By LIM MUN FAH
Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily
The Himpunan Hijau 2.0 organisers announced that Himpunan Hijau 3.0 is in the pipeline, and will go along with the Bersih 3.0 for a massive nationwide "green-yellow" rally.
In the meantime, Dongzong also declared that it would stage a protest rally on the field of Dongjiaozong education centre on March 25 to urge the government to take away teachers who are not well versed with the Chinese language but are put in Chinese primary schools..
Be it taking to the street or protesting inside the office, such actions have been launched to voice up against irregularities existing in our society from the democratic point of view. It is simply unnecessary for anyone to overdefine or over-react, or treat the activities as ghastly monsters that must be crushed by all means.
A truly democratic society must have a capacity large enough to accommodate, respect, tolerate, understand and appreciate dissident voices. Having been baptised in the fire of democracy for over half a century, Malaysians should have become more matured and should have learned to put forward their thinking in more rational ways while the government should have learned to humbly listen to popular voices.
Himpunan Hijau 2.0 has shown that appeals could be conducted in a very sophisticated and rational way although the behaviours of a handful of irresponsible participants leave much to be desired.
Protecting our homes could be a collective action that transcends religions, races and cultures, and because of that, it could amass more support and momentum.
On the other hand, an event aimed at preserving the nature of Chinese primary schools could easily be blown out of proportion and be seen as racist by a small group of opportunists. The 1987 Op Lalang was such a regrettable historical instance and we don't want to see history repeat itself.
What we want to see is a peaceful rally that expresses the wishes of the people in a reasonable manner, and that their woes would be looked into and treated with fairness.
The issue of Chinese primary school teachers has been around for decades, and now excess teachers from national schools unfamiliar with the Chinese language are planted in Chinese primary schools to teach not only BM, but also PE, arts, music as well as doing counselling jobs. In some of the classrooms, there are even more teachers unfamiliar with the Chinese language than those well versed in it!
I have to reiterate that we have nothing against non-Chinese teachers in Chinese primary schools. On the contrary, we respect them a lot, understand and sympathise with their predicament, but for the sake of our children, it is essential that the education ministry put them elsewhere, while training more capable teachers for Chinese primary schools in order to address the issue once and for all.
This is the best solution to fix the irregularity and no one should exploit it into a racial issue or accuse anyone of politicising it. No one wants to take to the street unless he or she is driven up the wall or is desperate.
We don't believe by changing a few faces we can deliver the ultimate change and happiness. We believe in an overhauled system, and the same is true for environment or education issues.
We don't have elaborate wishes, and hope you've got our message.