KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Kuantan is expected to gain approval for a Chinese independent high school within two weeks, MCA said today, in what will be a feather in the party’s cap ahead of an impending general election.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said party leaders met Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday to fast-track the application submitted by the Kuala Lumpur Chung Hwa independent high school.
“We hope to get the approval within two weeks,” he told a press conference at the MCA headquarters today.
Dr Chua stressed that the application was submitted by the school, while MCA is only helping to speed up the application process.
He said Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, has agreed that Deputy Education Minister Datuk Wee Ka Siong will lead a technical committee to discuss the details of the proposal submitted yesterday.
On Sunday, The Star reported Muhyiddin as saying that the government has agreed in principle to the building of a Chinese school in Kuantan, Pahang but would wait for a proposal from MCA.
“Whether the school will be an independent type or not, we will decide when we receive the proposal from MCA,” he reportedly said.
“MCA is very focused on getting this independent school established. We will push for a black-and-white agreement from the Government,” MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai was also quoted by The Sunday Star.
On May 20, more than 4,000 people were reported to have attended a rally in Kuantan to push for the setting up of a Chinese independent school.
There are currently 60 Chinese independent schools in Malaysia, but none in Pahang.
The Chinese community has held two major rallies this year to voice out their demands in relation to education in Mandarin.
The Southern College, one of the three institutes of higher learning run by the Chinese community, will be granted university status, the Sin Chew Daily reported today.
In the same press conference today, Dr Chua said MCA had a long history of working with Johor’s Southern College and emphasised the party’s efforts to help the college.
He said the latest development showed that the party “does not only talk without doing the work”, adding that MCA had recently granted RM300,000 for repair works in Southern College.
Education is set to be a crucial issue in the upcoming general election for the MCA, a Barisan Nasional component party that professes to champion the rights of the Chinese community.