The consensus on maintaining the status quo on the number of Chinese independent schools is "not important" even if it did exist, according to MCA president Chua Soi Lek.
He stressed that it does not mean that the national education policy will remain static even if the understanding did exist.
"In my opinion, whether the understanding did exist or otherwise, it's not important. I would like to stress that it's not important," said Chua( right in photo ) at a press conference held before the ground breaking ceremony for the Kajang 2 Chinese primary school.
He pointed out that the government transformation programme, which is to transform the country into becoming a high income nation by a 2020, required a lot of talents with a good grasp of the Malay, English and Chinese languages.
"Today, China's standing is totally different compared with the 1960s. Nobody at that time would have thought that China will win recognition as the second biggest economy in the word," he added.
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said that there was an understanding struck in the 1960s that there would be no more new Chinese independent high schools constructed in the country.
No insistence on new construction
However, Chua explained that Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, did not say that the government will not allow construction.
"He just pointed out the 1960s' understanding to the people, he didn't insist (on not building new schools), it's you (the media) who insist on that," said Chua.
He added that he himself also was not aware of such an understanding, and will seek clarification with the former MCA president, Lee San Chon.
Chua explained that the Chinese independent high schools' syllabus not meeting government requirements as the reason for the difficulty in getting permission to build a new independent high school when the need arises.
However, he refused to answer directly when asked whether the government will allow it now.
"In politics, 2 plus 2 sometimes is not 4, so it's not ‘Yes' or ‘No'," said Chua.
Conditions for response
The understanding restricting the number of Chinese Independent schools, was not within MCA knowledge, said the party's youth wing chief Wee Ka Siong.
"If B and C arrive at an understanding, A would not know about this," Wee told a press conference after a ground breaking ceremony for the primary school.
Unless MCA had been named as the participant party which had signed and agreed to such an understanding , then it would respond, said the deputy education minister.
When asked about the role played by MCA half a century ago when such schools were forced to become conforming schools, Wee ( left ) jibed, "my father had not met my mother, in another word, I wasn't born yet."
He, however, said he is well aware of the party's contributions in defending Chinese schools but was reluctant to list them, asking the media instead to read history.