Who Are the Actual RACISTS – Discourse on Chinese Vernacular Schools
There are certain TABOOS in Malaysian Politics. In Bahasa Malaysia, TABOOS is interpreted as ‘pantang larang’, laterally means ‘forbidden’.
One of the taboos is to question ‘kedudukan istimewa Melayu/Bumiputra’ or ‘special position of Malays/Bumiputras’ as provided for in Article 153 of our Federal Constitution. This article was incorporated in the Federal Constitution based on ‘Citizenship Agreement’ between the immigrant forefathers of Malaysian Chinese and Malaysian Indians of today, with the forefathers of the indigenous Malays in early 1950s…a few years before the independence of Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, the peninsula part of present day Malaysia.
Another prominent TABOO is to question the existence of Chinese Vernacular Schools, better known as Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina or SJKC. SJKC are actually private schools set up by Chinese communities, with certain degree of funding by the Federal Government. In SJKC, the medium of teaching/learning is Chinese/Mandarin. Despite being privately funded, most SJKC are MORE LUXURIOUS than Government fully-funded Sekolah Kebangsaan(SK) or National Schools, which are open to all Malaysian children…but with Bahasa Melayu, the national language of the country, as the medium of teaching/learning. For example, most SJKC class-rooms are fully air-conditioned, compared to SK which can only afford ‘natural ventilation.
Based on latest statictics, about 90% of Chinese children are sent to SJKC. Meaning only 10% of Chinese children are sent to Government-funded SK.
Since the debut of DAP in the country’s General Elections in 1969, DAP Chinese have increasingly question the the TABOO to the Malays…their ‘special position…’ in the Federal Constitution. In fact, co-incidently, the 1969 May Tragedy, erupted in Kuala Lumpur after days of ‘victory parades’ by DAP supporters, for their ‘victory’ in denying the Alliance Party a two-third majority win in Parliment for the first time.
Paradoxically, when certain Malay-based political parties and NGOs, stood up in defense of Article 153 and its instruments of implementation, like the Dasar Ekonomi Baru(DEB), which are clearly provided for in the Federal Constitution, DAP would be the first to label such party or NGO as RACISTS. Perkasa and ISMA are two of Malay-based NGOs who have been labelled as RACISTS for their brave stands to uphold the Article of the Federal Constitution.
On the other hand, SJKC are not even mentioned in the Federal Constitution. The Federal Constitution only provide for the TEACHING OF MOTHER LANGUAGES among the children of various non-Malays races and ethnic groups. Last week, when certain participants of RED SHIRTS rally displayed a few banners calling for abolishing of SJKC, all Chinese-based political parties were quick to jump on their two feet to label the rally as RACISTS.
There appears to be serious DOUBLE STANDARD being practised by the Chinese and their Chinese-based political parties and NGOs. The Malays who are calling for abolishment of SJKC are looking it from the point of view of bringing all Malaysian children in single NATIONAL SCHOOLS, rather than segregating them into three or more types of schools…with different languages of teaching/learning, believe that, such segregation has been the primary cause of RACIAL MISUNDERSTANDING among the childeren when they grow up. But, to the Chinese, the Malays or Malay-based parties who support such ideas are RACISTS.
The way I see it, our fellow Malaysian citizens, Malaysian Chinese, are the ones who are looking at things ‘CHINESE FIRST and MALAYSIA SECOND’ when they so fanatically defending the SJKC….so fanatically rejecting any idea of streamlining our Malaysian children into single Malay-medium National Schools. By thinking ‘CHINESE FIRST and MALAYSIAN SECOND’ with regards to education, Malaysian Chinese are definitely the actual RACISTS.