Speech (2) of Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the opening of the Selangor DAP State Convention on Sunday, 24.3.l985 at 10 am.
DAP calls on a top-level Malaysian delegation, led by Education Minister Abdullah Badawi, to visit Canberra to protest against
the increase of fees of Malaysian students by Australian Government.
The DAP calls on the Malaysian government to send a high-level delegation, led by Education Minister, Abdullah Badawi, to Canberra to protest against the Australian government increase of fees of Malaysian students.
Despite appeals, memorandums and even protests, the Australian
Government had disregarded the long-standing relationship between the two
countries and went ahead to increase sharply the fees of Malaysian students
There seems to be a misconception among Australian government
circles that the overwhelming majority of Malaysian students come from rich
and well-off families. In fact, this is also the distinct impression the DAP
leaders gathered when we discussed with members of the Goldring Committee
during their visit to Kuala Lumpur, which subsequently reported against increase
The latest round of increases of fees by the Australian Government
will add a new financial burden of some $15 million on Malaysian parents,
and for the poor and low-income families who are already finding it hard to
finance their children’s higher studies in Australia, this would be a
particularly hard and cruel blow.
In a way, the Malaysian government must bear responsibility for
the latest round of increases, for it was none other than the Education Minister
Datuk Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi who announced that the Malaysian Government
understood and accepted the Australian’s proposal to increase fees, during
the visit of the Australian Foreign Minister, Bill Hayden.
Why should the Malaysian Government criticise the British Government’s
increase of fees of foreign students leading to the ‘Buy British Goods Last’
campaign, while giving its blessings to the Australian Government’s
The DAP calls on the Malaysian Government to regard the hardships
faced by Malaysian students as a result of the new round of Australia fee increase
as a direct responsibility of the Malaysian Government, which must step forward to
find a solution to ensure that no Malaysian student suffers as a result.
DAP warns the Education Ministry bureaucrats to stop acting as policy makers
or they will face another ‘Mandarin orange’ situation.
The DAP condemns the Ministry of Education decision to disallow
Chinese Independent Secondary School Middle III students from sitting
for the Sijil Rendah Pelajaran (SRP) examination this year on the ground of their
under-age. This is most preposterous and intolerable – for all these years
Chinese Independent Secondary School Middle III students had been sitting
for the SRP. Furthermore, they are of the same age group as the Form III students
in national secondary schools, except for the batch which underwent an extra
year in Remove class.
The DAP warns the Education Ministry bureaucrats not to
act as policy makers in utter disregard to the rights and sensitivities
of Malaysians, whether parents or students. The Mandarin oranges
bungle and scandal during the Chinese New Year should be a lesson and warning
that in a multi-racial country, bureaucrats who are insensitive and
disregard the legitimate rights and aspirations of all groups in the country
can lead to unpleasant repercussions and consequences.
The DAP calls on the Education Minister, Abdullah Badawi,
to intervene in the SRP matter immediately before the issue becomes another
‘Mandarin Oranges’ issue