By Lisa J. Ariffin
PUTRAJAYA, June 20 — Setting up more Chinese independent schools and recognising its United Examination Certificate will create further obstacles to national unity, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
“It’s already a fact from the very beginning that vernacular (schools) can be set up by the different communities, which has resulted in our young people not being together and that has become a hindrance towards unity among the people,” Dr Mahathir (picture) told a press conference today after launching the Maybank Foundation-Perdana Leadership Foundation essay competition here.
“If we recognise Chinese education and their certificates, we will have three different people talking in three different languages and I think we will not be able to live together as a whole,” he added.
The former premier pointed out that “in every country, the national language is the original language of the original settlers”.
He added other migrants who wished to be naturalised as citizens of said country “would accept the language and culture system”.
The former premier explained the problem had arisen because “the founding fathers” had made concessions on use of Bahasa Malaysia.
“They agreed upon something that is keeping us apart,” he said.
“The reason we talk about Chinese, Indians and Malays is because we need to be apart, we don’t want to be one country, we want to be three separate entities,” he added.
Yesterday, the MCA said Kuantan is expected to gain approval for a Chinese independent high school within two weeks — the first in the state of Pahang.
There are currently 60 Chinese independent schools in Malaysia.
The Chinese community has held two major rallies this year to voice out their demands in relation to education in Mandarin.