View issues with Tan Seng Giaw

Saturday, March 31, 2007

First 30 cluster premier schools & those not on the list? 31.3.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw believes that the Education Minister must explain how he is going to deal with the reactions of thousands of schools not in the list of cluster premier schools and how he overcomes the negative aspects.

Will those schools in the cluster list work harder and those who have not been selected become disappointed?

Dr Tan issues a statement after the Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein has announced the list of 30 cluster premier schools since 30 March, 2007.

According to the Education Minister, he will gradually list the 300 cluster schools, to lay down the foundation for the formal change by 2010. He stresses that it is not all about schools with big names and past glories. The30 selected have the potential to achieve excellence.

Hisham has set up a Cluster Schools Advisory Board, chaired by the former Director-General of Education, Tan Sri Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Arshad. The criteria he uses to list these schools are of interest.

We hope that the listed schools such as Sultan Alam Shah School, Putrajaya, SMK Penang Free and SJKC Keat Hwa, Alor Star and SJKT Simpang Lima, Klang, will work harder, so that they can attain international standard.

If these cluster schools are not run and monitored effectively, major changes may lead to sacrifices by some; the educational gap may increase. Hence, the Education Minister's emphasis on monitoring is very important.

Besides wishing that the 30 selected schools will not let the people down, we are very concerned with the reactions of those which have not been picked. Why can't schools such as Malay College, Kuala Kangsar, be in the list? I went to Chung Ling, Penang, and my two children were in Kuen Cheng, Kuala Lumpur. What are these schools lacking, compared with those 30 in cluster?

Malaysia has more than 9,000 primary and secondary schools. Many are really good. I am truly convinced that such schools as Malay College, Chung Ling and Kuen Cheng, will try their utmost to do better, producing more students who contribute to society.

Hisham has yet to present a complete picture of smart schools. Now, he talks about cluster premier schools, saying that they have a chance to attain world class.

We continue to follow smart schools and cluster schools. Successive education ministers introduce their own programmes. We would like to see that they succeed.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, March 30, 2007

Will Education Development Blue Print (2006-2010) overlaps with Education Development Plan (2001-2010)?

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw mentioned the possible overlapping of the Education Development Blue Print (2006-2010) with Education Development Plan (2001-2010), hoping that the Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin would be able to avoid doing so.

Just as some countries including Hong Kong, 24% of our budget allocation is for education. We must use it meaningfully. Between 2001 and 2010, the Education Ministry has the Education Development Plan. Then, bewteen 2006 and 2010, it prepares the Edcuation Development Blue Print. The Education Minister must refrain from overlapping and contradictions. Although he says that the blue print is to enhance the existing policies and strategies, we can see weaknesses in areas such as pre-school education, the Examination Board, the teaching of Mahtmatics and Science using English, the achievement indicatiors and so forth.

Since 2003, the ministry has drawn up guidelines for pre-school education. By 2005, it had 3,287 kindergartens, the Department of National Unity 1,500 classes and the private sector 11,ooo classes. We doubt the effectiveness of monitoring by the ministry. We must improve it to ensure that public and private pre-school education follows the minisry's guildelines.

While the ministry continues to implement the concept of smart schools, it has introduced the concept of cluster schools. It ought to inform us of the achievement or otherwise of smart schools and the truth of cluster schools.

We have to review the part played by the Examination Board, including the questions set. Are they consistent with the modern world? Every time, the ministry announces examinations results, the media play it up, such as a student getting 19 As . What does this mean? Will he or she be having 19As in most endeavours for the rest of his or her life? We must encourage students to do well, such as getting good examinations results. This must be done within reasons. The Dewan Rakyat has 219 MPs. How many MPs, including ministers, had so many As?

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Use international standard to complete all projects, a way of boosting confidence, 29.3.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw touched on the urgent need to use international standard to implement all projects during the debate on the motion of thanks for the Royal Address in Parliament on 26 March, 2007. Doing so will definitely boost confidence within and outside the country.

The 2007 budget allocates RM4 billion to build infrastructure in the Iskandar Development Region, South Johor. The Government must use this and other allocations for development corridors effectively.

According to the Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, from 1990 to the end of 2006, the Government has succesfully completed 9,235 projects. Hitherto, the ministry has a record showing that 180 contractors failed and their names have been removed. These projects involve tens of billions of ringgit. It seems that they have never failed, but some contractors do.

