PETALING JAYA: Pejuang president Mukhriz Mahathir has said vernacular schools should be abolished first before Malaysia can consider putting its first non-Malay prime minister in power.
He said the country must work to eliminate prevailing divisive factors among the different races before embarking on such a change to its political landscape.
The former Jerlun MP claimed one such factor was that the continued existence of vernacular schools created separate streams of education for young Malaysians.
“Our founding fathers would not have agreed to let the British-era vernacular schools continue operating well beyond Merdeka as they would have known it would create more division between the people.
“We need to allow our children to learn, play and mingle with each other so that the differences between them become celebrated rather than divisive.
“Only then can we hope to see non-Malays as nothing other than Malaysians, not differentiated by their ethnic background,” he said in a Facebook post, in response to a statement from DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang.
However, Mukhriz acknowledged that to achieve this, the national education system would need a complete overhaul.
He said that a prime minister needed to command the support of the majority of MPs in the Dewan Rakyat, meaning he would require the support of the Malays.
“As long as the Malays remain the largest voting bloc and are united, a non-Malay can only become prime minister if supported by the Malays.
“Perhaps in future general elections, Pakatan Harapan (PH) can put forward a non-Malay as their candidate for prime minister, but it remains to be seen if the people will support it.”
Last week, Lim pointed out that the constitution did not limit the prime minister’s post to Malays, though he did not expect to see a non-Malay prime minister in his or his children’s lifetime.
He added that Barack Obama’s election as president of the United States in 2008 had made many non-Malays wonder if it would ever be possible for one of them to lead Malaysia as prime minister one day.