Press Statement by Karpal Singh in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 27th October 2008:

End of La Salle Brothers' era regrettable

The end of the La Salle Brothers' era next year brings to an avoidable step in the wrong direction. From next year, St Xavier's Institution, Penang will be the last to see a government servant heading the institution. it is most unfortunate that the government has embarked on a regrettable step to provide for government servants to head La Salle Brothers' schools in the country. La Salle Brothers have contributed immensely to education in the country. In fact, they were in the forefront to educate even the grandfathers of some of the present leaders of the country, among whom is Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak, a pupil of St John's Institution, Kuala Lumpur. Introduction of government servants to head La Salle Brothers' schools is certainly an unkind cut which can be, and should be, avoided. The services of the La Salle Brothers are certainly needed. It will be difficult to provide the leadership of the La Salle Brothers. Government servants are far from suited to step into the shoes of La Salle Brothers whose commitment to the cause of education in the country is unprecedented.

I cannot understand why the noble and admirable era of La Salle Brothers requires to be ended. I call upon Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak, the Prime Minister in waiting, to spring into action, Lie should have the clout to put right, what is obviously wrong, to ensure the continued existence of La Salle schools throughout the country. This is the least he can do to acknowledge the debt of gratitude he owes to his former alma matter. I also call upon Tun Dr Lirn Keng Yaik, Dato' Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Dato' Seri Leo Moggie, all of whom benefited from a La Salle education, to pit in their efforts in whatever way they can to ensure the La Salle Brothers' era does not come to undeserving end. There is no acceptable reason for the introduction of government servants to head La Salle institutions. The country should show gratitude to the La Salle Brothers' who have sacrificed immensely in providing for education of high quality to so many in the country.

* Karpal Singh, DAP National Chairman & MP for Bukit Gelugor