"Close down Tamil school" - Police must take action against Kayneas
by Raymond Chong
I challenge MIC Youth to lodge a police report against Housing and Local
Government Deputy Minister Datuk M. Kayveas' remark that Tamil primary
schools should be closed down since MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu
had stated that such statement by Kayveas is in violation of the law
Although Samy had said that he would bring the matter to the Cabinet for
discussion, the fact that he had also insisted that Kayveas' statement is
highly sensitive and seditious, the matter should be handed over to the
police to investigate.
Sin Chew Jit Poh reported on Thursday an interview with Kayveas wherein he
said that Tamil primary schools should be closed down because it is
difficult to develop human talents for the country.
On the same day, DAPSY leaders lodge a police report at the Tun H.S. Lee
police station urging the police to investigate and take action against
Kayveas for his seditious remark.
According to Article 152(1)(a) of the Federal Constitution, "no person shall
be prohibited or prevented from using (otherwise than for official
purposes), or from teaching or learning, any other language."
By calling for the closure of Tamil primary schools, Kayveas had violated
one of the four highly sensitive matters entrenched in the Federal
Kayveas later dismissed the allegations of DAPSY as baseless and even
claimed that he had never made such a statement.
I respect Kayveas' right to justify his statement and right to legal action
if indeed it is true that he had not uttered such remarks. Nevertheless,
whether or not the accusations against him are baseless is a matter that
should be left to the police to investigate.
I consider that BN leaders lack sensitivity in matters pertaining to a
plural society to the extent of causing unnecessary concern amongst certain
segments of society. This is because at the UMNO Youth assembly in June
2001, a resolution expressing objection to the building of new Chinese and
Tamil primary schools was adopted. In November 2002, UMNO Youth Education
Bureau Chairman Dr. Adham Baba urged the government to close down Chinese
primary schools due to "extreme prejudice amongst chauvinist Chinese
educationists." Now, in 2003, Kayveas has called for the closure of Tamil
All these incidents show that Barisan Nasional do not respect mother tongue
education as a part of universal human rights and do not respect the right
of the people to mother tongue education. Finally, I urge the police to take
the DAPSY report seriously. The reason DAPSY had lodged such a report
against Kayveas is because we want to defend and uphold the constitutional
guarantee of mother tongue education and we consider the police to be the
vanguard in the protection of basic fundamental rights.
* Raymond Chong,