MCA seeks to be intervener in suit challenging constitutionality of vernacular schools

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 31 Oct 2019

PETALING JAYA: The MCA will seek to be an intervener should the Federal Court decide to hear the suit to challenge the status of vernacular schools in the Federal Constitution.

Its secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon said the party took the position that the continued existence of vernacular schools in the country was in line with the Federal Constitution and the spirit of "muhibbah" in a plural society.

"Should leave be granted on Nov 4, MCA would seek to join the proceedings as a party, either via an intervener’s application to challenge this application, or as an 'amicus curae' to assist the Courts in this matter," he said in a statement on Thursday (Oct 31).

Chong said the suit should put a stop to the endless debate on the legality of vernacular schools in the country.

On Oct 23, lawyer Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz filed a notice of motion at the Federal Court, seeking declaration whether the existence of vernacular schools is constitutionally legal or illegal.

Mohd Khairul said that he was seeking a declaration that Parliament had no power to amend Section 17 and Section 28 of the Education Act 1996, on grounds that it contravened Article 152 (1) (a) of the Constitution.

Chong said the party had shown in its long history that it had always been a defender of vernacular schools, as well as a supporter of the teaching of the national language, in all vernacular schools.

He added that the party would continue to defend vernacular schools in the face of "Pakatan Harapan’s inaction on this issue".

The Federal Court will decide whether to allow the suit to proceed on Nov 4.

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