“Pokkiri” film controversy ends – school principal admits mistake

The “Pokkiri” film controversy ends with the assurance by the principal of the SK Taman Hi-Tech, Kulim that the film which parents complained of being one of “violence and sensuality” and unsuitable for Primary One pupils would not be shown to non-Malay primary school students and admitting that its screening was a mistake.

Ten days ago, I blogged as well as raised in Parliament the complaint from Vimaleson Gunaratnam, a parent of a seven-year-old pupil at SK Taman Hi-Tech, Kulim that non-Malay students in the school were separated from Malay students for the whole morning session until recess time for two consecutive days and shown a Tamil movie, Pokkiri, which is full of violence and sensuality.

He sent a letter of protest to the school principal as he was particularly incensed that the movie Pokkiri, (translated the meaning is “Thug”) starred by Vijay, is shown in school when he would not allow such a movie at home.

Several parents of pupils in the school have written to my blog in support of Vimaleson’s complaint.

Yesterday, I received through my blog an email from Vimaleson informing me that the “Pokkiri” film controversy has ended with an assurance from the principal of the school that the violent film will not be shown to non-Malay primary school pupils and admitting that its screening was a mistake.

This is Vimaleson’s email:

I thank you for all the support given. Some of the parents and I met the school authorities on Sunday and here is the outcome.

As expected the PIBG YDP did not attend the meeting, although earlier he personally told me he will.

The HM agreed that the movie is not suitable to be shown in school. He trully regretted it happened.

The HM said the movie was brought by a Standard 5 student and played by the teachers. How weird?????????

HM questioned why he was not contacted before escalating.

Reply given- the email was sent on this issue but no response for 4 days. Email sent on another issue but no response for more than 1 month. So it was perceived that the school not interested in replying. Reasonable opportunity given to school, but they did not use it.

HM said that he didn’t know there was an email, but the PK Academic admitted reading and didn’t bother to tell the HM.

The PK Academic was harping on the matter that it was shown only on 1 day. But it doesn’t matter, even for 1 hour the movie must not be shown in school. The movie is rated as 18SG, therefore not meant for primary school kids. It is a violation of Copyright Act, the movie is for home viewing only.

Agreement achieved in summary:

The school must respond all forms of communication, including emails,, within 1 working day.

The school will make a written reply on this issue.

The school will not show movies in schools.

A proper program need to be made if no classes is conducted on certain times. Watching movies or placing the students in library is not a solution.

Dear bloggers,

I would like to thank you too.

I applaud Vimaleson for his public-spiritedness and the support he had received from other like-minded parents from his school which enabled the Pokkiri controversy to be brought to a satisfactory conclusion. It is also a demonstration that parents cared enough about their children’s education and upbringing in school as to take a keen interest as to what is going on in school — a most commendable attitude which should be emulated by every parent in the country.

Let Vimaleson also be an example to all Malaysians that they must speak up when there is anything wrong or amiss in order to rectify them instead of suffering in silence.

  1. #1 by Screw BN on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 3:51 pm

    Good ending to the first chapter of this story. But is this the last episode of suspicious circumstances leading to only non-muslim students being shown lewd, violent movies/films/exhibits? Will there be a grand finale where more and more such suspicious, unscrupulous activities are being exposed nationwide suggesting not a mere accidental series of coincidences but rather a national education policy?

    Will this bestseller prove me wrong and show the good-guy BN/Hisha-pudding education policy as a straight legitimate policy for the benefit of all students regardless of race or will I have been the unwitting pawn in exposing a state-runned motive for a plot of racial supremism being directed at the educational level via young minds by corrupt, racist, keris-wielding lead-characters of the shady variant? Wait and see? Are you stupid? Our children’s future is at stake here dammit!! Wake up people of BODOHLAND.

  2. #2 by megaman on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 4:07 pm

    bravo bravo …


    we should have more of this.

    What nonsense or crappy excuses the school authorities are using ?

    a) The HM said the movie was brought by a Standard 5 student and played by the teachers. How weird?????????

    Hallo ? The teachers are not standard 5 students … shake head ..

    b) The movie is rated as 18SG, therefore not meant for primary school kids. It is a violation of Copyright Act, the movie is for home viewing only.

    This one lagi best, how come no action from the relevant authorities ?

    c) HM said that he didn’t know there was an email, but the PK Academic admitted reading and didn’t bother to tell the HM.

    So should the PK Academic be held responsible instead?

