SXI brother-principal’s retirement marks end of era


St Xavier’s Institution principal Bro Paul Ho’s retirement draws to a close the presence of the La Salle brothers as principals of the mission schools in Malaysia. It began with SXI in Penang and it ends with SXI.

But Bro Ambrose Loke remains as director of St Francis’ Institution in Malacca and La Salle brothers continue teaching in several schools in Sabah, Malacca and Perak. Other brothers are involved in non-formal educational activities in learning, tuition, training and rural educational centres across the country.

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What are your thoughts on the La Salle legacy in Malaysian education? What has been your personal experience?

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25 Jun 2009 12.11pm

During my school days, I had friends from all races. We mix and play freely. Going to school has a simple objective, to gain education without interference of religion, race, language, politics and segregation.
Now my children do not have any friends from other races at all! Religion has crept into schools now. Penang Free School, the oldest school in Malaysia has some strange and foreign language school signboard written on the main gate!!!

WK Liew
WK Liew
24 Jun 2009 11.44pm

I done my primary and secondary education in La Salle PJ and I finished 6th form in 1974. The headmaster then was Bro Lawrence. A very memorable event.

24 Jun 2009 6.03pm

Mr Justin i do know that they do not have the power and that is the problem. But since that is the problem then it is that should be fixed. Perhaps not giving directly the school’s PTA and board of governors the power but giving it to another board or council set up by the church looking over all its school under the Archdiocese. The church should discuss with the Ministry on Education such way or any other. It may be difficult but there is no harm simply trying. Who knows it might work with God’s grace. Since there are… Read more »

Wong Chee Mann
Wong Chee Mann
24 Jun 2009 9.27am

I remember those days in school where there a real 1Malaysia. The canteen had a mixture of food….there would be Indians selling Indian food (for the vegetarians and normally without beef)….there would be Chinese operating the Chinese food stalls…and the Malays operating the Muslim stalls where we can have a variety of Malay food. That was truly 1Malaysia. Go to the school canteen now…it is no more a mixture of food or even food vendors…. 🙁

Justin Choo
24 Jun 2009 12.53am


“Perhaps one way to safeguard the school’s identity is to ensure that the principle is a Cristian and is deer to upholding Catholic values in the school and the brother has a say in their appointment.”

PTA and Board of governors may recommend but have no power to appoint. That IS the BIG problem! Perhaps Anil may do some “research” into CLS problem. Apparently, I was told the Chinese press has a field day on this CLS saga.

23 Jun 2009 11.01pm

The La Sallian legacy is about promoting a wholesome education. One that expands and challenges the mind, instills values and builds character. That for me is what education should be. I’m glad I got to experience this in a Convent and La Sallian school.

23 Jun 2009 6.26pm

I do not know of other mission schools but in my Catholic High School the principle must be a Cristian (Catholic or Protestant). Perhaps one way to safeguard the school’s identity is to ensure that the principle is a Cristian and is deer to upholding Catholic values in the school and the brother has a say in their appointment. Also hopefully they are permanent members in their board of directors. Safe our mission schools!!!!!!

23 Jun 2009 6.03pm

I tell u all, the government as it slowly takes its time to completely rule over all our schools bearing in mind that we ourselves are slowly dying, u can start seeing those school’s name being changed, crosses removed, past history thrown and erased. I have seen it happening in my own Catholic High School. All pictures with the big cross that stands over the school is removed, history of the school begin only after a lay principle took over and only in one sentence it was mentioned that the priest thought there. Facts were also wrong. Dont hope so… Read more »

23 Jun 2009 5.51pm

I really hope that the church and capable people Christians. Those who can and are in the right position to do so protect and safeguard all our catholic schools of its identity. We must not allow the government to take over the schools and trash it out. The catholic schools were the best schools in Malaysia those days but not all are now. Its very sad to see the deterioration of the schools. Hopefully the lay catholic teachers move forward to help the brothers strengthen our presence there. Perhaps certain quarters of the school management like hiring of teachers and… Read more »

Justin Choo
23 Jun 2009 4.14pm

Brother Paul has done much especially to help the “academically challenged” students, by setting up the Bakery Section, teaching these special students some living skills. My son was specially transferred from MBS to SXI solely to enrol him in the Bakery class. He is now a very happy chef earning an honest living with his skilful hands. It is with tears in my eyes to see the last of such dedicated educationist. SXI will face the same problem as what its sister Convent Light Street is facing now, following the retirement of its previous principal. For those who are aware… Read more »

Kenny Ng
Kenny Ng
23 Jun 2009 12.04pm

I was educated by La Salle School in Jinjang. At that time in histroy La Salle school jinjang is the only La Salle school built in the chinese village in Malaysia. English was taught in the school and even the principle who is a german sourse funds from Germany to built school hall and also built another 3 story extension on the existing old school. The La Salleian really contribute to the education standard and system in Malaysia.

