Vernacular schools no hurdle to national unity, says Perak exco

Perak exco member Abdul Aziz Bari says the call by the PAS Muslimat vice-chief calling for vernacular schools to be abolished shows the party is not aware of current developments, especially what parents want. (Bernama pic)

IPOH: The presence of vernacular schools in the country is no obstacle to national unity and it gives added value to the younger generation, Perak Education, Science, Technology and Environment Exco Abdul Aziz Bari said.

He said Chinese national-type schools were the best platform to equip students with a third language like Mandarin, which was increasingly important now.

“Mandarin is now a global language. One of the languages used at the United Nations is Mandarin.

“So, if we abolish these schools, it would not only be racist but also illogical and affect the capabilities of the younger generation, especially the Malays,” Aziz, who is also Perak DAP vice-president said to reporters at his Aidilfitri open house here today.

He was commenting on a statement yesterday by PAS Muslimat (women’s wing) vice-chief Salamiah Md Nor who urged the Pakatan Harapan government to abolish the vernacular education system in the country as she claimed it was not contributing to racial unity.

Salamiah made the call when debating on the president’s policy speech at the 65th PAS annual general assembly at the Pahang Indoor Stadium (Sukpa) in Indera Mahkota, Pahang, yesterday.

Aziz, who is also a constitutional expert, said the call by the PAS representative showed that the party was not aware of current developments, especially what parents want.

“The call shows that PAS is out of touch. There are several Chinese schools where the majority of students are Malays.

“It seems that she is not aware of what is happening in society. Many parents are sending their children to Chinese schools as they see a future in the Mandarin language,” he said.