54-Day Countdown to 13 GE – Najib should announce three ang pows at Dong Zong CNY Open House tomorrow

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should announce three ang pows at the Dong Zong Chinese New Year Open House tomorrow, namely:

  • Full government recognition of Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) as one of the academic qualifications for entry into national higher learning institutions, public services and teaching academies;

  • Government approval for four Chinese independent secondary schools in Petaling Jaya, Puchong, Segamat and Johore Baru;

  • Review of the National Education Blueprint to give full recognition of mother-tongue education in the mainstream of the national education system, including:

a. Increase in the number of Chinese and Tamil primary schools dependent on the needs of parents to send their children to Chinese and Tamil primary schools in order to ensure the right of students to receive mother-tongue education; and

b. Fair and just capital allocations for development expenditures of Chinese and Tamil primary schools and the provision of adequate trained teachers; and

c. Assist Malaysian independent Chinese secondary schools in financing, teacher-training, curricula design, amenities, etc and to allow them to relocate, set up branches and put up new premises.

DAP and Pakatan Rakyat are committed to the full recognition of UEC and if Najib fails to make such an announcement tomorrow, then it will be one of the priority policy announcements of a new Pakatan Rakyat government in Putrajaya after the 13GE.

It will be a great disappointment and just not good enough if the Prime Minister comes to the Dong Zong CNY Open House with promises of recognition or agreement in principle to recognize the UEC, when the UEC is recognised world-wide as of high academic standards for all educational and employment purposes.

Malaysians will be very wary of such announcements after the infamous Su Qiu fiasco three general elections ago, where the Cabinet agreed “in principle” before the 1999 general election to the 83-point Su Qui Appeals, but which was disowned by the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Mahathir Mohamad, who after the general elections accused the Su Qiu supporters of wanting to cause racial disunity and “not much different from the communists or Al-Maunah”.

A racial confrontation was engineered after the 1999 General Elections when Mahathir alleged that the Cabinet was forced to accept Su Qui “in principle” and that UMNO/BN were “threatened then as elections were just round the corner”.

Mahathir said: “That’s why they came up with the memorandum, as a threat to the Barisan Nasional, and that if we didn’t entertain their request they would tell the Chinese not to support us. This was deliberate and the timing was well-planned. What could we do then?”

In the confrontation, the Suqiu or Malaysian Chinese Organisations Election Appeals Committee were pressured to withdraw seven of the Suqiu Appeals.

In fact, in his appearance at the Dong Zong CNY Open House tomorrow, Najib should apologise for the hypocrisy and insincerity of the Barisan Nasional Cabinet agreement “in principle” of the 83-point Suqiu Appeals on Sept. 22, 1999, but which UMNO and all the Barisan Nasional component parties, including MCA, Gerakan and SUPP reneged after the 1999 general elections.

What assurance can Najib give that there would be repetition of the Su Qiu fiascos in future?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur