GEORGE TOWN: A DAP grassroots leader has applied to the Education Department here to hold a “Penang and DAP” contest in all primary schools in the state next year, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opposition party’s governance in the state.
Joshua Woo Sze Zeng, a DAP Socialist Youth leader, stressed that the proposal was by a voluntary private citizens group comprising himself and seven others, and not the DAP.
He said as a proud Penangite, he was inspired by the “Umno and Merdeka” function at a primary school in Putrajaya and wanted to carry out a similar function in Penang.
Woo said the competition would allow primary school pupils to gain a better understanding of Penang’s history and the party, which had a big hand in the state’s progress in the last 10 years.
Woo said he was sure the event in Penang would be approved after reading the reply by the Malaysian Historical Society (MHS) Kuala Lumpur, that showed its agreement with the Umno event held at a Putrajaya primary school recently.
“We have sent the MHS a letter requesting the society to collaborate with us on this programme. We are still waiting for its reply.
“Although we are DAP members, we are not organising the programme under the auspices of our party as the objective is to impart Penang’s history, not politics.”
Woo handed over the proposal to the Penang Education Department on Jalan Bukit Gambir today.
Woo said among the events at the proposed programme would be the staging of short dramas, decorating of classrooms, a singing contest and history quizzes.
He also said the DAP would affix its flags around the selected school “temporarily”, while the programme was ongoing.
“Pupils will be given DAP flags and told to sing the DAP anthem. We must stress this is to give recognition to the progress that the party has brought to Penang since 2008, as it is part of history,” he said.
Woo said there would be no compulsion for pupils or teachers to join the DAP after the function.
“Primary school pupils cannot vote or become party members. As for teachers, we cannot force them to do so,” he said.
Woo said he hoped the application to hold the event would be approved just as an Umno-themed event in Putrajaya was allowed to take place recently.
He said since the authorities were of the opinion that the Umno event had not flouted any law, the DAP event should be allowed in Penang.
“We hope the Education Department will approve our plan and will not be biased,” he said, adding that if their application as a voluntary group was rejected, they would apply for approval through a registered entity or non-governmental organisation.
It was reported recently that teachers and students of Sekolah Kebangsaan Putrajaya Presint 14(1) took part in a class decoration and performance competition which carried the theme “Umno and independence #Negaraku”.
Umno flags were visible in the school compound, while students waved small flags and sang the Umno song.
At one point, according to the report, a banner with the words “Hidup Umno, Hidup Melayu. Dulu, Kini dan Selamanya” (Long live Umno, long live the Malays. Then, now and forever) was displayed on stage.