Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the first ceramah in Tekluk Intan during his one-day visit to the Teluk Intan parliamentary constituency on Tuesday, May 29, 1990 at 4 p.m.
Anwar Ibrahim should not use education officials and headmasters as his political pawns in the Education Bill 1990 controversy
Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, announced in Kuantan yesterday that he had directed all state education directors to head state-level information committees to rebut accusations by Opposition parties regarding the Education Bill 1990.
Anwar said that the committees, comprising headmasters and parents, must start explaining the Education Bill to the public from now as he alleged that Semangat 46 is saying that the Government had bowed to pressure from the Chinese political parties to amend the law.
Anwar has been accusing the Opposition parties of ‘playing politics’, but it is the Education Minister himself who is ‘playing politics’ with the Education Bill 1990.
In directing all state education directors and headmasters to form state-level information committees to take on Opposition parties in the Education Bill 1990 controversy, Anwar Ibrahim is trying to turn the education officers and headmasters into the political pawns and propagandists of the Barisan Nasional!
In any event, as the Education Bill 1990 is still kept a top secret document under the Official Secrets Act, how are the education directors and headmasters to explain the provisions of the Education Bill? Or are the education directors and headmasters going to be given special access to the Education Bill 1990, when Members of Parliament are still denied all information about the Bill?
If this is not playing politics with the Education Bill 1990, I do not know what it is!
DAP warns State education directors and headmasters to resign and join politics if they want to get involved in the Education Bill 1990 controversy
DAP warns all State education directors and headmasters not be made use of by Anwar to become the tools and stooges of the Barisan Nasional in the Education Bill 1990 controversy. They are government servants, and they should stay out of this controversy.
If the State education directors and headmasters want to get involved in the Education Bill 1990 controversy, and be the defenders of Anwar Ibrahim, UMNO Baru, MCA, Gerakan in the Education Bill 1990 controversy, then they should resign from the government first and join any one of the Barisan Nasional parties.
Anwar Ibrahim has been using the Education Ministry to further his political position in UMNO and Government.
As Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim should have presented an Education Amendment Bill when the new Parliament met for the first time after the 1986 general elections to fulfil the Barisan Nasional general elections pledge to repeal Section 21(2) of the Education Act 1961.
However, Anwar wanted to ‘play politics’ and instead of a straight-forward Education Act amendment bill to repeal Section 21(2), he announced that the Barisan Nasional government was going to amend the entire Education Act 1961.
From the latest disclosures by the Deputy Education Minister, Woon See Chin, about the proposal in the new Education Bill to abolish the Boards of Management of 432 ‘fully-aided’ Chinese primary schools, one could only draw the conclusion that Anwar Ibrahim is only prepared to repeal Section 21(2) in return for other concessions, like the abolition of the Boards of Management of 432 Chinese primary schools.
Education Bill 1990 should be made public latest by tomorrow
Anwar again ‘played politics’ by putting the Official Secrets Act on the draft Education Bill, refusing to allow the Opposition parties and the public the right to know its contents, so that he could accuse the Opposition parties of not sending any memorandum on the draft Education Bill.
Anwar has said that the final draft of the Education Bill will be presented to the Cabinet tomorrow. There should be no more delay in making the Education Bill 1990 public and this must be done latest by tomorrow, as Parliament is meeting in 13 days’ time.