Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad advised Chinese education group Dong Jiao Zong that there could be repercussions to its Chinese Organisation Congress seeking to convince the government to cancel jawi lessons in vernacular schools.
Speaking to the press on the sidelines of the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 (KL Summit), Dr Mahathir said that the Malay community might respond by organising its own congress demanding Putrajaya to shut down Chinese vernacular schools.
“That will only result in Malays having their congress and talking about closing down Chinese schools and all that. You do that kind of thing you will get reaction.
“We are a multiracial country; it is important for us to be considerate about other people’s feelings,” said Dr Mahathir.
The congress is expected to take place on December 28 and intends to rally the support of Chinese NGOs to oppose the Education Ministry’s implementation of three pages’ worth of lessons on Jawi script in vernacular school textbooks.
Dr Mahathir said communal tension has led to conflicts in other countries.
He issued a stern reminder that there was freedom of speech in Malaysia, and that Malaysians must also be sensitive towards others communities.
“If you start making attacks against other races or going against the Constitution, the end result will be chaos, instability and everybody will be poor and we will see a lot of Malaysians migrating to other countries,” said Dr Mahathir.