GEORGE TOWN: The weakness in the Malaysian education system is not teaching maths and science in English, according to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. An education minister before his premiership, Mahathir said these two subjects were unlike geography or history. He said the facts of geography and history stayed constant unlike science where discoveries were made almost every other day. He stressed that he was not against the Malay language but emphasised that acquiring knowledge was important. "When we study, the focus is not on the language but on learning. "So that is why we need to return to teaching maths and science in English," he said during a forum at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) here today. More than 2,000 people packed the Dewan Tunku Syed Putra to listen to Mahathir speak. In 2002, the government decided to begin teaching both subjects in English beginning in 2003, reversing decades old policy of the primacy of the Malay language. The government however made a U-turn on the policy in 2012, resulting in both maths and science now being taught in Malay. Another weakness of the system, Mahathir said, was the lack of emphasis on moulding responsible individuals who contributed to society. He said Islamic studies should focus on creating such persons while Moral Education for non-Muslims should teach the difference between right and wrong. "Without this knowledge, what is learned can be abused," he said. Mahathir also reiterated the mark of a developed country was not only about citizens having high incomes. He said high incomes did not mean anything if the cost of living also rose along with the rise in income. He said the definition of a developed country should be expanded to include factors including having sophisticated industries and a highly educated populace. "We need thinkers, we need philosophers, and we need Nobel laureates," he said.