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This a hard hitting Q & A session arranged by Malaysiakini, with Samy Vellu on the position of Tamil schools in Malaysia. Some of earlier assumptions by Samy Vellu is just history and without evidence, let’s hope what Samy says is correct. But after the Ninth Malaysia Plan, when Samy was in the thick and thin of all that was happening in the Government, it is hard to believe he did not raise objections, and as a gentleman he should admit his weakness if he had not done so. But knowing him, as someone who never says sorry, he is still the ‘Suthal King’ or spin master trying to evade responsibilities.

Under the Ninth Malaysia plan, development allocation per student per month is National School RM33.30, Tamil School RM10.55, and Chinese School RM4.50 per student. Back in 1949 it was English $188.88, Malay $66.84, Tamil $55.84, Chinese $8.72.

When referred to this Samy was quick to point out, Tamil schools were small and not fitted with facilities like laboratories and therefore the allocation was small. He also said once the facilities were upgraded, the government will raise the allocation per student.

When Malaysiakini asked how could the facilities be obtained when there is no allocation, Samy’s answer is vague. The allocation is done according to the language of the school and it is nothing to do with facilities. Of course Samy hides behind technical reasons rather than discrimination.

There must be honesty from a leader, the people understand when Government enforces certain rules based on language, and the leader, besides appealing, can’t do much but keep repeating the same request. We don’t expect Samy to call the Education Minister for a duel to settle matters.

You can read the portion of the allocation Q & A hereunder, and comment on my observations. At one stage Samy refers to people sitting in the house and question others. Well it is true, but then he was elected to defend the Indians and if things are known, I don’t see the rationale, why he can’t be questioned.

Under the Ninth Malaysia Plan the development allocation for per student per month according to school is:

* National school RM33.30 per student

* Tamil school RM10.55 per student

* Chinese school RM4.50 per student

Way back in 1949, during the British days, the allocation was:

* English school $188.88 per student

* Malay school $66.84 per student

* Tamil school $55.84 per student

* Chinese school $8.72 per student

Is there discrimination now?

The reason the allocations are made as such is because the schools are very small and not fitted with all the facilities like laboratories and so forth.

The moment all these facilities are in the school instantly the government will raise the allocation per student.

How will they obtain all the facilities when there is inadequate allocation?

The allocation is not given – that is just how much the government spends on a child. The government spends more money on a child who attends a school that is fully facilitated.

If the school doesn’t have more than two classrooms then the government will spend much less on a student who goes to that school.

But the allocation is not given on the basis of the kind of school a child attends i.e. a fully equipped school or less equipped school. It is designated according to language stream schools.

I won’t call this discrimination because there may be many technical reasons to it. If there is discrimination then the Chinese must fight for it.

Every year, the estimation is done with various requirements. If I ask for reasons, the ministry will come up with reasons.

They won’t tell me just because we are Indians, they won’t give us fair allocations. This is not that type of government. If it was, it won’t be this developed today

The education minister has always obligated to do the right thing; he did not go around telling people not to give to Indians.

Is not this the reason Tamil schools are in such a mess?

Tamil schools are not in a mess as it has been said by people who simply say and don’t do anything for the school!

We spend millions every year to print books, promote the education and we see the students get happy!

You think it comes just like that! That is the initiatives and the people who don’t put the initiative are the people who sit at home and question others! That doesn’t happen!

Is this discrimination carried out in pursuit of the ‘ultimate objective’ – to get rid of all Tamil schools?

I don’t think Tamil schools or Indian fellows can be finished off by anybody.


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