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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rapped for telling off people on Chinese school funds


Former education deputy minister Wee Ka Siong has chastised his successor Mary Yap, saying it was inappropriate of her to tell off people who raised questions on allocations for national-type Chinese secondary schools (SMJKC).

"Yesterday, I watched how the deputy minister answered on TV so ‘fiercely', to the extent I felt like I was (on the receiving end of it).

"I think this is a forum for the rakyat and any NGO, society, or individuals, including members of parliament, to discuss the 2014 Budget.

NONE"Since there is discussion, there will be adjustments, if necessary, that the people are waiting for if what we are putting forward has basis. Therefore, I think it is not right to say that we are questioning this and that," Wee said.

Yap, who replaced Wee following the May 13 general election, was reported yesterday to have denied that SMJKC schools are not given allocations.

She said she had personally approved RM30 million for 66 such schools, and that the government should not be questioned on the issue.

Wee said the issue currently being raised is that SMJKCs are not given any allocation under the 2014 Budget.

He also pointed out that the RM30 million was given at MCA's request to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in November last year.

'Allocations pledged five decades ago'

He said the allocations, such as for repairing the schools, were promised in Parliament five decades ago and MCA and various groups were only asking for it to be delivered. 

Wee added that he hoped this allocation would be institutionalised.

"We given grants of RM24 million and RM30 million for two consecutive years, why not this year?

"These are schools that follow our (national) curriculum. It can't be that we just cut off completely and neglect SMJKCs," he said.

Wee pointed out that SMJKCs were formerly Chinese independent schools, but received an offer from the government about 50 years ago and adopted the national curriculum and they should be therefore be supported by the government.

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