2019 New Year Message by Dong Zong Chairman Mr. Tan Tai Kim

     A new year is dawning. After the 509 General Election in 2018, Malaysia has ushered in a 'Brand New Malaysia'. With the New Year just around the corner, Malaysians are craving for a better year, with the new government getting rid of the old style of governance, making amends on mono-ethnic racism and leading the country to a prosperous growth.  


      With the new government installed, we have seen some breakthroughs in Chinese education. For the very first time, we see independent Chinese secondary schools receiving funds from the government. 12 million Ringgit will be allocated to 60+1 independent Chinese secondary schools. Even better, 3 private colleges, namely Southern University College, New Era University College and Han Chiang University College, are going to receive 2 million each as development fund. Though the allocation sum is not that huge, what is more important is the fact that we have finally seen the light at the end of the tunnel. What Dong Zong has been fighting for all these years—getting equitable treatment for Chinese education and institutionalised government funding for independent Chinese secondary schools—has finally come true.  


        In terms of Chinese education promotion, Dong Zong has been reforming continuously to meet new, evolving needs since its 'Independent Chinese Secondary Schools Proposal' in the 70's and the 'Independent Chinese Secondary Schools Reform Programmes' in 2005. Drawing on the strength of advanced reform concepts in education from all over the world, Dong Zong launched the 'Malaysia Independent Chinese Secondary Schools Education Blueprint' in 2018 to pave the way of development for independent Chinese secondary schools in the next decade. As such, we sincerely wish that the UEC would be recognised by the government in the near future.   


      In line with the current development of the Chinese education movement under the new government, Dong Zong fully recognises that the Chinese education movement needs to be intensified further. Besides defending our mother-tongue education, we want to re-consolidate the strength of the Chinese community to install a more forward-looking vision for Chinese education.


      As for our future development goals, Dong Zong will not only stand firm on mother-tongue education but also seek similarities across dissimilarities by paying more attention to cross-ethnic issues. In November 2018, together with Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Dong Zong held the ‘Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa’ forum and received an overwhelming response. In the said event, as witnessed by the Malaysian Education Minister Dr. Maszlee Malik, Dong Zong signed a memorandum with Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka to seal a pact on closer future ties in education, literature, publication, translation, research etc.  To this end, Dong Zong has specially set up an inter-linguistic committee to fully promote the relevant projects.


      Last but not least, Dong Zong is celebrating the coming Chinese New Year (as shown in its CNY greeting cards) with the theme of ‘Feng’, or abundance in English, a vivid portrayal of Malaysia’s abundant ethnicities, languages, cultures, religions and so on, and the spirit of a single, united nation with multiracial differences. Dong Zong vows to lead the Chinese community to greater progress with this principle and direction in mind.  Happy New Year to everyone! May the New Year find you in good health and great fortune!