Speech by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat at Karak, Pahang on Wednesday, March 16, 2011.
The government has to be fair and just to all schools and students so as to be able to make Malaysia a truly competitive nation, one which is able to compete against the world.
During his recent trip to Australia, Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib said the Government would continue to provide scholarships for deserving students to go abroad. This, he said, was an investment and not expenditure.
“People are the best form of investment and if we continue to invest in the people, we will become a nation which is more competitive, especially in helping to realise our ambitious goals,” he was reported to have said. No one can disagree with what Najib has said.
Human capital development is essential in propelling a nation’s development and progress and investment in education must be an essential part of the government’s human capital development policy.
However, Najib needs to be reminded that the government has to be fair and just to all schools and students so as to be able to make Malaysia a truly competitive nation, one which is able to compete against the world.
The Government must therefore adopt a global view that Malaysians must be competitive against the world, and not against the fellow Malaysians of other races.
As such, in terms of allocation, the government must be fair in its treatment to all schools, irrespective of whether they are national, national type, technical or religious schools.
However, it is a sad fact that till today and despite the unprecedented electoral debacle it has suffered in the 2008 general election, the BN government has not reversed its unfair policies towards the National type schools.
The amount of allocation spent on the national type schools is pittance when compared to national schools. Be fair to all students and policies must be color blind.
Under the 9th Malaysia plan the following sums were spent by the Ministry of Education namely
1) For Malay students RM33.30
2) For Tamil students RM10.55 and
3) For Chinese students RM4.50:per student per month.
The above figure speaks volumes and is totally against all norms and is very discriminatory. Is this in line with 1 Malaysia concept. Will the amount to be expended to all our children be fair and equal in the 10th Malaysia Plan? Is this too much to ask as a loyal citizen?
Year in year out, there are complaints aired through the media about the unfairness in the granting of government scholarships and intakes by Matriculation colleges and local public universities.
Such unfair policy and treatment must cease as Malaysia can only become truly competitive and compete against the world if the government provides opportunities to all, regardless of race.
As Mandarin is becoming a commercial and widely used language worldwide, it should be taught to students who are keen in the language in both National and Tamils schools.
Presently, if one teaches Bahasa Malaysia and is unable to speak Tamil, one can be posted to Tamil school.
This should cease.
Only Chinese speaking and Tamil speaking teachers should be sent to Chinese and Tamil schools.