DAP wants legislative assurance that boards of managements of Chinese primary schools would not be wound up

Speech by Ketua Pembangkang and DAP MP for Kota Melaka, Y.B. Lim Kit Siang, in the Dewan Rakyat on the Motion of Thanks on the Royal Address on Tuesday, 22nd March 1977

DAP wants legislative assurance that boards of managements of Chinese primary schools would not be wound up

This is the 20th anniversary of Malaysia since Independence in 1957, but the basic issues of nation building remain unresolved.

The big question, what type of Malaysian nation we are building, has not been answered with satisfaction, assurance or certainty.

There are significant numbers of those who refuse to accept the reality and fact that Malaysia is a/multi-religious nation, and that any other basis of nation building can only bring division, disintegration and disaster. /multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi cultural and

There are significant numbers of those who think purely in terms of race, who equate race with nation, and who disregard the fact that Malaysia is a nation with many races. They do not see or want to see that the only successful and variable nation building policy is one which creates unity out of Malaysia’s racial, religious, linguistic and cultural diversity; but seek instead to impose uniformity through total conformity through all areas of national life.

Malaysia’s diversity is her unique identity, and to lose her diversity through a policy of uniformity Malaysia loses her very identity.

National leaders, entrusted with the task of nation building, must have a longer time-span than just the next general elections. We must be constantly learn from the trials of other plural societies, for instance, in Canada, where the problem of French Quebec has increasingly become more poignant. Even in the United Kingdom, the movement of the Scottish separatism has become more and more a potent force to be reckoned.

I do not want to be misunderstood as advocating separatism or succession in Malaysia, but we will be burying our heads in the sand if we do not try to learn from the problems of other plural societies, to avoid the pit-falls of nation building.

Malaysians, whether leaders or any other level of national life, must be sensitive of the legitimate aspirations and hopes of the diverse groups in the country, and weld them into one Malaysian unity.

Nothing should be done which will harm such legitimate aspiration and hopes, or the biggest loser will be national unity and building.

It is in this context that I want to refer to the letter which the Ketua Setiausaha, Kementerian Pelajaran, Datuk Abdul Kedil bin Talib, wrote on Feb. 7, which has created widespread repercussions.

This letter, which was sent to among other schools, the Kuen Cheng national type (Chinese) primary school and Lick Hung National-type (Chinese) Primary School, was entitled: ” Peraturan Kewangan Sekolah Akibat dari Pembubaran Lembaga Pengurus/ Pentadbiran Sekolah”, and its first two paragraphs read:

“Sebagaimana yang tuan/ puan sedia maklum, semua Lembaga Pengurus/ Pentadbiran Sekolah yang menerima bantuan penuh Kerajaan akan dibubarkan mengikut Seksyen 26A Akta Pelajaran 1961. Tarikh pembubaran Lembara-lembaga tersebut akan diumumkan oleh Yang Amat Berhormat Menteri Pelajaran kelak apa-bila segala masaalah yang timbul akibat pembubaran Lembaga-Lembaga ini dapat diatasi.

“Tujuan surat ini ialah untuk meminta kerjasama tuan/ puan agar memboleh-kan pegawai-pegawai Kementerian Pelajaran melawat dan meninjau beberapa aspek pentadbiran sekolah termasuk Akaun Kewangan dengan Harapan satu peraturan dapat disediankan bagi semua sekolah apabila pembubaran Lembaga-Lembaga itu dibua.”

Section 26A of the 1961 Education Act made it very clear that boards of management/ governors would be wound up, their property rights divested and control removed. This was after all the very purpose why this amendment to the Education Act was introduced and passed in Parliament in January 1972, getting the full support of all government MPs and Ministers. Only DAP MPs strongly opposed its passage in Parliament.

