Family unsure about legal action

The grieving family of the teacher who died after falling through the school’s rotting wooden floorboard is unsure if they will take legal action against the school for negligence.

The family is currently busy with the funeral arrangements of Chan Boon Heng, who fell five metres through the termite-infested floor of SRJK (C) Keat Hwa (K)’s office to the hall underneath. He died a few hours later.

Chan’s elder sister, Chang Chooi Choy, 50, said the family did not want to think about the matter until after his funeral on Thursday.

“We are still distraught over his tragic death. We want to complete the funeral rites before we deal with it,” she said today.

His widow, Ooi Lee Keng, 40, who also teaches at a private Chinese school in Bukit Pinang, was initially too distraught to talk to the media.

However, when approached after the visit of Deputy Education Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim, Ooi expressed hope that the Government would assist Chinese schools to upgrade their premises.

Meanwhile, a steady stream of visitors flocked to Chan’s house to pay their last respects to the father of two who was popular among the Chinese community here for his active involvement in community activities. He was also frequently invited to emcee functions.

Among the visitors was Chan’s relative, MCA secretary-general Datuk Ong Ka Chuan.

Also mourning his loss were 30 of Chan’s pupils, who described their teacher as kind and caring.

Many said they found it hard to accept Chan’s oss as they loved his classes, especially the cake-baking sessions.

They said Chan, who loved baking, had taught them to bake to occupy their time as they had just completed their UPSR examination.

Some said they were also looking forward to getting their UPSR results as Chan had promised cash rewards to those who did well in the examination.

Kang Lee Jia, who was seen folding a paper crane, said their teacher brought his own baking utensils and ingredients, and taught them to bake cup cakes last Thursday.

“They were delicious. He promised to bake a chocolate cake yesterday but didn’t come to class.”


Approval needed for school renovations

ALL private schools must obtain the approval of the relevant local authority before carrying out any renovation work to their premises.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim said these schools must submit building plans before starting work.

“They must make sure the work complies with the requirements and the building is safe,” he said after visiting SRJK (C) Keat Hwa (K) in Jalan Seberang Perak following the death of a teacher there.

Hon also ordered the Keat Hwa School Board to engage a consultant to assess the safety of the building. The private Chinese school board administers six schools.

The ministry has approved a RM50,000 emergency allocation for the repairs.

In Kuala Lumpur, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said he had instructed the Public Works Department to investigate the cause of the incident.