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Anwar says vernacular schools must be respected
Published on: Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Anwar says vernacular schools must be respected
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim at a national-level unity week celebration in Johor Bahru on Saturday. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: All parties must respect the existence of Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools which the country inherited a long time ago, says Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

“We inherited a system where there are national schools for all, as well as Chinese and Tamil schools. This diversity (of these schools) reflects the demographic composition of different areas, with some comprising 100% Malays, while others have Chinese and Indian majorities.

“The presence of vernacular schools is something that doesn’t need to be changed. Our role is to provide space, understanding, and respect,” he said at a national unity week celebration in Johor Bahru, NST Online reported.

Anwar said Malay-Muslims cannot ignore that the Quran acknowledges differences in ethnicity, skin colour and language. “We come from different races, tribes, regions, states, skin colours and languages. The Quran emphasises the need to recognise these differences and respect each other.”

Vernacular schools came into the highlight again in March when Umno Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh called for a detailed evaluation of the schools. He said Umno Youth felt that racial tension stemmed from segregation in the nation’s education system.

However, education minister Fadhlina said the government had no plans to revamp vernacular schools and that the ministry would continue to uphold the Education Act 1996, which recognised the use of Chinese and Tamil as mediums of instruction.

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