View issues with Tan Seng Giaw

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Compulsory secondary education

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw proposes that the Government find ways and means to implement compulsory secondary education, in addition to the compulsory primary education and free education.

Dr Tan made this proposal during the debate on the 2008 Supply Bill (Budget) on 10.9.2007.

The allocation for education and training is RM 43.8 billion (24.8% of the total) as a strategy to strenghthen human capital development. This is a step in the right direction. The Ministry of Education gets RM 30 billion. Examinations fees are waived in 2007 and in 2008 the fee for Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia and the annual fees for primary and secondary schools will be abolished. All 5.7 million students, irrespective of their families' income are eligible for textbook loan.

We hope that headmasters in over 10,000 primary and secondary schools will improve school administration to ensure that all budget proposals are implemented effectively. Cut down red-tape and bureaucracy.

It seems that every time there is a new minister of education, a new plan is launched. For example, Tan Sri Musa initiated the Education Development Plan (2001 -- 2010). Dato' Seri Hishamuddin has launched the Education Master Plan (2006 --2010). The two plans overlap. The minister has to ensure that the two plans are implemented successfully.

Over five years ago, the ministry introduced smart schools. At present, the number appears to stagnate at 88 schools; we do not know how successful these schools are. But then, there are 10,000 schools. How many years do we need to make all schools smart? Before the smart school project can be fully implemented, the ministry wants cluster schools.

We require greater efforts by the ministry to make secondary education not only free, but also compulsory. Compulsory primary education presents problems. Compulsory secondary education will face more challenges.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Monday, September 10, 2007

Conventions on the state of Malaysia according to the 1957 Constitution

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw reiterates that there should be conventions on the state of Malaysia based on the spirit and true meaning of the 1957 Federal Constitution that has never mentioned Malaysia as an Islamic State.

In our multiracial country, we should deal with sensitive matters cautiously. We should uphold the real spirit and meaning of the 1957 Constitution.

Dr Tan was the first person to speak during the debate on the 2008 Supply Bill (Budget) on 10.9.2007. The Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi presented the budget at 4.00 pm on 7.9.2007. The debate on the budget begins on the following Monday.By tradition, Opposition Leader starts the debate on the budget. Because of traffic jam near Parliament, Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang could not arrive at 11.30 am on 10.9.2007 when the Speaker Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib threw open the debate. Dr Tan stood up and spoke spontaneously until Kit Siang appeared. This was unconventional.

Dr Tan touched on the state of Malaysia, RM 43.8 billion (24.8% of the total) for education, RM 12.5 billion (7.1% of total) for transport, RM 12.95 billion (7.3% of total) for health, modern ICT for Parliament, broadband, wireless and smart schools for the whole country and the teaching of history in schools.

The Finance Minister speaks of a development philosophy of growth with equity to enable all Malaysians to benefit from rapid economic expansion and wealth creation regardless of race and colour.

In 1957, the Reid Commission drew up the Merdeka Constitution that takes into consideration the multiracial nature of the country. Islam is the official religion, but Malaya and then Malaysia is not an Islamic State.

(In 2001 the then Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad declared Malaysia an Islamic State. In 2007, the Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak says the same thing.)

Today, the Minister in the Prime Minister Department Dato' Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz replies to the question of Pontian MP Datuk Ir Hasni Mohammad and repeats his reply to Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang that Malaysia is neither secular nor theocratic as pronounced by the Prime Minister. This is a vague statement. Nazri also mentions the principles of civilizational Islam and the freedom of all religions.

Some have called for conventions to discuss the 1957 Federal Constitution. For example, the Minister for Agriculture and Agriculturally-based Industry Tan Sri Muhyddin Mohd Yassin asked for a closed convention on the issue.

Just as national unity that must be constantly nurtured, we need continuous efforts to instill in Malaysians the true spirit and meaning of the 1957 Federal Constitution.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Announce the findings of the Committee on baby Lai Yok Shan

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek to announce the findings of the Committee of Enquiry on the newborn Lai Yok Shan, including measures on Yok Shan and action on the doctor involved.

Dr Tan took part in the debate on the Supplementary Supply Bill in Parliament on 4 September, 2007.

Five-week-old Lai Yok Shan lost her left forearm on 2 September, 2007, at Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Klang. The gangrenous left forearm was given to her parents Lai Kian Khee and Nut Tuemthony.

The baby was born on 23 July, 2007, two months premature. It had blood infection and was given an antibiotic, which was said to be Vancomycin. But, the houseman, newly-qualified doctor under supervision, had difficulty in finding a vein on the premature baby's arm. The needle went to the wrong place, complicated by an infection and gangrene (dead tissue).

According to media report, the Health Ministry acknowledged that a mistake had been made and a special committee was set up to probe the incident. Dr Chua Soi Lek said findings showed that there were weaknesses in the treatment procedure. The role of the specialist and the houseman must be reviewed.

It is time for the minister to reveal the findings of the committee report, so that the parents and the public know what actually happened.

Although hospitals such as the above-stated attain ISO 9001 standard, it does not mean that the service or the delivery system goes up. The minister must pay attention to this.

The attitude of hospitals such as the above-mentioned must be people-friendly.

Datuk Seri Chua must review the facilities in hospitals including the Klang Hospital. Is is the result of lack of fund and personnel that affect the maintenance of these hospitals. I have been told that ants can be seen in the intensive unit. Is it true?

While the case is being referred to the Attorney-General, the ministry must tell Yok Shan's parents the steps to be taken such as ex-gratia payment, life-long free medical treatment, prosthesis and limb transplant.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw