Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 11th July 2009:
Ong Tee Keat and Koh Tsu Koon should publicly tender two apologies respectively for MCA and Gerakan – for support of their Ministers in 2002 for disastrous Cabinet decision to implement PPSMI from Std One and their support last Wednesday for another disastrous half-baked Cabinet decision to make millions of students “guinea pigs” twice over
MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and Gerakan President Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon should publicly tender two apologies respectively for MCA and Gerakan, firstly for their Ministers’ support in 2002 for the disastrous Cabinet decision to implement PPSMI (Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik – teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English) for all national, Chinese and Tamil primary schools from Std One and secondly, for their support last Wednesday for another disastrous half-baked Cabinet decision on PPSMI to make millions of students “guinea pigs” twice over.
In response to strong opposition and criticisms for the inflexible and unprofessional Cabinet decision on Wednesday to revert back to Bahasa Malaysia in the teaching of mathematics and science for Forms 1 and 4 from 2012, Ong immediately came out with the clarification that the MCA is for the continued use of English as a medium of instruction for mathematics and science for Forms 4 and 5 from 2012.
But Ong’s statement is only reported in the Chinese media (given front-page headline treatment) and conspicuously missing in the English and Bahasa Malaysia press, including the MCA newspaper The Star!
The MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP Ministers should stop playing games with the educational future of Malaysian children and the economic prosperity of the nation.
Why didn’t Ong and the other MCA Ministers ensure that the Cabinet’s Wednesday decision on PPSMI take into account the support of parents for the continued use of English as medium of instruction for mathematics and science in secondary schools as well as the demand of parents in urban areas with the adequate infrastructures to have the flexibility for PPSMI to be used in certain national primary schools?
It has been said that if a Minister disagrees with a new policy , the Cabinet cannot take any new decision.
This means that if the four MCA Ministers, the one Minister each from Gerakan, MIC and SUPP had disagreed with reverting back to Bahasa Malaysia for the teaching of mathematics and science (for student who would have spent nine years being taught in these two subjects in English), the Cabinet would not have adopted this part of its PPSMI decision.
Why, then, did Ong and the other MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP fail to do what is right for the people and country at the Cabinet meeting last Wednesday.?
Malaysians expect the Cabinet Ministers to speak up and act at the critical time when the Cabinet is making a decision, and not to come out to become a “latter-day Kongming” (孔明) claiming as in this case that the MCA supports the continued use of English for the teaching of mathematics and science in Forms 4 and 5 from 2012 when MCA Ministers had just supported reverting back to the use of Bahasa Malaysia as medium of instruction for these two subjects from 2012!
If this is not hypocrisy, I do not know what is.
Will MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP support the re-introduction of English-medium schools in the country?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor