Chinese Schools in Peninsular Malaysia: The Struggle for Survival
The history of modern Chinese schools in Peninsular Malaysia is a story of conflicts between Chinese domiciled there and different governments that happened or happen to rule the land. Before the days of the Pacific War, the British found the Chinese schools troublesome because of their pro-China political activities. They established measures to control them. When the Japanese ruled the Malay Peninsula, they closed down all the Chinese schools. After the Pacific War, for a decade, the British sought to convert the Chinese schools into English schools. The Chinese schools decoupled themselves from China and survived. A Malay-dominated government of independent Peninsular Malaysia allowed Chinese primary schools to continue, but finally changed many Chinese secondary schools into National Type Secondary Schools using Malay as the main medium of instruction. Those that remained independent, along with Chinese colleges, continued without government assistance. The Chinese community today continues to safeguard its educational institutions to ensure they survive. © 2011 Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. All rights reserved.