MCA’s Record on Education: Shameful and Pathetic

Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
21st August 2012

Various thoughts come to my mind on reading the report that the Selangor MCA will build more Chinese schools if Barisan Nasional regains the state at the coming election. According to the Selangor MCA chairman, Donald Lim Siang Chai the MCA “will help the state government approve more land for Chinese schools, particularly in predominantly Chinese areas in Selangor”.

One is of disbelief that the MCA leaders can stoop so low in their attempt to win a few seats in the coming elections. But perhaps we should not be surprised that the MCA is scrapping the bottom of the barrel in terms of political integrity. Learning from the senior partner, UMNO, electoral bribery appears to be the main item in the standard operating procedure manual of MCA for the coming election, so desperate is the BN to remain in power.

The second is to question why this proposal to build more Chinese schools has come now. After all, before Pakatan took over in 2008, the MCA was part of the Selangor state government for 50 years. During the past decade the demand for Chinese schools in the state (and in other urban areas of the country) has especially grown tremendously. However, this demand was ignored by the MCA leaders.

Why State Land was not alienated for Chinese Schools

Why was this community and national need been pushed aside? The reason is that the MCA leaders were more engrossed in getting contracts for themselves and their cronies and in making hay while the sun was shining on the notorious Toyo administration.

The reason why state land was not approved for Chinese schools in the years leading to the 2008 elections is that the MCA leaders were busy requesting land for their cronies and business partners. This is the only conclusion any ordinary person can come to.

If Donald Lim would like to dispute and take me up on this, I will be happy up take up his challenge. It can be easily shown who is correct by opening up the state government’s records on land alienation during the period of the Toyo administration and to compare the approvals granted to cronies versus the Chinese community.

National Education: Bigger MCA Failing

Not only has MCA failed Chinese education dismally it has also been a leading partner in the decline of our national school system. Today our national schools are characterized by regressive language and religious dogmas, dismal performance, low standards and unemployable products. No middle or upper middle class parent – whether Chinese, Malay, Indian or from any community – would want to have their young children schooled in the sekolah rendah kebangsaan and sekolah menegah if they can help it. In fact, frankly, most Malaysian parents if they can help it avoid the national schooling system like the plague.

This national disgrace has one of its leading stake players the MCA which has held the Deputy Minister of Education portfolio for umpteen years. Can the MCA point to any educational innovation that it has introduced? Can the MCA point to any educational policy of merit, fairness, and tolerance that it has been responsible for since independence?

Let’s take the system of government scholarships. During the last 40 years of the NEP, tens if not hundreds of thousands of parents of non-Bumiputera students with excellent SPM results have complained of discrimination when their children have been rejected in their applications for government scholarships. Only after the scholarship results are announced and there a public outcry do we see MCA politicians try to do damage control by jumping into the fray and go with a begging bowl to the PSD and other scholarship award authorities.

The Chinese Deputy Minister of Education may be good at giving speeches to Chinese schools but when it comes to helping determine the course of national educational policy in key areas, his position is more like that of the office boy. I am writing about this from personal experience. I have given scholarships to more than 100 poor students. Some of them are really brilliant but they could not get Government scholarships. For example, Wan Pui Yee with 12 As in her SPM could not get a government scholarship.

Let’s take another sore point in education. The establishment of the matriculation college system has discriminated against the deserving non-Bumiputeras. Malaysian public universities offer a one-year matriculation programme. These courses have largely catered to the Bumiputera population and are deemed as having a much lower standard, qualifying criteria and final examination requirement for entry into university. This situation is in contrast to that which non-Bumiputera students face as they are required to sit for the much tougher two-year STPM in Form 6. Thus there exist two parallel tracks for students wishing to enter local universities, one with an easier syllabus and lower entry requirement, the other requiring a higher level of achievement. Now how did this system come about if the MCA has not been a willing accessory to the educational crime!

The unwritten rule that the Bumiputera should be given opportunities at the expense of the non-Bumiputera destroys social cohesion and quality human resource development. It is an inferior and morally unacceptable form of educational investment which the MCA has been a party to.

A Fair National Policy: What has MCA Done?

Many Malaysians, including myself, fully support the policy that attention should be given to the educational needs of the underprivileged in society, with appropriate consideration and greater weight to those in the poorer rural-based Bumiputera (Malays and non-Malay Bumiputera) community. However, the needs of deserving non-Malays should also be treated fairly and equally.

The policy which I practice in my charitable work is that scholarships should be awarded to the deserving from all communities.

