MALACCA: The Malacca High School (MHS) is marking a rather unhappy 136th anniversary today with alumni and educational activists in the state fiercely opposed to the proposed relocation of the country’s second oldest school.
The state Education Department sent out a letter to the school management on July 17 to get feedback from former students and the Parent-Teacher Association on the idea of moving the school, which was first set up as Malacca Free School in 1826 in the heart of the historic city.
It became MHS on Aug 1, 1878.
Following the issuance of the letter, former students have campaigned against the proposal on social media, urging the Education Ministry to shelve the proposal because the school had existed for 188 years and produced many excellent students who went to become prominent leaders, businessmen and sportsmen.
The MHS alumni Facebook page received a deluge of responses against the proposed relocation.
Malacca Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) chairman Mak Chee Kin said the proposal was uncalled for because the school had been at the site for close to two centuries.
“Many of the ex-students and teachers are very unhappy over the proposal. Why is there this sudden proposal to relocate the oldest school in Malacca?” he said yesterday.
Mak, who is also a former MHS student, said the excuse that the school was causing traffic congestion during school hours was unacceptable because vehicle flow could still be controlled.
He said he would get former teachers, students and non-governmental organisations to petition against the relocation.
He said as the oldest educational institution in Malaysia after Penang Free School, MHS had produced dozens of prominent politicians, activists and academicians.
Among the distinguished alumni were MCA founding father and first president Tun Tan Cheng Lock, former Finance Minister Tun Tan Siew Sin, former Chief Secretary to the Government Tun Abdullah Salleh, former Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
State Higher Education, Science and Technology, Green Technology and Innovation Committee chairman Datuk Wira Md Yunos Husin said the letter was sent to seek response from various stakeholders on the proposed relocation, which was yet to be finalised.
The proposal to relocate the school came after authorities received complaints that the road leading to the school was causing traffic congestion, he added.
“We will consider all feedback before making a decision on the fate of MHS at the weekly exco meeting,” he said.
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