Samy criticises Kayveas over Tamil school remark

  • Nation
  • Monday, 07 Apr 2003

SHAH ALAM: MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has criticised People’s Progressive Party president Datuk M. Kayveas for making provocative remarks about Tamil schools. 

He said the existence of Tamil schools was guaranteed under the Federal Constitution and that “no one can debate or speak about a matter which is enshrined in the Constitution.” 

The call for a debate was irresponsible and mischievous, he said, referring to Kayveas’ comments on Saturday that he was willing to debate with anyone about Tamil schools needing a complete revamp. 

The controversy arose following Kayveas’ recent interview with a Chinese daily in which he was alleged to have called for the closure of Tamil schools. He has denied making such remarks. 

However, his suggestion that Tamil language be made a compulsory subject in national schools has led to many people interpreting his remarks as implying that Tamil schools are no longer required. 

Kayveas had also said that Tamil schools lacked many basic facilities. 

At the opening of the 57th Selangor MIC delegates' conference yesterday, Samy Vellu said the lack of facilities was not a yardstick for the quality of Tamil schools. 

“There are also national schools which have the same problem. In fact, about 60% of the Indians send their children to Tamil schools,” he said. 

Samy Vellu said sensible and responsible leaders would request for an improvement of schools and refrain from raising sensitive issues. 

“His intention is to offend the community and deprive them of the right to a proper Tamil education,” he said, adding that Kayveas’ statement was unbecoming of a Barisan Nasional leader.  

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