Decision on vernacular schools: Quiet atmosphere envelops Palace of Justice
PUTRAJAYA – As the Court of Appeal in Palace of Justice in Putrajaya is set to deliver its judgement about the vernacular school issue and the use of Chinese and Tamil at the schools, the atmosphere seems quiet.
Checks by Sinar at about 9am today revealed that no one had gathered at the courthouse to show support on the issue.
Only several police officers were seen scouring the court grounds to prevent any untoward incidents.
At approximately 9am, Chinese education group Dong Jia Zong president Tan Tai Kim arrived at the court compound, accompanied by several individuals presumed to be legal representatives.
The Court of Appeal will deliver the decision on the appeal filed by four non-governmental organisations (NGOs) including the Malaysian Islamic Education Council (Mappim).
Judge Datuk Supang Lian has set the date to deliver the verdict after carefully considering the arguments presented by lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla who represented Mappim and the National Association of Writers Association (Gapena).
During earlier proceedings, Senior Federal Counsel Liew Horng Bin, representing the Education Ministry and the government, argued that utilising other languages as the medium of instruction in vernacular primary schools did not violate the Federal Constitution.
This assertion was grounded in the fact that the national language was taught as a mandatory subject in the implicated schools.
In Dec 2019, the appellants sought a declaration that the existence of vernacular schools went against the constitution.
They had named the Malaysian Chinese Language Council, Chinese educationist groups Dong Zong and Jiao Zong, Persatuan Thamizhar Malaysia, Persatuan Tamilar Thurunal (Perak), Persatuan Gabungan Kebajikan Guru-Guru Bersara Sekolah Tamil, the Malaysian Chinese Language Council, Persatuan Malaysia Tamil Neri Kalagam, Gabungan Persatuan Bekas Pelajar Sekolah Tamil Malaysia, and SMJK Chong Hwa as the defendants.
Apart from the government, four political parties—the MIC, MCA, Gerakan, and Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia—have also joined in as defendants.