IPOH: It is contradictory and ironic that a Malaysian citizen cannot understand, speak, write or read in the national language, which is the identity of the nation, the Sultan of Perak noted today.
Sultan Nazrin Shah said vernacular schools must take the responsibility to ensure their students are able to master the Malay language with a degree of fluency comparable to that of students in national schools.
He said the achievement of students in mastering the language should be made one of the key indices of vernacular schools.
“The success of the vernacular schools in getting their pupils to master the national language will help build a united nation and minimise the uneasiness of some communities towards vernacular schools,” he said.
He was speaking at the Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan Sam Tet 2017 Excellence Award presentation here today.
The Raja Permaisuri of Perak Tuanku Zara Salim was also present.
Sultan Nazrin Shah said vernacular schools should appreciate the government’s open stand that allowed such schools to continue operating.
They should translate their appreciation by making the schools a place to foster unity among students of various races in the country.
“The founding fathers of this country, when drafting the National Education Policy and Razak Report, had introduced the concept of a national school stream to unite people from diverse backgrounds.
“But the dynamics that took place later presented various new challenges that required modifications.
“Following that, vernacular schools were given permission to continue operating,” he said.
He said non-Chinese schoolchildren in vernacular schools should be proactive in exploring the environment of students of various religions, races, cultures and languages to understand and cooperate with each other.
Sultan Nazrin said the harmonious relationship among the various races played an important role in building a more united Malaysia.