KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng has lambasted the police today for advising a public school in Puchong to take down its Chinese New Year decorations, following a threat from Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra).
Speaking in his capacity as DAP secretary-general to the press, he added that the police’s advice to the school was not a Cabinet decision and that he cannot accept accusations that Chinese New Year is a religious celebration.
“The Chinese New Year celebration has nothing to do with religion. We are celebrating the new year. And we cannot accept the actions of a few parties playing up the sentiments of the decorations until the school was forced to bring it down,” Lim said.
“I was made to understand that the decorations were brought down upon police advice. I cannot accept such police actions, in a school where 80 per cent of the students are non-Malays. Even when we go to shopping centres there are Chinese New Year decorations.
“There’s no problem and there should not be any problem,” Lim added.
He pointed out that the police should never have cowered to the demands of outsiders and parties trying to play up unhealthy racial sentiments.
Furthermore, he added that schools fall under the jurisdiction of the Education Ministry and that the police should not issue such advice.
Lim pointed out that because of their actions, Chinese New Year celebrations could face a negative impact and might not be celebrated here anymore.
The finance minister said he will be accompanying Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to visit the school today.
On Monday, lawyer Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz, who is also vice-president of the fledgling Putra, threatened to file a police report against SMK Pusat Bandar Puchong (1) in Pusat Bandar Puchong for its “religious” Chinese New Year decoration.
The lawyer claimed the decoration to be “unconstitutional”. He further claimed that Muslim parents had complained about the decoration, which they see as an attempt to propagate a non-Islam religion to students.
Khairul later claimed the school principal, Rohani Mohd Noor, promised in an email reply to take down all the Chinese New Year decorations
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1 — Over 300 Muslim students gathered in a peaceful protest here today to simultaneously rally public support for jawi and demand the government ban Chinese educationist group Dong Zong for opposing plans to teach the script.
Clad mostly in white and with some donning headbands and black tengkolok, the students brandished placards and banners in Malay that variously said “Rise people, defend Jawi”, “Ban Dong Zong” and “Don’t challenge the Malays”.
The Malaysian Muslim Students Coalition (Gamis) organised the rally and students assembled at the Sogo shopping complex at 2:30pm.
Earlier, some 150 students assembled at the iconic Masjid Jamek and had intended to march to the Sogo shopping complex.
However, Gamis president Saifullah Baiduri advised them not to proceed as moving protests are expressly prohibited under the Peaceful Assembly Act.
Instead, the attendees made their way independently to the Sogo Shopping complex and assembled there.
Yesterday, Dang Wangi District Police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohd Fahmi Visuvanathan Abdullah confirmed that the rally organisers did not adhere with the requirements of the PAA and the event was consequently against the law.
At the rally today, Saifullah accused Dong Zong of “insolence” for purportedly opposing the inclusion of jawi lessons in the national school syllabus.
“We all love Malaysia, we love the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians but what Dong Zong did is insolence. What they did is against the Education Act, against the Constitution and what is worst, is at odds with all the Malay monarchs.
However, another speaker, Bangi PAS Youth chief Khairul Nadzir Helmi Azhar claimed the jawi issue to have been overblown by political parties for their own “selfish” ends, naming Opposition ally MCA and the ruling DAP as examples.
“The issue of three pages of jawi is a rather small matter but why the matter was overblown because certain quarters like the DAP and even MCA had used this small issue to draw the attention of the Chinese community to gain votes”.
He further claimed such parties were without dignity and only championed such issues “for the sake of political interest”.
“Do they know the consequences of doing so? If this continues, they will threaten national unity,’’ he added.
Local Muslim movement hit out at Dong Zong for allegedly perpetuating baseless fears against Islam. Its national deputy chairman Mohd Zai Mustafa said Dong Zong’s justification in opposing jawi lessons was “ridiculous”.
At the really, Saifullah read aloud Gamis’ demand that Dong Zong be banned, calling it an “extremist” group.
He accused the education group of disrupting national unity efforts and being against the Federal Constitution.
He said jawi must be introduced in vernacular schools and demanded respect for the national language.
Saifullah said a copy of Gamis’ memorandum will be sent to Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.