MCA, MIC seek to step into vernacular school suit

PETALING JAYA: MCA has filed an application to intervene in lawyer Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz’s legal suit to declare vernacular schools unconstitutional, says Datuk Chong Sin Woon.

“MCA’s lawyers, Messrs Ben Chan of Solaris Mont Kiara, has filed a notice of application under Order 18 Rule 6 of the Rules of Court on Jan 14, ” said the MCA secretary-general.

“The first case management was held today. At the next case management on Feb 18, the court will fix the dates of the hearing for the MCA’s application for leave to intervene, ” he said in a statement.

Khairul is Parti Bumiputera Perkasa vice-president.

Chong said even though Khairul’s leave application to have his case heard by the Federal Court was dismissed earlier, he has since re-filed his application in the High Court.“Should he succeed, his suit may result in all Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools in Malaysia being declared unconstitutional, and facing immediate shutdown or being forced to convert into Malay-medium schools, ” he said.

Chong said this was of utmost concern to the MCA, as the party was an organisation that upheld, championed and supported the rights of minority races in the country to pursue an education in their preferred vernacular.

As such, the MCA had to intervene in the suit, he said.

Chong also said Khairul has been drawing media attention by initiating frivolous suits to stir up racial tension.

“His gleeful attitude announcing that he had ‘won’ when the SMK Pusat Bandar Puchong 1 (Chinese New Year decoration) issue flared up is proof of his true political intentions.

“MCA will not stand silently by, ” said Chong.

Separately, MIC has also applied to intervene in the civil suit to declare Tamils schools as unconstitutional.

A court order was sought by Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung and Majlis Pembangunan Pendidikan Islam Malaysia to declare the existence of vernacular schools as unconstitutional.

The party’s education bureau chairman Datuk P. Kamalanathan said it was the party’s moral duty to defend and protect Tamil schools that have been in existence for over 200 years in the country.

“The national multi-lingual education system is unique and has been a foundation and legacy left by the founding fathers to ensure all races have the choice and freedom to educate their children.

“MIC has the responsibility to defend this sacrosanct freedom as spiritual custodians of the stakeholders of Tamil schools, ” he said in a statement.

In filing the application yesterday, MIC relied on the grounds that the party has always safeguarded vernacular schools since its establishment in 1946, and that it was directly involved in ensuring that the rights of the community as guaranteed in the Education Act 1966, were upheld.

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