KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 – More Umno/BN leaders and ministers are sending their children to private and international schools of late, locally or abroad, due to lack of confidence in the national education system. DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said the phenomenon was worse now than during former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time.
Lim was responding to Dr Mahathir’s recent statement that ministers had started sending their children to private schools and international schools which largely used English as the teaching medium. “Surely Dr Mahathir was not unaware that his own ministers were sending their children to private and international schools, whether locally or abroad.
“This demonstrates their lack of confidence in the national education policy and system,” said Lim in a blog posting today. Lim said even Umno leaders would not back the recent statement by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who said that Malaysian youngsters were receiving better education than their counterparts in the United States, Britain and Germany.
“This is why he (Muhyiddin) will not dare to ask the Umno General Assembly to endorse his claim.” Lim said the standard of our education was a major reason for the crisis of confidence in the BN/Umno leadership. “This is why the majority of the national electorate had voted against the ruling coalition in the last General Election, causing the formation of a minority government for the first time in Malaysian history.” Lim cited the recent comment by former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah that Malaysia was not getting what it paid for, despite pouring billions into the country’s education system.
“He said Malaysia spent double that of other Asean countries on education, in terms of ratio to gross domestic product which was more than Japan and South Korea in 2011, but it did not give the desired returns in terms of quality and productivity.” He said the real issues the Umno General Assembly should focus on were why Malaysia was stuck in the bottom third of the countries surveyed in international assessments and why it was not making any significant moves towards the upper tier.