Eric Tay

KUCHING: Sarawak United People’s Party SUPP Youth Central Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Bureau applauded the Sarawak government for continuously allocating funds for Chinese schools in the state.

Its chief Eric Tay described the move by the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government as an enlightened policy that would eventually benefit the people of Sarawak.

Recently, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg pledged that the state government would look after the development of Chinese schools as long as GPS continue to lead the state.

Abang Johari also announced an allocation of RM8 million, which will be benefitted by 60,430 students from 219 Chinese primary schools in Sarawak, this year.

This is in addition to the RM9 million allocation to Chinese middle schools, which makes the total subsidy of RM17 million to Chinese schools this year alone.

At the same time, Abang Johari also announced the setting-up of a special unit to facilitate the applications and monetary grant for Chinese schools.

The unit, to be headed by Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, is to ensure the funds from the state government would be channelled appropriately to Chinese schools.

Tay said that despite the Federal Constitution guaranteeing that all ethnic groups had the right to freely develop their mother tongue, the development of Chinese education in the nation had always faced obstacles.

“Under the current national education policy, Chinese schools tend to be set aside in terms of application for grants, teaching manpower, teacher training, etc.”

The situation was worse under the previous federal government — Pakatan Harapan.

“With the implementation of this measure from the Sarawak government, I hope that Chinese primary schools and mission schools will gain rather fair treatment — to make Sarawak a model state in promoting free development of multi-ethnic cultures, said Tay.

Tay expressed hope that following the increase in the number of students, the government could increase the amount of funding next year.