Four MCA Ministers and Keng Yaik should establish an united front to demand three Cabinet commitments on Chinese primary schools on Wednesday
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Monday): The Jiao Zong survey showing that nationwide, there are over 336 Chinese primary schools with less than 100 pupils and at least 22 schools with less than 22 pupils, highlights one aspect of the protracted crisis faced by Chinese primary schools in the country.
If there is a healthy national education policy environment, there should be no problem with the closure of “mosquito” schools with less than 22 pupils. But in Malaysia, this has become a question of survival of Chinese primary schools because of an unstated official policy not to build new Chinese primary schools to meet increased student population needs.
As a result, although the number of students in Chinese primary schools in the country have increased by 192,499 pupils from 1970, the number of Chinese primary schools have been reduced by 61 schools during this period.
The Barisan Nasional government will only make special exceptions to its unstated policy not to allow the building of new Chinese primary schools during general election campaigns – not because of educational reasons and the pressure of increased student population but to get votes for the MCA and Gerakan!
This is why the Barisan Nasional government promised to build six new Chinese primary schools before the 1999 general election, although only one has been built so far in the past four years when the country should have built at least 200 new Chinese primary schools to meet increased student needs, not only of Chinese but also Malay, Indian, Iban and Kadazan pupils as well.
The four MCA Ministers, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik, Datuk Chua Jui Meng, Datuk Ong Ka Ting and Datuk Dr. Fong Chan Onn should temporarily put aside their MCA “A” and “B” faction differences and, together with the Gerakan Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik , establish an united front among themselves to demand three Cabinet commitments on Chinese primary schools on Wednesday:
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman