The calls by certain parties to abolish the vernacular school system is a display of racism and religious extremism, and not motivated by their love for Bahasa Malaysia, DAP leader P. Ramasamy has alleged.

In a statement posted on his Facebook earlier today, the Penang deputy chief minister said that over the decades since their establishment, vernacular schools have become well integrated with the national education system.

"The importance given to Malay and English have meant that the usage of Mandarin and Tamil as the medium of instruction has been reduced.

"In fact, not all subjects are taught in these mother tongue languages," he wrote.

In fact, the syllabus amd contents of curriculim in vernacular schools are prepared and approved by the Education Ministry, he noted.

As such, he questioned the basis behind allegations made that subjects taught in vernacular schools have deviated from the national curriculum set by the government.

"These are nothing but racial allegations aimed at destabilising the vernacular schools, mainly coming from extreme political parties such as Bersatu or PAS.

"These allegations must be proven and not simply hurled. There is no basis whatsoever to talk about the the lack of Malay language proficiency amongst students in the vernacular schools. This is a wild allegation without being backed up with facts and figures," said Ramasamy.

He pointed out that there are students weak in Malay and the English language, in national schools as well.

"There are good and weak students in both the schools.

"It's wrong to single out the vernacular schools for the lack of language proficiency and not the national schools."

Recently, Bersatu Youth information chief Mohd Ashraf Mustaqim Badrul Munir called for the vernacular school system to be abolished, saying "Bangladeshis spoke better Malay" than students who came from the stream of education.

There is also a court case filed by three Malay organisations, namely the Federation of Peninsular Malay Students (GPMS), the Islamic Education Development Council (Mappim), and the Confederation of Malaysian Writers Association (Gapena) in December 2019, asking for vernacular education to be abolished.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court will decide on the matter on Dec 29.

Ramasamy alleged that the "racists and religious extremists" who are challenging vernacular education are trying to mislead the ordinary Malaysians.

"As far as I am concerned, no right thinking Malaysian would think of ever giving up something is an indispensable part of Malaysia.

"Malaysia cannot have its diversity and tolerance in the absence of the vernacular schools. In brief, they are here to stay for a very, very long time," he said.