We call on the Prime Minister to ensure that Malaysian universities are not affected by party politics because party political agenda stymies education

Press Statement
by Dr Tan Seng Giaw

(Kuala Lumpur, Monday):  Dr Mahathir commends the Chinese for being steadfast in their academic goals, saying: "the community would go to great lengths to ensure that the future generations receive the best education in order to be successful people.

 "This is the secret behind the success of the Chinese people," he added.

 While some Chinese have this foresight, many still lack behind. Similarly, the parents of Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir and Datin Seri Dr Siti Hasmah had the foresight. Their children benefited. We hope that all Malaysians are imbued
with this vision.

 Besides this vision, we would like to see the Prime Minister seek the root causes of malaise in the Malaysian education including higher education. Instead of a review committee, he would need a Royal Commission and a longer duration than his remaining tenure in office to do a good job.

 A major stumbling block is party political involvement in education. As long as this happens, we cannot attain a world-class education.

 It is good to see more universities of international standard. We require at least 35 such universities. We hope that Utar achieves world recognition, showing excellence in Malaysian education. In what way does MCA party politics affect Utar? What criteria does it use to appoint Vice-Chancellor, teaching and administrative staff members? It seems that the university admission is not based on quota. If this is true, then it is a step in the
right direction.

 Universities such as Cambridge, Harvard, Oxford, Princeton and Yale are not constrained by party politics. Will Utar and other universities be in the same position?


* Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice-Chairman and MP for Kepong