocated sufficient funds to construct the new building within the acceptable timeframe.