Sharp Observer tells those turning this into an issue not to pretend that they want interracial harmony – when their own actions are the biggest impediments to interracial unity.
I refer to the brouhaha in relation to the possibility of the current government recognising the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).
In this context I am even more puzzled by Pas’ opposition to the proposal.
Firstly, is Pas a Muslim party or a Malay party? They are apparently confused over the distinction. For a party that fielded a few Chinese candidates in the last election as if they are supportive of Chinese aspirations, why are they now opposing a key backbone of the vernacular Chinese education system in Malaysia? So, Pas just fielded Chinese candidates for the fun of it?
Coming back to the UEC, why so much opposition to the acceptance? Is it because we want to champion the Malay language or is it anti-Chinese stuff? To me, it is just anti-Chinese rhetoric as the A-levels, which is widely accepted in Malaysia now, is conducted in English and is based on a foreign curriculum. Then, of course the tahfiz schools, which use a lot of Arabic, are also accepted in mainstream education.
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So why A-levels ‘can’ but UEC ‘cannot’? Is it because a lot of VVIPs send their children to do A-levels or enrol them in international schools? Aren’t we being top-class hypocrites?
If the UEC should not be accepted because “it would affect the unity and harmony between the multiple races in the country”, as Pas puts it, we should also not accept A-levels and prohibit Malaysians from enrolling in international schools as well.
In any case, recognising the UEC would not suddenly result in public universities in Malaysia being filled with Chinese Malaysian UEC students, would it? The breakdown by ethnicity in public universities would probably remain the same as now – as there are only that many places available.
There is no issue with unity and harmony as we already have Chinese, Indians and Malays studying in their respective schools. If we are going to use the excuse of racial harmony and unity, then do we allow other streams in Malaysia such as English, Chinese, Arabic and Indian apart from Malay-medium education?
So to those making this an issue, please don’t pretend that you want interracial harmony when your actions are the biggest impediments to interracial unity. You can’t force unity on people; it must come naturally and voluntarily. But then, what would Pas know about voluntarily, eh?
Sharp Observer is the pseudonym of a regular reader of Aliran and contributor to our Thinking Allowed section.