"He should not have come if he was unhappy or sulking," a senior academician attending the event told Malaysia Chronicle.
"Even we visit a friend of another race, we often bring something, chocolates or fruits. So this is very rude manners. Najib as the PM for all Malaysians should have at least announced some funding for the schools but he now looks churlish and petulant."
Indeed, Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong was at a loss for words and when asked for comments, Wee could only shake his head and wave reporters away.
Najib had arrived at the Dong Zong headquarters in Kajang shortly before 10am and left after about 30 minutes. He was given a grand welcome and send-off, complete with red carpet and lion dance.
Howver the response from the crowd of mostly parents, teachers, academicians, and members of the education fraternity was distinctly lacklustre.
During his visit, Najib went onstage to toss yee-sang - a raw fish salad signifying good luck and success - with members of the Dong Zong board as well members of the Cabinet including MCA president Chua Soi Lek, Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon and MCA deputy chief Liow Tiong Lai.
Dong Zong is the United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia, and has traditionally acted as a pressure group to fight for greater rights for vernacular schools.
In his speech, Dong Zong president Yap Sin Tian had pointed to Section 3 of the Education Ordinance in the Federal Constitution which states that "the educational policy of the Federation (of Malaysia) is to establish a national system of education acceptable to the people as a whole which will satisfy their needs and promote their culturla, social, economic and political development as a nation, with the intention of making the Malay language the national language of the country whilst preserving and sustaining the growth of the language and culture of peoples other than Malays living in the country."
"We hope Prime Minister Najib Razak will bring good news to the Chinese community. We accept the principles of the various political parties but do not subscribe to their ideologies. This has been Dong Zong's consistent stand. We hope that both the ruling parties and the opposition parties will promulgate policies that are fair and give equal opportunity to all," said Yap.