Parents indifferent over RM100 handout

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The federal government has begun disbursing RM100 handouts to school children today, but most parents interviewed at a school today don't seem to think much of it.

"It won't change my vote lah," remarked Ong Kim Siong ( left ), 42, when met at SJK(C) Taman Connaught. "MCA's performance is unsatisfactory. They did little to help Chinese schools."

Ong, a father of two, said the RM100 one-off handout was a paltry sum compared what he has to spend on his children's education.

Karen Lo, another parent who was waiting in a line to collect the money, echoed Ong's sentiments.

"Do you think (the money) is enough? No, I won't change my vote it," said Lo, who is a Bandar Tun Razak voter, said while waving her hand to show her negativity to the notion.

Subhead: 'Obliged to support BN'

However, one self-described hardcore BN supporter M Jayashree appeared ecstatic about the handout and said she will continue to vote for the coalition.

"I can buy the pencil, pencil box and other things (for my children with the money) ... Of course I will vote for them (BN). I am obliged to do so," the 36-year-old housewife.

The school had invited Bandar Tun Razak MCA education bureau chairperson Chew Yin Keen to officiate ceremony.

In the speech, he said the RM100 aid from federal government is to reduce the burden of parents to 5.4 million students.

However, he did not explicitly called on voters to support BN.

Edu department suggestion

Although the event did not contain an overt BN flavour to it, one parent complained to Malaysiakini that a politician should not be allowed to officiate the event.

"Do you think the politician contributed the fund? Why should politician get the publicity?" he said.

School principal Cheng Sook Chew ( left ) said that the school merely implemented a suggestion by the Pudu and Bangsar district education department to invite ruling party officials to officiate the ceremony.

"There is no official written instruction on this," she said, adding that the suggestion was made verbally during a meeting on Jan 8.

Previously, Malaysiakini had reported that schools in Johor had been ordered to invite BN leaders to officiate such events and display banners publicising the scheme until the general election.

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