Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mother in Seri Pristana row claims child threatened

Although the authorities have declared the SRK Seri Pristana fiasco “closed”, it appears the fallout over the incident is not yet over.

The mother who triggered an Internet firestorm by posting images of students eating in the bathroom of the school says she is now being threatened for exposing the matter online.

After lodging a police on the anonymous threats pouring in on social network Facebook, Guneswari Kelly said she was now under concerted attack simply for voicing out her opinion on the school’s decision, which has since been deemed inappropriate by authorities.

“How else am I supposed to express my concerns? Can’t they understand this?” she was quoted as saying by news portal The Malaysian Insider.

The threats allegedly made on Facebook included that of bodily harm and the abduction of her child.

“These people did not identify themselves and I am afraid they would do something to my daughter,” Guneswari said in the report.

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Yesterday, the school head at SRK Seri Pristana similarly lodged a police report after receiving two alleged death threats and has since gone on a week’s leave as a precaution.

“I decided that I needed to be away for my own safety after I got the death threats,” Mohamad Nasir Mohd Noor was quoted as saying by The Star in its report today.

A day after a firestorm erupted over images depicting primary schoolchildren eating in what was variably described as a toilet, a shower room and a changing room shared on social media sites, Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan declared the issue closed following an apology from the school head.

Following the controversy, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the education minister, confirmed on his Twitter page that the incident will be investigated and punishment meted to those responsible.

The incident is reminiscent of a 2010 incident in Kedah where the headmistress of Sekolah Menegah Kebangsaan Bukit Selambau accused Chinese pupils there of being insensitive towards their Muslim peers by eating in the school compound during the fasting month of Ramadan, before ordering them to “return to China” if they could not respect the culture of other races.

Although the school head later apologised, the incident and others in the same vein led to accusations of perceived tolerance for racism within the government and the civil service that some blamed on programmes conducted by the National Civics Bureau (BTN).

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