Press Digest: Tuition centre draws flak after going down the 'ah long' route

04 Oct 2015 / 18:10 H.

    PETALING JAYA: A tuition centre drew flak trying to collect tuition fees from errant parents the "ah long" way – putting up banners of the pupils concerned in the town.
    The story of the name-and-shame banners was highlighted by China Press today after pictures of the banners, which bear the faces of four pupils and the message "Not paying tuition fees owed; how can we have this kind of parents!" in Chinese, was posted on Facebook by a resident.
    However, the centre concerned cried foul, saying it has no knowledge of the banners and believed it was the work of a business rival.
    The banners, which appeared in Cheras and Sungai Long on Friday evening, drew the ire of public members who said the action of displaying profile pictures of the pupils was unethical.
    Balakong assemblyman Eddie Ng Tien Chi said the centre's action to shame the pupils was similar to the tactic use by loan sharks going after loan defaulters.
    "The pupils may be ridiculed by their peers and suffer psychological trauma," he said.
    Speaking to the press on Saturday, Ng said if the parents concerned encountered financial difficulties, the centre could consider giving free tuition to their children instead of resorting to such an extreme means to force the parents to pay up.
    He urged the parents concerned to contact him or the local community leaders and lodge police reports to demand an apology from the centre.
    Contacted by the daily, the tuition centre said there were indeed parents who owed tuition fees for months but denied putting up the banners.
    The centre's spokesman, who did not want to be identified, did not discount the likelihood that it was done by someone out to tarnish its name.
    A check on Saturday morning showed that the banners had been removed.

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