KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 – Umno delegates are advised to be rational when raising issues during the party’s 2014 General Assembly to avoid disrupting the nation’s racial harmony. Its vice-president, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, called on the delegates to avoid being “too emotional”, especially when discussing matters regarding vernacular schools in the assembly, which will run from Tuesday to Saturday.
Delegates, he said, should stay grounded when giving ideas on whether or not a proposal could be enforced in a manner that would not affect relationships between the different races in the country. “There is not one issue that can solve all our concerns but I am convinced that our speakers are mature enough to debate the issues rationally and realistically.
“We do not want to only have fun for the two, three days of the debate and end up unable to carry out our resolutions,” Hishammuddin told a press conference here. The Defence Minister stressed his wish for all races and education activists to understand that the most important goal the country needed to achieve was unity.
Children, he said, needed to be educated without being overwhelmed with religious and racial sentiment to the point that it disrupted the government’s goal for national unity. Batu Gajah Member of Parliament V Sivakumar had previously voiced out his objection towards the proposal to remove vernacular school system, claiming it was Umno’s way to rid the country’s Chinese and Indian’s identities.
Umno supreme council member Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin when approached by The Rakyat Post denied Sivakumar’s allegation, and requested for all party to give room for the speakers to debate. “They (speakers) themselves do not know the motions that will be presented, especially matters that are related to vernacular schools.”
The Sabah lawmaker explained that the debates were not aimed at taking away any race’s identity, but were meant, in this case, to improve the existing education system. “If that is the case, then many races’ identities would have been eliminated a long time ago. Don’t take the opportunity to raise nonsensical issues. Umno is a party that is fair to all races.” The Deputy Works Minister also requested for all BN’s component parties to respect Umno, the way the party respected the others during their general assembly.