Right to learn mother tongue enshrined in Education Act

Kho Teck Wan

KUCHING, Aug 06: Datuk Liew Vui Keong’s remark that “one should be thankful to the government for the opportunity to learn Chinese” has drawn flak from SUPP Women’s chief Kho Teck Wan.

She said the de facto law minister should know well that the right to learn the mother tongue is clearly stated in the Education Act 1996.

“Based on the Act, Chinese or Tamil shall be made available if the parents of at least 15 pupils in the school requested that the language be taught in school.

“The same condition also applies to the indigenous languages,” she said in a statement.

Kho was responding to Liew’s remark as reported in a local news daily yesterday, where he had said that “one should not overreact to the introduction of Jawi Calligraphy lesson for Primary 4 students”.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department also said that “one should be thankful to the government for the opportunity to learn Chinese”.

“The right to learn the mother tongue was the result of the perseverance of our ancestors, who had fought persistently for the existence of our languages, cultural and heritages.

“The Minister of Law should not talk as if the right to learn mother tongue is a charity granted by the Pakatan Harapan government,” she reminded. — DayakDaily