Press Statement 
by DAP MP for Kota Melaka, Kerk Kim Hock 
in Petaling Jaya 
on Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Multi-stream school system: The Education Minister 's conclusion that multi-stream school system is the cause of students' disunity is wrong and unacceptable 

In today's Utusan Malaysia, the Education Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad was reported as saying that multi-stream education system was the cause for students' disunity in the country. 

He made the comments in response to a suggestion by Awang Sulung who has written in his Bisik bisik Mingguan column -that in addition to the national schools, Chinese and Tamil type national schools, the government should introduce English schools.

I am disappointed that as the Minister of Education in a multi racial, multi religious and multi cultural country, Tan Sri Musa has failed to understand or accept the fact that the multi stream education system is not a cause of disunity among our students.

Language is not and cannot be a tool of disunity, but unfair government policy can be a cause of national disunity and racial disharmony. If single stream school system could forge national unity, then UMNO would not have shouted the Malay unity slogan last year as majority of Malays go to the national schools. 

In fact, not only the existence of multi stream school system has not affected the students' unity, national common syllabus used has also produced students with great Malaysian consciousness and citizens who love their one and only country -Malaysia.

A survey at any national type school will easily prove that all students in these schools regard and know Malaysia as their motherland. Malaysia will be the land where they are born, bred and finally die. To them, not only Malaysia is their only country and home, there exists no ill feeling towards any other race simply because they are in the environment where students are made up of one race.

The worry that the national type schools will produce " little China" or " little India" is therefore groundless and unnecessary.

While there is no doubt that there should be programmes like the 1986 Students' Integration for Unity programme, which was approved by the Ministry of Education and supported by Dong Jiao Zhong, to encourage interaction among the students of all schools, the government must also realize that it is government policies which will have great impact on national unity and disunity.

Tan Sri Musa must therefore discard his wrong and unacceptable conclusion about the multi-stream school. He must accept the fact that Malaysia is a multi racial nation where respect for and acceptance of pluralism should be the guiding objective of government's education policies.