As I said when opposing this Bill in the Dewan Rakyat on 10th January 1972:

“The Boards of Management had been the foster-mother and the lifeblood of Chinese schools and education. It is no exaggeration to say that if there had not been any Board of Management, there would not be a single Chinese school today. Thus, it is widely feared and apprehended that the abolition of Boards of Management, as this Bill seeks to do, will lead to the closure and death of Chinese primary and secondary schools. This is a legitimate fear and apprehension which it is bounden on the elected Government and Parliament to take into serious account in our deliberations today.”

The government should respect the wishes of the people who are involved, and who are best represented in this particular case by the boards of managements, the teachers’ organisations and the Parents-Teachers Associations of the Chinese primary schools, that the boards of managements of Chinese primary school, because of the role that they had played not only in history but at present, should not be wound up.

This Feb. 7 letter of the Ketua Setiausaha, Kementerian Pelajaran acting in accordance with the Section 26A of the Education Act has therefore come as a shock.

What the Chinese school boards of management assurance, teachers and Parent-Teachers associations want is a government assurance, embodied in the Education Act, that the Chinese school boards of managements would not be wound up.

It is not good enough a verbal assurance that the minister of Education has at present no intention to wind up the boards of managements of Chinese primary schools, when it is very clearly laid down in Section 26A (4) and (5) further provides that after the present Boards of Management have been wound up, the Minister may from time to time set up ” board or a committee” which would not be equivalent to the present Boards of Management/ Governors, whose constitution and functions shall be prescribed by the Minister.

Unless there is an assurance that the Chinese school boards of management would not be wound up clearly stipulated in a statute, then under Section 26A, the winding up of these boards is only a question of time, depending on the most propitious political circumstances.

In this connection, the people note the double game being played by the MCA.

Following the Feb. 7 letter by Ketua Setiausaha, Kementerian Kesihatan, MCA in Selangor and MCA leaders in other parts of the country tried to present themselves as opponents of Section 26A.

In fact, one MCA leader in Malacca tried to capitalise on this issue.
He said that the MCA need the political support of the Chinese so that they could be strong enough to influence law-making.

The memory of the people are not so short. The people will not forget that section 26A of the Education Act was only passed into law in January 1972, and with the complete support of MCA MPs and Ministers, including the MCA President, and the present Asst. Education Minister.

I think the people and Parliament are entitled to know what is this double game that the MCA is playing – one tune outside Parliament and another tune in Parliament and Government. After fully supporting the enactment of Section 26A in Parliament to wind up boards of managements of Chinese primary schools, the MCA are now claiming that they need more support from the Chinese to repeal Section 26A. Why did MCA support Section 26A in the first place, and do they sincerely believe that Section 26A should now be repealed. Or would they behave as MCA MPs and Ministers did in Oct. 1975 when, on my motion to repeal Section21(2) of the Education Act to remove the Minister’s power to convert Chinese and Tamil primary schools into national primary schools, MCA MPs and Ministers solidly opposed the motion? There is a Chinese colloquialism which fits MCA very well:” Men they are, devils they are too”.

Chinese schools as good a nursery to mould Malaysians as other schools

There is no need for anyone to apologise for raising the question of Chinese education in Parliament. In fact, there is a great need for Parliament itself to fully understand the question of Chinese education in Malaysia, which is not a sectional or a problem of one racial group, but part of Malaysia problem.

In fact, the correct understanding and appreciation of the place and contribution of Chinese education in Malaysia holds to key to successfully build a Malaysia people out of the diverse races.

It is a fairly common attitude in some circles that products of Chinese schools are potentially disloyal or communistically-inclined. If these pre-judices and misconceptions are not eliminated, or even worse, allowed to influence nation building policies, then Malaysia cannot be a united nation and people.

Chinese schools are as good as a nursery to mould Malaysians with a sense of Malaysian conscious, identity and loyalty, as any other type of schools. They should therefore be fully accorded the rightful place in the mainstream of the national educational system, and not be tolerated until the time and circumstances are more appropriate to move against them.

