Wednesday, December 17, 2008


When the British were still here, we never had much problem in promoting Chinese education. At least, when they left Sarawak, we have five Chinese schools in Kuching, that is, Chung Hua School No.1 to Chung Hua School No.5. Forty-five years after the British left, despite the growing Chinese population, Kuching City could only be proud of one more Chinese school, that is, Chung Hua School No. 6 in the Batu Lintang Constituency. It only materialized after bitter campaign by the DAP for another chinese school. The campaign for this Chung Hua School No.6 was very bitter which led to the defeat of the then strongman of the DAP, Sdr. Sim Kwang Yang, in an election against Song Swee Guan of SUPP. DAP was defeated because the Chinese community was “brainwashed” to accept the thought that DAP could not build the school, but, the BN government of which SUPP was a partner could. Chung Hua School No. 6 could only be built not solely with government money, but, also public money from the Chinese community of which DAP also played an important part in raising funds for the school building by persuading the Chinese community to donate to the school building. To get the Chinese community involved in the raising of funds by SUPP for the school shows that the SUPP representation in the BN government was weak in convincing their ruling partners to accept the fact that being the government of the day, the BN government should single handedly be responsible for the building of the school without the involvement of the Chinese community.

Over crowding in classrooms and lack of Chinese schools were very much felt during that time which led to the campaign for Chung Hua School No.6 and the problem remains the same until this day.

The issue for another Chinese school heated up again some years ago. For the fight of the Stampin Parliamentary Constituency, DAP raised the issue of no Chinese school within the Tabuan Jaya, BDC and Stutong area. This area had the highest Chinese population in the state. This issue later led to the Chinese community to decide in shifting Chung Hua No.2 to the present site at Stutong. When Tan Sri Ting Pek Kiing locked the school for sums allegedly owed in the construction of the school to Global Upline Sdn. Bhd. many leaders of the Chinese community were throwing mud at each other over the issue of contribution to Chinese education and debts owed in the construction of the school.

Role of Dong Jiao Zong
Regrettably, Dong Jiao Zong, which is the umbrella to protect Chinese education, was also pulled into the “scuffle” by the some parties by saying that some of the leaders in Dong Jiao Zong was not contributing to building fund of the new Chung Hua School No 2. This should not have been done because it is the government, not Dong Jiao Zong that has to build schools for the Chinese community. Dong Jiao Zong was only doing voluntary work all these years and the task of Dong Jiao Zong was only to see that Chinese education be protected and be developed, where necessary, by submitting relevant proposals to the government whenever Chinese education be threatened or been marginalized by government policy. This was exactly was done in early 2005 where Dong Jiao Zong led seven major Chinese associations in the country to jointly submit proposals to the government urging it to build more Chinese primary schools to meet the needs of the urban community in line with the promise by the BN government in 2004 General Election. To this, the Chinese community should be reminded that the BN government was always good at giving promises, but, when elections were over, the BN government of which SUPP is a partner always forgot their promises and it was this reason that moved Dong Jiao Zong to lead the major Chinese associations in the country to send a memorandum to the government over the promise made.

Of course, when the “Big Brother”, UMNO was not happy, the Chinese leaders were accused of disuniting the Malaysian community. Racial tension was felt and was successfully engineered by many UMNO leaders and this of course, led to the fear of mass arrest under the Internal Security Act 1960 and the Chinese were then forced to keep quiet and the community began to withdraw their moral support for Dong Jiao Zong, thus, leaving Dong Jiao Zong in difficult times. This is a sickness that we in the Chinese community must find a medicine to cure and in times of crisis we should not, like stage actors in opera houses, hide our faces with masks and talk with masks.

My Stand over the removal and demolition of Chung Hua School No.2
Although the building of the school at the new site is a success, in my election campaigns I opposed the moving of this Chung Hua School No. 2 from the present site. It is a school of historical and cultural values which has to be preserved. In my campaign for the fight of the Stampin Parliamentary Constituency, I just had wanted a Chinese school to be built in the Tabuan Jaya, BDC and Stutong area. My plan was to see another Chinese school, that is, Chung Hua School No. 7 in Kuching and to tackle the problem of Chung Hua School No. 2 later. Now, with the new school to cater the Chinese community at the Tabuan Jaya, BDC and Stutong area, I plead with the relevant authorities that Chung School Hua No. 2 should not at this moment be moved out yet and be demolished to give way to car parks as proposed. Neither should the site at this moment be turned into a commercial centre or a hotel by some interested parties at the expense of the Chinese community in Padungan and main bazaar areas.

Big Brothers controlled Chinese Education
In the BN government, the “Big Brothers” are UMNO and PBB and the majority of those in these parties are malays or muslims. They were big bullies of smaller parties within the coalition and being “Big Brothers”, others have little say. These “Big Brothers” knew very well the weaknesses of the Chinese community, that is, the Chinese people were always quarrelsome among themselves but never would quarrel or fight against the malays and foreign people even though their rights and culture been threatened. So in the fight for economic and social control of this country, it was very easy for the “Big Brothers” to control our Chinese community. A thing the “Big Brothers” would do to control the economic and social pattern in Malaysia was to find ways to get the Chinese community pointing fingers and blaming each other over the issues close to their heart.

The “Big Brothers” knew that the Chinese community prefers to make as much money as possible rather than to find trouble with other communities or foreigners. We can recall history about this and that our Chinese people were weak to stand up together and it was little wonder that we Chinese had been branded as “Sick men of Asia”, an image which we Chinese should all try to correct. Until today we still fight against each other and we should be able to observe this in what are happening in our associations and political parties where there were back stabbings and such fights were always very bitter. But, when coming in confrontation with other communities we just were helpless and became sick people.

