(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik is trying to emulate PAS by imposing pre-conditions for talks with Dong Jiao Zong.
Liong Sik said that MCA leaders and Dong Jiao Zong could meet and discuss Chinese education issues provided they are within the Barisan Nasional policy.
This is like PAS laying down the prerequisites before there could be any PAS-UMNO talks, that the government should create a “more conducive” atmosphere, resolve the Terengganu oil royalty issue, restore the Harakah permit to be published twice a week instead of fortnightly and the withdrawal of UMNO’s attempt to ban the use of the word Islam in the PAS name. The subjects to be discussed should be on national unity, judiciary including the Anwar Ibrahim case, economic mismanagement and Federal-state relations.
Now Liong Sik wants to lay down the MCA prerequisite before any talks with Dong Ziao Zong that the two Chinese mother-tongue educational bodies should accept the Barisan Nasional policy on Chinese education.
MCA is clearly following the wrong PAS example. Firstly, PAS is only asking for the restoration of the political status quo as of the last general election, and is not asking UMNO to accept PAS policy on any issue.
If PAS had laid down the condition that before any UMNO-PAS talks, UMNO must accept PAS policies, there is clearly no possibility of any talks even at the technical committee level.
It is ridiculous for Liong Sik to impose the precondition that Dong Ziao Zong should accept the Barisan Nasional policy on Chinese education before there could be any talks, for MCA is asking Dong Ziao Zong to go against all that it had stood for in terms of Chinese education since their formation.
Liong Sik is emulating the wrong example from PAS. The example from PAS which the MCA President should have followed is PAS support for mother-tongue education, as shown by the support of the PAS President, Datuk Fadzil Noor for the retention of the original Damansara Chinese primary school in addition to the building of a new Chinese primary school in Tropicana, Petaling .
PAS leaders, MPs, members and supporters have also come forward to sign and encorse the Damansara School “SOS” mass signature campaign.
MCA Ministers and leaders should feel ashamed that they have lost out to PAS in promoting mother-tongue education in general and Chinese education in particular when MCA claims to represent the five million Malaysian Chinese.
Is Liong Sik and the MCA leadership prepared to emulate the right example from PAS to be equally, if not more supportive, of Chinese education causes and issues?
For a start, I hope Liong Sik would respond positively and together with Gerakan President, Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and the SUPP Deputy President, Datuk Law Hieng Ding, attend the national conference on New Deal For Mother Tongue Education in the Eighth Malaysia Plan at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday to help create a new national consensus on a fair, just and equitable government treatment for Chinese, Tamil and other mother-tongue education in the country for the next five years.