We reiterate that the Government set up a Royal Commission on Education to inquire into all aspects of education including racial polarization in schools and universities

Press Statement
by Dr Tan Seng Giaw

(Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday): For several years, we have raised the problems in education such as racial polarization, the variable quality and the shortage of teachers and professors in schools and universities. We have asked for a Royal Commission to ascertain the real causes. But, the Government maintains that they are not urgent enough to warrant such a commission. 

Now, the compulsory primary education and the increase in the number of students in secondary schools and universities are good signs. However, improving the quality of education is essential.


Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that even in multi-racial schools and universities, racial cliques were practically the norm.


“Surely, this kind of racial exclusiveness will sow the seeds of misunderstanding and mistrust later in life,” he added.


He separates the Education Ministry into Higher Education Ministry and Education Ministry. He likes to improve the quality of teaching, increase the number of non-Malay headmasters, create more opportunities for the different races to mix such as through computer games and make national schools the schools of choice for all races.


As long as he ensures that there is proper development in Chinese and Tamil primary schools, he can attempt to introduce these measures. But, we feel that they are not enough. The conundrum of education goes much deeper than the Prime Minister thinks. He was an Education Minister. He should know that, among many obstacles, are the feudal mentality and mediocrity among certain people in the education ministry and the academia.  We need a truly accountable and transparent Royal Commission to overcome these hindrances. For instance, the problem of shortage of teaching staff alone is complicated. Training and appointment of teachers and professors raise doubts. These require a thorough revamp.



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