by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday,6th October 1996:
DAP gravely concerned about reports that the new Education Bill will be even more “severely restrictive” of Chinese education than the 1961 Education ACT.
The DAP is gravely concerned about reports that the new Education Bill will be even more “severely restrictive” of Chinese education than the 1961 Education ACT.
It is reported today that Dong Zhao Zong have convened an emergency meeting tonight with five other organisations concerned about the future of Chinese education, namely Malaysian Chinese Assembly Halls, the Federation of Chinese Schools Old Boys’ Association, Federation of Alumni Associations of Taiwan Graduates, Federation of Alumni Association of Nantah Graduates and the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall to discuss the new Educa¬tion Bill.
Dong Zhao Zhong had received information that the new Education Bill, which is expected to be tabled when Parliament meets on Oct. 16, will be even more “severely restrictive” when compared to the 196l Education Act in matters concerning mother-tongue education, such as Chinese Schools’ Boards of Managements, Chinese Independent Secondary School examinations, teacher-training, collection of school fees and the establishment of private tertiary education.
It is most regrettable that although the Barisan Nasional Government had spent 10 years to finalise ITS new Educa¬tion Bill, it is not prepared to give the people and all organisations concerned about education adequate time to study its implications and give feedback before the Bill is presented to Parliament for debate and passage.
In this connection, the MCA and Gerakan Ministers have been particularly remiss in their duties as they should be more aware than anyone else that the Chinese community is particularly concerned and sensitive about the new Education Bill because of how it would effect the position, growth and future of Chinese mother-tongue education in the country.
On Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, the MCA and Gerakan Ministers should get the Cabinet to immediately make public the Education Bill to allow for at least, a two-month public study, feedback and consultation before the new Education Bill is presented to Dewan Rakyat for second reading and debate.
As the Dewan Rakyat budget meeting will go on until December 20, 1995, there is still time for the Cabinet to give the people tl.iis two-month period for study, feedback and consul¬tation. I hope the MCA and Gerakan Ministers will not fail the the public once again.
Furthermore, the Cabinet should also give an assurance that, the Education Bill is not a “fait accompli” and unchange¬able, and that in-this two-month public study, feedback and consultation, the Government will be prepared, to consider and accept propos als and amendments to the Education Bill before second reading in Parliament.