To swim or not to swim?

For student lessons?

By Nadhirah Sofea Rashid

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik has once again courted controversy with his suggestion that hotels open up their swimming pools to students.

While his intention was to create awareness of water safety among students, is swimming lessons at hotels the way to go?

Well, netizens had a field day in battling with each other over this suggestion.

Among those who disagreed with the suggestion is Chia Yueh Kong, who believed there were much more important issues that should be prioritized.

There are much more important issues that need your attention over the swimming pool. What about the educational system, pre-school programmes, application and implementation of critical thinking and innovative approaches?

"All these can be done regardless whether they know how to swim or where to swim," he wrote on Facebook.

Another Facebook user, Rani Callay wants the ministry to provide better swimming pool facilities in order to spread the water safety awareness.

"You should provide the facilities if this is something you want to see growth in. Don't cause nuisance for others and as a hotel guest, I would not want this," she wrote.

Carso Leong agreed with Rani Callay that the government should be responsible in improving the public swimming pools.

"What will hotels get back in return? Higher maintenance cost and noise complaints? Please improve the public swimming pools, those with broken doors and showers. Do not divert responsibilities to others," he wrote.

Some others agreed with Maszlee's suggestion.

Twitter user Myfaisul said the suggestion was a good idea to promote water safety awareness.

My daughter and her classmates went to a hotel swimming pool to learn swimming, arranged by the school. We parents pay for the transport and pool fee. Where else can we learn swimming properly?

"If you guys are smart, please provide solutions instead of condemning," he tweeted.

Another Twitter user Jonathan Nathan also agreed with Maszlee's suggestion saying that it could benefit both parties.

"I think it's brilliant. It benefits small hoteliers in terms of publicity and children who can't afford private swimming lessons. Look at the positives," he wrote.

Maszlee also reportedly said swimming curriculum activities will be introduced next year to all students in order to spread water safety awareness.