‘State Govt Will Continue To Support Chinese Education’

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg believes the state government has been doing the right thing by continuing its policy to assist and recognise Chinese education.

He said the late chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem allocated a few million ringgit to independent Chinese schools in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and this was continued this year when he (Abang Johari) gave RM6 million last month.

He pointed out that previously, the independent Chinese schools did not receive even a single sen in government aid.

As for Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), he said UEC holders can use it to apply for jobs in the state civil service and apply for study loans from Yayasan Sarawak, and the state government has decided to fully recognise UEC even though the federal government has not done so.

This has never been done before and I believe this is the right thing to do to assist Chinese education in Sarawak, and in recognition of the contribution of the Chinese community to Sarawak’s overall development, he said at the fundraising dinner for SJK Chung Hua No. 2 expansion project held at a hall in Jalan Padungan on Saturday night.

His text of speech was read by Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong.

Abang Johari said Chung Hua schools or Chinese schools are giving good education to children including Bumiputera children who make up a significant percentage of the student population in these schools.

Taking SJK Chung Hua No. 2 as an example, he said the school is currently the largest primary school in Kuching with more than 1,300 students, of which five percent are non-Chinese.

On the other hand, in rural Chinese schools, 60, 70 and even 80 per cent of their students are Bumiputera, he added.

In Satok constituency where he is the assemblyman, Abang Johari said he never failed to give a yearly grant to assist a Chung Hua Middle School there.

This is our way in Sarawak. Why cannot we recognise and help these schools? he said.

The Chief Minister also mentioned that the Chinese community had always been a partner in the common efforts to build a better Sarawak for all communities.

I sincerely hope that our Chinese friends will continue to play a meaningful role in the government based on our power-sharing concept. After all the Chinese were the first batch of people to be part of the BN power-sharing government back in 1970, he said.

Manyin, after reading Abang Johari’s speech, announced an allocation of RM100,000 from the Chief Minister and RM30,000 from himself for SJK Chung Hua No. 2 expansion project.

Dinner organising chairman Teo Kwang Hock said SJK Chung Hua No. 2, located at Tabuan Jaya, needed about RM6 million to build a new four-storey classroom building and a hall.

He said due to lack of classrooms, the school had to reject applications from a few hundred new students while the absence of a hall forced the students to exercise or gather under the hot sun.

Kuching Chung Hua Primary Schools No. 1 to 6 Management Board chairman Wong Tiong Hook announced at the end of the dinner that they had so far raised RM5.27 million, an increase from RM4.37 million collected before the dinner.

He said more fundraising efforts will be organised in order to reach the RM6 million target. The audience was also informed that businessman and dinner main sponsor Chai Tze Khin contributed RM1.4 million to the fundraising and Chai’s grandchildren donated RM200,000.

China’s Consul General in Kuching Fu Jijun, who also spoke, praised the Sarawak government’s commitment to continue to assist Chinese education.

He said this reflected the beauty of Sarawak, where harmony and inclusiveness among the people reigned supreme.

Among others present were Padawan Municipal Council chairman Lo Khere Chiang, Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen and Kuching Chung Hua Middle School No. 1, 3 and 4 Management Committee chairman Dato Richard Wee.

Source: Borneo Post Online