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Gerakan to 'racist' Maszlee: Most firms don't have Mandarin requirement

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Gerakan has accused Education Minister Maszlee Malik of being a racist by insinuating that the bumiputera community were denied jobs due to Mandarin requirements.

In a statement today, Gerakan president Dominic Lau said Maszlee's claim was misleading and gave rise to the perception that all Chinese businesses would only employ Mandarin-speakers.

Lau said that only a "fraction" of businesses did so and had legitimate reasons.

Pointing to a recent survey by the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM), Lau said 82 percent of survey respondents do not have Mandarin requirements when recruiting.

"The remaining 18 percent were due to corporate functional requirements," said Lau.

"This proves that Maszlee remarks were simply untenable and completely derived from his personal racist views."

In view of this, Lau advised Maszlee to apologise for his remarks.

Lau was referring to a report by Oriental Daily citing ACCCIM's survey of 368 members regarding their language requirements as recruitment policy.

The report said the top three requirements sought by respondents were trustworthiness, experience, and the willingness to improve.

Language requirements, according to the survey, was ranked eighth in terms priority. The survey also indicated that most respondents employed a multiracial workforce.

The debate on Mandarin requirements for jobs was reignited after Maszlee used it as justification for imposing racial quotas for the Malaysian Matriculation programme.

"Matriculation is just a road to university, just like a diploma, STPM and so on. But the matriculation programme gives the chance for the poor to advance their studies at the pre-university level.

"If we want to change, if we say in 'Malaysia Baru' there is no need for a quota system and so on, then we must also make sure job opportunities are not denied to bumiputera just because they don't know Mandarin," said Maszlee.

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