More “Other Views” on Vernacular Schools and Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua (SSS)

6 02 2010

For a more rounded discussion on the subject of Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua (SSS), we publish more views obtained from the public domain. Some of them we do not agree with but wish to discuss them with you here.

Readers are welcomed to comment. It does not matter how short the comments may be, so long as they are in the normal language, not rude or seditious, no expletives, profanities, etc. Reasonably lengthy ones are also welcomed.

There are, of course, many articles on SSS that we agree with practically in their entirety and we have published a few of them earlier on.

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1. Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua
Posted by: Goh Wei Liang in Klik4Malaysia.com on Nov 16, 2009

Lately, the Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua campaign is hotly debated among politicians and educationists.

The opinions are well divided with Chinese educationists and the Malaysian Chinese Association being the most vocal opponents of the idea.

Personally, I was glad to first hear about the 1 School Concept Petition some time ago. We all must agree that the way we are brought up will determine our character and mindset in the future.

The main method is of course through education. In other words, education are the basic fundamentals of a strong, united and dynamic society.

A blog (http://deminegara.blogspot.com/2009/05/satu-sekolah-untuk-semua.html) started this petition. Subsequently, mainstream bloggers publicised this campaign in their personal blogs as well as in several political groups in Facebook.

Today, we can see that many blogs are carrying the SSS banner, a symbol of support for the campaign to see a unified single education stream.

The title seems catchy and initially I had the thought that finally, someone is making the sincere moves to unite the plural society in Malaysia which coincidentally is a vision of our former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

However, till today, I have not signed the petition. Upon reading the wording of Kempen Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua, I told myself this is not the way I envision the concept and project.

As much as I am for 1 Malaysia and a 1 School concept, I cannot agree with the contents of petition. The gist of this campaign is a critical point of view against vernacular schools. The main content reads

” Sekolah Vernakular (SJKC dan SJKT) adalah punca utama ketidakserasian dan ketegangan kaum di negara kita tercinta. “

For those who have been following my blog, friends and relatives close to me, you all know how much I support national schools and I have always been critical that vernacular schools are possibly among the causes of national disunity – a stark contrast of opinion with the stand of the party that I support.

The 1 School Campaign is good but it cannot be based on a condemnation of vernacular schools only.

I believe my opinions on the wording are shared by the non Bumiputera community. Someone should write a better campaign and petition on 1 School.

If you have not forgotten, upon completion of major exams like UPSR and PMR, many Bumiputera students go to other types of school also.

These schools are in place mainly for the creme de la creme of Bumiputera students – specifically Malays.

Although some might argue that the boarding schools and elite schools are open to non Malays also, but the amount of places offered to them can be dismissed as insignificant.

If vernacular schools are probable causes of disharmony, then other school types like Sekolah Berasrama Penuh, MRSM, Sekolah Agama and many more are to share to blame.

1 School Campaign is wrong to begin by condemning the vernacular schools only as they are not the sole cause of disunity among Malaysians.

If 1 School is to be implemented at the expense of vernacular schools, I hope the Government consider scrapping the other types of schools under SBP, MARA and Sekolah Agama as well.

Otherwise, I foresee unrest and unhappiness among the multiracial society in Malaysia.

To lay down the foundations of a 1School Concept, we must all get things clear that the Government’s policy in the provision of Education must ensure that education is available for every single Malaysian with no barriers.

By no barriers, I suggest a complete unification of the schools under a single unified education stream that provides education access to students from all walks of life regardless of race and economic status.

Every dollar of public fund spent on education must not substantially favour any particular race be it Chinese, Malays or Indians. However, I do suggest that variant of the national schools should be permitted to co-exist with the national schools and international schools.

These variants may of course include SBP and vernacular schools where the education in these schools are to be listed under the private schools sector.

Let these other types of schools be funded by the Malaysian community, businessmen and philantrophists.

These schools should be delisted from under the National Schools Policy and be allowed them to be adopted by the private sector and the communities. This way, 1 School will be seen as 1 Malaysia.

This “extreme” approach will be acceptable by many I am sure. One has to give to gain something in return and this message must be imparted in the minds of all Malaysians.

I love my country and I love the idea of 1 School which unites people under 1 Language and 1 System.

But this must not be exploited as an opportunity to slam vernacular schools as the main cause of disharmony as other types of non national & non vernacular schools are to be blamed too.

Having said all these, my comments will not be well received by Chinese educationists and neither will it be endorsed by the Malaysian Chinese Association. Though I am a Malaysian Chinese, I do aspire to see a united Malaysian society.

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2. Vernacular Schools in Malaysia
Published in calltoreason.org – Thursday, November 13, 2008 17:37

This post grew out of comments that I made in a post on Jed Yoong’s blog which linked to another blogger’s post calling for all vernacular Tamil schools in Malaysia to be closed down. I think it’s worth taking the effort to explain that in this context, “vernacular schools” refers solely to primary schools that use Chinese and Tamil as the medium of instruction, while still receiving government funding, as opposed to those that teach using the national language, Bahasa Malaysia the so-called “Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan”.

There are a couple of obfuscating factors at work here that needs to be explained. One, the original call to close down Tamil schools cited the generally poor quality of these schools as a primary reason. As Jed Yoong quoted from the original writer of the post, Balan:

One of the contributing factors leading Indian youth to gangsterism and other criminal activities is their inability to excel in education, particularly when they enter secondary school.

The new environment and being not conversant in Bahasa Malaysia which is the medium of teaching in secondary school have resulted in students dropping out after their PMR and SPM.

The reason this happens is the poor quality of Tamil schools in the country. Most of the Tamil schools in the country are poorly managed, lack facilities and are helmed by substandard headmasters and teachers.

But as I commented, this, as far as I know, does not apply to Chinese vernacular schools! It’s a well known fact that the Chinese in Malaysia place a high priority on their children’s education. If the Chinese vernacular schools prove to be of poorer quality than the national schools, I have no doubt whatsoever that the parents of the students attending them would immediately move them to better ones. This actually leads us to the second point: why is there such a difference between the quality of education offered by the Tamil vernacular schools and the Chinese ones?

As it turns out, while vernacular Chinese schools do indeed tap the government for funding, they also raise additional funds from parents and the general Chinese community. As I see it, this explains the disparity between the generally decrepit facilities and poor quality of education of the Tamil schools and the well equipped, highly regarded quality of education offered by Chinese ones.

Still, as these schools still receive government funding, it’s only fair to raise and discuss the issue of whether such schools should exist at all. The argument against them is perhaps best set out in this editorial by Azly Rahman which is well worth reading. The general idea is that vernacular schools segregates students by race at a young and impressionable age which, it is argued, is detrimental to the unity of the nation. To this line of argument, I beg to raise the following points:

While it’s heartwarming and indeed desirable to see young children of different races studying and playing together, I honestly believe that this will not help much in getting rid of the racial tensions that exist in the country. Let’s not be naive and believe that Malaysian citizens will ever mingle and live as if they were not of different races. Different races and cultures will always have different tastes in entertainment, food and even lifestyles. The point of the exercise should not be in eliminating differences but acknowledging them and even celebrating in them. What we should work towards is mutual tolerance and respect for each other, despite our differences, and the only way to achieve that is addressing perceived injustices with regards to government treatment towards different races and cultures. In other words, I do not believe that racial divisions arise from the people. I believe that they arise out of government policies.

There is a clear wish here to use public schools as institutions to create and foster a sort of Malaysian identity. I have misgivings concerning this because it seems to me to be overriding the parents’ right to educate and bring up their children as they see fit in the interests of what is thought to be a wider and greater good. Bringing up a child is an extremely personal and emotional affair and I believe that having the government interfere in that process, barring cases of outright child abuse, would be a violation of human rights. It is true that the government should not be obliged to cater and provide funding for every type of educational scheme wished for by parents, but in this case, such schools already exist and parents apparently do want their children to attend them.

As per above, it would seem to me that closing down these schools against the wishes of the community would not only fail in the long-term to foster the national unity desired, but cause plenty of short-term racial divisions. The Indian and Chinese communities would simply have yet another grievance to hold against the government and the Malays.

Finally, the detractors of the vernacular schools argue that the concerns of the ethnic communities can be assuaged by offering the maternal language of these communities as optional subjects in the national schools, upgrading the quality of the national schools and removing the creeping Islamisation and Ketuanan Melayu aspects from them. I argue the opposite. The existence of vernacular schools does not prevent these improvements to the national schools from being carried out. Show that the national schools can indeed meet the needs of the parents of the different communities, prove to them that they can offer education of good quality and put a firm end to racist teaching of Malay supremacy in them. Achieve all that and the vernacular schools will simply wither and die on their own because no parent will want to send their children to them!

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3. Voice of Malaysia : Vernacular Schools, Boon or Bane? Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Of all countries in the South East Asian region, Malaysia is a distinctive case where there are 3 different streams of schools in its education set-up, catering to the respective major races. Naturally, this phenomenon doesn’t sit well amongst some people with misplaced feelings of nationalism who see this uniqueness to be a great impediment to solid nation-building but as a dispassionate observer, I strongly disagree on their premise.

A case in point, I am a product of national school where medium of instruction is in the majority language, Bahasa Malaysia. No doubt, I had an early head-start in socialising with students of various races and we became good friends, thus giving me a better understanding of fellow Malaysians. Looking back, I enjoyed my schooling years very much.

During that time, I was a discriminatory child for I grew up showing contempt to the Chinese educated students due to their overall weaker command of English and Bahasa Malaysia. On top of that, I was under the mistaken belief that they had a less than worldly view of things. Only after leaving school, did I realize my puerile thought had no basis because in reality, these students are made of sterner stuff particularly in areas of resilience, discipline, humility and most of all, character. Additionally, their arithmetic skills have been acknowledged to be far superior to their national schools’ counterparts.

Back to those who oppose the presence of vernacular schools on the pretext of it being a stumbling block to greater national unity. Either these critics are genuinely ignorant or choose to conveniently ignore the bigger issues affecting national cohesiveness. While in school, I wrote countless of essays espousing the greatness of our country where people respect each other and we live in perfect harmony. I admit I was very patriotic; not that I’m any less, nowadays. However, I received the first dose of reality tinged with shock and bitterness upon discovery that the intake of students into local higher institutions of learning is not based on absolute meritocracy. Students who performed less admirably were readily admitted into universities at the expense of their peers who scored better by the virtue of the race they were born as. Not only that, MARA institutes of learning are virtually filled by students of a particular race. And to think of it, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Therefore to say with the abolishment of vernacular schools, greater national unity can be achieved is just a misleading notion. Eventually people will still feel aggrieved when they leave school, so long the root causes are not fixed.

I believe vernacular schools are needed by Malaysia more than ever, now that China and India are on the rise. Malaysians need to be at least conversant in either Mandarin or Tamil to engage with the citizens of these 2 rising giants because we will reach a point in time when these two nations will present us with business opportunities. One may argue that Hindi is spoken more widely in India but who is to say with certainty that when India advances as a whole, its Tamil Nadu state will not progress accordingly? With our sizeable communities of Malaysians with Chinese and Indian descents and the vernacular schools they are educated in, we will have the edge over our other Asian neighbours when China and India finally make their mark at world stage. Therefore, it makes economic sense to maintain vernacular schools in Malaysia. As it is, the younger generation of Vietnamese and Thais can converse in Mandarin. Given the high stakes, surely we don’t want to be left behind.

Let’s be reminded that we are now paying for our past mistake in relegating the importance of English language when in the past, our earlier generations possessed better command of the language, thanks to English medium schools, which have now been confined to the history books. I doff my hat to the Malay and Indian parents who have the foresight to send their children to vernacular schools. They are doing a great service to their children and I am embarrassed no end whenever young Malay children speak flawless Mandarin to me and I am unable to reply! Being multilingual has many benefits and numerous studies done have confirmed this. I don’t believe at all that by being educated in vernacular schools, they will turn out to be less Malay. In fact, more and more Malays are sending their children to vernacular schools.

To further allay our fears, compared to the Pre-Independence years, our vernacular schools have ceased to adopt the syllabuses of the countries of origin. Instead, what we have now is a uniform syllabus with emphasis on nation-building. The only difference lies in the medium of instruction.

For the sake of pragmatism, let us not cast a bad light on vernacular schools anymore.

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4. YKSM : Sekolah Satu Aliran – Are we serious about racial integration? 13 January 2010

We have been talking a lot about 1Malaysia for this past year. Not only the Government has been propagating it but the opposition has to a certain extent jumped on the band wagon claiming that certain things, which are not done by the Government, should be carried out in line with the 1Malaysia spirit. There has been talk about changing the Biro Tata Negara courses to be more in line with the spirit of 1Malaysia, establishing of the 1Malaysia unit trust and ultimately the changing of Government Link Companies (GLC) logo to be in line with the 1Malaysia base logo.

Apart from recent suggestions by Dato Mukhriz Mahathir and Tan Sri Professor Khoo Kay Kim on restructuring the current school system to adopt the single stream concept, there has been little take up on this issue.

Why not? Our education system may be the key pivotal factor that could lead towards integration of our multiracial society. This is where our kids learn, play and interact with one another. Through interaction, we will understand one another. As it is, there are some Chinese who think that halal food for Malay Muslims only mean that the food should be pork free only. Vice versa for Malays, most of them think that all Chinese who have a Christian name must be a Christian. Both circumstances demonstrate the ignorance of the respective race groups about one another. This ignorance can be addressed through better understanding and appreciation of one another. In order to understand one another, we must first become friends. As it is we hardly interact with other race groups as we work and play separately. The current situation can be traced back to our separation which began at our schools. Why?

The argument for the Chinese or Tamil vernacular schools is that for these race groups to better understand their cultures. Why can’t education on these cultures be taught at the national schools where not only the Chinese or the Indians can learn about their respective cultures but other races can learn them too? You can learn the Chinese language as an additional language in a single stream school. Besides, if the Chinese argue that they should learn about their mother tongue, then they should teach Cantonese, Hokkien or even Hakka, instead of Mandarin as a language. As far as I understand, Mandarin is the official language of China but it is not mainly spoken by the Chinese ethnic groups in Malaysia. Furthermore, if the argument for having vernacular schools is for each race groups to learn about their respective cultures, then should we also create Iban or Kadazan streamed schools to protect their cultures and languages?

A phenomenon that has been increasingly prevalent nowadays is the racial polarization in our society. Society tends to mingle, play and work around their respective racial groups. The separation starts at the tender age of seven and this will continue for the next eleven years. This is evident as close to 95% of the Chinese send their children to Chinese vernacular schools. So long as we have multi stream schools, this separation of society will continue.

Though it is important that we should facilitate the preservation of the cultures of each race groups, but efforts towards the integration and assimilation into the multicultural society of Malaysia should not be avoided. What better and more effective way other than doing it at our schools? Kids can easily be tended and nurtured at the young age, as they see individuals beyond the colours of racial background.

In addition to propagating the non-Malays on letting go of the vernacular schools, the Government should promote and upgrade the national schools so that it becomes the first choice for parents in sending their children for education. The best talents and most resources should be directed to the national schools. The national schools should also provide subjects that teach the various race groups of their respective cultures. Furthermore there is an alleged fear that the national schools is promoting Islamic tendencies though its practices, like the recital of doa and other Islamic-based programmes. The Government should make the national schools more palatable to the multiracial society by toning down some of these activities, as to make the other racial groups more comfortable with the national schools.

If the Government is not able to remove the vernacular school systems in the near future due to political reasons, then it should make the national schools more enticing so that society would voluntarily send their kids to be educated there.

In summary, there should be a move towards converting our schools into a single stream system, whether by immediately removing the vernacular schools or indirectly increasing the role of the national schools in the education system, so that the vernacular schools become insignificant. This move is essential as it may be the pivotal factor in integrating our society together, hence moving towards achieving our vision of a 1Malaysia!

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51 responses

7 02 2010
sepadu

The writer of article No.1is entitled to his opinion as to whether vernacular schools are “punca utama ketidakserasian dan ketegangan kaum di negara kita“ or not. The fact remains that these schools are mostly not diverse in racial composition, thus not encouraging inter-racial understanding and bonding, do not provide an atmosphere of togetherness and the sharing of common values, hopes and aspirations among children of different ethnicity.

As a resullt, children there tend to grow up not being familiar with the ways of others, hardly mainstream in their thinking, feeling akward in the company of Malaysians of other races, often misunderstanding the roles and contributions of others in nation building, hardly respect the Social Contract entered into between the Malay and non-Malay leaders at Merdeka. They may grow up into non-accepting the need for Bahasa Malaysia, the National Language that is stipulated in the Constitution, to be the medium of instruction in all schools. Many of them grow up into resenting the Special Position of the Malays, the New Economic Policy, etc – those that were in exchange for the citizenship that the non-Malays (who were stateless all those years before) got after Merdeka. These had contributed a lot to the “ketidakserasian dan ketegangan kaum” in the country.

It must be pointed out that first, boarding schools like MRSMs take in pupils only after the primary level; they would have had a good grounding of inter-racial mixing at the important, formative years of schooling at the sekolah rendah kebangsaan. Secondly, such schools were set up to correct the acute imbalance created by the British colonial government, to bridge the large gap in the conomic and educational well being between the Malays, who were (and still are) mostly in the rural areas where schools were far in between and only at the primary level, and those living in the towns where there were many schools and at both the primary and secondary levels.

It is for the very reason of possible “unrest and unhappiness among the multiracial society” the writer speaks about that all Malaysians must learn about one another’s rights, accept and respect them, including the Special Position of the Malays, which was in exchange for citizenship for the non-Malays. Additionally, all Malaysians must accept Bahasa Malaysia as the National Language, all schools should have BM as the medium of instruction and the non-Malays have their right to learn Mandarin and Tamil as elective subjects in all schools.

However, I am happy that the writer speaks for “a complete unification of the schools under a single unified education stream” and am proud of his statement, “I love my country and I love the idea of 1 School which unites people under 1 Language and 1 System.”

7 02 2010
SSS Admin

sepadu,

May we add that the Social Contract has been embodied in the Constitution of the country – the right to ctitizenship of the non-Malays and the quid pro quo for that, the Special Position of the Malays as enshrined in Article 153. No Malaysian should question those rights because questioning one may lead to that of the other. These have been agreed upon, the Constitution has been discussed and approved by Parliament and all citizens must respect and abide by it.

We hasten to add that respecting and living by the Constitution is a mark of loyalty to the country. It has often been pointed out that the Consitution is the highest set of laws in the country; all other laws are derived from it and cannot contradict it. It is the same the world over – the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and must be honoured and revered. Indeed, respecting and living by the Constitution is proof of loyaty to the country.

Consequently, all Malaysians must respect the YDP Agong, HRH the Rulers, Bahasa Malaysia under Article 152, the Malay Special Position under Article 153 and the citizenship right of the non-Malays under the Articles pertaining to citizenship. Saying these may sound cliche but for so long as these matters are raised, the attention of all citizens must be drawn to them for the sake of mutual understanding and harmony. Single-stream schooling also aims at bringing about greater understanding, goodwill and harmony among us.

7 02 2010
Aysay

I think they have been calling for the “absorption” of the vernacular schools into the national schools system, not abolishing, etc. The venacular schools can remain physically intact, only medium of instruction etc changed. Some one confirmed at the last post the staff and others need not fear losing their jobs.

What they talked about in Parliment was “one single stream of education”. I think it is the same as Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua, no?

7 02 2010
SSS Admin

Aysay,

Thanks for visiting us again. Yes, the single-stream schooling that was raised in Parliament is basically the same as SSS. Both have the same objective of just one type of schools in the country, all having Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction, the same curriculum and syllabus. We at SSS emphasise that Mandarin and Tamil can be studied in such (national) schools as elective subjects.

We wish to re-confirm what we have said in our comment in the previous post – i.e the same as stated in your first paragraph above. We believe that no one has to lose anything when the vernacular schools are “absorbed” into the national education system. Even the Board of Governors can be retained, subject to negotiation with the authorities as when the SSS is being decided for implementation. We must have one, instead of the existing three, system of education in the country.

7 02 2010
Acak

“perceived injustices … government treatment towards different races … I do not believe that racial divisions arise from the people … they arise out of government policies.”

Bukankah ini memperkatakan dasar-dasar mengurangkan jurang kedudukan ekonomi dan pelajaran masyarakat Melayu bila dibanding dengan Cina? Adakah dia terima bahawa langkah-langkah itu perlu bagi mengelakkan berlakunya lagi 13 Mei 1969 dan bertujuan melebihkan kesamarataan masyarakat? Dasar Ekonomi Baru digubal salepas peristiwa itu – ditahun 1970.

Mengapa mereka yang sudah dapat jadi rakyat sentiasa mahu lebih hingga nampaknya tiada had? Perkara “samarata” mesti ambil kira Artikel 153. So’al hak dan kemudahan yang diberi mesti berdasarkan kapada Perlembagaan.

7 02 2010
SSS Admin

Acak,

Terima kasih kerana singgah dan meninggalkan komen.

“perceived injustices” itu mungkin timbul dari kurang faham atau kurang menerima Kontrak Sosial dan kurang menghormati Perlembagaan negara yang mengandungi unsur-unsur tersebut. Mereka yang sudah menerima kerakyatan negara ini sepatutnya menerima sepenuhnya Kedudukan Istimewa Melayu dan segala dasar-dasar Kerajaan berkaitan dengannya, sebab itu adalah balasan bagi kerakyatan mereka itu, saperti yang telah dipersetujui pemimpin-pemimpin Melayu dan bukan Melayu dimasa Merdeka.

Jurang pemunyaan harta dan tahap pelajaran diantara kaum majoriti Melayu dan kaum Cina amat besar. Sabelom tercetus peristiwa 13 Mei 1969, Melayu yang majoriti dinegara ini mempunyai hanya 2% (dua peratus) kekayaan sahaja. Salepas 13 Mei, Dasar Ekonomi Baru digubal bagi mengecilkan jurang itu. Dasar-dasar Kerajaan menyeimbangkan kedudukan Melayu dalam bidang ekonomi dan pendidikan dengan kedudukan masyarakat Cina adalah berlunaskan Perlembagaan negara. Perlulah semua rakyat terima Kedudukan Istimewa Melayu dan dasar-dasar Kerajaan berkaitan dengannya kerana jika diperso’alkan, maka hak kerakyatan bukan Melayu pun boleh diperso’alkan dan ini tidak baik bagi kerharmonian dan persepaduan negara. Kami setuju bahawa peruntukan kewangan dan kemudahan yang diberi kapada rakyat mestilah berdasarkan kapada Perlembagaan.

7 02 2010
antubahasa

Sdr Admin,

Berkenaan penggunaan bahasa ini, yang mana kita tahu jika sekiranya ianya dipupuk sejak dari bangku sekolah lagi, maka warga anak-anak kecil akan membesar sebagai seorang rakyat yang akan menggunakan bahasa perantaraan yang beliau dipupuk sejak dari kecil lagi.

Rata-rata warga dari pendidikan Sekolah Kebangsaan akan mengutamakan Bahasa Melayu, iaitu bahasa Kebangsaan kita. Bolehkah diandaikan warga yang dididik di sekolah vernakular akan membesar dan menggunakan pakai bahasa kebangsaan dalam urusan seharian sedangkan bahasa perantaraan sekolah vernakular adalah bahasa asing? Kita juga sedia maklum anak-anak di sekolah vernakular ini mengalami masalah besar apabila menjejak kaki di sekolah menengah kerana penguasaan bahasa kebangsaan mereka amatlah lemah sekali.

Point saya dalam komen ini:-

Sejuk hati saya, “heart warming”, kata setengah orang – apabila mendengar mereka-mereka yang bernama Ah Seng, Mei Lan, Joseph Chong, Lim Ka Siong, Madeline Ching, etc berbual sesama mereka samada di tempat-tempat awam ataupun melalui telefon bimbit menggunakan bahasa kebangsaan.

Apabila mereka-mereka ini berbual sesama mereka dengan bahasa asing, maka timbullah perasaan menyampah, benci dan dipenuhi dengan berbagai soalan:-

1. Mereka ini orang Malaysia atau rakyati negara China Komunis? (Pendatang?)

2. Kalau mereka bukan guna bahasa Mandarin, tapi bahasa yang dilabelkan sebagai bahasa ibunda, soalan saya, KENAPA guna di tempat awam di Malaysia ini?

3. Tiada sosial ethic ke? Bercakap dgn bahasa yg tidak difahami orang dikhalayak ramai menunjukkkan bahawa kita tiada ethic dari segi pergaulan sosial. Ringkasnya, BIADAP.

4. Kenapa di negara-negara seperti Amerika, UK boleh pula mereka-mereka ini berbual sesama sendiri menggunakan bahasa kebangsaan setempat (ini pemerhatian saya selama beberapa tahun mendiami Amerika Syarikat dan semasa melancong keluar negara. Ada kaum china “rakyat Malaysia” berbual sesama mereka menggunakan English di UK). Kenapa tidak berbahasa kebangsaan di Malaysia ini?

Kenapa jadi begini?

1. Sekolah vernakular yang “membentuk agar-agar itu sehingga keras” dgn bahasan penghantar asing ?

2. Sikap kerajaan yang acuh tak acuh mengenai penggunaan bahasa kebangsaan sebagaimana yang dimaktubkan dalam Akta Bahasa dan Perlembagaan ?

Kalau agar-agar telah keras terbentuk dgn bahasa asing, payahlah guna hendak menguatkuasakan Akta Bahasa.

Kalau rakyat sudah sedia dgn penggunaaan Bahasa kebangsaan, tapi kerajaan pula ambil sikap acuh tak acuh, malahan dok promote bahasa asing pula, lama-lama bahasa kebangsaan akan terpinggir juga sekalipun ada bapak segala akta bahasa pun!

Perdana Menteri, Menteri Pelajaran dan Menteri Budaya Bangsa kena ambil perhatian khusus mengenai ini. Kena Tegas, jangan apologetik!”

7 02 2010
SSS Admin

antubahasa,

Terima kasih menziarahi kami dan memberi pendapat.

Banyak kajian telah dibuat menunjukkan bahawa kanak-kanak di”formative years” perlu diberi pelajaran dan suasana berlajar yang sesuai sejak mulanya mereka belajar disekolah. Inilah dedahan pertama mereka kapada pelajaran secara formal. Pemikirannya masih suci murni, belom terdedah kapada pemikiran-pemikiran yang kurang baik atau songsang. Sebaliknya, apa yang dipelajarinya diperingkat ini akan memberi kesan yang tahan lama.

Maka itulah pentingnya kanak-kanak tersebut belajar didalam suasana yang berbagai bangsa, boleh berkenalan dan memahami tingkah laku, stimulus dan reaksi bangsa lain, boleh timbul semangat bersama, nilai-nilai, angan-angan dan harapan yang serupa sebagai anak Malaysia. Oleh kerana sekolah vernakular tidak berbentuk berbagai kaum, maka eloklah sekolah tersebut diserapkan kedalam sistem sekolah kebangsaan. Tambahan pula, bahasa pengantar yang digunakan disekolah kebangsaan ada lah Bahasa Malaysia, iaitu Bahasa Kebangsaan yang disebut didalam Perlembagaan negara kita.

Dengan itu perlulah Kerajaan mengambil tindakan kearah tersebut dan kurangkan memikir undi semata-mata dalam perkara ini. Apa yang telah ada sejak 52 tahun yang lalu tidak semestinya betul. Apa yang sebahagian rakyat pertahankan tidak semestinya baik untuk persepaduan seluruh negara. Polarisasi kaum semangkin ketara sekarang ini. Kerajaan perlu semaikan semangat bersatu, bermula dikalangan kanak-kanak sekolah. SSS ada lah cara yang sesuai baginya.

7 02 2010
Warta

Isn’t it a question of priority? The need of the country vs personal need.

Isn’t the need for unity uppermost in a multi-racial country? Cannot say give me what I want then only I give what the country wants. Remember the famous saying: Ask not what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for the country.

Any idea of what loyalty, nationalism and patriotism mean? The dictionary gives some idea, the encyclopedia better (but be careful of ever-changing wikipedia – some fellows there may even claim communist terrorists Chin Peng and the Malayan Communist Party were nationalists!).

Even if China and India are on the rise, how conversant do Malaysians need to be in Mandarin to do business with China? Surely Mandarin as an elective subject in national schools can give sufficient grounding for a “working knowledge” of Mandarin. Mandarin does not have to be medium of instruction in schools.

Does one need to be conversant in Tamil to do business with India? Hindi is spoken widely in India, so is English.

8 02 2010
SSS Admin

Warta,

Since ancient history, there have been the loyal, nationalistic and patriotic citizens of countries or city-states who have uttred and shouted the famous words, “My country, right or wrong”. In ancient Rome, Brutus said Julius Caesar was ambitious and stabbed him to death. Mark Antony came “to bury him” but made an impassioned speech that led the Romans to avenge Caesar’s death. In ancient Malacca Sultanate, Hang Jebat tried to right wrongs but by killing many innocent citizens and was himself killed. Ask JMD of the well respected Jebat Must Die blog if you want more details.

Many these days say, “I love my country, warts and all”. The vast majority of Malaysians feel this even though they are silent. That is what should be. No country, no human beings are perfect and countries are made up of human beings. So, be reasonable. Indeed, as American President John F Kennedy said, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
No, Malaysians cannot say I’ll give what the country wants only after I get what I want from the country. The national interest must take priority over personal interest. That’s how countries become great. Greatness may be quite some distance away for Malaysia but right now we must think about unity and arrest the downslide in racial polarisation.

But if we ponder a little, we should realise that each and every one of us has got something from the country. We go to schools, travel on roads, get treated at hospitals, read at night by electric lights, watch TV, telecoms, Internet etc, etc – all these have been provided by the country for us. Think about it. We have to be thankful for those facilities and appreciate those people before us who have made them possible – never mind who they were or are. What we should do now is ask, ask and ask what we can do for the country. However small the contribution may be. Even by just being a good, loyal citizen.

Disagreement there will always be because we are human beings with differences in our mental faculties and perceptions. But as good, loyal citizens, we can express them. Within the bounds of the law. Freedom is never absolute. For example, the US is very liberal in gun ownership but they must possess a lisence to own one there. Let’s join hands and continue to express more of the constructive and beneficial things for the good of our country and based on the Constitution.

8 02 2010
Ameer Shah

The Oxford dictionary says

Loyal = 1. True, faithful to duty, love or obligation (to); faithful in
allegiance to sovereign, government, or mother-country;
enthusiastically devoted to severeign’s person & family;
exhibiting loyalty

2. Person who remains loyal in times of disaffection

Loyalty = Loyal temper or conduct

National = 1. Of a or the nation, common to the whole nation; peculiar to or characteristic of a particular nation; etc
2. One’s fellow countryme; citizens of a specified country

Nationalism = Patriotic feeling, principles or efforts; policy of national independence.

Patriot = One who defends or is zealous for his country’s freedom or rights

Treason = 1. Violation by subject of allegiance to sovereign or to chief authority of State
2. Breach of faith, disloyalty

One question, Sir – any rewards for loyalty, nationalism and patriotism, and what punishment for not being those and for treason? Thank you.

9 02 2010
SSS Admin

Ameer Shah,

Thank you for putting out the dictionary definition of those words. You sound like a student, if so, good on you for being keen in general knowledge and civic affairs. We wish you a lot of success in your future.

As to your question, here goes our attempt at answering it:

Rewards for loyalty, nationalism and patriotism take many forms. In ancient times they included command at varous levels of the military hierarchy of the time. In medieval times they included awards of fiefdoms varying in size and such titles as Lord of the Manor. In modern times they include knighthood and baronships, and in Malaysia, Datoships, Tan Sriships, Tunships and various grades of the order of merit.

However, the awarding has at times been subject to abuse. There were instances where contributions towards the country as expressions of loyalty, nationalism and patriotism were looked at in questionable ways. Some people like Royal Professor Ungku Aziz, the first Malaysian Vice Chancellor of the first university in the country – University of Malaya, was said to have refused any title but eventually accepted the title “Royal Professor” out of respect for YDP Agong.

Many others are happy to be loyal, nationalistic and patriotic to their country without any reward. So many died fighting for their country during the decades of Communist insurgency and the undeclared war with Indonesia in the early 1960s with just the salaries they received. We must try to get Malaysians do anything they can for their country without getting any rewards. Let us just do even the simple things like respecting and abiding by the Constitution, thus becoming loyal citizens, and put aside hopes of getting titles of any kind.

10 02 2010
Andrea

When many things wrong, what you do? Megat Junid said one University lecturer went into jungle and joined Malayan Communist Party fighters many years ago. See what he said in Megat Junid blog.

I don’t like communist and fighting with guns. Malays and non-Malays are all citizens and should be same.

11 02 2010
SSS Admin

Andrea,

Welcome again and thank you for commenting.

We are happy that you reject communist armed struggles. Actually, they are out of fashion already. Both Russia and China claim to be communists but are practising capitalism, which used to be anathema to communism. But we have to be aware of the communist tactic of subversion and subtle, as well as crude, methods of trying to gain power that are practised by extremist groups in this country.

The University Lecturer who went into the jungle and joined the Malayan Communist Party must have soon found out that there was no library in the jungle! As proven, not only the lecturer, the entire MCP gave up their fight; their remnants lived alienated lives in the jungles of Betong, south Thailand.

To answer your question of what we can do when we find or preceive many things as wrong: we certainly can speak them out, in non-abusive and non-accusatory ways as you have done. But we need to check our preceptions first. Again, you have done the right thing – by asking.

Many things may appear wrong to us because we lack understanding of the basic facts. Or acceptance of those facts. For example, if we perceive national schools as “low quality”, we need to find out the details and the proofs. “Quality” is subjective: what criteria should be used to determine quality? Surely not just good exam passes only. Has any survey been done, what kind of survey, has anyone in authority made a proper study on the matter, etc, etc.

Similarly on your point about “equality”. There is no real equality any where in the world. Even the communists who used to believe in a “classless society” found that there were the proletariat (workers’ class), the bourgeoisie (middle class) and the elite (ruling class) who enjoyed more privileges than the others. As capitalists, they are now like the Americans and the Europeans. In Malaysia, the Constitution says the Malays have a Special Position under Article 153. All citizens have to accept that because that was in exchange for the non-Malays getting citizenship in this country after Merdeka. Also because the Constitution was already discussed and passed by Parliament. So, we try to understand the history of the country, the background to independence in 1957 and accept those facts.

Hopefully the above answers your question satisfactorily. Please do not hesitate to ask us any thing to lessen your perception of things wrong in this country. There are things not right in every country in the world. Right now in Malaysia unity is a huge problem and let’s try to right the wrongs in this respect.

8 02 2010
Sayong

Kena tolak ansor, jalan dua halalah, Bang. Give and take and two-way street. Tak boleh ambik saja atau beri saja. Kat kampong aku ni masih jalan dua hala lagi. Tapi kat Bandar DiRaja Kuala Kangsar seberang sungai nun, dah satu hala saja. Itulah masalahnya. Dah dapat jadi rakyat nak lebih macaam-macam. Pulak dulu kereta Raja Muda pun nak dihalang jalan. Tempat disekolah MARA pun nak, tapi bising pulak kat DEB, bangkang Kerajaan. Siapa makan cili rasa pedas le.

9 02 2010
SSS Admin

Sayong,

Terima kasih kerana mengunjung dan meninggalkan komen lagi.

Benar, mesti ada jalan dua hala dari segi memberi dan menerima faedah di negara ini. Rakyat perlu berpandukan kapada Kontrak Sosial yang telah dipiagamkan didalam Perlambagaan negara. Tidak lain, tidak bukan. Wakil-wakil nenek moyang rakyat Malaysia telah bersetuju dimasa Merdeka supaya bukan Melayau diberi kerakyatan dan, sebagai balasannya, Melayu diberi kedudukan istimewa. Janganlah cucu cicit yang sudah mendapat kerakyatan pula menyo’al kedudukan istimewa itu atau mahukan lebih dari masa kemasa hingga mencecah kedudukan istimewa Melayu yang sudah dipersetujui dahulu.

7 02 2010
Virdon

“these (vernacular school) students are made of sterner stuff particularly in areas of resilience, discipline, humility and most of all, character.”

I don’t know about that. The Deputy Education Minister Wee said in 2008 about 25% drop out from SJKCs.

8 02 2010
SSS Admin

Virdon,

It is true that Deputy Education Minister Wee said in 2008 that a study conducted by the Malaysian Chinese Association together with the Ministry of Education some years before that showed that the drop-out rate in Chinese schools was as high as 25%. We join you in stating our reservation on the statement you quoted.

It was the very same Deputy Minister who threatened to sue us, the promoters of SSS, for using the word “gejala” in reference to vernacular schools. He jumped on that without checking with an authoritative dictionary, like Kamus Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka, which shows that the word has more meanings than what he got apparently from a kamus compiled by a foreigner. Is that “made of sterner stuff particularly in areas of resilience, discipline, humility and most of all, character”? And a Deputy Minister at that?

8 02 2010
Kardasi

The writer said more and more Malays sending their children to vernacular schools. Where got proof? What is the number? Sure only a few compared to no. of Malays in the country. Mebbe he just heard from neighbour or a friend only.

8 02 2010
SSS Admin

Kardasi,

Thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment.

We, too, have not seen proofs of a sizeable number of Malays sending their children to vernacular schools. Remember, the Deputy Minister of Education is the Head of Malaysian Chinese Association Youth Section which is against vernacular schools. If there actually is a significant number of Malays (relative to the total population) sending their children to vernacular schools, he would likely be the one jumping at the opportrunity of making propaganda out of it.

8 02 2010
Abdullah Hukum

Tuan-tuan sekelian ..

Who alleges fear that the national schools is “promoting Islamic practices like the recital of doa and other Islamic-based programmes”?

Surely those are for Mulim children in kelas agama? If the ustaz and ustazah teachers want to promote that among non-Muslim children, nak mampus? Nak hilang kerja, Pengetua nak kena sembur by Ed Dept/ Ministry?

If do’a in BM during Perhimpunan or assembly, wht’s wrong with that? So long as it is not talking about Islam or specially promoting Islam in the message of the do’a. Do’a is a way of life among believers, including Buddhists, Confucianists and Taoists – praying to their ancestors, etc, in their own style. What’s wrong with children clasping their hands and asking, from whoever the pupils believe capable in helping, for the well being of the school, the country, etc?

All those dirty propagada (implying Islamising in school) are spread by mereka yang tak bertanggung jawab. Don’t rule out the vernacular school lovers among them. We must not play into their tune by sebut cara tak komen pasai mengarut tu. Boleh sebut tapi tolong beri tau orang ramai kata-kata depa itu mengarut.

8 02 2010
SSS Admin

Abdullah Hukom,

Thank you for visiting and giving your views.

We agree that it is inconceivable that the religious teachers would be carrying out activities that can be construed as Islamising the national schools. It is not possible that, if it actually happens, no parents would complaint to the Pengetua or the Persatuan Ibu Bapa and that the Pengetua would allow it to continue.

We are pretty sure that non-Muslim children are not allowed in agama classes for Muslim children. The only possibility for baca do’a (saying rayer) is during Perhimpunan or School Assembly. Whatever do’a that may have been carried out there cannot be said to be an attempt at Islamising. Should there be the odd case of a teacher asking pupils of the whole class to berdo’a before the exams, for example, it also cannot be said as Islamising.

There is of course the possibility of those who are pro-vernacular schools propagandising what they hear or perceive, like what has been said in the article concerned.

8 02 2010
sang kelembai

Saya setuju!!!

Satu sekolah untuk semua!!! :)

9 02 2010
SSS Admin

sang kelembai,

Terima kasih diatas sokongan anda.

Inilah bukti bahawa kata-kata yang sedikit pun juga memberi ma’ana yang banyak kapada perjuangan SSS ini.

8 02 2010
Maju

May I offer some views on the article headed “Vernacular Schools in Malaysia”.

First, the SSS promoters do not speak for the “closing down” of vernacular schools; they advocate the “absorption” of such schools into the national schools system so that there will be only one system of education with Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction.

Secondly, the writer referred to “removing the creeping Islamisation and Ketuanan Melayu aspects from them (national schools)” and “racist teaching of Malay supremacy”. I do not know what is meant by those, what instances of “creeping Islamisation”, “Ketuanan Melayu” and “racist teaching” he was referring to. He has not given and neither have I seen proofs of any of those in national schools. Until those are proven, those phrases appear wild and unfair.

I see that the “baca do’a” matter has been raised and addressed in earlier comments. Nothing else have I heard of, nothing like an attempt to convert non-Malay pupils or even conscious attempts to influence them into the Muslim way of life like performing the five daily prayers. If there were, pray tell. Telling them here, with verifiable details, will be good.

Children studying and playing together will not get rid of the racial tensions that exist in the country, but it will surely play a big role in reducing such tensions. Remember that children at the formative age are very impressionable and the impressions they form in primary schools will last for a long time. The exposure to inter-racial mixing will certainly not inhibit them from socialising with others from different ethnicity as they grow older. They will get to understand and accept fellow Malaysians as a matter of course and not become alienated in later life. These alone will surely help in reducing racial tensions.

No doubt different races and cultures will always have different tastes and lifestyles. But the writer must have seen the many cases of Malaysians bonding together everywhere, including in the football stadiums cheering the same soccer or whatever team, especially the Malaysian team during international competitions. But we need more of such and all the time.

Yes, mutual tolerance and respect for each other by all means, but “addressing perceived injustices with regards to government treatment towards different races and cultures” has to be a different matter and to be tackled separately. Those are political in nature and should not be mixed with the issue of the education system.

The writer says racial divisions arise out of government policies. He has also not explained that. Presumably he refers to the usual claims of preferential treatment given to the Malays which has been explained time and again as being attempts to bridge the wide gap (British colonial legacy) in the economic and educational advancement between the minority Chinese and the majority Malays under the New Econmic Policy.

The writer has misgivings about using public schools to create and foster a Malaysian identity. It appears to him to be “overriding the parents’ right to educate and bring up their children as they see fit in the interests of what is thought to be a wider and greater good”. But which country in the world doesn’t regulate the education of children? And isn’t that a necessity especially in Malaysia which is multi-racial and badly needs national unity?

The writer also talks about freedom of choice of schools and “violation of human rights”. But is he aware that even the US still practices a more serious violation of human rights in the detention without trial of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay? He should realise that there is no such thing as absolute freedom in any country in the entire world.

True, there is a lot of room for improvements to be made on the national schools. But isn’t he expecting too much by implying that unless “the national schools can indeed meet the needs of parents of the different communities, prove to them that they can offer education of good quality”, then only will vernacular schools cease to exist? Aren’t those people having such a stand not being reasonable considering that the “good quality” of vernacular schools has not been verified and established either officially or by a reliable international organisation and that there is a strong need for unity which can be brought about through the national schools or SSS.

9 02 2010
SSS Admin

Maju,

There have been accusations on the “Islamisation” and “racist teaching of Malay supremacy” in national schools as there have been accusations of the instilling of “Ketuanan Melayu” in Biro Tata Negara civics courses conducted by the Prime Minister’s Department. It has been stated time and again by the authorities concerned that there were no such things.

These have been the propaganda of chauvinistic political parties out to get the support of the disgruntled sector of the Malaysian population. The disgruntlement stemmed from such things as non-acceptance of the non-Malay part of the bargain at independence where their leaders agreed on the Special Position of the Malays in exchange for the Malay leaders agreeing to citizenship for the non-Malays, who were stateless all those years under British rule and before. Dissatisfaction among the Malays also grew and it reached a situation where one politician called the non-Malays “pendatang” (newcomers) and asked that they respect the “Tuan Tanah” (variously translated as landlord, etc). A chauvinistic largely Chinese opposition party took issue, even questioning the history of the Malays in this country and some followers/ sympathisers even started re-writing the history of Malaya/ Malaysia. They then started making propaganda against such things, now including alleging the “Islamisation of national schools”. Some may have deliberately, others unwittingly quoted or referred to them in what they write.

In the absence of concrete proofs and verifiable details, those allegations remain merely as vicious propaganda. They must, therefore, be rebutted endlessly. However, in the process, they tend to highlight the very need for schooling under one roof for ease of checking and controlling any attempt at unwelcome propaganda or spreading blatant lies to school children.

10 02 2010
Anti-propaganda

One pupil of one school in Petaling Jaya yesterday told me that he has not seen any teacher asking children to baca do’a (reading short prayer) in class. Not once during the many years he has been at scool.

There is baca do’a during Perhimpunan (Assembly) at his school. It is in Bahasa Malaysia. Muslim children open their arms Muslim style. Non-Muslims simply look straight in front without lifting their arms or doing anything during the baca do’a. The paryer was for “selamat, berjaya” etc for the children, the school, the state and the country. Now, what’s wrong with that? What “Islamisation” is that?

See the extent of the propaganda of those anti-national schools/ pro-vernacular schools. This sort of things is not right. We must have a strong government to put these people in their proper places.

11 02 2010
SSS Admin

Anti-propaganda,

Thank you for your visit and input.

We welcome such positive contribution from you. We believe you are prepared to have it verified if necessary. However, we also believe no such Islamisation occurs in national schools. It was just the reading of short prayers in Bahasa Malaysia for the well being of everybody in the school, the state and the country, and we see no harm in such things.

The onus remains with the accusers to furnish proof that the so-called Islamisation takes place. In a country such as ours, it is prudent to be selective of the words we use, especially when they may affect the sensitivity of others. Words such as Islamisation in schools do touch some nerves of Msulims.

Vicious propaganda they may be, the perpetrators include the conscious and deliberate ones, as well as the unwitting ones who write without checking the facts and the circumstances. They would be well advised to desist from doing such from here on. Those persisting and doing so on an undisclosed political agenda may be given retribution at the polls in the coming general elections. Who they are is generally known.

8 02 2010
Amir Hamzah

There are quite a number of people who do not exactly agree with the SSS Memorandum, but they went ahead to sign the petition.

I believe that they are genuine supporters of Sekolah Satu Aliran / Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua. They do not let themselves to be bogged down with the nitty gritty, like the wordings purportedly to abolish venacular schools. This is not the main issue. Why should it becme as an excuse not to sign the petition if you are really genuine?

We can always sign the petition and at the same time write down our suggestions, reservations etc. SSS people will certainly take that into consideration and further improve this SSS campaign where appropriate.

9 02 2010
SSS Admin

Amir Hamzah,

There appears to be quite a few of those who say, “Give me what I want, then oly I’ll give what the country wants”. This is the sad state of affairs in this country nowadays. What with the increasing polarisation among the races. Even on matters of seeking national unity through single-stream schooling, they say show them that the national schools are of high quality first, then they’ll bring their children to the national instead of the vernacular schools.

Mana boleh? This is not like buying fish in the market. Certain things are not negotiable. Some, above, have written about the famous statement: ask not what your country can do for you …

In the first place, quality is by and large subjective. Academic results alone must not be the only criterion. Malaysians must be reasonable. The Petition asks for an in-depth study to be done on the existing system(s) of education. To be done by an independent study team and in a thorough manner as proposed, the study alone would require a minimum of 1 1/2 to 2 years. The decision to implement can be made after that. So, why not sign the Petition, get the Government do the study so that we all would know the strengths and weaknesses of the three education systems in the country and, from there, the Government can strengthen the good aspects and rectify the weaknesses.

9 02 2010
Victor

The commenter says “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. The writer says “One has to give to gain something in return”. That seems OK to me, innit?

10 02 2010
SSS Admin

Victor,

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment.

Giving in order to gain something in return is at least better than just gaining without giving anything. That may be perfectly alright in business negotiations but doing the same as far as the country is concerned is commercialising the idea of contribution. What we give to the country should not be looked at or approached from the angle of a business proposition.

Loyalty to the country is the duty of all citizens. Loyalty is respecting, abiding by and living with the Constitution. The really good Malaysians also have nationalistic and patriotic feelings in them.

9 02 2010
G. Kumar

Who says the call to close down Tamil schools was because of the poor quality of these schools? And who is this Balan guy saying factors leading Indian youth to gangsterism and other criminal activities include their inability to excel in education, particularly when they enter secondary schools? Have you or he got evidence? Any surveys done? Give us details.

He also says Tamil school drop-outs is due to the poor quality of Tamil schools in the country, “poorly managed, lack facilities and are helmed by substandard headmasters and teachers”. What about the Chinese schools? One earlier comment says 25% drop outs from Chinese schools. Better managed, better facilities, high standard teachers and headmasters? Many Chinese youths are also gangsters.

There must be some other reasons common to both Tamil and Chinese schools. Language problem, family background, upbringing …

10 02 2010
SSS Admin

G. Kumar,

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment.

It looks like everybody is accusing everybody else concerning all the three systems of education in the country now – the SKs, the SJKCs and the SJKTs. That is why we have been calling for an in-depth study be made on all the existing systems of education so that we will know the truth. Once the strengths and weaknesses of the SKs, the SJKCs and the SJKTs are determined, then the Government can take action to improve them.

The study should be done by an independent team of experts which should include foreigners qualified and experienced in the field of education so that the findings would not be biased and the recommendations can be truly objective. Let us keep on talking about these. After the subject of sekolah satu aliran was raised in Parliament a few months ago, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education said discussions on these can be continued elsewhere and the Prime Minister has said the single-stream concept will be implemented if the rakyat wants it, allthough he has not spoken on how to determine it.

9 02 2010
Raja Haji

Saya sangat bersetuju dengan konsep ini.

Rakyat Malaysia mesti pergi ke sekolah yang mengamalkan satu kurikulum sejagat.

Usah dibiarkan kanak kanak belajar di dalam suasana berlainan antara satu sama lain.

Oh ya, bila hendak hantar memorandum tu?

Muhyiddin sudah pun tahu. Saya rasa lebih elok hantar sempena hari guru tidak lama lagi (bulan April agaknya)

Wassalam.

10 02 2010
SSS Admin

Raja Haji,

Terima kasih kerana melayar laman web kami dan mengeluarkan pendapat.

Kami bersetuju dengan pendapat yang dikeluarkan itu. Untuk mendapat tahu lebih lanjut latar belakang konsep persepaduan melalui SSS ini, silalah kelaman web Demi Negara blogspot. Rencana-rencana yang amat menarik disitu adalah yang bertajuk “Racial Polarisation And The Forging Of A United Bangsa Malaysia” dan “At Last Some One With The Testicular Fortitude”.

Terima kasih diatas cadangan yang dikeluarkan itu. Penghantaran Memo itu bergantung diatas beberapa perkara, termasuk suasana politik semasa. Kami akan mengumumkannya apabila susana tersebut di lihat sesuai bagi menghantarnya. Sementara waktu, kita prlu beri segala penerangan dari segala segi bagi rakyat memahami sepenuhnya tujuan dan konsep SSS ini.

Silalah teruskan mengeluarkan komen dilaman web ini bila bila masa lapang.

9 02 2010
Steven

We became citizens after Merdeka. All citizens are equal from that time la. Constition also say non-Malays can learn and speak ther languages.

Why we cannot ask for more? All people in the world always ask for more. That is how people dont get left behind. Everybody can ask for more.

10 02 2010
SSS Admin

Steven,

Thank you for visiting and commenting.

Yes, all citizens are equal before the law. But the Constitution says the Malays have a Special Position under Article 153. This is what non-Malay leaders have agreed at Merdeka time. They agreed to this because (it was, in fact, in exchange for) the Malay leaders agreeing to non-Malays being given citizenship after Merdeka. Non-Malays were not citizens and were stateless under British rule. So, that Malay Special Position must be respected. If non-Malays question that, it may lead to questioning of the non-Malays’ right to citizenship for their children and those after them and it is not good.

True, the Constitution says the non-Malays can learn their “mother tongue”. But it does not say vernacular schools can have Mandarin and Tamil as the medium of instruction. Article 152 says Bahasa Malaysia is the National Language. BM should be the medium of instruction for all schools.

Asking for more when it is encroaching on the rights and privileges of others makes others feel uneasy and resentful. MARA schools, for example, were set up to help the economically and educationally disadvantaged Malays most of whom live in the rural areas where there are no secondary schools at all. 10% of places in some of the schools have been given to non-Malays and many Malays are not happy about that. True, there are also disadvantaged non-Malays. But we are talking of the larger context of bridging the large economic and educational gap between the majority Malays and the minority Chinese who, as a whole, have vast wealth and educational advancement.

9 02 2010
Awang Selamat

Kami Melayu sudah ada diTanah Melayu ini sejak berzaman. Melayu serumpun dan Bumiputera diSabah dan Sarawak sudah ada disana juga sedak berzaman. Apa lagi yang sibuk fasal “pendatang”, “tuan tanah” dan sebagainya ni?

Bapak aku cerita dia pergi sekolah jalan kaki 4 batu, lalu lorong semak ada, jalan lecak ada, jalan ada batu pecah ada – tak ada jalan tar. Kaki ayam – tak pakai kasut sebab tak ada orang pakai kasut dikampong masa itu. Separuh jalan itu seorang saja, takut pagi buta atau lewat tengah hari, lapar, haus bagi nak mati, kata dia. Belajar sekolah rendah saja, tak sampai kemana.

5-6 kampong itu ada satu sekolah saja. 1 orang sepupu dia dapat sambung sekolah dibandar 12 batu jauhnya. Naik basikal hari-hari, makan nasi sejuk, sampai sekolah letih. Balik mengayuh basikal dimatahari panas, lapar kehausan juga. Dia dapat jadi Cik Gu saja. 6 kampong sorang dapat jadi Cik Gu. Banyak yang tak sekolah, buta huruf sampai mati saperti banyak saudara mara dia.

Kalaulah Kerajaan bina asrama untuk budak-budak macam itu, kenapa nak jaki, dengki? Dia orang sudah banyak yang kaya, duduk dibandar senang pergi sekolah, ada banyak sekolah, banyak sekolah menengah. Ramai yang banyak duit, ramai yang dapat pelajaran tinggi. Kenapa nak bangkit DEB? Tak patutlah. Kan dia orang sudah dapat jadi rakyat?

10 02 2010
SSS Admin

Awang Selamat,

Betul, sekolah berasrama penuh telah dibina untuk kanak-kanak Melayu yang kebanyakannya dari kawasan luar bandar. MARA telah membina beberapa sekolah berasrama penuh. MARA adalah nama bahru kapada RIDA – Rural And Industrial Development Authority, yang telah ditubuhkan bagi membantu kemajuan penduduk luar bandar salepas Merdeka. Bantuan saperti itu telah ada sabelom Dasar Ekonomi Bahru yang bermula dalam tahun 1970.

Kebanyakan bukan Melayu setuju dengan Dasar Ekonomi Bahru. Mereka sedar bahawa dinegara Cina pun ada kemudahan diberi kapada rakyat yang kurang maju dari yang lain. Kuasa asing yang memerintah negeri Cina beratus tahun sehingga abad 20, yang dipanggil Manchu (dari Manchuria, yang sabelom Perang Dunia Kedua adalah negara asing), telah memberi peruntukan (quota) 25% tempat dipentadbiran negara kapada mereka diselatan negeri Cina sebab mereka kurang kemudahan. Orang Cina yang ada diMalaysia sekarang ini kebanyakannya datang dari selatan negeri Cina.

Hanya segelintir sahaja kaum Cina diMalaysia ini yang tidak setuju dengan DEB. Mereka, yang biasanya pengikut parti pembangkang rasis, mencaci. Oleh itu, orang Melayu perlu sentiasa mempertahankannya. Kita boleh mengharap bahawa melalui SSS, sejak kanak-kanak lagi mereka bercampur dan fahamkan rakyat Melayu, sejarah negara ini dan latar belakang DEB, ia-itu bantuan yang diberi kapada kumpulan yang kekurangan kemudahan, saperti telah diberi kapada nenek moyang mereka dinegeri Cina.

10 02 2010
abda

The writer says “1 School Campaign is wrong to begin by condemning the vernacular schools only as they are not the sole cause of disunity among Malaysians”. But he also says “The 1 School Campaign is good …”

Yes, there are other causes. But tackling the adults, especially the anti-establishment adults, is the job of some others. Let the SSS people try and do something about the young Malaysians who, hopefully, have not been exposed to corrupt ideas about unity by saying it’s no good for them to be isolated in vernacular schools but should instead join the mainstream of society as reflected in the national schools.

12 02 2010
SSS Admin

abda,

Thanks for visiting us again and leaving a comment.

The adults usually have taken up their stand on issues concerning the development of the country and those with a mindset that is not mainstream may be wily at times and are difficult to change. Many factors bring about the stand that they take and, indeed, it is the job of those in authority to try and bring them into the mainstream of the population. It may require the Government to change existing policies.

Yet to some, even policy changes may not be enough. They may even serve to encourage them to be more deviant, claiming victory in causing such changes. Such is the nature of the opposition in any democratic country.

Therefore, it is the young that should be tackled when wanting to see changes in society in the long term. These innocent minds can be easily led into mainstream thinking, learning mutual respect, developing a spirit of togetherness, sharing common hopes and aspirations for themselves and for the country. All these can be achieved at national schoools, unlike at the vernacular schools where enrolment is not racially diverse.

11 02 2010
..NJ

Sdr Admin,

Izinkan saya berkongsi kata-kata ini:-

“… strive to inculcate our children with the goal of being Malaysian: speak, read and write our language Bahasa Malaysia, with ease…”

– Have A meanngful Chinese New Year – Anas Zubedy

Awal persekolahan adalah waktu & tempat terbaik untuk membina identiti seseorang sebagai warga negara Malaysia ini.

“SATU BANGSA, SATU NEGARA, SATU BAHASA”

13 02 2010
SSS Admin

NJ,

“the goal of being Malaysian”, indeed. The problem in Malaysia is that people who have become Malaysians take citizenship for granted and simply do what they like thinking that they have the freedom to do it. Some have no clue about the Constitution, the concept of loyalty, nationalism and patriotism, others are plain nasty as they find anything to oppose and criticise the Establishment, including the Bureau Tata Negara courses designed to instill values necessary for unity and harmony in the country.

Yet there are others who know about loyalty, nationalism and patriotism but think these can be bought. We, however, are very proud when someone brought the subject of loyalty etc in his comment above and another, believed to be a student, volunteered to put out the dictionary definitions of those words. We hope those concerned would benefit from the definitions and the comments we and others make here on loyalty, nationalism and patriotism.

Awal persekolahan memanglah tempat yang terbaik untuk membina identiti sesesorang sebagai warga negara Malaysia. Ia juga terbaik bagi menyemai semangat bersama, mengenali antara satu sama lain, memulakan salitur rahim yang membolehkan mereka bergaul secara semula jadi dimasa berikutan sehingga dewasa. Kanak-kanak perlu bersekolah ditempat yang berbagai bangsa bagi menimbulkan semangat bersama sebagai warga negara Malaysia.

11 02 2010
hizan

“If the Government is not able to remove the vernacular school systems in the near future … ”

Cannot be “If”, man, has to be “When the govenment join the veranacular schools with the sekolah kebangsaan …”. Been there 50 years ago but got to make it right once and for all. Many things racist, kiasu now, politic, school, tv channel. So many blogs anti this, anti that. Bersatu lah people.

13 02 2010
SSS Admin

hizan,

We believe the time will come when there will be only one system of education in this country with Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction, one single curriculum and one syallabus. This has to come for the sake of long term unity and progress in this country. We hope it would be sooner rather than later.

We agree with you that racial polarisation has been increasing in recent years and must be arrested. Various reasons and “excuses” have been given. The authorities must find ways to arrest the widening racial divide. Adequate measures must be taken to make the people understand the issues and what are at stake. The Ministry of Information must use all the resources at its disposal to get the message across to the public. We as inndividuals must also do our part, however small it may be, in bringing about greater understanding, goodwill and harmony in the country.

12 02 2010
Nono

To the writer who, in school, used to write “countless essays espousing the greatness of our country where people respect each other and we live in perfect harmony” – you appear to have been misguided after school. Why don’t you respect the Social Contract whereby non-Malays got citizenship and Malays got a Special Position?

The YDP Agong, through the Government in power, safeguards and promotes the interests of the Malays and the “legitimate interests of the others”. As has been stated many times, the majority Malays were left far behind economically and educationally by the British colonial rule, and the Government, especially after the 13 May 1969 racial riots, tried to bridge the gap between their position and that of the Chinese who prospered with British help in business and had much better educational facilities in the towns where most of them lived until now. Can you not be a little magnanimous and not grudge them?

It has also been pointed out that even in Mainland China, the Manchus (foreigners who ruled China for hundreds of years until the 20th Century – Manchuria became a part of China only after World War II) helped the disadvantaged southerners by allocating 25% of civil service posts to them. At the present time, the disadvantaged Chinese in South Africa, Canada etc are also being helped by the Government concerned. The Malays have been disadvantaged for a long time in this country and still are. Why should you grudge the assistance given to them?

If you respect the Special Position of the Malays, the Malays would also respect the citizenship right of the non-Malays. Nobody would have a problem with your countless essays from now on if based on mutual respect of each others’ rights.

To those making policies in this country, remember that any changes you make to the detriment of the Malays who have been suffering as the disadvantaged lot in this country, like taking away the facilities that have been provided for them, would be resented for a long, long time. If you can’t improve them, don’t deny them to the later generations. The non-Malays enjoy their citizenship right forever. The Malays must also taste the assistance given to them forever.

Excuse me for distracting from the subject of 1 School but the views above need to be expressed for greater understanding among all concerned.

13 02 2010
Wan

Mutual respect. Understanding of Malayan/ Malaysian history. Roles and contributions by each community. Independence. Social Contract. Citizenship and Special Position. The Constitution. Correct interpretation. Loyalty, nationalism and patriotism. Proper perspective.

13 02 2010
SSS Admin

Nono,

Those who deny the existence of a Social Contract among the races are being unreasonable and ignorant of the history of this country leading to Independence or Merdeka. The non-Malays were stateless all those years under British rule and earlier. Prior to Merdeka the Malay leaders agreed that the non-Malays be given citizenship after Merdeka and the non-Malay leaders agreed that the Malays be given a Special Position under the Constitution in exchange for it. It is as clear as clean water.

For the sake of peace and unity in this country this Social Contract must be respected by all Malaysians. Non-Malays must not question the Malay Special Position and the Malays must not question the non-Malays’ right to citizenship for them, their children and grandchildren. There is the Sedition Act which prohibits the questioning of sensitive issues and the Malay Special Position is one of them.

The Malays have reached only 19% corporate wealth against the target of 30%. They have not demanded for more, or for other areas of the economy, although they are the majority in the country and the Chinese, being only 23% of the population, have corporate wealth more than double their population percentage. That the Malays took longer to achieve the target must not be blamed on them because when that target was conceived, it was more of guess work than anything else. Nobody knew the rate of wealth acquisition even under affirmative action – nobody has ever tried it before and the Malays were hardly in big business when the NEP was started in 1970.

We agree that the affirmative action policy must not be stopped and future generations of Malays must not be denied the facilities provided to them in the past. It doesn’t augur well for peace and harmony in this country if that happens.

Least of all, the Special Position of the Malays must not be made an issue in the matter of single-stream schooling. It is a separate matter. Issues on quality of national schools may be discussed. The criteria for determining “quality” may be put out and a consensus arrived at here as a basis for the discussion. Views are welcomed from any one at all.

12 02 2010
Semerah Padi

Dear Sir,

If there was no vernacular school which use and promote foreign language on Malaysian soil, the job of uniting all the people via common language (Bahasa Kebangsaan) would have been much easier.

Then, there should not be any incident of job requirements, requiring applicants to be conversant in English & Chinese, be advertised here on Malaysian soil. Have they forgetten that the CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT for anyone to be accorded Malaysian citizenship is to be fluent in Bahasa Kebangsaan? (Bahasa Melayu)

Now, the enforcement of this constitutional requirement is another story. Ask the politicians, ask PM, why this constitutional requirement is not enforced.

BM is not needed in Malaysia. Interesting point put forward by Rocky Bru.

“BAHASA JIWA BANGSA”

13 02 2010
SSS Admin

Semerah Padi,

In the final analysis, it is a matter of whether these pro-vernacular schools people care for their country or not. No doubt they have taken citizenship of the country, but they appear to have taken for granted what citizenship means. Or they have a skewed view of nation building, like the Dong Zong which talks about “multi-nation states” and other abstract ideas when the majority wants a united Bangsa Malaysia in a “single-nation state” called Malaysia.

In this regard we are also awaiting the Government taking positive steps in the creation of a united Bangsa Malaysia especially considering the increasing racial polarisation now.

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