KUCHING: Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching has been accused of failing to communicate the Chinese community’s wishes to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad.
Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing claimed Teo should have acted as a bridge between Dr Mahathir and the community she has pledged to serve.
“Instead, Teo has repeatedly distorted the wishes and opinions of the Chinese community, leading to the mess in which we find ourselves in today.
“Her priority is clearly to appease the demands of the authorities and her own political bosses instead of properly relaying the concerns and wishes of the Chinese community, particularly Dong Zong, whose mandate is to protect and preserve the integrity of Chinese education in peaceful co-existence with other ethnic groups in Malaysia,” he claimed in a statement on Friday.
According to him, when pressed for a stand on the Prime Minister’s tone against Dong Zong, Teo had merely called for ‘open communication’.
“This is the understatement of the century and clearly does not reflect any actions on her part to improve the situation.
“Her inaction and soft stance is a slap on the face for Dong Zong, a stalwart defender of Chinese education. The noble organisation’s legacy of selflessly fighting for equal and fair treatment of Chinese education is well known and acknowledged by many quarters,” he claimed.
Tiong noted that Dong Zong is now facing a possibility of getting banned.
“Shouldn’t the deputy education minister stand up and say anything in its defence at this dire time?
“If she and her colleagues cannot even fulfil their promises to the Chinese community’s wishes on their educational independence, what hope do we have for the future?” he questioned.
According to Tiong, Dong Zong’s online signature campaign was merely a platform to reflect public opinion.
“At best, it is only a minor social movement, but those voices should not be swept aside regardless. If the Pakatan Harapan cannot even accommodate such a small dissent from the people, how can we expect them to advance democracy in Malaysia. Instead, they are moving us further away from the goals of other free and egalitarian countries,” he said.
Tiong also urged Teo to maintain her original stance.