Umno steers clear of vernacular school issue, say Nazri’s views ‘personal’

Mohamad said Nazri's remarks on vernacular schools are personal and do not represent the views and stand of Umno. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Mohamad said Nazri's remarks on vernacular schools are personal and do not represent the views and stand of Umno. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Umno respects and understands the need for vernacular schools in Malaysia and does not support those who would want it abolished, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said today.

The acting Umno president was responding to the public backlash over Umno leader and Barisan Nasional Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s recent remarks on vernacular schools, where he was accused of calling for them to be abolished.

“His views are personal and do not represent the views and stand of Umno.

“Umno, as a party respects and understands the need of vernacular schools. Umno feels that these schools are needed in this country,” Mohamad said in a statement this evening.

Mohamad pointed out that Nazri has already clarified his original remarks, and had claimed that they had been taken out of context.

The former Negri Sembilan mentri besar also said that Umno and BN had always been consistent in pushing for the development of vernacular schools in the form of infrastructure, development and funding back when they were in power.

“I hope the issue is not politicised irresponsibly by many parties especially in a manner which is not reflective of Umno and BN’s true position,” Mohamad added.

Nazri has said he was merely pushing for rights of all communities in Malaysia to be protected, when he told non-Malays to not question Malay privileges as the former group also enjoys special privileges such as vernacular schools.

Police are investigating Nazri for alleged offences under the Sedition Act, over the speech he made while on the campaign trail for the Semenyih by-election.

Besides vernacular schools, Nazri claimed the appointment of non-Muslims as the attorney general (AG), chief justice and finance minister was causing fear among the Malay community.