Malaysian cabinet reverses decision to standardise Malay-language textbooks

PETALING JAYA - The Bahasa Malaysia textbooks for national and vernacular schools will not be standardised after all.

This was decided on Friday by the Cabinet, reversing an earlier decision to standardise the Bahasa Malaysia textbooks.

The textbooks sent out to vernacular schools will now be recalled, with new ones to be reprinted and sent to them by next month.

"We will reprint new books and send them to SJKCs and SJKTs according to the new Cabinet decision that has been made," Deputy Education Minister P.Kamalanathan told the Star Online on Friday.

It was reported that the Education Ministry had caught Chinese primary schools by surprise when Year Six Bahasa Malaysia textbooks meant for national schools were supplied to them.

National schools and vernacular schools have different syllabus and examinations.

The Cabinet decision was made after MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and his deputy Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong brought up the issue at Cabinet meeting on Friday.

"The president and I tried to persuade the Cabinet that Chinese vernacular schools and national schools had different syllabus and examinations just to convince them that both type of schools needed different textbooks."

"It was approved during the meeting," he said, thanking the Cabinet along with Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

Kamalanathan said the ministry was in the midst of printing the books "right now" and will get it done as soon as possible.

He revealed that they still had some of the vernacular school textbooks in stock but it was not enough to send to all the schools.

"We are getting it done (printing) as soon as possible. We want the books to be sent out at least by the second week of January (next year)," he said.