2017 New Year Message by Dong Zong Chairman Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau Lee Ming

While ushering in the New Year, on behalf of Dong Zong, I would like to give my sincere thanks to those who have rendered their support to Dong Zong in 2016. 


Respect for Multilingualism, Multi-ethnic Culture & Its Continuity


As a multi-ethnic and multilingual nation, Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage must be protected by all individuals, communities and the government. I would like to urge the government and Malaysians to cherish the diversity we enjoy.  Such diversity must be preserved and supported with great perseverance. Unitary thinking, language and cultural policy will only lead to endless resistance and disaster. It is common practice for political parties made up of a single race or religion to embrace extremism, express provocative extreme remarks as well as exert intimidation and suppression. We as Malaysians must oppose such practice to avert undesirable consequences.      


As a multilingual and multi-ethnic nation, Malaysia must create appropriate measures to develop our multi-ethnic cultures so that our citizens can practice different religions and our individual cultural traits whoever we are. I hope the government would treasure the different languages, customs and traditions of different ethnic groups instead of adopting inappropriate measures teeming with suppression, contempt and discrimination. The use of unitary thinking and education to sow mistrust among different ethnic communities is simply unthinkable.


Multi-stream Education Can Elevate Malaysia’s Competitiveness


We can see that globalization is a real test for our increasingly multi-ethnic population. The rise of China has uplifted the position of the Chinese language in the international arena. It is easy to see that Chinese education in Malaysia, which nurtures multilingual talents, is in line with this global trend and would stand Malaysians in good stead.  


Under the Economic Transformation Plan, the federal government has raised the national per capita income from USD7,000 to USD15,000 in 2020, and aimed to create 3 million jobs. However, to realize these two targets, favourable human resources policies must be set in place so that the younger generation can obtain good education and professional skills. In this respect, a multi-stream education system can nurture multilingual talents to uplift Malaysia’s competitiveness.


To make Malaysia more competitive, the Ministry of Education and the federal government should do away with unitary education paradigm, encourage more open policies and treat multi-stream education as a significant capital in cultural heritage as well as social development. They should build more multi-stream schools so that students can have the chance to study their mother tongues.


Malaysia’s prosperity undoubtedly derives from her multi-ethnicity.  It is a unique competitive advantage for Malaysians. The challenge is to provide equitable opportunities in multi-stream education and human resources development. I would like to urge the government to recognize the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), systematize fund allocation and build more Chinese independent secondary schools with the objective of cultivating more trilingual talents to serve the country. To this end, national leaders must adopt a global perspective in order to set the necessary policies to achieve this goal.  


We must look to the future in retrospect for the benefit of the next generation. It is high time national leaders and party leaders cast aside unitary paradigm and racial thinking. It is high time for diversified thinking too.


Last but not least, on behalf of Dong Zong, I would like to wish everybody a very happy New Year. May Malaysia continue to prosper in peace and harmony!