Recently, there appears to be a belated recognition by the Barisan Nasional government of the great contribution to nation-building and manpower education which had been made by Chinese Independent Secondary Schools and Chinese primary schools in the past four decades.
Even the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, had publicly praised teachers and students in Chinese Independent Secondary Schools and Chinese primary schools as being more dedicated and committed, and that some Malays preferred to send their children to Chinese-medium schools.
Two urgent measures must be taken by the Education Ministry immediately. Firstly, the government should conduct a full inquiry as to why Malay parents have no confidence in the quality of education provided in the national schools and prefer to send their children to Chinese primary schools although they do not have the facilities and finance provided by government to the national schools.
Secondly, the government should end its unfair treatment of Chinese schools and to put them on par with the national primary schools in terms of financial allocation, as in the past four decades, Chinese primary schools received only a small percentage of funds from the government for school development - creating a situation where Chinese primary school pupils had been forced to collect funds from the public. This problem is even more acute for the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools which is completely dependent on support from the Chinese community.
I call on the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers to take up my proposal
in Parliament yesterday at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow to get a RM1 billion
special allocation for the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools and the 1,200 Chinese primary schools to be paid out in five years in recognition of their contribution to nation-building and manpower education.
Each of the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary School should be allocated RM1 million a year and each Chinese primary school allocated RM100,000 from this special allocation, over and above their usual allocations.
The first such special annual payment of RM1 million to each Chinese Independent Secondary School and RM100,000 to each Chinese primary school should start this year and be included in the 2000 Budget to be presented by the Finance Minister in Parliament on Friday.