Other Views On Vernacular Schools

22 01 2010

This time we publish some other views on vernacular schools. We disagree with some of the views expressed. But let us have a healthy and mature discussion in this blog.

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1. Letter to New Straits Times

VERNACULAR SCHOOLS: Look for quality education
2009/11/19

SAMUEL YESUIAH, Seremban

LIONG Kam Chong of Seremban has offered some good and constructive ideas on how to make vernacular (Chinese and Tamil) schools more national and more 1Malaysia in character (“Let’s work on new roles for vernacular schools” — NST, Nov 11).
The calls for a single-stream school system would mean that vernacular schools would cease to exist. The writer has given new roles for vernacular schools so that these schools can exist and fulfil national aspirations.

A single-stream school system does not have to mean upholding one stream and discarding the other schools but rather that all schools, national as well as vernacular primary schools, pursuing a single goal and objective.

The writer has given workable options to vernacular school stakeholders to make their schools relevant and Malaysian in nature.

Vernacular schools have existed for more than half a century and are part of our national heritage. These schools should be revived and reformed rather than made redundant.

There are certain logistics that have to be considered for the vernacular schools to co-exist with national schools in this country.

There are about 1,000 Chinese primary schools and about 500 Tamil schools in the country. What would happen to these schools? Some of these vernacular schools have excellent facilities, such as swimming pools and auditoriums, and offer excellent learning environments.

There are about a few hundred thousand vernacular schoolteachers who teach in their mother tongue language to the children of vernacular schools. What would happen to these teachers in a single-stream school system?

What about the position of senior assistants, curriculum and student affairs teachers who have been carrying out the administrative work of these schools?

These teachers appointed by the Education Ministry have been selected based on their experience and service.

And where will the head teachers of these vernacular schools fit in a single-school system? Will they retain their positions? These and other logistical and personnel issues in vernacular education should be considered carefully before thinking about single-stream schools.

Therefore, the best and most viable option is to make vernacular schools reflect the ideals and aspiration of national schools and let parents decide which is their choice.

Ultimately, what is important is not whether we have a single-stream or multiple-stream school system, but rather, schools that offer quality education to fulfil the objectives of the national education policy and reflect the true identity of our country’s unity in diversity.

This can be realised in national schools as well as in vernacular schools.

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2. From Infernal Ramblings blog
http://www.infernalramblings.com:

Segregated Schools: Why Vernacular Schools and Malay Boarding Schools Harm Malaysia

Written by johnleemk on Feb 25, 2007.

One of, if not the, most controversial thing you can say about Malaysian education is that our segregated school system harms the country and divides it. However unpleasant this simple truth may be, people don’t seem interested in facing it.

For this article, ignore the question of what we should do about the segregated school system. Don’t concern yourself with that. Before we can begin to define solutions, we must first establish whether there is a problem, and determine what that problem is.

The figures are quite stark. 94% of Chinese attend a Chinese vernacular school for their primary education. About 75% of Indians attend a Tamil vernacular school. 99% of Malays attend a national school.

I don’t know what the precise proportions are for secondary school, but I do know that most Chinese and Indians end up in national secondary schools. However, the best and brightest Malays are shipped off to boarding schools meant exclusively for Malays. (An exception are the MARA Junior Science Colleges, which have a 10% non-Bumiputra quota.)

Now, just ask yourself. Is it good, or bad if the vast majority of primary school students interact with students from only their ethnic community? It can’t be good. It’s highly doubtful that it’s neutral. It has to be bad, is it not?

If you’re unconvinced, then think about it. Would you be more susceptible to propaganda against other ethnic groups if you have spent your life surrounded only by those of your own community? Would you be more likely to negatively stereotype those of other races if you have never mixed with them, never gotten to know them as individuals?

The answer has to be a resounding yes. The reason the government can put out so much propaganda about the Chinese being excessively rich is because the Malays rarely get to know a large enough sampling of Chinese to understand that most Chinese are lower- or middle-class.

