...does Satu Sekolah share the same boat as DAP?
KUALA LUMPUR: Blogger SatD, who has been a strong advocate of the One School for All campaign since its inception, wrote on November 21 that a memorandum in support of the initiative addressed to the Deputy Prime Minister in 2009 had been wrongly perceived by certain quarters as being an anti-Chinese, "UMNO-led initiative and a move to propagate ketuanan Melayu."
On the contrary, he said, vernacular education is against the Constitution and the National Language Act, and the proposal for a single school system as laid out in the memorandum would satisfy both.
In particular he singled out Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong for his criticism of the One School for All campaign.
“As a senior official from the Education Ministry one has the responsibility to look at the overall education policy from all angles,” said the blogger. “One needs to have no political nor racial bias in order to undertake that function properly without any conflict of interest situation especially in deliberating on policy action with a national impact for generations to come.”
Referring to the possibility that Wee might want to lodge a police report against supporters of the One School for All initiative, the blogger said he should “go ahead but resign first as Deputy Education Minister!”
The blogger concluded by asking what the next step should be.
“Should we put this issue to the Judiciary to decide once and for all on the legality of Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (national-type schools) so that no one can politicise our children’s education anymore?” he asked.
“Or,” he continued, “should someone ‘intervene’ in formulating the Terms of Reference (to include review of the position of Vernacular Education from a legal, social and impact to National Unity) of the UNESCO ‘independent’ review?”
In a follow-up post on November 23, SatD responded to blogger Helen Ang, who had declared her support for vernacular schools and had equated the supporters of One School for All with the DAP’s Malaysian First/Anak Malaysia campaigns and accused both of “intellectual dishonesty”.
Referring to legal precedents such as the Mark Koding case, SatD reiterated his stance that allowing vernacular schools contravenes Article 152 of the Federal Constitution, and questioned whether having a single school system would be as bad for non-Malays as some people claim.
He also pointed out that the DAP had in fact come out in support of vernacular schools.
Responding to the accusation of intellectual dishonesty, the blogger said, “[A]s far as I'm concerned I have been ‘intellectually honest’ about my support for this initiative and have consistently provided verifiable facts for my readers to make their own judgement; not only that I have also allowed full freedom of expression without moderation in this blog.”
He added that Ang and other detractors should “engage us with facts on why vernacular education must or can continue according to the constitutional provision, National Language Act and its impact to Malaysia’s fragile national unity and identity.”