Funds, Chinese schools and a by-election

In life, knowing the larger context brings about a better understanding of things and people. The government’s financial assistance to Chinese schools, as reported by The Star, makes for a challenging read:


PETALING JAYA: In an unprecendented move to provide financial assistance to Chinese schools, the Government said that the board of directors of Chinese schools will receive direct funding from the financial allocation of the economic stimulus package.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the move was part of the Barisan Nasional government’s new policy of educational empowerment that channeled the money directly to the school directors.

A total of 237 Chinese schools nationwide would be given RM27mil, while the rest will be given out in due time.

“The funding will include various payments for development, improvement works and equipment purchases.

“Religious schools had already received the money, while mission and Tamil schools will get theirs next.

“I will go to Sabah and Sarawak later to hand over the funds.

“All the allocations should be used by the end of the year,” he told reporters after handing over the funding to representives of Chinese schools at SJK (C) Chee Wen, Subang Jaya on Thursday.

Najib, who is Finance Minister, had announced in November last year that RM200mil will be given out to Chinese, Tamil, religious and mission schools under the Government’s stimulus package.

Najib said the direct allocation was the biggest test of trust given by the Government to the board of directors of Chinese schools.

He added that he had earlier mulled over the idea with the Cabinet members and also got strong support from the Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and the presidents of MCA and Gerakan.

“I had always wanted to see that there should be value for money in development projects.

“I decided that this is the right time to present the idea of direct funding for the schools to the Cabinet,” he added.

Najib said a positive outcome of providing direct allocation to the Chinese schools was that the school board members can choose the best contractors who can build at cost.

“The school board members will be given briefings on the financial procedures,” he added.

Earlier, in his speech, Najib said Malaysia practised the concept of “democratisation of education,” in which everyone should be given a mimimum 11 years of quality school education.

He added that Malaysia is unique, in that unlike Indonesia or Thailand, everyone can freely choose his or her own type of school to go to.

“While this presents its own sets of challenges and complexities, the basis of educational democracy is strong,” he added.

Najib also urged the people not to politicise the national education policies, adding that it was more important that children should be promised a better future through education.

He told the board members that they should not feel that they were marginalised or treated unfairly by the Government.

“As long as you get maximum value for money, I’m very happy to give the money straight to the school board, and I hope that you will trust the Barisan Nasional Government in return,” he added.

4 Responses to “Funds, Chinese schools and a by-election”

  1. 1 anna brella 16 January 2009 at 1:37 am

    I suspect that the good vfm that the DPM is referring to, in this suspiciously well-timed move of his, somehow does not coincide with what you or I would normally understand by that vfm term.

    Call me suspicious if you will but hey, it’s just a realistic hunch, isn’t it?, given the good potential of BN receiving a serious drubbing this weekend.

    But I suppose the 64,000 ringgit question to ask is this: Will the Chinese voters in Kuala Terengganu be fooled again and fall for this dubious ploy of…er….”buy now pay later” scheme?

    “Imagine Power To The People” John Lennon.

  2. 2 Rashid 16 January 2009 at 2:00 am

    Right time? NO comment!

  3. 3 Tian Ng 16 January 2009 at 8:26 am

    My call to all KT voters:

  4. 4 Samuel Goh Kim Eng 16 January 2009 at 9:34 am


    Let there be no dirty trick
    Only to have conscience pricked
    Let genuine voters honestly pick
    Own choice without fear of any stick

    (C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 160109
    Fri. 16th Jan. 2009.

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