In fact, certain projects faced difficulties, such as the Matrade building at Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur, the Kepong flyover (MRR2) and the Sultanah Bahiya Hospital, Alor Star. There was much delay in the Matrade building, the MRR2 cracked seriously and a four-year late completion with the RM500 million Sultanah Bahiya Hospital with additional heart centre, royal ward and 36.5 metre deep piling at the old paddy field. All ministries should learn from the mistakes in these projects.

We must review the part played by the Economic Planning Unit, the Finance Ministry and the Works Ministry in planning, tender, implementation and monitoring of projects. We need to improve the mechanism, consistent with international standard.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Commit internationl standard & translate good economic picture into good domestic trade, 28.3.2007.

During the debate on the motion on Royal Address, DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong spoke on the commitment on international standard and the translation of good economic data into domestic trade.

On 23 March, 2007, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told the Invest Malaysia Conference 2007 that the recent introduction of control over short-selling and security loans showed our commitment to ensure international standard in the quality of the stock market.

We always have to show this type of commitment in all fields, including politics, economy, education, culture, tourism and building industry. Thus, the people within and outside this country will have more confidence. Just imagine the picture in which the 1.2 million civil servants exhibit international standard and the police, who are paid better, show their effectiveness in ensuring security.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong reiterates that the total trade in this country is over RM1 trillion, export growing at 10.3%, trade surplus RM109 billion and international reserves AS$87.3 billion as well as budget deficit being reduced from 5.8% GNP in 2003 to 3.5% GNP in 2007. However, we appeal to the Government to translate these sound statistics into a good domestic trade.

Despite the impressive economic statistics, local business people such as petty traders feel that business is bad. The Government has the resources to study the actual business situation and the factors affecting it. We hope it will be able to translate the good economic data into favourable conditions for business.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Rational view on Wesak on 1 May, 2007, in Malaysia, not on 31 May, 2007. 27.3.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw spoke during the debate on the motion on Royal Address in Parliament on 26 March, 2007. He asked rationally on the difference in the date to celebrate Wesak in Malaysia, compared with other countries.

On 19 March, 2007, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong touched on national unity, the most important issue in the country. The unity of the people is the key to the success of the nation and society. We agree. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Merdeka, we have to review extensively the achievement and the failure of attaining unity.

Freedom of religion is very important for promoting unity. According to the Christian calendar, Jesus Christ was born on 25 December, 2007 years ago. Christmas is celebrated on that day all over the world, including Malaysia. According to the Islamic calendar, 12th Rabiulawal 1425 or 31 March, 2007, is the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, Maulidur Rasul or Maulud Nabi. On that day, the celebrations include a procession to the Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur; it will be a success.

As Prince Siddhattha Gautama, Buddha was born during the full moon at the end of April and May, 623 Before Christ (BC). This is Wesak, which will be celebrated in Malaysia on 1 May, 2007, 15th Day of the Third Moon, full moon, Lunar Calendar. But, in other countries such as Singapore, the celebration will be on 31 May, 2007, also full moon, 15th Day of the Fourth Moon, Lunar Calendar.

We hope that the Government will explain this difference of a month. I raise this matter rationally.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Announce the details of works, claims and cost in MRR2 Kepong repair, 22.3.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw appeals to the Government to announce in details the real cost of Middle Ring Road II (MRR2) Kepong, including various problems and claims in the repair of 31 cracked beams of the flyover.

Dr Tan studies the reply in parliament by the Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu regarding MRR2 on 20 March, 2007.

According to the Works Minister, the actual cost of MRR2 repair works is not final because there are still claims from the contractor, the Consortium of BumiHiway and others, and these have to be referred to the Public Works Department (PWD) Claims Committee. Hitherto, PWD has paid for the repair in advance amounting to RM 67.9 million.

PWD appointed the British consultant, Halcrow Group Limited, to study the cracked beams, costing RM 7.5 million, whereas the consultant for the contractor, Leonhart Andra & Partners cost RM 7 million.

PWD has paid for the cost of repair. It then negotiates with the contractor, taking three months. Will the latter foot the bills for the renovation?

Dr Tan asked Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu about late or failed projects such as the Matrade building, Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur, and the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital, Alor Star.

Last year, the Works Minister requested the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to announce the repair works on MRR2 with the British consultant, costing RM18 million. Two weeks later, the Government said that the German consultant had replaced the British, at RM40 million. Now, PWD has paid RM 67.9 million, and the total expenditure is still unknown.

Dr Tan posed a series of questions on the total cost of MRR2 and the myriad problems of the repair works.

