Zahid: I never called for abolishment of vernacular schools

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KUALA KANGSAR: Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today stressed he had never at any time called for vernacular schools in the country to be abolished.

He said that instead, he had asked for the curriculum of vernacular schools to be improved upon so as to strengthen national unity in a multiracial society like Malaysia.

“The National Education Policy clearly states that the mother tongue should be encouraged in primary schools, but with a consolidated curriculum so that national unity goals can be achieved.”

Zahid said this to reporters after opening the Kuala Kangsar-level “Ekspresi Negaraku” programme at Dataran Pavilion here today, which was attended by over 10,000 people.

Also present were Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir and Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak.

He was asked to clarify his statement suggesting that the education system in the country be reviewed in the interest of national unity because the existing system that consisted of various mediums made it difficult for cross-cultural interaction among pupils.

During a question and answer session after delivering a talk entitled “A Knowledge Culture is the Foundation of the Nation’s Strength” in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Zahid was reported to have said that the existence of various medium schools from the pre-school stage up to secondary schools was somewhat an obstacle to achieving national unity goals.

“I had never at any time called for vernacular schools to be scrapped. Don’t misinterpret my statement,” Zahid said.