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We call on the Malaysian Government to allocate at least 5% of the allocation for education for the maintenance of school and university buildings in the country. Education departments and schools should have regular inspections of school buildings

Speech at Taman Indah Dinner
Dr Tan Seng Giaw

(Kuala Lumpur , Saturday): In Parliament, we shall propose to the Government to set aside at least 5% of the allocation for education for the maintenance of school and university buildings, whether they are partially- or fully-assisted schools. It is time that the Education Ministry work out an acceptable percentage of the allocation for this purpose.

On September 11, 2005, a 43-year-old teacher Chan Boon Heng died when he fell through a termite-infested classroom floor at the Keat Hua Primary Chinese School, Alor Setar, Kedah. This is a case of injuctice. We hope the the Government will solve it.

The Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein says that there is a special allocation of RM10 million for national-type and missionary schools to undergo immediate repairs and upgrading. On 23 September, 2005, his deputy Datuk Han Choon Kim stated that besides the partially-assisted schools, some fully-assisted schools also need emergency repairs. But, the Education Minister would deal with the fully asisted schools because the RM10 million was only for partially-assisted ones. In the whole country including Sabah and Sarawak, over 100 partially-assisted schools required emergency repairs.

That the Government wants school authorities to have regular inspections of their buildings is a workable step. Apparently, most schools have submitted information on the state of their shcool buildings.

The annual national budget allocates over RM 20 billion for education including higher education, sometimes exceeding RM25 billion. The allocation for maintenance of school and university buildings is paltry. These buildings must be repaired and upgraded. Hitherto, whether they are partially- or fully-assisted, the public have given generously for their construction and maintenance. It is reasonable for the Government to give a substantial allocation for maintenance and upgrading of these buildings.



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

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