Sarawak Dong Zong Slams Authorities for Dropping Chinese Characters on Chinese Primary School Billboards in Pahang | Malaysia
KUCHING, November 28 – The United Association of Management Boards of Chinese Schools of Sarawak (Sha Dong Zong) has condemned the authorities for not posting Chinese characters on the signs of two Chinese primary schools in Pahang.
In a statement released today, Sha Dong Zong said the signs only display the respective names of schools in Bahasa Malaysia and Jawi.
“There are no Chinese characters on school billboards, which is of great concern to us. We regard this as an indignant gesture by the authorities and we oppose it.
“We demand that the education ministry and the state education department in Pahang take immediate action to rectify the school billboards,” Sha Dong Zong said.
According to Sha Dong Zong, a sign signifies identity with regard to Chinese traditions.
He explained that a Chinese school sign without Chinese characters indicates a loss of identity.
“Our rights to learn and use the mother tongue are enshrined in the Federal Constitution. And this incident of missing Chinese characters on Chinese school billboards has once again shown the authorities to violate basic Chinese education rights, creating dissent and mistrust between different races.
Sha Dong Zong reminded authorities that Chinese primary schools are managed by their respective school boards, as stipulated in the 1996 Education Law.
He pointed out that the various school boards own their respective Chinese primary schools.
“Any acts, policies or plans that should change the nature of Chinese primary schools or harm the interests of these schools will be condemned by their school boards,” Sha Dong Zong said.
In light of this, Sha Dong Zong urged the Sarawak State Department of Education to be more sensitive in implementing state policies to respect the rights of all schools, in order to ‘prevent similar incidents from occurring in Sarawak.
He also called on the country’s Chinese leaders to play their part in defending the rights of the community to Chinese education.
“Our Chinese leaders must pay due attention to the news and development of the country, always be on the alert to keep extremism and bigotry at bay in order to protect Chinese primary schools,” added Sha Dong Zong. – Borneo Post