by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, August 10, 1990.
DAP wants four assurances from the Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, on the Consultative Council on Education.
Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, is continuing to play politics with the Education Bill 1990 when he announced the formation of the Consultative Council on the Education Bill.
Last week, when he first announced the Cabinet’s decision to establish the Education Bill
Consultative Council, he said that political parties would be excluded from the Council as
he did not want the Education Bill to be politicized.
Yesterday, Anwar said that since political parties had expressed their desire to be included
in the council, arrangements were being made for them to be invited to air their views on
the Ministry’s initial proposals.
He said even the Opposition parties would be invited if they were interested because the
Government wanted free and open discussions before tabling the draft for approval.
In adopting a ‘holier than thou’ attitude that politicians are not very fit to give their views on
the Education Bill because they can only ‘politicise’ the issue, Anwar Ibrahim forgets that he
is first and foremost a politician himself.
He also seems to have forgotten that the Cabinet is com¬prised fully of politicians and when the bill
goes before Parliament, all MPs who will make the final decision on the Bill are also politicians.
Anwar must prove that the Consultative Council on Education Bill is not a Barisan Nasional
Anwar Ibrahim is therefore being very hypocritical and insincere when he strikes a ‘high-and-mighty’ posture that politicians are not very fit to be on the Education Consultative Council.
In view of the fact that Anwar Ibrahim had broken so many promises, including the Barisan Nasional general elections pledge in 1986 to repeal Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act, the DAP wants Anwar Ibrahim to demonstrate his sincerity that the Education Consul¬tative Council is not a Barisan Nasional political ploy. This is particularly pertinent as the Consultative Council is being estab¬lished
at so late a stage in the formulation of the new education act.
To establish his sincerity, the DAP wants Anwar to give the following four assurances:
1. that the Education Bill 1990 or its final draft would be made public at least one month
before the next general elections;
2. that the Barisan Nasional’government would honour its 1986 general elections pledge to repeal Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act before the next general elections;
3. that the members of the Education Consultative Council can freely and openly discuss the proposed Education Bill, and that the Official Secrets Act, and in particular the mandatory minimum one-year jail sentence, would not be used and applied in such discussions or against any member of the Council;
4. that members of the Education Consultative Council would have access to all reports, recommendations, including the over 1,000 memorandum submitted by various organisations, which
had been used by the Ministry of Education to draw up the final draft of the Education Bill 1990.
If Anwar Ibrahim is not prepared to give these four assurances, how can the Education Minister
satisfy the people that the Consultative Council on the Education Bill is not a political ploy,
so that the Barisan Nasional government has an excuse not to make public the Education Bill
1990 before the next general elections?