Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Public Rally at Tanjong Tualang, 8th April, 1973 at 10.00 p.m.
Call to Cabinet to reconsider MCE failure to award conditional passes to 14,330 who failed just because of Bahasa Malaysia paper
The announcement by the Minister of Education, Dato Hussein Onn, last Tuesday that the Ministry would not award conditional passes to the 14,330 MCE candidates who failed because of failure in Bahasa Malaysia paper in one of most unfortunate events in the recent development of education in the country.
All arguments are in support for the award of conditional passes to the MCE candidates, especially when it is a widely-accepted fact now that the fault for the mass failures of 14,330 does not lie with the students, but with the MCE examination and education system.
The overwhelming majority of the 14,300 students had tried their level best to pass the MCE Bahasa Malaysia paper, knowing full well that they would fail the whole MCE examination if they do not do so. Their school record and school tests show that they have achieved high standards in MCE Bahasa Malaysia. How come, then, can there be such massive failures amounting to 14,300 candidates, who are bright, conscientious and hardworking students?
The DAP call on the Cabinet to reconsider this matter, and in the national interest, to award conditional passes to all 14,330 candidates who would have passed with flying colours if not for failure in Bahasa Malaysia. From these 14,330, I estimate at least 10,000 of them would have got Grade One if not for failure in Bahasa Malaysia.
To require these students to repeat the MCE for another year, despite the fact that they have got distinctions in many subjects, is wasteful in the extreme of the scarce resources in the country, and will be a deep blow to the students, parents and the public.
I urge Cabinet to act with the broadmindedness needed if the people are to have confidence in the integrity of the MCE examination and education system.
Announcements by Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate will not help matters in the least. What the people want is an act of statesmanship from the Cabinets namely, to award conditional passes, and permit those who would otherwise qualified to proceed to H.S.C. to continue with their pre-University course.
Unless this is done, then all member parties of he National Front, whether UMNO, MCA, PPP or Gerakan, must accept full responsibility for this education scandal in Malaysia.