Similarly, the reason so many Chinese youth (yes, including some educated in national schools) stereotype Indians as gangsters and Malays as lazy or stupid is because they never get to know the bright and intelligent Malays and Indians. How can we have national unity with a segregated school system?

One might think that the problem would be addressed by integrated neighbourhoods. The problem is that in urban areas, people hardly ever get to know their neighbours well, regardless of ethnic group. There is rarely a sense of community in the city or town.

The villages, on the other hand, tend to be overwhelmingly dominated by one race. My hometown, for example, is a little town near the border of Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. It is predominantly Chinese. My grandfather, who runs a grocery shop, mainly interacts with Malays as his customers.

With such a limited context for interaction, it is easy to see how misunderstandings can arise. The Malays might end up thinking, for example, that most Chinese are rich shopkeepers!

That is why schools are so important. They represent a neutral middle ground for different communities to congregate. The young are not racially-minded. They don’t think in terms of race. If from young, they think of a multi-ethnic community as normal, they will continue to view it as the natural thing to do.

If, on the other hand, they are only exposed to one race in primary school, even at the secondary level, when they meet those from other ethnic communities, they will think it odd. They will likely clique with those from their own race, and that’s where the problem of racial polarisation arises.

Am I wrong? I could be — I don’t dare rule that out. But I think my unpopular hypothesis has a ring of truth to it. The government’s discriminatory policies contribute to racial polarisation, no doubt. But can you really say that dividing our young according to ethnic group doesn’t contribute significantly to the problem either?

Some of the comments:

a. Students from vernacular schools as young as nine years of age are taunting Indians for their skin colour (some in secondary school still have a phobia of them). Most Malays never have the opportunity to mix with Chinese and Indians due to vernacular schools. The solution? National service, a stop-gap measure ten years too late; integration should begin at seven, not seventeen!

These conditions breed the sort of racial divisions that were reflected in Parliament a few months ago when one MP took the trouble to complain about an advertisement showing a Malay youth being rude. Until we rid ourselves of this parasitic cancer, I am very pessimistic about Malaysia’s future.

The first step to eliminating racial stereotyping and division is to integrate schools. But of course the d*** Chinese/Tamil chauvinists won’t accept this, even if the Mandarin and Tamil language classes are readily available in most national primary schools!

Clearing this hurdle clears the way to many other things. A rakyat that is no longer divided will pay no heed to any number of keris-wavings. A rakyat united will call for a more even-handed affirmative action policy. A rakyat united will stop this f***ing bulls*** about race, and start talking about the nation.

Sounds farfetched? It is. I’ve given up hope on Malaysia. It’s the old chicken-or-egg cycle; the government won’t change till the rakyat changes, but the rakyat won’t change till the government changes. Oh, well. KERANAMU MALAYSIA

b. Big changes are hard to make, so start with a small one. Refuse to fill out the ‘race’ section of any and all forms. Suggest to your company that they do the same. One step, one foot in front of the other and eventually you will get there. Take a step. Refuse to fill it out. I refuse. The only race I’m in is the human race and Malaysia is rather far behind the pack at this point.

If race is not on the application form – it won’t mean that the HR person will view Malay/Chinese/India/Other any differently when they walk through the door, but then, it’s a start. Small, but a start. Make a start.

“The first step to eliminating racial stereotyping and division is to integrate schools. But of course the d*** Chinese/Tamil chauvinists won’t accept this, even if the Mandarin and Tamil language classes are readily available in most national primary schools! ”

c. It’s true that we need to integrate the Chinese, Indian and Malay school together. However, we need to understand why the Chinese or Indian are sending their Children to vernacular school? Is it because the quality of vernacular school is much better than national school? Before the 80s, a lot Chinese in my hometown send their children to national school because of the quality of education are much superior than vernacular school. Lately, the quality of national school drop drastically which resulted less Chinese students in-take. How could you expect parents to send the children to school with low quality? Furthermore, this also showed that the government needs to focus on improve the quality of national school. Once we improve the quality of education provided by national school, you’ll see the increase of Chinese students in-take.

3. From Infernal Ramblings blog
http://www.infernalramblings.com:

Vernacular Schools Exact High Price in National Unity
Written by johnleemk on Jul 2, 2008.

Perhaps the most immutable constant in Malaysian politics is vernacular education. Almost anything can be subject to negotiation – people grumble, and then they get over it – but touch vernacular schools, and you can expect an immense backlash from the non-Malay communities. The non-Malays will sit down and accept your questioning their right to be Malaysian citizens, but the moment you suggest that the present system of vernacular education is detrimental in any way to the country’s future, they will rise up in anger. The problem is, vernacular schools do harm the country. There are significant downsides to the present way we run our education system; they may be outweighed by stronger benefits, but even so, we must accept that we have to pay a high price in terms of national unity for the present structure of our education system.

The clearest benefit of vernacular schools is that they help non-Malay students master their mother tongue. Many people who did not attend a vernacular school, including myself, regret our poor command of our mother tongue. This is unquestionably an important function of vernacular education, too easily and frequently glossed over by people who claim to champion national unity.

Unfortunately, the way the present system functions is that non-Malay parents who want their children to learn Chinese or Tamil will send their children to vernacular schools, and everyone else will send their children to national schools. The obvious problem that arises is that national schools become effectively Malay schools. Only a very small number of national schools have a non-negligible amount of non-Malay students, and they are overwhelmingly concentrated in a few urban areas. Common figures I see quoted in the media indicate that over 90% of Chinese students attend a Chinese vernacular primary school, while over 70% of Tamil students attend a Tamil vernacular primary school. We have effectively established a segregated school system.

A segregated school system is extremely detrimental to national unity. This is almost impossible to debate; the only question is how far segregated schools contribute to racial polarisation. Most non-Malays I know blame pro-Malay government policies for racial polarisation, and argue that most vernacular schools do not preach any sort of racist or chauvinist ideology. These points are well taken. However, consider this: our education system consigns the vast majority of young Malaysians to spending the six most formative years of their lives in schools overwhelmingly dominated by people of one race, one religion, and one language.

We all know that how we grow up has a huge impact on us; our habits, our behaviour, our thought patterns, our character – they all are heavily influenced by our upbringing. Right now, we are bringing up young Malaysians in a setting exposing them to a very limited subset of Malaysian society.

Perhaps Malaysia’s richest asset is that it has three very diverse cultures, very different ways of thinking, to draw upon. But our heterogeneity can only be exploited if we know how to work and live together. If we do not develop the skills to socialise and interact with those outside our own ethnic community, how can we ever hope to work with them?

I don’t claim to have the perfect answer to the problems of national unity and mother tongue education. Undoubtedly, there is a trade-off: for non-Malays, our greater facility in Chinese and Tamil comes at the cost of setting ourselves apart from Malays for six crucial and formative years. I do not think this is a viable education system; the costs of racial polarisation are too high.

At the same time, those who claim to champion national unity by integrating all schools under the banner of national schools often do this cause no favour by proposing unrealistic solutions. The simple fact is that national schools are often dominated by administrators with blatantly racist ideologies of their own; stories abound of principals who refuse to respect non-Muslim religious traditions and seek to impose Malay and Muslim cultural norms on non-Malays and non-Muslims. A simple plan to immediately place all schools under one “national” system that is actually effectively a Malay school system cannot work. A measured compromise is the only way forward.

A good first step would be to actually nationalise national schools. When 40 per cent of the nation seeks education in Chinese or Tamil for their young, a responsive school system should provide it; unfortunately, most “national” schools do not. Had Chinese classes been available in the national primary school I attended, I would have signed up for them. We can dispose of fluffy subjects virtually everyone acknowledges to be useless, such as “moral education”, if necessary to make time for language classes. Making mother tongue education widely available in national schools would make them truly national, responding to the needs of almost half the nation.

Improving the administration of national schools would also make them more attractive to non-Malays frightened by the spectre of Muslim fundamentalism or racist extremism. The government must duly punish school administrators and teachers who do not respect cultural sensitivities or pursue policies catering to only one community, rather than closing one eye. The whole culture of the system has to change, to one of respect and tolerance from one of bigotry and ignorance; only then can we truly call it a national school system.

