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Funds for Tamil schools: Facts and myths

December 30, 2012

These are the actual facts that MIC's Vell Paari found after rebutting claims relating to funds for Tamil schools on Friday.

COMMENT

By S Vell Paari

Facts on allegations on progress of Tamil schools infrastructure projects under Budget 2012 allocation of RM100 million.

Allegation:

MIC has handled the RM100 million allocations for SJKTs.

Fact:

The entire project, which includes selection of contractors and awarding of contracts to qualified Indian contractors is handled by the Ministry of Education.

Allegation:

RM90 million has been returned to the government because of the delay in using up the fund.

Fact:

The funding of RM100 million provided for under the 2012 budget goes on until 2014 and until then, there is no expiry date for this fund.

Allegation:

147 Tamil schools have been deprived of the funds from the 2012 allocation.

Fact:

The funding was distributed to cater for the urgent needs of 224 Tamil schools. Many schools that appeared in the earlier list of 369 schools had benefitted from the earlier allocation provided for in 2009, therefore priority was given to the schools that missed the allocation in 2009. Additional RM100 million has been allocated for 2013 and more schools that needs infrastructure development will be considered.

Allegation:

MIC and the government is secretive of the allocation to the schools.

Fact:

A full list of all 224 schools selected has been published in the Tamil newspapers, complete with the amount allocated and scope of work involved for each school.

Allegation:

Government is not setting up new Tamil schools

Fact:

Approvals for setting up of seven new Tamil schools have been given by the government and work on building one of the school in Lunas, Kedah started this year. As for the six new schools that was announced by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in January 2012, the process of acquiring identified lands by the Ministry of Education is in progress. All of these new schools are established with the approval from the Cabinet and they are not mere promise by the government.

The government is also committed to establish more Tamil schools in localities with high number of Indians based on the needs and requirements from the local community. For example, the request from Indians in Sungai Pelek for a Tamil school in their place is being reviewed by the Ministry of Education and all necessary process is taking place towards setting up a new Tamil school there.

Allegation:

PM Najib Tun Razak’s gathering with Tamil school HMs and PIBG/LPS representatives on Jan 22, 2012 is an eye wash.

Fact:

The gathering was another signature initiative of the Prime Minister and the government to reach directly to the stakeholders of Tamil schools to ensure continued growth for Tamil schools in Malaysia. With RM540 million allocated for Tamil schools within just four years, more can be done with a strong understanding and working relationship between the government and all Tamil school stakeholders.

The Prime Minister reiterated in the gathering that no Tamil schools will be closed down and schools with low enrolment will be relocated to enable more students to have access to education in Tamil schools.

The Prime Minister also called for a national conference to be convened to discuss on a blueprint for the future of Tamil schools in Malaysia. To realise this, he set up a unit called the Action Plan for the Future of Tamil schools that is responsible for developing the blueprint and jointly organise the national conference.

Allegation:

The government is cheating the people with handing out mock cheques from The Community Chest that is a profit from gambling.

Fact:

The Community Chest is another example of an innovative approach by the government through a public-private initiative to ensure vernacular education in Malaysia continues to receive the necessary aid and attention.

In November 2012 alone, 47 Tamil schools were allocated an amount of RM9.139 million for various infrastructure development projects. These supplements the various other funding provided for Tamil schools by the government.

Allegation:

The government has failed to deliver its by-election promise to allocate RM3.5 million to build SJKT Serendah.

Fact:

The government is committed towards ensuring the construction of the new school building of SJKT Serendah. RM2 million has been allocated for this school under the RM100 allocation in Budget 2012 and the Ministry of Education has committed to identify the remaining allocation of RM1.5 million to ensure the construction progresses.

Also read:

Funds row: ‘MIC must bite the bullet’

S Vell Paari is MIC’s central working committee member and the party’s communication chief.


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