Abolish vernacular, religious schools for national unity, says party leader

NewGen Party Malaysia’s founder, Gobi said in his tweets today that religious and vernacular schools must be replaced with a single-stream school system. — Picture by K.E. Ooi
NewGen Party Malaysia’s founder, Gobi said in his tweets today that religious and vernacular schools must be replaced with a single-stream school system. — Picture by K.E. Ooi

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — Malaysia should abolish vernacular and religious schools in order to mould national unity starting with the young, suggested S. Gobi Krishnan, the founder of NewGen Party Malaysia today.

Gobi, who is also the secretary-general of the fledgling party, said young Malaysians should go through a single-stream education system starting from pre-school through university.

His bold message, delivered in a series of tweets, is likely to rile supporters of Malaysia’s Islamic, Chinese and Tamil schools, undermining further his party’s already slim hopes of winning a key by-election next month.

“When we talk about national unity, the best way is to start young, start from pre-school. Right now we even have single-race pre-schools, and these kids will then go to single-race schools and university,” Gobi told The Malay Mail Online here.

“At the same time you must empower the national school, where all religions and all languages must be taught.”

Tweeting in Malay today, Gobi said that religious and vernacular schools must be replaced with a single-stream school system.

Earlier, Gobi had agreed with the suggestion of Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, the minister in charge of national unity, to remove the “race” field in official forms.

Gobi also said that university intakes must be fair to Malaysians from all ethnic background,  in addition to an ethnically-fair promotion system in the civil service.

“I agree that single-race and single-religion pre-schools, vernacular schools, religious schools and university which is only open to one race is a roadblock to racial integration,” he tweeted.

He also named Bumiputera-exclusive Universiti Teknologi Mara and MCA-linked Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman as examples of universities which are racially-biased.

NewGen is expected field its candidate in the crowded Kajang by-election, but Gobi said the party does not have a problem with the probability that the public might not accept its bold suggestions.

“With the young people, they’re ready for it. It’s just the older generation, they have a lot of historical baggage,” Gobi added.

The new party has short-listed three candidates for Kajang and are putting them through a stringent test this week.

NewGen’s final candidate is expected to be announced next weekend.

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