2020 New Year Speech by Chairman of Dong Zong Mr Tan Tai Kim

New Year Speech by Chairman of Dong Zong Mr Tan Tai Kim

January 1, 2020


At the very outset of the year 2020, I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year!


Last year was undoubtedly a challenging and insightful year for Dong Zong. While keeping abreast with Jiao Zong and the many Chinese communities, Dong Zong managed to respond and address diverse educational stalemates timely in the interest of Chinese education and advance with significant and meaningful plans and progress.


  1. Malaysia Independent Chinese Secondary Schools Education Reform Is on Its Gradual Track


Education reform and innovation, Malaysia inclusive, have been actively picking up momentum globally. For education reform, far-sightedness is central. Favourable terms created from both the perspective of policy and social dimension must be in place. Short-sighted intent such as seeking after short term result and success must be reconsidered. To follow up with the “MICSS Education Blueprint”, Dong Zong had accomplished the following goals in 2019: (1) Formed MICSS Education Reform Working Committee; (2) Completed the trial version of the Main Curriculum Standards for all subjects as a guide to compile learning materials, recommend pedagogical approaches and evaluation; (3) Formulated the guidelines for Malay, English and Chinese speaking tests as well as Science subject experiments which were proposed to be in pilot practice in 2021; (4) Studied IB and Civil education, reviewed the system of promotion and repetition for students, etc.; and (5) implemented teaching, discipline, counselling, co-curriculum, dormitory management as well as Physical Exercise teacher training workshops.


  1. In-depth Dialogues between Cross-cultural Groups


Chinese education in Malaysia is essentially a mother tongue campaign embedded with cross cultural and religious nature. On the first day after the May ninth regime change, UMNO and PAS joined hands resulting a recharge of the preservative force. They consequently resorted to grass-roots sentiment provocation, and hence unruly events took place profusely until this very day. The politics in this country looms with uncertainties currently. The entire society is shrouded by religious and racial issues (e.g. the incorporation of Jawi scripts learning in national-typed Chinese and Tamil primary schools; PPBM challenged the constitutional status of national-typed Chinese and Tamil primary schools) and they ensue public turmoil. As such, Dong Zong took the initiative to actively promote multicultural mindset further by organising cross-racial interactions to encourage cross-racial activities and exchanges through its newly established “Multi-ethnic and Multi-cultural Project”. It all began from school compounds in a bid to nurture students’ multicultural awareness and competence to rectify stereotyped impression and prejudice between the ethnic groups. Multiculturalism is a precious legacy of Malaysia since gaining her independence. We are convinced, safeguarding multiculturalism and housekeeping pluralistic values are the only way out for Malaysia. Further, through incessant exchanges, we believe trust can be regained and social harmony consolidated.


  1. “Ke Arah Baru: Pendidikan Bahasa Cina” As a Reinvention


From March 2019 onwards, Dong Zong, Jiao Zong and Merdeka University Berhad jointly introduced the campaign “Ke Arah Baru: Pendidikan Bahasa Cina”. A series of activities were subsequently introduced. The objectives of this campaign are to correspond with the existing situation and the advancement of technology to furnish narratives for Chinese education thus to create a platform for verbal exchanges on the development of production mechanism and interactions. It is intended to pool columnists and luminaries from all walks of lives to reflect together the best way out for Chinese education aiming to accumulate resources for Chinese education. Since then, in response to the campaign, the following activities had been organised: Multicultural Forum, MICSS Education Reform Briefings and Interactions, Jia-Geng Education Talk, International Education Conference and Feature Articles Publication on Newspapers. Through all these approaches of narratives and dialogues, it is hoped that a collection of proposals for the campaign will be formed, published and forwarded.



Good tools are prerequisite to the successful execution of a job. Another imminent goal of the campaign is to raise fund for a multi-purpose complex in the Kajang campus of Dong Zong, hoping to disseminate Chinese education and to use it as a venue for cultural exchange. Apart from this, the complex will also be used for teacher education, UEC papers centralised marking, performances of various sorts, etc. The World Presidents Red Wine Diplomacy Fund Raising Dinner was a heartening success. Dong Zong managed to raise RM14,200,000.00 on that event, which was close to half of the target sum (i.e. RM30,000,000.00) it proposed to raise.


In this new year, we will push forward more fund raising events, hopefully Chinese education supporters and stakeholders will assist us as usual to facilitate the construction of the mentioned multi-purpose complex.


  1. Harmonious Dialogues Is the Resolution to Conflicts


This current world is experiencing an unprecedented traumatic transition: challenges from terrorism, regional conflicts and the rise of populism, etc. But we firmly believe, ethnic groups of different cultures should live harmoniously and gregariously for the sheer goal of world peace and gearing for peace and dialogues are the inevitable approaches. The various ethnic groups in our country have their individual appeals, on top of extant differentiation. Prevailing egocentric persistence and narrow-minded demands will direct one into an irony tower where mother tongue or favourable language should be heard and no others. That in reality will give rise to sentiment manipulation. In light of this, we raise the idea of social dialogues, rational exchanges and hope all ethnic groups will advance together with the objective of prosperity consequently.


The ultimate purpose of dialogue is to stay open to contradictory views, address disputes and not to persist in subjective train of thought. Willful allegations to outstand oneself is likely to invite emotional outbursts from other communities. The sentimental narratives of politicians, in particular, may consolidate their ideology and proposition, but contribute nothing constructive towards social relationship which demands rational exchanges. We wish that all parties and stakeholders will instead vent their angsts rationally rather than emotionally. We are convinced, with openhearted treatment, similarities and differences can coexist, a harmonious society with views of diversity can be in existence shortly.


This year, Chinese Lunar New Year falls in January, we hereby present you with the Chinese character “peace” which carries the connotations of harmony and stability. Hopefully, all the ethnic groups in this country will enhance exchanges and interactions for a more peaceful and harmonious society like the blossoms of diverse flowers on the soil of our motherland observing what Lim Lian Geok posit, “coexistence and co-prosperity with views of diversity”.