Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching has expressed surprise at former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad's statement that more Chinese independent schools would hinder national unity.
PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statements are getting more provocative by the day because of the impending general election, DAP assistant publicity chief Teo Nie Ching said today.
Teo was referring to Mahathir’s statement on Chinese independent schools yesterday.
Mahathir had reportedly said that the setting up of more Chinese independent schools would create obstacles to foster national unity.
He also said that in any country, the national language is always “the original language used by the original settlers of the particular land”.
Rebutting Mahathir’s views, Teo said that the quality of education in the Chinese independent schools not only attracted students from the Chinese community but also from among the Malays and the Indians.
“Besides, Mahathir himself had approved the setting up of the Foon Yew High School in Kulai, Johor. So why is he so opposing the same move now?” asked Teo who is also Serdang MP.
If the medium of instruction was Mahathir’s contention, she said even international schools did not use Bahasa Malaysia as its medium of instruction.
“Recently the education ministry announced that it will remove the 40% quota regulation for local students to study in international schools. Mahathir didn’t object to this although international schools use English as the medium of instruction.
“However, by saying that vernacular schools will divide the people of this nation, it clearly shows that Mahathir is against Chinese education in general,” Teo claimed.
She urged Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, to set a clear guideline on the setting up of Chinese independent schools instead of making ad hoc decisions.
“Najib must establish a specific time-frame and provide a deadline for the revival of Chinese independent schools in order to prove that he is truly in charge of running the country,” she said.