23 Jun 2009 11.40am

Why does everything need to end with the retirement of Rev Bro Paul Ho?

I remember there used to be a good supply of Teaching Brothers from the training colleges in the past years.

Why did the supply stop? What went wrong? What happened to the Juniorate, Novitiate and the Scholasticate? No more vocation? Why?

A lot of Rev Brothers also left the Brotherhood. Why?

St Joseph’s Training College in Kelawei Road used to an impressive building churning out academically well trained teaching brothers regularly, but one thing was obvious….SEVERE LACK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

Hence the crash

23 Jun 2009 11.29am

It is very important for all Xavierians, former teachers, the PTA, NGO’s and especially Christian organizations such as the Catholic Church to safeguard the character and identity of SXI from the possible Talibanization by Little Mullahs in the form of Principals…More

23 Jun 2009 10.33am

i am a student of St.Paul In. in Seremban, my English teacher in 1987 was Brorther James Macken, such wonderful Irish Brother….he can be very nasty at my long hair but the same time he was also very caring…..i’m prd to be Paulian and thank you for changing my life forever…. Brother J.Macken….


23 Jun 2009 10.25am

I think everyone who studied in a La Sallean school will appreciate and value what they learned there. I was a student in SXI and I learned plenty there. It shaped my values in life. I guess those who have commented have pretty much said everything about the experience of being a La Sallean student. There’s this special feeling and attachment where we will hold on forever. I gave a rating of 8/10 because I felt if given the acknowledgment and appreciation from the Government, these schools would have contributed even more to the country. It’s a shame but I… Read more »

23 Jun 2009 9.24am

My school was Convent Bukit Nanas. Besides teachers, we had nuns teaching us too. Our headmistress was a nun & the discipline we got is a by product of what “I am” today…!!! And “PROUD” of it…………….!!!!! Our educators are of “first class” ! They were sooo….. dedicated & gung-ho…!!!! Didn’t mind sacrificing their extra time to help students in any weaker subjects… When the “Negara-ku” was played & sung…. Whatever we were doing…, we dropped it…, we stood in attention to respect our “National Anthem”…!!! We also stopped walking…!!! Except for those in the toilet lah………! Most important of… Read more »

23 Jun 2009 8.19am

It is sad to note that with the retirement of Rev. Bro Paul Ho of SXI means the end of Brother’s rule at our Catholic Missionary School in Malaysia. They have contributed significantly to our education since their arrival lead Rev. Bro Julian Francis and 2 other Brothers. I have the privilege to study in a Catholic Missionary School and entrance back in the late 60’s was not automatic despite being a Catholic. There was no turning back for me as I have enrolled into one of the Top School not only among the La Salle Schools but in the… Read more »

Jeffrey Chew
23 Jun 2009 6.24am

Anil Like many other Malaysians living in Malaysia, I was the by-product of the LaSallean school. I have always regarded St.Xavier’s to be the most influential time of my life. Here, I understood about the importance of having good moral values and understanding the real meaning of hard work. After all, I was never academically strong during my days in St.Xavier’s but the values I brought along to my tertiary education level in the US helped me to achieve what I have always wanted to be. Till today, the spirit of Xavierian still lingers within me. Labor Omnia Vincit –… Read more »

anna brella
anna brella
23 Jun 2009 2.07am

I can’t help feeling a tinge of regret that such a high-quality learning institution with a long established tradition and learning oriented culture is now in serious danger of being engulfed and swallowed into the pits of local educational mediocrity which will ineviatbly lead to the demise of its unique identity in time. What is the real reason for the changeover? Government compulsion/state education policy change? Or a real lack of new blood/Brothers joining the order to keep it a going teaching concern? Has the MoE purchased outright the school properties from the La Sallian Brothers or merely taken over… Read more »

Peter Tan
23 Jun 2009 12.00am

I was educated in La Salle School and SXI, spending fifteen at the former and two at the latter. Those were the best times of my life as a teenager.

I would like to share what wrote about my first alma mater a few years back: