Make space for vernacular schools

PETALING JAYA - New housing estates should reserve land to build vernacular schools, said MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He called on the Education Department to be proactive in their planning for schools.

"The education officers must identify the location and reserve land for the Chinese schools in areas with huge Chinese population.

"You cannot wait until the people ask for it because by then, most of the land would have been taken up," he said, adding that currently, there were only reserved land for national schools.

He said MCA would monitor the implementation of the Malaysian Education Blueprint to ensure the continuous development of the Chinese education since the Government had recognised it as part of the mainstream education system.

Liow, also the Bentong MP, said this to reporters after visiting the newly opened SJKC Kheng Chee in Puchong near here yesterday.

The RM4.9mil (S$1.88mil) school - which is relocated from his constituency in Pahang - has 36 classrooms, a library and a science laboratory.

"It is still lacking in many facilities, especially for sports activities," he said, adding that he would help the school apply for the adjoining piece of 1.2ha land to be used for sports and other purposes.

Kheng Chee's school construction committee chairman Datuk Wong Hock Aun said the school was the fifth Chinese primary school in Puchong.

The other four schools have more than 2,000 pupils each, he added.

Wong, also the Selangor MCA vice-chairman and Puchong division chief, said the district needed another three to four Chinese schools in view of the huge and increasing Chinese population.

Headmistress Chong Ah Lin urged parents who wished to transfer their children to the school to submit their applications to the school by March 1.

Later, at a Chinese New Year celebration organised by Seputeh MCA, Liow said the public survey to select the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Kajang by-election had been completed and submitted to the Prime Minister.

"I will let the PM announce the candidate soon," he said.