I was asked to head the Education and Knowledge Society Bureau last weekend.
Barely one day, I have to make a press statement in response to Datuk Mukriz ‘s suggestion that vernacular schools be converted to National schools.
The following is the full text of the press statement made by me as Head of the Education Bureau:
1. Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia’s National Education Bureau strongly objects to the proposal by Datuk Mukriz Mahathir to abolish all Chinese and Tamil schools, for all to be converted into national schools.
2. We would like to remind Datuk Mukriz that mother tongue education is the right of all Malaysians under Federal Constitution Article 152 (1) (a)and (b). Hence the existence of vernacular schools is guaranteed under the Constitution.
3. Racial polarization has more to do with politicians using race to fan feelings of deprivation and discrimination . The purpose is to gain popularity and attention, especially during internal party elections. than to put the blame on the existence of such schools.
4. Putting the blame on the existence of vernacular schools as the cause of polarization is totally uncalled for and would only cause further polarization .
5. Datuk Mukriz’s statement also runs counter to the Education Act 1996, which recognizes the fundamental principle of a Malaysian parent’s right to choose vernacular education for his or her children.
6. He has also gone against all manifestos of BArisan Nasional in past elections guaranteeing the continued existence and development of Chinese and Tamil schools.
7. We want to put on record that vernacular schools have contributed much in the process of nation building. To question and negate the existence of such schools is damaging to the concept of unity in diversity, as the very strength and foundation of our nation.
8. We urge Datuk Mukriz to retract this statement in the interest of the unity of the people, as well as unity of BN.
The Chinese version:
民政黨中央教育及知識社會局, 強烈反對Datuk Mukriz 的建議 , 要政府采用單一教育制度, 并接管華小及所有類型小學, 改為國小.
我們要提醒 Datuk Mukriz, 華小及所有類型小學的存在, 是憲法下所保障的, 不應一而再的, 受到任何人的質疑.
種族兩極化的原因, 應歸罪于一些喜愛利用種族課題作為政治資本的政客, 尤其在所隸屬政黨黨選期間, 挑起種族課題, 以達到個人目的.
我們要再次的提醒 Datuk Mukriz, 在 聯邦憲法下 152 條 (1) (a)和 (b), 學習母語教育, 是每個馬來西亞公民的基本權力. Datuk Mukriz 的言論, 會使種族兩極化的問題, 加劇惡化.
我們感到遺憾, Datuk Mukriz 的言論, 違反了1996 教育法令, 和 國陣歷屆大選宣言對人民所作出的承諾, 保障華小及所有類型小學的操作和存在.
華小及所有類型小學的存在, 對于國家和社會, 有極大的貢獻. 我們認為 Datuk Mukriz 的言論, 對于一個多元種族社會, 是具于極大的破壞性.
我們希望Datuk Mukriz, 基于國家團結利益上, 把這建議撤回.