14 August 2019
Press statement by MCA National Youth Chairperson Nicole Wong Siaw Ting
Dong Zong’s effort to defend Chinese education labelled ‘racist’, in part due to DAP
Chinese educationist group Dong Zong’s noble effort of defending the Chinese education system by rejecting khat calligraphy, has been shot down by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir with labels of racism. In this exchange, the role of DAP cannot be discounted, especially Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching, who has made ambiguous and vague statements following the meetings with Dong Zong and stakeholders, leading to Dong Zong being misconstrued as the racist scapegoat.
In the many discussion sessions held between Dong Zong and the Ministry of Education, Dong Zong has always clearly given their stand, ie: the rejection of khat is unrelated to any racial motives, but due to it being unsuitable to be forcefully implemented as a part of the Bahasa Melayu syllabus in primary vernacular schools. Yet, why is the narrative reaching Tun Dr. Mahathir ‘racist’? Hence, the issue must have stemmed from the middle-man.
Furthermore, more than 2 weeks have passed since the controversy started, yet DAP Cabinet ministers have not been able to voice out the frustration of the masses, causing the Cabinet to get the impression that the majority of the masses have accepted khat, with Dong Zong as the vocal minority, ultimately giving Tun Dr Mahathir a biased view of Dong Zong.
Alternatively, if Deputy Education Minister and other DAP ministers have chosen to band together instead in protest against khat, bringing the people’s voice into the field of discussion in a clear and concise manner, emphasising the need to uphold the Chinese education integrity, it would have definitely been effective with the issue being brought to a mutual understanding.
Dong Zong has stood for the Chinese education since Merdeka, fighting alongside other Chinese educationists for over 60 years; DAP also once banded with Dong Zong in the past as the opposition, yet as the government of the day they switched sides to Tun Dr. Mahathir’s.
In the last general election, 95% of Chinese voters casted their ballots to DAP, thus it is only fitting for DAP to fulfil the mandate entrusted to them, and speak out for the Chinese community in the Cabinet.
Regardless, no matter what happens, MCA Youth and MCA’s stand is the same, that is unwavering support for Dong Zong, and to be an unyielding bulwark for Chinese education.
Nicole Wong Siaw Ting
MCA National Youth Chairperson