Last but not least, educational standards have to go up. The sad fact is that teachers in vernacular schools often seem more motivated than those in national schools; there is a quality of teaching that cannot easily be found in national schools. (Let’s leave questions of curricula and exam-orientation out of the picture for now.) National schools must prove their worth in terms of preparing primary school students for secondary education and beyond.

In the long run, a system predicated on segregation, even if the segregation is voluntary, cannot work; it encourages sticking to one’s own ethnic group. The differences are stark when you enter secondary school; national school students and vernacular school students mix in very different cliques. The national school students inevitably have a more diverse group of friends – one more reflective of Malaysian society as a whole – because they simply grew up that way. The more diverse their primary school was, the more diverse their secondary school friends are. The trends continue well into college, university and beyond; racial polarisation among those from Malay “national” schools, Chinese schools and Tamil schools is patently obvious, while those happy few who attended truly national schools maintain a much broader set of friends.

If we want to address the problem of racial polarisation, the solution lies in making our school system truly national, rather than a patchwork of schools, some of which reflect the nation’s diversity, but most catering to only one community. Not too long ago, surveys indicated that almost half the nation have never eaten together with someone of a different race. In my national school, we sat down to eat every recess with friends from other races; I had Malay and Indian friends in my home for my birthday parties, and they reciprocated with invitations to their own homes. How many Malaysians can truly say the same? Certainly not more than half. How can we ever hope to call ourselves a nation when our very school system persists in dividing us from young, setting the pattern for the rest of our lives? It’s time for a change.


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55 responses

22 01 2010
Other Views On Vernacular Schools « Kempen SSS | Malay Today

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23 01 2010
Aysay

The New StraitsTimes article writer asked what happen to teachers and facilities of vernacular schools if they become national schools.

I think the SSS people have said they can continue, only changes in medium of instruction, curriculum and syllabus. Nobody has to lose anything.

Bbetul ke?

24 01 2010
SSS Admin

Aysay,

Betul.

The SSS Proposal calls for the absorption of vernacular schools into the national schools system of education so that there will be only one instead of three systems of education. But the vernacular schools can remain intact physically and continue to function except using Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction, the same curriculum and syllabus as the national schools with Mandarin and Tamil as elective subjects.

The teaching and support staff can continue working, perhaps with some changes of location, refresher courses and duties. Even the Board of Governers can also continue to provide their services, also perhaps with some changes in composition and location. All these can be discussed with the authorities as and when decision is made to implement the SSS or single-stream system.

23 01 2010
Dewa

“our poor command of our mother tongue. This is unquestionably an important function of vernacular education, too easily and frequently glossed over by people who claim to champion national unity” –

I have no problem with people wanting to have a good command of their mother tongue if it is indeed their mother tongue they are referring to i.e in Malaysia it is Hokkien, Confu, Hakka, etc. I don’t think Mandarin is spoken at home as a mother tongue, isn’t it?

I don’t even mind them wanting to be good at Mandarin, which happens to be the official language of the People’s Republic of China. But they can learn it in schools having Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction, can’t they? As elective subjects, they say? Call it national schoools or whatever, so long as the medium of instruction is BM.

23 01 2010
Semerah Padi

Setuju dgn Sdr Dewa. Siapa-siapapun rakyat Malaysia tidak terhalang untuk mempelajari apa-apa bahasa sekalipun.

Cuma, sebelum teriya-iya sangat nak guna bahasa asing bagi bumi Malaysia ini, tanyalah diri sendiri dulu:-

1. Adakah aku ini rakyat Malaysia? jika jawapannya “ya”, maka tanya lagi:-

2. Sudahkah aku fasih dengan Bahasa Kebangsaan Malaysia?

3. Adakah aku menjunjung Bahasa Kebangsaan sebagaimana sepatutnya seorang rakyat Malaysia menjunjungnya? (contohnya jangan dok chong cheng chong cheng di khalayak ramai, di depan-depan rakyat Malaysia yang lain walaupun bercakap dengan orang yang berbahasa chong cheng ching cheng juga. Nantikan orang gelar awak tu pendatang, marah pulak!)

