by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, April 12, 1993:
MCA Cabinet Ministers should ensure that Malaysian public have at least three months to study the new Education Bill and not just ask the Chinese community ‘not to worry’
The four MCA Cabinet Ministers should ensure that Malaysian public have at least three months to study the contents of the new Education Bill and not just ask junior MCA leaders to make meaningless statement like asking the Chinese community ‘not to worry’.
Recently, the Education Minister, Datuk Dr. Sulaiman Daud, said that the new Education Bill would be tabled in Parliamentary meeting beginning on April 26 if approval was given by the Cabinet.
Yesterday, the Deputy Education Minister, Dr. Fong Chan Onn said ‘the Chinese community need to worry about the new Education Bill as it was not very different from previous discussions on the Bill.’
MCA Ministers and leaders cannot be unware of the great sensitivity of the people, and in particular the Chinese community, to the new education policy had in the past been used to serve the political interests and objectives of a political party rather than the people and country.
It has become a standing request of all sections of the Chinese community that before the new Education Bill is debated and passed in Parliament, ample time should be given to the people to study and react to its contents first.
Memories are still fresh that twhen three decades ago, the MCA leadership called on the Chinese community to support the 1961 Education Act, they also gave assurances that ‘there is nothing to worry’. As a result, the Chinese community had ‘worried’ for 30 years about Chinese education in Malaysia!
If the Chinese community or the people have ‘nothing to worry’ about the contents of the new Education Bill, then why are the four MCA Cabinet Ministers unable to do a very simple thing – to get Cabinet agreement to give the country at least three months to study the contents of the new Education Bill to allay all fears and anxieties about the explicit as well as implicit, stated and unstated, objectives of the new Bill?
The request that the public should be given at least three months to study and give their feed-back to the new Education Bill is most reasonable when it has taken the Ministry of Education seven years to work on it.