The Education Ministry is against the use of English as the medium of instruction in national schools.
This is because it violates Article 152(1) of the Federal Constitution and the National Language Act 1963/67, the ministry said, and contravenes the letter and spirit of the Education Act 1996.
“Therefore, to preserve and honour the supremacy of the constitution and the law, the ministry does not suggest that English be used as the medium of instruction in schools, including schools in Sarawak.
“Raising the standards of English among students can be done from time to time through other methods that are in line with the law and present education policies,” the ministry said in a written parliamentary reply.
This was in response to Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri, who had asked for the ministry’s stance on Sarawak schools using English as the medium of instruction.
Article 152(1) of the Federal Constitution stipulates that Bahasa Malaysia is the national language.
Section 17 of the National Education Act 1996, meanwhile, states Bahasa Malaysia must be the main medium of instruction in schools except in national-type schools, where the national language must be taught as a compulsory subject.