Saturday, November 27, 2021

Deputy Education Minister Mah intervenes after Chinese characters dropped from SJK(C) signboards

Mah intervenes after Chinese names dropped from SJK(C) signboards

Deputy Education Minister Mah Hang Soon has intervened after several publicly funded Chinese-language primary schools in Pekan, Pahang received new school name signboards devoid of Chinese characters.

Sinchew Daily recently reported the Pahang education department supplied such signboards to two schools - SJK(C) Yoke Hwa and SJK(C) Kee Wha - in early November.

The signboards bore the SJK(C) schools’ names in Bahasa Malaysia and the Jawi script, but not in Chinese characters.

Five SJK(C) schools in Kuantan were supposedly next in line to be given such boards.

The five are reportedly SJK(C) Puay Chai, SJK(C) Kong Min, SJK(C) Semambu, SJK(C) Chung Ching 2 and SJK(C) Yoke Shian.

The issue had ignited a sore point among educationist groups and political parties, with DAP leaders criticising the move as an affront to multi-culturalism.

In response, Mah (above) has since instructed the state education department to construct new signboards bearing Chinese and Tamil characters while existing school name signboards will not need to be taken down.

Mah explains policy

Speaking to the Chinese-language daily, Mah explained that the matter stemmed from a Pahang government policy where government agency signboards had to bear the Jawi script.

Subsequently, the state education department began supplying all public schools with compliant signboards.

The same contractor reportedly manufactured “uniform” signboards for all SK, SJK(T) and SJK(C) schools.

Mah, who is also MCA deputy president, said he had instructed that Chinese and Tamil characters be included on these signboards for the respective schools.

“The director agreed (with my proposal) and also agreed to allow the contractor to manufacture new signboards with Chinese and Tamil names for Chinese and Tamil schools.

“The education department will install them after the new signboards are completed,” he was quoted as saying.

Mah said the department had taken “immediate action” on the matter, adding that existing school name signboards can remain.

Posting about the issue on his Facebook page, the deputy minister reiterated that he had “immediately” contacted the relevant parties to resolve the issue.

Before Mah intervened, the Chinese School Committees' Association of Pahang (Dong Lian Hui) had urged the state education department to add the Chinese characters of the schools’ names onto these signboards.

“We don’t think this is a sensitive education issue.

“As the Dong Lian Hui, of course we hope the education department pays attention to this.

“What is wrong with adding Chinese school names to the signboards of Chinese primary schools?” Pahang Dong Lian Hui chairperson Lim Chin Chee had told Sinchew.

State Dong Lian Hui chapters make up the Dong Zong.

DAP wants answers, stern action

Following the resolution, two DAP leaders have criticised Putrajaya over this episode.

Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming implored Mah to take stern action against the Pahang education department for the error.

He also sought an answer from Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is the MP for Pahang constituency Bera.

The Perak DAP chief urged Putrajaya to respect the cultural identity of SJK(C) schools and said the signboard issue ran contrary to the federal government’s “Keluarga Malaysia” slogan.

DAP central committee member Wong Kah Woh similarly characterised this as a sign of “disrespect” towards the Malaysian Chinese community.

In a statement today, the Ipoh Timur MP compared the issue with recent controversies like the Kedah government’s move to ban gaming by no longer renewing licences for lottery shops.

“Being multi-ethnic and multi-religious is an asset to Malaysia.

“If the country intends to progress, maintaining harmony between ethnic and religious groups is the cornerstone.

“However, the government of the day has chosen to destroy this cornerstone of nation-building by turning the country from a diverse society to a homogenous one,” Wong said.

He blasted MCA over the issue, accusing the Chinese-based party of failing to defend the rights and interests of SJK(C) schools.

Wong further compared the Kedah gaming ban and this Pahang name signboard issue to the “diversity” experienced in Pakatan Harapan-governed Selangor, Penang and Negeri Sembilan.


  1. This is what you will increasingly get from Barisan Nasional Government , notwithstanding useless Wayang from mfer MCA.

    Satu lagi Projek Barisan Nasional

  2. It OK for BN.
    Observations indicate many Chinese, especially in traditional BN supportive areas outside Penang and Klang Valley, are returning to supporting BN , just as with Malacca and Johore.

  3. Ketuanan freaks' lowlife mentality on overdrive!

    Nothing change.

    Especially when these mfers r starting to think their good time is coming again with umno's Malacca state election overall win.

  4. I don't understand why people bother with the Keluarga Malaysia slogan.

    This, for those who live in fantasyland, is just a slogan to lull the rakyat into thinking Ismail Sabri is not a racist. Budget 2022 is the epitome of what racial inequality is all about and this from the kerajaan allah with the hypocritical keluarga Malaysia slogan.

    LKS must be very happy that Jawi has replaced Chinese in the sign board for Chinese schools. Bravo!!!!

    Good thing a compromise solution is being implemented.

  5. they knew it was going to elicit objections and protests but they did it anyway and hope that no one was watching and get away with it, slimy creatures, luckily Mr mah wasn't sleeping on the job albeit he had to be shaken from his stupor, what a horse