Thursday, 22 November 2012

Resist UMNO-BN's attempt at eliminating Chinese and Tamil mother tongue education; Call for Repeal of s.17(1) Education Act 1996

Resist UMNO-BN's attempt at eliminating Chinese and Tamil mother tongue education
Call for Repeal of s.17(1) Education Act 1996

"5-point statement" by Friends of Suaram (FOS) Working Committee Johor
on Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 Preliminary Report 
and "1125 Peaceful Assembly"

(Picture above) The banner carries the message of the petition which Friends of Suaram (FOS) Working Committee Johor will display in the coming “November 25” Peaceful Assembly, designed for petitioning against the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 Preliminary Report, in Padang Timur, PJ. The picture of the 24-feet long banner was taken in Padang Impian Emas Housing Estate (near Southern College). The picture shows 8 representatives from FOS Working Committee Johor [from left : Chen Xin, Liang Peck Kuan, Yong Siew Lee, Cheng Lee Whee, Ang Pei Shan, Choo Shinn Chei (11th from left), Fang Pei Fen (13th from left), Goh Chee Horng (19th from left)]. Some local residents who cherish the Chinese mother tongue education also appear in the picture. We have forwarded this picture and our "5-point statement" below to the media.

This is the "5-point statement" released by Friends of Suaram (FOS) Working Committee Johor on 21 November 2012 regarding the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 Preliminary Report and the "1125 Peaceful Assembly", designed for petitioning against the Education Blueprint Report:

1.  The so-called "education transformation" program touted by the Najib-led BN ruling clique in the form of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 Preliminary Report ("Education Blueprint Report") is merely a "new packaging" of the policy of national oppression and assimilation implemented by the UMNO clique over the past 55 years since Independence.

The substance of this new form of packaging is to annihilate the mother tongue education of all non-Malay ethnic communities (particularly the Chinese and Tamil mother tongue education) through the elementary education.

This will eventually lead to the realisation of the "ultimate objective" of "one country, one nation, one language" long-dreamed of by the UMNO hegemonic clique.

2.  The oppressed people of all ethnic groups and classes have gone through enough bitter experience of the education policy and various legislation on education introduced by UMNO hegemonic ruling clique. Therefore, no illusion should be harboured about any deceptive education transformation program introduced by the UMNO ruling clique headed by Najib and Muhyiddin.

The broad masses of all ethnic groups have learnt from their practical experience that putting up opposition to the Education Blueprint Report is not only their basic democratic right, but also the common political stand to be taken by all oppressed ethnic minorities in the country.

3.  Friends of Suaram (FOS) Working Committee Johor, being an organization striving for democracy and human rights, would like to show our support for the nation-wide "1125 Peaceful Assembly" against the Education Blueprint Report.

We are of the view that although the "November 25" Rally was initiated by Dong Zong, it is a peaceful assembly of all democratic political parties and organizations and the people of all ethnic communities in the country to gather together to express their common aspirations of opposing the Education Blueprint Report. Therefore, all democratic political parties, organizations and individuals should give their full support to the rally, and it is encumbent upon them to participate in it.

It is our view that, only by putting forth the demand for the repeal of s.17(1) of the existing Education Act 1996, which aims at eliminating non-Malay mother tongue education, can the opposition to the Education Blueprint Report be of practical significance.

s.17(1) provides that that the Malay language must be the main medium of instruction in all educational institutions under the national education system, unless exceptions have been granted. It clearly deprives the ethnic communities (other than the Malays) of their legal and constitutional right to receive their mother tongue education (largely in Chinese and Tamil) in the national education system.

4.  The UMNO-BN ruling clique came into power through the parliamentary electoral system, a legacy from the British colonial government. People of all ethnic groups therefore have the right to consign UMNO and BN to the dustbin of history through the parliamentary electoral system too.

If the UMNO-BN ruling clique insists upon implementing discriminatory and oppressive policies detrimental to the interests of the people, leading to the intensifying of racial conflicts and chaos, the people have the right to bring it down.

Last week, a leader in the Chinese Association, Ang Say Tee, publicly labelled the "1125 Peaceful Assembly of Petition" as an "anti-government" action (which means that he was indirectly coaxing the government into taking action against those who uphold mother tongue education). He has shown his true colors as a traitor who betrays the interests of the community!

Meanwhile, the leaders of Hua Zong and Jiao Zong went further by attempting to lull the Chinese individuals and associations into a false sense of security so that they continuing to harbour illusions about the UMNO hegemonic clique! They have blatantly displayed their slave mentality, to the chagrin of the people.

5.  The position we have taken on Education Blueprint Report and "1125 Peaceful Assembly of Petition"  is that "People of all ethnic communities, democratic political parties and orgainsations, Unite! Resist UMNO-BN's attempt at eliminating Chinese and Tamil mother tongue education; Call for Repeal of s.17(1) Education Act 1996!"

Our position is embodied in one of the 3 Pressing Demands made in the Letter from Johore NGOs to the Johore people entitled "Unite! People of Johore, Realize 3 Pressing Demands; Smash UMNO Hegemony, Form a Democratic United Front!". We are resolute and steadfast in our stand! We are prepared to listen to criticisms and comments from all quarters! We are willing to act in unison with people of all ethnic groups and democratic political parties and organisations!


Related Links:
1) Singkirkan khayalan terhadap BN dan Kerajaan, Untuk selamatkan pendidikan bahasa ibunda!
http://suaramjb1.blogspot.com/2012/03/singkirkan-khayalan-terhadap-bn-dan.html

2) “926 Demand for resignation of Wee Ka Siong” - A symbolic demand expressing the resentment of the Chinese community 
http://suaramjb1.blogspot.com/2012/09/926-demand-resignation-of-wee-ka-siong.html

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