There have been many calls for decades to do away with Chinese schools. Now it looks increasingly likely to happen.
In his Facebook yesterday, Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin or popularly known as Dr Maza endorsed a resuscitated petition (below) to close all vernacular schools — see below.
Previously the calls to abolish Chinese school came from the Malay nationalists (Race element) and national language patriots. Today pillars of the Muslim community (Religion element) have also joined this call.
What’s different from before is that the R & R currents are presently prepared to combine their forces.
BELOW: The petition is close to meeting its 150,000-signature target
Parallel with his petition campaign, the mufti posted a related Facebook entry saying, “Selagi sekolah vernakular yang tidak berbahasa kebangsaan tidak dihapuskan dalam negara ini, selagi itulah pergeseran dan kebiadapan antara kaum tidak akan berhenti”.
To his comment Asri added an appeal for political unity in order to deal strongly with what he described as “kemelut kebiadaban yang tidak putus-putus” (watch kiniTV news report below).
It is instructive that Asri chose the one particular word ‘biadab’ – an older spelling variation is ‘biadap’ while its popular iteration in social media is ‘biaDAP’ – in connection with the perceived social problem arising from the continuance of Chinese school.
Islamist party PAS is fully on board with this movement to cancel Chinese schools.
Two days ago, PAS president Hadi Awang issued a strident statement not only to compel non Malays to become competent in the language of the land – “bahasa Alam Melayu ini” – but to unequivocally support the expression of BM in the jawi script which he called “tulisan Bahasa Melayu berhuruf Al-Quran”.
In fact, so adamant is Hadi in pursuing this objective that he declared those opposed to be “musuh yang wajib diisytiharkan jihad terhadapnya”, adding furthermore “kalau dipaksa bermusuh, maka diharamkan berundur”.
A leopard can never change its spots
In 1974, Mahathir was the Minister for Education. In 2018, Mahathir had initially wanted to take on the education portfolio too in the first ever Harapan cabinet.
In June last year (see article in ‘Twenty Two’ magazine above) a month after Harapan took over Putrajaya, Mahathir told some 300 dinner guests at the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta that it would be possible to do away with vernacular schools if “the people asked for it” and agree to only use one language.
The core beliefs held by Mahathir have remained unwavering through the years. You can even call him stubborn as with his unremitting obsession with the recycled Proton project.
Mahathir has always been against Chinese school and he has not changed his mind on this.
Back in the day when BN was in power, MCA somehow managed to keep jawi from being introduced in Chinese school. This was despite the weak MCA then having only ‘7-Eleven’, i.e. seven MPs and 11 Aduns, in an administration headed by 88-MP strong Umno.
Post GE14, the MCA has become even weaker still with having a mere two MPs and two Aduns. DAP succeeded in annihilating the MCA by its sapu bersih of all the Chinese-dominated constituencies and has currently a whopping 42 MPs and 106 Aduns.
Even though DAP collected almost all the Chinese telur in its egg basket, the party nonetheless failed to deliver a higher matriculation quota for the non Malays. DAP also failed to get government recognition for the UEC as promised.
It is on this very same DAP that its ‘95 percent’ Chinese voter base must pin their feeble, fat Hope on to save the Chinese school from the onslaught of a rejuvenated R & R tidal wave.
Is the DAP a tiger or a chihuahua pup?