Bandar Utama primary school: When his mum didn’t pay the PIBG fee…

Summary of Incident

The incident at the Bandar Utama school may have irked a lot of parents, but the truth is this appears to be perennially happening in the Chinese schools.

The single mother’s failure to pay the fees has resulted in her child being caned 12 times.

…the school’s PIBG chairperson, Loh Tian Hong openly admitted it on both 8TV and nTV7. Using a worn out cane, he demonstrated how the caning was done on the boy, albeit gently.

2 July 2017


Pay up or be caned – who are the real victims?


Stephen Ng

COMMENT | A recent TV news report about a boy at a Chinese primary school in Bandar Utama who was caned for not paying up his parent-teacher association (PIBG) and security fees has opened up a can of worms in the perennial problem of fees collection.

While both Deputy Ministers, P Kalamanathan and Chong Sin Woon had over the last week said that the fees are not compulsory, the letters written by the PIBG often do not carry a statement of disclaimer: “All fees, donations and contributions are not compulsory. Parents can opt not to pay, but any amount is welcome.”
This would ease any form of pressure especially on teachers, parents and in this particular case, the child, who had become the silent victim.

What happened at the Bandar Utama school serves as a good example for all teachers and parents that any form of contributions should not be coerced.

Various Chinese papers and both 8TV and nTV7 flashed the stories. This was highlighted by representative of Persatuan Jaringan Ibubapa Pencinta Pendidikan Bahasa Zhong Hua (Jia Zhong), Edward Neoh.

The single mother’s failure to pay the fees has resulted in her child being caned 12 times.

On the same night, I was told that the mother was allegedly persuaded by the headmistress not to expose the incident to the press. The teacher also cried over the phone to the mother claiming that there was a death in the family.

An apology had apparently been tendered by the school, but concerned parents who came to know about the single mother’s plight decided to be the whistleblowers.

In one parent’s opinion, the PIBG fund should be utilised to help such families, but to cane the child for his parent’s failure to pay the fees, is simply uncivilised.

According to my sources with children in the same class, this warning of caning 12 times had been given a week earlier by the teacher concerned.
It is not that the PIBG has no money. According to a financial statement that I sighted, there was a total of RM703,102.76 as at 31 December 2016.

30 June 2017

Jun 30

Caning for paying PTA fees late: Parents’ groups shocked

July 1, 2017

PAGE says it is not compulsory for parents to pay PTA fees.

PETALING JAYA: Parents’ groups are baffled by a China Press report that students from a primary school here were given 12 strokes of the cane over alleged late payments to the parent-teacher association (PTA).

According to the Chinese daily, the students from a Chinese school in Damansara here were punished after they failed to settle miscellaneous PTA fees.

Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) chairman Mak Chee Kin said it was hard to believe that students were caned for such a reason.

“If it is true, then I think the school has gone overboard,” he told FMT.

Mak also questioned whether parents of the students involved in the alleged incident had spoken to the school about their finances.

Schools, he argued, could probably allow for a little leeway if they were aware that parents were not doing well financially.

Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said that such fees were merely a contribution and it was not compulsory for parents to fork out money for it.

“PIBG fees is a donation; it is not a school fee. And not everyone can afford to pay,” she said, referring to PTA in its Malay acronym.

National Parent-Teacher Association Consultative Council (PIBGN) president Mohamad Ali Hassan said that caning students over the alleged late payment was cruel.

“The PTA should instead care more about the students’ welfare,” he said, adding PTAs had a task to help students who have financial problems.

* Afiqah Farieza contributed to this article.

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