Chong confident Putrajaya will give more money to Chinese schools

Chong (left) inspecting the old wooden classroom block of SJK (C) Chung Hua Stampin. With him are headmaster Ngu Siong Ngo (second from left), the school's Board of Management chairman Pui Wen Mui (third from left), and others.

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KUCHING, July 29: Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen is confident the federal government will increase development expenditure and allocations for all Chinese schools, including those in Sarawak.

He said the new government’s policy was more towards a “needs basis” when it comes to Chinese education.

“As promised by Minister of Education Dr Maszlee Malik, there will be development expenditure allocation for Chinese Middle Schools. I think that is something positive for Chinese education,” he told a press conference after attending a briefing given by the Board of Management of SJK (C) Chung Hua Stampin here today.

During the reign of the Barisan Nasional (BN), there was no budgetary allocation for such schools, he pointed out.

Chong said it was unavoidable for some people to accuse the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government of making U-turns just for the sake of discrediting it.

“I mean, we (PH government) are only a two-month-old government. I’m only a three-week-old deputy minister. Even if you get married today, you won’t expect your children to be born the next day or in two months’ time,” he said.

Chong (left) speaking to reporters after the briefing. With him is SJK (C) Chung Hua Stampin Board of Management chairman Pui Wen Mui.

However, although the PH government was still new, it had nevertheless made “concrete promises”, like putting Chinese Middle Schools in the budget. Additionally, some promises had already been implemented, notably zero-rating the goods and services tax (GST).

“Some policies can be done quickly, while others may need more time,” he said.

On SJK (C) Chung Hua Stampin, which has about 160 pupils, he revealed that its board of management had thus far collected about RM600,000 for its expansion plan. But he reckoned it would take between three and five years for the expansion initiative to be realised.

The school currently occupies half-an-acre, and it would need to acquire another one to two acres of adjacent land for expansion purposes. — DayakDaily