by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 12.10.1987:
Call on parents of the affected primary schools not be affected by the threats from Police authorities as they will not breaking any law or committing any offence in withdrawing their children from the schools from 15th – 17 th October as protest.
The Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim’s ‘case by case’ formula announced on Saturday to review and resolve the controversy over the promotion schools tantamount to reaffirmation of the right of the Education Ministry to make such promotions. This had in fact been spelt out by Anwar in the New Sunday Times report yesterday, where he said the promotion and transfer exercise of non-Chinese educate teachers as administrators of Chinese primary schools will routinely continue “ with more care and consideration”.
Anwar also said in the New Sunday Times that it was not true that the Ministry had completely stopped the appointment of non-Chinese educated teachers to the Chinese schools as reported because it was a “continuing and flexible exercise”.
This probably explain why despite the Minister’s assurance to resolve the problem in early September when the incident first hit the Penang primary schools, the promotion have continued to other states , like Malacca, Federal Territory, Selangor, and reportedly in Perak, Pahang and Terengganu.
The people have also been giving contradictory information by the Education Minister, Deputy Education Minister, Woon See Chin and component Barisan Nasional parties on the issue. For instance, Woon See Chin had said that 36 of the 66 non-Chinese educated teacher in Penang had been reposted, but the Education Minister was reported in the Berita Minggu today as saying that only nine had been re-posted in Penang.
DAP reject the argument that the Education Ministry and government cannot openly admit to its mistakes, and should be given be given adequate time to resolve the issue. The statement by Anwar Ibrahim does not indicate that he or the Education Ministry is admitting that it had made a policy and administrative mistake, as it is in fact justifying the promotion and giving the notice that such promotion will continue in future – although with “more care and consideration”.
The DAP calls on parents of the affected primary schools in the country where the postings of non-Chinese educated teachers had taken place to respond 100% to the resolutions by Chinese organizations/political parties mass protest meeting at Tien Hou Temple by keeping their children at home in the three-day boycott of classes on 15th– 17 Oct. if this matter is not resolve by 14th.
The parent will not be breaking any law or commiting any offence by keeping their children in school, and they should not be affected by any threats by the police or the authorities.
If the people have no right to express their protest by withdrawing their children from schools, then the government cannot be said to be a democratic one.