Call on Mahathir to incorporate an eight-point New Deal for Mother-Tongue Education  in the 2004 budget including devoting all nine subjects in the 2-4-3 formula to teaching English in Chinese primary schools Std. One

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling JayaThursday): The joint survey of  Dong Zong and Selangor/Kuala Lumpur Federation of Chinese School Committees yesterday reported that although there was an increase of 183,000 pupils in Chinese primary schools in the past 30 years, there had not only been no increase of Chinese primary schools but a reduction of 62 schools – which is most outrageous, contrary of all sound principles of healthy development of mother-tongue education in plural Malaysia. 

With the approach of the next general election, the MCA leadership is again dangling the “carrot” of the Barisan Nasional promise to build a few new Chinese primary schools, although the 1999 Barisan Nasional general election pledge to open  six new Chinese primary schools before the next general election has still to be fulfilled – and when hundreds  of national primary schools had been constructed during the period. 

DAP calls on the government to stop politicizing the issue of mother-tongue education in the country, using the promise of building a few Chinese primary schools to buy the Chinese voters. 

Instead, DAP calls on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to rectify the injustices and unfair treatment suffered by Chinese and Tamil primary schools in the past few decades, and in the 2004 Budget to be presented to Parliament tomorrow incorporate an eight-point New Deal for Mother-Tongue  Education including devoting all nine subjects in the 2-4-3 formula to teaching English in Chinese primary schools Std. One, viz:

  • Build 500 new Chinese primary schools, or 50 new schools a year, under the Eight Malaysia Plan;
  • RM1 billion special allocation for the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools and the  1,200  Chinese primary  schools under the Eighth Malaysia Plan  in recognition of their past contribution to nation-building.
  • Allow building of new or re-establishment of previous  Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
  • Government recognition of Unified Examinations  Certificate (UEC) of Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
  • Make Pupil’s Own Language (POL)  a compulsory subject for all pupils in national  primary and  secondary schools.
  • Fair allocation of development expenditures to different streams of primary schools based on student enrolment, i.e. the total development allocation of RM2.75 billion for  primary schools under the five-year Eighth Malaysia Plan (2001-2005)  should be distributed into  RM2.1 billion or 75% for national primary schools, RM577 million or 21% for Chinese primary schools and  RM99 million or 3.6% for Tamil primary schools.
  • Re-open the original  Damansara Chinese primary school in Petaling Jaya as a "community school" for the pupils in the immediate locality.
  • Evoting all nine new subjects in the 2-4-3 formula Chinese primary schools Std. One to the teaching of English, instead of teaching maths and science.

If there is can  be no abandonment of the 2-4-3 formula for Std. One for Chinese primary schools, all the nine new periods should be devoted to the teaching of English  as pupils with all nine periods teaching English  would end up having better proficiency in English, mathematics and science than under the present 2-4-3 formula at the end of the primary  schooling system.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman