New CBN head stirs up concern

by Stephanie Sta Maria
Free Malaysia Today
13th December 2011

Past pupils and the Catholic Archdiocese want the Education Ministry to explain why it appointed a principal whose name wasn’t on the candidate list.

PETALING JAYA: The appointment of SMK Convent Bukit Nanas (CBN’s) new principal has triggered concern among its Old Girl’s Association and the Kuala Lumpur Catholic Archdiocese.

According to representatives from both sides, Zavirah Mohd Shaari’s name was not on the list of candidates submitted by the mission school authority to the Education Ministry and was “plucked out of the blue” to take over from CBN’s former head, Ann Khoo.

In a press statement, the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Murphy Pakiam expressed his disappointment over the matter which he said was in contradiction with the government’s policy of maximum consultation.

This policy was enunciated by the government in the report of the Royal Commision on the Teaching Services, West Malaysia, repeated in 1976 by the then education minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Mahathir further reaffirmed the policy in his capacity as prime minister in 1998 when he announced that the government would continue consulting mission school authorities in appointing principals and teachers of mission schools.

“The appointment of the CBN principal is not only contrary to the government policy but has also given the impression that it is the government’s strategy to take over missions schools in total disregard for the status, ethos and special character of these schools especially CBN,” Pakiam was quoted as saying in the Catholic weekly publication, The Herald.

He had since appealed to the Director-General of Education Abdul Ghafar Mahmud to reconsider this decision and appoint an appropriately qualified principal who is nominated by the school owners.

‘Her race or religion is not an issue’

A CBN Old Girl who asked to remain anonymous told FMT the prime dissatisfaction revolved around the ministry breaking the longstanding agreement and bypassing the CBN board in appointing Zavirah.

“What usually happens is that the Catholic Education Council will submit the names of potential heads to the ministry,” she said.

“The ministry then has a dialogue with the nuns and the Council to determine the best candidate for the post. But they have often cheated with other schools whereby a head is appointed without maximum consultation.”

She added that the missionary was not notified of Zavirah’s appointment until she reported for duty last week and even then it was a senior teacher at CBN who alerted them.

Zavirah is also the school’s first Muslim head but the Old Girl stressed that Zavirah’s race and religion was less relevant than the fact that she was selected “from nowhere”.

“Five laypersons took on the role as CBN head after Reverend Mother St. Brede retired in 1976 and all five were appointed based on the maximum consultation policy,” she pointed out.

“We are not troubled that she is a Muslim only that the ministry chose its own candidate and failed to consult with the school owners on her appointment.”

But another CBN Old Girl raised concerns over the fact that this was noy an isolated case nor the first of its kind.

Also declining to be named, she said that various missionary schools in Teluk Intan and Setiawan now had heads who were single-handedly selected by the ministry.

“CBN is different because it is a flagship Catholic school,” she emphasised. “St John’s could be next and then that would be it.”

“The other schools have had their Catholic symbols eradicated. CBN has many such symbols and we worry whether Muslim heads would be comfortable being surrounded by them.”

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 - 6:07 pm

    Racialism rears its ugly head again.

  2. #2 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 - 6:22 pm

    Dis is step 1, testing, no resistance, then step 2, step 3, … etc, always baby elephant steps

  3. #3 by Taxidriver on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 - 6:46 pm

    Another sandiwara la. Najib will come to CBN’s rescue, not to worry. He will chia chia tell the ED. Ministry off and make a decision favourable and acceptable to CBN Board, thus giving the impression that UNMO/BN practise a policy of consultation. So, You help me, I help you la.

  4. #4 by DAP man on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 - 7:57 pm

    It seems the Catholic Church has just woken up after a 45- year slumber.
    I reckon the majority of the so-called mission schools in the country have been having Muslim heads for decades – appointments made without any consultation.
    In most of the schools, Christians symbols have been removed and in some schools replaced with Quranic verses.
    This appointment is part of a larger design to cause another Muslim-Christian controversy so that Utusan and UMNO can go to town to stir up some religious conflict and relish in Christian bashing.
    Yes, call it a sequel to ban on “Allah”, DUMC raid, police permit for caroling.

