LANGKAWI: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad described Chinese educationist group Dong Zong as “racist”, saying it frequently protests the government’s education policies – including introducing khat in schools.
The Prime Minister said the organisation had previously opposed setting up Sekolah Wawasan where three types of primary schools – national schools, Chinese vernacular primary schools and Tamil vernacular primary schools – would come under one roof.
Dr Mahathir said Dong Zong’s objection was because they did not want their children to mix with the Malays, reported Sinar Harian.
He said this in response to Dong Zong’s allegations that the introduction of jawi calligraphy in schools was a form of Islamisation.
The Langkawi MP also questioned the reason Dong Zong was only protesting the plans to introduce khat now.
“This matter was approved in 2012 by the previous government. Why did Dong Zong not complain at the time? Why is it a ‘new’ complaint now?
“Now that we have made the decision, if they do not want to take up (the subject), they will not have to do so, ” he said at a function at Masjid Padang Mat Sirat here yesterday.
Dr Mahathir also sarcastically said he would ask for Klang MP Charles Santiago’s permission for future decisions.
“In the future, when I want to make a decision I will ask Charles first, whether or not I can do it.
“If I can get his view, he is the same level (setaraf) as me, ” he said.
Santiago had said in an earlier statement that too much power had been concentrated in the hands of Dr Mahathir and that he had been making unilateral decisions with disturbing frequency.