KUALA KANGSAR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says that he had never at any time called for vernacular schools to be abolished.
He said he had instead asked for the curriculum of vernacular schools to be further improved so as to strengthen national unity in a multiracial society like Malaysia.
"I had never at any time called for vernacular schools to be scrapped. Please don't misinterpret what I said. I believe we need to strengthen the education system to promote national integration.
"The National Education Policy clearly states that the mother tongue is to be encouraged in primary schools.
"However, we need to find ways to reinforce the education curriculum so that national unity and integration can be achieved," he told reporters after launching the "Ekspresi Negaraku" campaign in Pavilion Square here on Saturday.
He was asked to clarify his statement suggesting that the country's education system be reviewed in the interest of national unity because the existing system with various mediums made it difficult for cross-cultural interaction among pupils.
During a question and answer session after delivering a talk in Kuala Lumpur Friday, Dr Ahmad Zahid was reported to have said that the existence of various medium schools from the pre-school stage up to secondary school was an obstacle to achieving national unity goals.