KAJANG: Umno information chief Annuar Musa has admitted he did not know much about Chinese education and the United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) until a meeting he had with them today.
“I admit that I did not have much knowledge of Dong Zong before the meeting today with its chairman, Datuk Vincent Lau.
“In fact, I could not differentiate between Dong Zong and Jiao Zong and I was prejudiced against them before this,” he told reporters after meeting Lau at the Dong Zong office here.
Jiao Zong, or the United Chinese School Teachers Association, is the body that governs teachers in Chinese independent schools.
Annuar and other representatives of Umno’s information bureau today attended a two-hour closed-door meeting with the Dong Zong committee to discuss Chinese education and the challenges faced by its educators.
Annuar, who is Ketereh MP, said he emerged from the session with a better understanding of Chinese education and the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) curriculum.
He said he initiated the meeting with Lau as he wished to gain a deeper understanding of the two topics.
“I am the party’s information chief. When I make public statements I do not want them to be based on emotion and prejudicial sentiments against the UEC.
“As a party for all Malaysians, Umno must be fair to all people,” he said.
When asked if his visit was a political gimmick to win votes in the next general election, Annuar turned the question around, saying it was the duty of every politician to understand the issues affecting the people.
“Politics must be in the interests of the people. And we do want to govern the country.
“It is best that I hear it from the stakeholders themselves as they know best.”
Annuar, however, avoided questions about his previous statements as Mara chairman regarding University Kuala Lumpur’s recognition of the UEC as an entry requirement.
“I am still in a Chinese New Year holiday mood,” he said.
Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri had last month contradicted Annuar, saying the university funded by Mara, which was under the ministry’s purview, did not recognise the UEC.
Annuar himself was suspended as Mara chairman on Jan 31 and is under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for alleged abuse of power over Mara’s alleged sponsorship of the Kelantan Football Association.