Press Statement on Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 – 2025 by YB Zuraida Kamarudin
National unity no doubt starts with a good education plan but this does not necessarily mean that we should curtail people’s rights to choose the type of education suitable for their children. The Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 – 2015 launched by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on 6th September must be carefully reviewed and agreed upon by various parties to avoid public discontent.
The Keadilan Women’s Wing recognizes and acknowledges Bahasa Malaysia as the national language but at the same time takes into consideration the multiracial and multi-cultural composition of the country. It is therefore our view that without compromising the importance of Bahasa Malaysia and with support towards the freedom of choice that we request Tan Sri Muhyiddin to revise the Malaysia Education Blueprint for the benefit of all citizens.
While all national schools use the Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction, the Education Act 1996 (Act 550) guarantees the existence of vernacular schools. This provision allows such national-type Chinese and Tamil schools the freedom to use their mother-tongue as the main medium of instruction.
The Ministry of Education states in its report that as of June 2011, there are 5,853 National Schools, 1,291 National-type Chinese Schools and 523 National-type Tamil Schools.
According to statistics published in the Malaysia Education Blueprint, the proficiency of Bahasa Malaysia for a minimum credit for SPM is as follows: Bumiputera students 84%, Chinese 63% and Indian 57%.
It is roughly estimated that Malaysia is comprised of 5.1 million students registered in public schools and that Bumiputeras make up about 60%, Chinese 23% and Indians 7%. Hence, the total estimated students who are Bumiputeras that do not meet the criteria are more or less the same as the non-Bumiputeras.
It is with this that we should reconsider our priorities in setting the standards of Bahasa Malaysia as the figures clearly show that it is not due to the vernacular schools that the country does not meet 100% of the language proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia. The love for the national language can only be instilled by a reciprocal love and respect towards the freedom of choice.
We hope that this will convince Tan Sri Muhyiddin to approach and make suitable revisions to the Malaysia Educational Blueprint.
YB Zuraida Kamarudin
KETUA WANITA PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT