PETALING JAYA: The labeling of Prime Minister by Chinese education group Dong Zong as "racist" is "uninvited" and "most regrettable," says Bukit Gelugor MP Rakarpal Singh.
He said Dr Mahathir Mohammad's remark would only make the situation worse.
The PM's statement came after Dong Zong's protests over the introduction of khat into the Bahasa Melayu curriculum of fourth-year students in schools.
"Instead of worrying Dong Zong about the hut issue, calling him a racist will only take him away from the compromises or negotiations that all interested parties should have on the issue.
"Dong Zong's concerns about the Kat issue should not be removed, as these concerns are not unfounded and probably represent a large part of the Chinese community on the issue.
"Being dissatisfied with the issue on the ground is a fact and cannot be taken lightly," Ramparapal said in a statement on Monday (August 12th).
He added that any disagreement should be communicated in a rational manner and through appropriate dialogue sessions.
"If there are any valid grounds for disagreement with Dong Zong, they must be reasoned and his concerns should not be dismissed for racism."
Ramcarpal said that since the Hut issue has drawn a lot of criticism, it is only right that DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng should raise the issue again at the next cabinet meeting.
"We hope to reach a friendly and acceptable solution to the issue as soon as possible through appropriate dialogue and consultation," he said.
Earlier, Dr Mahathir stated that Dong Zong often protests against all government education policies, including the creation of entry-level Sekolah Wawasan (Vision Schools).
He had said that the reason for Dong Zong's objection was that they did not want their children to mix with the Malays.
DAP leaders have been criticized after the government announced plans to introduce khat into schools.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik has announced the teaching of khat in the Bahasa Melayu curriculum for a fourth year in Chinese and Tamil primary schools next year.
Dong Zong to organize a petition against home lessons in public schools
Perak Chinese school boards for collecting signatures to appeal against khat
Dr M labels Dong Zong as 'racist' on the khat issue
To read the full story and other premium content