(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): Gerakan Deputy President and Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Kerk Choo Ting, has come out with another “shocker” of a statement, when he criticized the DAP’s “No to 911, No to 929, Yes to 1957” People’s Awareness Campaign as against the Malaysian Constitution and obstructing “multi-racial power sharing” in the country. (Sin Chew Jit Poh)
Two weeks ago, Kerk made the outrageous insinuation that those who question the educational soundness of using English to teach science and mathematics in Chinese primary schools from Std. One are no different from Neanderthals who oppose the study of other languages and are blind to the importance of English as a global language or the challenges of globalization, liberalization, science and technology – except that no one is opposed to raising English proficiency in schools and universities in the country.
This was when Kerk made the notorious statement that “if there is a need to change, lets all change together” when referring to the switch of medium of instruction for mathematics and science in Chinese primary schools from Mandarin to English.
It is probably in line with Kerk’s stand of “lets all change together” that the Gerakan Youth has come out in full support in principle and policy for the use of English to teach these two subjects in Chinese primary schools at the Barisan Nasional Youth Education Bureau meeting at the UMNO Youth headquarters in PWTC yesterday.
Berita Harian today gave front-page treatment to the Barisan Nasional Youth Education Bureau meeting which unanimously supported the use of English to teach mathematics and science in Chinese primary schools.
This was announced by the Chairman of the UMNO Youth Education Bureau, Dr. Adham Baba who said that the decision was supported by all Barisan Nasional Youth component parties which attended the meeting, except for MCA Youth whose leader Datuk Ong Tee Keat said he did not receive the invitation to the meeting. Youths of other Barisan Nasional component parties represented at the meeting were Gerakan, SUPP, SAPP, LDP and MIC.
If Kerk and the Gerakan Youth want to support the proposal to use English to teach mathematics and science in Chinese primary schools from Std. One, they should do so openly and not hide behind the scenes. They should come out with the sound educational reasons to justify such a move.
Coming back to Kerk’s statement yesterday, DAP challenges the Gerakan to explain how the DAP’s “No to 929” campaign is against the Federal Constitution or obstructs “multi-racial power-sharing” in the country.
If Kerk does not know yet, let me tell him that the DAP’s “No to 929” campaign is not only not against the Malaysian Constitution, but is fully committed to defend and uphold, through democratic and constitutional means, the 1957 Merdeka Constitution, the “social contract” and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement that Islam is the official religion but Malaysia is not an Islamic State.
Let me remind Kerk that this is also a stand which had been publicly endorsed by the three first Prime Ministers of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn as well as the highest court of the land.
Recently, the Malaysian Buddhist Consultative Council and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia had come out in open support of the Malaysian Consultative Council for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikkhism (MCCBCHS) calling on Malaysians of all faiths to resist any attempt to change the secular nature of the Federal Constitution. Is Kerk Choo Ting also suggesting that all these religious organizations have gone against the Federal Constitution and obstructed “multi-racial power-sharing” in the country in taking such a stand?
However, even more important, is Kerk Choo Ting and Gerakan supporting police harassment of DAP’s “No to 929” campaign and police arrests of DAP leaders and activists on the ground that “No to 929” is against the Constitution?
If I am arrested for the third time at the Bentong wet market tomorrow in connection with the “No to 929” campaign, then I will know who to thank for or why there is continued police harassment of the “No to 929” campaign, violation of human rights and criminalizing legitimate constitutional and political activities.
Ordinary Gerakan and MCA members have expressed their support and appreciation of the “No to 929” campaign, as their leaders have gone against their fundamental beliefs and aspirations by violating the 1957 Merdeka Constitution, the “social contract” and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement that Islam is the official religion but Malaysia is not an Islamic state – whether PAS Islamic State or UMNO Islamic State – by supporting the “929 Declaration” of Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. Is Kerk prepared to ask ordinary Gerakan members to take a vote whether they support Malaysia becoming an Islamic state?