Anwar: Inequality stands in the way of educational reforms, govt intervention needed

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said it was time Malaysia started comparing itself with the best countries, not the poorer ones. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said it was time Malaysia started comparing itself with the best countries, not the poorer ones. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said that Malaysia will struggle to achieve educational reforms as there is still a ‘big gulf’ between the rich and the poor.

The PKR president said: "The stark reality is that there is gross inequality in Malaysia due to gross injustice, marginalisation, and neglect that we create within our societies."

He said Malaysia should start comparing itself with the best instead of gloating about achievements based on comparison with poorer countries.

"We can't compare ourselves with poorer countries like Africa and gloat about it, I think we should compare ourselves with the best.

"Just take an hours drive outside of Kuala Lumpur and you can see the gulf in class," he said.

Anwar was speaking to 300 people at the International Institute Of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (ISTAC) regarding the need for educational reforms during the forum Contemporary Islamic Thought and Societal Reform.

He said Malaysia's education system needs to focus not only on academic excellence but also start teaching students to build their character with good ethics and morals.

Anwar said educational reform can only be achieved with government involvement.

He said he has brought up the matter in Cabinet and asked the speaker of the house to set up a caucus on reform and governance in Parliament.

"The way our education system is now, it tends to create two classes. The rich and the poor. That's why I feel reforms must have the government's involvement.

"To truly have reform in Malaysia we must start by acknowledging that we are on a low threshold and appreciate the need to master knowledge.

"I firmly believe that reform can be initiated with a clear and defined policy," he said.

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