: The United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) holds the view that is better for the government to maintain the existing Bahasa Malaysia curriculum in all national-type schools (SJKs), instead of syllabus in national schools (SK) so as to facilitate students to master their mother tongue.
Its vice-chairman Chow Siew Hon said the national syllabus can be implemented in SKs because most of the students were Malay who are already familiar with the language and easily master it since it is their mother tounge.
"On the other hand, if this curriculum system is practiced at SJKs, it may burden students because at the same time they also have learn their native language.
"This also means that the time allocated to master their native language will be less because the focus will be on learning the national language rather than their mother tongue," he told Bernama.
Chow said the curriculum needed to be tailored based on the proficiency among the students and studies also should be conducted before implementation.
He said this when asked to comment on the statement by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Professor Dr Teo Kok Seong who asked Dong Zong to be open minded about the government's efforts to nurture unity and enhance the position of Bahasa Malaysia.
Chow stressed that Dong Zong never objected to the national language being taught at SJKs only that proficiency of the mother tounge language should not be adversely impacted.
"We do not stop Bahasa Malaysia learning among SJK students, we even had made it compulsory for all students in national-type Chinese schools (SJKCs) and Chinese private secondary schools nationwide to take and pass the subject as their requirement for graduation.
"Of course, as Malaysian citizens, we must skillfully master the national language but we must also not ignore the mother tongue as the language and culture that should be bequeathed to the next generation.
"Our country is unique because its consists of a multi-racial society and I believe all races are also defending their mother tounge and hope the languages can be spoken and well mastered.
On September last year, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said that the government intended to streamline the Bahasa Malaysia subject curriculum similar to the SK system for students in Chinese and Tamil schools began with cohort students in Standard Four in 2014.
The proposal resulted in protests from several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) including Dong Zong which claimed this was not suitable to be practiced in Chinese and Tamil schools.