Friday, December 13

Dr Yii: Wrong for Dr M to label Dong Zhong as racist

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Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING: The labeling of Chinese educationist group Dong Zong as racist by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is wrong, said Sarawak DAP Youth secretary Dr Kelvin Yii.

It does not help to allay the concerns raised not just by the association but also the public at large, Dr Yii told The Borneo Post today.

“That is why I urge the Ministry to properly engage in more dialogues with the relevant stakeholders including Dong Zong, Tamil school educationists and even the public at large to properly allay the concerns of the khat issue to make sure that the discussion is centered on the educational aspects of the issue without dragging in sentiments of race or even religion to further divide the people,” the Bandar Kuching MP said.

Even though the assertion by Dong Zong that the introduction of Jawi lessons in Standard 4 Bahasa Malaysia is an attempt of Islamisation may not be accurate or paint the correct picture of the initiative, but the concerns raised by them should not be brushed aside as such concerns are not unfounded and possibly represent a large section of the Chinese community on the said issue, he stressed.

Such dialogue and discussion must be discussed rationally based on education merits and the educational interest of the students, rather than be dragged into the polemics of race or religion or merely dismissing any concerns or dissatisfaction on account of racism, said Dr Yii.

“That is why it is timely that Finance Minister YB Lim Guan Eng will again bring up the issue in the upcoming Cabinet again as we do not want to see such an issue break the social fabric of our country when education is supposed to be the main thing to uplift and bring our nation forward,” he said.

“While the policy of introducing Jawi was decided by the previous BN government, I hope that all our Pakatan Harapan ministers from now on will be more alert to the implementation of policies made during the previous era but which are being freshly introduced during the rule of Pakatan Harapan (PH),” he said.

Yesterday Dr Mahathir labelled Dong Zuan (United Chinese School Committees Association) as “racist” as it has never agreed with national education policies including the introduction of Jawi calligraphy in schools.