By Tay Choon Neo
Eighteen people (and one observer) met in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on an ordinary day in April, but this was no ordinary meeting. They represented the Christian Mission Schools in Malaysia from the respective Mission Authorities of Catholics, Methodists, Anglicans, Basel Church, Presbyterians, Brethren and Protestant Church of Sabah (PCS).
The appointed Chairman of the meeting, Mr Yap Kok Keong, asked whether the Regional Christian Schools Council were in place. The answer was in the affirmative with the Malayan Christian Schools Council for Peninsular Malaysia, the protem Sabah Christian Schools Council for Sabah and the Sarawak Council of Christian Mission Schools for Sarawak.
The question of why not all join to form one council, instead of three councils forming a federation of councils arose. The MCSC Hon.Secretary, Ms Yin Kam Yoke replied that at the Conference of Christian Mission Schools in Malaysia held on 26-27 June 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, Bishop Ng Moon Hing, the Chairman of the Christian Federation of Malaysia, the co-sponsor of the Conference, had advised forming the FCCMSM, as was also the wish of Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, the Convenor of the aforesaid Conference. It was also agreed then, that it was better for each region to have its own regional mission schools’ council and for the three to form the Federation, rather than for Sabah and Sarawak to be absorbed into MCSC. For logistics purposes and the ability to respond to local issues, it was expeditious to form regional councils.
- To co-ordinate the declared policies of the various Mission Authorities on all matters of common interest concerning education
- To take all actions required to implement such policies
The Declared Policies of the Federation
- to provide holistic education in accordance with the National Philosophy of Education and the Rukun Negara
- to ensure the continuance of the identity and traditions of mission schools
- to ensure that Christian principles and values are adopted in the teaching and management of mission schools
- to represent and assist Mission Authorities to pursue matters of common concern.
These policies do not preclude the Mission Authorities having their own specific declared policies.
Each Council is entitled to be represented by a maximum of five members. Where special advice or assistance is required, the Federation may co-opt any person/s for the occasion.
This consists of the Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and two other members.
The Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer shall be from the same region and be appointed by the regional council and the other two members shall be from the other regional councils. The three regions shall take turns to provide office bearers of the Executive Committee which shall hold office for a maximum of two years.
Decisions of the Federation will be made by consensus through face to face discussions or discussions through the internet.
All heads of Mission School Authorities shall be Advisors to the Federation.
Each region shall be responsible for its own finance. Expenses for attendance at meetings of the Federation shall be borne by each respective region.
Financial obligations for common projects will be shared among the regions. The quantum will depend on the project and will be decided on a case by case basis.
The meeting adopted the Charter and declared the establishment of the Federation of Councils of Christian Mission Schools, Malaysia at 1.00 p.m. on April 7, 2010 at the Wisma Anglican, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.