SERDANG: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Sunday that the National Education Blueprint (PPPM) 2013-2015 was launched with no ulterior motives or hidden agenda to sideline other languages.
Describing the query on the status of Chinese education raised by the United Chinese Schools Committees Association of Malaysia, or better known as Dong Zong, as a misunderstanding, Muhyiddin said the government was fair to all schools.
"The blueprint which was introduced to develop the country's education is being seen as something done at the expense of Chinese education, that is not true at all.
"All schools, except Chinese private schools which want to be independent, will benefit from the plan because we want to upgrade all schools," he told reporters after visiting the Malaysian International Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism (MAHA) Xxhibition here.
On Sunday, Dong Zong held a gathering to protest the blueprint claiming it feared that vernacular schools would be sidelined. It also called on the government to be fair to all schools.
On the issues raised by Dong Zong, Muhyiddin said there was no mention in PPPM that Chinese or Tamil schools would be sidelined.
In fact, it clearly stated that all national-type Chinese (SJKCs) and Tamil (SJKTs) schools would be maintained.
He said the additional teaching time for Bahasa Malaysia in SJKCs and SJKTs would be carried out by conducting extra classes without affecting the time for the teaching of Chinese or Tamil.
On the abolition of transition or 'remove' classes, which Dong Zong objected to, Muhyiddin said the classes would be unnecessary if the learning of the Malay language in SJKCs and SJKTs was on par with normal schools.
The deputy prime minister said Dong Zong should stop making accusations at the government, adding that their action was politically motivated.
He said Dong Zong always looked at efforts made by the government as ill-intentioned and aimed at diminishing the Chinese language. "If that is the intention, it could have been done ages ago. The proof is that after 55 years of independence, the Barisan Nasional government did not do it. No Chinese schools were closed.
“There is no ruling that Chinese cannot be taught, instead there are more Chinese teachers and also Chinese schools now," he added.
This, he said, proved that the views of the Dong Zong were wrong and hoped that the Chinese community would not be misled by them. - Bernama