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Dong Zong urges govt to stop Umno statements on funds for Chinese schools

The Chinese education group warns against the escalation of racial issues for political mileage.

Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli
2 minute read
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School students use an overpass to cross the road at Jalan Syed Putra in Kuala Lumpur.
School students use an overpass to cross the road at Jalan Syed Putra in Kuala Lumpur.

Chinese education group Dong Zong has defended the RM15.7 million allocation given to Chinese independent schools throughout the country following comparisons by Umno Youth with the funds set aside for Islamic education centres, urging the government to put a stop to such statements. 

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, Dong Zong deputy president Tan Yew Sing said the amount was nearly the same as that given by the previous government. 

He also said that the total expenditure for the 63 Chinese independent schools amounted to some RM400 million. 

"Our total fees collected is RM360 million," he said. 

"With government subsidies of RM15 million, the community still needs to raise RM25 million in operation expenses. In addition, the development expenditure easily amounts to RM100 million yearly." 

The RM15.7 million allocation was questioned by Umno Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh, who said the amount received by each school was double what was allocated for religious institutions.

Akmal, the state assemblyman for Merlimau, also urged the government to absorb Chinese schools into the national education system if they were facing financial difficulties. 

The allocation was announced by Transport Minister Anthony Loke after an application by Dong Zong for special funding. 

Chua Kim Boon, the president of Dong Zong's Selangor and Kuala Lumpur chapter, accused Akmal of using the issue for political mileage. 

"Escalating racial issues in competition by various political parties will bring no benefit to our people in general and our country in particular. 

"The government of the day or the authorities concerned should take stern action to curb or stop all of these statements, whether they are for capturing votes or for inciting racial sentiments for political mileage," he said.
 
Tan, meanwhile, said it was fair for the government to fully subsidise operational education expenses as the community was providing basic education on behalf of the government. 

"We are not against the government offering more subsidies to religious institutions," he added. 

"The government must have its own basis for the allocation of subsidies."

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