Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Call on the Prime Minister to reveal more details on his announcement to nationalise Tamil schools.

Press statement by M. Kula Segaran MP Ipoh Barat and DAP National Vice Chairman in Parliament 4th November 2013

Call on the Prime Minister to reveal more details on his announcement to nationalise Tamil schools.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister cum Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin came to Parliament to reply to educational issues raised during the parliamentary debates (policy
stage) on Budget 2015.

I took the opportunity to raise two issues, namely, the announcement by the Prime Minister to nationalise all Tamil schools, and secondly, the government’s response to the calls for the abolishing of vernacular schools

1) Policy to nationalise all Tamil schools

I said that during the Deepavali Open House held in Malacca last Saturday, the Prime Minister had said, among other announcements, that all Tamil schools will be nationalised. This statement is most welcome. 

I reminded Tan Sri MUhyiddin that just 3 years ago while replying to matters raised by me in the Parliament; he had said that the government had no policy to take over the partially aided school. In fact, he even said that the government had no financial means to take over the partially aided schools.

In his reply, Muhyiddin said that Prime Minister’s announcement was good and his ministry will follow up with the announcement.

He further said that as long as the Parents and Teachers Association (PIBG) has noobjections, the process of take over will take place.  I asked for a take over timeframe but he did not answer.

From Muhiyiddin’s reply, it seemed obvious that he was not in the know about the announcement made by the Prime Minister.

Was the Prime Minister making an announcement on a policy that has yet to be even discussed in the Cabinet? Was he just making the announcement for the occasion and will forget about it after that?

If indeed it is a policy that has been already discussed and approved by the Cabinet, why was Muhyiddin ignorant about such a major new policy?

Presently, out of the 523 Tamil schools in Malaysia, 152 are fully aided and 371 are partially aided schools.
I call on the Prime Minister to reveal more details about his announcement, especially on the concrete timeframe as to when the take over will be carried out. 

2) Government’s response to calls for the abolishing of vernacular schools

Yesterday, I also posed a question to the Deputy Prime Minister as to why he has not rebutted the recent open calls to abolish vernacular schools.

In fact, not only UMNO leaders like the Cheras UMNO leader but many others have also asked for the abolishment.

I said that Muhyiddin should have seized the opportunity to immediately rebut these leaders and that by keeping quiet, he seemed to give an impression that he was agreeing to the "loose chauvinist canons". He refuted it and said that in he National Educational Blue print, the existence of Chinese and Tamil schools is confirmed.

I wish to reiterate what I asserted to him yesterday, that he should dispel the perception that he is supporting the detractors.

In his Deepavali Open House speech made in Malacca, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib called on the people to reject extremism.

No one will disagree that the nation must be united in fighting against extremism. But government leaders must lead by example and walk their talk.

The right to learn one’s mother tongue is enshrined in the Constitution and anyone who calls for the abolition of the vernacular schools must be treated as extremists and prosecution must be taken against them, especially if they hold government position.

There have been far too many other cases of extremism where actions ought to have been taken against the extremists but the government has failed to walk the talk to fight extremism.

Two examples will be the non prosecution of Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali for making the threat to burn the Bibles and non action against  Federal Territories Umno Youth chief Mohd Razlan Muhammad Rafii for threatening to burn down the DAP headquarters during a protest earlier this year.

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