UPKO disagrees with MoE on English usage

KINABATANGAN (Bernama) – United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO) disagrees with the stand taken by the Ministry of Education (MoE) on the use of English as a medium of instruction in national schools, including in Sabah and Sarawak.

Its Acting President Datuk Madius Tangau said the ministry’s reply to effect (English cannot be used as a medium of instruction in national schools) in the Dewan Negara tomorrow contravened the contents of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

He said of the 20 points contained in MA63 were that English could be used as an official language in administration and the education system in the state.

“That is why we do not accept the stand of the ministry (on this matter). We urge the national leadership that when it comes to Sabah, the state’s position must be maintained as per MA63,” he said.

UPKO would be adopting a resolution on this at its Forum on MA63 in Kota Kinabalu today, he said, adding that it would then be forwarded to the federal government.

Madius, who is also Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, was speaking to reporters after opening the Tongod UPKO division’s triennial meeting yesterday.

Meanwhile, commenting on UPKO’s polls on September 13, Madius said the organisation practised democracy and that anyone was free to contest any post but cautioned that this should not lead to disunity.

“The top leadership (of UPKO) has received various resolutions regarding contests for the top posts, including president, deputy president and vice president.

“What is important is that we are open about it but we do not want a repeat of the past when there was disunity because of fighting for posts,” he said.