by Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice-Chairman and MP for Kepong 
on 7.7.2002
in Kuala Lumpur

We call on the Malaysian Government to review the need for various types of primary schools throughout the year, consistent with the measure to register children for primary schools all the year round

This year, the Government enforces compulsory primary education. We hope that it will succeed. This means that all parents must register their children at primary schools, making their choices known. Today, a media report says that the Education Ministry has issued a directive that from next year all primary schools are open for the year-round registration.

The Deputy Education Minister Datuk Han notes that although this measure may not solve all problems including primary schools bursting at the seams, it can relieve the congestion during the period of registration.

If registration of pupils throughout the year can make life easier for parents, then it is a good thing. We also hope that the ministry follows the wishes of the parents, providing the types of schools required.

The ministry must assess the types of schools required in the country throughout the year. From the choices indicated by parents who register their children at schools all the year round, it should know the type of school asked by parents in any area.


Last year, the Government allocated RM7.3 billion for two packages to stimulate the economy, including the allocation to build 200 new schools. We had hoped that it would build more schools according to the wishes of the people. Alas, it has not done so. Even the five new primary Chinese schools promised in 1999, have yet to be erected.

There is a shortage of schools such as primary schools in many places in the country. For example, the shortage of primary Chinese schools is serious in some areas like Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Johor.

Apart from the stimulation packages, this year the operating expenditure for primary schools is estimated as RM4.218 billion with RM50 million development expenditure. If these allocations are used effectively, then the ministry can build more new schools.