MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Sunday, November 28, 2021

Unity minister sidesteps SJK(C) signboards issue


Unity Minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique has side-stepped the issue surrounding new signboards for several publicly funded Chinese-language primary schools in Pahang, stating that it should be answered by the Education Ministry and state government.

"Because this (directive) is from the (Pahang) Education Department, I think we should get a response from the Education Ministry," Halimah (above) told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

She said this when asked for comments on Sin Chew Daily’s report that several Chinese-language schools in Pekan, Pahang, received new signboards devoid of Chinese characters.

The signboards only bore the SJK(C) schools’ names in Bahasa Malaysia and the Jawi script.

When informed that Sin Chew had quoted Deputy Education Minister Mah Hang Soon as saying that he had intervened in the matter, Halimah insisted further questions should be directed to the ministry and state government.

On whether the move was a sign that certain government agencies are still insensitive towards cultural diversity, Halimah said: "This matter is related to responsibilities of the educational institution. Even at school level."

"Whatever decisions made will be based on what is available to the ministry. So I can't answer this," said the Kota Tinggi MP.

Halimah, along with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, had earlier launched the National Unity Action Plan 2021-2030 and Keluarga Malaysia Unity Plan 2021-2025 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

'On branding, BM is the national language'

Asked whether the directive could be seen as contradicting plans to foster national unity, Halimah again said the decision to include languages other than Bahasa Malaysia as the national language lies with the relevant ministry and state government.

"Like I said, in terms of branding, Bahasa Malaysia is the national language.

"So, for example, they want to put other languages, that should be the decision of the ministry," she added.

Halimah, however, refused to comment on critics who said, among others, the removal of Chinese characters was a sign of “disrespect” towards the Chinese Malaysian community.

"I do not want to comment on that because it relates to a specific matter.

"I think we should get a response from the Education Ministry and state government," she said.

Sin Chew yesterday reported the first two schools had received their new signboards earlier this month.

Before Mah intervened, the Chinese School Committees' Association of Pahang (Dong Lian Hui) had urged the state education department to add the Chinese characters of the schools’ names onto these signboards.

The issue had ignited a sore point among educationist groups and political parties, with DAP leaders criticising the move as an affront to multiculturalism.

Earlier in her speech, Halimah said the National Unity Action Plan launched today has listed 57 programmes to achieve five strategic thrusts, including shaping a society that respects and practises unity.

Also at the event were PN, BN and PKR leaders including Deputy Unity Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal, Human Resources Minister M Saravanan, Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and PKR vice-president Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin. - Mkini

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.