Warmly Welcome the Delegation of YB Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Annuar bin Musa to Dong Zong. Speech by Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau Lee Ming, Chairman of Dong Zong

Warmly Welcome the Delegation of

YB Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Annuar bin Musa

to Dong Zong


Speech by Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau Lee Ming,

Chairman of Dong Zong



Date:           7 February 2017 (Tuesday)

Time:          10.30am

Venue:        Meeting Room A401, Dong Zong


Umno Information Chief YB Tan Sri Annuar Musa and your delegation,

Malaysian People's Movement Party Vice President Datuk Dr. Dominic Lau and members,

Central Committee of Dong Zong and administrative staff of Dong Zong,


Good morning to all of you.


First and foremost, on behalf of Dong Zong, I wish to extend a very warm welcome to YB Tan Sri Annuar Musa and your delegation to visit Dong Zong. I also welcome Datuk Dr. Dominic Lau and your party members. Thank you all for taking time to meet with us this morning. The visit by YB Tan Sri today is to know more about the Chinese education in this country.


Let me briefly explain the background of independent Chinese secondary schools and its development. Prior to 1961, there were 70 Chinese secondary schools in Peninsular Malaysia. These schools were set up by Chinese community and received subsidies from the government to run the schools.


The Rahman Talib Education Report was released in 1960. The report recommended Chinese secondary schools to be converted, and failing which the government would withdraw the subsidies. The Education Act 1961 was later passed. At that time, 54 Chinese secondary schools accepted the conversion to use English as its medium of instruction. These are the conforming secondary schools known as Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan (SMJK) today. Later, the government changed the medium of instruction from English to Malay. The remaining 16 Chinese secondary schools did not opt for the conversion, were willing to give up government subsidy and remain unchanged then, these are known as the independent Chinese secondary schools today.


After being excluded from the national education system, these schools depend on the support of the Chinese community to sustain their operations. Over the period, some conforming secondary schools decided to convert back as independent Chinese secondary schools. Currently, Malaysia has a total of 60 independent Chinese secondary schools and one branch school. Without the support of government authorities, we had no choice, but had to design our own academic curriculum, organise unified examination, provide teacher training, etc.


I must stress that the teaching and learning materials of independent Chinese secondary schools are not sourced externally or transferred from places outside Malaysia. Since standardising the curriculum of independent Chinese schools in 1974, it has complied with the standard of national education. The syllabus released by Ministry of Education is used as the yardstick.


Independent Chinese secondary schools teach three languages to assist the country in grooming talents. The schools have since delivered outstanding achievement in various sectors. Regrettably, the government still does recognise Unified Examination Certificates (UEC). Besides not recognising UEC, furthermore, the government does not allow the setting up of new schools. For more than 40 years, under strong support of Chinese community, independent Chinese secondary schools achieved significant progress in various areas. The UEC is widely recognised by majority of universities in the world. The value and quality of UEC receive international recognition.


In this globalisation era, Malaysia is expected to face more competition and challenges. The rise of China as a huge economic entity sees the economic value and international status of Chinese language gaining prominence. Chinese education has since become more important. We can see from here that the Chinese education provides advantage that meet the current trend. Talents who are versatile in languages are able to gain advantage in a competitive environment. Hence, I hope the government can provide recognition for independent Chinese secondary schools run by the community, acknowledging the contribution of Chinese education towards nation building.


I am of the view that judging from the angle of education and social development, the unified curriculum and the unified examination offered in independent Chinese secondary schools fulfil national interests. For those who claim of “violating national education policy”, “not in accordance with national sentiment”, and “tarnishing national sovereignty” are unfounded and baseless.


The government should maintain multi-stream of education and treasure the vernacular education of each ethnic group as national assets. In 2015, the late Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan has taken the lead to recognise UEC and pointed out that the unwillingness of Federal Government to recognise UEC is a form of wastage which has also caused brain drain. He also criticised the move as a stupid policy.


I urge the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education and the Federal Government to show their sincerity in assessing UEC based on academic requirement and acknowledge UEC equivalent to STPM where it can be used as one of the qualifications for UEC holders to further studies in local public universities.


I would also like to brief YB Tan Sri that currently the number of students in these 60 independent Chinese secondary schools + 1 branch school this year has exceeded 85,000. Each year the independent Chinese secondary schools experience overcrowding of students. Hence I urge the government to adopt a more open approach when judging such phenomenon by allowing Chinese community to build new independent Chinese secondary schools or a new branch, allocate funds to support the development of independent Chinese secondary schools to resolve overcrowding of students.


For the future of Malaysia and also our next generation, I hope the Ministry of Education and the Federal Government should do away with unitary education paradigm, encourage more open policies and treat multi-stream education as a significant capital. They should build more multi-stream schools so that every child can have the chance to undergo vernacular education.


Lastly, I am grateful that YB Tan Sri pays us a visit today. I hope this is a good start and not the end. At the same time, I hope through the visit and dialogue, both sides are able to know each other more and we can achieve consensus.


As we are still celebrating Chinese New Year, I wish all of you a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year. Thank You.