by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Member of Parliament for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, on Friday, 13th July 1979:
Kit Siang calls on Ministry of Education to take note and resolve the widespread and deep-seated unhappiness and even anger of parents and people in Serdang Lama at the principal of the Kung Min Chinese primary school in Serdang Lama
When I visited Serdang Lama in the course of my constituency tours yesterday, I was shocked to find the widespread and deep-seated unhappiness and even anger of the parents and people of Serdang Lama with the principal of the Kung Min Chinese primary school, to the extent that the people wanted to launch a mass petition to the Education Ministry against the principal.
I am shocked because in my 14 years of public life, this is the first time I have come across such widespread and deep-seated public feelings against the principal of a school.
The people and parents in Serdang Lama complained that the principal of the Kung Min Chinese primary school is indifferent to the education of the students, and that educational standards had fallen drastically since the principal’s take over of the school a few years ago. Public confidence in the principal and, as a result, the school, have been so badly damaged that more and more parents in Serdang Lama are not enrolling their children in Kung Min Chinese Primary School, but in primary schools in other areas although this caused great inconvenience and even hardship.
The parents also complained that the principal is indifferent to the welfare of the children, as happened in these few weeks, when he did nothing to stop the students from playing in the rain during heavy rain, when the students came out of the classes because of leaky classrooms and played instead in the rain. As a result, the students got wet all over, with a few falling sick.
This is a very serious state of affairs, and which should get the urgent attention of the Education authorities and the principal concerned, because this total lack of confidence and even trust in the principal cannot continue if the children’s education are not to suffer. There are many other complaints which I do not propose to disclose at present. What I am concerned to see is that the parents’ commendable concern about their children’s education should be respected and given proper attention.
The problem can be solved either by the Education Ministry taking action, or the principal heeding the unhappiness and grievances of the people of Serdang Lama, and removing the sources of their complaints.
The Board of Management of the School, and the Parents’-Teachers’ Association, should convene urgent meetings to deal with this grave problem.
I hope that the relevant authorities will give this matter serious attention, as otherwise, it is clear that the public frustration and anger will escalate into some drastic, which should be avoided.