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Samy Vellu should be more careful in future not to make baseless claim of 21 new Tamil primary schools built under the Eighth Malaysia Plan when he meant “school rebuilding” but he must explain why there is no new Tamil primary school or he shortfall of RM36.72 million in the original 9MP allocation for rebuilding fully-aided Tamil primary schools
(Parliament, Monday) : Last Monday, I challenged MIC President and Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu to substantiate his claim that 21 new Tamil primary schools were built under the Eighth Malaysia Plan.
I said that if Samy Vellu can list the 21 new Tamil primary schools built under the Eighth Malaysia Plan which were entirely new Tamil primary schools, I am prepared to tender a public apology. However, Samy Vellu should publicly apologise if he cannot substantiate his claim and produce a list of the 21 new Tamil primary schools built under the Eighth Malaysia Plan.
I made this challenge knowing Samy Vellu was wrong as the number of Tamil primary schools had been reduced from 526 in 2001 to 523 in 2006 despite a 12.7% increase in the enrolment in Tamil primary schools during the period from 88,810 in 2001 to 100,142 in 2006.
Samy Vellu is now more careful in his speech yesterday, saying that 37 Tamil schools comprising 18 partially-aided and 21 fully-aided were “rebuilt” under the Eighth Malaysia Plan, while another 38 Tamil primary schools – 20 fully-aided and 18-partially aided – would be “rebuilt” under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
Samy Vellu said the 38 Tamil schools to be rebuilt at an estimated cost of RM49 million under the Ninth Malaysia Plan were selected as they required immediate repairs as some of them were in a deplorable condition.
I do not know how Samy Vellu, with his long history of 27 years as MIC President and Cabinet Minister, could make such a basic but colossal mistake between new Tamil primary schools – of which there was none whether under the Eighth or Ninth Malaysia Plan – and “rebuilding” Tamil primary schools in a deplorable condition.
However, as he had come out with the full list of the names, I am releasing him from the need to apologise for making a false and baseless claim that 21 new Tamil primary schools were built under the Eighth Malaysia Plan and that 14 new Tamil primary schools would be built under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
He should however explain two matters, viz:
In his winding-up of the Ninth Malaysia Plan debate in the Dewan Rakyat on 25th April 2006, Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said:
“Dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan, Kementerian Pelajaran akan memperuntukkan sebanyak RM174.34 juta untuk SJK© dan RM64.84 juta untuk SJK(T) bagi kerja-kerja pembinaan baru, gentian, tambahan, ubahsuai dan naiktaraf. Bagi pembangunan sekolah bantuan kerajaan pula, dalam tempoh lima tahun di bawah Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan, kementerian telah menyediakan dana pembangunan sebanyak RM100 juta dan peruntukkan ini adalah dua kali ganda daripada jumlah peruntukkan pembangunan diberikan kepada sekolah kerajaan dalam Rancangan Malaysia kelapan.”
In simple terms, it means that Ninth Malaysia Plan provides for development allocation of RM174.34 million for fully-aided Chinese primary schools and RM64.84 million for fully-aided Tamil primary school. For partially-aided Chinese, Tamil and national primary schools, a separate allocation of RM100 million is provided for repairs and upgrading.
Yesterday Samy Vellu announced the Ninth Malaysia Plan allocation of RM32.12 million for 20 fully-aided Tamil primary schools and RM16.25 million for 18 partly-aided Tamil primary schools.
As Hishammuddin had announced RM64.84 million under the Ninth Malaysia Plan for fully-aided Tamil primary schools, what is the reason for the shortfall of RM36.72 million? Even if the RM16.25 million for the 18 partly-aided Tamil primary schools announced by Samy Vellu is taken into account, there is still a shortfall of RM20.47 million from the total for Tamil primary schools announced by the Education Minister in April this year.
While Samy Vellu should throw light on these questions, he has shown that one MIC Minister is more effective and influential than the four MCA Ministers – as up to now, no MCA Minister has been able to make public the full list of the Ninth Malaysia Plan projects for Chinese primary schools, whether for “school rebuilding” or the building of new Chinese primary schools.
When will the MCA Ministers at least follow in the footsteps of Samy Vellu?
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman