Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka. Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Public Really at Bukit Mertajam on Saturday, 23rd June 1973 at 8p.m.
Call for urgent Ministry of Education action to upgrade the quality and standard of teaching in Malaysian primary schools.
Three months ago, the country was gravely shaken by the by news that 14,400 MCE candidates last year failed led in the MCE examination although they are bright, intelligent and hardworking students- just because of the inexplicable failure in Bahasa Malaysia.
In fact, mass failures at all levels of our education system, by students above average and hardworking, has become the feature of Malaysian education system.
Last month n Parliament, I asked the Minister of Education for detailed results of last year’s Std V Assessment Examination and only a few days ago, I received the particulars.
The results for the Penang schools are indeed shocking. The percentage of failures in the primary schools continues to be very high, illustrating vividly that large number of our children are wasting their years in school. Many of these students are fairly bright and conscientious, but because of the grave defects and shortcomings of the education system, they are being miseducated to become misfits in society when they grow up.
Thus, in the Penang Chinese primary schools, the percentage of failures for each subject in the 1972 Std. V Assessment Examination is as follows:
Percentage of Failures (Chinese primary school in Penang)
Bahasa Malaysia 72%
Bahasa Inggeris I 48%
History- geography 51%
Bahasa Cina 48%
Let us not pretend that all is well with the education with our children, when in fact, there is something radically wrong and rotten with it, which can only bring ruin, unhappiness and disaster for our children when they grow up.
The public, community leaders and conscientious parents must step forward to build up public opinion to compel the Ministry of Education to take urgent remedial measures to upgrade the quality and standard of education in Malaysian primary schools.
A look at the results of other language- media primary schools will show that this problem is not confined to Chinese primary schools alone:
Percentage of Failures (national- type English primary schools) Penang
Bahasa Malaysia 22%
Bahasa Inggeris I 39%
History- geography 35%
National primary schools National (Tamil) primary schools
Bahasa Malaysia 20% Bahasa Malaysia 83%
Bahasa Inggeris I 28% Bahasa Inggeris I 40%
Mathematics 35% Mathematics 62%
Science 33% Science 51%
History- geography 35% History- geography 70%
Recognition of Nantah, Taiwan and India degree and qualifications
A few days ago, the Government announced the recognition of degrees and qualifications from the Al- Azhar University in Cario and other Middle Eastern University.
While welcoming such recognition, it must have been the source of yet greater disappointment for the over 10,000 Malaysians who hold degrees and qualifications from Nantah, Formosan and Indian universities who have for over a decade, been discrim nated against by the government and excluded from giving their full contribution to the development of Malaysia.
The Alliance Government talks about the building of a Just Society and re- Structuring Malaysian society. I call on the Government therefore to immediately accord recognition of the Nantah and Formosan and Indian degrees which are of international repute so that the 10,000 odd Malaysians with tertiary qualifications are given their just and merited place in Malaysian society.
Call on Mr. Lee San Choon the announce his blue- print and master plan for the upliftment of the 900,000 new villagers in Malaysia
For the last 18 months, the 900,000 new villagers in the country have a Ministry for New Villages without any power, funds or responsibility for the modernization and industrialization of the 450 new villages in the country.
Apart from using the issue of the new villages as a issue to gain political capital, nothing was done to fulfill the long- felt needs of the new villagers for land, jobs and homes.
The 900,000 new villagers do not want their welfare to be used as a political football, but want genuine government concern and funds to get them out of their poverty and backwardness and to enjoy a fair share of the national cake which has been denied them for over 20 years.
I therefore call on the new Minister concerned, Mr. Lee San Choon, to announce the government’s blueprint and masterplan for the upliftment of the 900,000 new villagers without any more delay, such a plan, to be useful, must not be some general statement of intention, but specify with particulars the land, jobs and homes that his Ministry can grant or create for the new villagers. The times for generalities are over. It is time for details and action.