Vernacular schools? Shortage of Mandarin trained teachers?
Tell me, which UMNO Education Minister would ever support it? Even the proposal to teach maths and science in English was viewed with suspicion as an UMNO attempt to screw up the high teaching standard of those subjects (in Mandarin) at vernacular schools.
If you recall that humongous issue that lead to Ops Lalang in 1987, namely, the Education Ministry's deliberate appointments of some 100 non-Mandarin trained senior assistants and principals to vernacular Chinese schools, it was yet again an attempt to undermine vernacular educational standards.
It was such a provocative issue that, just for once, led politicians from differing political denominations such as MCA, DAP and Gerakan to join up with Dong Jiao Zong to protest against what they saw as a sinister attempt by the UMNO EDucation Minister to dilute the standards of the vernacular schools.
Most of the leaders of the protest were eventually rounded up during Ops Lalang and incarcerated under the ISA. MCA Youth Chief, Lee Kim Sai, was provided early advice to ‘take a holiday’ in Australia so he escaped the dragnet while Najib who wanted to wash his keris with Chinese blood got away scot free.
And who was the UMNO Education Minister we can thank for all the above?
Man man lai, and I’ll tell you his Most Glorious name, He who made doa compulsory in schools even for non-Muslim students.
But most of all, other than that once in 1987, we can no longer rely on nor expect MCA or Gerakan to fight for vernacular education. Since 1987, they have lost firstly, their backbone, then their balls, and now, their dignity.
Indonesian and Thai Chinese used to send their children to Penang for Mandarin education (particularly at Han Chiang) because their governments don't support vernacular education. Don't be surprised that the day will come soon when Chinese Malaysian will have to send their children abroad for the same.