Education Minister, Musa Mohamad should move a motion in Parliament next month for formal adoption of the 10-year Education Development Blueprint 2001-2010 for a wide-ranging debate on education and to allow for amendments to plug grave omissions, such as the future development of Chinese and Tamil primary schools


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(PetalingJaya, Tuesday): Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad should move a motion in Parliament when it reconvenes next month for formal adoption of the 10-year Education Development Blueprint 2001-2010 for a wide-ranging debate on education and to allow for amendments to plug grave omissions, such as the future development of Chinese and Tamil primary schools in the coming decade. 

It is a great national shame that 14 months after the Education Development Blueprint 2001-2010 had been approved by the Cabinet on June 20, 2001, the Blueprint had not been tabled in Parliament and no debate had been held, highlighting the increasing political marginalisation and irrelevance of Parliament in the Malaysian political scheme of things. 

The MCA Seminar on the 10-year Education Development Blueprint on Saturday was a national joke for at least three reasons: 

It was held 14 months after the 10-year Education Development Blueprint was approved by the Cabinet, when such public consultation process should have been  held before MCA Ministers put up their hands in Cabinet in approval. 

The Seminar was a pure MCA  face-saving device, especially after MCA Ministers and leaders were exposed as completely irrelevant and  ignorant about the 10-year Education Development Blueprint when the DAP focused public attention as to what had happened to the  Blueprint one year after its approval by the Cabinet during a DAP Education Seminar in May this year. 

The Seminar was however at most a P.R. (public relations) exercise, to get publicity in the Chinese community through the Chinese newspapers to show its concern about the 10-year Education Blueprint but completely without any intention or purpose to influence educational planning as amending the 10-year Education Development Blueprint to plug the grave omissions, such as the future development of Chinese and Tamil primary schools in the coming decade. 

This was why the English-language newspaper owned by MCA, apart from reporting the speech by the MCA President and the MCA Deputy Education Minister,  virtually ignored the seminar,  the eight educationists who were specially commissioned to present papers and the input and contributions of the participants.  There is in fact the ridiculous spectacle of Malaysiakini giving more coverage to the proceedings to the seminar than the MCA-owned English-language newspaper.

The Chairman of the National Union of Headmasters, Kang Khoon Siew, said in his paper at the MCA Seminar that the 10-year Education Development Blueprint was only concerned about the development of national schools and had completely ignored the development and future of Chinese and Tamil primary schools.

He said  that such neglect had totally denied the role and contribution of Chinese primary schools to national development and excluded them from the future mainstream of national education development.

The Barisan Nasional Ministers,  in particular MCA, Gerakan, SUPP and MIC leaders, should be more serious about education and  explain how they could be a party to the Cabinet approval of the 10-year Education Development Blueprint 2001-2010 which neglected and ignored the future development of Chinese and Tamil primary schools.

It is most regrettable that the MCA Seminar on the Education Development Blueprint 2001-2010 had failed to come out with specific proposals to amend the 10-year education master plan, in particular to include a special chapter or section on the future development of Chinese and Tamil primary schools for the coming decade which, among others, should include the following objectives:

Parliament at its meeting next month should debate the 10-year Education Development Blueprint 2001-2010 and adopt amendments to ensure that it incorporates a special chapter or section on the future development of Chinese and Tamil primary schools and mother-tongue education.

(13/8/2002)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman