Al Fatihah, Latifah Omar

Sad news today as Seniwati Latifah Omar passed away.

KUALA LUMPUR: Veteran actress, Latifah Omar, 74 died today at University Kebangsaan Malaysia Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) 6.19pm today.

She was admitted at HUKM about a week ago due to suffering from colon cancer.

The actress known for her films with Cathay Keris was often paired off with Nordin Ahmad.

Among her many films include Bawang Putih Bawang Merah, Hang Jebat, Jalak Lenteng, Laila Majnun, Gurindam Jiwa and Putus Sudah Kasih Sayang.

Latifah-Omar-sbg-DahliaShe was one of the great Malay primadonnas of that era. For the young generation, they should know that the movies that were made back then were actually more than movies. They are the collection of stories and tales from the malay world. Any of the younger generation now knows by heart the story of Bawang Putih Bawang Merah? And most of the malay kids these days do not know the lessons that can be learned from Batu Belah Batu Bertangkup, much less the whole story.

To all the old malay actors and actresses, singers and dancers who had brought forth and continued the legacy of tales from times long forgotten, our highest gratitude and thank you which we could never repay in a million years.

Al Fatihah.

#malaysian-education

Towards improving our national education system

The admin at the One School System website were gracious enough to host an article of mine over there. Please have a read at it here. Thank you.

#malaysian-education, #one-school-system, #ppsmi

DAP and their chinese first, Malaysian second friends

The latest shocking news that came about regarding DAP is their unequivocal support for Dong Zong and Jiao Zong (chinese education NGO extremist groups) to rally as a protest against the seemingly unfair treatment of Ministry of Education against the whole universe of chinese education here in Malaysia.

The rally is set to be held on March 25. I am not sure what is the latest development of this but if the rally does go on as scheduled, then yet again, DAP is proven to be as racist as they claim their political opponents to be.

To put it simply, DAP as well as Dong Zong and Jiao Zong are saying that they do not want any teachers without the ability to speak Mandarin to be teaching in their chinese vernacular schools.

Therefore, they are asking the MOE to take back the teachers and at the same time, asking the ministry to train more teachers and send in more qualified ones.

Since they think MOE is having ulterior motives or worse, being apathetic towards chinese education, the rally is planned to gain more support. And surprisingly, the party that label themselves as advocators of being Malaysian first, everything else second is using this platform to buy more votes for the coming general elections.

Or else, why would DAP poking their noses in a highly racial issue such as chinese education? Shouldn’t they be promoting how each Malaysian should mingle with each other in a more institutionalised and comprehensive way?

Anyway, the Minister of Education gave his opinion two days ago:

KUALA LUMPUR: The protest over the lack of teachers at Chinese schools should not be politicised by any party, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“I hope that this will not become a political issue,” he told reporters this after launching the Federal Territory Umno election machinery here yesterday.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister said steps were being taken to address the concerns raised by the groups and their protest should not be viewed as though the ministry was not doing anything to resolve issues faced by Chinese schools.

Muhyiddin said this when asked to comment on the protest by Chinese educationist groups, United Chinese School Teachers Association (Jiao Zong) and United Chinese School Committees Association (Dong Zong), over the shortage of teachers at Chinese primary schools nationwide.

On Sunday, about 100 representatives of the groups held a protest at SRJK(C) Pay Fong III at Bukit Cina Malacca.

A similar protest would be held at Dong Zong’s headquarters in Kajang, Selangor at 11am on March 25.

He said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong had met up with the groups recently to better understand their grouses to address the shortage of Chinese language teachers and teachers of other subjects at Chinese primary schools nationwide.

“The outcome of the meeting will be presented to me next week.

“The decision we take will be based on resolving the problem of the shortage and not something we do without taking into consideration their actual needs,” he said.

He noted that teachers sent to Chinese schools needed to have proper training not only to master the particular subject they taught but also Mandarin.

At present, he said teachers sent to the Chinese schools which faced teaching shortages was a temporary measure, with the ministry working towards a long-term solution. SOURCE : Here.

The chinese schools has been facing shortages of teachers for some time now. And this problem persists in national schools and tamil schools as well. It is a perennial issue. New schools are built each year and good teachers who are willing to relocate or stationed anywhere as instructed are hard to come by.

It is my opinion that those extremists groups i.e., Dong Zong and Jiao Zong are arrogant into thinking that the MOE is not doing anything to solve their plight. It is also disgusting to think that their plight revolve around their own racist tendency and paranoia.

The non chinese teachers within the chinese vernacular schools are teaching Bahasa Malaysia subject. Obviously, in order for the students to learn Bahasa Malaysia, Malay teachers or teachers with good command in BM are sent.

It is illogical if this was deemed as unacceptable by those two racist groups.

They further justify that those teachers must teach other subjects in Mandarin if there are shortages of teachers in other subjects; and, they are also saying that these BM teachers must also be able to speak Mandarin if the students do not understand the teaching methods and the teacher must be able to converse in Mandarin for the ease of the students.

I never knew that students in chinese schools are pampered and spoon fed that way. Certainly, if they entered universities in the US or UK or Australia, none of the lecturers there would speak with them in Mandarin if they do not understand English.

Furthermore, Mandarin is not even our mother tongue for the chinese here.

And if the logic by these chinese extremist groups is accepted, then the teachers from English speaking countries being called to teach English to our students here would also be an incorrect thing to do. Obviously these teachers couldn’t speak BM.

I really do not understand the paranoia that is being cultivated by these groups.

For all its worth, the hyperbole brought forth by these two groups are clouded by a feeling that can be regarded as chinese supremacy.

Apparently, non chinese teachers are not good enough to set foot in chinese education system eventhough these teachers are the best bet in trying to teach the children the malay language.

No wonder the DAP is wholeheartedly supporting them. This party will always champion anything that can promote and heighten chinese supremacy in Malaysia.

This issue is very much akin to the events preceding the Operasi Lalang in 1988.

Fortunately, not many are taken by this hate-mongering tactics of the DAP and these chinese supremacists.

One thing that is different from the issues of the 80’s is the absence of MCA in this issue. MCA is more sensible these days. In fact, one of its leaders is chairing a committee to solve this issue. I hope the MOE will not bend over backwards to give in to these racial separatist movement.

But knowing the DAP, which will always make noise but not willing to take part in the solution will forever be a thorn in the issue. Recent development of not wanting to take part in the committee discussing the LYNAS issue is one fine example.

MCA, being the more mature and having more common sense are not playing the ‘we are more chinese’ game with the DAP. A game which if memory serves right, had destroyed the ‘semangat muhibbah’ among Malaysians so many times in the past.

It is good to note that some chinese are not inclined with how DAP is playing up this issue. Some of it can be read here, here and here.

But the best can be read here as below:

Dong Jiao Zong: So, What Is The Problem?

By Jolina Tan

After much noise and ‘foot thumping’ by the Dong Jiao Zong over the appointment of non-Mandarin educated teachers in Chinese vernacular schools, it is reported that the 17 teachers involved were only directed to teach Bahasa Malaysia, which is why Mandarin background is not deemed essential.

A friend of mine asked, so what’s the noise and foot-thumping all about?  Demonstration of power?

It’s the upcoming election, isn’t it?  All the political parties must be made aware of the power of Dong Zong and that whichever party is ready to kow-tow to this organization, would be ‘blessed’ with its support.

Just because the Dong Zong fights for the Chinese, doesn’t mean it represents 100% of us.   I am among the few Chinese who is uncomfortable with this unhealthy but upward trend of ‘power-testing’ by our people, championed by Dong Jiao Zong.

We all know that it is important to not lose our roots but aren’t we the ones asking the nation to be Malaysian First, and race second?   Naturally, as Malaysian, we must put our Bahasa Kebangsaan first and Mandarin second.    But it never seem that way to me and no wonder the Malays are going berserk towards us.

I am one of the many Malaysian Chinese who can’t speak Mandarin and I’m not proud of it.  I wish I could, as it is an advantage to know many languages.

But I don’t feel guilty for not being able to speak Mandarin because I believe in being Malaysian First and Chinese Second.

When I go overseas, I hate it when people get confuse of whether I am from Malaysia or China because most of us Malaysian Chinese do not have anything to show that can relate us to Malaysia, except that it is written as so, in our passport.   If there is anything that can relate us to our country, it is only our broken Bahasa Malaysia.  And yet, we scream if we didn’t get treated as loyal Malaysians.

Whereas, the Thailand or Indonesian Chinese are easy to be recognized when overseas for they usually speak their national language.   They also strongly considered the traditional dress and culture of the original Thais or Indonesians as theirs too.  For this, the original Thais and Indonesians have no prejudice towards them and accept them as their own.

In fact, in all parts of the world, the immigrants would quickly adopt and practice the original language and culture of the country, in order to blend in and be accepted.  Like it or not, only in Malaysia that such cases of ‘alien-citizen’ is common.   And I’m pointing out to you that it is as much our fault, as everybody else’s.

I respect Dong Zong for its determination to keep the spirit of our ancestors’ and motherland alive and strong.    But I strongly feels that Dong Zong, as an education NGO should help promote unity instead of extremism.

We want the Malays to be Malaysian first and Malay second but are we doing the same?   What does it mean to be Malaysian?  What is Malaysia, anyway?

I don’t know what the Dong Zong have in mind about Malaysia, but I don’t want to teach my children to lie to themselves about their roots.  I want them to accept the fact that even though our ancestors were from China, China is no longer our country.

Our country is Malaysia.  Our national language is Bahasa Malaysia, our culture is of a very strong influence of the Malay culture because Malay is the original settlers of this land.  Our traditional dress is the baju kebangsaan and all Chinese or Indians just have to accept it or should not claim to be Malaysians.   However, as non-Malays, we have the right to uphold our race’s traditional dress too, in respect of our roots.

I bring this matter up because I don’t see any solution to the never-ending prejudice among all the races in Malaysia.   Everybody is backing up their own races’ arguments but none would admit their wrongs.

We have always complained of being discriminated in terms of education, properties, government projects and all but have we ever tried to look at it from the eyes of others?

With Dong Zong constantly fighting for separation of our race from others, how can we expect the Malays to not have any prejudice and suspicions towards us?  How can we expect them to feel secure enough to abolish the policy that discriminate us when we, ourselves, are still aliens to them?

I believe that only when we truly blend in, that the privilege and special rights of the Bumis can be truly abolished.   Let’s not be hypocrites and selfish.  Let’s truly fight for unity, for a 1Bangsa Malaysia, for our own sake.

Instead of demanding, provoking and threatening, may be Dong Zong should start offering, giving and co-operating in sharing ideas and working towards bringing the races together.   Prove that the Chinese too, can truly be Malaysian First and Chinese Second.

So Dong Zong, Jiao Zong and DAP, bila mau jadi Orang Malaysia?

#chinese-supremacy, #lim-guan-eng, #lim-kit-siang, #malaysian-education, #one-school-system

A plea for common sense

A question allegedly from a Form 3 History workbook

This snapshot is currently making its rounds in Facebook pages. And many people are aghast with this type of question and criticise it as against the spirit of 1Malaysia.

To the masses that feed on sensationalised issue and unable to think beyond the typical knee jerk reaction, this question was deeply riled as a racial and political plot to promote the much maligned ‘Ketuanan Melayu’  dogma.

If people would dare to apply their common sense and step back and breathe for awhile, the question posed was in the context of Malayan Union and the struggle of Malayans against their British oppressors.

Obviously the exploits of Datuk Onn Jaafar was learned by all of us and kids these days are not excluded from learning the history of Malaysia.

Try answer the question please.

Done? What have you answered if you were Onn Jaafar? What would you do in order to maintain the status quo of the Malays at that time in the face of being colonised formally by the British through the Malayan Union?

Don’t know? Are you not Orang Malaysia? Why are you offended with this type of question in the first place?

It is part of history.

The snapshot above is from a History subject. It is not a subject about 1Malaysia or current affairs or current political studies.

This is History education.

I wrote sometime back which greatly emphasised this exact issue:

History as a subject has two pronged objectives. One, to instil patriotism into the heart of every citizen from their childhood stage. Two, as source of knowledge on their surroundings and how they perceive their world.

In America, History was a touchy subject for the people especially with the advent of multiculturism among its people. With the influx of foreigners and the calls for equality among the afro-american movement, history as a subject was a sensitive issue indeed.

For example, how do you reconcile the fact that George Washington, the founding father of United States of America, has many black slaves and treated them harshly?

How can one see Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest President the United States had ever had but at the same time he ‘supported projects to remove blacks from the United States’ and said that ‘blacks could not be assimilated into white society and rejected the notion of social equality of the races’?

Multi-culturism pose a big threat to the learning of a country’s history because history in the eyes of each community living in a particular country is different from one another.

Was the Great Settlement of the Mid West by the white colonials in America a great human achievement for the whites? Or was it a mass extermination of the native Red Indians and their way of life by the europeans?

So what if George Washington owned slaves? So what if Abraham Lincoln was racist?

Each and every American out there reveres them both as the founding father and a great leader based on their achievements alone and what good they had brought to the Americans even centuries after they had passed away.

In other aspects, the native Americans in the USA are very patriotic regardless what happened to their people in the past.

Back in Malaysia, we hear so many negative opposition from the people who are against the subject of history made compulsory in schools. This is precisely because their views came from the racial angle.

All the prejudice, the stereotyping, the paranoia are the by-products of segregated education they experienced in their early childhood. At the very least, their views were contaminated by the very people that champion the need to segregate our children.

In the end, history is being promoted by these clustered group of people as evil and should not be taught to our children. We see so many unsavoury characters in the cyberspace trying hard to re-write history based on fiction and malicious motives.

In any case, like how the Americans are accepting their history, Malaysians must accept their country’s history from the eyes of Orang Malaysia.

The need for racial posturing when it comes to history must be stopped. Only desperate politicians would look through the racial lense and try to skew history to further their agenda for power. People must not look at history as if it is a disease that must be eradicated.  – Full article here.

You may also like to read this.

#malaysian-education, #one-school-system

Mat Sabu, Selamat Hari Merdeka ke 54!

Dalam hari-hari terakhir bulan Ramadhan yang lepas, kita mendapati satu pembohongan besar telah di lakukan oleh Timbalan Presiden Parti Islam Se-Malaysia yang bernama Mohamad Sabu.

Ianya dilakukan di satu ceramah politik di Padang Menora, Tasek Gelugor. Video tersebut boleh di lihat di bawah:

Ada beberapa perkara kejam Mat Sabu sudah lakukan dalam ucapan beliau tadi. Pertama, beliau mempermainkan lagu Negaraku. Tidak perlulah kita mempertikaikan asal usul melodi lagu kebangsaan kita sendiri. Yang penting, ianya diterima dengan sebulat suara dan hati yang terbuka sejak lebih 50 tahun yang dahulu hinggalah sekarang.

Tabiat memperlekehkan lagu kebangsaan sendiri demi perjuangan politik yang muflis seperti apa yang Mat Sabu bawa ini amatlah menyedihkan. Apatah lagi, beliau adalah orang nombor dua tertinggi di dalam parti yang mempunyai ahli teramai di dalam pakatan pembangkang.

Kedua, memperlekehkan Hari Kemerdekaan itu sendiri dengan mengaitkannya dengan filem Bukit Kepong arahan Jins Shamsuddin. Tujuan beliau sebenarnya adalah untuk memperkecilkan perjuangan Umno menuntut kemerdekaan tanahair kita ini.

Akibat satu nyamuk, habis satu kelambu di bakar… akibat musuh politik, sejarah negara di tukar-tukar.

Beliau mengatakan bahawa penyerang Balai Polis di Bukit Kepong di dalam tahun 1950 merupakan hero sebenar kemerdekaan. Jika Mat Sabu buat buat tolol, yang menyerang balai polis berkenaan adalah ahli Parti Komunis Malaya. Secara langsung, mereka adalah komunis.

Mungkin Mat Sabu terlupa atau terlampau dangkal fikirannya hingga boleh melupakan kekejaman yang dibuat oleh komunis ke-atas rakyat Malaya ketika zaman darurat tersebut. Ianya boleh di baca di sini dan di sini. Komunis telah melakukan huru-hara di dalam negara kita dengan membunuh ramai rakyat yang tidak berdosa. Bagaimana pula Mat Sabu boleh mengangkat komunis sebagai ‘hero’ Malaya?

Oleh itu, Mat Indera bukanlah sekadar ‘hero penyerang’ balai polis. Dia adalah salah seorang ahli komunis yang menjadi sebahagian daripada Rejimen ke 4 Parti Komunis Malaya yang diketuai oleh Goh Peng Tun.

Di dalam suratkhabar The Star pada 30 Ogos 2011, Mat Sabu mengatakan bahawa:

“What I said in my ceramah was that Mat Indera was a hero because he fought independence. He was a labour leader, a freedom fighter,” Mohamad said when contacted.

Mohamad said he did not use the word ‘communist’ in his speech.

“Yet, Utusan claimed that I said ‘the communists were heroes’. Also, Utusan mentioned that Goh Peng Tun led the insurgency at Bukit Kepong.

“I never heard this name before, until Utusan mentioned it.”

Sebab itu, kita berharap supaya Mat Sabu tidak hanya menghadkan pembacaan beliau kepada komik sahaja. Pelajarilah buku buku sejarah agar tidak menampakkan diri sebagai orang yang amat cetek ilmu pengetahuannya. Semestinya, jika beliau banyak membaca, beliau akan tahu siapa itu Goh Peng Tun.

Tidak menyebut perkataan komunis bukan bermakna kita tidak menyebutnya secara tersurat. Mat Sabu kelihatan amat terdesak hingga alasan beliau seperti kebudak-budakkan.

Manakan tidak, ketua beliau yang juga Pengerusi DAP Malaysia, Karpal Singh mengeluarkan kenyataan yang secara tersiratnya merujuk Mat Sabu sebagai amat tidak pintar sekali. Kenyataan tersebut boleh dibaca di sini.

Suka diingatkan kepada Mat Sabu, jika anda mengangkat senjata dan membunuh orang awam dan anggota keselamatan negara, anda bukan lagi dianggap ‘labour leader’ atau ‘freedom fighter’.

Ketiga, mengatakan bahawa kisah Tok Janggut dan Dr Burhanuddin Al-Helmy tidak diceritakan di dalam sejarah negara. Ini adalah tohmahan yang tidak tepat sekali. Kita boleh membaca kisah mereka di dalam buku-buku teks sejarah pendidikan negara. Mereka ini di anggap pejuang kemerdekaan negara.

Bahkan nama Rashid Maidin juga disebut di dalam buku-buku teks kita. Walau bagaimanapun, memandangkan Rashid Maidin adalah komunis, maka tetaplah dia di anggap sebagai musuh negara. Ini sejarah yang tidak mungkin bertukar walaupun terdapat seribu Mat Sabu di dalam negara kita.

Saya merasa sedih kerana sejarah negara kita diputar sewenang-wenangnya oleh para pemimpin pembangkang yang bankrap idea untuk mengetengahkan perjuangan mereka. Seolah-olah tiada sifat terima kasih kepada mereka yang bertungkus lumus mempertahankan negara kita sewaktu waktu dahulu.

Mentaliti Mat Sabu senang sahaja difahami. Beliau mahu rakyat Malaysia menidakkan segala usaha dan budi pemimpin-pemimpin Parti Perikatan yang membawa kepada kemerdekaan negara. Salah satu daripada parti tersebut adalah Parti Umno – musuh politik PAS.

Tidak kisah jika kita menyokong pembangkang atau kerajaan ataupun atas pagar sahaja; yang penting sejarah negara kita adalah kebanggaan kita. Apa yang telah terjadi, begitulah yang terjadi.

Adalah membimbangkan jika orang seperti Mat sabu diangkat sebagai pemimpin nombor dua negara. Menjadi Timbalan Perdana Menteri Malaysia. Apa mungkin beliau boleh menaikkan taraf negara kita jika pengetahuan beliau hanya berbekalkan ilmu seperti murid darjah satu sahaja?

Apa mungkin beliau dapat memberi keyakinan para pelabur di luar negara jika cara percakapan beliau lebih mirip celoteh kedai kopi sahaja?

