Kuala Lumpur – Chinese vernacular schools are more pluralistic than national schools, said MCA youth chief Chong Sin Woon.
In his speech at the 50th MCA Youth annual general assembly, he declared that vernacular schools were an important national asset that could improve the level of integration among races.
“Chinese and Tamil schools are in no way an obstruction to racial unity
“If we look at the issue rationally, objectively and with vision, Chinese language education no longer only involves Chinese students.
“Non-Chinese students who study in Chinese type schools nationwide is now 12 per cent of the Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) student population.
“That means SJKC is more pluralistic compared to national schools,” he said.
Chong urged party members not to view the issue of mother tongue education with a narrow mind.
He pointed out that the Chinese language was becoming an international language, especially in the business and economic sectors, and thus Chinese education should not be politicised.
Chong said other countries such as Singapore, which had closed down their Chinese type schools previously, were now encouraging their citizens to learn Mandarin.
Indonesia, which had banned the learning and usage of Mandarin were also changing their policies and now allowing the publication of Chinese newspapers and the learning of Mandarin.
He also brought up Thai efforts to set up a university with Mandarin as a medium of instruction.
“Is Malaysia, which has impressed the world with its mature Chinese education system, going to retreat from this stage?” he questioned.
During his speech, he also called on Barisan Nasional to unite and review its basic formula in order to ensure the spirit of power-sharing.
He urged Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who was present at the assembly, to bring change in Barisan Nasional’s youth leadership to ensure it remained relevant, modern, liberal and pragmatic.
“We hope Khairy will bring about a new culture of politics that stresses meritocracy and achievements without jeopardising the harmony of our multi-racial society,” he said.