Just as no one question the loyalty of an MP or political leader who raise or speak about the problem of Malay poverty, similarly no one should question the loyalty of an MP or political leader who raise or speak about the problems of Chinese education.

This need emphasis because it is clear that this is the main reason why the DAP MP for Batu Gajah, Sdr. Chian Heng Kai, and DAP Assistant National Treasurer, Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, have been selected for detention under the Internal Security Act in Kamunting Camp in Taiping.

Call for immediate release of Chian Heng Kai and Chan Kok Kit as there is no iota of evidence to support the Special Branch case that they were involved with Communist United Front¬

When Sdr. Chian and Sdr. Chan were arrested on Nov. 3 together with the two former deputy Minister Abdullah Ahmad, Abdullah Majid, PSRM Chairman, Sdr. Kassim Ahmad and MCA Executive Secretary, Tan Ken Shen, the authorities issued a statement that they were being detained for interrogation in connection with their involvement with communist united front activities.

In his now famous television speech on Feb.4, the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, attempted to justify the detentions. I am here referring specifically to the cases of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit. There are two sections which are relevant. Firstly, at the start of his speech, he said:

“I believe there are still those who are questioning the arrests of persona-lities who formerly held influential positions in their respective fields and organisations. They are Samad Ismail, Samani Mohd. Amin, Datuk Abdullah Ahmad, Abdullah Majid, Tan Kwee Shen, Kassim Ahmad, Chan Kok Kit, and Chian Heng Kai.

“They were detained because of their involvement in the activities of Communist United Front or in activities which could be regarded as assisting the advancement of the CUF, whether directly or indirectly, deliberately or unknowingly.”

“Saya percaya masih ada yang tertanya-tanya apakah sebenarnya sebab-sebab beberapa orang tokoh yang dahuluny menduduki tempat yang agak berpengaruh di dalam bidang dan organisasi masing-masing, ditahan tidak berapa lama dahulu, saperti;-

(A) Samad Ismail;
(B) Samani Mohd. Amin;
(C) Datuk Abdullah Ahmad;
(D) Abdullah Majid;
(E) Tan Kwee Shen;
(F) Kassim Ahmad;
(G) Chan Kok Kit;
(H) Chian Heng Kai.

“Mereka ini sebenarnya telah ditahan kerana penglibatan mereka di dalam kegiatan-kegiatan Barisan Bersatu Komunis ataupun sekurang-kurangnya kegiatan-kegiatan yang boleh disifatkan sebagia membantu kemajuan Barisan Bersatu Komunis samada secara langsung atau tidak langsung; samada dengan sengaja atau tidak sengaja.

The other section, at the close of his statement, states:

“Of the persons arrested on November 2 and 3, 1976 – Datuk Abdullah Ahmad, Encik Abdullah Majid, Mr.Chian Heng Kai, Encik Kassim Ahmad, Mr. Chan Kok Kit and Mr. Tan Kwee Shen – five had confessed their involvement in assisting the Communist United Front. Three if the five had expressed their desire to make statement over TV Malaysia. The other two did not want to confess openly because they still wanted to continue their political activities on their release, while the other one still adheres to Marx-Lenin-Mao teachings.”

“Berkenaan dengan enam orang yang ditahan pada 2 dan 3 Nov. 1976, iaitu Datuk Abdullah Ahmad, Encik Abdullah Majid, Encik Chan Heng Kai, Encik Kassim Ahmad, Encik Chan Kok Kit dan Encik Ten Ken Shen, lima daripada mereka telah mengakui di dalam kegiatan-kegiatan yang membantu Barisan Bersatu Komunis.

“Dari lima orang itu, tiga telah melahirkan keinginan mereka untuk membuat kenyataan di Television Malaysia. Dua tidak mahu mengaku secara terbuka kerana masih ingin meneruskan kegiatan politik mereka tatkala dibebaskan nanti, dan seorang lagi masih berpegang kepada pengajaran Marx-Lenin-Mao.”

