Merdeka University and National University

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP public rally at Setapak Hotsprings, Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, on Monday, August 26 at 8.30 p.m.

DAP calls on government to:

(i) support Merdeka University and National University project.
(ii) develop the Technical College into a College of Technology.

On July 14, the MCA announced the proposed establishment of a $20 million MCA College.

On the very same day, the government, through the Minister of Education, Inche Khir Johari, immediately pledged the government’s support and blessing for the MCA project. The government also pledged $10 million contribution.

MCA leaders have repeatedly declared that the MCA’s purpose in proposing the establishment of the college was purely “non-political”. This was why, they claimed, the project deserved government financial support.

Nobody believe the MCA protestations because everyone know that the proposal was a blatant vote-catching stunt for the next general elections.

This has now been confirmed by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Inche Senu bin Abdul Rahman, in a speech to a UMNO meeting ten days ago.

As the Warta Malaysia, organ of the Ministry of Information, reported in its issue of 22nd August:

“Speaking at the annual meeting of the Perlis Utara UMNO youth division, Enche Senu said the Alliance Government supported the proposed college because it would benefit Malaysian students.

“In establishing the college, he explained MCA, which was a partner in the Alliance, was trying to win back Chinese support after the rejection of the Merdeka University proposed by certain communalistic Chinese elements.

“UMNO is duty-bound to support the MCA and prevent it from being weakened, the Minister added.”

Here is open confession that the MCA college is purely a political gimmick, and all MCA leaders and spokesmen stand exposed as hypocrites and liars when they disclaim any political motivation in establishing the college.

In fact, by pledging $10 million to the MCA college, the government is in fact pledging $10 million to the MCA election campaign fund, because the MCA College will be used as a vote-catcher by the MCA in the next general elections. Similarly, whoever contributes to the MCA college is in fact contributing to the MCA election campaign fund.

All right-thinking Malaysians must deplore the government’s short-sighted policy to subordinate the educational interest and future of the young Malaysians to the political interest and survival of the Malayan Chinese Association.

The Merdeka University and National University projects are proposal more worthy of support by the government, firstly because they are initiated by non-political and non-party Malaysians, and secondly, because they are aimed at genuinely solving the problem of higher education for an ever-increasing number of students who do not have the opportunity for tertiary education.

Yet the government has condemned the Merdeka University and is dragging its feet with regard to the National University proposal.

We urge the Alliance Cabinet to put these two projects on the agenda of its next meeting, and to give both proposals objective and impartial consideration, and support their formation, by giving financial assistance, expert advice and personal help.

In its eagerness to score political advantage for the MCA, the Government seemed to have forgotten about the future of the Technical College.

Since 1961, the Technical College had trained students in professional courses leading to examinations of recognised Engineering Institutions.

The Higher Education Planning Committee had recommended that the Technical College should be turned into a College of Technology, to concentrate solely on training students in professional courses alone. Its present diploma courses should then be taken over by polytechnics to be built in Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh.

This proposal seem to have been thrown into the waste-paper basket, as the government seem to give higher priority to the MCA College.

We want to take this opportunity to urge the government to stop playing the fool with the educational structure and system of the country, just for the sake of the MCA. It must get down to the priorities. Between the political future of the MCA, and the educational future of the thousands of young Malaysians, there is no doubt which must taken priority.

We therefore urge the government to immediately develop the technical College into a College of Technology, and stop using public funds to finance a political project initiated by the MCA.

Audited on 2021-04-21.