24 February 2009

Wee dares Anwar to swear and show proof

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong today challenged Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to swear and show proof that the Education Ministry had threatened to withdraw the school allocation if Pakatan Rakyat leaders were invited to officiate at a ceremony.

Wee described as "an utter lie" the statement made by Anwar following his appearance at the opening ceremony of a new school block at SJK(C) Sin Ming in Puchong on Sunday that he should not threaten the school for inviting PR leaders to attend events.

He said Anwar should not use an education institution as his political arena to gain cheap publicity.

"I challenge him to swear on whichever holy book he likes and I want to know from him when I made such a directive (to withdraw the allocation of the school)," Wee said at a press conference at the parliament lobby.

"The list of Chinese schools which will receive the RM23 million allocation has not even finalised (so) how could I order the withdrawal of funds?" he asked.

He said the ministry only gives out allocations to schools:

> which suffer from termite infestation;

> with Old buildings aged more than 50 years needing immediate repair;

> which need to build new classrooms; and

> for replacement of broken furniture.

Wee said the ministry will send a team to access the situation based on the school‘s application before determining n the amount of money to be approved.

He said a team will be sent to Sin Ming this week.

"Sin Ming’s board of governors came to see me on Feb 11 to tell me about the termite infestation in the school and that it needed RM120,000 to repair the classrooms," he said.

"I was also told the school might invite Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to officiate at the opening of the new four-storey block of classrooms and that Khalid would make a donation to the school.

"So I told them why don’t we wait and see how much the MB was going to donate and decide how much is still needed for the school to repair the (termite-infested) classrooms," Wee said, adding he did not threaten the board of governors that he would withdraw the funds.

Wee said the Opposition is trying to politicise the situation because if the ministry decides give the money, the allocation will be claimed as an effort by the PR to fight for the school and if the application is rejected, "they will tell the people the ministry has taken its revenge on the school".

The list will be finalised at the end of the month.

He also denied that the ministry would give out an instruction to stop teachers from attending school events.

"The board of governors had, in the beginning, told us the MB might be coming to the school but never mentioned about inviting the ministry and I only got the invitation in the morning," he said.

Sources The Sun Online

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