“Dimana bumi dipijak, disitu langit dijunjung”

25 01 2010
SSS Admin

Semerah Padi,

Semua rakyat Malaysia memang perlu dan sepatutnya boleh berhubung antara satu sama lain dalam Bahasa Malaysia. Sabenarnya, tidak ada so’al lagi sebab sudah 52 tahun Merdeka. Kita sepatutnya menjunjung Perlembagaan negara yang menyatakan Bahasa Malaysia sebagai Bahasa Kebangsaan dan sudah lama digunakan sebagai Bahasa Resmi dinegara ini.

Sebagaimana telah selalu diperkatakan, sefahaman adalah perlu untuk persepaduan antara kaum dan ianya boleh timbul dengan rakyat Malaysia menggunakan Bahasa Malaysia bila berhubung dikhalayak ramai.

24 01 2010
SSS Admin

Dewa,

Yes, Mandarin and Tamil can be studied as elective subjects at SSS schools wiith Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction. We believe the writer meant the teaching of Mandarin rather than mother tongue which may not require teaching as it is spoken daily.

We wish to be among the champions of national unity and would like to place on record that we have not glossed over the need for learning of Mandarin and Tamil which we have proposed to be done as elective subjects in SSS or single stream schools.

We agree with the writer on many points he raised on the subject of national unity and are proud of him expressing views that reflect a sense of responsibility as a fellow Malaysian.

28 01 2010
Suria

I also hope it is Mandarian that the writer refers to when talking about schools allowing to study mother tongue.

If he refers to dialects, my goodness, there’ll be scores of dialects that schools have to allow. Imagine, the Malays alone have Bahasa Bugis, Bahasa Jawa, Banjarese, Minangkabau, Mandiling, and so on. Then there are the Kelantan, Kedah, Trengganu dialects, etc. There are also so many dialects in Sarawak and Sabah.

These dialects are spoken daily and need not be taught in schools. Those who choose another language like English to use at home can study their own dialects in their own time. Malays of Buginese, Javanese, Banjarese etc origin no longer speak their original mother tongue. There is no reason why non-Malays cannot adopt Bahasa Malaysia as their own language.

25 01 2010
Arjuna

Dear sir

I agree with you “The young are not racially-minded. They don’t think in terms of race. If from young, they think of a multi-ethnic community as normal, they will continue to view it as the natural thing to do.”

If only mixing with just one race in primary school, when they meet others of different races in secondary school, they will find it strange. Yes, likely they choose to be friends with those from their own race. No chance to be close and understand one another among the many races. No help to racial polarisation. It already exist now. It will become worse.

26 01 2010
SSS Admin

Arjuna,

Racial polarisation has been on the increase for some time already. During past weak administration that some have called flip-flopping and auto-piloting, there has been a marked increase in that tendency, perhaps spurred by the lack of control on the mass media, notably in cyber sapce. Political party organs of all sorts have been spewing racialistic, even inciteful, comments that only widen further the gap existing among the races in this country. There appeared an attempt at liberalising free speech though some think it was not a deliberate attempt but just a mumbo-jumbo of non-action and queer reaction by the authorities, including rushing to Mainland China to apologise for an act allegedly inhumanely inflicted on a Mainland Chinese national only to be laughed at later that that particular act was a drug investigation routine on a female and it was on a Malaysian national.

Such was the scenario of events that led to a decreasing faith in the authorities in controlling unwarranted free speech and freedom of action, and the trend of saying almost anything that people want persist until today. We need to arrest this tendency, hold the bull by the horn, twist it to the right path. This includes getting the young adopt values that say such things are not right – there’s no absulute freedom anywhere in the world. Such values may also be gained and developed by mixing with all races in schools starting at an early age.

26 01 2010
Sidar

Commenter “c” says national schools low quality now and Chinese schools much better. I don’t know about schools these days but is it true. What are you going to do about it?

