Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Serdang DAP Branch anniversary Dinner held at Serdang, Selangor on Saturday, 20th August 1994 at 8 pm
Call on MCA Ministers to explain whether the new Private Universities Bill would allow the establishment of Merdeka University or the revival of Nanyang University in Malaysia
MCA Deputy Education Minister, Datuk Dr. Fong Chan Onn said a few days ago that the Private Universities Bill would be presented to the October Parliament to allow foreign universities to set up branch universities in Malaysia.
I call on the MCA Ministers to explain whether the new Private Universities Bill would allow the establishment of Merdeka University or the revival of Nanyang University in Malaysia.
Furthermore, would the new Private Universities Bill when passed into law also allow Dong Jiao Zhong Education Centre to establish its proposed New Era College in Kajang using Mandarin as one of the medium of instruction together with bahasa Malaysia, English and other languages.
As Deputy Education Minister for close to four years Fong Chan Onn had announced many times that the new Education Act which would repeal Clause 21(2) of the Education Act 1961 would be presented to Parliament but up to now, it has merely been ‘listening to the creaking sounds of the stairs, without seeing anybody coming down!
Can Fong Chan Onn clarify whether the new Education Bill to replace the 1961 Education Act, which would repeal Clause 21(2) expowering the Education Minister to convert Chinese and Tamil primary schools into national primary schools when he ‘deem fit’, would be tabled in Parliament before or after the next general elections.
MCA Ministers should ask Cabinet to adopt a new policy towards Chinese Education which would commit the government to give regular annual allocation to the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools
The MCA Ministers should ask Cabinet to adopt a new policy towards Chinese education which would commit the government to give regular annual allocations to the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
The 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools would need RM600 million to meet its development and other expenditure needs for the next five years, and the Cabinet should agree to a ringgit-to-ringgit contribution whereby the Government would match the contribution of the Chinese contribution on a 50:50 basis.
We reject the argument which had been presented by the Deputy Education Minister, Dr. Fong Chan Onn, that once the Federal Government gives regular allocation to Chinese Independent Secondary Schools, then the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools would lose its autonomy and would subject to regulaltion and interference by the Education Ministry.
Even at present, all educational establishments are under the regulation and control of the Education Ministry under the Education Act 1961.
Apart from the control as provided for under the Education Act, there is no reason why the government should interfere in the administration and running of the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools even if it gives ringgit-for-ringgit contribution to the amount of RM300 million for the next five years!
It is a great burden for the Chinese community to come up with RM300 million contribution for the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools for the next five years, but ‘chicken-feed’ for the Federal Government to commit to give RM300 million for the next five years.
In fact, RM300 million for the next five years for the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools represents only one per cent of the losses suffered by Bank Negara in its foreign exchange specuation scandal – which totalled RM billion!
This is why the MCA nation-wide drive for Chinese Independent Secondary School, while welcome, does not deal with the root problem of financing and promoting Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Malaysia.
DAP has been accused of opposing or even trying to sabotage the MCA nation-wide donation drive for Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
Nothing is further from the truth, as I am prepared tonight to call on the Chinese community to give full support to the MCA donation drive for Chinese Independent Secondary Schools provided they impress on the MCA two important points:
*firstly, the MCA donation drive must not be the MCA Jempol Division style of donation, where the MCA keeps 75 per cent of all donations while giving only 25 per cent of the donations to Chinese Independent Secondary Schools; and
*Secondly, that MCA’s primary duty with four Ministers is not to get donations from the Chinese Ministers is not to get donations from the Chinese community, but to get regular annual financial allocations from the Cabinet, for the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools, in the country.