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Friday, August 30, 2013

13 down, 12 to go in Seri Pristana; Wee wants harassment to stop

The harassment of non-Muslim pupils at SK Seri Pristana must stop as there are just 12 of them left from the original 25, said a former deputy education minister.
Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic) said due to the constant harassment of the pupils and arrest of a parent by the police, three pupils have already been transferred out by their parents with 10 more planning to follow suit.
"Out of the original 25 non-Muslim pupils in the school, there are now only 12 of them left," Wee said.
"This harassment must stop and action must be taken in order to prevent this 'exodus', otherwise it will be misconstrued as 'ethnic cleansing' by the school authorities.
"Our education system is not only meant to academically groom our young, but to instil a sense of being Malaysian," Wee said in a statement today.
The MCA Youth chief expressed his disappointment with the Selangor Education Department and the Education Ministry for deciding not to act against the headmaster as he "did not commit a crime" when he ordered his pupils to have their meals in the school's shower room.
Headmaster Mohd Nasir Mohd Noor had sparked public outrage when it was revealed that he had asked non-Muslim pupils to eat in the shower room during the fasting month.
"While Mohd Nasir can be given the benefit of the doubt in this aspect, there are other points which the authorities should act upon.
"They must look into the allegations of bullying, ostracisation and racial slurs by both teachers and pupils towards the whistleblower's daughter.
"Children of other parents who had lodged reports against the headmaster were also subjected to similar forms of bullying and insults, despite the headmaster denying such occurrences."
Wee said there was also the issue of a stranger being allowed into the school to take pictures of certain pupils who happen to be of one race.
"Who was this unidentified photographer and what did he intend to do with the photographs?
"What sort of guarantees can the school authorities give to ensure the photos are not misused?
"The public will want to know why a stranger was allowed into the school in the first place as it jeopardises their children's safety."
Wee also questioned why the headmaster allowed police to question the pupils without parental consent, knowledge or presence.
He said while the police claim that they had merely "interviewed"  the pupils, having uniformed personnel asking questions can be intimidating to young children.
"The children have rights and do not deserve to be questioned as though they are criminals," Wee added.

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