The newly formed DAP Indian Cultural Bureau has called for all parties to de-politicise education
GEORGE TOWN: Political parties in the country should stop politising education policies and aid provided to the poor.
The Penang DAP Indian Cultural Bureau chairman Harvinder Singh said an overdose of politics in such issues threatened whatever progress made to offer basic education to all Malaysians.
He said education should be open to all, and every poor student should be guided and helped.
“Aid or education policies should not be adopted by playing politics, or by relying on race or religion to polarise students here.
“We must separate education and politics if the country wants to move forward and compete on a global scale, ” Harvinder said, adding that if the poor can be helped in education then it is one way to overcome the widening income gap between the rich and the impoverished.
He said the same principle should be applied to aiding the Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools.
All should be helped irrespective of whether they are national or religious schools.
Harvinder was peaking to the media before presenting RM3,000 worth of aid to 10 students, who come from poor Indian families here.
The bureau, which was formed last year to help the poor and promote culture to the younger generation, raised the aid via a donation drive during the recent Thaipusam festival here.
Penang Umno Youth, however, disagrees with Harvinder’s stand on education.
The wing’s chief, Shaik Hussein Mydin, said Harvindar may have the best intentions, but as a whole, Pakatan Rakyat which manages Penang does not know the limits to its desire to politicise everything.
“Everything that Barisan Nasional does is evil and Pakatan can do no wrong. Isn’t that a plain and simple form of politicking?”
Shaik Hussein said it was Pakatan which first began to politicise education in this country by preying on the ignorance of Chinese and Tamil school activists over public policies on education.
It has reached a stage where Pakatan officials are heckled, intimidated or jeered upon, he said.
Shaikh Hussein pleaded with Pakatan to stop its constant politicking, as it comes at the expense of nation building and mutual respect.
“Whenever BN points out Pakatan’s shortcomings, the latter refused to admit it and instead threaten its critics with legal suits.”
How can a state be progressive if the government of the day refuses to heed criticism whether it is constructive or negative, he asked.
This leads to a belief that the present state government is afraid to accept criticism, he alleged.
“This is tantamount to having a dictatorial policy,” Shaikh Hussein said.