Deceased teacher’s photo for Hisham and his men

The tragic death of schoolteacher Chan Boon Heng should not be in vain and Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang makes a suggestion.

He wants Chan’s photographs to adorn the offices of the education minister, deputy minister, the parliamentary secretary, director-general and state directors.

This, he stressed, would serve as a ‘constant reminder that educational neglect not only stunts national progress but literally kills’.

He said there should be a national resolve and commitment by the government to ensure that there will not be another casualty due to dilapidated and unsafe school buildings.

On Sunday, the nation was shocked to learn that Chan, 42, was killed when a termite-infested floor in SJK (C) Keng Hwa collapsed.

The father of two died due to internal injuries sustained from the 15-metre fall.

Painful reminder

Meanwhile, Lim said Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein should ensure that all schools are safe.

“We do not want an education minister who has to visit every school in the country before our teachers and pupils are absolutely safe, but one who can provide the leadership and system to ensure that no school in the country, whether national, Chinese or Tamil is a death trap,” he added in a statement.

According to the veteran politician, Chan’s death was another ‘painful reminder of the ugly side of nearly five decades of the national history of education development.’

Lim also revealed that DAP deputy secretary-general Chong Eng has given notice for an emergency debate in Parliament on Monday to discuss the matter.

He expressed hope that Parliamentary Speaker Ramli Ngah Talib would approve the motion and provide the opportunity for Hishammuddin to report to parliamentarians on the immediate remedial actions to this matter.

On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said there will be a special allocation for the upgrading of Chinese schools.

Media reports have claimed that about 40 Chinese schools in the country are in urgent need of repair.