DAP to intervene lawsuit against constitutionality of vernacular schools

PRESS STATEMENT BY LIM GUAN ENG, Dec 17 – DAP expresses grave concern at the court action taken by pro-opposition groups, Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung and Majlis Pembangunan Pendidikan Islam Malaysia, claiming that the existence of vernacular schools is not legal because it is against the Federal Constitution.

For the last 62 years since Merdeka in 1957, the existence of Chinese and Tamil schools have never been questioned and have received public funding.

For the first time in history, a legal suit has been filed naming the Education Ministry and Government of Malaysia as defendants, seeking a declaration that the existence of Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools contravenes Article 152(1) of the Federal Constitution.

DAP views this as a dangerous development that can not only threaten the existence of Tamil and Chinese schools, but also jeopardise the national unity and harmony of our multi-racial society.

DAP will defend vigorously the constitutional right of Chinese and Tamil schools to exist, by bringing up in the final Cabinet meeting tomorrow that the Government must instruct the Attorney-General to mount a muscular opposition to this legal suit.

At the same time, DAP will also seek to intervene legally in the suit on behalf of vernacular schools and has instructed the Chairman of DAP Legal Bureau and MP for Bukit Glugor Ramkarpal to provide legal representation.