New IP Junior College
9 June 2015
Mr Lee Hsien Loong
Dear Prime Minister Sir,
Appeal – New Integrated Programme Junior College
Thank you for your timely intervention
in this matter.
Further to our Ipetition of 4 May 2015
and our update letter of 25 May 2015, we would like to present to you
our ongoing concerns and the truth behind the unfortunate
developments in this matter.
We are deeply concerned about the
possibility that the real issues and our correspondence has been kept
from you. We believe that this injustice perpetrated on so many of
our families is so high-handed, definitive and one-sided that no
person with a conscience would allow this unjust situation to
We note that the MOE has totally
avoided and ignored our representations. They have simply gone
through the motions with little attempt to offer a real solution. A
heated dialogue session on 25 May was followed up with a feeble
attempt at a superficial “review” which lasted less than 2 weeks.
They have yet again given us a “our decision is final” letter on
5 June 2015. What was even more shocking was to see the press and TV
getting the news before the parents. This media campaign based on
calculated misrepresentation was part of their orchestrated effort to
suppress us parents and tell a twisted version of the story.
We totally and utterly reject their
claim that they have tried to search for a better solution and have
our interests at heart. We remain totally disappointed with the
pretense and hypocritical way in which they have handled this matter.
This provocation has only deepened the anger and bitterness of the
families involved. Many of us have totally given up on the MOE as we
have not been able to obtain a fair hearing or solution from them.
We feel that this uncompromising and
confrontational attitude is totally unbecoming of an arm of the
Government. This is especially so as the history of this episode is
littered with incidents of major inconsistences and half-truths on
the part of the MOE. There is concrete evidence to suggest that the
repeated and cascading delays were known much earlier but they
concealed this and kept parents in the dark. In the meantime, they
persisted in marketing the IP Programme to us as if everything was on
schedule. As a Ministry and an arm of the Government, we would expect
them to behave in an honest and honourable way. Whether by oversight
or deliberate, whether by deception or by omission, the
result for our families is an intolerable sense of betrayal.
The Real Issues
There are many issues involved here.
However, MOE has totally ignored the main issue which we have
brought up repeatedly. It is that MOE made a promise to our
families and they should honour their word and deliver the JC campus
on time without excuse or exception. Many families made the choice to
send their children to a new and untested JC based on the promises of
the MOE to provide a brand new facility. Just as they expect us
to honour our word and remain committed to the programme, the MOE
should honour their word to us. Is the word of the Ministry so cheap
We would also like to state that
taking 10 years to build a school in Singapore is totally ridiculous.
The JC was announced in 2010. It is now 2015. It will
not be ready for students till 2020. Casinos, shopping malls,
condominiums and blocks of HDB flats can be built in 3 years. Why
does it take 10 years to build this school?
Let us emphasise that there is no
rewind button for us. We cannot go back and start over. Hundreds of
us trusted the Ministry and commited our children to this JC with no
track record. This decision was not taken lightly as it involves 6
years of our children's lives. To aggravate matters, the programme
will now be saddled with low morale, unhappiness, discontent and a
deep sense of betrayal. MOE should be aware of their responsibility
and their accountability and not breach their obligations and renege
on the word that was given. MOE should not be toying with peoples'
lives with such impunity.
We are also gravely concerned that the
MOE is setting a very poor example for our future generations. Are we
teaching our students that when a mistake is made, no apology is
necessary and we should just cover it up? Are they to be taught to
dictate and force their own point of view without conscience? Is this
the lesson for our future citizens and leaders?
There is a simple solution to all this
anger, frustration, anxiety and antagonism. The MOE should work with
the other agencies involved to expedite the building of the JC campus
by 2018 to honour and fulfill the word that they had given us.
We have no other agenda. All we ask for
Parents and Students of
Catholic High School
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School
Singapore Chinese Girls' School