Speech by DAP Secretary-general and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at DAP Public Rally in Teluk Anson on Saturday, 6th May 1972 at 9 p.m.
Recognition of Nanyang and Formosan degrees and qualifications – a pledge by DAP to press for it and raise it at every Parliament meeting until success
The Nantah Alumni Association, the Perak Nantah Alumni Association and the Penang Nantah Alumni Association have jointly sent a memorandum to the Prime Minister, copies to all Members of Parliament, urging the immediate recognition of Nanyang University degrees by the Government.
The recognition of Nanyang and Formosan degrees and qualifications is one of the issues close to the heart of the DAP.
Since our formation six years ago, the DAP has unceasingly agitated for the government recognition of Nanyang and Formosan degrees and qualifications so that Malaysia can make full use of the skilled manpower resources available in the country, instead of letting them go to waste.
Malaysia is so short of qualified manpower that many programmes of industrialization and modernization are held up for lack of qualified men to take charge and execute them. Yet the Government refuses to accord recognition to about 7,000 Malaysians who hold Nantah and Formosan degrees and qualifications, which are recognized by higher institutions of repute overseas.
This is not only a very short-sighted policy, but gravely against the national interest, for it breeds resentment, discontent and social unrest.
Yesterday, the press carried a statement by the MCA Education Sub-Committee clarifying a statement which the MCA President, Tun Tan Siew Sin, was purported to have told a delegation of the Chinese Senior Normal Trained Teachers’ Association last Sunday.
The MCA Education Sub-Committee denied that their President, Tun Tan, had ever given a assurance that the holders of Nanyang and Taiwan degrees will be given priority in the government evaluation of foreign degrees, for recognition.
That the Government has a standing committee to evaluate foreign degrees and qualifications is not news. In fact, this is precisely what the Minister of Education, Inche Hussein Onn, said in reply to a question I put to him in the January session of Parliament. This was also the reply he gave me when he was asked in last year’s Parliament.
In fact, the Minister of Education’s Standing Committee for the evaluation and recognition of foreign degrees and qualifications has been in existence for the last five years, but it has never got down seriously to the recognition of Nantah and Formosan degrees and qualifications.
In view of the long-standing nature of the this question, lasting over 10 years, it is a shame that the government and Tun Tan Siew Sin, could not give a assurance that priority will be given to the evaluation and recognition of Nantah and Formosan degrees and qualifications.
In fact, because of the length of this issue, and the number of Malaysians involved the government should give this question priority treatment.
It is worthy of note that as president of the MCA for 13 years, Tun Tan Siew Sin has never expressed support for government recognition of Nanyang and Formosan degrees and qualifications a single time. On these important matters which concern the people and country, Tun Tan is silent. He only knows how to increase taxes, like the 5% Sales tax and the five-cents increase in the price of sugar.
The DAP will continue to fight for the government recognition of Nanyang and Formosan degrees and qualifications inside Parliament. In fact, in the coming session of Parliament beginning on 9th May, several of my colleagues have submitted questions on this matter.
I can here give a pledge: that the DAP Members of Parliament will in every meeting of Parliament raise the question of the government recognition of Nantah and Formosan degrees and qualification until recognition is at last accorded.
Together with the united solidarity of all Nantah and Formosan Alumni Associations and public organizations concerned about this issue, I am sure we can eventually get the government to accord recognition.