PUTRAJAYA: English will once again be used to teach Math and Science, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The acting Education Minister said the use of English and mastery of the language in our education system must be promoted.
"It is very important that we give time for English, particularly in learning Science and Math.
"Geography and History can come in any language but Math and Science are not indigenous fields of knowledge (to us). It comes from abroad.
"And most of it comes to us in English, therefore we are going to use English in the teaching of Science and Math," he said, adding that those who studied Science in Bahasa Melayu later found it difficult to work where English was required.
He was speaking during a special meeting with Education Ministry management officials Thursday (Jan 30).
A video of his address was later uploaded on social media.
The Teaching and Learning of Science and Maths in English (or better known by its Malay acronym, PPSMI) was introduced in phases, beginning with Year One, Form One and Lower Six students in 2003 under Dr Mahathir's first tenure as prime minister. It was abolished in 2013.
Dr Mahathir said the country and rakyat want to see reforms in the education system.
"I have ideas for the role of education in the country and towards this end, certain weaknesses have to be attended to.
"I wish to put my views on record so that we can work together to achieve it.
"Of course, my views are not always popular or acceptable to many people but I feel we have to push certain things so that our children grow up and are able to tackle the problems of adult life – that is the purpose of education."
He said being a multi-racial country posed some problems but it could also contribute to the nation's development.
Much of Malaysia's development is based on the good working relationship between the races, he said.
"If the country is not stable – if we are at war – you can forget about development.
"Everything will be concentrated on how to kill each other and the killers will be the winners," he said.