Directive to wear baju kurung: Unlike MCA, DAP
will not compromise on the issue
by Kerk Kim Hock
At a press conference arranged by the MCA two days ago, the school principal
of Sekolah Menengah Infant Jesus Covent, Datin Rahimah Ghazali, clarified
that the measure requiring all students to wear baju kurung on every Friday
was not a compulsory directive.
MCA leader Datuk Gan Boon Leong urged the parents not to be worried since
the directive was not compulsory and the students could decide whether to
wear baju kurung.
I am shocked that Datuk Gan and his entourage of leaders who had gone to
meet the principal had decided to compromise on the issue, instead of
insisting that the directive be withdrawn.
The crucial question is not whether the directive is being implemented in a
compulsory manner or by persuasion or encouragement. The issues are that the
not only the reason for the directive is unacceptable, the directive itself
is tantamount to hijacking the national education system revealed by the
Such a measure, which does not respect the sensitivity of the other
communities, will certainly be perceived and seen as an attempt to turn the
school into a Malay school. This has certainly deviated from the original
objective of why national schools are set up –to cater to all races.
Hence, DAP wall not compromise on the issue and we deplore the compromise
that the MCA leaders have made.
If a wrong measure can be accepted merely on the ground that it is to be
carried out by encouragement only , what is MCA’s stand if an extreme
principal, using religious ground, encourages non-Malay students not to wear
shorts when playing games or even not to play games?
If the principal does not withdraw the measure, I will bring the matter up
in the March Parliament. I will call on the Prime Minister to take the
necessary disciplinary action against anyone found to commit acts which
tantamount to hijacking of the national school system.
I hope that the Prime Minister, who is presently chairing the Committee to
review the national education system, will treat such hijacking by the
school principal with the utmost seriousness.
* Kerk Kim Hock,
DAP Secretary General and MP for Kota Melaka