Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Malam DAP Bandar Bayan Baru at Jubilee Perak Old Folks Home at Jalan Sungai Dua, Penang on Saturday, 4th January 1992 at 7 p.m.
Call on the Malaysian Government to formally recognise the great role and contribution played by the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools and the over a thousand Chinese primary schools in the economic development of Malaysia
It is now universally recognise that investing in people provides the firmest foundation for lasting development for any country.
The commitment to education and the development of human resources, pushing meritocracy to new limits to ensure that the best and brightest are channelled into the society’s most productive and important sectors, have been identified as among the secrets of success of Japan and the four Little Dragon of Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore-all of which have scarce natural resources.
Malaysia should have been Asia’s first Little Dragon as Malaysia was economically ahead of Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore three decades ago as well as richly endowed with a variety of natural resources.
As a result of government and leadership failings, Malaysia missed the boat to be one of Asia’s Little Dragons and is hoping to be a New Little Dragon in the coming decade.
However, there is no doubt that Malaysia would not have achieved the economic position it enjoys today if not because of the role played by Chinese education at both secondary and primary level in developing human resources which are critical to driving the engine of economic growth and development.
With the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, proposing the Vision 2020 of Malaysia becoming a full developed nation, this is the time to get the Barisan Nasional Government to fully recognise the great role played by the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools and the thousand Chinese primary schools in the economic development of Malaysia.
The MCA President, however, is doing the exact opposite in unilaterally and arbitrarily making the most unprecedented concession in MCA history, in renouncing the constitutional right, basis, status and guarantee of Chinese primary schools and mother-tongue education.
DAP calls on the Cabinet to present the new Education Act in February Parliament which should affirm the constitutional right and status of Chinese primary schools and mother-tongue education
Recently, MCA Deputy Education Minister, Dr.Fong Chan Onn, said that the ‘finishing touches’ for the new Educational Act had been made and that the new Education Bill is ready for Parliament.
The Dewan Rakyat, which had concluded its budget meeting, is expected to start its new session next year in February, which will be earlier than previous years because of the Puasa Month which will begin in early March.
The DAP calls on the Cabinet to present the new Education Act to the February Parliament and to ensure that the new Education Act affirm the constitutional right, basis, status and guarantee for Chinese primary schools and mother-tongue education as well as give formal recognition to the great contribution and role played by the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools and the thousand
Chinese primary schools to the economic development of Malaysia.
Call on Dr.Koh Tsu Koon to act courageously and firmly by setting the precedent for other State Governments to make annual grants to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools
For this reason, I also call on the Penang Chief Minister, Dr.Koh Tsu Koon, to act courageously and firmly by setting the precedent for other State Governments to make annual grants to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
It is most regrettable that the Gerakan Chief Minister, Exco Members and Assemblymen were in the forefront rejecting the DAP motion in the State Assembly for the making of annual grants to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
The DAP Assemblymen will again be moving this motion in the Penang State Assembly this year, and I hope that this time, Dr.Koh will lead to Gerakan Assemblymen to support the DAP motion so that Penang will lead at least in Peninsular Malaysia where the State Government makes annual grants to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in recognition for their long-standing contribution to the development of human resources and the development of the State.