  5. #5 by Loh on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 - 8:00 pm

    ///(The Malaysian Insider) – Embattled PAS leader Datuk Hasan Ali has openly announced his willingness to accept any invitation from the prime minister to discuss uniting his party with Umno, claiming he would do so using Islam as his pillar.///-MalaysiaToday

    It is unity between UMNO as a party and a current PAS member who was formerly BTN officer. It might be easier to join UMNO based on past record in BTN.

  6. #6 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 - 9:09 pm

    This MOE and Muhyiddin is really Boh-liao (no substance!).

    In any case, the rot with MOE is so deep, I would be surprised if Malaysian secondary school system is ranked below the world’s top 1,ooo.

    Hello, Mooooooo…….. apo ni?

  7. #7 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 - 9:49 pm

    Mission schools used to produce some of the nation’s top scholars.

    Nowadays, the rot is so deep, they produce some of the worst termites.

  8. #8 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 - 10:19 pm

    May be have to start thinking of appointing non Muslims to be head of agama schools.

  9. #9 by Loh on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 - 10:22 pm

    ///KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — Prosecutors today dismissed allegations that Datuk Seri Najib Razak was responsible for the current sodomy charge against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, saying that the defence had “very little evidence” to support its conjecture.///–Malaysian Insider

    The prosecutors appear not to understand that when there is doubt, the case is off. Very little is the description given by the prosecutor, but the important word is evidence exists.

    How often does Najib meet with people who are not of normal college going age to discuss scholarship opportunity when Najib was a deputy PM who was not charged with officially approving scholarships? Of course as Deputy PM, he could misuse his authority. Meeting ordinary person to help on scholarship award is corruption, since scholarship award has to follow established procedures. Thus Najib was giving an excuse when who went out of his way to meet a person to hide the intention of the meeting. That meeting did not happen by chance. Saiful claimed that two days after meeting Najib he was sodomized. Whether Najib told Saiful to perform the act is anybody’s guess, but Saiful claimed that he partook in sodomy. It is possible that Najib did not ask Saiful to go through the act; the discussion might just be how a police report should be made, and how the so-called evidence might be created.

    Any thing can get into Saiful’s body if he wanted to. When sperms are found in Saiful’s anus, the person accused of putting that in must be seen to have done it. That might not be an act of sex.

    When there is no witness to sodomy, how can the words of the person who made police report which were not confirmed by another person be accepted? That is why Shariah court ask for evidence from four witnesses. Since the case cannot stand up in Shariah court, why did the government choose to have this case tried outside Shariah court? Was it to impress upon Malaysians that the government has the power to persecute through the choice of court?

    When different courts have different standard for justice, does the government tell the people there is no justice in the country?

  10. #10 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 - 10:24 pm

    Now, I too realize why the Chinese independent schools prefer to work the hard way to survive. Without any doubt the current educators have failed the nation; more than the ordinary teachers, we can conclude the majority of headmasters have failed miserably hence the quality of our local graduates! Only the smart ones could survive on their own and in spite of so many As being announced every year, we still dare not enter the PISA ‘tournamnet’ to test all our As at SPM level. We have leaders who think by taking over a well-known school with ‘selected’ head, teachers and load it with students, pressto all those linked to that school will suddenly become geniuses as proclaimed by Najib. They really believe that they can convince the world by just sloganeering, which sadly they have began to believe as real achievement. We need not wait, we all know the outcome!

  11. #11 by cseng on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 - 11:16 pm

    Her race and religion is not the issue, but an issue. The issue, however, is the insecurity of systemic invasion into space of religion freedom.

    Old Girl Association has the moral courage to fight for what is a right, hat off for you girls.

    Jit Sin Independence school has these few sentences carved on a stone, it sounds like this:-

    “Chinese identity lies on its culture, the culture lies on its education, the education fail or success lies on its human resources, whether those people performs their due diligent lies on their conscience”

    That is what Umno does not understand/appreciate, in longer term, it is the people’s conscience that determine the ‘bangsa’s survival. Political power and dominance are relatively temporary, political dominance could not survive the ‘bangsa’ thru longer term, proper education to nurture one’s conscience will.

