Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP for Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 14.5.2013.
Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Arshad dares to call for the abolition of Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools because with assured UMNO support behind him, he knows he will neither be sacked as pro-Chancellor Of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) nor charged for making such seditious remarks. Abdul Rahman’s call for the abolition of Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools in favour of a single stream school is seditious and a BN MP Mark Koding was even convicted of sedition in 1982 for making the very same suggestion in Parliament in 1978.
Rahman blamed vernacular schools as the barrier towards racial unity in the country, and causing increasing racial polarisation that led to BN losing the popular vote 47% to PR’s 51% in the recent general elections. Clearly BN supporters are choosing easy victims to blame by targeting the Chinese community, vernacular schools and the DAP.
Why were vernacular schools not blamed when the Chinese community saved BN government from defeat in the 1999 general elections and voted for BN in 1995 and 2004 general elections? BN should not behave hypocritically by taking out its frustrations on schools but work to save them. BN supporters are so untrustworthy that they are willing to abandon education and our young’s future instead of protecting educational opportunities for all.
BN and UMNO continues to insult the voters by claiming that PR’s victory in the general elections is due to a “Chinese tsunami” and ignored the huge numbers of Malays Indians, Kadazans and Iban who made up the 51% popular vote majority for PR. By ignoring a Malaysian tsunami, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has chosen to attack DAP as racist without showing any proof what are the DAP policies that are racist?
I doubt that Najib can show any proof when DAP upholds the Federal Constitution on the queston of:-
• Islam as the religion of the Federation whilst other religions have freedom to practice their faith,
• Bahasa Malaysia as the official language whilst other mother-tongue languages can be used and promoted, and
• safeguarding the special position of Malays and bumis whilst protecting the legitimate interests of other races in Malaysia under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
Najib’s attack on DAP as racist is to hide BN’s failure to wipe out corruption, cronyism and abuse of power. Now BN is picking on vernacular Tamil and Chinese primary schools as easy targets.
As far back as December 2008, Jerlun member of parliament Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir had made the same suggeston of one Malaysian or National Education System, using Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction except for Mathematics and Science. Now we shall see whether as Kedah Menteri Besar, Mukhriz will press for all vernacular Chinese and Tamil schools to be closed down in Kedah?
Such sentiments from a racist UMNO leader is not surprising. However I feel sad that an academician can make such seditious remarks that are against the very concept of education to seek knowledge without borders or language constraints. Just because Abdul Rahman supports UMNO, does not mean he should betray his academic soul for a racial cloak? I urge all Malaysians to remain calm and not be provoked by such race-baiting and hatred by BN and UMNO’s supporters.
Mother tongue education and vernacular schools are protected under Article 152(1)(a) and (b) of the Federal Constitution. For this reason, PR and DAP are ready to fight legally in courts and seek support from all Malaysians Malay, Chinese, Indian, Iban And Kadazan to protect Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools from being abolished by UMNO supporters like Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Arshad.
Lim Guan Eng
On the way
—–Mandarin Version —-