Relocation of Tamil schools from estates to nearby towns can never be an easy task. The bureaucracy drags its feet and shows no will to relocate and MIC “the guardians of Tamil schools” will never allow Tamil schools to get out of their clutches. The partially aided Estate schools continue to be partially aided even when they are relocated to town areas. The headmasters and many teachers who have served long in Tamil schools have become so subservient, fearful and compliant to MIC and BN.  They dare not ask what is rightfully theirs and resort to begging. They have no choice anyway. One headmaster told me that they have to repeatedly ask the same thing before it is approved.

The relocation of Yong Peng Tamil School from Sime Darby B estate to the Taman Sri Kota in the town proper started in 2009 is one such case. It is already March 2014, the school construction has stopped and not resumed for the last 6 months. Whenever the delay is questioned in Tamil newspapers,  the local MIC will quickly rebuff and deny the delay and accuse the questioner as trouble maker.  After 5 years the completion of this school is still mired in secrecy and false promises by the state MIC. Johor state MIC leaders have once again promised to complete and start enrollment by June 2014. There were other dates promised earlier. Is the latest promise possible or is it another empty promise to cover their incompetence?

Yong Peng state assemblywoman YB Choo Peck Choo asked a question in the Johor state legislative meeting about the reason for delay and when it will be completed. State executive councilor YB Md. Jais bin Sarday replied that the school should be completed by June 2014 even though the original target date was June 2013.

He further added that cost estimated to build the school was RM4161309. The funds to build came from Prime Minister’s Department providing  RM2000000, state government RM300000 and the Member of Parliament allocated RM20000 making up RM2320000. This leaves a balance of RM1841309 for MIC to raise and complete the school. The MIC dominated school building committee has written to PM Office asking for balance amount and awaiting reply. Other schools in the vicinity are all fully aided schools. I wonder why SRJK (T) Yong Peng not made a fully aided school.  The School building committee still owe the contractor about RM1 million. The school building can be estimated as 80% complete.

So relocating an estate Tamil school is encumbered with so many constraints and red tapes causing MIC to practically fall at the PM’s feet. So much so falling at the PM’s feet has become a tradition and they look forward to fall at every turn of event. PM and his ministers claim that RM580 million has been allocated to build and repair Tamil schools since 2009. Why the delay in relocating SRJK (T) Yong Peng?

At this rate the June 2014 completion dateline is another false promise. When is the new date? Many Tamil school registered children are now enrolling with the nearby Chinese and national schools. Numbers will drop further with every delay in completing the school. Is there a deliberate attempt to delay by BN. Policies and plans may show rosy picture but ground reality is another story.

Explore posts in the same categories: From the desk of Senator S Ramakrishnan

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