Putra Heights residents launch campaign for Chinese school

Residents of Putra Heights have launched a campaign to collect 5000 signatures to demand the proposed Tun Tan Siew Sin Chinese school be built immediately.

Putra Heights Chinese School Action Committee chairman Chong Thim Siew said they have setup a base at Prestige Restaurant, in Putra Heights to collect public support over the delay of the much-awaited Chinese school.

The school was promised by the then education minister Hishamuddin Hussein in 2006, but has not been built due to “technical problems” in Ministry of Education (MoE).

Chong (centre)

Chong said pupils including his grandchildren are now forced to travel 15km away to SJK © Chee Wen in USJ 1 or SJK © Lick Hung in SS19 to attend a Chinese school.

“About 500 pupils wake up before dawn everyday to embark on the journey that can take up to 40 minutes if the traffic is bad,” said Chong.

He questioned why the construction has not commenced even though it was said to be listed in Ninth Malaysia Plan, which will end by December 2010.

Want BN to fulfill its promise

He said the group will submit the collected signatures to the prime minister to urge an acceleration of construction.

“We hope it can be built immediately and start operation by year 2012,” he said, adding that 2500 signatures have been collected so far.

The group had previously applied for the educational reserve land in Persiaran Putra Bistari 2/3 to be made as SJK © Tun Tan Siew Sin school’s land, but no response was given by the Ministry of Education.

Vivian Tan, a parent of two, said she is now considering moving out of the place because she could not afford to ferry her six-year-old child to Puchong everday after he goes into Year 1.

“We chose Putra Heights because we were told there will be a Chinese school. Five years have passed, can anyone tell me how can we get the school?”

Deputy education minister Wee Ka Siong when contacted, said the school is still undergoing certain process of approval, but he promised to inform the public when things getting better.

He was quoted as saying the school “could materialize soon” when he was appointed MCA Kota Raja division chief Lim Kim Hwi as the school development committee chairman last year.

However, one year later, Lim was reported as saying they are still waiting for the approval from the ministry.

Wee had mentioned that the land had to be sub-divided as the land was originally reserved for a tri-lingual Vision School last month.

Ironically, despite a population of 28,000, Putra Heights does not host a single school, despite at least five plots of land earmarked for educational purposes.

No hindrance from the State Government

State exco for education Halimah Ali said the state has surrendered plots of land to the Ministry of Education and will continue to do so provided that MoE can commit to build them.

“There is no hindrance from the state government, the problem lies with Ministry of Education. As we know, they are cutting their budget now,” she said.

Putra Heights sales manager Timothy Wong said that the construction of school requires consensus from both Ministry of Education and Ministry of Housing and Local Government.

“They will consider the population to decide which what type of school to be built. As a developer we have done our part,” he said.