By Ida Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — MCA today asked Dong Zong (United Chinese Schools Committees Association)’s chairman to cease personal attacks on Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.
“I urge Dong Zong Chairman Dr Yap Sin Tian to not hurl personal attacks on Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong based on his own self-sentiments and prejudices,” said Chong Sin Woon, MCA’s National Youth Education chief.
“Why does Dr Yap need to tangle himself again with petty arguments?” asked Chong in a statement.
Chong doubted Yap’s sincerity when he accused Wee as “a man lacking grace” after a phone conversation between the two leaders to “clarify the truth about rumours”.
The Sin Chew Daily reported today that Yap had criticized Wee for ‘broadcasting’ their live phone conversation in front of reporters without his knowledge.
Yap welcomed clarifications and debate, but said that the act of 'live broadcast' to reporters was inappropriate.
But Yap said this incident would not cause Dong Zong to stop communicating with Wee or any parties on Chinese education issues, according to the Chinese newspaper.
Chong repeated his call on Monday for Dong Zong to rejoin the special committee set up to solve the shortage of Chinese school teachers.
“Dong Zong and Wee Ka Siong have the same agenda of curbing the teacher shortage issue.”
“No matter how much the dissent harboured, Dong Zong should never cut off all ties of communication,” said Chong.
Dong Zong had last week pulled out of the talks, saying they wanted to discuss policy changes instead of technical improvements in the education system.
However, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said that the talks will still proceed with the other stakeholders.
“If the Dong Zong chairman (Yap Sin Tian) was really sincere, he would not have launch this boycott,” said Chong in a statement on Monday.
He said that the Ministry of Education had shown “proof of their sincerity” with its announcement of the eight short- and long-term solutions.
“For the sake of Chinese education, we should put aside our differences and use this platform to discuss solutions to develop a long-term plan so that we can resolve this critical shortage of teachers,” Chong said.
He said that “both the technical aspects and the long-term policies should be taken into account” and “it is important that Dong Zong rejoins the special committee instead of simply launching a boycott.”
The talks involving the ministry and five bodies —Dong Zong, Jiao Zong (the United Chinese School Teachers Association), Hua Zong (the Federation of Chinese Associations), the National Union of Teaching Profession and SJKC School Headmasters Association — has been going on since March 8.
Dong Zong had organised a mass rally in Kajang on March 25 to voice its concern over the lack of Chinese school teachers, where Wee, who is also the MCA Youth chief, alleged he was assaulted by a disgruntled protester in the angry crowd.