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‘We can’t act against ‘racist’ HM’

Contributed by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 02 @ 08:17:27 CST

Athi Shankar | March 2, 2011
Unless and until a federal directive is issued, headmaster who called parents of schoolchildren 'pariahs' during assembly remains scot-free. JAWI: The district education office here can only probe into accusations of racism against a headmaster if and unless there was a federal directive. District education officer Mohd Ghazali Abu Bakar said his department could not simply investigate the allegations on its own without such directive. “It’s an administrative procedure,” he told FMT. Ghazali was responding to police reports lodged against SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman headmaster Ng Tong Koang, 56, for allegedly using the word ‘pariah’ during assembly.

Ng has allegedly used the word on Monday to tick off parents of the schoolchildren for regularly making a prohibited U-Turns outside the school. “I have been telling your parents not to make the illegal U-Turns. Why are your parents not listening? “Are your parents pariahs?” Ng allegedly asked the stunned children. Separate reports were lodged at the Nibong Tebal police station in the past two days by state MIC Youth chief J Dhinagaran and Hindraf Makkal Sakti’s Nibong Tebal deputy chief P Murugan. Ghazali explained that the federal education department, acting on press reports, would issue directives, if need be, to district departments to probe any such incidents. “The district office then would act on the directive and investigate. We will recommend appropriate action based on our findings,” he said. Shocked by allegations His department has yet to receive such a directive but Ghazali assured a thorough investigation once a directive had been issued, which he expects to be soon. Ghazali nevertheless said he was shocked by the allegations against Ng especially when a federal circular recently cautioned principals and teachers against racial controversies. Ng, in the meantime, had already offered a public apology before teachers and pupils over the incident at a special assembly on Tuesday morning. On Monday evening, Ng had also apologised to MIC state youth chief Dhinagaran and four other party colleagues for uttering the disparaging word. Ng told the MIC team, when they met him at his school office, that he did not mean to insult Indians or any other community for that matter. However, Ng’s apology, was not accepted by Hindraf Makkal Sakti’s Murugan, who said the headmaster could have used any other word to chide the parents. He demanded the education authorities take stern action the principal. “Ng’s use of the pariah word is a direct consequence of Interlok,” said Murugan.****Reports lodged against racist HM
Athi Shankar | March 1, 2011
The controversy over the novel Interlok may be rekindled after a headmaster used a derogatory word during school assembly. NIBONG TEBAL: The controversy over national laureate Abdullah Hussain’s Interlok novel is not over yet. A school headmaster here has sparked a fresh public row over the demeaning word “pariah”. SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman headmaster Ng Tong Koang, 56, has allegedly used the word to tick off parents of the schoolchildren for making a prohibited “U-Turn” at a nearby traffic light. Ng has allegedly used the word during a morning school general assembly yesterday. Two reports have been lodged against Ng over the past two days at the Nibong Tebal police station. One was lodged by state MIC Youth chief J Dhinagaran yesterday morning and the other by Hindraf Makkal Sakti’s Nibong Tebal deputy chief P Murugan. Murugan claimed Ng had told the students at the assembly that their parents were recalcitrant for flouting traffic rules by making prohibited dangerous U-Turns at a traffic light junction just outside the school. Ng allegedly told the students that making “illegal U-Turns” were dangerous, especially when schoolchildren are crossing the road. “I have been telling your parents not to make the illegal U-Turns. Why are your parents not listening? “Are your parents pariahs?” he allegedly asked to the stunned children at the assembly. Ng’s alleged use of the word “pariah” word angered Indians in the neighbourhood as the news spread via whispering campaigns and mobile text messages. State-sponsored racism Accompanied by several local Hindraf activists, Murugan also submitted a copy of his police report to the Seberang Perai Selatan district education office in Jawi. He wants the district education officer to take stern action against Ng. He also called on the state education department to issue a circular to all schools in the state to avoid repeat of such incidents. Murugan said that Ng’s utterance of the derogatory word was a direct result of the introduction of Interlok novel in schools. Hence, he said that Hindraf’s anti-racism campaign was crucial to halt further polarisation of Malaysians along racial lines. “The state-sponsored racism has definitely spread to the schools. “As a headmaster, Ng should have realised that the word would stir racial sentiments,” said Murugan. When contacted, Dhinagaran told FMT that Ng has admitted to uttering the word at the assembly and apologised to him and his party colleagues at the school office yesterday afternoon. “We have expressed our aversion to him and he was apologetic. He said he did not mean to insult Indians or any other communities. “He only wanted to use a strong word to scold the stubborn parents,” said Dhinagaran. Ng was unavailable when contacted for comment. Similarly, attempts to contact the district education officer were futile as the office line was always busy.



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