(Penang, Tuesday): Last night, led by PAS secretary-general, Nasharudin Mat Isa, some 2,000 Malays at the PAS 50th anniversary celebrations ceramah in Kubang Pasu at the expo site, Kampong Padang Tok Kasop, Jitra endorsed the SJK© Damansara’s Save Our School (SOS) mass signature campaign.
This is in sharp contrast to the refusal of the four MCA Ministers and the top MCA leadership, apart from former MCA leaders like former deputy president Tan Sri Lee Kim Sai, former vice president Datuk Wong Seng Chow and former secretary-general Datuk Dr. Tan Tiong Hong, to sign and endorse the Damansara school SOS mass signature campaign at the 52nd MCA anniversary celebrations in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
The 2,000 Malay signatures in Kubang Pasu, the parliamentary constituency of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, is a major breakthrough in more senses than one.
Firstly, it is the single biggest number of Malay signatures for the SJK© Damansara’s Save Our School (SOS) mass signature campaign or for any other campaign for Chinese education in Malaysian history.
Secondly, it signified the beginning of the end of the dangerous falsehood that Chinese education is a Chinese chauvinist cause and only Chinese extremists, anti-national elements and communists would support it.
Thirdly, it marked another step in the political transition to a new politics and a new Malaysia where politics would not be so race-dominated but be more issues-centred, breaking the traditional “divide and rule” mould of old communal politics.
In breaking the myth and falsehood that Chinese education is a Chinese chauvinist, extremist and communist cause, the 2,000 Malay signatures in Kubang Pasu last night in support of Damansara school SOS campaign have spoken loud and clear that mother-tongue education in Malaysia is an integral part of Malaysian nation-building which deserves the support of all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.
In actual fact, the Chinese primary schools in the country are not attended only by Chinese pupils as out of the 620,000 pupils in the Chinese primary schools, over 70,000 are non-Chinese, comprising Malays, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans.
Even the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, had praised the quality and standards of Chinese primary schools, although this was only before the 1999 general elections, stating that some Malay parents prefer to send their children to Chinese primary schools because the teachers and pupils in these schools were more dedicated and committed.
It is a crying shame if PAS and the Malays can support the “Win-Win” formula of retaining the original Damansara school in addition to the building of the new Chinese primary school in Tropicana, Petaling in eight months except for the MCA Ministers from a party claiming to represent the Chinese in Malaysia.
MCA Ministers should emulate the example of PAS and the 2,000 Malays in Kubang Pasu last night who endorsed the Damansara School SOS mass signature campaign to change its stand and support the retention and re-opening of original Damansara school.