Musa is insisting that the inquiry committee, headed by Datuk K.J. Ratnam, should restrict itself to the 197 schools first publicly listed by the National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) as practising racial segregation of students in response to his public challenge, and not to include another 700 schools whose names had been publicly withheld by the NUTP but which had already been submitted to the Education Ministry.
Musa said last Wednesday when announcing the establishment of the Ratnam Committee that it will only investigate the 197 schools initially identified by the NUTP while the other 700 schools, whose names had been withheld by the NUTP to “avoid finger-pointing among school heads and teachers who might not be at fault” (to quote the NUTP secretary-general Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam) would be dealt with separately by the Education Ministry.
This is a most illogical and indefensible decision, reflecting a totally unprofessional and unscientific approach to the long-standing pernicious practices of racial segregation of students in some ten per cent of the schools in the country, which runs counter to the 44-year nation-building policy, the National Education Policy to create a united Malaysian generation and the Vision 2020 concept of a Bangsa Malaysia.
Can Musa give any good rationale as to why the Ratnam Committee is allowed only to investigate into the initial list of 197 schools named by NUTP and not the full list of 900 schools which it has finally compiled?
Such an illogical, irrational and unprofessional restriction on the terms of reference of the Ratnam Committee raises the question as to whether the Education Minister is really serious in wanting to get to the bottom of the outrage and scandal of the long-standing pernicious practices of racial segregation of students in schools or whether Musa is establishing the Ratnam Committee out of pique because the NUTP could take up his challenge, explaining the irrational restriction of the inquiry to the initial NUTP list of 197 schools instead of all the some 900 schools finally compiled.
The Cabinet on Wednesday, meeting for the first time this year, should remove the illogical and unprofessional restriction on the Ratnam Inquiry Committee on racial segregation in schools to only 197 schools and extend it to all 900 schools named by NUTP, as well enlarging its time-frame from eight weeks to six months, to enable it to do a thorough and comprehensive job.