    5000yrs of civilization proved that is right! Umno better learn from that stone.

  12. #12 by monsterball on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 1:23 am

    The reason the gave is that the Catholic Council cheats and so they step in.
    Our most honest and noblest government is working hard to upset Christians.

  13. #13 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 6:03 am

    To those who do REAL missionary work from ANY Faith, my hat off to you; but do remember that in the East, many of us have very long history in both faith [however you define it] and customary practices. If the Dear Creator had ever decided that those practices or Faiths are not to be tolerated, HE would have, of course vanish them long ago. HE does not need the egoist human to help HIM. There seems to be many pretending to be missionaries when their job is to educate the mind for the challenges of the 21st Century. How do you account for our failing education when we spend more money on education than many other nations in term of per capital? The answer is obvious; poor and below par teachers who want to make-up with other objectives when they cannot tackle what they are paid to do. Yes, we have so-called science graduates who can even teach mathematics in lower forms! One must be wondering what on what basis, the BSc was given? It appears nothing like like churning out the Proton Cars in our assembly line; well people will have no option but to buy them! No wonder the tuition teachers are flourishing everywhere; even at college level. A friend’s son refused a promotion in a private college because that would cause him to reduce his tuition hours! To the middle class, they still have the option but what happen to those parents who can’t afford it and depend on Gomen schools? Well since you have been voting them into office; you get what you planted! So Malaysians get real, if your children’s future is at stake today [ if you have not realize it], then be assure that your grandchildren have have to look for jobs overseas, no doubt but in Indonesia and Myanmar by 2025!

  14. #14 by trublumsian on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 6:52 am

    this is what happened more than a decade ago to smk convent in seremban, which had been churning out great achievers until the government came and mess things up – first they wanted to infuse more bumi students to the mix which dragged the overall standard like a lead ball, then they changed the name of the school to some malay name, then they moved the school to some outskirt of town so they can develop commercially the land where the original school sat on. been a brackish 3 foot stagnant water pond infested w/ mosquitoes since.

  15. #15 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 7:00 am

    Quote: Without any doubt the current educators have failed the nation; more than the ordinary teachers, we can conclude the majority of headmasters have failed miserably hence the quality of our local graduates!

    It is their ricebowl. Therefore they have to kau tau always. The big people want to see printed beautiful results all in black. Where got they want to see red ? Until the day they desire for genuine integrity, they will always be afraid and cheat themselves and others.

  16. #16 by undertaker888 on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 8:02 am

    When muck comes to their doorsteps only the catholics make noise. Today it is the school, tomorrow they will appoint them to the churches, tokongs and the kuils.

    Look at the bright side, maybe zavirah will convert to catholic after a while.

  17. #17 by k1980 on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 8:20 am

    //maybe zavirah will convert to catholic//

    You think zavirah has no brains one eh? You think she wants to be sacked from her RM8,000 a month principal’s job, and hounded like Linda Joyless?

    She wants to go down in history like the great Remus Rudd and Mat Salleh Ismail!

  18. #18 by k1980 on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 8:28 am

    Will Jibbi please answer the questions placed in the article below?

  19. #19 by isahbiazhar on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 8:42 am

    It seems the government helmed by Najib and his ministers do not learn by mistakes.They seem to rule the country on its whims and fancies to the favour of the fanatic Malay society rather than the liberal malays and the others.Any plan to do away with mission schools and mission aided schools will have drastic setback for the government as US had already branded Malaysia as a racist country.Perhaps Muhyydin should take a look at India where Muslim and Christian schools abound and not interfered by the government.For his information in India Christian and Muslim aided schools are highly thought of by the Hindus where schools are concerned.The few mission schools have uplifted the face of our national schools and they operate cheaply compared to MRSM and government boarding schools.It is time for the government to announce just before election that the government will allow mission schools to go back to the past as the taking over by Malay muslim principals have brought mediocre results and shoddy administration.Till today mission schools had proven throughout the world that they stand alone in quality.

