Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Ceramah on the Education Bill 1990 held in Segamat, Johore on Sunday, 24th June 1990 at 8 p.m.
Anwar Ibrahim should explain why the Education Bill 1990 was about to be finalized last month with ‘only minor issues to be finalized’ suddenly became very complicated
At the end of last month, the Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, said the Education Bill 1990 was about to be finalized and would be presented to the June meeting of Parliament. Anwar said that there were some minor issues that have yet to be resolved by the Cabinet Committee on the Education Bill 1990.
However, last Tuesday, in Parliament, Anwar Ibrahim said that the Cabinet Committee needed a lot of discussion on the Education Bill 1990 and the Bill could not be presented even for first reading in the June meeting of Parliament.
The Education Minister seems to be playing a cat-and-mouse game with the people on the Education Bill 1990. on 12th September 1989, the Deputy Education Minister, Woon See Chin, announced that the Education Ministry would be tabling the new Education Act amendments in the October meeting of Parliament the month after.
Even as late as 13th November 1989, in reply to m supplementary question during question time, Woon See Chin told the Dewan Rakyat that the Ministry of Education was “making efforts to expedite the drafting of the Education Bill to try and table it in the current meeting of Parliament”.
The people of Malaysia have a right to know the reason for the repeated delays going back to last year in presenting the Education Bill 1990 to Parliament and to the public, and in particular why the Education Bill 1990 was virtually finalized at the end of last month and yet suddenly became so complex that it could not be presented in the current meeting of Parliament?
Clearly, the Barisan Nasional government is hiding something very unacceptable to the people in the Education Bill 1990.
DAP calls on the MCA and Gerakan Ministers to get the Cabinet next Wednesday to remove the Official Secrets Act from the Education Bill 1990 and to make it public
DAP calls on the MCA and Gerakan Ministers to get the Cabinet next Wednesday to remove the Official Secrets Act from the Education Bill 1990 and to make it public.
Unfortunately, the MCA Ministers and leadership is at present two pre-occupied with their on-off, on-off power struggle between the Ling Liong Sik and Lee Kim Sai factions in the MCA to have time to spare for the rights and demands of the Chinese community.
Both Liong Sik and Kim Sai are united in supporting the Barisan Nasional’s violation of its 1986 general elections pledge to repeal Section 21(2) in 1986 itself. In fact, Liong Sik and Kim Sai were part of the MCA leadership which promised that if Section 21(2) of the Education Act 1961was not repealed in the first meeting of the new Parliament after the 1986 general elections, the MCA would pull out of the Barisan Nasional.
Four years have passed, and the serious and solemn pledge had not been fulfilled, but both Liong Sik and Kim Sai are more interested in evicting the other from the MCA leadership and the Barisan Nasional, rather than to get the government to honour its general elections pledge or themselves honour their commitment to pull MCA out of Barisan Nasional.
The Kim Sai faction had raised the standard of ‘justice’ as their battle-cry, accusing the Liong Sik faction of representing ‘self-interest’. But on the Section 21(2) issue, and failure of the Barisan Nasional government to repeal it in the October 1986 meeting of Parliament, and the failure of MCA to pull out of Barisan Nasional, both Liong Sik and Kim Sai factions stood for ‘self-interest’ and not for ‘justice’.