SMJK (Chinese) School Boards’ Responsibilities Reminded to Face Squarely— Speedy Settlement of School Land Entitlement Urged

Statement Released by Dong Zong

April 13, 2017

SMJK (Chinese) School Boards’ Responsibilities Reminded to Face Squarely

Speedy Settlement of School Land Entitlement Urged


With respect to the dispute generated by the school land of SJK(C) Yeok Kheong Selama as well as the fact that the land entitlements of many Chinese vernacular schools are owned by irrelevant individuals, it is foreseen severe impact will ensue towards the schools when these individuals reclaim the land through litigation anytime in the future, Dong Zong hereby comments as follows:


(1) Dong Zong expresses its acknowledgement towards those distinguished predecessors who had selflessly donated pieces of lands adhering the principle “notwithstanding poor, education should not be neglected” for the construction of Chinese schools. This seminal philanthropy has inevitably gained reverence and respect from the general public. Unfortunately, if these philanthropic acts in the form of land donation are not settled appropriately, such as in black and white and legalised properly, say after a number years when the donor’s descendants defy their ancestor’s will and resort to litigation reclaiming the relevant lands, disasters may occur as it harms Chinese education and brings about negative impacts towards students. As this internecine situation is the least expected, Dong Zong regrets the possible proceedings.


Sensing the severity, Dong Zong urges the two relevant parties involved in the SJK(C) Yeok Kheong Selama issue to take will fulfillment and Chinese education as priorities; as it proceeds, the school board needs to initiate negotiation with the other party frankly and responsibly thus to settle the dispute appropriately with fair, reasonable and legal approach.


(3) We understand that under the National Education Act, Chinese vernacular schools being government funded schools, the powers and rights endowed towards their school boards are clear and succinct. That explained why school boards are revered as the “babysitters” of Chinese education. The three prominent characteristics of any one Chinese vernacular school are (1) the rights owned by its school board, (2) its teaching and (3) employing Chinese as its medium of instruction. That said, it in actual fact embodies the critical role school board plays in the school. Each and every school board of Chinese vernacular school needs to fulfill the duties and responsibilities mandated by the Education Act and Chinese community in terms of establishment, management, maintenance and development. The members of the school board hence need to constantly remember and remind themselves on how to effectively execute the power of the school board.


We wish that every member of the school boards of Chinese vernacular schools will be well informed of her/his responsibilities given and proactively act, and carry out her/his powers and duties on all relevant matters, inclusive of the registration of Board of Directors, proper management of the school’s properties and monies as well as solving the problem of land entitlement and land tax.


(3) We also hope that all school boards of Chinese vernacular schools will immediately examine their land grant and land tax document to ensure who the registered owner is and the land tax paid receipts and land donation documents. As for those vernacular schools whose land belongs to individual, the state government or commercial enterprises, the school boards should seek to transfer the entitlement to the guarantors of the school board or non-profit limited companies owned by the Board of Directors; whereas for others whose land belongs to association or religious organisation—albeit some are the establishment body of the schools yet others are not—the school boards need to approach them and settle the entitlement status fairly and reasonably once and for all.