(This is from the blog of Hannah Yeoh, DAP Selangor Assemblywoman for Subang Jaya)
SMKSU Prefects’ Reunion
Friday, June 20, 2008
Few months ago, I was invited to the Prefects’ Reunion of SMK Subang Utama to be held next week. I just received news that I could no longer attend the function because I’m an assemblyman from Pakatan Rakyat.
Two prefects have confirmed that the teachers have issued a threat to the prefects to withdraw their invitation to me and if not, the event would be cancelled.
I am upset with this. Let me explain to you why this threat by the teachers is so fundamentally wrong:-
this is a private function to be held outside the school; every past and present prefect is entitled to attend this event; and
I was the Head Prefect for 1995/1996 and was one of the pioneers to start this yearly reunion for the prefects.
I am not a criminal or a bad role model. All I did was this, exercised my right to vote, exercised my right to stand for election, to stand up for my generation and to fight corruption. As a young person, I am not afraid to stand up for righteous principles, not afraid of intimidation by the ‘supposedly powerful’ groups but today I am told that I am not a welcoming sight at a function which I championed and fought for many years ago.
In school, we were taught to be good role models and to be someone successful someday who will contribute positively back to the society. I have done just that. The very same people who taught me these values are now telling me that I am no longer accepted because I’m an assemblyman from Pakatan Rakyat.
Blogging about this brings tears to my eyes. Why? This is such a sad state for our schools to be in, for our young generation to endure and succumb to irrational threats like this. For 50 years, we were told not to question, not to challenge and not to speak up – even if it impinges on your fundamental rights.
I am not insisting to attend this function and neither am I insisting to be a special guest at the function. I am telling you – students, graduates, working adults and parents, if you choose to remain silent and succumb to threats like this, there is little hope left for Malaysia. It could be your daughter/son who’s in my place. Remember the young ones are watching. Some are being brain-washed. Some are now confused – here you have a 29 year old assemblyman who is speaking up against corruption for the sake of our nation and they’re told that this is not a welcoming figure and that she is not accepted at school or private functions.
I was a little exhausted prior to this because of work, complaints and issues but this has caused my heart to stir. It has sealed my heart for a cause. The cause is this – to continuously speak up against oppression in this nation. My conscience tells me I am right before God, I have not acted unfairly towards others by stealing taxpayers’ money and I am inspiring the young to stand up for what is right.
Our education system is trying to breed students who cannot think for themselves, issue threats when everything else fails. I am the ex Head Prefect of my school and I am entitled to attend the reunion to meet up with my fellow schoolmates, to catch up on old times and share some old jokes. I am now denied that right.
How many of you would stand alongside me for this cause?