Samy Vellu asked Dr Tan:" Is your head full? Did you not sleep last night? You are closing your ears."

The most important thing is that MRR2 Kepong is nearly similar to many flyovers along the Middle Ring Road. But, 31 of its 33 beams cracked. At one time the minister insisted that the cracks were not due to design fault, and challenged the public on it.

It is true that there was severe traffic congestion at the closed MRR2. The Government had to repair it as soon as possible, including paying for it in advance. We hope that PWD maintains the flyover well for ever.

We must identify the part played by the Economic Planning Unit, the Finance Ministry and the Works Ministry in projects such as MRR2. To what extent is PWD responsible?

Meanwhile, Samy Vellu has to tell the people the total cost of MRR2, including the various problems and the claims for the renovation of cracked beams. We continue to follow up the matter.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Gazette KL Local Plan, 20.3.2007.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw
MP for Kepong
T: 79554733 F: 79559654

20 Mac,2007.

Datuk Ab. Hakim Borhan
Datuk Bandar Kuala Lumpur


Local Plan for KL Structural Plan or KL20

We, members of parliament DAP, Fung Kui Lun, Tan Kok Wai, Theresa Kok and Tan Seng Giaw would like to thank Datuk for agreeing to see us at the City Hall KL (CHKL) today.

We have many matters which we shall present to Datuk from time to time. Today, the most important is KLSP and KL Local Plan (KLLP). KLSP was gazetted on 4 November, 2004.

The cost for preparing KLSP was estimated at RM 9.7 million, taking 18 months. For KLLP, it is estimated to take 20 months, that is, to be completed by the end of 2006. Datuk Hakim only assumes the post of Datuk Bandar recently, taking some time to familiarize with CHKL. We hope that Datuk Hakim will be able to let us know when he intends to gazette KLLP. What is the total cost of KLSP and KLLP?

From the 190 summarized policies of KLSP, how many can be incorporated into KLLP? To what extent can the six strategic development zones be implemented through the 2007 budget?

Yestereday, CHKL held a workshop to discuss Congestion Pricing. This is important. This type of transparency must be continued. However, because of relative lack of basic facilities such as public transport like buses, Congestion Pricing cannot be implemented. When will the number of people entering the city centre by public transport be increased from 16% to more than 60%?

When will the Government be able to consider building underground railway in KL? At present, the staggering cost of such a project boggles the mind.

In the management of KL traffic, how will Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS) play a more effective part?

In 2007, how many integrated interchanges will be built in KL? When will works on the proposed Jinjang, Kepong and Cheras interchanges begin?

Besides traffic, we pay much attention on assessment, maintenance of public parks, management of highrise flats, prevention of floods, zero squatter, approval and monitoring of development projects, zoning concept and so forth.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Monday, March 19, 2007

Comprehensive review of the public transport system of Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley 19.3.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Government to review comprehensively the whole public transport system, including Rapid KL and other basic facilities, such as having more car parks with reasonable charges in the outskirts of KL.

Once the public tranport system becomes more reliable, City Hall Kuala Lumpur (CHKL) will be able to consider seriously the implementation of congestion pricing.

Dr Tan spoke at the CHKL Congestion Pricing in Kuala Lumpur workshop at the KL Renaissance Hotel at 3.15 pm on 19 March, 2007.

As the Yang di-Pertuan Agong delivered the royal address during the official opening of parliament today, CHKL had the workshop on traffic congestion pricing. Traffic flow in KL and the Klang Valley is closely connected. The roads cannot keep pace with the increase in the number of vehicles. This is a worldwide phenomenon.

This workshop is meaningful. CHKL uses this opportunity to tell the public the measures it has taken, elucidating the various methods of road pricing such as area licensing in London, entry permit in Singapore and cordon charging in Bergen, Oslo, Trondheim andSingapore. Being more transparent and accountable is correct.

I believe that improving greatly the basic facilities is essential before CHKL can think of congestion pricing. The most important is the comprehensive review of the public transport system including bus, light rail transit, monorail and commuter. For example, Rapid KL bus service may be marching towards a big failure. A passenger from Kepong has to change two buses to reach city centre. The company is new, but some of the buses are old, maybe seven years' old. We hope the Government investigate how many of Rapid KL buses are old as well as the ways to make the service more efficient.

Today, the number of people entering KL using public transport may be only 16%. CHKL should reveal the actual figures. When will the percentage be 60% or more? How do we achieve this? Besides transport services, the Government should ensure that there are more car parks with reasonable charges in the outskirts of KL.

