MCA Youth has slammed Srikandi Bersatu chief Datuk Seri Rina Harun for suggesting that vernacular schools in Malaysia be shut down, saying that her statement exemplifies the “narrow-mindedness of Bersatu’s leaders” and the party’s incompatibility in the nation’s multicultural society.
Rina had reportedly made the comment during Bersatu’s annual general assembly on Sunday (March 12).
According to MCA National Youth chairperson Datuk Nicole Wong Siaw Ting, Article 152 (1)(a) of the Federal Constitution states that no person shall be prohibited or prevented from using (otherwise than for official purposes), or from teaching or learning, any other language.
“Vernacular schools are protected under the Federal Constitution and hence, there is no reason to continue raising the issue of closing down vernacular schools other than to incite racial tension,” she said in a statement.
“Furthermore, on Dec 29, 2021 the Kuala Lumpur High Court had ruled that the existence and establishment of vernacular schools and the use of Chinese and Tamil languages in these schools are Constitutional.
“This ruling should be referred to henceforth as the definitive argument for the Constitutionality of vernacular schools in Malaysia.”
Wong stressed that the unity government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should uphold the Federal Constitution by monitoring for remarks such as those made by Rina, and act against extremist individuals or organisations that continue trying to stir up racial disharmony.
“Malaysians should also be more aware of Bersatu’s political strategy, because now that they are implicated in various court cases, they have no other capital except to exploit issues of race and religion for cheap publicity,” she added. – March 13, 2023