KUALA LUMPUR – Young Malaysians are tired of a country divided by race and religion, said Youth and Sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
The Rembau MP based this on his many meetings with young people at his Transformasi 2050 engagement programmes.
“This is what the young people want, they don’t want to be divided anymore. They do appreciate their Malay, Indian, Chinese, Kadazandusun heritage but ultimately that is a heritage that they want to respect and preserve but it shouldn’t be their primary identity that divides them.
“They want to be known as just Malaysians. That’s the primary identity they want,” he told Malay Mail Online in an exclusive interview.
To achieve this, Khairy suggests starting at the root of things — the education system — which he believes can pave the way for a more united Malaysia.
“We need to get our kids to grow up together. It’s tough because we have different schools and nobody wants to shut down any type of school because that is politically suicidal,” he said.
Among the plans that might materialise as part of TN50 is a pilot project for a new type of national school where religious studies and learning other languages like Mandarin and Tamil are integrated in the syllabus, Khairy said.
“Imagine a new type of national school where BM is the language of instruction but some subjects are taught in English… you have the best Mandarin, Arabic and Tamil teachers, you have the best religious instruction and they have art, music and sports.
“If you have a school like that, Chinese kids would go there, Indian kids would go there and of course the Malay kids. That’s the school of the future. Maybe we can pilot a school like this.
“And see if you still get 90 per cent Malays (in public schools) or get a better mix. If you start getting a better mix, that is the model of the future,” he explained.
Khairy has been put in charge of the TN50 programme, a brainchild of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
This 30-year initiative for the country is currently collecting aspirations from all Malaysians on what they want for the nation.
– Malay Mail