It is obvious that in referring to the “two who did not want to confess openly”, the IGP was referring to Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit.

The smear and inference unanimously drawn by all was that Sdr. Chian and Sdr. Chan had privately confessed their involvement with CUF activities, but cowardly did not want to do so publicly because of their intention to continue their activities on their release.

That this was a unanimous conclusion and inference can be seen from the front-page headlines of the Malaysian newspapers. Thus, Utusan Malaysia carried the front-page headline:” 5 DARINY MENGAKU TERLIBAT”; New Straits Times had the front-page headline:” I Confess – by five of these” with the photographs of the six detained in November 2 and 3 below the headlines; Nanyang Siang Pao headlined:” Five Politicians Arrested Last Year confess Involvement with CUF”.

Mrs. Chian Heng Kai and Mrs. Chan Kok Kit met their husband in Kamunting Detention shortly after and both denied to their wives that they had ever confessed involvement with CUF activities.

On Feb. 23, I received a letter from Sdr. Chian Heng Kai written on 7th Feb., denying categorically that he and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit had ever been involved in any CUF activities, or made any such confession. Copies of this letter are I am sure in the Special Branch files.

In his letter, Sdr. Chian said that during detention, he made it very clear to the Special Branch officers he was not a member, nor supporter or sympathizer, of the MCP; that he had never received any publicity material from the communist; and that all his actions and speeches had never been intended to assists the communists.

On 3rd March, I met the IGP, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, to clarify his TV statement. The IGP denied that he had stated or implied that Sdr. Chian and Sdr. Chan had confessed to the Special Branch that they had been involved in CUF activities.

Why then are Sdr. Chian and Sdr. Chan detained, Is it, to use the IGP’s own words, “..in activities which could be regarded as assisting the advancement of the CUF, whether directly or indirectly, deliberately or unknowingly.”

Have we reached the stage where members of Parliament or political leaders can lose their freedom and civic rights not because of any involvement with CUF activities, but because “their activities could be regarded as assisting the advancement of CUF, whether directly or indirectly, deliberately or unknowingly.”?

A person who practises corruption can be brought into this category of being involved in “activities which could be regarded as assisting the advancement of the CUF, whether directly or indirectly, deliberately or unknowingly.” Similarly, a person who criticises corruption could also be brought the same rubric of being involved in ” activities which could be regarded as assisting the advancement of the CUF, whether directly or indirectly, deliberately or unknowingly.”.

Similarly, anyone who criticises the government because of economic mismanagement, rampant poverty, abuse of powers, exploitation of workers and peasants, can easily be roped within the category of “activities which could be regarded as assisting the advancement the CUF, whether directly or indirectly, deliberately or unknowingly .”

One’s involvement and association with the CUF, it would appear, does not rest on the need for objective evidence, but a subjective belief of the police or the political masters.

So long as the political masters or the police personnel concerned want to keep someone locked away, and is prepared to believe that his activities “indirectly,”unknowingly” help the CUF, it is enough.

Is this the respect for law, the rule of law, which the Barisan Nasional leaders prate about at home and at international forums?

A study of the grounds of detention of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit given by the Special Branch shows that neither of them are being charged of “directly” or “deliberately” being involved in activities of the Communist Front.

In the “Facts of Allegation” – “Butir-butir Tuduhan” – preferred by the Special Branch to justify their “Grounds of Detention” against both Sdr. Chian and Sdr. Chan are their alleged speeches at public rallies, party functions and meetings.

Some of these allegations are completely untrue, or distorted, clearly based on suspect reports made by police spies sent to party meetings and function. The majority of the “facts of allegation” concern their advocacy of Chinese education issues, over a period from 1971 to 1976, which are completely within the bounds of the law and the Constitution.

