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Friday September 13, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday September 13, 2013 MYT 7:14:26 AM
by kang soon chen AND rashvinjeet s. bedi
PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry has ordered a school in Kuala Lumpur to remove the closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in its toilets but the controversy is far from over, with parents unhappy over the removal of the cameras.
The school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) chairman has been removed for advocating that the CCTV cameras be taken down.
At a press conference yesterday after a briefing for Malaysian students studying in Egypt, Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said SMK Sri Sentosa had to immediately remove the CCTV cameras which had been installed in the toilets of both male and female students since March.
“It is not appropriate to put the cameras in toilets,” he said.
However, a day earlier, Premala Oyen, who had opposed the installation of the cameras, had been removed as chairman at a PTA board meeting.
She described her ouster as a “mockery”, saying it was not right to remove her for having differing views from the rest of the board members on the issue.
“One of the parents said he had no confidence in me and said I should resign. I defended myself and said that an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) should be held to remove me.
“I refused to resign because I did not do anything wrong,” she said.
Oyen claimed the principal, who is also an adviser to the PTA, said an EGM was too time-consuming and required a lot of paperwork.
“She then asked another parent to support the first parent’s motion of no-confidence. One parent stood up to support it and I was removed just like that,” she said.
It was reported that the school had installed 64 CCTV cameras in its toilets to curb rising vandalism in the school.
Most PTA members supported the move.
The principal, Rahmah Abd Haji, had earlier defended the CCTV surveillance system, saying the cameras were only directed at the sink and did not face the toilet cubicles.
“Parents were asked to give their consent before the CCTVs were installed. Only 30% of the parents surveyed objected, so we followed the voice of the majority.
“Furthermore, the installation was funded by the PTA and approved by the ministry,” she said.
A check by The Star earlier this week at the school’s toilet for male students revealed that students were splashing water at each other during school hours while the covers of the toilet tanks were vandalised.
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