Thank you.

26 01 2010
SSS Admin

Sidar,

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment.

There have been comments on the quality and standard of sekolah kebangsaan or national schools. But there have also been comments on vernacular schools including a 25% school drop out rate announced by the Deputy Minister of Education himself in 2008, the low standard of Bahasa Malaysia syllabus and, despite that, the low performance of pupils in SJKCs in that subject, which is the national language and is compulsory for all schools.

That is why the SSS Proposal calls for an in-depth study of the existing education system, covering all schools – not just the national but also the vernacular schools. We believe that that study would reveal the facts and determine the strengths and weaknesses of both the national and the vernacular schools. Based on those, the Government can take remedial and standard improvement actions.

31 01 2010
cinta negara

Agree on SSS. All this talk about national schools low quality and Chinese schools high quality – no proofs. Maybe 1-2 schools but there are many national schools also excellent in many ways. Remember, far bigger number of national schools compared to vernacular ones and they point to only the bad, not the good. And what about the 25% drop-outs from Chinese schools announced by the Deputy Minister?

26 01 2010
Maju

The articles by Johnleemk and the comments in his blog as shown above are proofs of the fact that there are Malaysians who have, on their own, expressed ideas about national unity through the single-stream schooling system. I’m proud of them. These are responsible citizens concerned about the future of our country. Although we have some differences of views, I wish to be associated with them and will be happy to exchange views here.

In these instances, they had done it even before the Kempen SSS blog was created, although KijangMas of Demi Negara had written about matters concerning racial polarisation and the forging of a united Bangsa Malaysia well before that.

I don’t agree with the idea of so-called unity in diversity mentioned by the contributor to New Straits Times. It may sound attractive but when you think further about it, you would realise that it is just a slogan devoid of substance. One can hardly imagine there is unity when everybody is going on diverse targets and divergent directions. Often those targets are opposed to one another, encroaching upon the other, contradicting one another. Unless it’s some unusual scientific phenomenon, opposites don’t attract. They repel.

I strongly support the view that the basis of togetherness must be the Constitution of the country. Respect for, abiding by and living under the guidance of the Constitution. It needs to be drummed into the minds of all Malaysians that the Constitution is the foundation of any democratic country. In modern times, when there is a coup de’tat and rule by the military, like in Fiji, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia and many African and Latin American countries not too long ago, the Constitution is suspended or discarded. They rule by decrees. Like those issued by the Thai General who made all aliens living in Thailand use local names, adopt local ways of life and were forcibly assimilated. They do not answer to Parliament and do not even care about the results of general elections; like the military junta in Burma, they carried out elections – apparently just for the fun of it – and the strong-willed lady, Aung San Su Kyi, was simply placed under house arrest for years and years despite her party having won the elections.

In this country, those who do not wish to live under military regime, must jealously guard, protect and defend the Constitution at all cost. Defending it has to begin by respecting and living by the Constitution. It’s the highest set of laws in the country as all other laws are derived from it and cannot contradict it. Not respecting and living by it may lead to a situation of chaos and disorder. Military regimes usually step in to bring back peace and order.

Let us therefore avoid any situation that would lead to such chaos and disorder. Let us strive for unity, peace and harmony. I believe one sure way of achieving that is through the single-stream schooling system or Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua (SSS). It may be slow, beginning with the young at their formative age, but it certainly is heading in that direction.

27 01 2010
SSS Admin

Maju,

We share your feelings of pride in associating with responsible fellow citizens who are concerned about unity in this country.

We also welcome healthy debates and constructive criticisms in this bog. Anybody with any axe to grind may say anything as long as with decorum, not seditious and not using vulgar words and profanities.

Unity in diversity is indeed an empty and impracticable slogan and politicitians do not escape being attracted to such slogans. The time will come when more of them will realise that fact and we hope it will be sooner than later.

However, slogans are useful to rally the support of the rakyat, provided that they are pregnant with meaning and solid in the underlying idea they try to project.

