A timely win for vernacular schools in Malaysia


PETALING JAYA: The Federal Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of vernacular schools has come at just the right time – it is International Mother Language Day today.

MCA publicity bureau chairman Chan Quin Er said Malaysians can be assured that their children’s right to mother tongue education is protected.

“The Federal Court’s decision has concluded an important legal case regarding vernacular schools in Malaysia.

ALSO READ: Victory for vernacular schools

“This is a win for freedom of choice in education,” she said.

Chan, a lawyer, said the case began in 2019 and had gone through two High Courts and three Courts of Appeal.

This definitive ruling (by the apex court) clarifies the legal status of vernacular schools, she added.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong also said the Federal Court’s ruling meant the schools have achieved their “final victory” and the entire case has now ended.

“The issue of challenging the existence and constitutional right of vernacular schools to use Chinese and Tamil as the medium of instruction has officially concluded, with vernacular schools securing the final victory,” he said.

ALSO READ: Federal Court's decision is a victory for vernacular schools, says Dr Wee Ka Siong

Dr Wee said that from the beginning of the case until its conclusion, MCA has appointed representative lawyers to intervene and act as a party actively defending the status of vernacular schools and the right to use vernacular languages as the medium of instruction.

A legal team led by Datuk Ben Chan represented MCA in court for this case.

Dr Wee said MCA would continue to do its utmost to defend the existence of a multi-stream education system and strive to promote the robust development of Chinese education.

“We will never let down the pioneers, who laid the foundation of our nation,” Dr Wee said.

Arun Dorasamy, the chief researcher of the Malaysia Centre of Vernacular School Excellence, said the court’s decision was “a sign of good things to come” amid the International Mother Language Day today.

“We, the Tamil schools, won in the courts yesterday but there is more to be done in the schools.

“The success in the courts will not mean much if we don’t send our children to Tamil vernacular schools and ensure they achieve academic and curricular success,” he said.

The lawyer noted that the current 529 Tamil schools, with 84,779 students and 8,997 teachers nationwide, must be saved.

“Tomorrow is International Mother Language Day and this decision could not have come at a better time,” said Arun.

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