Press Conference Statement (2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Tuesday, 8th May 1990 at 12 noon
Advice to Anwar Ibrahim to be conscious of his duties to the young generation of students as Education Minister and not to become more and more racialistic with the approach of the general elections
In the past few weeks, the Education Minister and UMNO National Vice President, Anwar Ibrahim, is making more and more racialistic statements and speeches. This is because of the approach of the next general elections as well as the as upcoming UMNO Baru party elections.
Anwar Ibrahim should be conscious of his duties to the young generation of students as Education Minister and the need to set a good example of a Malaysian leader who is fully Malaysian in out-look, thought and conduct.
If Anwar Ibrahim feels that because of the approach of the next general elections as well as the upcoming UMNO Baru party elections, he would have to play the Malay communal line, then instead of setting a bad example to the new generation of students, it may be advisable for him to ask the Prime Minister to switch him to another Cabinet post, with the understanding that he could return to the Education portfolio after the general elections and the UMNO Baru party elections.
Why are the amendments to the Education Act carried out in so ‘hush-hush’ and undemocratic a manner?
Yesterday, at a press conference on the 1990 Education Bill, Anwar Ibrahim said the new education act would be clearer on education philosophy, as promoting national unity.
How can Anwar have credibility that he wants to have a new Education Act to promote notional unity, when he himself is sounding more and more racialistic in his speeches and statements?
Anwar Ibrahim said that the new Education Bill would be tabled in Parliamentary next month. However, although the Dewan Rakyat is to meet on June 11, the Education Ministry has refused to make public all its proposals and recommendations about the new Education Act 1990.
Malaysians have a right to know why are the amendments to the Education Act carried out in so ‘hush-hush’ and undemocratic a manner.
As UNESCO President, Anwar Ibrahim should set a good example to all Education Ministers in the world in the democratic manner in which the new Malaysian Education Act is formulated and enacted.
Anwar talks about democratization of the educational process, when there is no democratization of the educational process, when there is no democratization of the process in formulating and enacting a new Education Act?
DAP insists that the Malaysian public must be given ample time to study and debate the proposals for the new Education Act 1990, which had taken the Government so many years to formulate.
In the June meeting of Parliament, the Barisan Nasional Government should honour its 1986 general elections pledge and repeal Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act.
As for the other educational proposals, the details of which are still completely in the dark, they should constitute a separate bill to be tabled in Parliament, which could be known as the 1990 Education Bill, which should be tabled for first reading only, and should only be debated for second and third reading after the public had been given six months to study its various proposals and recommendations.
In his press conference yesterday, Anwar Ibrahim gave many assurances, including the assurance that the status of Chinese and Tamil primary schools would be unchanged. The trouble is that the Barisan Nasional government has made and broken so many assurances, pledges and promises that the people are skeptical about them.
The refusal of the Barisan Nasional Government to immediately make public all the proposals and recommendations for the new Education Act can only reinforce such skepticism, for the question everyone asks is, if the new Education Act proposals are so good and reassuring, why is the Government not prepared to make them public immediately?