Views that such schools are unconstitutional and many vernacular school graduates are only fluent in their mother tongues.
Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said he is supportive of Bersatu youth’s stand to abolish vernacular schools in the country.
In a statement, the newly elected Bersatu youth chief and deputy youth and sport minister said vernacular schools do not produce students with strong national identity and their establishment remains in conflict with the federal constitution.
“Bersatu youth completely rejects the statement that vernacular schools will not be closed.
“Bersatu youth reiterates that vernacular schools should be abolished in stages,” he said in a statement today, referring to a reply by Unity Minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique.
“Although the Education Act 1996, which replaced the Education Act 1961, repealed the discretion of the education minister to close vernacular schools at any time, vernacular schools clearly create a negative perception on the people when on average they fail to produce students who show strong national identity.
“Moreover, there are many views that its establishment remains in conflict with the federal constitution,” he added.
Halimah yesterday was replying to a question if she agreed that vernacular schools are an obstacle to unity among races.
She sidestepped the issue but said all students must embrace the Rukun Negara to achieve national unity.
Referring to this, Wan Fayhsal said that vernacular school graduates are only proficient in their own mother tongue instead of the national language, adding that it is supported by scientific and research data of national scholars such as Teo Kok Seong from University Kebangsaan Malaysia.
He said Halimah had brought in the Rukun Negara while ignoring Article 152 of the federal constitution.
“Observations show that many vernacular school graduates are only able to show their mother tongue proficiency.
“Superior national identity also requires not only fluency but also good mastery of the national language.
“The average vernacular school student is only able to exhibit the identity of ‘certain ethnicities’ according to school currents that are separated based on ethnicity,” he said.
Article 152(1) states that the national language shall be the Malay language and that no person shall be prohibited or prevented from using (except for official purposes) or from teaching or learning any other language. – TMI