The court determines that vernacular schools are constitutionally protected!

Published by Afterschool.my on Dec 30, 2021, 10:49 am

Malaysia's vernacular schools complied with the country's Federal Constitution, the High Court said on 29th December 2021, rejecting a lawsuit demanding that the government cease Mandarin and Tamil teaching.

Justice Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali stated in his summary ruling this morning that the Federal Constitution specifically protects instruction in mother tongues other than Bahasa Malaysia.

He went on to say that the plaintiffs had failed to prove how vernacular instruction had impacted their constitutional rights.

The lawsuit was filed by the Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung (GPMS), the Islam Education Development Council (Mappim), and the Confederation of Malaysian Writers Association (Gapena) to force the government to ban vernacular schools.

They wanted the court to rule that such schools were unconstitutional, claiming that their existence violated Article 152(1) of the Federal Constitution, which declares Malay to be the country's official language.

Sections 2, 17, and 28 of the Education Act 1966, which allows Mandarin and Tamil schools to provide instruction in these languages, were also argued to be unconstitutional by the organizations.

They also sought the courts to rule that vernacular schools are in violation of the Constitution's Articles 5 (right to a dignified life), 8 (equality), 10 (freedom of expression, assembly, and association), 11 (freedom of religion), and 12 (rights in regard of education).

The action names 13 defendants, including the political parties MCA, MIC, Gerakan, the Ministry of Education, and the Minister of Education.

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