    So bravo and I salute Vimaleson and the other parents for being a voice reasons and saying tak boleh to all these boleh goons …

  3. #3 by Libra2 on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 4:47 pm

    Yes, what Vimaleson did must be emulated but let not forget who bothered to pick up the issue. Not MIC or any BN MP or SA. He had to turn to the DAP for help.
    If this matter had not been raised in parliament by Kit, I doubt if the matter would be resolved.
    In any case the silence from the Education Minister, DG or the DEO is deafening.

  4. #4 by dawsheng on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 4:49 pm

    The controversy ended in that school doesn’t mean other schools have not gone haywire. This so called abuses by the brainless teachers in our schools may be just the tip of the iceberg, who knows what have gone unreported? And more schools will be built under the educational blueprint, chances are more school childrens are likely to fall as a victims of their teachers, who instills bad influences instead of training our boys and girls to be useful to their country. Well, everyone knew that the hardware is as important but without good teachers then those schools are just works for the cronies’s contractor to deepen their pockets. If the govt is crap, then there is no hope that any situation will improve, the one at the highest stinks like hell all of us begins to smell fishy.

  5. #5 by smeagroo on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 6:25 pm

    pok-kiri atau pok-kanan doesnt matter. Jangan2 pok-belakang.

  6. #6 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 7:42 pm

    This is not all only about the accidental screening of a video in school by a teacher who should have known better. It concerns many other issues.

    It concerns the responsibilities of parents. Many parents reneged on their responsibilities and depend on teachers to fill up the void they left.

    It concerns the responsibility of teachers whose role need not be overemphasized, over the welfare of school children.

    It concerns the role of school headmasters and their control over their staff.

    It is about the kind of society and social values we as parents and members of society would like to see for ourselves. Do we want our children to grow up seeing all the violence and sex that we as adults see on the big screen?

  7. #7 by accountability on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 9:41 pm

    no wonder our students are struggling to excel after graduating from schools, colleges and uni…

    …just look at how low the standard and quality of education staff has dropped, already the rot has reached the primary level/schools!

    keris-mudin, where the crap are u?
    take a good look at the result of your lame vision and education policies!

  8. #8 by kurakura on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 10:44 pm

    Ths kind of outcome rarely happens in Asia with the exception of Japan.


  9. #9 by ylk1 on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 10:52 pm

    I only saw this posting and actually I like to relate another similar incident in the same school in Kulim last year.

    My daughter together with some form 2 students were gathered into a class for a motivasi session by an external person whom I believe is an ustaz. The session ended up being a religious (Islamic) propanganda session with graphic videos and slides of bullet ridden bodies and others being decapitated appraently from the Iraq war. The session traumatised some students, many were crying and to cap it all off, the presenter said the Chinese in the class are irreligious and immoral.

    Many parents also complained but the HM was supposedly away but I think he was too cowardly to face up to this debacle.

    Anyway, that was the last straw and I have since taken my daughter out from the school and put her into a private school at great expense. I have lost all faith in our public school system.

    Anyway, my daughter and otehr students also mentioned in that school, teaachers are frequently not in class. Always this kursus or that kursus.

    Some years back, when I moved into Kulim, I put my son in Sri Limau school in Kulim where he was one of the only two or three Chinese in the whole school. Naively, I thought the spirit of muhibbah should prevail and I was willing to do my bit for inter-racial harmony. But that experience has not been a happy one with my son being victimized for being a Chinese. I had no choice but after a year, I fortunately managed to put him into Tunku Malik school where there is a greater number of Chinese. When he was in secondary school in SMK Badlishah, supposedly one of the best school in Kulim, the Islamic elements was also very strong and sometimes the words come out of the Malay Muslim teachers mouth denigrating other religions and races. I have nothing against Islam nor Malays but I really dislike the way Islamic fundamentalists have taken hold of our education system and poison the minds of our young people by what I think is their very unIslamic behavior.

    We can’t even have an open forum to discuss this because it is “sensitive”. They (Fundamentalist and Malay-ultras (FMU)) can cause disruption and for the sake of public peace the rest of us have to shut up even if it is them who created the ruckus in the first place. Recall the Article 11 forums.

    I think this is a gross injustice and a bowing down and bending over backwards by the authorities to pander to these “feelings”.

    So Uncle Lim, if you have a man in Kulim in the next general election, you have my vote.

  10. #10 by DiaperHead on Sunday, 6 May 2007 - 3:00 am

    What is the big deal here? The most enterprising among my Chinese friends would bring their parents’ film projector to school and screen blue films after school. They made a pile of money.

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