Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Sandakan on Wednesday, 16th February 1994 at 10 a.m.
DAP calls on Anwar Ibrahim to present a supplementary estimates Bill in the April Parliament to provide RM189 million as grants to the 51 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Malaysia apart from Sabah
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Datuk Sen Anwar Ibrahim, said in Sandakan yesterday that the Federal Government financial support of Chinese Independent Secondary Schools is a ‘long-term national investment’.
I fully agree, and I am glad that the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister has at last realised that the DAP call in Parliament since the Seventies for government support for Chinese Independent. Secondary Schools was a far-sighted and most constructive nation-building proposal.
1 hope however that Anwar Ibrahim’s realisation that Federal Government financial support to Chinese Independent Secondary Schools is a true change of heart and not a general elections gimmick confined only to Sabah or only during the duration of the general elections campaign.
I call on Anwar Ibrahim to announce before Saturday that he is sincere and serious in his statement that Federal Government financial support of Chinese Independent Secondary Schools is a ‘long-term national investment’ by presenting a supplementary estimates Bill in the April Parliament to provide RM189 million grants to the 51 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Malaysia apart from Sabah.
The figure of RM1S9 million grants to the 51 Chinese independent Secondary Schools is based on the rate of Federal Government grant to the nine Sabah Chinese independent secondary schools for the next five years.
Based on the average grant of RM500.000 for each Chinese Independent Secondary School every five years, and giving it. retrospective effect all the way back to 1957, this will work out to RM189 million for the 51 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Peninsular Malaysia, or RM3.7 million for each school.
Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, is in Sanda¬kan and is giving a talk on ‘education’ organised by the Sandakan Education Department.
Sabah education department officials and teachers have been forced to become Barisan Nasional election campaian workers
Why should the Sandakan Department organise an ‘education talk’ by Tsu Koon during the ‘Sabah state general elections, and not before?
This is another example of abuse of the Barisan Na¬sional Federal government machinery to solicit votes for the Sabah state general elections, where education department officials and even school teachers have been forced to become Barisan Nasional election campaign workers.
I have received reports that during his election campaign in Sabah, Anwar had personally met and instructed teachers in Sabah to woo votes and ensure the victory of Barisan Nasional candidates.
Will Tsu Koon learn from Pairin and return to Penang to announce that Penang State Government will make annual grants to Chinese Independent Secondary Schools?
Tsu Koon was one of the Chinese educationists who in 1982 declared that they were ‘attacking into the Barisan Nasional to rectify the Barisan Nasional’. However, like the others, Tsu Koon had done nothing to ‘rectify’ the Barisan Nasional but had instead been completely ‘rectified’ by the Barisan Nasional.
Let Tsu Koon declare whether he support the DAP proposal that Anwar Ibrahim should present a supplementary estimates Bill in the next Parliament which begins on April 11 to provide for ,RM226 million grants to the 62 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Peninsular Malaysia on the two following principles:
as a ‘long-term national investment’; and
to make up for the failure to make such ‘long-term national investment’ in the past 37 years.
Tsu Koon should also, declare whether the Gerakan MPs wi11 support this DAP proposal.
In fact, as the only Chinese Chief Minister in Malaysia, Tsu Koon should follow the example of the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, and announce that the Penang State Government would also provide annual financial allocations to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Penang.
I hope Tsu Koon has come to Sabah to learn from the PBS Government, or he would have wasted his time in Sabah!
Can Anwar give assurance before polling day that the Federal Government would honour its RM3.0 million allocation to Chinese schools – including RM5 million for Chinese Independent Secondary Schools – regardless of the outcome of the elections on Saturday?
I welcome Anwar’s statement in Kota Kinabalu yesterday that he is not a racialist and is glad to help Chinese and Chinese schools, which was given front-page treatment by Sin Chew Jit Poh.
Can Anwar give an assurance before polling day that the Federal Government would honour its RM30 million allocation to Chinese schools in Sabah – including RM5 mi lion for Chinese Independent Secondary Schools – regardless of the outcome of the plection on Saturday?
The people of Sabah had many experiences in the past where Barisan Nasional promises of allocations to Chinese schools had not materialised – and there was even the notorious case of a ceremony where one Barisan Nasional State Minister publicly handed over state Government donations to a Chinese Independent Secondary School in Sabah, when what was really handed over was a mere empty envelope!
The people of Sabah would want to know whether after February 19, the Federal Government would deliver on the RM30 million allocations to Chinese primary schools and Chinese Inde-pendent Secondary Schools, or whether they would be merely ‘empty envelopes’!