Information on awards should be publicly disclosed and widely disseminated. In contrast the government’s scholarship policy tacitly endorsed by the MCA has been indiscriminately applied to favour one community. Without proper checks and balances, it has had and continues to have a crippling effect on Malaysian parents and their children. But I suspect MCA leaders whose children are not in the national system are immune to this and other flaws in our education system.

  1. #1 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 24 August 2012 - 12:28 am

    MCA will only talk about Education when the Community demands an answer from them. otherwise they would just keep their gaps shut! though, we hear even Indians like to complain on the Chinese approach to Chinese education meaning those championing those independent schools, they forget that the truth is many English speaking Chinese parents send them to the so-called Chinese type national schools, because they have lost confidence that the national schools can offer their children a reasonal education. Those countries topping the PISA test, are also countries that picked the top 10 to 30% of their graduates to teach. Here in Malaysia, with the exception of non-Malay teachers, the majority of them are not even 2nd rate graduates; otherwise how would you explain these teachers with BSc degree dare not handle Maths and Science even at Form 3 level? In the 21st Century, they have watered down the standard of these subjects to a level that will make them unable to compete with other graduates from overseas! This is the fundamental issue facing the nation. They still wanted to use USA as example when the Americans themselves have used even Singapore Maths syllabi for their programmes! Yes, the American Ivy league Universities are top class but who are their top students? Not many from US itself. Given the scenario under WTO, our next generations will find themselves unable to compete even at ASEAN region, let along in Asia!

  2. #2 by boh-liao on Friday, 24 August 2012 - 3:48 am

    These days, nothing positive fr MCA n Gerakan, they don’t talk abt what they had achieved but rather, open mouth shut mouth, only hentam DAP n LGE
    They hv bcome d jaga of DAP n LGE, as well as scaremongers (like Islamic nation, hudud – actually MMK had declared M’sia an Islamic nation, n MCA, Gerakan accepted it without a sound of protest)
    At least MCA got $$$, lots of $$$ 2 give 2 ppl – it’s OK, grab d $$$ (mostly corrupt $$$ or $$$ fr Rent-Seeking) but NO NEED 2 vote 4 MCA, UmnoB, BN, OK 1

  3. #3 by Godfather on Friday, 24 August 2012 - 7:57 am

    hahaha…..loudly proclaimed they got a Chinese school in Kuantan, and then received a letter of approval that says the school is to use BM as medium of instruction. Someone in UMNO is taking MCA for a ride and they know it. Except MCA has to say “yes sir, yes sir” to taikor UMNO.

  4. #4 by balance88 on Saturday, 25 August 2012 - 10:05 am

    MCA has been in govt since independence and until today, they still talked about building more Chinese schools when it should be built without any obstacles as guaranteed under the Constitution. That shows what the MCA has done over the years – nothing much. We are still struggling with the basics.

    So, MCA should stop barking up the education issue because they are not qualified to do so. They had their chance these past decades and they did nothing except enrich themselves. The time has now come for others to show what they can do, a risk we are prepared to take. THe choice is clear. To stick with MCA knowing that nothing much will be done based on their past records, a predictable outcome, OR take a chance with others with a big possibility that something good could come out of it.

    MCA’s record on education and for the Chinese community in general is clear – NIL. The Chinese community is no better if not worse than when we first gained independence.

  5. #5 by SENGLANG on Saturday, 25 August 2012 - 1:09 pm

    The past and the current education system is Malaysia has been and is remain model around the belief that the Malays are consider a weaker population thus need special attention to this group. Thus we much creativity we have matriculation to replace the Pre U system to cater this group of people. All know that matriculation is just is 1 years happy going and merry themselves before the proper U education. But lowering the standards has also create much problem to all students in the university level. As can be seen now we have produced graduates that can hardly apply what they have studies or what they have studies are not sufficient to prepare them to take on the world as it is. Thus more money spent to re educating them opening more money generating opportunities for the cronies.

    We also have seen the previous world class MU has losing out it worlds competitiveness.

    TARC is another failure in term of policy though it has provide some opportunity for mainly the Chinese to further their studies, but at a much compromise that MCA has bow down to the so call protective system.

    TARC has been offering courses that are of degree in standard but due to political reason it was down grade to diploma. We all know in the past those taking up so call diploma course are those come from after the Pre U Form 6. These student should be offering degree courses but in TARC it was only graded as diploma. More so these TARC diploma are not recognised by the government.

    But most of the graduates have no problem of getting into private sectors.

    Thus come from the business school must at the same time take up the UK professional courses and only those who has pass are doing well in the working life. In fact most of the students in the previous TARC business courses are concentrating in the UK professional examinations. The internal exam are of not an important pass or fail has no consequences to them

    This is how much MCA can do?

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