Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Education Bill 1990 Ceramah held at Kajang on Wednesday, June 13, 1990 at 8 p.m.
Call on Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, to make a clear-out statement as to whether the Barisan Nasional Government would honour its 1986 general elections pledge and repeal Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act before the next general elections
From his answer to the parliamentary question by the DAP MP for Bukit Mertajam, Chian Heng Kai, in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday, it is now clear that the Education Bill 1990 will not be passed in the June meeting of Parliament.
In fact, it may not even be tabled at the current meeting of Parliament.
What is uppermost in everybody’s mind at the moment is whether the Barisan Nasional Government would fulfill its 1986 general elections pledge and repeal Section 21(2) of the Education Act 1961 before the next general elections.
There is a great possibility that general elections could be called either in August or September.
If the Barisan Nasional government is to fulfill its 1986 general elections pledge, then it will have to introduce a special Education Amendment Bill containing only one section, to repeal Section 21(2) of the Education Act 1961, and present it to the Dewan Rakyat for passage latest by next Friday on June 22.
There are however no indications that the Education Minister is prepared to honour the Barisan Nasional’s general elections pledge to repeal Section 21(2) before the next general elections.
What has happened to MCA’s pledge to pull out Barisan Nasional if Parliament did not repeal Section 21(2) by the end of 1986?
I still remember the solemn promise given by the top MCA leadership in the last general elections that the MCA would pull out of the Barisan Nasional if Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act is not repealed by the end of 1986.
I want to ask the MCA leadership what has happened to this solemn pledge of the MCA? Now the people can see clearly how worth-less are the solemn pledges and undertakings given by the MCA leaders.
MCA and Gerakan want the Education Bill 1990 to be deferred until after the next general elections to escape the judgement of the people
It id open secret that the MCA and Gerakan leaders want the Education Bill 1990 deferred until after the next general elections. This is to enable the MCA and Gerakan to escape the judgment of the people so hat their Parliamentary and State candidates would not be adversely affected by the new education law and system in the next general elections.
MCA and Gerakan are prepared to support whether Education Bill 1990 provided the present Parliament is not asked to pass it.
MCA and Gerakan leaders’ main disagreement with the UMNO leaders on the Education Bill 1990 is not so much the contents and provisions in the Bill, but the timing with regard to its presentation and passage in Parliament.
MCA and Gerakan believe that the voters in Malaysia have a short memory, and if any unpopular and bad laws are to be passed, it should be done in the first two years of any new Parliament. This is to give time for the people to forget about them by the end of the Parliamentary term, when general elections are called.
This was what happened with regard to the $1.6 billion Co-operative Finance Scandal in 1986. the authorities knew that a few of the co-operatives, particularly those connected with the MCA leaders, were in deep trouble in early 1986, but they did not take action for feat that this would endanger the MCA Parliamentary and State Assembly candidates in the upcoming general elections.
As a result, no action was taken until the 1986 general elections were over. A few days after the August 3, 1986 general elections, Bank Negara froze 24 co-operative finance companies, creating enormous hardships to the 600,000 depositors, who come from the ordinary strata of society.
If the Bank Negara had taken action a few months before August general elections, then it would not have caused so much hardships to the 600,000 depositors, and there would also have been no justification for the action against 24 co-operative finance companies, as some of them were healthy and sound.
Now, the MCA leaders believe that the people have forgotten about the $1.6 billion co-operative finance scandal, as well as the other scandals and abuses of power of the Barisan Nasional, including the Operation Lalang mass detentions of 106 Opposition leaders and government critics under the Internal Security Act; the sacking of the Lord President, Tun Salleh Abas, and two Supreme Court judges; the Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal and the $3.4 billion United Engineers Malaysia (UEM) North-South Highway scandal.
MCA and Gerakan are now applying the same logic to the Education Bill 1990. They want the Education Bill 1990 passed after the next general elections, so that they will not suffer in the coming general elections.
Kit Siang prepared to appear at Education Bill 1990 ceramahs organised by MCA or Gerakan
The MCA leaders have publicly expressed their unhappiness and even anger at the series of Education Bill 1990 ceramahs which the DAP is organizing, where we have as host speakers Dong Ziao Chung officials speaking in their personal capacity.
Dr. Tuang Pik King and Mr. Loot Ting Yu have said publicly that they are prepared to accept invitations to speak at MCA education ceramahs. I can say here that I am myself prepared to accept and speak at such MCA or even Gerakan Education Bill 1990 ceramahs.
In fact, we are prepared to invite MCA and Gerakan Ministers to speak at our series of Education Bill 1990 ceramahs. However, we do not think the MCA and Gerakan will dare to accent out invitation