by Allen Chee
I am your blog’s regular reader and an active follower of the Malaysian Politics.
Today I read your assertions on the various dysfunctional measures which the Government have undertaken that promotes racial polarisation and intolerance amongst the different races in Malaysia. I would like to point to Saudara Lim to a particular matter which I have taken a personal interest.
I believe Saudara Lim would know that the oldest school in Malaysia is Penang Free School. I am from this school and I am very proud to be associated with this school as an ex-student.
However the impression of Penang Free School being a premier school started to change over the past decade where efforts are covertly undertaken to islamize the school. The changes, have effectively change the landscape of education in the school with more islamic activities being conducted and so on and so forth.
I heard from anxious parents and ex-frees about all these and to be honest, I felt rather helpless on how to stop this from happening as technically speaking it is not legally wrong but perhaps only morally wrong.
The last straw for me, however was when I saw a two new signages being installed at the main entrance of Penang Free School, one on the left and one on the right. One is in English, and the other is Jawi. The one in Jawi is totally written in Jawi except for the name Syed AIdid Murtaza whom I think is the person donating this signage.
The question is..why?? Penang Free is not a islamic school. It is a premier secular school with proud traditions. Further, why Jawi?, aren’t we suppose to use Bahasa Malaysia??
The last time I check and maybe Saudara Lim could correct me if I am wrong, Bahasa Malaysia IS the national language. Jawi is just the language being used on the Al-Quran. Most of the people in Penang would not be able to read that signage.
I took up the matter as I felt it is the right thing to do. Now it has become a personal crusade of some sorts. I am not letting up on this, and I hope Saudara Lim can take the matter as well.
I have called upon the office of Deputy Minister of Education Dato’ Hon Choon Kim and spoken to his PA. He said he will inform the Minister. Then I manage to speak to Mr Rajen, the assistant for Miss Kumala Dewi (parliamentary Secratery for the Ministry of Education) and he said he will look into the matter.
I have tried calling the Chief Minister of Penang TanSri Koh, and managed to speak to Mark Ooi who is TanSri Koh’s PA. He said he will inform the CM.
I have tried calling Penang Free’s principal, but he is on holiday till 26th. I managed to speak to the senior assistants and they refused to comment. I have spoken to Old Frees Association of KL and Penang, and they sounded weak. I called the Pengarah of State Education Department, and he sounded irritated though he said he’ll check.
I’ve called YB Toh Kin Woon as he is the Exco for Education for Penang, and he said he’ll take up the matter as he said he felt strongly on this issue. I have tried calling Syed Aidid Murtaza whom I believe but without any proof donated the signage and left my number with the secretary, he did not call back.