Message by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, to the Johore DAP State Leadership Conference held in Segamat on Sunday, April 24. 1934 at 10 a.m.
DAP very disappointed that not a single sen has been provided for the Chinese Independent Secondary School supplementary estimates totaling RM10.3 billion which have been presented to Parliament
The DAP is very disappointed that not a single sen has been provided for the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in he four supplementary estimates totally RM10.3 billion which have been presented for adoption by the current Parliamentary meeting.
Since the 1970s, the DAP had been the only voice in Parliament speaking up for Chinese education and the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools, while there was complete silence from the MCA and Gerakan in Parliament on this issue.
DAP MPs had in the last two decades persistently demanded in Parliament that the Government should make regular financial allocations to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools because of their great contribution to human resource development and nation-building in Malaysia.
Until recently, DAP’s calls in Parliament since the 1970s for regular government financial allocation to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools had been rejected on the ground of principle – that the Government cannot give regular financial allocations to Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
A new precedent, however, was established during the Sabah state general elections in February this year, when the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, announced an allocation of RM5 million to the nine Sabah Chinese Independent Secondary Schools was a ‘long-term national investment’.
DAP welcome this statement by Anwar Ibrahim for it has vindicated the DAP’s stand in Parliament in the past two decades calling on the Federal Government to give regular financial allocations to Chinese Independent Secondary Schools as a ‘long-term national investment’.
After the Sabah state general elections, I had called on MCA, Gerakan and Supp Ministers to ensure that all the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in the country get regular financial grants from the Federal Government so that Malaysia does not practice ‘one-nation, two systems’ on this issue.
The Federal Government’s pledge of RM5 million allocation to the nine Sabah Chinese Independent Secondary Schools for the next five years would work out to about RM100,000 allocation a year for each Chinese Independent Secondary School.
I had suggested that the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers in Cabinet should ask for RM100,000 annual allocation for each of the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools, with retrospective effect to Merdeka in 1957 for the 37 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Peninsular Malaysia and for the 23 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Sarawak and Sabah, with retrospective effect till 1963 when these two states joined Malaysia
This would work out to RM137 million for the 37 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Peninsular Malaysia and RM71.3 million for Sarawak and Sabah, making a total of RM208.3 million.
MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers should ask for a two per cent increase in the R10.3 billion Supplementary Estimates Bill to provide RM208 million to the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools
I had expected the new supplementary estimates which the Government would table in Parliament for this meeting would include this item of RM208.3 million for the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
DAP is therefore very disappointed that in the four set of supplementary estimates in the Supplementary Estimates Bill which the government would be asking Parliament to adopt at this meeting, there is not a single sen for the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools although the total supplementary expenditures exceeded RM10.3 billion!
It is not too late, however, for the MCA, Gerakan and SUPPP Minister to raise in next Wednesday’s Cabinet for a two percent increase in the RM10.3 billion Supplementary Estimates Bill to provide RM208 million for the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
This is definitely more important and urgent than the RM10 million which MCA has announced it would raise from public donations for the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
The MCA Ministers must be reminded that as part of Government, the greatest responsibility is to ensure that there is fair allocation of government funds – which are taxpayers’ money – to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
Trying to raise RM10 million or even RM20 million is very small compensation when the MCA Ministers have failed to secure for Chinese Independent Secondary Schools the RM208 million government allocations which should have been made to them as of right and justice!