Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the Ayer Hitam DAP Branch Anniversary Dinner held at Ayer Hitam, Johore on Saturday, August 13, 1994 at 8 pm
Call on Educaion Ministry to agree to build Kuo Kuang (2) Chinese Primary School at Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Johore Bahru fully at government expense to put into practice Anwar Ibrahim’s saying, ‘We Are All In One Family’
In June, the MCA Youth leader, Chan Kong Choy led a 51-man MCA Youth delegation to have a dialogue with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.
This MCA Youth dialogue has become the most infamous MCA Youth dialogue with the Prime Minister because Chan Kong Choy was publicly forced to repudiate his own announcement after the meeting that he had raised with the Prime Minister the issue of quotas for bumiputras and had asked for its abolition. As a result, I had called Chan Kong Choy the most ‘boneless’ MCA Youth leader in history!
After the dialogue, Chan Kong Choy also announced that MCA Youth had raised with the Prime Minister the issue of the building of new Chinese primary schools and that Mahathir had agreed to discuss the matter with the Education Minister.
As MCA has a Deputy Education Minister, why didn’t the MCA Youth have a dialogue with Dr. Fong Chan Onn to get the MCA Deputy Education Minister to ensure that the Education Ministry build new Chinese primary schools to keep abreast with increasing demands.
Or is the MCA Youth leader, Chan Kong Choy also of the view that it is useless for MCA Youth to have any dialogue with MCA Deputy Education Minister, as he has no real say or power in the Education Ministry?
The biggest primary school in Malaysia is the Kuo Kuang Chinese primary school at Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Johore Bahru which has close to 5,000 pupils – probable making it the biggest primary schools in the whole of South East Asia.
I understand that some 500 pupils in the area who wanted to register in Kuo Kuang Chinese Primary School for the new school year had to be rejected!
In Parliament in May, I had discussed with the Minister for Information, Datuk Mohamed Rahmat, who MP for the area, about the building of Kuo Kuang (2) Chinese Primary School.
Mohamad Rahmat told me that it was he who got Cabinet approval for the establishment of Kuo Kuang (2) Chinese Primary School. This is to Mohamed Rahmat’s credit and a shame to MCA and Gerakan Cabinet Ministers.
However, I told Mohamed Rahmat that it was not good enough just to get approval for the establishment of Kuo Kuang (2) Chinese Primary School, as even more important is to get the new school constructed in the shortest possible time.
I told Mohamed Rahmat that if MCA and Gerakan Ministers dare not raise in Cabinet, then he should propose in Cabinet that the Government change its attitude towards national and national-type primary schools – so that the Government could grant land for the building of Chinese primary schools.
Deputy Prime Minster, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is now going around the country declaring that ‘We Are All In One Family.’
If ‘We Are All In One Family’, then its spirit and meaning must be permeate all aspects of government policy, including the education policy.
If ‘We Are All In One Family’, then the Government must accord full recognition to the important role of Chinese primary schools by accepting full government responsibility for their construction, maintenance and upkeep.
DAP therefore calls on the Education Ministry to agree to build Kuo Kuang (2) Chinese primary schools at Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Johore Bahyru fully at full government expense – to set a precedent for the government to build new Chinese primary schools in various parts of the country to meet increasing parental and pupil demands.
I call on the MCA Ministers to give full support to this proposal for a new government policy to accept responsibility for the building of all new Chinese primary schools, as it had accepted full responsibility for the building of new national primary schools for the past four decades.
MCA Ministers should explain why they are not prepared to publicly support the proposal that Sim Moh Yee to conferred ‘Tan Sri’ on National Day
I am very surprised that up to now, the MCA Ministers have kept very silent about my proposal that MCA Ministers should ask Cabinet to confer ‘Tan Sri’ on Sim Moh Yee.
This is not a proposal just to honour Sim Moh Yee personally, but even more important, a gesture by the Barisan Nasional Government that it has now officially recognized the great and important role played by Chinese education in nation-building and national development.
If MCA Ministers are opposed to the proposal that Sim Moh Yee should be made a ‘Tan Sri’ on National Day at the end of the month in recognition of his life-long contributions, struggle and sacrifices for Chinese education as well as in recognition of the important role and contribution of Chinese education to Malaysian nation building, then MCA Ministers must explain the reasons for their opposition.
If MCA Ministers support the proposal to make Sim Moh Yee ‘Tan Sri’ but dare not raise it in Cabinet, then let them say so, and the Chinese community can find another channel to put forward the proposal to the Cabinet and the Prime Minister.
August 13 is one of the dates which had been speculated recently as the day when Mahathir would dissolve Parliament
Today, August 13, is one of the dates which had been speculated recently as the day when Mahathir would dissolve Parliament and call for new general elections. Polling was supposed to fall on August 27.
I had never set much store in such speculation as I had consistently held to my view that the most likely dates for general elections are October this year, January or April next year.
As at this moment, the chances of general elections next year are much higher than this year. This is why I expect Parliament to meet for the 1995 budget from October 17 to December 20, where the Finance Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, can give a very ‘sweet and suary’ to all Malaysians to make them more prone to vote Barisan Nasional in the next general elections.