Appropriation Details for All Streams of Schools Undefined— Transparency is Expected for National Appropriation

Joint Statement Released by Dong Zong and Jiao Zong

October 8, 2022

Appropriation Details for All Streams of Schools Undefined—

Transparency is Expected for National Appropriation


Notwithstanding the MOE is the second highest appropriation beneficiary in Budget 2023, Dong Jiao Zong regrets that the Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz did not list the appropriation for all streams of schools in detail. Accordingly, the MOE received a total of RM55.6 billion in Budget 2023, an increase of 5.59 percent or RM3 billion, compared to RM52.6 billion collected in Budget 2022. Yet the Minister of Finance merely pronounced RM1.1 billion maintenance appropriation for all streams of schools nationwide, including national, vernacular Chinese primary, vernacular Tamil primary and religion schools. Besides, the government also appropriates RM1.2 billion for building promotion in operating schools in order to ensure the safety of students, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak state.


The Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz not only did without mentioning the appropriation for all streams of schools, but also left out MICSS (Malaysian Independent Chinese Secondary School), as well as the three privately funded non-profit university colleges, namely New Era University College, Southern University College and Han Chiang University College of Communication, let alone Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology. On top of that, the government likewise did not state whether national-type and Catholic schools will be appropriated, including whether all streams of schools will be funded to pay for sewage charges, electric and water bills, administration expenses, etc.


In both Budget 2019 and 2020, appropriation for national primary, vernacular Chinese and Tamil primary, national secondary, Catholic, full-boarding schools, the MARA Junior Science College and privately-run religion schools were clearly stated in detail at one glance. To our disappointment, in Budgets published after the year 2021, the government has never disclosed detailed promotion and maintenance appropriation for the said schools. Though the Deputy Education Minister Mah Hang Soon later updated the media that some RM94.36 million was appropriated to vernacular Chinese primary schools nationwide for maintenance purposes, it is difficult for the general public to examine if all streams of schools are treated equally since the government did not define the appropriation details for all types of schools.


We understand that five new schools will be constructed in 2023: they are, namely three national secondary and two national primary schools located in Sarawak, Sabah, Terengganu, Selangor and Cyberjaya; yet to our disappointment, no vernacular Chinese and Tamil primary schools are included. Education is the foundation of national prosperity; since national, vernacular Chinese and Tamil primary are part and parcel of national education system, Dong Jiao Zong opines it the obligation of the government to systematically construct vernacular Chinese and Tamil primary schools responsive to community density and needs. Currently, the construction and relocation of a few new vernacular Chinese primary schools are underway; thus, Dong Jiao Zong urges for education appropriation to assure their smooth progress for the benefit of national education.


Meanwhile, Dong Jiao Zong is very much pleased and relieved learning that an extra allowance of food aid targeted at low-income families is finally approved; it is one of the many proposals submitted by Dong Jiao Zong to the MOE earlier for consideration.


We know that when information is inaccessible, distrust and trepidation will be generated from the presuming black-box operation of the government. Therefore, we earnestly hope, besides providing systematic appropriation for construction and relocation for vernacular primary schools, the government can disclose and publicise the appropriation details in bid to enforce the right to know, so that democratic participation and monitor can be promoted in public affairs.


From next Tuesday onwards, Budget 2023 will be in for debate in the parliament; as such, Dong Jiao Zong urges the Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz to address besetting doubts by listing the appropriation details for school maintenance. He is further expected to appropriate national-type secondary, Catholic, MICSS, the three privately-run university colleges and Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology in the form of a promise, aside from letting schools of all streams to enjoy equal sewage, electric and water charges.