KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth chief aspirant Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir has called on the Government to abolish the vernacular school system to enhance unity among the people.
He said a single school system was the only way to check racial polarisation.
“The Government should consider introducing only a one school system with Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction, except for the teaching of Science and Mathematics, which is already in English,” Mukhriz told reporters at Parliament House yesterday.
“Of course, pupils should then be given the option to study their mother tongue. Under this system, the Malays will also have the option of studying other languages like Chinese and Tamil, and this will further boost unity among the races,” the Umno Youth exco member added.
In an immediate response in his blog (www.ongteekeat.net), MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat made a very short posting on the subject.
“Datuk Mukhriz is just one of the many who are now repeating the same polemics that are a few decades old, simply because of the advent of their party’s poll.
“It is saddening because politicians cannot think out of the box,” he said.
Earlier, Mukhriz said it was time Malaysia did away with the dual school system, which was practised by only a handful of countries in the world.
He expressed hope that the leaders of Barisan Nasional component parties would not view his suggestion in a negative light as it was meant to resolve once and for all the problem of racial polarisation.
“If they reject this suggestion, then they should explain why they are against it,” he said. “If you want equal rights then you cannot have a different school system. You cannot have your cake and eat it too,” said Mukhriz.
He also urged all parties to stop harping on issues that could create tension among Barisan component parties, including talk of Malay supremacy.
He said there had been many statements made by leaders of component parties that had the potential to create anger among the Malays and Umno members.
“If they insist on making such statements, then do not be surprised if the Malays start talking about the economic supremacy of the non-Malays,” he added.
“Despite all that has been said on the issue of Malay supremacy, the Malays do not feel in any way superior or that they are the masters when it comes to the country’s economy.”
I can't agree more with Mukhriz. Perhaps he is trying to do what, in my opinion, the single biggest policy shift that Mahathir failed to undertake during his perceived dictatorship.
This is also what I have suggested long ago and even recently . What we need in one school for Malaysians with languages such as Tamil and Mandarin taught and even made compulsory, if need be, in all schools.
This is the only way the unite Malaysians and this has to start young. Malaysians in the same neighborhood must be made to go to the same school from standard one to at least Form 5. There also would not be any issue of unaided schools.
Suggestion like these has always been coming from the UMNO with the exception of perhaps PPP Chief Kayveas, who supported this idea.
Not surprisingly, MCA and MIC, not wanting to lose support of Chinese and Indian Malaysian, will continue to reject this proposal.
I do not expect DAP and PKR, who claims that further to the March 8 election, people want a change and the direction is towards multi-racial approach to everything, to support this and they would not want to lose substantial non-Malay support that they gained in the elections.
Experts and education groups (and extremist) further claim that research shows that the young ones are better taught in mother tongue language in primary schools. They conveniently omit the fact that Tamil or Mandarin is not the actual mother tongue of many Chinese or Indian Malaysians.
There are also been no research undertaken to review the impact on non-Malays who went to national schools and also thousands of Malays and Indians who goes to Chinese schools. I never heard any student who blames the type of school they went to, for their failure in studies or career. Neither did I hear Indians or Chinese have converted to a Malay or even Muslim after going to national schools.
These are myths created by politicans and education groups.
Then we also have products of these vernacular schools, who are bent on defending their schools and language at any cost, never mind if Malaysians remain disunited. For them their schools and language is more important than national interest and unity.
What's the difference then, between MIC/MCA and PKR/DAP? It's all the same; they depend on certain races and its extremist groups for votes and don't dare to propose something that will definitely bring racial unity and national integration closer than ever.
We need strong leadership and resolve if we preach about multiracialism, national unity, integration and eventual formation of Bangsa Malaysia. I lament the fact that Mahathir did not use his so-called dictatorship to force a change and get everyone to the same school. Perhaps his son will do just that one day, even that will only happen when common sense (something that is no longer common) prevails.