Muhyiddin's 'order' to Tamil teachers shallow

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On Tuesday incumbent Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin met Tamil school teachers and headmasters from all over Malaysia at SRJK (T) Simpang Lima, Klang. Teachers from all over Malaysia had left their teaching responsibilities and their students to do their own work and had to travel to Klang just to be ordered to support BN in the forthcoming general election.

He further reminded them not to make any anti-government statements in Facebook and other social media and not say anything negative about the government. He had also ordered them to vote for BN in the forthcoming general election.

Voting is a democratic choice of a citizen. The incumbent DPM has no business to order anybody to vote for a particular party. Besides, it is secret and nobody will know whom anyone votes for.

Muhyiddin Yassin is no longer the education minister to issue such undemocratic orders that restrict the citizen’s right to vote for his/her choice of candidates in the coming elections. As a caretaker minister his business is to conduct only ordinary matters of administration and not to abuse the government machinery by subtly ordering teachers and other government servants.

Isn’t it a waste of government money and abuse of power to have called for such a meeting for political purposes?

After losing the two-thirds majority in Parliament and four states to Pakatan Rakyat, BN is superficially courting Indian votes by making promises on more handouts to Tamil schools. Muhyiddin Yassin is duty bound to explain how education quality has improved in Tamil schools during his tenure in the ministry.

What structural reforms has he made to include the Tamil school’s development into the mainstream of our education framework? Umno will never accept vernacular education into the mainstream of the education system. But MIC will bend over backwards to accommodate and tolerate Umno’s step-motherly attitude.

Indian contractors who had submitted quotations for tenders on renovation work in Tamil schools are disgusted at the education ministry’s flip-flop policies and procedures. Can Muhyiddin Yassin inform the Indian Malaysians how much of the RM100 million announced by the prime minister in the 2012 and 2013 budgets have been delivered to schools and given to Indian contractors?

There has been no information and transparency in this allocation announced by the prime minister. Umno/BN has deprived Tamil schools and Indians of their equal opportunity for facilities and scholarships.   

Can Muhyiddin Yassin reveal why nearly 65 percent of Tamil school students go to remove classes? What has the Education Ministry done to reduce this figure? Most remove class students drop out before completing secondary school. 

Did Muhyiddin Yassin call for urgent meetings to resolve this issue? Removing remove class without addressing the weakness in syllabus content will only transfer the problem to Form One. Education Ministry officers have no clue or rather will and wish to handle this issue.

For the information of Muhyiddin Yassin, Indians are no longer BN’s fixed deposit. Indians want equal rights as citizens of this county. Is that agreeable to you? Will you redress this denied justice and these rights of the Indian Malaysians?

Election gimmicks are observable and people are today more aware of the parochial and racist traits of Umno/BN. Perhaps at least one term as the opposition party might transform Umno/BN into a more inclusive party for all.   

S RAMAKRISHNAN is a former senator.

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