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Is Samy Vellu prepared to
publicly apologise if he cannot substantiate his claim that 21 new Tamil
primary schools were built under Eighth Malaysia Plan to increase total
number of Tamil primary schools from 526 in 2000 to 547 in 2006?
(Parliament, Monday) : I am preparing an unprecedented motion in Malaysian parliamentary history – a salary cut motion against four government front-benchers at one go, namely the Education Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, two Deputy Education Ministers Datuk Hon Choon Kim and Datuk Noh Omar, and the Parliamentary Secretary, P. Komala Devi Krishnamoorthy for failing to provide for the building of new Chinese and Tamil primary schools in the 2007 Budget and the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
The motion to cut the salary of Hishammuddin, Hon, Noh and Komala Devi will be moved on November 27 during the committee stage debate for the RM22.15 billion allocation for the Education Ministry next year, unless the Cabinet directs a revision to provide for the building of new Chinese primary and Tamil primary schools in the RM159 billion Budget 2007 and RM220 billion Ninth Malaysia Plan.
The salary-cut motion against the Education Minister, two Deputy Education Ministers and Parliamentary Secretary in one go is because the four have to collectively bear responsibility for the continued neglect, discrimination and marginalization of Chinese and Tamil primary schools whether under the 2007 Budget or Ninth Malaysia Plan.
In fact, under the principle of collective Ministerial responsibility, all the 33 Cabinet Ministers – including the four MCA Ministers and the MIC and Gerakan Ministers – must also be censured for being a party to the continued neglect, discrimination and marginalization of Chinese and Tamil primary schools.
This is why the Cabinet should on Wednesday take the first opportunity to rectify such a grave injustice in the 2007 Budget and the Ninth Malaysia Plan by taking the policy decision for the building of new Chinese and Tamil primary schools in next year’s budgetary allocation and the five-year Ninth Malaysia Plan.
In view of the increasing enrolment demand for Chinese and Tamil primary schools, as well as the neglect in past decades to build new schools to cope with the rise in demand (student enrolment in Chinese primary schools more than doubled from 310,000 in 1957 to 636,124 to 2006 but the number of schools reduced from 1,333 to 1,288 in the past half century), the Cabinet should amend the 2007 Budget to specifically provide for the building of 30 new Chinese primary schools and five new Tamil primary schools next year.
The MIC President, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu made a preposterous claim yesterday when he said that 21 new Tamil primary schools were built under the Eighth Malaysia Plan and that MIC wants the government to build 14 new Tamil primary schools under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
If Samy Vellu is right, then the MIC’s one Minister has more clout, influence and power than the four MCA Ministers, even with the Gerakan and SUPP Minister added! This is because no MCA, Gerakan or SUPP Minister had ever dared to talk about asking for 14 new Chinese primary schools under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, although the enrolment in the 1288 Chinese primary schools are more than six times that in the 523 Tamil primary schools.
There have been suggestion that Noh Omar’s statement in Parliament last Wednesday in reply to the DAP MP for Ipoh Barat, M. Kulasegaran that no new Chinese and Tamil primary schools would be built next year or for the next five years under the Ninth Malaysia Plan was neither authorized nor official, and that it represented Noh Omar’s personal opinion only.
This is utter nonsense, for this was the case, then Noh Omar should be sacked as Deputy Education Minister.
No MCA, Gerakan or MIC Minister or leader would dare to make such a suggestion as they know that what Noh Omar said in Parliament fully and correctly represented official policy – and all that the non-Umno Ministers can do was to pretend surprise and claim that they are still in discussion with the Education Minister on the issue, when the issue of should have been decided when the Ninth Malaysia Plan was finalized that new Chinese and Tamil primary schools would be built according to need.
Samy claims that even though the Eighth Malaysia Plan had no mention of construction of vernacular schools, in the end, “we managed to build 21 new Tamil schools and unpgraded 64 existing schools”. Now he says that MIC wants to build 14 new Tamil primary schools under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
Let me state outright that I do not believe Samy Vellu’s claim that 21 new Tamil primary schools had been built under the Eighth Malaysia Plan. We are not talking about the relocating of school premises, but entirely new ones.
I challenge Samy Vellu to list out the 21 new Tamil primary schools built under the Eighth Malaysia Plan, which were not relocated from existing schools.
If Samy Vellu can produce a list of the 21 new Tamil primary schools built under the Eighth Malaysia Plan which were not relocated from existing schools, I am prepared to tender a public apology.
If Samy Vellu cannot produce a list of the 21 new Tamil primary schools built under the Eighth Malaysia Plan to increase the total number of Tamil primary schools from 526 in 2000 to 547 in 2006, then he should publicly apologise for misleading the public.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman