Don’t politicise vernacular schools issue, Maszlee tells MCA

Education Minister Maszlee Malik says construction of vernacular schools will be scrutinised based on financial standing and ‘issues of transparency’. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: Education Minister Maszlee Malik has told MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong not to politicise the move to halt plans for the construction of eight Chinese primary schools.

He said if indeed there was a study that had been approved on the matter, Wee should present it.

“I would like to invite him to show and present the study for the ministry to peruse in detail,” said Maszlee.

Wee, a former minister, had slammed Maszlee for justifying the Pakatan Harapan government’s decision to halt plans for the schools.

In a Facebook post yesterday, he said Maszlee’s statement was nonsensical and accused the Simpang Renggam MP of turning education into a “political sacrificial lamb”.

Wee, who is Ayer Hitam MP, said MCA itself had consulted various Chinese education groups, developers and professional technical teams, including land surveyors, quantity surveyors, engineers, urban planners and architects, to plan the schools.

He said the construction, as well as relocation plans for 16 Chinese primary schools, had also been discussed and approved by the previous education minister after consulting relevant departments within the ministry.

Thanking Wee for his concern on the matter, Maszlee said the ministry’s decision was based on national interest.

“As such, I would like to urge Wee not to politicise the construction of vernacular schools and make assumptions in relation to his party, MCA,” he said in a statement.

Maszlee claimed that there were political motives behind the construction of the schools.

He said the ministry would carry out relocation of six schools and scrutinise objectively the construction of 10 schools, based on current financial standing and “issues of transparency”.

He added that the construction of two schools, for which the ground-breaking had been carried out, would proceed.

Maszlee making Chinese schools political sacrificial lambs, says MCA