One of the objectives of the KL Structural Plan (KL20) is to attract folks to live in city centre. If there is congestion pricing without adequate basic facilities, people will leave instead of live in the city centre.

KL20 has the land use policy of building more growth areas or new towns. If the public transport is inefficient and congestion pricing inappropriate, these areas will be affected. How on earth will CHKL be able to enhance the city living environment?

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Thursday, March 15, 2007

What burden will e-Tag have on millions of highway users? 14.3.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw presses the Govenrment to announce the effects of the proposed gantry toll system or e-Tag on millions of highway users in Malaysia.

According to media report, a gantry toll system will replace the existing toll collection system. But, motorists are still in the dark.

Dr Tan has read about gantry toll system or e-tag replacing the present system in the middle of next year. We are prepared to accept good changes. Nevertheless, we have to consider what burden will the new system have on motorists.

On 11 March, 2007, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu revealed that the gantry system would reduce congestion of traffic at toll plazas.

It seems that the Malaysia Highway Board will finish its study of the new system or e-Tag in July, 2007. It may need new methods of implementation and new laws.

The North South Highway was privatised in 1988. It was, then, rescued and renationalized by the Government. The public have been amazed. Ever since, many more highways have been privatized, including 18 tolled roads in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

In the beginning, each concessionaire had its own system of toll collection, such as Express Tag. The Government abolished individual systems and introduced Touch 'n Go and SmarTag uniformly. Two years later, the Works Minister talks of e-Tag or gantry toll system to get rid of cash counters, Touch 'n Go and SmarTag.

Samy emphasizes that the proposed gantry system can monitor speed of vehicles and its scanning machine and camera can estimate the load carried by lorries.

We appeal to the Government to announce the companies dealing with various tags, like Express Tag, Touch 'n Go, SmarTag and e-Tag. SmarTag is an acronym of Bahasa Malaysia: Sistem Membayar Automatik Rangkaian Tol ( Automatic Toll Network Payment System). SmarTag has 9V alkaline battery. The system can detect a vehicle within 40 milliseconds. Who sells this battery? Does e-Tag use a similar battery? Will e-Tag become electronic frequent change Tag (efc-Tag) or elektronik sering menukar Tag (esm-Tag)?

Will the gantry or big arch system mean big spending by highway users? How much have motorists to pay for the various tags and touch 'n Go? How much will they have to pay for the e-Tag in the gantry system?

Motorists are flabbergasted with the change of toll tags every two to three years. Once e-Tag is introduced, will there be another new system in two years? A new computer lasts for about two years. Will e-Tag be changeable every two years just like a computer?

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Monday, March 12, 2007

PTPTN, loans RM18.8 bln, when to pay back, 12.3.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw urges all borrowers of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) to pay back their loans according to the agreements, so that other students will have a chance to get financial aid to further their studies in public and private institutes of higher learning(IHLs).

Dr Tan is aware that there are PTPTN borrowers who have not repaid the loans.

On 7 March, 2007, the media reported that the Cabinet had approved the proposal from PTPTN to give full loans for more students from families earning less than RM3,000 a month from March 1, 2007. Previously, a student was eligible for a full loan if his or her parents earned less than RM2,000 a month.

For example, a student doing first degree in public IHL gets RM6,500 per annum, private IHL RM16,000 and International Medical University(IMU) RM 20,000. Science students will have additional RM500 a year as an incentive.

There are many scholarships and loans within and outside the country. This is important because education is one of the main factors for the development of a country. PTPTN and MARA have given out loans amounting to billions of ringgits.

According to a report, PTPTN would extend loans to students for Master's courses with an initial fund of RM500 million. More students will take up PTPTN loans.

Up to 31 January, 2007, PTPTN has approved RM18.8 billion for 969,781 students, but it has only collected RM406.6 million from 180,195 students who have completed their degrees. The gap between the amount of loans given out and the amount collected back is huge.

PTPTN is encouraging students to settle their loans such as by making it compulsory for parents or guardians to stand as guarantors for their children's loans. From 1 January, 2008, parents will be required to save in the National Education Savings Scheme before their children can be eligible for loans. Parents earning more than RM2000 a month must save RM3,000 in the scheme and those earning less than RM2,000 a month RM500.

