Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Joint DAP-Segambut 46 Ceramah held at Raub on Saturday, July 21, 1990 at 8 p.m.
Woon See Chin’s announcement that the Education Bill 1990 will be tabled in the October Parliament is an attempt to distract attention from his political inconsistency and MCA troubles
The announcement by the Deputy Education Minister, Woon See Chin, in Ipoh yesterday that the 1990 Education Bill would be tabled in the October Parliament cannot evoke much interest among the Chinese community, for they know that this is an attempt by See Chin to distract public attention from his political inconsistency and the MCA troubles.
Woon See Chin had ‘cried wolf’ so many times about the new Education Bill that the Chinese community are quite numb about his latest pronouncement.
Woon See Chin did precisely the same thing last year. On September 12, 1989, he publicly announced that the new Education Bill would be presented in the October 1989 Parliament.
Since then, Parliament had met three times, but there was no sign of the Education Bill. Last month, when it was announced that the Education Bill would not presented to the June meeting of Parliament, the people were told that it would be made public in July. Now this has also been forgotten!
How can the people have trust in the statements and promises of MCA leaders like Woon See Chin, when the MCA leaders have recently shown their true colours, as political leaders who do not take their own words and commitments seriously.
Can the Chinese public forget the dramatic announcement by Woon See Chin when he declared that if Datuk Lee Kim Sai would not fight Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik for the MCA President’s post, he would himself contest against Liong Sik?
When Kim Sai realised that he was heading for defeat in the fight against Liong Sik and backed down from the contest against Liong Sik, Woon See Chin also swallowed his own words!
Can people like Woon See Chin and other MCA leaders who could so easily eat their own words be expected to stand up for the rights of the Chinese community, the Malaysian people and the national interests inside the Government?
Now, the people understand why there was the Selangor Islamic Law Administration Enactment scandal, where the eight MCA Selangor Assemblymen could vote for it without any fear of impunity inside the MCA. This is because in the final analysis, the entire MCA leadership, whether the Liong Sik faction or the Kim Sai faction, are no different from the eight MCA Selangor Assemblymen!
What the people insist is that before the next general elections, the Barisan Nasional should do two things: firstly, fulfil its 1986 general elections pledge to repeal Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act and secondly, to make public the full contents of the Education Bill 1990.
Woon See Chin’s announcement that the Education Bill 1990 would be tabled in the October Parliament, even if true at last, would be meaningless if Parliament is dissolved for general elections to be held in September.
No wonder the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, was not prepared to answer whether the Education Bill 1990 would definitely be made public before the next general elections, when he was asked in a recent exclusive interview in the Chinese press.
DAP calls on all MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP Ministers to join forces at next Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting to overrule the Education Ministry decision to emplace all untrained temporary teachers on a month-to-month basis
The MCA leaders have shown that when it comes to party in-fighting, they could be very intense and stubborn, fighting to the bitter end with no holds barred. But they had never shown such traits when defending and promoting the basic rights and interests of the Chinese community for which they claim to be the sole political champion or the future of all Malaysians.
A good example is the new Education Ministry decision to employ all untrained temporary teachers on a month-to-month basis from this year, and not on a yearly basis all this while.
These tens of thousands of untrained teachers, some of whom had been teaching for 20 to 30 years, will be adversely affected.
Thus, when the October school holidays begin, they will not be paid for the five weeks’s vacation.
This is most unfair and a retrograde step. Woon See Chin should resign as Deputy Education Minister for being unable to defend the interests of the untrained temporary teachers, most of whom are attached to Chinese and Tamil primary schools.
I call on all the MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP Ministers to join forces in the Cabinet next Wednesday to overrule the Education Ministry’s new ruling to employ the untrained temporary teachers on a month-to-month basis, and revert to the old system of employing them on a yearly basis.
Furthermore, emergency plans should be drawn up to absorb these untrained temporary teachers into the permanent education service.