LRT railroads school? The saga of SJK Castlefield continues

The SJK (T) Castlefield relocation conflict took another twist yesterday when some ten parents came forward to oppose the school’s proposed move to Taman Wawasan, contradicting the views of the school management board. The school is said to be in the way of the LRT project.

According to a Sin Chew Daily report, the parents disagreed with the relocation plan because the new school site at Section 5, Taman Wawasan Puchong, is located in a remote area, and will inconvenience the parents.

A representative of the group of parents, who wanted to be identified only as Sivenesan, said some 475 students in the school come from the neighbouring areas, namely Kampung Seri Puchong, Taman Perindustrian Puchong, Taman Puchong Intan, Taman Wawasan and Puchong Perdana.

He believes that most of the parents oppose the relocation although a signature campaign has never been called to verify this claim.

According to a meeting arranged by Selangor Education Bureau on October 15, only one of the six beams for the construction of the LRT project would encroach into the school’s compound, he said. The nearest beam would be about 75 metres away from the school, he added.

He was accompanied by Puchong MCA division chairman Wong Hock Aun, a former SJK (T) Castlefield principal, and representatives of the LRT project owner, Prasarana Berhad, at a press conference yesterday.

“Build a new Tamil school”

The school is currently involved in a relocation tussle as the school management board chairman P. Nagamuthu has openly sought assistance from Kinrara assemblywoman Teresa Kok to relocate the school to Taman Wawasan, on to a plot of school reserve land, in light of the LRT project which will encroach on the school compound.

However, the same plot of land is also sought after by a Chinese school, SJK (C) Kheng Chee, which has obtained approval from the Education Ministry for its relocation there.

Kok has accused Education Ministry of being biased in handling Castlefield’s application, but Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong disputes this, claiming that only Kheng Chee has applied for the land.

At the press conference yesterday, Sivanesan said the school compound is 2.5 acres in total, out of which only 0.5 acres will be affected by the LRT project.

He said Prasarana has already agreed to erect sound-proof barriers and improve school facilities should the LRT alignment affect the school.

He added that the Education Ministry should build a new Tamil school instead of relocating the school to another area.

Meanwhile, the former principal of Castlefield said a meeting should be called to get the students’ parents’ consent if the school management opts for relocation.