What kind of nation is Malaysia, that they would stop orphans from going to school? This is what the Headmistress of SJKT Ladang Linsum in Seremban, A.Gracy, has done. At the behest of, she offers as her excuse, The State Education Department headed by a Mr.Abdul Hakim. This news, for those who disbelieve that such madness still goes on in Malaysia, was reported in The Star, a mainstream newspaper.
The Education Minister, Mr.Muhyiddin Yassin, is away on an extended tour of Sarawak trying to gain new voters, while failing his existing ones. Whatever he is fit for, he is not a fit person to head the Education Ministry.
The children, 8 of them, have been stopped from going to school since February 24th. Three of them are orphans. They range in age from seven to twelve. They are all of them ethnic Indians, members of Malaysia's poverty-stricken, marginalised minority.
None of them have birth certificates, a common problem among poorer sections of the Indian community. The children, despite their lack of a birth certificate, are unmistakably Malaysian. Their parents (of the five lucky enogh to have them), are all Malaysian citizens, but this does not matter to an uncaring authority. They have callously proceeded to bar the children from school, while their applications for birth certificates are considered by the National Registration Department. The NRD, is not known to make quick decisions, when they make decisions at all.
Ms.Gracy says she will be fined RM 1,000 per child by the State Education Department if she allows the children into school. She will not let them in. The children are stranded outside the gates. Incredibly, it is a Tamil school! They will not take a risk, even for their own. We are sickened to see such sorry educators like Ms.Gracy, in charge of entire schools.
The total fine to be levied on her if these children were let into school, is RM12,000. We would like to see the Education Department, try and collect it. There is no law that allows them to impose or collect, such fines. But it will take some educator who is more concerned for her students, than herself, to stand up to the petty tyrannies of Mr.Muhyiddin Yassin's Education Department.
And where is the MIC, the supposed representative of the Indians in the Barisan Nasional? No MIC politician, nor the MIC itself, has offered to pay the fine or solve the problem, although it is the Barisan Nasional that rules in Negeri Sembilan.
And it is the Barisan Nasional, aided by the MIC, that is responsible for the Dickensian plight of these poor children.