So, education of the mother tongue is one area that can easily be exploited by the “Big Brothers” and our leaders easily fell into their trap inside and outside Parliament and Legislative Assemblies. DCM Tan Sri George Chan and his Party, SUPP felled into the trap when he unwittingly pulled the DAP into the arena by questioning our Chong Chieng Jen’s contribution to Chinese schools. By questioning our DAP’s Chong Chieng Jen, Dr. George Chan, therefore, was questioning the contribution of the DAP to Chinese education. Definitely, DAP through Chong Chieng Jen, would not keep quiet and has therefore, to find the opportunity to attack Tan Sri George Chan and his Party, SUPP. So, instead of working together to find a solution, both the DAP and SUPP were throwing mud at each other, thus, giving the “Big Brothers” the time to laugh and the fun to watch at what our Chinese leaders in these two Parties are doing.
The Chinese community has to be informed that the Chinese community is well represented in the BN government by parties like MCA, Gerakan, SUPP, PRS, SPDP and SAPP, to name a few. For the marginalization of the Chinese education in the state, DCM Tan Sri George Chan has to blame his Party and himself. They are in the government and education inclusive the education of the mother tongue is the responsibility of the government and this has been provided for by the Federal and State Constitutions and therefore, there should not be any political issue at all arising in connection with the education of the mother tongue. What they should have done was to fight for the Chinese rights and Chinese education within the Cabinet, that is, fight the “Big Brother” within the Cabinet and since DAP is not in the government, the DAP then support the fight from outside the government.

Since education inclusive of education of the mother tongue is provided for by the Constitutions, the Chinese community should no more be allowed, especially at this time of bad economy, to spend time to raise funds and to dig into their pockets. Therefore, to accuse Chong Chieng Jen or the DAP and Dong Jiao Zong of contributing nothing at all to Chinese education is wrong as mother tongue education, being provided for by the Constitutions should not arise at all. Therefore, it is for parties like MCA, Gerakan, SUPP, PRS and SAPP who are in the government to see that the need of the Chinese community is taken care of.

It is because of the weaknesses in parties like MCA, Gerakan, SUPP, PRS and SAPP that the Chinese community has suffered so much and each year parents found it more difficult to find Chinese schools for their children.

Between 1987 and 1998, Chinese primary schools in Malaysia dropped from 1,295 to 1,283 while the number of malay medium schools rose from 4,856 to 5,283. In 2004 three were 1,287 Chinese primary schools out of a total of 7,595 primary schools. The gap was too big. This clearly shows that Chinese based parties like MCA, Gerakan and SUPP had always been subservient to UMNO and PBB and had not been treated as equal partners in the BN government. They should tell UMNO and PBB to show more respect to the Constitutions and be more sensitive to Chinese needs as it is the second largest race in Malaysia.

Reduce malay medium schools?
In the past 50 years the government led by UMNO and PBB saw malay medium government schools mushrooming and Christian schools which used English as medium of instructions were also turned by the government into malay medium schools. One of such schools was on Millah’s land and the school was unlawfully built on the land by the government. A chapel built by Millah’s late father to preach and to propagate the Christianity was demolished without the knowledge and consent of Millah to give way to the building of this malay medium school.

It was a sad thing that in seeking justice for Millah I was accused of closing down the malay medium school built on Millah’s land, but, nobody questioned the government who trespassed Millah’s land how the chapel that was used to propagate Christianity on Millah’s land had been demolished. What power I had to close the school if not the government itself?

During the last General Election, to the development of these malay medium schools many voters asked me why the Chinese community had failed to take a stand to persuade the BN government to reduce the number of malay medium schools as too much money has been spent on them and yet, the standard of education in the country has dropped drastically over the years. They said the money spent for malay medium schools was not that worthwhile and should be better spent to expand English and Chinese education as both English and Chinese medium education have huge global usage for communication, science and business. I could not answer their queries as this was the policy of the BN government.

Many of these voters also suggest that the BN government should be told to close some of the malay medium schools and their funds be then be used to develop Chinese education, which at this moment is very far lagging behind in development. Alternatively, they suggested that some of these malay schools should be converted into Chinese schools because at this moment, as argued by them, there was no need for too many malay schools because malay education could be supplemented by the private sectors. To this, maybe political parties like SUPP, MCA, Gerakan and PBS may wish to convey these views to their partners in the BN government. I have no answer for this because DAP is not in the government.

The Chinese community should be informed that it is a shame to the BN government for doing too little to Chinese education when states held by the Opposition could do better. Take for example, in Kelantan led by PAS, the Chinese community was given 1000 acres of land and in Perak, the Pakatan Rakyat government gave about 2,500 acres to develop Chinese education. When PBS ruled Sabah under Pairin Katingan, the PBS government gave grants to Chinese schools. So is also Penang, the five Chinese schools in Penang has been given a sum of RM1 million by the DAP led government and this was approved in the Penang state recent annual budget.

The dream of the Chinese community to ensure the development and protection of Chinese education in Malaysia, therefore, does not lie with the BN government, but in the Pakatan Rakyat government and the DAP who could achieved this within just a few months, but, of which such feat could not been done by the BN government in the past 50 years of which SUPP, MCA, Gerakan, SPDP and PRS were partners.

So come this next election, I hereby persuade the Chinese to remove the BN government and put the DAP and get other opposition parties to replace the BN. Give us a chance and we promise we can do it within one year although after fifty years, SUPP and other Chinese dominated political parties could still not be able to do this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Easily I agree but I dream the list inform should prepare more info then it has.