13 March 2023
Press statement by MCA National Youth Chairperson Datuk Nicole Wong Siaw Ting
Rina Harun’s suggestion to close down vernacular schools: Bersatu at wit’s end
During Bersatu’s annual general assembly yesterday, Srikandi Bersatu Chief Rina Harun reportedly proposed that vernacular schools in Malaysia should be shut down. This exemplifies the narrow-mindedness of Bersatu’s leaders and their incompatibility in Malaysia’s multicultural society.
Article 152 (1)(a) of the Federal Constitution states that no person shall be prohibited or prevented from using (otherwise than for official purposes), or from teaching or learning, any other language.
Vernacular schools are protected under the Federal Constitution; hence there is no reason to continue raising the issue of closing down vernacular schools, other than to incite racial tensions.
Furthermore, on 29 December 2021, the Kuala Lumpur High Court had ruled that the existence and establishment of vernacular schools and the use of Chinese and Tamil languages in these schools are Constitutional. Hence, this ruling should be referred to henceforth as the definitive argument for the Constitutionality of vernacular schools in Malaysia.
The government should uphold the Federal Constitution by monitoring for remarks such as these made by Rina Harun, and act against extremist individuals or organisations that continue trying to stir racial disharmony.
Malaysians should also be more aware of Bersatu’s political strategy, because now that they are implicated in various court cases, they have no other capital except to exploit issues of race and religion for cheap publicity.