Sempena Hari Kemerdekaan kita yang ke-54, marilah kita bersama-sama menguatkan iltizam dan bersatu padu membanteras gejala meremehkan perjuangan para perajurit tanahair yang telah berkorban tenaga dan jiwa raga menentang kezaliman komunis dan British.

Sesungguhnya, negara kita Malaysia aman makmur kerana semangat patriotisma rakyatnya yang tinggi dan tidak pernah goyah biar pun ada yang cuba melunturkannya.

Keranamu Malaysia!

Kepada Mat Sabu, rajin-rajinlah baca buku.

#karpal-singh, #malaysian-education

One School System – It’s now or never

If you are one of the many people that support the One School system, you can almost feel that this post is coming up.

For the past few weeks, there have been some positive development regarding this issue. After the sense of acute racial polarisation is about to take place here in Malaysia, the importance of a single stream education system, significantly at the primary level has begun to permeate in the psyche of ordinary Malaysians.

It is a simple and logical explanation and also the most profound solution for the problems on the lack of racial integration we have here in Malaysia.

Many hurdles were met along the way. The most disappointing and no less disparaging remark was the accusation from the opposition that those who support the One School system are racists.

In one hand, those who desire to see a more unified and integrated society are labeled as racists while on the other hand, those who support the chinese and tamil schools had labeled themselves as victims. Nevermind the fact that chinese and tamil schools are in fact, schools that were established based fundamentally and historically on racial grounds. But according to these opposition members, vernacular schools are not racist. The One School system is!

Are we racist in trying to get all our children to be together? I am sure we are not.

The opposition should just discontinue playing rhetorical taunts and decide if they want to support a more pertinent issue such as national unity and integration. Obviously, segregating the society into clusters of people instead of governing one seamless mass of people are much easier to do. Divide and conquer is an ageless tactic which had lent a helping hand to so many conquerors in this world.

And vernacular schools contribute greatly towards the segregation and polarisation of our society. This is undeniably the most telling symptom of our society. It is so undeniable that any effort to deny this can only be delivered through arguments incongruous with reason.

Take the reasons brought forth by DAP Youth Chief, Anthony Loke.

He argued that the proficiency of Bahasa Malaysia among the chinese is mainly due to the government’s failure in giving enough emphasis and assistance to those who were weak in the language.

He said:

“I think that probably this is because the learning of the language is not really enhanced in both the primary and secondary levels. 

“I am sure that there will be critics blaming the vernacular schools but I disagree… because even there, BM is a compulsory subject and after that, they go to secondary school where BM is even more prominent. There is just no proper programme in place to help these Chinese primary school students to adopt when in the secondary level,” he added.

We have a solution. That programme that Anthony Loke mentioned will be called the One School system.

A study was made by the National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) whereby it was revealed that significant number of secondary school dropouts with Chinese primary vernacular education have little, or zero, command of English or the national language. To be precise, it was found that one-third of students from those schools cannot understand either English or Bahasa Malaysia (BM) when they transfer to national secondary schools.

The inability to communicate in the national language stemmed from the limited interaction with other races. If at the early primary stage the children are handicapped by this social impediment, we can be certain that in later stage of life, prejudice and paranoia will arise and will make it difficult to integrate with one another.

This will happen not only among the children from chinese vernacular schools, but also among children from the tamil vernacular schools and the national schools where the malay students are dominant.

A further study albeit a simpler one was done by The Malaysian Insider recently to gauge the command of the national language among the chinese here in Malaysia.

The most profound data that was gathered revealed that about 26% of respondents do not understand Bahasa Malaysia at all. Close to 19% do not have to use Bahasa Malaysia at all or only use it less than three times in their daily lives.

This suggest that within the Chinese community, there is a significant class whose members only interact with those who speak Chinese.

It is just a matter of time when we have a complete segregation of society where the two main race will not interact with one another in a lifetime. Do we really want this?

Anthony Loke must be delusional if he still want to blame the government for not giving assistance for the students in chinese vernacular schools to increase their proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia. But then again it is not vintage DAP if they do not blame the government for everything.

