KOTA KINABALU: Single education system is outdated and takes away the people’s basic rights of education in their mother tongue, according to the Federation of Kwang Tung Associations Malaysia president, Datuk Tan Ten Pong.
He said vernacular school system allows the people to learn the culture and tradition of different cultures, promote unity and harmony among different races, and enhance Malaysia’s competitiveness in the global arena.
Tan was commenting on former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent objection to the construction of more Chinese independent schools and recognition for the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).
“In this time of globalization, and we being bombarded with so many different languages and cultures, Mahathir’s views are outdated,” he asserted when attending the second installation ceremony of the United Society of GuangDong Province Association Sabah here on Friday.
“Single education system no longer fits into the demand of the current times, as well as taking away the basic rights of the people to receive education in their mother tongue,” he stressed.
Tan further said that Mandarin is now an international trade language with the rise of China, and both the Malaysian government and Chinese government recognize university degrees in both countries.
“However, UEC has yet to be recognized in our country, causing dissent among the Chinese community.
“Although we are facing various difficulties and challenges in Chinese education, I urge the younger generation to appreciate and do not give up the opportunity to learn Chinese, to work hard in learning Chinese and hope for a better tomorrow,” Tan said.
On another note, Tan said the the people in the country are also concerned about the dispute at South China Sea.
“South China Sea is a vast ocean, rich in resources. The neighbouring countries should put aside their dispute, and work together in development.”
He also reminded Malaysians to be aware of the financial crisis happening in other parts of the world as we could be affected in this globalised world.
Also present at the event were the Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Edward Khoo Keok Hai, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah,Assistant Minister of Infrastructure Development Datuk Pang Yuk Ming, The United Society of GuangDong Province Association Sabah honorary advisor Tan Sri Andrew Liew Sui Fatt, Federation of Chinese Associations (FCAS) deputy president Datuk TC Goh, The United Society of GuangDong Province Association Sabah chairman Datuk Jimmy Yong Kyok Ming, deputy president Datuk Susan Wong and Luyang assemblywoman Melanie Chia.