In view of the fact that all the allegations against Sdr. Chian and Sdr. Chan are on what they said from 1971 to 1976, if what they had said had exceeded the limits permitted by the law and the Constitution, then they should be charged in Court. This will also prevent police informers and spies from farming innocent persons with trumped-up reports of untrue speeches in order to prove their worth.

One basic reason the Government had given in defence of the Internal Security Act which permit trial without detention is that it is impossible to get witnesses to testify against the advocates of violence, and that the ISA is needed to plug this defect. Here, the ISA is being used as the substitutes of the ordinary laws of the land, because it is convenient and expedient. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!

Sdr. Chian and Sdr. Chan have been politically victimised, not because they had transgressed the law or the Constitution, nor because they had been involved with the CUF for which the Special Branch has no single shred of evidence, but because firstly, their consistent, though lawful and constitutional advocacy of Chinese educational issues, and secondly, they were sacrificed on the altar of UMNO intra-party in-fighting.

The unwarranted and unjustified detention of Sdr. Chian and Sdr. Chan is the latest vivid example of the abuse of police powers by these in government to silence and intimidate the constitutional opposition.

In fact, I do not think that there are any activities which could best befit the description of “could be regarded as assisting the advancement of the CUF, whether directly or indirectly, deliberately or unknowingly’, than government actions which seek to silence, intimidate and crush the Constitutional Opposition. For the net result can only be the direct increase in support for the CUF as more and more people turn away disillusioned and disenchanted from the democratic process as a means to bring about reforms and changes. Will the IGP and the Special Branch put under the ISA those Barisan Nasional leaders responsible for such unwarranted and unjustified arrests,

I call on the Government to immediately release Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit. Every day they spend in the detention camp is a day of the reminder of the excesses and abuses off police power, and the trampling of democratic rights and human liberties for petty, sectional ends.

Will Malaysia go Red?

There is no doubt that although the question, whether Malaysia will go communist, does not have that poignancy and immediately as in the months immediately after the communist successes in Indo-China in 1975, this question has not reached from the minds of thinking Malaysians or political observers and interested foreigners.

The situation in Thailand has only injected a greater sense unease and instability.

Whether Malaysia will go communist or not will predominantly depend on whether the various races in Malaysia are being welded into one people, or are being kept even more apart bt the policies if the government.

There is a serious need for a overall review of the nation-building policies of the government in economics, education, employment, politics, culture.


The government must act immediately to check the brain drain not only of professional men from government services, but even more seriously, the migration of Malaysia professionals abroad.

It is too glib and shallow to dismiss this problem as a problem of the professionals not being loyal enough. Is the doctor-brother of the Assistant Minister of Education, who has also joined the migration trial, also disloyal or anti-national, I hope the Assistant minister of Education can help enlighten this House.

The Government, and in particular, the Minister of Health, does not seem to have the will or capability to tackle decisively with the problem of exodus’ of doctors from the government service and the country.

There is endless talk of study and postponement and study, but precious little action. Doctors continue to leave in droves, seriously undermining the capability and performance of hospitals and the medical service.

In fact, the Minister of Health should not only act firmly to create more conducive conditions to retain doctors and specialists, he should look into the deplorable conditions of service of doctors in the defence forces.

I had suggested at the last year’s Parliament meeting the formation of a Medical Services Commission to decide on appointments, promotions and other personnel aspects of medical officers in government service as an effective means to keep doctors in service. Medical officers in the Ministry of Defence, who next to Ministry of Health, employs the largest number of medical officers, should be brought under the purview of this Medical Services Commission.

At present, medical officers in the Ministry of Defence are not even allowed to join the medical branch of the Senior Government Officers Association. Although the primary role of the service medical officers is to provide medical cover for troops and their families, they also provide medical support for the general public through civic action – and a good case is the Armed Forces Hospital Terendak.

Call for greater multi-racial content in television programmes

There is an urgent need for a greater multi-racial content in the television programmes in the country. It is no exaggeration to say that the television programmes have completely failed to reflect the multi-racial character of Malaysia, and is a reminder of the distance the country has to reach the multi-racial goal.

