Row erupts over suggestion to ban Tamil and Chinese schools

Minority groups in Malaysia have slammed a suggestion by former Premier Mahathir Mohamad’s son to dismantle Tamil and Chinese schools to forge racial unity.


The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), a component member of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, has urged the Attorney-General to institute action against Umno Youth chief aspirant Mukhriz Mahathir for uttering allegedly seditious words by suggesting that vernacular schools be closed down, reported The Star daily.

MIC president S Samy Vellu claimed Mr Mukhriz had violated provisions in the Federal Constitution which protected the position and rights of vernacular schools.

Mr Vellu also accused Mr Mukhriz of raising "sensitive issues" to canvass for votes in the upcoming Umno Youth elections. The United Malays National Organisation is the pillar of BN.

Government lawmaker Mukhriz has said the vernacular school system practised in Malaysia fostered racial polarisation. He suggested all schools use the Malay language, the country’sofficial language.

"We are in no way trying to assimilate the various cultural differences into a single mold," said Mr Mukhriz.
"I am suggesting that we look into the best way of instilling unity among the races at a young age and that would be in schools."

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