KANGAR: The Barisan Nasional government’s education policy over the past 60 years has brought immense benefit to the country and the people, including the opposition.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said everyone, regardless of their background, was able to benefit from the policy, which included free education in public schools.
He said many people in rural and urban areas have the opportunity to further their studies through various assistance, such as scholarships, which in turn helped improve their livelihood.
He said the free text book programme in public schools, the RM1.3 billion annual allocation for food in boarding schools and the Supplementary Food Programme had helped ease the burden of students from low-income families.
“Umno and Barisan Nasional have been championing its education policy since the country gained independence and today, we can see more Malaysians excelling in both their education and their careers, not only locally but also internationally.
“The government continuously improvises and transforms the education system to benefit all races, such as by enhancing the Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
“All the added values are part of the holistic approach to further boost the social and economic status of the people of all races,” he said in his opening speech at the Padang Besar Umno divisional delegates’ meeting here, today.
Mahdzir, who is also an Umno supreme council member, said although there are policies emphasising on the Bumiputeras, such as the requirement to passing the Bahasa Melayu subject, the government also took the interest of other races into consideration.
He cited the existence and increasing number of vernacular and religious schools as examples.
Mahdzir said the existing education system was in line with the federal constitution, which provided for special privileges for the Malays.
“DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang called for equality in the education system for all races, which is against the federal constitution.
“I am not a racist but I am abiding by the provision stipulated under the federal constitution, which states that the Malay language is the official language and Islam is the official religion. All these have been agreed upon by our forefathers since independence.”