by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, February 22, 1995:
DAP calls on Mahathir not to delay any further in establishing a Cabinet Committee on the Teaching Profession to resolve the long-standing grievances of the 230,000 teachers in the country as well as to upgrade the quality and commitment of teachers
DAP calls on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, not to delay any further in establishing a Cabinet Committee on the Teaching Profession to resolve the long-standing grievances of the 230,000 teachers in the country as well as to upgrade the quality and commitment of teachers.
This Cabinet Committee should deal, on the one hand, with the complaints of the teachers about apathy and neglect of the government to their service conditions and on the other hand, with public demands for quality and committed teachers to educate the new generation of Malaysians.
The country cannot claim to be serious about education or to have placed the highest priority on preparing the young generation of Malaysians to face the challenges of the 21st century if it allows the 230,000 teachers in the country, the ‘human engineers’, to be one of the most frustrated, discontented and unhappy groups in the country.
This is why the New Remuneration System (SSB), which offered only five per cent of teachers promotional opportunities and salary increment of between eight and 10 per cent, compared to about 10 to 46.1 per cent for those in other public services, has come in. for such condemnation by the teachers.
The country must be concerned that the teaching profession has lost its old glamour, when in the old days, it was one of the highest-regarded professions. Now, it is treated as a stop-gap job and beginning to be regarded as the profession of last choice.
This should be an important agenda for the Cabinet Committee on the Teaching Profession – how the teaching profession could be restored its previous glamour and distinction in society.