Najib meneruskan usahanya menukar MALAYsia kepada CINAsia? – Mementingkan undi cina daripada masa depan agama, bangsa dan negara.

24 10 2012

Tidak salah jadi ‘Cina pisang

(Utusan Malaysia 20 Oktober 2012)

  • Perdana Menteri (PM) mengatakan baru-baru ini Malaysia adalah satu-satunya negara di luar China yang mengiktiraf pendidikan Cina sebagai sebahagian daripada sistem pendidikan kebangsaan. Perdana Menteri juga  menegaskan, ketika menjadi menteri pelajaran, Akta Pendidikan 1996 diwujudkan menggantikan Akta Pelajaran 1961.
  • Akta Pelajaran 1961 amat ditakuti kerana memberi kuasa penuh kepada menteri pelajaran untuk menukar sekolah jenis kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) kepada sekolah kebangsaan. Akta Pelajaran 1996, memberikan signifikan amat besar kepada pendidikan Cina. Kerajaan secara langsung mengiktiraf kewujudan Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC), Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SMJKC) dan Sekolah Persendirian Cina (SPC) sebagai sebahagian daripada sistem pendidikan kebangsaan yang bersifat kekal. Belajarlah berterima kasih kepada PM.
  • Sekadar makluman, selepas 1996, lebih banyak sumber kewangan diperuntukkan pendidikan Cina. Pada masa itu, terdapat 78 sekolah menengah Cina yang memilih untuk mematuhi silibus dan pengajaran kerajaan dan ia menjadi SMJKC, manakala 60 lagi kekal sebagai SPC. Ini tidak termasuk sejumlah hamper 1,300 SJKC yang diterima masuk sebagai sistem pendidikan kebangsaan. Bilangan SJKC terus bertambah setiap tahun melalui bantuan kerajaan sepenuhnya.
  • Akta 1996 yang lunak ini membolehkan kerajaan memberi bantuan kewangan, fiskal dan sumber perancangan kepada sistem pendidikan Cina. Namun, sedarkah kita bahawa akta ini juga ditentang oleh NGO Cina seperti Dong Jiao Zong, kerana mereka tidak mahu langsung sekolah Cina diganggu-gugat. Mereka mahu beroperasi dengan penuh kecinaan.
  • PM turut menjelaskan kedudukan terkini permohonan pembinaan sekolah menengah persendirian Cina di Kuantan, Pahang seperti yang dituntut komuniti di kawasan tersebut. Syarat yang dikenakan adalah pelajar-pelajar ini wajib mengambil Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) dan jika pelajar mahu mengambil peperiksaan Sijil Peperiksaan Bersama (UEC), itu terpulang kepada mereka. Kerajaan juga menyediakan peruntukan kira-kira RM100 juta untuk membangunkan SJKC di seluruh negara. Selain itu, kerajaan turut menawarkan biasiswa kepada pelajar-pelajar terbaik UEC selain menyelesaikan segera isu kekurangan guru di SJKC. Itupun masih ditentang kerana mereka mahu UEC diiktiraf sepenuhnya tanpa mengambil SPM.
  • Sebagai timbal balas, PM menaruh harapan melihat masyarakat Cina di negara ini fasih berbahasa Melayu. Persoalannya, bolehkah harapan PM ini dipenuhi oleh komuniti Cina, terutama kumpulan ultra kiasu, setelah kerajaan memberi begitu banyak kemudahan dan begitu bertoleransi.
  • Tidak ada negara di dunia ini yang begitu bermurah hati dan bertoleransi seperti apa yang negara kita lakukan. Persoalannya, kenapa tidak dihargai? Apa jua cadangan kerajaan untuk penambaikan sekolah Cina adalah ditentang habis-habisan. Toleransi yang tidak ada tolok bandingnya ini masih lagi diterima. Apa yang dimahukan oleh orang Cina? Apakah mereka mahu tinggal di pulau sendiri seperti Singapura dan sasaran mereka hari ini adalah Pulau Pinang.
  • Lebih memeranjatkan lagi, Timbalan Menteri Pengajian Tinggi Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah menjelaskan isu pendidikan dan kesaksamaan ekonomi, yang disebut sebagai road map, adalah daya penarik bagi menarik undi masyarakat Cina yang kebanyakannya kini beralih menyokong Pakatan Rakyat (PR). Road map yang dimaksudkan mengiktiraf UEC, seperti kerajaan mengiktiraf sijil dikeluarkan Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman. Selain itu, terdapat beberapa tuntutan  utama lain yang mesti dipenuhi dipenuhi iaitu mengatasi masalah kekurangan guru di SJKC; menghalau keluar guru-guru bahasa Melayu dan Inggeris yang tidak mempunyai kredit mandarin dalam SPM, kesukaran permohonan pendaftaran ahli lembaga pengarah pengelola sekolah Cina, mencinakan penubuhan Sekolah Menengah Chong Hwa Kuantan, meluluskan penubuhan sekolah Cina persendirian Segamat, tambahan peruntukan pembangunan SJKC dan menyediakan rizab tanah sekolah Cina dan peruntukan yang diperlukan untuk membina sekolah.
  • Kata Saifuddin lagi, sekiranya isu-isu seperti itu berjaya diselesaikan, komuniti masyarakat Cina berkemungkinan besar akan kembali untuk menyokong kerajaan. Persoalan saya, jika semua tuntutan dipenuhi identiti apa yang akan tinggal? Kita membina negara atau membina bangsa? Raikan bangsa majoriti atau minoriti?
  • Saya harap kerajaan buat audit akaun-akaun NGO-NGO ini termasuk PIBG dan sumbangan hartawan Cina kepada mereka. Percayalah, jutaan wang telah ditaburkan. Maka tidak hairan jika kemudahan sekolah Cina jauh lebih baik daripada sekolah kerajaan kerana sikap dermawan hartawan mereka. 
  • Perkara yang perlu difikirkan adakah pendidikan dan masa depan boleh dijual beli? Sampai bila kita harus tunduk kepada desakan Cina kerana undi. Apakah kita lebih mementing undi Cina daripada masa depan agama, bangsa dan negara? Jika semua tuntutan ini dipenuhi maka berlakulah proses pencinaan 100 peratus. Mereka lebih cina daripada orang Cina di China. Ini tidak termasuk, proses pencinaan IPTS swasta yang hebat berlaku dan IPTS berasaskan parti politik perkauman. Proses pencinaan berlaku daripada sekolah rendah sehingga ke peringkat institusi pengajian tinggi. Jika semua ini terus dibiarkan berlaku, tidak ada ertinya nama Malaysia, kerana identiti Malay (Melayu) sudah tidak wujud lagi. Yang ada, hanya menonjol hanya Chinesesia.
  • Hargai toleransi dan sikap murah hati PM. Ini tidak, mereka terus menerus mendesak kerajaan supaya terus mencinakan pendidikan Cina. Mereka langsung tidak memikirkan tentang bangsa majoriti yang semakin hilang identitinya semata-mata meraikan bangsa lain.
  • Sudahlah bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa kebangsaan tidak terdaulat. Hari ini sistem pendidikan tidak menyokong ke arah mendaulatkan bahasa kebangsaan. Peruntukan tahunan sudah menjadi sama rata. Di manakah maksud adil yang sebenarnya? Adil sudah tidak membawa makna meletakkan sesuatu pada tempatnya, tetapi sudah menjadi 1>1. Adilkah namanya?
  • Saya amat bimbang, tindakan mengalah ini akan menyimpan atau melahir rasa dendam orang Melayu kepada orang Cina. Inilah sebenarnya antara punca peristiwa 13 Mei 1969. Apabila dendam tidak dapat dikawal maka mengamuklah orang Melayu.
  • Percayalah, jika orang Cina terus mengambil pendekatan tertutup yakni terus mencinakan sekolah Cina, lebih cina daripada negeri Cina. Suatu hari ini orang Cina juga yang akan rugi dan menyesal. Mereka akan ketinggalan. Kecinaan yang keterlaluan tidak akan membawa keuntungan kepada orang Cina, kerana orang Cina tidak tinggal dilubuk sendiri.
  • Tidak salah menjadi Cina pisang sedikit, sebab kita berada di tempat orang, bukan tempat asal  kita dahulu. Saya tidak langsung membantah, jika orang Cina mahu menjadi secina-cinanya jika mereka berada di negara China.
  • Tetapi hari ini kita berada di Malaysia. Negara yang majoritinya adalah Melayu dan bahasa Melayu adalah bahasa kebangsaan, bahasa untuk orang Cina berinteraksi dengan orang Melayu adalah bahasa Melayu. Bahasa perpaduan dan integrasi adalah bahasa Melayu. Mustahil orang Melayu akan berkomunikasi dalam bahasa Cina dengan orang Cina. Itupun orang Melayu sanggup korbankan lengkok dan gaya bahasa Melayu semata-mata meraikan orang Cina. Cakap Melayu, berbunyi Cina (slang dan accent).
  • Penegasan yang sama saya buat dalam forum bulan bahasa di Putrajaya baru-baru ini anjuran Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Tidak ada berlaku dalam sejarah dunia, ada negara mengadakan kempen bukan bahasa kebangsaan. Kenapa perlu ada kempen bulan bahasa kebangsaan sedangkan bahasa melayu sudah termaktub dalam perlembagaan. Kita tidak pernah dengar adalah bulan bahasa Siam di Thailand, atau bulan bahasa di negara Perancis, Jerman, Jepun, China, Indonesia dan sebagainya. Bahasa kebangsaan mereka memang sudah terdaulat dan terdarjat. Kenapa kita masih terhegeh-hegeh untuk mendaulatkan bahasa berdaulat dalam perlembagaan ini? Apa masalah kita sebenarnya jika bukan kerana ramai bukan Melayu tidak boleh berbahasa Melayu disebabkan oleh sistem pendidikan perkauman ini?
  • Pada hemat saya, tidak perlu kempen, buang wang dan tenaga. Wajibkan penggunaannya dan kuatkuasakan serta merta, seperti yang dicadangkan oleh Allahyarham Dato Hassan Ahmad (15.2.2010):
  • i) Bahasa Melayu adalah bahasa kebangsaan negara, bukan bahasa kebangsaan Melayu. Bahasa Melayu mesti digunakan dalam urusan rasmi kerajaan. Justeru, Jawatankuasa Khas hendak dibentuk disetiap Kementerian dan agensi kerajaan serta sektor swasta supaya mendaulatkan bahasa Melayu dalam urusan rasmi. Menteri yang bertanggungjawab wajib memastikan bahasa Melayu digunakan dalam amalan seharian, ii) Bahasa Melayu mesti digunakan sebagai bahasa pengantar utama sistem pendidikan dari peringkat sekolah rendah hingga pengajian tinggi, iii) Bahasa Melayu mesti diajar sebagai mata pelajaran wajib di semua jenis sekolah dan wajib lulus untuk lulus dalam keseluruhan peperiksaan, iv) Jika bahasa Inggeris itu menjadi keutamaan, maka bahasa Inggeris hendaklah dijadikan sebagai bahasa kedua yang wajib diambil di semua jenis sekolah, tetapi jangan sampai menenggelamkan bahasa Melayu, v) Di sekolah jenis kebangsaan, tambahan masa bahasa Melayu mesti dilakukan dengan tegas tanpa tunduk kepada ugutan persatuan-persatuan yang terlalu sifat kebangsaan atau ultra kiasu, yakni kumpulan yang tidak mahu mengaku kalah, vi) Semua media cetak, elektronik, papan tanda, risalah dan sebagainya mesti mendaulatkan bahasa Melayu berbanding bahasa lain. Tindakan undang-undang dan saman boleh diambil terhadap mereka yang membelakangkan bahasa Melayu, vii) Nama-nama Syarikat, Taman Perumahan, dan sebagainya mesti melambangkan identiti bahasa kebangsaan berbanding bahasa lain, viii) Malaysia perlu banyak belajar daripada negara jiran seperti Thailand dan Indonesia, bagaimana negara-negara ini mendaulatkan bahasa kebangsaan mereka.
  • Cadangan yang cukup minima ini mesti diterima. Janganlah kerana tidak mahu menjadi Cina pisang, kita turut mahu mencinakan negara ini. Sikap seperti ini tidak akan membawa kepada pembinaan negara bangsa yang sihat. Tetapi hanya akan menambah luka yang sedia ada. Mungkin ketika itu pemimpin NGO Cina yang ultra kiasu ini, sudah tidak ada lagi. Tetapi yang akan menjadi mangsa adalah generasi yang akan datang. Apakah sanggup kita mangsakan mereka disebabkan oleh tangan-tangan kita hari ini.
  • Saya mohon maaf kepada orang Cina, jika tersinggung dengan tulisan ini. Saya langsung tidak anti Cina, sebab saya juga adalah Cina. Tidak salah jika kita menjadi Cina pisang atau kita tidak rugi sedikitnya jika kurang sedikit kecinaannya, kerana kita sudah dapat yang sepatutnya kita dapat. Kita boleh mengamalkan semua budaya Cina sama seperti Cina di China. Ekonomipun kita sudah kuasai hampir kesemuanya, walaupun tidak sepenuhnya. Apa lagi yang kita mahu? Kita boleh menjadi Cina totok, di bumi orang lain.
  • Akhirnya, sudah sampai masanya, seorang menteri khas dilantik untuk menjaga kedudukan bahasa kebangsaan ini dan seterusnya memperkasakan peranan DBP supaya mendapat kuasa sepenuhnya mendaulatkan bahasa kebangsaan. Jika, tidak bahasa Melayu akan merempat di bumi sendiri.
  • Hati sayu bercampur gundah
  • Bila melihat bahasa diketepi
  • Bahasa Melayu bahasa indah
  • Sayangnya merempat di bumi sendiri 
Prof Madya Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah
Ketua Program
Pengajian Kenegaraan dan Ketamadunan
Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia

BA CA JUGA dari DinTurtle:-

Melayu Mungkin Sudah MUAK Dengan Dap TAPI Melayu Belum Puas Bodek Cina !

…Terbaru Najib umumkan geran RM30juta kepada sekolah cina, sebelum itu beliau BODEK lagi dengan janji2 umpama WIRA VERNAKULAR TERAGUNG Negara….





Sistem pendidikan yang bercorak perkauman

21 09 2012

 

  • Transformasi pendidikan perlu tegas dan patriotik

  • (Sinar Harian, 17 Sept 2012)
  • Saya begitu teruja untuk mengulas pandangan bekas Ketua Polis Negara, Tun Hanif Omar bertajuk  “anak muda kini tidak patriotik langsung!” dalam akhbar ini minggu lalu. Beliau menyalahkan orang tua seperti ibu bapa, kerana tidak menanamkan semangat ini. Saya agak kurang bersetuju dengan pendapat tersebut, kerana kita semuanya dicorakkan oleh sistem pendidikan yang dilalui semasa kecil sehinggalah dewasa dan menjadi tua.
  • Sistem pendidikan yang bercorak perkauman adalah punca segala-galanya, kerana sistem inilah melahirkan insan yang bergelar ibu bapa atau orang tua hari ini. Setiap kaum memperjuangkan pendidikan dan cara hidup masing-masing, tidak ada kompromi. Sebarang campurtangan akan ditentang habis-habisan. Sekolah perkauman ini seolah-olah tidak boleh disentuh. Pihak berkuasa  pula gentar dengan mereka, kerana takut kehilangan undi.
  • Kita selalu menggunakan alasan, kepelbagaian ini adalah satu kekuatan. Persoalanya, pernahkah kita membuat kajian implikasi kepelbagaian ini, seperti yang pernah ditegaskan oleh Perdana Menteri Britain, David Camerons mengenai multiculturalism? Yakinlah! bahawa kejayaan negara-negara barat hari ini adalah disebabkan oleh mereka begitu tegas melaksanakan agenda negara atau agenda nasional tanpa kompromi. Mereka yang menentang agenda negara akan diberikan pilihan, “setuju tinggal, tak setuju boleh belah!”.
  • Negara-negara yang dahulunya dikatakan mundur seperti Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia dan lain-lain, sudah mula meninggalkan kita. Mereka mempunyai rakyat yang mempunyai jati diri yang kental. Sanggup berkorban jiwa raga untuk agama, bangsa dan negara. Kepakaran dan kekuatan digembelingkan sepenuhnya untuk memajukan negara. Tidak berlaku brain drain. Usahlah dibandingkan dengan negara maju. Semuanya bermula dengan memperkasakan sistem pendidikan, tanpa kompromi.
  • Negara-negara ini sedar, semangat patriotik adalah tunggak kekuatan negara. Jika semangat ini tidak dipaksakan melalui sistem pendidikan, lambat laun agenda negara tidak ada hala tuju dan menjadi caca merba. Contoh mudah, apabila lagu kebangsaan dinyanyikan, semuanya berdiri tegak, diam dan begitu bersemangat. Bandingkan dengan kita, pergilah ke sekolah-sekolah, lihat gelagat anak-anak kita menyanyikan lagu kebangsaan. Sekolah perkauman usahlah dicerita. Begitu juga tempat-tempat awam. Mereka buat tidak peduli sahaja.
  • Kerajaan negara-negara yang disebutkan tadi, sentiasa mengambil iktibar dan merujuk kepada cerdik pandai dalam menentukan arah tuju negara. Kajian-kajian para cerdik pandai diambil kira dan dijadikan dasar negara. Tetapi tidak kita. Kajian yang telah terbukti benar dan jitu, disimpan di bawah karpet, kerana takut kehilangan jawatan dan sokongan pengundi. Misalnya, pemansuhan Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam bahasa Inggeris (PPSMI) yang dahulunya mula flip flop apabila ditentang oleh ultra kiasu Melayu dan bukan Melayu. Saya harapkan kita tidak akan goyah lagi dengan ugutan mereka selepas ini.
  • Saya ingin menyeru kepada pimpinan negara supaya sensitif dengan kajian sarjana-sarjana sosialisasi politik seperti Hyman (1959), Almond dan Verba (1963), Greenstein (1965), Hess dan Torney (1967), Dawson dan Prewitt (1969), Dowse dan Hughes (1972), Dennis (1973), Jaros (1973), Neena Sharma (1985) dan Kavanagh (1987) meletakkan agen keluarga dan sistem pendidikan adalah yang paling dominan dalam menentukan persepsi, cara hidup dan masa depan negara. Semua perkara yang dilalui ini akan diperturunkan dari satu generasi ke satu generasi. Jika dari awal lagi sudah tidak patriotik, jangan haraplah generasi seterusnya akan patriotik.
  • Menurut mereka lagi, dengan mendengar perbualan ibubapa ketika bersarapan, anak-anak mula membentuk corak pemikiran mereka. Pendek kata, jika keluarga dan sistem pendidikan bersifat ultra kiasu, maka akan lahirlah ramai ultra kiasu. Realiti inilah yang sedang berlaku di Malaysia dari dahulu hingga kini. Semakin kita tunduk kepada ultra kiasu, bermakna semakin ramailah ultra kiasu.
  • Pendidikan berasaskan kaum, melalui kewujudan sekolah vernakular, sekolah persendirian dan sekolah swasta, yang tidak terkawal, dilihat gagal untuk menanamkan semangat patriotik, tetapi lebih kepada memperkaya individu tertentu dan memperhebatkan bangsa sendiri. Lebih malang lagi, kerajaan terpaksa tunduk kepada tekanan-tekanan puak ultra kiasu ini, agar sekolah sebegini diperbanyakkan dan dibiayai dengan percuma. Malangnya, sebarang penambahbaikan terhadap bahasa Melayu akan ditentang kerana ia akan menjejaskan penguasaan bahasa ibunda.
  • Kita sebenarnya sedar betapa besarnya peranan bahasa dalam pendidikan sebagai tunggak kepada pembentukan semangat  patriotisme. Sebab itulah, di negara lain, isu bahasa tidak ada kompromi. Jika bahasa negara ditolak, mereka akan dihalau keluar. Negara tidak memerlukan orang-orang sebegini. Biarlah berlaku brain drain, asalkan rahsia dan keselamatan negara terjamin. Semangat patriotik lebih penting daripada brain drain. Inilah prinsip negara-negara yang telah maju dan sedang mahu maju.
  • Bagaimana semangat patriotik boleh disemai jika rakyat Malaysia tidak sayang kepada bahasa kebangsaan atau tidak boleh berbahasa kebangsaan? Dasar-dasar negara tidak dapat difahami. Pendek kata, semua perkara mesti diterjemah ke dalam bahasa ibunda, sedangkan kita sudah ada bahasa rasmi. 
  • Sistem pendidikan negara kita telah mengalami transformasi demi transformasi. Saya tidak pasti, berapa banyak wang yang telah dihabis. Jika bertukar menteri pelajaran, maka bertukarlah polisi dan dasar. Transformasi telah berlaku berkali-kali, namun asasnya masih sama. Tembok perkauman masih tidak dapat dipecahkan. Kita tidak bertegas dalam memperkasa agenda negara. Kita akan terus gagal jika masalah asas ini tidak diatasi.  
  • Berbanding generasi terdahulu, sanggup bergadai nyawa, bergolok bergadai, demi mempertahankan maruah agama, bangsa dan negara. Saya yakin, jika negara kita berhadapan dengan saat-saat kritikal seperti yang sedang berlaku antara China dengan Jepun hari ini, berapa ramaikah yang sanggup berkorban jiwa raga? Atau mungkin kita jual raga-raganya sekali?




This fractured school system

20 09 2012

 

 

Wither The True Bangsa Malaysia

A Kadir Jasin

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IN A MALAYSIA that is becoming more racially polarised and economically dichotomised, the passing of my Chinaman friend, Yap Keng Hock, on Aug. 14 was a sad moment.

We, his Melayu friends, called him China Yap and he loved every bit of it. We could very well be the last Malaysians who could call each other by our “bangsa” and not a bit offended by it.

But in public we would refrain from calling out to each other by our bangsa – Melayu and China – for fear that we might offence the sensibilities of the new Malaysian generation who are not used to the kind of camaraderie that once defined our multiracial and cross cultural relationship.

Our group comprised the late Captain Mahyuddin Ahmad of Kulim, Kedah, Yap, the executive director of Media Prima Berhad, Ahmad A Talib and yours truly.

Mahyuddin and Yap collaborated in business. When Mahyuddin was a manager at Marco Shoes in Klang, Yap supplied moulds and dyes for Nike shoes that the company was then manufacturing under license.

Yap learned mould and dye making in Japan when he was sent there by his early employer, Matsushita.

Mahyuddin went on to set up a mill in Kulim to produce castrating rings for animal husbandry. Mahyuddin’s business was inherited by his children and all of Yap’s four children are working in the family business together with Yap’s younger brother, Gary.

When I was introduced to Yap in the late 1970’s, he was running a makeshift foundry in Klang. I noted in my report in the Business Times newspaper that his foundry looked more like a pigsty than a factory.

He enjoyed every bit of the report and told me later that even American bankers found his story inspiring. When the factory caught fire and was totally destroyed, he built a batter one.

Yap was indeed a kampung boy who made good thanks to his Malay and English education, and the fact that he was born and raised in a mixed rural town in Negeri Sembilan.

Today, there aren’t that many Malays like Mahyuddin and Chinese like Yap, who attended bilingual multi-ethnic schools where the command of the Malay and English languages built bridges and tore down communal fences.

Sadly today, the Malays and other Bumiputeras attend national schools, the Chinese go to Chinese type national schools and Tamil-speaking Indians go to Tamil type national schools.

They all call themselves national, but they are separated by geography, language, culture and quality of education. To add to the confusion we also have private and international schools where the better-off parents are free to send their children.

Little surprise that when products of this fractured school system meet each other in later life, they are already influenced by deep racial, religious and cultural biases that makes the fostering of a true bangsa Malaysia nearly impossible.

As I grow older and many of good friends of those unprejudiced times are either dead or struck down by age-related illnesses, I look back at the past with a mixture of satisfaction and nostalgia that we were once true Malayans (and later Malaysians). Wallahualam.

 





Education & Religion

3 09 2012

 

  • Bill Nye : Do Not Mix Religion And Education

  • Hi folks. This is a You Tube of the famous “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. In the 1990s my young sons would hardly miss an episode of  “Bill Nye The Science Guy” on TV. Here he is again  speaking up in favour of Science. Do listen to the video, it is very short.  This is an Islamic video.
  • Bill Nye is worried about the influence of the religious folks on children in the United States. There are still quite a few of them in the US.  The difference (or rather the similarity) is that in the US the religious people are Bible thumpers. There is a ‘christian’ theme park in the US which shows human beings coexisting with the dinosaurs. This is scientifically impossible because dinosaurs lived tens of millions of years before humans.  The human being, homo sapiens, has a history of less than 500,000 years (approx.)
  • Bible thumpers say that is a huge error because (according to their Bible) the earth was created 6,666 years before the current date. So the dinosaurs could not be more than 6,666 years old too. Of course this is another ‘tanpa menggunakan akal‘ situation. If we use logic and thinking we cannot accept such beliefs. But if we indulge in ‘tanpa menggunakan akal‘  then we too can accept that dinosaurs were created not more than 6,666 years ago.  Fruitcakes were invented shortly after that.
  • But Bill Nye is not going into so much detail about religion. He is not arguing about any specific religious beliefs, including creation versus evolution.
  • Bill Nye is simply saying let the kids go through the education system first. Let them learn the physics, the biology and the chemistry and complete their education without being confused by religion. Once they have grown up then they can go and seek their religious knowledge – (on their own time and on their own money – these are my words).
  •  
  • Bill Nye also makes a prediction – he says in about 200 years religion will die a complete death. I think this will happen much earlier.  The question is how painful will the process be? Looking at Malaysia for example our Government schools are becoming like PAS religious madrassahs.  (Yo doh, it is PAS that is benefiting the most from the “Islamic-cessation” of school learning ok).  Ours could be a more difficult and painful process.
  • Government school now starts with a baca doa, kids are thought to enter the toilet with their left leg and exit with their right legs. The guru agama can overrule even the headmaster in decision making in the school. Girls cannot play volleyball, they cannot run, school concerts cannot do this, cannot do that and all sorts of religious crap.
  • Sejarah studies are filled with incredible stories about “Islamic history” – which no one can verify whether they really happened in the manner written in the sejarah books. There are only ‘pros’ taught to the kids with no contrarian views or criticism allowed. (Because it is religious lah).
  • And much of the information is not relevant to anyone. Much of the information only seeks to highlight differences between the Muslims and the non Muslims. Or they are designed to make the Muslims feel good that a long, long time ago my great heroes threw dirt in the face of your heroes. Its not history, its just a macho thing.
  • Since we are a Constitutional Monarchy,  I believe it will be more relevant for us to study the history of Oliver Cromwell, with all the pros and cons – he chopped off the King’s head in merry old England – and expedited the idea of ‘Constitutional Monarchy’.  It will also be useful to study in precise detail the nation building and reformation under Meiji Japan, with all the pros and cons.  And maybe the near miraculous rebirth of industrial Germany under Adolf Hitler – also with all the pros and cons.  Then history will be more relevant to us in the modern age.
  • When we were living in the 1960s and 1970s (where api, air tak ada, where emak bapa kita pun tak tahu baca atau menulis, where people still mandi berkemban di tepi sungai) the rest of the world was also not too far advanced. Even the British banks still used huge Ledger Books to record every deposit and withdrawal. There were no computers then.
  • At that time, if you believed that dinosaurs were created just 6,666 years ago you were not much different from your neighbours who believed that once a year, after a full moon, trees would magically bend down on one particular night. Those were all illogical “tanpa menggunakan akal” beliefs.  You can only accept such things when you do not use your akal.
  • What saved us at that time (1960s, 1970s) was that we did NOT teach too much of these illogical beliefs in the Government schools.  During my time there was very little agama taught in school. Before my time, there was almost none. We learnt agama at home on our own time from our parents and from the ‘kelas mengaji Quran’ as well as from the Masjid.
  • School was devoted to learning useful subjects. My fondest recollection was learning at ACS Ipoh (up to Form 1) and Form 4 & 5 Science at the Melaka High School.  At the Melaka High School in 1976/77 Science was taught with military precision. We first had the theory taught in class. Then we would march to the lab and perform Science experiments about what we had learnt in theory. The lab experiments gave us visual confirmation of the theory from the chemistry, biology and physics. It was just so interesting. Those of us who were more inclined would go to the library and read up more about what we were learning.
  • We were not confused about masuk tandas angkat kaki kiri, dinosaurs were created 6,666 years ago and stuff like that. That is why in Malaysia today the generation of the 60s and the 70s are still balanced and more reasonable.  Those who went to school in the 80s and 90s onwards have become something else – especially the Muslims.  They have become Taliban.  The younger generation is becoming even more Taliban.
  • The big difference between the 1960s/1970s and the present time is that the world has changed at light speed. The Internet, Twitter, satellite TV, You Tube, TED Talks, globalisation are here inside our bedrooms.  We are really living in a super modern age. And people of all shades, colours, cultures meet everyday, mix around, do business together, work and play together. In Perth, Australia, Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and even Kuala Lumpur the mix of human beings is fantastic.
  • Now is the time to teach universal, inclusive values to our kids which will help them mix easily and freely with their fellow human beings of different cultures and races. Not uncommon, ridiculous, backward,  dunggu, false, exclusive and even satanic values that make our kids feel like strange aliens among other human beings.  We are not equipping our kids to survive in the 21st century.  
  • Let the kids go through the education system first. Let them learn the physics, the biology and the chemistry and complete their education without being confused by religion. Once they have grown up then they can go and seek their religious knowledge – on their own time and on their own money.
  • Yet, sadly what we see is that in the 21st century, some people are just getting to warp speed about angkat kaki kiri, kismis ajaib, air jampi, hantu, polong, who-doed, no who-doed, agama this and agama that.  Bila duit minyak habis nanti, nak gembala unta pun dah tak boleh dah. Lagi ramai dunggu dari unta.




A Merdeka of the mind

1 09 2012

Comment
Prof Shad Saleem Faruqi

Our education is too Western-centric, aping Western universities and showing ignorance of Asian and African contributions to knowledge.

AS we celebrate 55 years of political independence, we may note the blessings of peace and prosperity in our beloved land. But we also need to reflect on some unfulfilled dimensions of independence.

If independence is autonomy or freedom from the control of another nation, then we Malaysians are hardly free.

The basic assumptions of our political, economic and educational systems are dictated by Western, especially Anglo-American, hegemony. Politically we are free but enslavement of the mind has hardly ceased.

A slave mentality or Western/Euro-centrism need not be a conscious option. It is rooted in our psychology of dependence on, and blind reverence for, everything Western.

Syed Hussein Alatas calls it “the captive mind”. For Ward Churchill, modern intellectual discourse and higher education are “White Studies”.

Hundreds of years ago, the coloniser seized not only land but minds, monopolising information sources and undermining indigenous know­ledge.

For Frantz Fanon, the colonised was “elevated above his jungle status in proportion to his adoption of the mother country’s cultural standards”.

Ngugi wa Thiong says “it is the final triumph of a system of domination, when the dominated start singing its virtues”.

So 55 years after independence, our public figures are still enamoured with the colonial tune. Their intellectual discourses have three tendencies.

First, the Western worldview and its assumptions are blindly aped. Second, we are ignorant of Asian and African roots of knowledge and Eastern contributions to civilisation. Third, there is hardly any critique of Western theories in the light of our own realities.

Take Western-centrism in our educational institutions. Yusef Progler finds that in whatever field of study, a course in most Asian and African universities follows a similar path.

“It will first identify the great white European or American men of each discipline and then drill their theories and practices as if these were universal”, while ignoring knowledge from other civilisations.

Government recognition of foreign degrees is skewed in favour of Anglo-American awards. Eminent citadels of learning in Asia and Africa are largely ignored.

The favoured destination for JPA-sponsored postgraduate scholars is Europe or the United States. The external examiners and visiting professors are mostly from Britain, the US or Australia. Asian scholars are generally excluded from such honours or offered lesser terms.

Intellectual grovelling before Western experts remains as deeply ingrained as during the British Raj. A few years ago, Cherie Blair was invited to lead the arguments in a case before our courts even when scores of eminent local lawyers were available.

In any prestigious lecture series, the guest of honour is invariably a Westerner, sometimes of dubious credentials. For example, Tony Blair was invited by a local NGO to deliver a lecture.

But when Mugabe and Bashar were scheduled to come, concern was expressed, and rightly so. The crimes of Western leaders may be ignored, but we jump up to take a principled stand against Asian and African miscreants.

Our legal system remains British-oriented. In the English fashion of Austinian positivism, the concept of law is tied to the commands of the political sovereign even though most Asians and Africans regard religion and custom as part of the seamless web of the law.

The Civil Law Act continues its worship of outdated British precedents even though we have greater affinity with many other constitutional systems like India’s.

The Legal Profession Act continues to permit British graduates to be called to the Malaysian Bar without undergoing a bridging course. A key component of the course should be a study of the Malaysian Consti­tution.

In our law faculties, legal education is as much a colonial construct as during the Raj. The course structure and content, the book list and the icons are mostly Western.

A typical course on jurisprudence in Malaysia often begins with Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Bentham, Pound, Weber, Ehrlich, Durkheim, Marx, etc.

The Mahabharata, the Arthashastra, the Book of Mencius, the Analects of Confucius and the treatises of Ghazali, Ibn Rushd, Jose Rizal, Benoy Kumar Sarkar, Yanagita Kunio and Naquib al-Attas are not included.

Chinese, Indian and Persian universities predated European ones and provided paradigms for early Western education. Yet our universities ignore centuries of enlightenment in China, India, Japan, Persia and West Asia.

It is as if all things good and wholesome originated with Western civilisation and the East was, and is, an intellectual desert. The truth is other­wise.

In science, Galileo, Newton and Einstein illuminated the firmament but not much is known about Al-hazen and Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. Western chemistry was preceded by Eastern alchemy, algebra had African roots.

The philosophy of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Sartre and Goethe can be matched by Ghazali, Ibn Rushd, Mulla Sadra, Shenhui, al-Mutanabbi and Kalidasa. Durkheim’s and Weber’s sociology must compete with Ibn Khaldun’s.

Freudian psychology had its corrective in Buddhist wisdom. The Cartesian medical model has its Eastern counterpart in ayurvedic, unani and herbal methods.

Very few know that Arab Muslims were central to the making of medieval Europe.

A slavish mimicking of Western norms of government, law and economics prevents us from tackling our own problems like poverty and unsustainable development.

Our attitude leaves us vulnerable to many predatory policies of Western-dominated institutions and processes. Transnational corporations dominate our economies.

Many Asian and African nations choke under the debt stranglehold. The West can bring down our economies with currency speculation, hedge funds, piracy of indigenous resources and trade boycotts as new forms of tyranny.

Yet we are too scared or ashamed to express our own views. Basing our life on other nations’ opinions is slavery.

As Aug 31 approaches, we must resolve to free our minds from Western intellectual hegemony. A Merdeka of the mind will put us on the path to that.

> The author wishes all readers Salam Lebaran and Salam Kemerdekaan.





Towards Improving Our National Education System

14 08 2012

Around circles of readers, many have discussed and asked among themselves the appropriateness and the need for Malaysia to streamline their education system and importantly, the effort to improve the quality of our schools as a whole.

Chief among the concerns is the legality of vernacular schools itself vis-á-vis the Constitution and the Education Act 1996.

This I may add has been discussed rather thoroughly here.

But this issue shall be discussed at another time.

My main interpretation of school’s education system is this:

It must be free from any religious or cultural extremities.

In a way, it should be secular. Secular sounds dirty these days. Mainly because the word had been bastardised to the extent, it meant atheism or a belief system that is devoid of any religious connotations. Worse, it meant anti-Islam. However, the definition of secularism with regards to our children’s education should not be taken to the extreme. Certainly it does not mean that one rejects religion and faith in totality.

What we need is moderation.

These days, the majority of school children in national schools are Malays. Therefore, inadvertently Islamic teachings made their way into the schools’ general rules and education philosophy. I assume, those who are more objective as well as those who are not a fan of Anwar Ibrahim will pin point the cause of this ‘Islamisation’ of our national schools and the reason why non-malays shun these schools stemmed from the period when Anwar Ibrahim was the Education Minister.

That too, is an issue that can be discussed in another place.

But what I imagine is a school system that do not put too much emphasis on skin deep outlook on what is Islamic and what is not. It means, an education philosophy that prioritises worldly skills and knowledge instead of just focussing to permeate an intense Islamic culture within a school’s environment.

Without a doubt, this has made non Muslims felt alienated in their own surroundings. Parents were not happy. Even the less conservative Muslims found it hard to digest some of the do’s and don’ts. The effort to educate the children properly seems lost in the midst of all this. As the result, we cannot develop a well rounded Malaysians who are capable to interact with each other with ease.

In other words, the recent education system is worse than the education set in the 60’s, 70’s and till the mid 80’s. Experts pin pointed it due to the degradation of national schools; both in quality and self respect.

The cliché now is the world is changing at a rate faster than our children’s ability to absorb and comprehend all the knowledge. If we burden them with misguided priorities, then our future generations are trapped in a cycle of ignorance, or being mediocre at best.

Toning down religious and cultural extremities enables the school to produce a much healthier environment where tolerance is paramount and it breaks down the barriers between races, castes and classes. Emphasising too much on the ritual demands will not breed respect in fact, will isolate the children from each other. It will be “it’s us against them” mentality. And this does not happen in malay majority schools only.

How to move forward and take that jump in order to escape the mediocrity of our education system?

It is about time the Ministry of Education take a stronger role in steering our children’s future away from the negative elements that have been plaguing it. Elements that have always been sniping and eating away the very fabric of one’s edification in growing up within our Malaysian universe.

The bigger objective here is always a two edged sword. One that can improve via knowledge, a whole generation of Malaysians and one that also inculcate the spirit of togetherness and racial harmony among the children.

Of course this can be done with a single stream national education system. Preferably at the primary level.

Delving into few discussions on the one school system, there are obviously few doubts being raised among the concerned readers. Among others, questions regarding the quality of education and syllabus, quality of teachers and their approach, learning environment and school’s infrastructure as well as its overall ability to coalesce different ideologies, religions and cultures into one symbiotic and workable system.

Generally, many agreed that the holistic performance of the students is very important for their own future and this can only be done if the MOE is not weak in steering its direction and truly knows how improvements can be implemented.

One of the reasons why national schools could not generate enough interests from all levels of society is due to its inability to churn good students across the board. Yes we do have excellent schools that produce a myriad of high achievers. But these schools are far from between. The MOE should make all national schools at par with their more affluent counterparts.

Fortunately, all the points above are being discussed in the national education dialog which have been running since April 2012. They have 9 priority fields which they ought to improve which are:

1. quality of teachers

2. quality of headmasters

3. quality of school

4. curriculum and its evaluation

5. multilingual proficiency

6. post-school opportunity

7. role of parents and community

8. knowledge resources in school and its effectiveness

9. teaching methods and administrative structure

This could be the biggest project MOE has embarked since Penyata Razak in 1956 and Rahman Talib Report in 1960.

On that note, I do hope the MOE will reinstate the PPSMI after reviewing the youtube video below.

Thank you.

_________________________

An article by:

Jebat Must Die





Our pre-1970 education system

18 06 2012

Revamping The Education System

  • First the sms. Out of the blue I received this sms yesterday from a Datuk friend of mine. Cannot reveal names but these are not any ordinary folks. These are senior people who headed major institutions in our country. Anyway, he said the following
  • “The key to Singapore’s success story is English-based education & zero tolerance on corruption. LKY consistently mentions these 2 factors. How not to believe him? S’pore has zero natural resources, zero drop of oil or water, doesn’t plant a grain of rice. Always coming out tops for all the positive statistics.”
  • To which I replied :  Dato can we start talking about reverting to our pre 1970 education system?
  • He replied : “Brilliant. We abandoned what is a time-tested & proven success formula that produced so many fine men & women all bcoz of what we believe is political expediency but it doesn’t serve us well in terms of producing First World manpower. U can start the ball rolling. Change the law if necessary, almost 2 generations hv been made to go thru this existing edu system that’s simply not good enuf.”
  • My reply : Ok Dato. Will Blog today. I hope we can get good support.  (So folks please do support us.)
  • He replied again :  “The bottom line is put more English based learning into the system like the old days. Look at Spore with over 80% Chinese it didn’t adopt Mandarin as medium of instruction. It goes for a language universally accepted as the language of world class knowledge.”

  • I have had the same conversation with four other people, two Datuks and two Tan Sris – semua Melayu – who said the same thing. They all said “Just bring back the tried and tested education system that we had in the 1970s”. It was English based and the curriculum prepared our students to the same standards  as the Cambridge and London University’s “O” and “A” Levels.  The same system that Singapore followed.
  • Yes folks, Singapore and Malaysia followed the same education system. There was no differenece at all between the Singapore and Malaysian schools. Singapore maintained their education system. It is we who went ahead and changed our education system. Kita ingat kita lagi pandai.
  • And what happened after we changed our education system? 
  • In the 1960s and 1970s,  both our per capita incomes (Malaysia and Singapore) was not too far different.  Now, 30 years later (after we changed our education system) Singapore has the third highest per capita GDP in the world at over USD57,000 or RM171,000 per annum.
  • This is according to the IMF and World Bank ranking – using PPP or purchasing power parity.  In economicspurchasing power parity (PPP) asks how much money would be needed to purchase the same goods and services in two countries, and uses that to calculate an implicit foreign exchange rate. You can read more here)
  • In comparison, Malaysia is ranked No. 58 by both the IMF and World Bank. You can surf this site and see for yourself.  Sedih juga kekawan.
  • Folks, here are some other countries whose per capita GDP is higher than Malaysia :  Botswana, Gabon, Chile, Croatia, Trinidad & Tobago.  (Malu lah – Botswana is ahead of us)

  • Now we want to move to a higher income economy by 2020. Here is our ETP target statement :
  • “To lift gross national income (GNI) per capita from USD6,700 or RM23,700 in 2009 to more than USD15,000 or RM48,000 in 2020″

  • OK folks, there is some gobbledygook involved here aka high fallutin language. Purchasing power parity, per capita GDP, Gross National Income have to be understood.  Other than studying management and engineering (and modern jazz dancing) I did study some economics at University ok (good old liberal arts American education). Not an expert but here goes :

  • Purchasing power parity is useful. It tells you how many Big Macs you can buy in Malaysia with your Ringgit Malaysia salary compared to say how many Big Macs a Japanese guy can buy in Tokyo with his Japanese Yen salary.
  • Per capita GDP is also useful because it takes the total amount of goods and services produced by all Malaysians inside Malaysia and divides that by the total population figure. Here is the Wikipedia :

  • Gross domestic product (GDP) refers to the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country’s standard of living.”

  • Now Gross National Income or GNI  is slightly different.  GNI includes all goods and services produced by Malaysians inside Malaysia PLUS goods and services produced by Malaysians outside Malaysia.

  • To me this means only one thing – they want to include Petronas foreign earnings.  

  • In 2010, Petronas earned about RM240 Billion of which 40%  (RM96 Billion??) was earned  overseas. Now in 2012 (and 2020) these numbers will be much higher.  So Petronas’ foreign earnings will also go into our GNI calculations.   (Plus maybe Tabung Haji’s property play in London plus EPF’s  investment in the Battersea power plant redevelopment but that is peanuts compared to Petronas).
  • But despite including Petronas’ foreign earnings, the ETP’s projected per capita GNI by 2020 is  RM48,000.  Presently the per capita GNI is RM23,700.  Considering that there are eight more years before we arrive at 2020, it  means our incomes must  jump 102% in eight years or 12.75% per year. Boleh ke?  Bank Negara says our economy will only grow 4% to 5% this year.
  • So folks, if the economy grows 4% or 5% per year, can our incomes grow by 12.75% per year? I did not spend all my time in jazz dancing class but even my basic economics tells me that this is a tad too ambitious.  (For those arithmetic wizards, yes this is a straight line division but even if you use the compounded method, at 5% pa growth in income, you get about RM35,000 pa in eight years).

  • And if we minus Petronas’ foreign earnings (of between RM100 billion to RM200 billion per year) the ETP may not achieve the targeted ‘high income status’.  Why do we have to minus Petronas foreign earnings?  Because not all of us work for or do business with Petronas – which only employs about 40,000 people across 103 countries.
  • How many Malaysians in Teluk Intan are involved in generating the overseas portion of Petronas income? How many Malaysians in Belimbing (near Kuantan) are suppliers to Petronas in Sudan or Kazakhstan? Not very many.  So the growth in Petronas’ huge foreign earnings may push up our total GNI  (Gross National Income)  but the average you and me may not have a  part to play in their growth.
  • Yes I agree that the Gomen will use Petronas money to build more universities, roads and almost free hospitals but it is not a direct increase in your wallet.
  • But lets get back to Singapore. They will also be aiming to move to an even higher income economy. If high tech, high income Singapore can match our projected 12.75% p.a. income growth between now and 2020, then by 2020 their per capita GDP would have reached over RM340,000.  Some apples and oranges here but still our target per capita GNI for 2020 is only  RM48,000 –  potentially seven times less than Singapore (GDP) !! Alamak !!
  • And  dont forget Botswana, Gabon, Chile, Croatia, Trinidad & Tobago.  They will also be ahead of us.
  • But we can catch up. Yes even in eight years. I feel that an English based education will make the difference between our success and failure. We need to make drastic changes to our education system. It is not too late. We need to do it now. The quickest and easiest method is to switch back to a strongly English based education system. Just bring back the English education system that we had up to the 1970s.
  • And one more thing that I must state is to reduce the amount of religious education in all schools and also remove religious influences on all school, college and university campuses.
  • Religion must be made a private matter. Parents who so desire can spend their own money and their own time and educate their children in religion.  Whatever religion.
  • Too much religion will make us backward. Remember religion will make you poor. Why? Because in religion “kita tidak perlu menggunakan akal”.  Tak pakai otak pun its still ok.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) to earn a higher income, you must gunakan otak dan akal.







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