By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, Oct. 16, 1986:
Two MCA Deputy Education Ministers, Ng Cheng Kiat and Woon See Chin, had failed the Chinese community because they had been part of a conspiracy to mislead them about the Curriculum Development centre proposal to drop Chinese language as an SRP examination subject ater 1988
The Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, was forced to admit in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that the Curriculum Development Centre had forwarded a proposal to drop Chinese and Tamil as SRP examination subjects after 1988 in the new secondary school curriculum.
Both Anwar Ibrahim and the Deputy Education Minister, including former Deputy Education Minister Ng Cheng Kiat, had been involved in an elaborate exercise to keep the people, and in particular the Chinese community, in the dark about the Curriculum Development Centre’s formal proposal.
The MCA, which claims to be a new leadership with a new style of representing the Malaysian Chinese community, has proved to have acted against the interests of the Malaysian Chinese in this issue. Instead of trying to keep the Malaysian Chinese in the dark about the proposal to drop Chinese as a SRP examination subject, it should have informed the people, and spearhead an attack on the proposal.
When I first made public this proposal to drop Chinese as a SRP examination subject during the debate on the Royal Address last Thursday, the Education Minister accused me of spreading baseless rumours and imagining things. The Education Minister was supported by his Deputy Education Minister, Woon See Chin, in trying to mislead the Chinese community.
When replying to my speech yesterday, Anwar Ibrahim was going to repeat the same line that what I had said was baseless, when I confronted him by showing him that I have a copy of the Curriculum Development Centre’s proposal to drop Chinese as a SRP examination subject, and when Anwar saw that I had a copy, changed tune and said that it was only one of a thousand proposals.
Anwar Ibrahim was being most dishonest, for the Curriculum Development Centre had only submitted one proposal to the Ministry of Education with regard to the KBSM curriculum after 1988. This is the first time that Anwar Ibrahim was caught in the act of trying to deny a formal government proposal, and when confronted with proof, changed tack by claiming that it was only one of many proposals being considered by the Government. I want to ask Anwar Ibrahim how many Centres for Curriculum Development has his Ministry set up? As there is only one such centre, which submitted only one proposal, there cannot be thousand and one other proposals!
The Curriculum Development Centre submitted its KBSM proposal to drop Chinese as a SRP examination subject on May 10, 1986 – which means that the two MCA Deputy Education Minister, Ng Cheng Kiat and Woon See Chin, have been guilty of the most dishonest and irresponsible conduct in trying to protect the Curriculum Development Centre by hiding its proposal from public knowledge.
Is the purpose to announce the new secondary school curriculum, incorporating the dropping of Chinese as a SRP examination subject, in the last-minute, giving the people no opportunity to object before its implementation?
The two MCA Deputy Education Ministers for the past six months, Ng Cheng Kiat and Woon See Ching, had failed the Chinese community ask as they had been part of a conspiracy to mislead the people about the Curriculum Development Centre’s proposals fro the new secondary school curriculum affecting Chinese as a subject, both for teaching and examination.
What is even more shocking is the empty guarantee by Woon See Chin to mislead the Chinese community on Oct. 8 that Chinese language would be incorporated as a regular subject in the KBSM (Kurriculum Baru Sekolah Menengah).
According to the Curriculum Development Centre proposal for the KBSM, the arrangement of Chinese language classes would be up to the discretion of the headmasters concerned. This means that headmasters can decide, for various administrative and even political reasons, not to conduct ‘POL’ – Pupil’s Own Language – classes as a regular subject as is the position with many secondary schools today.
The Curriculum Development Centre proposed that there should be five or six more subjects – ‘matepelajaran teras – for SRP, excluding Chinese.
The Centre proposed that Islamic studies be a compulsory ‘core’ subject which all Muslim students should take for examination. Why can’t Chinese and Tamil be a compulsory ‘core’ subject, which all Chinese and Tamil students should take for purposes of examination as well?
In any event, the Minister of Education and his Deputy Education, as well as the Barisan nasional parties of UMNO, MCA, Gerakan, MIC and others, should be warned that if they implement the Centre for Curriculum Development’s proposal to drop Chinese and Tamil as SRP examination subjects, they have broken faith with the people.
Ng Cheng Kiat and Woon See Chin should in fact both resign as Deputy Ministers for their shameful performance over the issue of the Centre of Curriculum Development’s proposal to drop Chinese as a SRP examination subject.
Chinese Government Leaders are welcome to visit Malaysia but should stop making statements urging Malaysian Chinese to be loyal to Malaysia, for this is unsolicited and gratuitous advice which could also be distored
The DAP welcomes the visit by Chinese Government leaders to Malaysia, and their assurance that the Chinese Government would not interfere in Malaysia’s internal affairs.
Malaysia is an independent and sovereign nation, and has the right to demand mutual respect of each other’s national sovereignty and independence with all nations, big and small.
The Deputy Foreign Minister, Datuk Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, told the press after a two-hour meeting with the Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister, Liu Shuging, that his Chinese counterpart had urged all Malaysians of Chinese descent to be loyal to Malaysia and to fully support all efforts to bring about stability, prosperity and unity.
I want to advise Liu Shuging and all other Chinese Government leaders who will visit Malaysia in future to stop giving gratuitous and unsolicited advice to Malaysian Chinese, especially as such gratuitous and unsolicited advice could be distorted by certain irresponsible quarters.
Malaysian Chinese are Malaysians in the fullest sense of the word, and they are as loyal to Malaysia as any other races to be found in Malaysia. They are loyal to Malaysia because they are citizens and ‘sons of the soil’ of Malaysia, not because of the advice of Chinese Government leaders.
If Chinese Government leaders who visit Malaysia always give this gratuitous and unsolicited advice to Malaysian Chinese to be loyal to Malaysia, it may give the unfortunate impression to certain irresponsible quarters that Malaysian Chinese are only loyal to Malaysia on the advice of the Chinese Government leaders; and that should one day, the Chinese Government ask them to be disloyal to Malaysia, they would also comply.