Another group files suit to ban vernacular schools

KUALA LUMPUR: Yet another group has filed a suit to challenge the existence of vernacular schools in the country, ahead of a hearing set in May.

The latest suit was filed by Aminuddin Yahaya, the president of Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia, or Isma.

He is seeking an order that two provisions in the Education Act, which allows the use of Chinese and Tamil languages as the mediums in vernacular schools, are against Article 152 of the Federal Constitution.

Article 152 states that Bahasa Melayu is the national language of Malaysia.

Isma wants the court to declare Sections 28 and 17 of the Education Act as unconstitutional.

“We say that the existence of Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools, formed under both Sections 28 and 17, is unconstitutional, as the schools did not use Bahasa Melayu as the medium of instruction,” the group said in the suit which named the government and the education ministry as defendants.

Other parties challenging vernacular schools are Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung (GPMS), Majlis Pembangunan Pendidikan Islam Malaysia (Mappim), Ikatan Guru-Guru Muslim Malaysia (I-Guru), as well as lawyer Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz.

Khairul’s suit will be heard on May 5 before High Court judge Nordin Hassan.

The court had allowed 14 political parties and organisations to be made parties in Khairul’s suit.

Meanwhile another High Court judge Mohd Sofian Abd Razak will hear applications to intervene by 14 political parties and organisations on May 21 for GPMS and Mappim’s suits.