Lee Long Hui
6:55PM May 20, 2012
More than 5,000 people attended a peaceful assembly at Kuantan today to urge the government to set up a Chinese independent high school in the Pahang state capital.
The one hour gathering was organised by the Pahang Federation of Chinese Schools Management Board to request that a branch of the Chong Hwa Independent High School in Kuala Lumpur be set up here.
The speakers were the Pahang Federation of Chinese Schools Management Board chairperson Lim Chin Chee (right), Federation of Chinese Associations of Malaysia president Pheng Yin Huah and Dong Zong chairperson Yap Sin Tian.
Two resolutions were passed – to fully support the setting up of a Chinese independent high school at Kuantan, and to urge the government to listen to the people by approving the school.
The gathering ended after the emcee called the attendees to chant “we want a Chinese independent high school, unity is strength,” three times and asked the organisations to sign the petition supporting movement.
According to the organisers, there were 163 representatives from various organisations, while 4,374 people had signed the petition.
There were eight Chinese independent high schools in Pahang during the 60s after the government instructed all secondary schools to be assimilated into the national school system, but they were shut down within five years.
No response from government
The Chinese education groups argued that the students who graduated from the state’s Chinese primary schools were forced to study in other states if they wanted to continue schooling in their mother tongue.
The Pahang Federation of Chinese Schools Management Board had campaigned to revive the Kuantan Chung Hwa independent high school since 1986, but had received no response from the government for the past 26 years.
On July 2010, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had suggested setting up a branch of the Kuala Lumpur Chong Hwa independent high school, but there was no response by the Education Ministry after the application forms were sent.
Speaking at the press conference, Yap said that they will hand over the petition to the prime minister and the Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
They want the government to approve the application before the dissolution of the Parliament.