Enough is enough of Little Napoleons

By Thomas Lee Seng Hock, MySinchew

It surely comes as a big surprise that less than two weeks after the cabinet lifted the iniquitous illegal curb on non-Muslim religious clubs and societies that a Little Napoleon school head should unilaterally reject the application to set up a Chinese society in his school.

The Sin Chew Daily reported that parents of a school in Petaling Jaya are upset that its school head has rejected the application to set up a Chinese society in school.

A parent was quoted by the Sin Chew Daily that he had been fighting for the establishment of a Chinese society in his son’s school since February this year, but the school head did not give his approval even though there are Chinese language teachers willing to supervise the proposed society.

The Education Ministry has on 4 August 2010 revoked a decade-old directive compelling those who want to form non-Muslim clubs or societies in schools to first obtain its permission.

The federal government decision to revoke the directive came about following the public disclosure of several sham treatments of non-Muslim religious clubs and societies in several schools.

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, who was at the forefront in demanding for the removal all restrictions on the non-Muslim religious clubs and societies in schools, had contended that such a policy and practice were a direct contradiction of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia initiative to foster national unity among multi-ethnic Malaysians.

Kit Siang has pointed out that the discriminative policy is against Najib’s 1 Malaysia policy and the New Economic Model objective to educate a critical, creative and innovative generation of Malaysians

“What is the use of boasting about Malaysia as a model of ethnic, cultural, religious and biological diversity and Malaysia’s rich and unique cultural heritage when restrictions continue to be in place affecting the formation of non-Muslim societies in schools?” Kit Siang had asked.

Following widespread discussion and debate on the issue, with heightened political and social pressures, the federal government finally conceded to the public demand and revoked the controversial directive.

The month-long controversy was resolved about two weeks ago when the cabinet ordered the Education Ministry to withdraw the directive. Is it truly resolved?

Yet, one obstinate school head has been reported this week to be flexing his Little Napoleon muscles to abuse his authority to prevent the formation of a Chinese society in his school.