Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the Malacca DAP State Committee meeting in Malacca on Friday , January 14 1994 at 8pm.
DAP call for the establishment of a separate Ministry of higher education so that Malaysia can catch u with Japan and the four ‘little dragons’ in tertiary education to achieve Vision 2020
Recently , the government came out with conflicting figure s about its higher education objectives for 2000 and 2020.
Last month , the Prime Minister , Datuk Seri Mahathir Mohamed and the Sicthe Malaysia plan mid term Review declared that the government ‘s long term objective of the nation ‘higher education development is provide higher education opportunities to 20 percent of the 19-24 age cohort 26 years tome by the year 2020 as compared with only 7.3 percent in 1990.
However , this month , the Education Minister , Datuk Dr. Sulaiman Daud and Deputy education mInister , Dr Fong Chan Onn had kept repeating that the government’s long term objective for higher education development is to provide higher education opportunities to 30 percent of the 19 -24 age cohort in six years’ time by the year 2000.
Although I had twice asked for clarifications for thus glaring contradiction with regard to the government’s long term objective in higher education development , neither the education Minister or his Deputy or his Deputy could provide any explanation.
Evry body knows that statistics and dats could be easily manipulated , and it is possible to greatly inflate figures by changing the definition to those in the 19-24 age cohort who have been given access to tertiary education – as for instance , by taking into consideration those receiving teachers ‘ training or post –secondaty certificate courses.
This however smacks of intellectual dishonesty and such doubts must remain unless and until the Education Minister or his deputy Minister is prepared to give facts and figures to give a detailed breakdown as to how Malaysia is to expand its higher education opportunities more than four fold in the next six years as to reach the target of 30 percent of the 19-24 age cohort in tertiary education by year 2000.
The Barisan nasional government should give urgent recognition to critical importance of higher education , both in quality and quantity , to Malaysia’ s future development.
For this reasin , DAP calls on the Prime Minister , Datuk Seri Dr, Mahathir to set up a separate ministry of Higher Education so that Malaysia can catch up with Japan and the fpur little dragons in tertiary education to achieve Vision 2020.
Malaysians must learn from our mistakes and ost opportunities of the past. With our human talenst and rich natural resources , Malaysia should have joined the ranks of the four ; little dragons’if not being the first ‘ little dragons ‘ as during independence our nation was second only to Japan in Asia in economic development and standard of living.
One great mistake we made was in education . For instance , in 1965 both south Korea and Malaysia displayed similar education enrolment profiles , with a marginal advantade for shouth Korea . But by 1980s , south Korea educational performance indices clearly outstripped Malaysia.
While there was universal primary educational enrolment in Korea even in 1965 in Malaysia the primary enrolment rate rose only slightly to around 96 percent in 1982 . Over the same period , the enrolment rate in Malaysian secondary schools rose from 28 percent to 49 percent , but jumoed in South Korea to 89 Percent . The tertiary education enrolment rates were 5 percent in Malaysia while south korea achieved 24 percent.
DAP calls for the establishment of an all party committee to check money politics in general elections
Last week , the UMNO secretary general Datuk Mahamed Rahmat said that UMNO would hold a special general assembly either in June or July to amend the UMNO constitution to check money politics in UMNO elections.
Money politics is the root of corruption , and it must be wiped out not only in party politics but also in national politics.
In the 1990 general elections , it has been estimated that RM 300 million had been spent by the Barisan Nasional in the General elctions campaign , which would have broken all laws limiting elections expenditures.
This figure is probably less than the money spent in the UMNO party elections last November in the fight for the positions od UMNO Deputy President , Vice Presidents UMNO Youth President and supreme council Members – where a figure as high as RM 5oo million had been metioned as the total sums expended by all UMNO contenders last year.
However , the Barisan Nasional will definitely spend more in this next general elections, ecpected in the third quarter of this year , as compared to the 1990 general elections , umless firm actions are taken to check and stamp out the politics of money in general elections.
For this reason , DAP proposes the establishment of an all- party committee to make proposals to check money politics in the next general elections and this committee should submit proposals which could be adopted by Parliament before next general elections.
I hope that the Deputy Prime Minister , Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim , should give his support to this proposal.