MCA and Wee Ka Siong are urged to examine their attitude and ways of handling Chinese education issues, which have driven the rakyat’s anger and frustration to a boiling point

No Pakatan leaders was asked, or even allowed, to speak at the rally. We attended as guests and participants. 

Teresa Kok  

The accusation made by MCA Deputy Youth Chief Mah Hang Soon against Pakatan Rakyat (PR) that “indirectly contributed to the heckling and an alleged attempted assault against its leader Wee Ka Siong during the Sunday rally on Chinese education” (Malaysiakini 26 March 2012) is totally absurd.  

I would like to unequivocally stress that PR does not condone violence of any nature against anyone, at any point in time, even during public rallies. PR however believes in the rakyat’s rights to vocalise their displeasure with any administration body, even if it is that of state governments and agencies led by PR.

The above quoted comments and allegations made by MCA Youth Deputy Chief Mah Hang Soon is merely an attempt by MCA to cover up the embarrassment Wee Ka Siong faced at the rally on Sunday (25 March 2012) and, as always the tactic of the ruling parties, they are now trying to shift blame to DAP and Pakatan leaders. 

This transfer of responsibility is indeed a futile attempt because firstly PR was not the organiser of Sunday’s rally. Secondly, the presence of PR leaders was courtesy of an invitation from Dong Jiao Zong (DJZ) and we were there to support the issues championed by DJZ, such as the acute shortage of teachers faced by all Chinese vernacular schools (SJKCs) throughout the country. No Pakatan leaders was asked, or even allowed, to speak at the rally. We attended as guests and participants. Therefore our capacity was limited in intervening when the participants vented their frustrations, disappointments and anger towards Wee Ka Siong.  It is now clear that these frustrations led to DJZ organising such a big rally, which was attended by over 10,000 people.

Despite this, I reiterate that PR did not instigate violence against anyone at the rally. We did not encourage, support or condone the actions of those who tried to harm Wee Ka Siong. As guests at the function, we too were shocked at the reaction and did not anticipate the incident.

At the same time, we were not expecting Wee Ka Siong to turn up at the rally and were surprised at the crowd’s reaction when he did, despite understanding the long-held frustrations of the people. Perhaps it is so much clearer now that the community of those who want to see vernacular schools treated fairly has increased tremendously and their demonstrative anger has been fuelled by the government’s inaction and inconsiderateness.  

I would like to urge Wee Ka Siong, Mah Hang Soon and all MCA leaders to examine themselves for the way the Education Ministry and the Barisan Nasional government have handle various issues related to vernacular education, such as the way they have neglect the accumulated problems of shortage of Chinese-educated teachers in SJKCs, which occurs year after year. 

Could this not be the reason why the Chinese community and Chinese educationists are so angry with those above? Furthermore, the anger of these communities are only going to be aggravated now that MCA is diverting the real issue of education woes by blaming Pakatan leaders for the embarrassment the government faced yesterday.

It is high time that MCA leaders reflect on their mistakes and adopt some humility in apologising for failing the Chinese and vernacular education. Should MCA be unable to see this, perhaps Wee Ka Siong should resign over his failure as Deputy Education Minister.