PETALING JAYA: An MP has questioned the government over its slow distribution of laptops to Tamil vernacular schools for online learning.
Kulai MP and former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching said only six out of 527 Tamil vernacular schools received laptops from the government.
She said the interest of the Indian community had been “arbitrarily neglected” and this was a “great disservice to the concept of Keluarga Malaysia”.
“There is a clear mark of discrimination in the distribution of laptops to schools according to the answers provided by the education ministry,” Teo said in a statement today.
“I will classify this as a vast injustice to the Indian community and such discriminatory distribution of essential devices for educational purposes in times of a pandemic should never happen.”
She said that out of the delayed distribution of 150,000 laptops, a mere 406 laptops were distributed to students in Tamil vernacular schools, which only formed 0.27% of the total number of laptops distributed nationwide.
“The number of students studying in Tamil vernacular schools is about 80,500. The total student population nationwide is around 4.7 million. This means 1.7% of students in the system are from Tamil vernacular schools but they only received 0.27% of the laptops distributed,” she said.
Teo said it was a well-known fact that the Indian community is economically disadvantaged and a large percentage of B40 Indian students study in vernacular schools.
Teo said the Indian minority segment of society deserved more aid from the government and this was proven from all the statistics the government presented.
“I would also like to remind the government that the Perikatan Nasional had already reduced special maintenance allowance for Tamil vernacular schools to RM28.9 million in 2021 from a standard RM50 million that has been distributed to the Indian community for many years,” she said.
She called on the education minister to remedy the situation immediately, saying “a true Malaysia would fight and strive to serve all races”.