STATEMENT BY YB CHARLES SANTIAGO, DAP MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR KLANG
“Walk the talk”, “practise what you preach”, “actions speak louder than words”: you folks know the meaning, right?
Well the Prime Minister and his government don’t.
While Muhyiddin Yassin says the welfare of the Indian community is important, the severe 42% drop in allocations for Tamil schools reveals how the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government ‘cares’ for the Indians.
The projected allocation for Tamil schools is only RM29 million compared to RM50 million in the previous years. This is disappointing to say the least.
It’s a known fact that the previous allocations were already insufficient, resulting in poor maintenance and lack of facilities in Tamil schools.
I am talking about inadequate computers, broken chairs and tables, leaking roofs, broken toilets and other maintenance issues.
Most of the Tamil schools in Malaysia were built in the 70s and 80s. Almost 70% of the 527 Tamil schools are located in rural areas and they are in dire need of an upgrade and maintenance.
The Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB) data shows that 13% of Indian students drop out at the primary level, also caused by the dismal condition of these schools.
On top of this, the Education Ministry has failed to take into consideration the impact of inflation and rising costs.
And neither did it do a proper study and prepare a report on the status of Tamil schools in Malaysia, facilities available, building safety, maintenance schedule and other relevant data before slashing the allocations.
Education is the only key to eradicating poverty among B40 Indian families, whose kids largely make up the student population in Tamil schools.
The PN government should therefore increase the allocation for Tamil schools from RM50 million to RM60 million, instead of finding excuses to slash it.
And what was that again: Muhyiddin is the leader for all Malaysians?
Well then, he certainly has to walk it like he talks it.