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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Parties laud court ruling on vernacular schools


PETALING JAYA: The High Court ruling on vernacular schools being constitutional shows without a doubt that all Malaysian citizens can enjoy the right to be educated in such schools, says party president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

“MCA is glad to hear about the High Court ruling. MCA will protect the diversity in this country to ensure vernacular education is not threatened,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.

Yesterday, there was an air of jubilation at the court premises after the suit by the Federation of Peninsular Malay Students (GPMS), the Islamic Education Development Council (Mappim) and the Confederation of Malaysian Writers Association (Gapena) was rejected by the High Court.

MCA secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon, who was a former deputy education minister, said the court ruling demonstrated the validity of vernacular schools.

“The judge stated very clearly that vernacular schools are constitutional. The court also clearly rejected the calls to abolish these schools,’’ said Chong, who was at the hearing yesterday.

He hoped the court decision would put a stop to calls to abolish vernacular schools.

There should also not be any accusations that these schools are illegal and unconstitutional, he added.

“This decision affirms that vernacular schools are within the ambit of the Federal Constitution and complies with the Education Act,” said Chong.

MIC’s Datuk P. Kamalanathan, who was also a former deputy education minister, said he was very happy with the court decision as it emphasised that the establishment of vernacular schools was provided for in the Federal Constitution.

“It (vernacular education) has a long history in Malaysia and will continue to be an important component in the education system,’’ said Kamalanathan, who was in court with Chong.

He said the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) had, since 1953, encouraged mother tongue education throughout the world.

According to Kamalanathan, Bahasa Malaysia fluency among vernacular school students was very good and that many of them had solid education and careers.

In fact, he said that some of the lawyers appearing for the defendants in the case had studied in such schools.

DAP’s Sungai Pelek assemblyman Ronnie Liu, who was also in the group with Chong and Kamalanathan, said he hoped the plaintiffs would not challenge the ruling given that the judgment delivered by the High Court judge was succinct and detailed. - Star

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