PAS delegate moots Arabic to replace Mandarin in vernacular schools

PAS delegate Salamiah Md Noor delivers her speech during 65th Muktamar in Kuantan June 22, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
PAS delegate Salamiah Md Noor delivers her speech during 65th Muktamar in Kuantan June 22, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUANTAN, June 22 ― A PAS delegate today reiterated calls for the abolition of Mandarin-medium schools in Malaysia, but this time proposing Arabic as the language of instruction.

Salamiah Md Nor, vice-chief of the Islamist party’s women’s wing, said she doesn’t want to see Mandarin taking position as the country’s second language.

“The Dewan Muslimat hopes for one thing, we are unwilling to see Mandarin becoming the second language,” she said, using the Malay term for her wing.

“Instead we want the second language that is used in the Quran and the Sunnah, a language which has been overlooked by the current generation, causing some Muslims to be ignorant about the Quran,” she said during debates on PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang's policy speech at the party’s 65th annual congress here.

She called on Education Minister Maszlee Malik to act, claiming that many were uncomfortable with the current vernacular schools system though she did not offer further information to substantiate her assertion.

“We ask and hope that the education minister will take action and put an end to vernacular education,” she said.

In Malaysia, Mandarin and Tamil are used as the medium of instruction in national type schools only at the primary level.

From secondary onwards, public school students are taught in Bahasa Malaysia, the national language, regardless of the type.

Those who opt to continue their secondary and tertiary studies in Mandarin enrol in private schools.

Salamiah also criticised the current education curriculum, saying it needs more Islamic references and modules.

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