Message by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the seminar on the ‘Falling education standards of Chinese primary schools’ organized by the DAP Negri Sembilan Chinese Education Sub-Committee held at Seremban DAP Branch on Sunday, 17th Sept. 1972 at 8 p.m.
The public has a right to know why the MCA leaders have banned any discussion or reference to the shockingly high rate of mass failures in Chinese primary schools
In the last two months, the DAP had exposed the well-kept secret of the MCA and Alliance Government about the shockingly high rate of mass failures in the Chinese primary schools.
For instance, in last year’s Standard V Assessment Examination, the percentages of failures in each subject for the Chinese primary schools in Negri Sembilan are as follows:
Percentage of Failures ( Negri Sembilan )
Bahasa Malaysia : 57.35 %
Bahasa Inggeris : 55.38 %
Geography-History : 41.41 %
Chinese : 41.23 %
Mathematics : 34.69 %
Science : 25.78 %
It is indeed shocking that in the three language subjects, the failures should range from 40 % to 60 %. What is even more unbelievable is that in the Chinese subject alone, 41.5% of the Chinese school students should fail in it.
It is true that in other states, like Selangor, Perak, and Pahang, the results are even worse. But this is no consolation – for it is no comfort to be among the better of the worse. But there are people who would be contented so long as they are not the worse, even if they are quite near the worst.
The shockingly poor quality and standard of education in Chinese and all primary schools is a very serious matter, for it is very clear from the reading of the results that about 50 % of the students are being educated to be misfits and even unemployables in adult life.
Despite the DAP’s campaign to raise public consciousness about this very serious educational problem, there seems to be a great weight and inertia of official disapproval.
This is the first reason why although this problem had been in existence for the last five years, and the MCA is fully aware of the details of it, it has refused to disclose it to the parents and the public. If not for the DAP, the parents and the public will continue to be in the dark about the education their children are getting in schools.
This is also the reason why the MCA is trying to kill this issue, so that the public and parents will not be too concerned about it.
This is why at the recent 21st MCA General Assembly held in Kuala Lumpur, not a word has been raised about the shockingly high rate of mass failures in primary schools.
The 21st MCA General Assembly passed 49 resolutions, but not a single one expressed concern about the low quality and standard of education in Chinese primary schools. In fact, there was one resolution which expressed approval and satisfaction at the present standard of education, where 40 to 50 per cent of the students failed in their studies. This resolution, which called for the maintenance of the present standard with its shockingly high rate of failures.
This resolution reads : “The 21st MCA General Assembly urges the government to review the problems of automatic promotion in schools in order to ensure that education standards in the country were not only maintained but also improved. “
The questions I want to ask MCA leaders are as follows:
1. What are the reason for the satisfaction and approval of the top MCA leaders about the shockingly high rate of mass failures in Chinese primary schools?
2. Why did the MCA leaders ban the discussion in the 21st General Assembly about this grave problem, for the resolution of one branch which raised this subject was banned?
3. Why did the MCA hide the fact of the shockingly high rate of mass failures in primary schools for the last five years although it was in possession of the facts and figures?
The public and the parents have right to know the stand of the MCA President, Tun Tan Siew Sin, on this question of low quality education, for it concerns the new generation of Malaysians in terms of their future employment, livelihood and role in society.