SJKCs educate children of all races to be patriotic, peace loving and law abiding Malaysian citizens. To claim that Chinese vernacular schools are sowing racist sentiments to our children is simply nonsensical.
SJKCs educate children of all races to be patriotic, peace loving and law abiding Malaysian citizens. To claim that Chinese vernacular schools are sowing racist sentiments to our children is simply nonsensical. It is the racist arguments in the tune of Petaling Jaya Utara UMNO deputy chief Mohamad Azli Mohemed Saad that aggravate racial divide and distrust in the country.
In line with UNESCO’s convention against Discrimination in Education 1960 which prohibits discrimination in education ”based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic condition or birth”, Article 152 of our Federal Constitution provides that the national language shall be the Malay language provided that no person shall be prohibited or prevented from teaching or learning any other language. Such right enshrined in the Constitution must not be disturbed and disputed.
The right to receive education in one’s mother tongue, especially at the early stage in education, is a basic human right recognised world wide.
Diversity in race and culture has always been a unique strength for Malaysia to compete in this highly globalised economy.
With the influence of the British for more than a century, and the fact that our society are formed by the local Malays, indigenous people together with descendants of the migrants from China, India as well as the Malay archipelago, Malaysians have the best of both the East and West. By and large, we are multi-lingual and we understand the different cultures practiced by the world citizens. We should recognise and capitalise our strengths to put Malaysia in the world map instead of entangling ourselves with self-serving and narrow minded view of closing down vernacular schools in Malaysia. To do so is to take a big step backwards!
It is ignorant to say that Malaysia is the only country in the world that practises the dual-stream education system. There is nothing wrong in providing alternatives to enhance competitiveness. In fact, in many federated nations, education comes under state’s jurisdiction, education systems thus vary from state to state.
Chinese vernacular schools are not only for Malaysian Chinese. In almost all SJKCs in the suburban and rural areas in Sabah, more than 50% are bumiputera, some more than 70%. It is also common for SJKCs in the urban areas to have up to 30% bumiputera students. With such student compositions, the schools are actually melting pots that enhance national integration. I wonder how one can claim that these schools breed racism.
Datuk Teo Chee Kang JP
Liberal Democratic Party