Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak agreeing to be at the Chinese New Year open house of the United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) on Sunday is not worrying the pressure group that it will be seen as his tool to woo Chinese voters.
Dong Zong is inviting politicians from both sides to attend the event, besides Najib, hoping they will understand, and therefore solve the fundamental problems faced by Chinese schools, the NGO's president Yap Sin Tian ( left ) said today.
"We are not worried (to be seen as a tool for the prime minister to campaign for votes).
"Many Chinese societies, like the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, have organised Chinese New Year open house events as well, and political parties from both sides have also attended.
"Dong Zong's principles go beyond political parties, so we also invite all the parties (to attend)," Yap told a press conference.
He said at 4pm yesterday, Dong Zong received written confirmation from the Prime Minister's Department that Najib would attend the event at the NGO's headquarters in Kajang, Selangor, from 10am on Sunday.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim announced via Facebook today that he would attend the event at 11am, which is scheduled to be an hour after Najib's arrival.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and other Pakatan Rakyat leaders are expected to attend as well.
However, when approached later, Yap was unable to confirm the attendance of Anwar and the other Pakatan leaders as he had not received any notification from the opposition pact.
This is the first time in more than 50 years that the prime minister has agreed to attend Dong Zong's Chinese New Year event.
The more 'gifts' from Najib, the better
In the invitation letter sent to the prime minister, Dong Zong had stated its three major demands for the development of Chinese education in this country.
Among these are for the government to fully recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), to approve the building of more Chinese independent high schools and to review the Malaysian Education Blueprint.
As such, Yap said, he would not take the opportunity to hand over any memorandum to Najib during the event, adding that it would be impossible to "force" Najib to make any announcement.
"Our principle is not to force the special guest to give us anything, but our prime minister should know what the Chinese community wants.
"(But) if he brings any 'gifts', of course the more, the better," Yap added.