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NGO against criteria: ‘Donate and Build’ scheme for new Chinese schools
Published on: Thursday, July 11, 2024
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NGO against criteria: ‘Donate and Build’ scheme for new Chinese schools
Goh reminded the Chinese community and Chinese businesses have been donating to Chinese education annually, which has long been described as the “second income tax.”
Kuala Lumpur: The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) has strongly objected to the implementation of “Donate and Build” (Derma dan Bina) scheme, for construction of new Chinese primary schools.

Its President, Tan Sri T.C. Goh, said the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)-based approach endorsed by the Education Ministry (MoE) back in 2017 should not become a new model or policy for the government or Ministry of Education to approve the construction of any new Chinese primary schools in the future.

“Instead, the government should consider the construction or relocation of all types of primary and secondary schools, including Chinese primary schools, as part of its fiduciary responsibilities to maintain the existing national multi-stream education system and structure,” he said.

In a statement Wednesday, Goh, who is also President of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS), said the MOE statement in Parliament caused confusion and concern among the Chinese community.

“If this is the government’s new model or policy, it will inevitably give people, especially the Chinese community, the misconception that Chinese primary schools are not publicly funded but rather ‘half-private sector funded.

“The government is responsible for the development expenses of Chinese primary schools, which include teaching staff, maintenance funds, and curriculum and examinations, etc. 

“However, if the construction or relocation of new schools is to be fully implemented or encouraged through the ‘Donate and Build” scheme, it is unacceptable,” he said.

Goh reminded the Chinese community and Chinese businesses have been donating to Chinese education annually, which has long been described as the “second income tax.”

He thus asked, “Do we need to increase the second income tax again?”

Goh said Huazong proposed a 10-point position and suggestions, urging the government to clarify the following points, among others:

1. Immediately retract this model.

2. Set its priorities correctly instead of putting the cart before the horse. 3. The government listen to public opinion and approve the construction or relocation of all types of schools, including Chinese primary schools, according to actual needs. The Government proactively and systematically provide funding for these project: 4. Include the construction or relocation of all types of schools, including Chinese primary schools, and the necessary funding in the annual national budget for implementation.

Clarify whether the “Donate and Build Scheme” has been included in the “new initiative of the Ministry. Does this mean the construction of all new Chinese primary schools, or those to be relocated in the future, will adopt this model for implementation?

5. Will the State Government also approve the land or its conversion for educational use and the additional payment for the land premium?

6. Has the “Donate and Build” model been thoroughly studied and approved by the Unity Government Cabinet? Will it also be applied to other types of schools?

7. Huazong encourages private enterprises and all education enthusiasts to fulfill their corporate social responsibility, or support educational initiatives, by donating to support all types of schools, including the construction of school infrastructure and amenities.

8. Provide more tax exemptions and incentives for private enterprises and individuals who respond to and support the “Donate and Build” scheme or support school development, to carry out their CSR.

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