I received an email from my senior Christine Ho recently regarding the withdrawal of Hannah Yeoh’s invitation to the SMK Subang Utama’s Prefects’ Reunion.
On one hand, I wasn’t sure if it would be a good idea to paint my old alma mater in this light because if you’re a student from whichever institution, you would feel a sense of pride and belonging, no matter what. I love my school a lot! But this is absurd! Therefore, I hope by speaking out, my old school will be the one school that manages to right its wrongs and be a shining example for other schools to follow suit.
Hannah was a past head prefect in SMK Subang Utama and I thought I remember reading from some friends’ siblings’ blogs that their teachers are all telling them, “She’s from SU!!” I know the school would’ve been bursting with pride if such a student rose to become a prominent figure in our society today. Even titles like Sekolah Cemerlang were highly revered. You know how Malaysian schools are always bursting with pride with whatever achievement the school has. Bowling champions(Hi Yazliza!), chess national champions (Hola Nicholas and Marcus!) and the list goes on. OH! Too Phat was from our school. They were invited to perform for proms and the likes. Ben’s Bitches were too. But I’m sure the school would prefer to keep mum about that.
Even as a normal student, I know that this Prefects’ Reunion thing is an annual event that the ..er.. for old times’ sake, I can’t resist it… green people(there were more degrading terms..) held in high regard! The colour of the prefect uniforms in my school is green in colour. Therefore, in times of pissed-off-ness (when they confiscated our coloured socks, coloured hair ties, handphones, liquid papers), there were a few prefects who had terrible nicknames from us or whose faces we would fart on if they were following us up the stairs from behind. It didn’t help that they were straight A’s students as well! Grrrr! But some of them are now our bestest friends and this was all back in high school.
Okay, digression aside, I know how important this Prefects’ Reunion thing is for them and it’s a very big event. It’s possibly the only organization in the school that places importance in gathering their alums for a lovely annual session of mingling and catching up.
Hannah Yeoh was elected as Subang Jaya’s assemblyman(woman?), taking over what was previously Lee Hwa Beng’s position in our so called middle class sub-urban residential area, or as we know and love, Subang Jaya of traffic jams fame. It’s a very important position to be in and just ask ANY past and present SMK Subang Utama student, “Are you proud that a former student is now representing our town?” We are more than proud! We are like giggly fan girls and fan boys. My boyfriend even has a pin-up of Hannah Yeoh’s manifesto in his hostel room!
She has shown that she is walking the talk, as can be seen in all her efforts as reported by the media.
I remember, If someone with the title YB was invited for an event at our school, the bunga manggas would come out, kompangs would be slapped, teachers would run about making sure everything is in order, perhaps an Envirothon would have been carried out a weekend before(we paint walls, pluck weeds during Envirothons. Also, it was nice to be flirting with the hot senior boys. This was in form1. Ahem. Sudah insaf dah.), and lol that dusty red carpet would have been rolled out. Oooh, ooh, who remembers the sofas that would be put right in front of the hall? Potted plants had to be carried all the way to the third floor(where the hall is which are actually four classrooms without their partitions, but we now have a real hall. After I left! Damnit.) and some artistic students would be summoned to do up the backdrop.
This whole song and dance was put up for various big shot politicians who were supposed to grace our school with their presence. I remember Lee Hwa Beng was very respected, but I don’t remember ever seeing his face. The first time I saw him was last February where Mel and I attended a self defense workshop held by R.age and he said something about how it’s important for women to take care of themselves as crime in Subang Jaya is on the rise. Mel was not really lowering her voice when she repeatedly said, “Not voting for you! Not voting!!” Hehe. But imagine that, I’ve lived in Subang for all my life and he has been the assemblyman for what, 10 years? That was the first time I’ve seen him in person! Regardless of whether or not a lazy Subang Jayan should venture out of her house to hunt for her mayor, the mayor(statesassemblyman, same lah) should be a prominent figure in every event. I’ve had a few school events! And I think there were a few town stuff my parents dragged me too, hmm.
I do remember one occasion where the deputy minister of education at that time (I can’t remember which year. So take your pick: Whoever who was the deputy minister of education from 1999-2003.) was our guest of honour for an event. AND HE FFKED US! LOL. All the hardwork for nothing. I felt that it was all very silly because I remember how hard the entire school worked to put the place in tip-top shape. Before knowing who it was, I remember thinking, “Wah, who’s this guy coming? Mahathir meh?!”
So you see, Hannah Yeoh is serving our town and our people. Our deputy education minister was no different, he was also serving us, we were under his jurisdiction and he had a duty to care for us. Hannah Yeoh is definitely caring for us. I’m sure she has a duty to oversee the wellbeing of the schools in this town as well.
So why is Hannah not allowed to attend the Prefects’ Reunion? As she mentioned, it’s an event held outside the school, so why should she be banned from attending it? She deserves her kompang slapping and bunga mangga waving okay? (though I’ve always felt that it looks kind of silly. I’d prefer confetti and the red carpet does add a touch of class, if I ever need to honour a prominent figure. But I’m sure Hannah Yeoh, as with the other pakatan rakyat figures are humble people and humble people would rather do away with all these. LIM GUAN ENG I LOVE YOU!! *waves big photograph of Lim Guan Eng*)
I don’t know how credible the teachers’ reasons are but I sure would like to hear them!
Ooooh.. or is it because she’s in the opposition?
Links from other blogs regarding this issue:
“First class infrastructure, first class mentality?” by Lim Kit Siang
Banned From School Reunion?
Malaysian Politics is NOT Crap.
Free Schools Of Politics!
Ex-Prefects Banned From Attending Prefects Reunion?
What Kind Of Mentality Is This?
BN is drafting and signing their own death certificate.
Education and Politics – HANNAH YEOH
Politician…no-no as role models???
Small-minded Napoleons in Education Ministry?
Banned from reunion because of political affiliation?
See how pissed off my ex-schoolmates are: (some juniors that I never knew about too! Hello! *waves*)
What the hell is this???
SMK Subang Utama is BN Territory <– trust my brother to come up with such a title! lol!
Potential Subang Utama Crisis Brewing
Baby Velocity (from this post, apparently prefects were threatened with demotion if they attended the event?!)
The Idiocy Of Malaysian School Administrators
This is extremely absurd