Education cultivates the ability to think, acquiring knowledge, skills, profession and integrity including morals. After completing their degrees, those who do not repay their loans lack integrity. It is morally wrong. A person who has learned to think, to acquire knowlege, skills or profession without integrity is harmful to the society.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, March 09, 2007

Pay hike for civil servants, efficient service, no corruption, 8.3.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw maintains that as the Government is considering a salary hike proposal for civil servants, it should try its utmost to improve the service and racial composition as well as eradicate corruption in the civil service.

Dr Tan is aware that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi met Cuepacs representatives including its president Omar Osman on 6 March, 2007. The Government is considering Cuepacs's request for a salary revision and improvement of service perks.

The last salary revision for civil servants was in 1992. The new proposal is to increase salaries between 10 to 40%. Osman says that if the proposal is accepted, it will be a short in the arm for them and they will work harder. The people hope that civil servants work hard. Occasionally, when we visit government departments in the morning, we see a few having breakfast at their desks.

Since the cost of living has gone up, those with low income have difficulty getting by and income gap between low and high grade is big, consideration for the above proposal is reasonable. A low grade government worker earning RM 500 a month and a police constable with RM 600 monthly salary can scarcely manage, especially in towns.

Last year, the Government announced the Report of the Royal Commission to enhance the police force of 80,000, and the Cabinet has approved the recruitment of 60,000 personnel in the next five years. Now, the government has 1.2 million employees. We need a Royal Commission to ascertain the ways to upgrade the service, whether there are too many civil servants, any system based on merits, racial composition, restructuring and so forth.

Abdullah reiterates that there should be a better delivery system for civil service. But, the performance of civil servants has left much to be desired. Pay revision for 1.2 million personnel requires a big expenditure of public fund.

It is essential to increase the pay of the police. It is equally important to revise the pay of government employees. But, we cannot do without the restructuring of government departments for a better service. According to Osman, the Prime Minister has asked them to increase productivity, be efficient and responsible.

We insist that a pay hike must be accompanied by an improvement, adoption and practice of a series of attributes such as efficiency, friendly attitude, better racial composition, meritocracy and freedom from corruption.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Monday, March 05, 2007

9 Malaysia Plan, CHKL, petty traders, 4.3.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on all 144 local authorities including the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (KLCH) to assist hawkers and petty traders, consistent with the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) policy, that is, restructuring, competitiveness and modernisation of the distributive trade sector.

The local governments should also announce the new development and monitoring framework and guidelines for hawkers and petty traders under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

Dr Tan makes the call after meeting hawkers and petty traders at the roadside of Jalan Kepong Baru on 4 March, 2007. Over 100 of them have received notices to move to other places which they find themselves.

KLCH has a project to widen the road to accommodate the rapidly increasing number of vehicles. This is necessary.

KLCH and other local authorities should survey hawkers and petty traders who need to move and create adequate centres for their relocation.

The Ninth Malaysia Plan undertakes to improve the regulatory framework and guidelines of the distributive trade with greater efforts. One of 9MP's thrusts is to strenghthen the modes of distribution to enhance efficiency, productivity and competitiveness.

At the high end of the sector, hypermarkets appear. In fact, Jaya Jusco and Carre Foure are a stone's throw away from Jalan Kepong Baru. A large private hawkers' centre operates nearby. We hope that DBKL also help the above-mentioned hawkers and petty traders. They are at the lower end of the sector.

The KL Structural Plan (KL20) aims at making the city a world-class tropical garden city of light. Providing hawkers' centres of international standard is compatible with this aim.

KL20 monitors the allocation of premises for hawkers and petty traders and build additional premises if necessary.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, March 02, 2007

Amend Education Act, repeal one-language policy, 2.3.2007.

Amend Education Act, repeal one-language policy, 2.3.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw proposes that the Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin table an Education (Amendment) Bill, to explain that the Final Solution of having only one language is no longer useful in the present circumstance in Malaysia.

Dr Tan refers to Hisham's statement in his interview with Sin Chew Jit Poh on 2 March, 2007, that the Chinese society should no longer be worried about the Razak Report (1956).

Yesterday, the Education Minister told Sin Chew that it was impossible for the Government to implement Razak Report that stressed 'one stream of (school education)' and the 'National Language becoming the main medium of teaching' in the 'Final Solution'. This was because this concept was no longer suitable for use in the present circumstance in the country.

He added that building more Chinese schools was no longer a sensitive matter, that Chinese society needn't worry about it and that time would prove his sincerity.

The public pay attention to his statement, wanting to know whether Hisham is as good as his words. Realising the impracticability of the Final Solution is a start.

