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Najib: Vernacular schools to stay

PUTRAJAYA, 2 Dec 2008: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today gave the assurance that Chinese and Tamil national-type schools would continue to exist so long as there was a demand from the Chinese and Indian communities in the country.

He said this decision of the government was in accordance with the policies contained in the Razak Report of 1956, that every individual had the right to choose the education system he or she wished to have.

He said an amendment to the Education Act 1996 had made Chinese and Tamil national type schools a part of the national education system and, as such, the existence of these schools was provided for in the law.

“Our policy is one that allows every individual to choose the schooling system that he or she wishes to have. We have also given our commitment that these schools will continue to exist as part of the national education system so long as they are needed by the Chinese and Indian communities,” he told reporters after chairing a meeting of the National Council for Local Government, here.

Najib was asked to comment on a proposal by Jerlun Member of Parliament Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir for the government to abolish the vernacular school system and introduce a single school system to check racial polarisation in the country.

Najib said the Chinese and Tamil national-type schools played an important role for the Chinese and Indians because they were the main medium for them to instil positive and useful values in the lives of their children, respectively.

Earlier, when referring to the meeting, Najib said a circular on guidelines for drying clothes at high-rise residential buildings would be issued early next year in an effort to improve the unsightly image in some urban areas.

The guidelines would specify the location and suitable equipment for drying clothes in such residential units, he said.

“We will take up enforcement through the Commissioner of Buildings (CoB) and if it is ineffective, amendments to legislation will be considered,” he said.

Najib also said that the meeting considered a proposal paper on uniform signboards in an area but this would only apply to states and local authorities not bound by concession agreements with signboard companies for any specific period. — Bernama

See also: Political parties unite against Mukhriz


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