PHOTO: NSTP/EIZAIRI SHAMSUDIN
By OMAR RIDZUAN
AS usual, during Budget 2020, the education and health sectors received the biggest slice of the pie.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced various allocations for the country’s schools and higher education sectors.
However, embedded deep in the budget, almost unnoticeable, were allocations for non-recognised schools in the country.
This included RM50 million for Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) and another RM50 million for Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil).
The Finance Minister also earmarked RM50 million for missionary schools and RM15 million for private Chinese schools.
The problem is, these schools are not entitled to federal money.
According to lawyer Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz, missionary schools and private Chinese schools are not recognised by the Education Act 1996.
On the converse, the 2,436 national schools which are recognised under the Federal Constitution meanwhile were sidelined.
Guan Eng has to come forward and explain this discrepancy as it involves taxpayers money.
The allocation made to non-national school clearly contravenes with the federal constitution.
The constitution prioritises Bahasa Malaysia as the national language and national schools as the school for the rakyat.
If there is a mix-up, Guan Eng has to clarify the matter soon and reallocate the budgeted money accordingly.
Otherwise, the rakyat will lose faith in Pakatan Harapan’s government and accuse it as being biased towards vernacular schools compared to national schools.