Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, at a meeting with leaders of Chinese associations this afternoon in the state capital, once again stressed the importance of a single-stream education system.
Commenting on racial unity in the country which has not been fully realised, the Johor sultan believes this is due to schools being separated according to race.
Citing a Malay proverb “melentur buluh biarlah dari rebung” (start cultivating values at a young age), the sultan is therefore of the opinion that the young should be mixed in a unified education system.
This, in turn, would produce a united new generation.
“They cannot be separated according to race or religion. This basic education is very important to inculcate values and cultures in a multiracial society,” he said in his speech.
Thanking the Chinese associations present at the event, the Johor sultan ended his speech with “xie xie, zai jian” (thank you, see you again).
This is not the first time that the ruler has emphasised the importance of a single-stream education system.
In his speech at the opening of the Johor state legislative assembly sitting in May last year, he pointed out how Singapore’s system succeeded in fostering unity in the city state and Johoreans should be open-minded about adopting it.
In an interview with The Star a month later, he warned that without a single-stream education system that uses English as the medium of instruction, a ‘5Malaysia’ will emerge, instead of 1Malaysia.
The Sultan again stressed that a single-stream education system is the way forward in another interview with The Star in December last year.
The Johor ruler had also lamented the deteriorating level of English among Malaysians.
“That is why I am not in favour of the present three types of schools. Nowadays, there are Chinese and Tamil students who do not know how to speak Malay and of course, Malay students who can’t speak English,” he had said.