SERDANG: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today English-medium government schools were unlikely to be set up in the country, unless there was an amendment to the Education Act and the National Education Policy.

Muhyiddin Yassin

He said that as the education minister, it was his duty to implement the Education Act and the National Education Policy.

“It is clear in the national education policy that the Malay Language is the medium of instruction. It is a different story in a private school,” he told reporters.

He was asked to comment on the requests by certain quarters that the government set up English-medium schools in the country.

On another matter, Muhyiddin said the mother tongue was the easiest to be taught to children, especially at the primary level.

He said this was agreed to at the meeting of the executive board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) in Paris which he attended several days ago.

“That is why the Chinese want a Chinese-language school, Indians want a Tamil-language school and this is also the case in Sabah and Sarawak, which have numerous languages,” he said.

Muhyiddin was replying to a question at a dialogue with students, in conjunction with his visit to Universiti Putra Malaysia, here.

“The decision had been made, not because we don’t like the English Language but because we have to be realistic.

“This is due to the fact that there are rural students who do not know the English Language at all, which makes it difficult for them to answer questions in examinations, as they are more skilled in Bahasa Melayu, their mother tongue,” he said.