Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the Mantin DAP Branch Anniversary Dinner held at Mantin, Negeri Sembilan on Saturday, 14th January 1995 at 8 pm
Call on Fong Chan Onn to explain why the Education Ministry is providing only some 300 places for Chinese primary school teachers for the next batch of teacher-training in June this year, which is only some 25 per cent of the target he had promised 18 months ago
Eighteen months ago, the MCA Deputy Education Minister, Datuk Dr. Fong Chan Onn, promised a solution to the acute shortage of trained teachers in Chinese primary school with a new strategy which would double the intake of teacher-trainees for Chinese primary schools from 1,200 places to 2,400 places a year.
This would mean a recruitment of about 1,200 trainees for the Chinese language division for each teacher-training session, as there are two recruitments per year, once in June and the other in December.
However, I understand that the Education Ministry has provided for only some 300 places or nine classes for the Chinese language division for the next batch of teacher-training recruitment in June this year – out of some 200 classed totalling 6,400 teacher-trainees.
This is a far cry from the promise by Fong Chan Onn 18 months ago that the Education Ministry has decided to embark on a special strategy to overcome the shortage of trained teachers in Chinese primary schools by training 2,400 teachers for Chinese primary schools per year – or 1,200 per half-yearly recruitment – as it is only 25 per cent of what Fong Chan Onn had promised.
Furthermore, according to past practice, when the time comes for the selected trainee-teachers to report for training, there could be a high rate of those not reporting for the teacher-training colleges – and if there is no provision for substitution, there may only some 200 being trained for the Chinese language division in the June batch of teacher-training.
Fong Chan Onn should make public the number of teachers who had been trained in the Chinese language division for Chinese primary schools since his announcement in May 1993 that the Education Ministry has decided to train 2,400 trained teachers for Chinese primary schools per year.
If Fong Chan Onn is unable to give satisfactory figures, then the Education Ministry is not serious in wanting to resolve the grave problem of shortage of trained teachers in Chinese primary schools and a reflection that Chinese primary schools have not been fully accepted as in the mainstream of the national education system.
The Negeri Sembilan State Government should make public the two agreements which the Negeri Sembilan State Development Corporation had concluded with Road Builder (M) Holding Bhd in 1993 to acquire 2,234 acres of land to build Seremban II township
On Monday, Road Builder (M) Holding Bhd advertised its notice to its shareholders of an extraordinary meeting to be held at Perak Room, Basement II, Shangrila Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 8th February 1995 at 10.30 a.m. to adopt 15 resolutions.
Resolution No. 4 which the Road Builder (M) Holding Bhd. Shareholders will be asked to approve reads: “THAT the joint venture agreement dated 21 October 1993 and the supplementary agreement dated 8th December 1993 entered into between the Company and Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri, Negeri Sembilan to participate jointly in the equity of Seremban Two Sdn. Bhd. in the proportion of 70 % and 30 % respectively for the purpose of developing the proposed new township in Seremban upon the terms and conditions there be and is here approved and ratified and THAT the Directors be and are hereby authorised to give effect to the aforesaid transaction with full power to assent to any conditions, modifications, revaluations, variations and/or amendments as they may deem fit of expedient and/or as may be imposed by the relevant authorities.”
Resolutions 2 and 3 are to authorise the issue of bonus and rights issues which will raise funds for, among other things, RM78 million as working capital for the Seremban II project.
This is most shocking for the 600 smallholders at Membau, Rasah and Labu whose 2,234 acres would be acquired for Road Builder’s Seremban II project know nothing about the two agreements concluded between the company and the Negeri Sembilan State Development Corporation on the Seremban II project, when they should be the first to be consulted as their lands would be acquired.
I call on the Negeri Sembilan State Government to make public the two arrangements which the Negeri Sembilan State Development Corporation had concluded with Road Builder (M) Holding Bhd in 1993 to acquire 2,234 acres of land to build Seremban II township.
The smallholders affected by the land acquisition for Seremban II project are entitled to scrutinise the two agreements to ascertain whether the promise given by the former Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba in 1991 that landowners would be given the option to take part in the development of their land had been observed, and if not, to demand an explanation from the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Mohd. Isa and the State Exco Members (including the MCA Exco members) why they are given approval for them.
This is also an opportunity for the shareholders of Road Builders who have a larger national concern and sense of social justice to speak up at the EGM of the Road Builder (M) Holding Bhd. to demand an explanation why the company had acted with such corporate irresponsibility in disregarding the rights and interests of the 600 Seremban II smallholders and to demand that Road Builders should set a good example as a responsible and conscientious corporate citizen in Malaysia.