KUALA LUMPUR: Stop attacking the vernacular school system just to score points during party elections because this creates tension among races.
The MCA Youth Education Bureau and MCA Legal Bureau criticised Umno Youth chief aspirant Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir for calling on the Government to abolish the vernacular school system to enhance unity among the people, saying that a single-school system was the only way to check racial polarisation.
“We urge Mukhriz not to purposely play up the education issue simply because of the advent of his party’s polls,” MCA National Youth education bureau chief Chong Sin Woon said yesterday.
“Such sentiment has always been played up by Umno Youth leaders, causing unhappiness among the Chinese community and creating tension among all the races.”
He added that the proposal by Mukhriz contradicted the spirit of the Federal Constitution, which guaranteed the freedom to promote and develop the vernacular school system.
Chong said the vernacular school system was an asset to the country and did not hinder national unity.
“The education sentiment has seriously been politicised, and this will only continue to reduce our nation’s competitiveness,” he added.
He invited Mukhriz to a dialogue with the bureau to have a better understanding of the importance of Chinese education to the community.
MCA Legal Bureau chairman Datuk Leong Tang Chong demanded that the Jerlun MP make a public apology to all Malaysians and refrain from making such political rhetoric.
“The law is clear, and no one is above the law. The supremacy of the Federal Constitution must be respected at all times by all Malaysians,” he said.
He added that Mukhriz’s call for the abolition of the vernacular school system by integrating it into the national school system flew in the face of Article 152(1)(a) which inter-alia stated that “no person shall be prohibited or prevented from using (other than for official purposes) or from teaching or learning in any other language.
“(b) nothing in the Clause shall prejudice the right of the Federal Government or of any state government to preserve and sustain the use and study of the language of any other community in the Federation”.