Here to stay: MHS will remain in its existing heritage location.
MALACCA: Former students of the Malacca High School (MHS), the second oldest educational institution in the country, are elated over the decision by the state to retain the school in its existing heritage location.
Malacca High School Old Pupils Association (Mahsopa) secretary Lim Koh Chin said most of the alumni were relieved by the news that MHS would remain at its current location.
“The old boys and old girls (those who studied in the school during their Form Six) are glad that the relocation plan has been shelved,” he said.
Lim said Mahsopa had voiced its concern immediately after it received a letter from the Malacca Education Department on July 17, seeking feedback of ex-students on the relocation plan.
“We remained optimistic that the school will stay, with the support shown by former students, especially through the social media,’
“Sure enough, the state government has withdrawn the plan. We are staying neutral without criticising anyone over the issue as it is deemed to be resolved,” he added.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron declared on Friday the school would remain at its present site.
“MHS should not be relocated as it is rich in history and heritage. The school is in the buffer zone of the Unesco heritage site and I am passionate about preserving such sites. I can assure that it will remain there,” he said yesterday.
Idris said the state government would instead provide assistance for the conservation and preservation of the school.
He said the letter from the Education Department was to gather feedback from stakeholders on the proposed relocation, stressing that he had not agreed to it and would have rejected any such plan if it was brought to the Exco.
Malacca’s Education Department had sent a letter to the management of the school to get responses from ex-students and the Parents and Teacher Association on a proposed plan to relocate the school to an alternative site.
The MHS alumni Facebook page received a deluge of responses from members. Many wrote to say that the heritage and history of the school should not be obliterated by greed and commercial development.
MHS, the second oldest educational institution in Malaysia after the Penang Free School, has produced prominent national politicians, many professionals in various fields, to academicians and sportsmen.
Among the distinguished alumni of the school include MCA founder and first president Tun Tan Cheng Lock and his son, former Finance Minister Tun Tan Siew Sin.
Other notable old boys were former Chief Secretary to the Government Tun Abdullah Salleh, Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Arshad and Tan Sri Johari Mat, both of whom served as Secretary-General of the Education Ministry, former Education Director-General, Tan Sri Abdul Rafie Mahat, former Malaysian diplomat and current Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam.
The school is also famous for producing numerous national sportsmen, including Olympians like Yang Siow Ming, Koh Hock Seng, Tham Chiew Seng, Chua Boon Huat (hockey) and Datuk Shaharuddin Mohd Ali (athletics)
Five of the state’s former Chief Ministers, Datuk Talib Abdul Karim, Datuk Seri Mohd Adib Adam, Datuk Seri Abu Zahar Isnin, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam studied in MHS while another old boy is Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who completed his secondary education there.