Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, to members of the Alor Star DAP Branch in Alor Star on Saturday m 8th Oct. 1977 at 7.30 p.m.
Is it true that the Cabinet Education Review Committee under Dr. Mahathir Mohamed has decided to shelve its report until after the next general elections?
When Dr. Mahathir Mohamed was first brought into the Cabinet after the August 1974 General Elections as Education Minister, the then Prime Minister Tun Razak, also announced the setting up of a Cabinet Education Review Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Mahathir.
Dr. Mahathir at first gave himself six months, and which period kept extending indefinitely, to complete the assignment. I now understand that the Cabinet Education Review Committee has decided to shelve its Report until after the next general elections. I ask the Acting Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir, to confirm whether this is correct, and if so, why the Cabinet Committee is shelving the Report until after the next general elections.
There are two main educational areas which must be urgently dealt with: firstly, the deterioration in the standards of education at all levels of education, from the primary level all the way to university stage, as highlighted by the decision of the United Kingdom General Medical Council that from from this year, the University of Malaya Medical Council of its international academic standards. This annual report is to go on for five years. After five years, there is a possibility that the U.K. General Medical Council will de-recognise the Malayan University M.B.B.S. degree, so that doctors graduating from University of Malaya would no more be recognised in the United Kingdom, as has been the case all along.
The second main area of education which merits urgent attention is the place and future of Chinese and Tamil schools and education, as for the last 20years, frustration and dissatisfaction about the treatment and place of Chinese and Tamil schools and education have been building up, which is not conducive to national unity.
It is now more than three years since the establishment of the Mahathir Cabinet Education Review Committee, and the Malaysian public is entitled to know the reason for this inordinate delay in finalising the Cabinet Education Review Report.
There is growing feeling among Malaysians that the Barisan Nasional Ministers are not competent to decide the educational future of Malaysian children, for they send their own children overseas for education, in some cases even for primary education.
I call on the Acting Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to make public a full list of Ministers and Deputy Ministers who send their children overseas for education, giving details as to whether it is for primary, secondary or university education, and to let every Minister explaine to the Malaysian public why he or she is not prepared to have his or her children educated locally, and taught by Malaysian teachers. Is it because Barisan Nasional Ministers and Deputy Ministers think that the Malaysian education system is good only for ordinary Malaysians of all races, while their own children deserve a superior education abroad?