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Accusing Dong Zong as racist, Mahathir couldn’t see the forest for the trees

KOTA KINABALU: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu Chan Foong Hin said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed couldn’t see the forest for the trees when accusing Dong Zong as ‘racist’.

Chan who is also DAP Sabah Secretary, described the Prime Minister’s recent statements and decisions as being focused only on minute issues while forgetting on the larger principles that brought the Pakatan Harapan political coalition and government together.

Chan Foong Hin. SNT File Pix

“There is no need to label Dong Zong “racist”. Tun M, in his position as Prime Minister of the country and Chairman of Pakatan Harapan, should have been more cautious with what he says and decides.”

He said the word should not have been uttered at all as it was up to the police to decide whether to ban Dong Zong.

“Tun M should be a Prime Minister for all Malaysians,” said Chan here today.

According to him, established in 1954, Dong Zong, also known as United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia (UCSCAM), coordinates the curriculum used in Chinese Independent Secondary Schools throughout Peninsula Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak as well as organises the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) standardised test.

“From the very beginning, Dong Zong was established with the aim to strengthen and defend the teaching of the Chinese community’s mother language, and at the same time, to carry out communication with other organisations in this multi-cultural society,” said Chan.

Chan further said that it was not an easy feat for Pakatan Harapan to replace Barisan Nasional as government and with the ultimate goal of creating a more democratic and liberal country where the people are free to practice what they believe.

Hence, it was necessary to enact laws to ensure the public’s rights to hold peaceful demonstrations and to allow more freedom of expression.

Chan then noted that Dong Zong was not alone in the objection to the inclusion of jawi in the education syllabus.

Among them were Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz as well as Tun Daim Zainuddin who noted that the Education Ministry had its priorities misplaced.

“Does this mean that Rafidah and Daim are also racists? I don’t think so,” Chan said.

Chan further stated that Sabah DAP has full confidence in the party’s six ministers in the federal cabinet in their efforts to bring in the concerns of the Chinese community regarding the issue up to the cabinet with the view to resolve them.

“I sincerely hope that other ministers in the federal cabinet can try to understand the concerns of the Chinese and Indian communities regarding the teaching of jawi in Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools.

“At the same time, with regards to the Zakir Naik and Lynas issues, the cabinet should uphold the Pakatan Harapan spirit of political democracy and to respect the views of the public and strive to fulfil its electoral promises,” said Chan.

Chan called upon all Malaysians to be rational in their conversations and to cool down the political temperature in order to safeguard national unity and integrity.

“There were just too many political gimmicks and too little focus on actual economic developments.

“Pakatan Harapan ought to move back towards the right track and put the rakyat’s bread and butter issues at first priority instead,” he said.-SabahNewsToday