PH presidential council should vet through language, religion, education policies

PH presidential council should vet through language, religion, education policies

PUCHONG: PSM chairman Dr D Michael Jeyakumar has called upon Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council to set up a high level committee to look through all new policies related to language, religion and education prior to allowing the concerned ministers announce it.

“PSM would like to advise the Presidential Council of the PH leaders to set up a high level committee to vet all new policies and initiatives touching on language, religion and education before permitting the Ministers concerned to announce these,” he said in a statement.

He also took the ruling coalition to task for playing up racial politicking both at the federal and state level that was practised by the previous BN regime.

“Come on PH! You should know our society in the 60 years of racial politicking has created suspicions and fears in all the ethnic groups that their legitimate interests – economic, cultural and religious – might be compromised.

“So why these unnecessary initiatives? What is going on PH?

“Some people speculate that this stirring of ethnic issues is being done on purpose to weaken certain coalition partners, and/or to distract attention from issues involving certain leaders.

“Pakatan too has come into power with the promise of enhancing our racial integration and equality, so why betray your constituents?”

He also mentioned two examples that demonstrated how PH were playing up the racial card – the introduction of khat for Year 4 students and the amendment bill that would allow unilateral conversion for children in Selangor.

“Barely two weeks ago Education Minister Maszlee Malik announced the implementation of Khat at Primary Four level in all schools. PSM agrees that there is a need for the different ethnic groups in Malaysia to learn about and appreciate each other’s cultures.

“That would help to build harmony among the different ethnic groups. But this sudden unilateral decision to introduce khat without prior consultation is having the opposite effect – of deepening the divisions between the ethnic groups.

Doesn’t Maszlee know that many non-Malay parents are anxious that there is a tendency to Islamize non-Malay children attending public schools? Taken against this backdrop, the khat proposal just heightens suspicions among some that the government is trying to “Islamize” society even further.

“Then as if to up the ante, the Selangor Government attempted to introduce a Bill allowing the conversion of children unilaterally by one of the parents.

“Though this problem has only affected about half a dozen couples in the past 10 years, it is an issue that has been widely publicized and is an emotive one.”

Earlier today, Klang MP Charles Santiago also called upon the PH presidential council for more action to prevent Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad from making unilateral decisions.