The programming of TV Sabah is even worse. There is not a single Kadazan or Chinese programme. Chinese programme over Sabah Radio is confined to the three 15-minutes news a day.

These are all against the multi-racial character of Malaysia in general, and Sabah in particular. I can see no reason why Television Sabah cannot have Kadazan and Chinese programmes; nor why Radio Sabah cannot restore the Chinese programmes of having at least three hours a day with plays, talks, songs, etc. I understand that this is one of the Berjaya state general state election promises, which it has not kept.


Corruption today is more rampant and unchecked than it was 20 years ago. The first Malaysian Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, in his weekly column in Star last week wrote of the abuses in rich states where “all kinds of applications for land came forward from important persons.” He had a higher opinion of the British administrators in the colonial days, who, the Tunku said, “ Had the colonial tradition of honesty, and a high standard of administrative integrity and ability which they maintained as proud and loyal servants of their imperial masters. What’s more, they kept aloof from local fortune-hunters and shady characters.”

In fact, wherever one goes, the story of the alienation of land for the benefit of a handful of political leaders is an endless one, whether in Malacca, Perak, Pahang Sarawak or Sabah.

In the last general elections in Sabah last year there was an estimate that $30 million was spent during the campaign, far in excess of the legally permissible expenditures for election campaigns. Those who had invested $30 million in the general elections do so not out of altruism, but in the expectation that they can get dividends, not to break even, but to make hundred times if not a thousand times.

There is where corruption sets in, and eats into the core of the political system.

The Tunku suggested that Parliament should amend laws in respect of the powers of the State Governments to alienate land whether mining, timber or others. He regarded that when he was Prime Minister he did not do this to check such abuses.

In my view, the problem is not so much the amendment of laws, but the imposition of a high standard of integrity of public officials, who are constantly held accountable for their public and even private actions.

Amendment of laws will not create a more honest government with regard to alienate of land, but only shift the locus of corruption from the State probably to the Federal.

The National Bureau of investigation must be given teeth and independent powers to prosecute corruption and abuses of power, regardless of position or political association. It must have autonomous powers to act firmly against any ‘ikan yu’ without having to get the political green-light from the political superiors, who often have to think of political considerations rather than the purging of corruption and malpractices. This is why throughout the country, there is such cynicism about the integrity and incorruptibility of high government and political leaders.

I seriously commend to the Prime Minister to make the NBI an autonomous and independent body, answerable only to Parliament, and have powers to prosecute anyone without having to get the greenlight from any Minister or even the Prime Minister himself.

Prices: Firm government action needed

In the past few weeks, the government allowed prices of one consumer item after another to rise by leaps and bounds, without ant attempt to check it. In fact, government spokesmen and Ministers appeared to be more interested in justifying and explain why such prices must increase, instead of defending the purchasing power of the poor.

One Assistant Minister said the spate of price increases are due to the expectation of salary pay-out to government servants under the Mahathir Cabinet Committee Report. At the rate that the prices are increasing, the merge salary increases which the government servants get under Mahathir Report may be just enough to retain their purchasing power. This means that although on paper, the government servants get a few dollars and cents, in terms of buying power, he does not get anything more. He will be lucky if he does not get less. For what is the government going to do to stop another series of price increases are paid out?

Workers in the private sector and peasants and fishermen will be the worse off, for their purchasing power will be reduced without any compensation.

The net beneficiary will be the manufacturers and big businessmen who provide the financial backbone for the Barisan Nasional parties. At the end of it all, the rich will become richer and the poor poorer.

Malaysians of the low-income groups, peasants, fishermen and workers want a government which can be firm against unreasonable and unjustified price increases.

Pensioners: Call for extension of pension factor of 1/600 to all pensioners

The Mahathir Report seems to have created numerous anomalies. Thus, it denies the employees in the subordinate and manual groups who retired between 1.8.68 and 31.12.75 and all public officers who retired between 1.1.70 and 31.12.75 any revision of pension and gratuity.

