Peeved with Muhyiddin's decision to abort his brainchild, the former premier tells Najib to hit the brakes on his deputy's plan.
He said maintaining PPSMI, which was Mahathir’s brainchild, is good for the country’s future and urged Najib to stop Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, from substituting the policy with the national language instead of English.
“The idea of going back to Bahasa (Malaysia) in (to teach) Mathematics and Science will make us all very backward.
“If it is something for the good of the country, not only the education minister, but everybody can be overridden,” he was quoted as saying in Langkawi by news reports.
Dr M warns of election backlash
Muhyiddin has refused to budge despite calls from concerned parents and lobby groups such as the Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE).
PAGE chairman Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim previously warned that the move to scrap the PPSMI policy will lead to Barisan Nasional losing votes in the upcoming general election.
Mahathir, who introduced the policy before he stepped down in 2003, issued a similar warning.
“Just hope people don’t get angry and refuse to vote for BN,” he said.
Many pro-PPSMI parents have expressed concern that scrapping the policy will jeopardise their children’s future given English’s importance as the world’s first language.
Muhyiddin, however, said Putrajaya will ensure students remain proficient in English through qualitative strengthening of the subject in schools.
Should Najib heed Mahathir’s call and overturn his deputy’s decision, it is bound to stoke further tension between the two camps.
In recent times, speculation has been rife that ties between the top two leaders are strained.