School gangsterism. Why blame students when some parents are also involved.

By AK Sellan

DPM Muhyiddin Yassin mentioned last week that there should be no compromise on gangsterism in schools. He is quoted as having stated  that ‘A cime is a crime and should be punished accordingly”. He also called upon parents and teachers to help the police combat this plague.

Now, what should we do if the parents themselves are gangtsers as is the case of certain PTAs of Tamils schools in Selangor?

After watching the video on YouTube called “PIBG meeting ruckus at Shah Alam” and hearing from people who attended the meeting last Saturday, it is clear that eliminating gangsterism in schools especially among Indian students is going to be a herculean task.

Now if some PIBG heads are thugs, running around the hall trying to assault another PIBG chairman over differences of  opinion, can we blame the children if they accept this as standard acceptable behaviour? Gangsters, sad to say, will breed gangsters.

The main antagonist in the above fracas is S Murali, the PIBG head of the Tun Sambanthan Tamil school at the Sekolah Wawasan Complex in USJ. He also claims to be President of Tamil Schools Assosciation of Selangor.

Perhaps it’s apt that the general non-Tamil speaking public be updated about what has been going on in SJK(T) Tun Sambanthan, USJ Subang that has many middle class families. I am fully aware of the situation as I had a child who had previously attended the Wawasan school.

Murali was the PIBG chairman and he literally “ruled the school”. The headmaster was powerless and the teachers either obeyed or were forced to do so. He and his cohorts would walk into any class and berate any teacher in front of the students. No one dared to question him.

Many police reports were made against this tough guy, Murali, mainly by parents and teachers of the Wawasan school. The school was his fiefdom and any dissent against his “rule” was neutralised either by “phone calls threatening physical assault” or a transfer to other schools. Many teachers have been transferred, even HMs. One teacher who was slightly courageous had an anonymous phone call describing exactly which apartment she stayed in and was told if she refused to play ball, she could be raped and thrown out of the balcony. The police reports did not amount to anything as he was said to have high political connections then.

S Murali was an MIC member then and was close to the top leadership at that time. His background as a “tough guy” went well with how MIC was managed. His services were called upon to manage MIC and MAIKA AGMs. He and his band of “tough guys” together with other muscle men provided by other tough guys would always ensure that meetings were “managed” well.

Then Murali had a fallout with Samy Vellu. This was among other things due to Murali’s assault of T Mohan, the current MIC youth chief, a blue eyed boy of Samy. The fissure widened and in 2007, the PTA of the school was suspended under the request of Samy Vellu. Murali was out in the cold having been stripped of his fiefdom..

But just before  2008 elections, this MIC BN discard switched parties to Keadilan but did not switch his ways. He continued to be the tough guy. Somehow, he and his cohorts managed to revive the PTA in 2009 and elections were held. This time there was competition for the post of chairman of the PTA including from a lady. This lady candidate, just before the elections, was assaulted with ‘curry powder”. Who was responsible was never established.

The fracas that broke out at the SUK hall on Saturday during the Selangor Tamil schools meeting was clearly pre-arranged  with many outsiders who were brought in to the scene. What was supposed to be an intelligent dialogue denigrated into a shouting match and resulted in another PTA chairman assaulted by Murali and his men.

Many of those who were near the podium in the video claimed to be Pakatan members. It appears that Pakatan leaders  condone such behaviour by allowing their pogrammes and initiatives derailed by their own kind. The party members lack discipline. Voters will be most shocked to see blatant thuggish behaviour in the name of “education”.

All this is being narrated to raise the basic question – If the PTA head himself is a gangster, how is the school going to prevent gangsterism? This, the government, in this case the Pakatan government, must answer as the culprit here is their party man.

The video clearly indicates assault and rioting. As our DPM had said, a crime is a crime and there should be no compromise. I hope Muhiyiddin would authorise a full scale investigation into the affairs of the Wawasan Tun Sambanthan Tamil school especially with regards to all those police reports made previously. Teachers and parents will have their prayers answered to the tyranny they have endured for so long.

We cannot continue tolerating a reign of terror in schools. It does not matter if they are students or parents or for that matter whether they are Pakatan or BN. Gangsterism in schools has to be eliminated.