The government should not delay any further and should extend the pension factor of 1/600 enjoyed by employees of local authorities since 1970 as a result of Harun Commission to all pensioners presently drawing a pension factor of 1/800. This should be backdated to 1970. This is the only fair and just thing to do in recognition of the services which the pensioners have rendered to the country.

Memberi bekas perajuri layanan yang baik dalam perkhidmatan kerajaan

Ramai bekas perajuri yang sedang berkhidmat dalam jabatan-jabatan kerajaan dan badan-badan berkanun di seluruh negara tidak puas hati dengan tangga gaji mereka sekarang.

Mereka tidak puas hati kerana diberikan gaji yang minima bila memulakan perkhidmatan di jabatan-jabatan yang berkenaan. Gaji mereka adalah jauh lebih rendah dari gaji terakhir yang mereka terima semasa berkhidmat dalam angkatan tentera.

Bekas-bekas perajurit ini bukanlah berkhidmat dalam jawatan-jawatan tinggi, tetapi bekerja sebagai kerani, pemandu, pegawal keselamatan dan lain-lain.

Setelah berkhidma selama 10 tahun dlaam Angkatan Tentera dan umur masing-masing pun sudah 30 tahun, mereka diberikan jawatan-jawatan tersebut dengan gaji yang minima.

Misalnya seoran bekas perajurit yang bertugas sebagai pegawai kerani di beri tanggagaji permulaan $220 x 25 iaitu sama seperti lain-lain kerani baru.

” This is unfair, taking into account the services the ex-servicemen to the country. I call on the government to issue the necessary directives to ensure that all ex-servicemen are put on the maxima of their salary scale in appreciation of their services to the country.

Kemendore Felda Scheme: Why settlers each get $400 – $600 less on settlement of their repayments¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬

I want here to bring the question of Kemendore Felda Scheme in Malacca. The settler-families there are very dissatisfied, because although they completed re-payment of their loan to Felda well ahead of time, they find on total re-settlement of their loan payments, they were repaid back from $400 to $600 each.

Why is this so. Although the settlers have tried to find out from the authorities why they have been under-repaid, they have not been able to get any response from authorities. I hope the Minister of Land Development can look into this and give a satisfactory settlement.

Why have oxygen regulators in Malacca Hospital broken down causing grave hazard to lives?

The Malacca General Hospital, which had more than its share of adverse publicity, is now again a problem hospital. This time it concerns the oxygen regulators which are attached to oxygen tanks to regulate oxygen flow.

Since January, the majority of the regulators and ‘flow-meters’ in the various wards are not in working order. The gauge, measuring the quantity of oxygen supplied to the patient have malfunctioned, and often a spanner had to be used, and as a results, patients sometimes do not get oxygen at all.

I understand that there has at least been one recent case of death which is traceable to the malfunctioning of the flow-meters, where oxygen urgently needed did not reach the patient concerned.

Even more serious, I understand that the apathetic machine in the operating theatre, which supplies life-giving oxygen and the pain-relieving acid nitrous acid in the operating theatre to the patient undergoing operation are not being serviced by the local agents of the equipment,

This anesthetics machine has a regulator which reduces pressure and a flow-meter checking the supply of the gas, and any failure of such machine will cause death of the patient undergoing operation, for in these circumstances, a patient minus oxygen and nitrous acid have no chance a life, however good surgeon in charge of the operation may be.

I have been told that the problem of widespread malfunctioning of the flow-meters of oxygen tanks is not a problem confined to Malacca General Hospital.

The Minister of Health should taken a serious view and urgent action should be taken. Human lives should not be trifled with. The public clearly have a right to know why anathetic machines in the operating theatres in the Malacca General Hospital are not serviced by the local agents who know the job, rather than given to someone who is a stranger to a machine which is of such critical importance to lives.