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Tamil groups object to language-switch policy

Two Tamil education and social groups who handed over a memorandum at the Prime Minister's office are hopeful that the government will postpone implementing the language-switch in the teaching of Science and Mathematics, at least for Tamil schools.

Six representatives of Malaysian Tamil Education Research and Development Foundation (MTERDF) and Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC) gave the document to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's senior assistant Mohd Shafiq Abdullah in Putrajaya this morning.

MTERDF pro tem president M Manogar said the meeting convinced them that the prime minister was "not briefed adequately" on the opinions of the Indian Malaysian community before the policy was decided.

"Mr Shafiq asked we why we did not channel our views to MIC so that the party could raise the matter (within Barisan Nasional). We told him that we had (done so), but that those who claim to represent the community did not explain (to BN) our views about the policy.

"We were promised an appropriate response from the PM's office...we are hopeful that the PM will stop the implementation of the language switch after he understands our memorandum," said Manogar at a press conference held in the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur.

He said Shafiq also told them that all Malaysians, including all Malays and most of the non-Malays, had come to accept the language switch as something good for the country.