SHAH ALAM - Chinese are not pendatang as they are "sons of Malaysia" who have contributed to the nation's development and growth, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"You have done your part. You were born here and you grew up here, when you die your ashes will be scattered here," Najib said at Gerakan's delegates conference on Sunday.
On Chinese schools, Najib reiterated that they "are here to stay."
"We are the only Southeast Asian country besides China and Taiwan that has Chinese education, so as much as you can complain, you cannot deny the benefit," he said.
Najib added that regardless of the type of education, it was important for everyone to work towards national cohesion and unity.
"National harmony and unity are ideas we must aspire to achieve. There will be challenges and many feel that the ideal situation would be to educate everyone under one roof.
"But we need to learn to judge people based on their character and not the colour of their skin.
"We must look at one another as fellow human beings, because regardless of Malay, Chinese or Indian, there will always be good and bad individuals," he added.
He called on Malaysians to look at the retention of Chinese education in an objective manner.
"Though many feel that having separate schools is not ideal, it needs to be understood that it is not our social contract.
"Our contract allows different streams, and we should just live with it. There is no use in arguing as it was decided when we became independent. If you want to blame, blame Tunku Abdul Rahman or Tun Abdul Razak," he said.
He added that Malaysia and Barisan Nasional will continue to be moderate.