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Media statement by Tony Pua Kiam Wee in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 7th November 2010:

MCA's futile attempts in its call for action against school principals and teachers for racist, insensitive and inappropriate behaviour highlights its complete irrelevance in the Barisan Nasional Government

We would like to commend MCA for being quick to the draw to demand for action and punishment against the recent cases of racist, insensitive and inappropriate behaviour by some of our school principals and teachers.

In August 2010, Datuk Chor Chee Heung who himself is the Minister of Housing and Local Government had called for the school principal in Bukit Selambau who used racist remarks against some non-Muslim students to be "punished to set an example to everyone".

MCA's spokesperson and deputy publicity chief, Loh Seng Kok has publicly called for the school principal of Kulai's SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Siti Inshah Mansor to be "severely disciplined" for making derogatory and racist remarks against Indian and Chinese students just before the Bukit Selambau case.

Similarly, at the end of September, Loh had asked the Public Service Department to take action against the Deputy Director of the National Civic Bureau (BTN), Hamim Husin claiming that "shameful for a public servant employed to train upcoming civil servants to use derogatory, stereotypical terms that offended the Chinese and Indian communities... If necessary, the police should also charge Hamim under the Sedition Act. It is time to put a halt to the arrogance and intolerance of bigots."

However, despite their concerns raised since August on the racist principals issues in Kulai and Bukit Selambau as well as the BTN Deputy Director, no definitive action appears to have been taken by the Barisan Nasional government. The Minister of Education himself Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin abdicated from his responsibility to take action by delegating it to the Public Service Department, claiming that he is "powerless".

The Speaker of Parliament had rejected a motion by Lim Kit Siang to debate the issue on the issue nearly a month ago claiming that action has already been taken by the Government against the principals.

Until today, Malaysians have not been given a straight answer on the actions taken and punishment meted out to these culprits who are not only poisoning the minds of our young Malaysians, but are among the root cause of national disunity and racial intolerance in the country.

Even last month when the Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister announced at the UMNO Annual General Meeting on implementing the compulsory pass policy for History at SPM level, Loh had expressed concern that "distrust can be bred if History textbook contents are incomprehensive but emphasise racial superiority while negating the contributions of other races, or downplaying other worldwide civilisations."

Hence when Loh Seng Kok once again called yesterday for the Education Ministry to act against a Sarawak primary school for enforcing a halal food policy, it proves that MCA is now officially reduced to trying to meekly voice its views from the outside because it is completely ineffective and marginalised on the inside of the Government.

One could almost be forgiven for forgetting that the MCA is actually the 2nd largest component party of the ruling Barisan Nasional Government. What is perhaps most damaging is the fact Loh seems to have himself forgotten the fact that MCA Youth Chief, Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong holds the position of a Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Education.

MCA should perhaps stop whining like a kitten which lost its mom and start acting on the above critical issues like it is part of the Government. Instead MCA must answer to the Malaysian public at large as to why it has been rendered completely ineffective and irrelevant in ensuring that proper actions be taken against public servants guilty of creating unrest through racist and insensitive behaviours.

* Tony Pua Kiam Wee, DAP National Publicity Secretary & MP for Petaling Jaya Utara



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