The most cost effective way is for everyone to enrol in national school where Bahasa Malaysia is the main medium of instruction.

It does not make any sense for the government to pour more resources into vernacular schools just to strengthen  the usage of Bahasa Malaysia in mandarin medium schools.

For every ringgit given to vernacular schools, a ringgit loss for the national schools.

The trick Anthony Loke is playing is for the government to give more money to vernacular schools so that his politics will continue to survive. His racist tactic has always been the bread and butter for his political party.

Too bad the government would always fall for this trick. What the opposition do not want gullible Malaysians to know is that every year, the government is already spending more than RM1.8 billion to pay the salaries of teachers in the chinese and tamil vernacular schools.

That is RM1.8 billion wasted just to produce more polarisation in this country. Not to mention the millions already spent on infrastructures and on by election ‘gifts’.

Another ridiculous statement was issued by the DAP deputy secretary-general, Ngeh Koo Ham when he opined that ‘national integration had nothing to do with a person’s inability to converse in the language and explained that it was likely that many people saw it more beneficial to master English or Mandarin than BM

Ngeh noted the civil service was taken up by at least 80 per cent of Malays, causing the non-Malays to focus their attentions on obtaining jobs that do not require extensive knowledge of BM. 

“We master a language for the betterment of our future, like finding a good job, a good career and so on. So since many non-Malays do not opt for posts in the civil service where BM proficiency is required, their focus on learning the language is almost negligible,” he said.’

Bahasa Malaysia is the national language of Malaysia. The importance and the sanctity of this language is greatly determined by the way it is treated in the national education. If in a school where 90% of the time Bahasa Malaysia was not spoken then naturally, the students will not or cannot see the importance of it. This is a given.

If the students do not lay importance to it, coupled with the fact that there are minimal or zero interaction with students of other races, then almost certainly they will not master the national language. If you are unable to master the national language, you cannot join the civil service.

Therefore Ngeh Koo Ham made a malicious assumption where he asserted that because the civil service has 80% Malays, the non-Malays will not join it due to the fact that proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia is required.

Logically, the argument should be the other way around – due to the inability to converse well in Bahasa Malaysia, the non Malays failed the tests to enter the civil service leading to the burgeoning of Malays in the civil service.

This can again be traced to the existence of vernacular schools. The opposition especially the DAP frequently lamented about the unfair policies of the government and tried to colour their arguments with racial undertones when we can observe that the very core of their existence if to perpetuate their own racist politics. Working within the sphere of racism (whether playing the victim or in any other multiple levels of racial rhetorics) is the simplest and quickest way to gain prominence in national politics.

The DAP national vice-chairman Chong Chieng Jen joined this absurdity by strongly disagreeing  to the fact that national unity are affected by the Chinese community’s lack of proficiency in BM.

‘He pointed out that 30 years back, racial polarisation and segregation were less rampant than it is today despite the widespread lack of understanding of the BM language among the community. 

“Less people understood BM then but there was less segregation. People mingled better than they do today. “So at the end of the day, national unity and integration is more about fairer policies…. Barisan Nasional politicians should stop playing racial politics,” he said.’

I am not sure from which abyss he excavated this kind of logic. If there were less segregation and polarisation 30 years ago and yet the people back then understood Bahasa Malaysia even less than today, how on earth did we communicate with each other 30 years ago? Through sign languages?!

We had better national education system back then. There were less people that went to vernacular schools back then. That was why the society were less segregated. But in recent decades, the emergence of extremism in politics of both divide had destroyed our education system. The only way to go now is through a comprehensive and well coordinated effort to standardise the education system. We should start at primary level as the first phase.

The government recently announced that they are looking into the One School system to promote unity and harmony. It is high time that we should look into this.

Summarily, it was proposed that:

1) The first phase will be a co-ordinated exchange of programmes between vernacular and national schools

2) The second phase will be the introduction of a third language in both schools.

3) The third phase will be co-locating of schools and,

4) The final phase is the implementation of the 1School system.

Frankly, do we want our children to be segregated like this:

chinese vernacular school

tamil vernacular school

national school (mainly malays)

Or do we want to see like this:

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#malaysian-education, #one-school-system, #ppsmi