  20. #20 by dagen on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 9:29 am

    Excuse me boys and girls. Keep quiet and listen carefully.

    The appointment of school HM is umno’s sole and exclusive ketuanan right. It is also, as you all ought to know well by now, an unquestionable right. That also means umno knows best. Isnt that beautiful. You see. We have the best democracy in the world. Because umno allows you to propose anyone to that important position (i.e. HM). You are free to propose anyone and more importantly, yes very importantly, umno does not limit the number of proposals. So you may put in two thousand names in your proposal, if that is desirable, and that will still be perfectly alright by umno. This is a special freedom. This freedom to propose (HM) is a necessary and vital part of our best democracy model; and you have that – right there inside your pocket. Remember this. Umno gave you that right.

    … huh, selection? Wat about it? Oh. Yg itu umno punya exclusive right. I said so, didnt I? Dont tanya. Police ISA-kan budak ni and have her citizenship revoked for asking this question – dia ni memang anti-agung, anti-sultan, anti-islam jenis umno, anti-gobermen, anti-melayu (actually umnputras), ungrateful, unpatriotic etc etc.

    Siapa lagi berani tanya banyak banyak? Huh?

  21. #21 by dagen on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 9:32 am

    This is muhideen’s effort to snub christians. This is his shallow method to demonstrate to all of us dia punya ketuanan power.

  22. #22 by monsterball on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 10:33 am

    This is to divert Malaysians attentions towards Anwar’s kangaroo court case…and Taib’s massive corruptions unconcerned by MACC…plus Nurul’s challenges to Najib.
    Concerning race and religion politics…leave it to these rouges and thieves.
    They are masters of this game.
    However…..more and more Muslims are sick of the UMNO b hypocritical acts.

  23. #23 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 10:41 am

    Well, MOE will replace ZMS with latuk HasanA, exBTN, as d principal of SMK CBN

  24. #24 by monsterball on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 12:18 pm

    Najib and his UMNO b goons are trying to copy PR by accusing….stirring up trouble.
    But their issues are nonsensical stuffs…like small boys quarreling.
    All can be seen and heard at their AGM speeches.
    When Mahathir said UMNO b is now in a good position to win the 13th GE…he is famous to twist and say the opposites.
    The more these low class politicians twists and tell half truths..the easier for Malaysians to decide how to vote.
    Malaysians are so sick of dirty politics…all cannot wait…the announcement date of 13th GE….and the longer it is delayed….with all their high and mighty speeches…the more UMNO b is exposing what great crooked hypocrites they are.

  25. #25 by monsterball on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 12:20 pm

    I am under moderation on every comment …then released and approved.
    Very frustrating indeed.
    Flow of thoughts always disrupted.

  26. #26 by k1980 on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 1:25 pm

    The following headlines are going to appear in the next few days–
    1. anwar found guilty and sentenced to 15 years
    2. 13 ge to be held in feb 2012
    3. saifool appointed vice-chancellor of universiti mala
    4. ezam appointed president of the senate
    5. jibbi declares himself pm-for-life

  27. #27 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 1:53 pm

    Muslim HM for CBN is a 2011 mujahidin achievement.

    Hip, hip…..hooray!

    And now soon mujahidin will appoint a muslim to be the catholic archbishop of malaysia.
    Then u will apply for police permits for church services, carolling, prayer meetings, visitation of the sick and aged.

    Wow! Everything is so easy in malaysia. The UMNO government is so concerned about all malaysians and want to spoonfeed everybody – pocketmoney for schoolchildren, $ vouchers for schoolbooks for students, Angpow for poor senior citizens and low-income group created by UMNO.


  28. #28 by k1980 on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - 2:48 pm

    Shahrizok is going to apply for another soft ‘loan” of RM250,000,000 in order to build a new school in Pineapple Hill next to CBN for her 3,000 cows.

  29. #29 by dagen on Thursday, 15 December 2011 - 9:04 am

    Eh mooo good move there. 1malaysia mah. Kita semua orang malaysia. Tak kira bangsa dan agama. Next move moo, how about a Catholic Brother as HM for sekolah agama?

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