Friday, July 26, 2013

Angry Parents Confront Kamalanathan

Photos by Kamal Sellehuddin

Kamalanathan (left, in dark suit) tries to placate angry parents at SK Seri Pristana on July 24, 2013. SUNPIX by Adib Rawi Yahya

On Wednesday, parents, protestors, politicians, reporters, Education Ministry bigwigs and NGOs converged at SK Seri Pristana, all eager to check out the "smelly venue for school recess" – read my blogpost two days ago. Even Deputy Education Minister II, P Kamalanathan, was compelled to visit the errant school twice in as many days. But this ‘hand-kissing’ politician tried vainly to brush off the parents' fury. His weak explanations did not satisfy anybody – there were "inconsistencies and self-contradictions in facts and events" surrounding the issue of non-Muslim primary school students being forced to eat their lunch in a washroom during ramadhan. Obviously he wasn’t too bothered about getting to the bottom of this brouhaha.

Then the school authorities put on a show for everybody to see – they “berbuka puasa” (break fast) at the same venue:

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And you might be forgiven if you assume the school was under a terrorist threat. Heavily armed police officers guarded the premise. Ptui! If this is not an overreaction, I don’t know what is!

Photo by Kamal Sellehuddin

On Thursday, the school shut down its makeshift dining room and re-opened the canteen! And it was all because of an outcry from one parent which snowballed into an artillery of protests.

Adrian Yeo Chartered Accountants cancelled their Toastmasters meeting yesterday and I went to the IEM Toastmasters meeting instead. I took part in Table Topics and I was even voted Best Table Topics speaker. I enjoyed the project speeches and evaluations too. This meeting scores a 7 over 10.

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