Media statement by Tony Pua Kiam Wee in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 21st August 2010:
Tan Sri Muhyiddin has set a ridiculous precedent of setting up a high-level taskforce to investigate allegations of racist remarks by a school principal and he will now have no choice but to set up a committee to investigate every such remarks
The Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has belatedly announced the set up of a taskforce specifically to investigate the allegations regarding highly racist remarks made by the principal of SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Siti Inshah Mansor, after remaining silent for 1 whole week since the incident.
The setting up of the investigation taskforce is clearly an afterthought by the Minister after the attempt by the ministry's Director-General Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom to waive away the issue by claiming that the issue has been "resolved" as it was due to a "misunderstanding" backfired when the public voiced their outrage at the cover up by the Ministry of Education.
Unfortunately, the public does not have any confidence at all that the taskforce will be able to produce a satisfactory outcome as the Minister himself has set the tone for the taskforce.
The above shows that the Deputy Prime Minister is not serious about getting to the bottom of this issue quickly and in such a way to demonstrate that the Ministry of Education will not tolerate any such serious offences by anyone under its payroll. The setting up of the taskforce is just meant to temporarily placate the furious parents and upset Malaysians while the Ministry buys time for itself to "resolve" the issue the second time.
However, the precedent of setting up such a taskforce of teachers or headmasters uttering racist remarks may just create a tidal wave of such taskforce for now there is a new case of a principal and teacher committing the same offence in a school in Sg Petani, Kedah. Will the Education Minister announce another taskforce to investigate these claims? Will more taskforces be set up as more such offences gets reported?
We call upon the Tan Sri Muhyiddin to stop pussyfooting over the issue and demonstrate his commitment to "1Malaysia" by condemning outright such remarks and giving a warning to all teachers and principals that those found guilty of doing so will be punished most severely including being sacked from the profession. If Tan Sri Muhyiddin still refuses to take quick action on the above, then it is imperative for the Prime Minister himself to take all necessary steps to hold together his fragile "1Malaysia" brainchild, if the concept still means anything to him.
* Tony Pua Kiam Wee, DAP National Publicity Secretary & MP for Petaling Jaya Utara