GEORGE TOWN: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has slammed an event at a secondary school in Putrajaya which saw students singing the Umno song and waving the party’s flags.
He likened it to the kind of reception usually given to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Lim said Umno seemed to have treated schools as their “private properties”, using them as political tools to spread their agenda.
“I do not understand how teachers can bring politics into the classroom. This is wrong. This has never happened in the history of Malaysia’s education system.
“Singing party songs, slogans… this is akin to brainwashing the innocent minds of young schoolchildren.
“This only happens in North Korea. Are we going towards North Korea… where schools are used as indoctrination camps?” Lim asked in a press conference in Komtar today.
It was reported that hundreds of teachers and students of the Sekolah Kebangsaan Putrajaya Presint 14(1) took part in a class decoration and performance competition which carried the theme “Umno and independence #Negaraku”.
Umno flags were evident in the school compound, while students waved small flags and sang the Umno song.
At one point, according to the report, a banner with the words “Hidup Umno, Hidup Melayu. Dulu, Kini dan Selamanya” (Long live Umno, long live the Malays. Then, now and forever) was displayed on stage.
A video on the event showed the students waving Umno flags, singing the party song and shouting slogans when ushering Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor who was there to give away prizes to winners of the competition.
In his speech, Tengku Adnan had urged the teachers to join Umno.
The explicit display has drawn sharp criticism from some sections of the public.
Some of the decorations made by the students also included Umno cakes and other Umno-themed memorabilia.
Lim said stern action must be taken against the school’s headmaster for allowing such events to take place.
“This is a gross misuse of power. Strict action must be taken against the headmaster and he must be barred by the Education Department (from serving further).”
In the video, Tengku Mansor, who is also Umno secretary-general, told the students and teachers gathered that their school was an example of “the best school in the country”.
He also urged teachers to join Umno’s Youth and Puteri wings, and contest in party elections to become leaders.
The Peninsular Malay Students Federation president Zamri Mohd had said that there was nothing wrong with the event, as it served to remind people of Umno’s contributions to the country’s independence.
“The teachers and students were not forced to carry out the programme, they had no problem with it and sang the Umno song with enthusiasm.
“The event was merely to celebrate independence and a historical fact.”
Parent Action Group for Education (Page) chief Noor Azimah Rahim, however, urged the Education Ministry to reprimand the principal for allowing the school to be used for political purposes.
Noor Azimah Rahim said the principal was supposed to protect the school against abuse by politicians, but it was obvious the children were turned into political tools.-FMT NEWS-