Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Education Bill 1990 Ceramah held at Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 15th June 1990 at 8 p.m.
Call on Anwar Ibrahim to explain why the Education Bill 1990 will not be tabled for first reading in the present meeting of Parliament
The latest news about the Education Bill 1990 is that it will not be tabled at the present meeting of Parliament even for first reading, although the six-man Cabinet Committee had reached virtual agreement on its contents.
I call on the Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, why he has decided not to table the Education Bill 1990 for the present meeting of Parliament, although he is in a position to do so.
It has been reported that Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act will be repealed in the new Education Bill 1990. However, although there will be no Section 21(2) in the new Education Bill, the Section 21(2) powers will not be removed, but will be maintained in another section of the new law and in another form.
The Education Minister had himself briefed a select group of headmasters and teachers that although Section 21(2) would be repealed, the Education Minister’s powers would not be reduced. This is because under the new Education Bill 1990, the Registrar-General of Schools would have the powers to close down schools which are ‘against the national interest’.
DAP wants no only the repeal of Section 21(2), but also the removal of Section 21(2) powers
This will in effect mean the transfer of the Education Minister’s powers under Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act to the Registrar-General of Schools under the Education Bill 1990. This is a step backwards, and not an improvement.
The DAP wants to make it very clear that what the Chinese community wants is not just the formal repeal of Section 21(2), but the removal of the powers vested by Section 21(2). It is completely unacceptable if Section 21(2) is repealed, but Section 21(2) powers are preserved although in another form, to be exercised by another official, and in a different section.
I call on the MCA and Gerakan Ministers to make clear their stand on the repeal of Section 21(2) without the repeal of Section 21(2) powers, and the transfer of this power from the Education Minister to the Registrar-General of Schools.