The systematic eradication of English in schools from 1970 was part of the Final Solution. By the early 80s last century, English in schools is history.

On the other hand, the standard of the National Language has not risen as expected. The quality of all 62,000 teachers of BM must be raised.

The Final Solution of the 1956 Razak Report has serious consequences. Besides doing away with English in the policy, Clause 21(2) of the Education Act, 1961, gives the rights to the Education Minister to convert National-type Chinese or Tamil schools to National schools. The Education Act, 1996, emphasizes the target of creating a world-class education without mentioning the unsuitability of the Final Solution in this country.The Education Development Blue Print (2006--2010) overlaps with Tan Sri Musa's Education Development Plan (2001--2010). This puzzles Malaysians. It does not say that the Final Solution is out of date.

Now, the media carry mainly good news, creating a conducive atmostphere. The people deserve to know truly good news, but not the false ones. We hope that Hisham's encouraging words are not only meant for people to feel good.

If the Education Act is not amended to repeal the Final Solution, then the Government will be able to continue to take drastic action against people who believe in multilingual education and multi-streamed schools. For example, in 1987, the Government used the Internal Security Act to detain 107 people, including Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Karpal Singh, Lau Dak Kee, the late P. Patto and I.

The Home Ministry prepared eight trumped-up charges against me. Two of the charges concerned the Final Solution. One charge was: On March 6,1983, while delivering a speech at a function in the vicinity of a temple at Jalan 6, Kampong Valdor, Sungai Bakap, Penang, you accused the present Government of practising a one-language, one-culture policy that could lead to Islamic rule in the future.

The allegation was groundless. I did mention the 'One Language, One Culture' policy that was in the 1982 Royal Address in parliament.

The other charge was: On October, 11, 1987, at a gathering of Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur, you used the issue of promotions of headmasters and senior assistant teachers without Mandarin qualifications to national-type primary Chinese schools to provoke the racial feelings of the Chinese.

This was a completely false allegation. I did go to Then Hou Temple, but I did not use the issue at the said venue to fan racial feeling among the Chinese.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Scrutiny GLC,enlarge cake, narrow gap & eradicate poverty, 28.2.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw reiterates that there must be effective scrutiny of government-linked companies (GLCs), expansion of economic cake, meaningful restructuring of society and eradication of poverty.

Any attempt to reduce socio-economic imbalance must be based on expanding economic cake, instead of benefitting only a small group of people. Since the 70s last century, we have repeatedly stressed this principle. The Government reaffirms it, insisting on enlarging economic cake and denying the practice of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Dr Tan comments on the part played by GLCs in the national economy. The government equity in these companies belong to all Malaysians.

Since 1970, the Government has implemented the New Economic Policy(NEP), intending to restructure society and eradicate poverty, in order to avoid one race dominating the civil service and another controlling the private sector. Reducing the socio-economic imbalance is essential.

In the last 37 years, the whole society has been transformed with rural-urban migration and increasing number of foreign labour. Irregularities, unjust steps and wanton waste in the implementation of NEP have caused disaffection and discontent among all races.

Malay equity was supposed to reach at least 30% by 1990. Now, the Government insists that it is only 19%. Some researchers maintain that it is over 40%. Equity ownership continues to be controversial. As long as the Government does not overcome factors that make some Malays sell their equity when the share price is attractive, some economic measures appear unfair and there is wanton waste, the equity target will remain elusive.

Who dominate the public sector and who control the private sector will remain sensitive. Malaysians are amazed.

The Government goes through definite channels such as GLCs to participate in business. Major GLCs include Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), Malayan Banking, Petronas, Mas and Telekom Malaysia Berhad(TMB). The total investment in GLCs is over RM113 billion. Some such as Mas were managed badly, incurring big losses; the new leadership in Mas is turning it around. National Car, Proton, is in a dilemma: in the nine month ending 31 December, 2006, it appeared to have incurred a loss of over RM 500 million.

We need effective scrutiny of GLCs. The Cabinet has a High Impact Investment Committee headed by Datuk Seri Najib. Suggestions on the scrutiny of GLCs include a Cabinet Committee and a Parliamentary Select Committee. Which is more effective? Parliamentary Select Committee is more independent.

The Governemt keeps saying that it wants enlarged economic cake. No single race should predominate either the public or the private sectors. But then, we find that the top echelon of the Finance Ministry and most government departments are dominated by one race. The same applies to GLCs. All major appointments in government departments and GLCs should be based on merits, not on race or religion.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw