KUCHING: The youth leader of Sarawak United Peoples’ Party has described deputy minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal as being out of date for calling for the abolition of vernacular schools.
On Wednesday, Wan Ahmad Fayhsal said vernacular schools should be closed as the schools had failed to produce students with a “strong national identity”.
SUPP youth chief Michael Tiang said Wan Ahmad Fayhsal’s statement was a racist one, which belonged to the last century.
“His statement has shown his ignorance of globalisation and the development of a digital world that embraces all cultures, races, religions and languages for the advancement of society,” Tiang said.
“His mentality will destroy the virtue and diversity of our multiracial, multicultural and multilingual Malaysian community,” he told FMT.
Tiang said although the official languages in Sarawak were English and Bahasa Malaysia, the state government had assisted the Chinese independent and vernacular schools through annual grants.
He pointed out that politicians from the peninsula have often politicised education issues to seek political mileage.
“Worse still, they have even influenced their ‘Sarawakian agents’ in propagating the same unwarranted political sentiment in Sarawak,” he said, urging the people to reject such political plays and rhetoric in the state.
Sarawak Federation of Chinese Associations president Richard Wee also expressed regret over Wan Ahmad Fayhsal’s call to abolish vernacular schools. He said it was as if he was trying to “eradicate” the roots of other races in the country.
He said Wan Ahmad Fayhsal was being inconsiderate towards people of other races in Malaysia. “In Sarawak, we never have any issue related to such a matter,” he said, adding that education and healthcare should always be above politics.