KUALA LUMPUR - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) has taken the country's education policy makers to task over the current system, which has led the rich to enrol their children in expensive international and private schools to receive English education.
This leaves the poor Malaysians, especially the poor Malays, to study in the national schools, the former prime minister said in his latest blog posting in chedet.cc.
"The rich now speak in English and the poor in Malay, Chinese or Tamil. Jobs favour the English speakers," he said.
"Strangely, the language nationalists have not protested as they protest the use of English for Science and Mathematics."
While saying all his children went to national schools, he admitted his grandchildren all go to private schools in the country and abroad.
Tracing the education system since the country became independent in 1957, he said the idea was clear that every child would go to national schools, where the teaching would be based on the national language.
"They would know and be close to each other, get used to their different cultures and be distinctly Malaysian," he added.
Dr Mahathir said for a time English-medium schools were allowed and when it was decided that all schools must be converted to national schools, the Chinese community raised a big row, leading to the decision to allow vernacular schools.
"With this, the children of different races lost all opportunities to grow up together," Dr Mahathir said.
Responding to Dr Mahathir's blog post, DAP parliamentary leader and Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang called for all Cabinet ministers to reveal where their children are schooled.
"Let all the 33 Cabinet ministers reveal whether their children and grandchildren had been educated under the national education system or whether they are products of private and international schools," Lim said in a statement here yesterday.
He stated that there is less confidence in the national education system and policy nowadays than in the past, adding that the issue should be the focus of the upcoming Umno general assembly.