Monday, December 14, 2009
PM: Govt is liberal on Chinese schools
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has assured all 60 independent Chinese schools in the country that they can continue without any interference.
The Prime Minister said the Government had amended the Education Act 1996 to guarantee the existence of such schools in the country when he was still the deputy Education Minister.
“This shows that Umno and the Barisan Nasional government has always been liberal and all-inclusive in its policies,” he said during the 90th anniversary celebration of the Chong Hwa independent high school here last night.
Also present was MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, leaders of other component parties in the Bari-san and Chinese community leaders.
Warm welcome: Najib waving to the crowd upon arriving at the Chong Hwa Independent High School’s 90th anniversary celebrations in Kuala Lumpur Monday.
Najib said Malaysia was a unique country because the Chinese were free to have schools of their mother tongue unlike other countries which practised policies of assimilation.
“In Malaysia, we have an understanding among the races and this is not based on assimilation but rather on integration,” he said.
Najib, who is Umno president, also encourage the Malay citizens to learn Mandarin because the language was one of the many assets of the country.
“When we learn the languages of other races, we learn more about each other. Only when we respect and honour one another can we become true Malaysians who support the 1Malaysia concept.”
He said he was also determined to ensure that each Malaysian irrespective of skin colour and creed would be given the support needed to achieve his or her potential.
“Only when there is a fair and democratic system can there be a sense of togetherness among the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ong said he hoped other non-Chinese leaders would also visit Chinese independent schools so that they could learn more about them.
“Not many non-Chinese leaders understand much about the Chinese independent schools,” he said.
By YUEN MEIKENG