State governments controlled by Barisan Nasional should emulate the example of Terengganu PAS State government to allocate funds for Chinese primary schools in their state

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): Last night, the PAS Terengganu Mentri Besar, Haji Hadi Ahmad Awang announced that the PAS Terengganu State government would allocate RM100,000 each for the three bigger Chinese primary schools in Kuala Terengganu, Kemaman and Wakaf Tapai while the state government would also allocate funds for the other smaller seven Chinese primary schools in the state according to their needs.

DAP welcomes the decision of the Terengganu PAS State Government to allocate funds to assist Chinese primary schools in the State and we call on other  state governments controlled by the Barisan Nasional to emulate the example of the Terengganu PAS State Government and also to allocate funds for Chinese primary schools in their state.

DAP first discussed the possibility of the Terengganu PAS State Government setting an example for other State Governments by providing financial allocations for Chinese primary schools when a DAP delegation first visited Terengganu and had a dialogue with Hadi and senior State Executive Councillors on December 15, 1999.

At the first DAP-PAS inter-party, inter-political, inter-religious and inter-civilisational dialogue on "PAS Terengganu Government - Towards A Just Malaysia" at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on 22nd January 2000, Hadi first announced that the Terengganu PAS State Government was prepared to allocate funds for the development of Chinese primary schools in the state.

Last night, Hadi announced in Mentakab that the Terengganu PAS State government would make an initial allocation of RM100,000 each for the three bigger Chinese primary schools in the state while allocation to the other seven smaller Chinese primary schools would be according to their  needs - and that the State Government would consider making this an annual allocation.

Details on  how the Terengganu PAS  State Government would allocate funds to the Chinese primary schools in the state would now have to be worked out.

The decision of the Terengganu PAS State Government to allocate funds for the Chinese primary schools in the state is important and in keeping with the Barisan Alternative common manifesto "Towards A Just Malaysia" as all these decades, Chinese primary schools had not received fair and equal treatment by the Education Ministry  in the mainstream of the national education policy, suffering discrimination in many administrative and educational aspects.

So long as the Chinese primary schools are not given fair and equal treatment by the Federal Government, it should be the duty of all State Governments to assist the development of Chinese primary schools.

Hadiís announcement on the Terengganu PAS State Government decision to give financial allocation to the Chinese primary schools in the state should also help to debunk the lies and falsehoods that the Chinese are  an "oppressed  race" in PAS-ruled Terengganu, alleging that there  are not only no Chinese schools, but the Chinese would have no pork, no alcohol, no temples, no cultural freedom, etc.

The question now is whether MCA and Gerakan could convince UMNO to get all the Barisan Nasional-controlled state governments to follow suit and make regular financial allocations to the Chinese primary schools in the state.  Such assistance should similarly be extended to  all Tamil primary schools.

(31/3/2000)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman