The demonstration in Petaling Jaya by Chinese education group Dong Zong against the National Education Blueprint (NEB) today drew some 10,000 people.

dong zong rally against educational blueprint 251112 crowd 12The group, backed by some 700 NGOs, is protesting against the blueprint over claims that it was unfair to vernacular schools.

Like previous four rallies organised by Dong Zong, the event attracted mostly middle-aged people and to a lesser extent youths.

Many youth participants were clad in green and yellow T-shirts. Many told Malaysiakini that they will join Himpunan Hijau's marchlater this afternoon.

dong zong rally against educational blueprint 251112 playcard 07Dozens of banners are strung around Dataran PJ, the venue of the event, are targeting MCA and Education Minister Wee Ka Siong for neglecting the community's needs.

During the two-hour rally, two resolutions were passed:

1. To oppose the NEB on grounds that it is ultimate objective is to implement a single stream education system and do away with vernacular education. 

2. To urge the federal government to revamp the NEB in line with world education development trends, with respect to the national language and protection of language and culture of minority groups.

'Chinese schools contributed too'

Dong Zong president Yap Sin Tian's address stressed that the rally should not be deemed an anti-government rally, because the group was exercising their right to voice up against the government's mono-lingual education policy.

dong zong rally against educational blueprint 251112 yap sin tianHe said each ethnic group has a right to learn and use mother tongue in accordance with the Federal Constitution, but the government is seeking to abolish vernacular schools.

He said that NEB marginalises Chinese independent schools while increasing the teaching hours of Bahasa Malaysia 390 minutes a week in vernacular schools, which will cause them to lose their identity. 

Although the NEB's aim is to improve education quality, it is infringing the rights to vernacular education systems. 
"The blueprint has not distribute the education resource fairly and ignored its contributions to nation building," he said.
MCA man feels ashamed
Among the 20 speakers who took the stage, the biggest surprise was the appearance of Kota Kecil MCA branch chairperson Tai Foo Hin.

"I am from Kota Kecil MCA branch, please do not throw eggs (at us)... When I saw the placard with anti-MCA messages, I could not hold my head up," he said, prompting laughter from the crowd.
dong zong rally against educational blueprint 251112 playcard 04Tai, who is based in Johor, urged the community to stand up against the NEB and voice up for equal rights to mother tongue education.
He said that if the MCA leadership refuses to change, the people will need to change.
Tai later told the media that if the government would not revise the blueprint, he and his supporters might quit the party and joined other party.

He claimed that he and his supporters came chartered three busses and that 80 percent of them were MCA members.