Hornbill Unleashed

October 6, 2014

Politicians playing to the gallery with call to abolish Chinese schools, says education group

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Chinese schools have been in existence for more than 100 years before Merdeka and 14% of the 600,000 pupils enrolled in these schools are non-Chinese, says the United Chinese School Committees Association. – Pic courtesy of MCA, October 5, 2014. JENNIFER GOMEZ

A good number of pupils enrolled in Chinese schools are non-Chinese, a vernacular education group said today in response to calls ahead of the Umno general assembly next month that Chinese schools should be abolished because they breed racism.

United Chinese School Committees Association (Dong Zong) deputy president Chow Siew Hon said that politicians, who brought up the issue of abolishing Chinese schools, were only playing to the gallery and were in fact aware that these schools were here to stay.

Chinese schools have been in existence for more than 100 years before Merdeka and currently, 14%, or some 80,000 of the 600,000 pupils enrolled in these schools were non-Chinese, he said.

“This dispels any notion that Chinese schools do not contribute to national harmony and unity.

“Anyone, Chinese or not, is free to enrol in our schools as long as they want to study in Mandarin, so there is really no issue here,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

It was reported today that an Umno division wants the party’s general assembly next month to debate whether Chinese vernacular schools should be abolished.

Umno Petaling Jaya Utara division deputy head Mohamad Azli Mohemed Saad, who made this call, said this was because Chinese schools were being used by the opposition to breed racial and anti-government sentiments.

Such remarks are a norm in the run up to Umno’s yearly assembly and also turn up in debates by delegates.

The largest Malay party and lynchpin of the Barisan Nasional coalition will hold its general assembly this year from November 25 to 29.

Weary of entering a debate with Umno conservatives, Chow said such “issues” were only created by some politicians who wanted to be seen as fighting for a “cause” for their personal benefit.

“They know that Chinese schools are here to stay, but they choose to play this tune for personal benefit, and fail to think about the good of the nation when they speak like this.

“We will not be perturbed by their calls and will continue to ensure the progress of Chinese schools and pupils,” he said.

Article 152 of the Federal Constitution protects vernacular schools and education in the mother tongue, where it is stated that the national language shall be the Malay language, and that no one shall be prohibited or prevented from using, teaching or learning any other language.

MCA Religious Harmony Bureau Chairman Datuk Ti Lian Ker said that Azli should be investigated for sedition over his call to abolish Chinese schools.

In a statement uploaded on the party’s website, Ti said that Azli’s call contravened the Federal Constitution and Barisan Nasional’s spirit of inclusiveness.

“Not only has Azli challenged the rights of all Malaysians to study their mother-tongue language, but he has also questioned the legitimate rights of the Chinese community to education, and his careless call is liable to create racial tension.

“As such, I urge the police to investigate Azli for sedition, “he said.

Ti also reminded the Umno division deputy head that in October 1978, a Sabah Umno MP, Mark Koding, was charged with sedition for advocating the call to abolish Chinese and Tamil schools.

Ti said it was the policy of Barisan Nasional to defend the rights of all Malaysians to learn their mother tongue, adding that the policy had been in place ever since independence.

“Even in the previous general election, the BN government had pledged to continue funding for the construction of national-type schools, and if Azil disagrees with this, he is very welcome to leave BN,” Ti said.


  1. Abolish Umno.

    Comment by yiam — August 8, 2016 @ 3:59 PM | Reply

  2. Another BN sandiwara for MCA to show the chinese community that it can protect chinese education.

    Comment by larry — October 7, 2014 @ 9:31 AM | Reply

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