by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Tuesday, 22nd May 1990:
Anwar’s assurance that the final draft of the Education Bill 1990 will be made public before it is tabled in Parliament is utterly Meaningless and unassuring
The so-called assurance given by the Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, yesterday that the final draft of the Education Bill 1990 will be made public before it is tabled in Parliament is utterly meaningless and unassuring.
Anwar would have kept this assurance if he makes public the Bill 24 hours before it is tabled in Parliament for immediate debate and passage 24 hours later!
The principle of making public the Bill before it is tabled in Parliament is to allow the public ample time to study and debate the proposals in the Bill, and not just to meet the formality that the Bill is made public before it is presented to Parliament, even if it is just 24 hours beforehand.
Parliament is meeting on June 11, which is only 20 days away. The Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, talks so much about democracy, open argument and public accountability of the government, but he could not state how many days he is going to permit the public and the MP to study and debate the Education Bill 1990?
Anwar Ibrahim is wrong when he said that the Boards of Managements of Chinese primary schools on government land were abol¬ished in 1961 when the existing Act came into effect. I am surprised that the Education Minister could make such a mistake.
Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, said that the Chinese community should not be ‘alarmed’ by the issue of the abolition of the Boards of Managements of the 432 Chinese primary schools, as this matter is still being discussed by the Cabinet Com¬mittee on Education.
It is precisely because the Cabinet Committee on Education is discussing the abolition of the Board of Management of 432 Chinese primary schools that the Chinese community is rightly ‘alarmed’!
Does Keng Yaik want the Chinese community to be ‘alarmed’ only after the Boards of Management of the 432 Chinese primary schools had been abolished, and nothing more could be done to save them?
Does Keng Yaik agree with Anwar that in fact all these Boards of Management of the 432 Chinese primary schools have already ceased to exist and that the question is academic?