We echo your call for respect for and living by the Constitution of the country. Indeed the Constitution must be jealously guarded so that we will never have to face rule by military decrees. Democracy dies if and when that happens; its restoration will remain uncertain year after year as can be seen by the decades of military rule in Burma. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Burma has become not only a pariah state in the international arena, but also one of the least developed in this region.

26 01 2010
antutakfahambahasa

It was mentioned in the first article as follows,

Ultimately, what is important is not whether we have a single-stream or multiple-stream school system, but rather, schools that offer quality education to fulfil the objectives of the national education policy and reflect the true identity of our country’s unity in diversity.

One question:-

How do you truly unite when you dont understand each other while conversing using different languages? Heck !!, do you EVEN speak to each other when you DONT EVEN UNDERSTAND each other language ??? !!!!!

“Unity in diversity” is just a flowery catch-phrase coming from the leader who probably does not understand what unity means.

Yes, we have diversity

but

how could unity be ever achieved when everybody speaks Melayu, Kadazan, Dusun, Dayak, Senoi, Jakun, Iban, Kelate, Ganu, Den, Hang, Utagha, Cantonese, Tionghua, Hakka, Sikh, Malayalee, Tamil, Mandarin etc etc.

Never! They become segregated people talking to each other only when they understand each other. Melayu will be forever Melayu. Kadazan will be forever Kadazan etc. At least the chinese can go to mainland China and indians to India. These diversities will never unite under Malaysian identity.

All these diversities will properly unite when they speak one common language, that is Bahasa Kebangsaan. This is the cornerstone of nation building. We speak Bahasa Kebangsaan with fellow Malaysians and Bahasa Kedua with foreigners (i.e. non-Malaysians).

And do vernacular schools promote the unification via common language or they promote further segregation by the different languages, making one NOT understanding the other more?

I thought this is very simple enough to understand, unless one have different national agenda, a non-Malaysian agenda of course.

27 01 2010
..NJ

Salam Sejahtera Saudara Antutakfahambahasa,

When two people have come into touch with each other, without any doubt, they have something in common.

How should a bird fly except with its own kind ?

(The above was a saying by Rumi, a sufi)

How should a Malaysian work with another who speaks different language (for a start) ?

Yes, agree with you. It is that simple.

“SATU BANGSA, SATU NEGARA, SATU BAHASA”

27 01 2010
SSS Admin

NJ,

That slogan “SATU BANGSA, SATU NEGARA, SATU BAHASA” is loaded with meaning. If we want a united Bangsa Malaysia, there must be one common language all the citizens must subscribe to and communicate with in their daily communication.

Quite unlike “Unity in Diversity” where one cannot see how diverse ways, needs, hopes and aspirations can get people united. We dare challenge those who subscribe to this particular slogan to argue out with us here how such “Unity in Diversity” can be achieved under the current socio-political scenario in this country.

We need to have that satu Bangsa and Satu Negara. Consequently, we must have Satu Bahasa – not three – as the medium of instruction in our schools.

27 01 2010
SSS Admin

antutakfahambahasa,

We agree with your statement, “All these diversities will properly unite when they speak one common language, that is Bahasa Kebangsaan. This is the cornerstone of nation building.”

There is no two-way about that. There used to be the slogan “Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa”. Indeed, language is the life of a people. Take any language at all – English among the Americans, Mandarin among the Mainland Chinese. They unite and breathe life into the people, the community. Bahasa Melayu was the lingua franca of this Nusantara region. It has been adopted into the Constitution as the National Language of the country. It has to be the “Jiwa” of “Bangsa Malaysia”.

There should be no other agenda by any cmmunity other than making Bahasa Malaysia that which has been stipulated in the Constitution. Specifically, making it respected and used in daily life, including as the medium of instruction in all schools in the country.

27 01 2010
Amir Hamzah

Saudara,

Adakah benar tuduhan bahawa SK itu “low quality”?

Kita tidak dapat nafikan bahawa ada sekolah-sekolah yang “low quality” tapi ianya tidak hanya kepada SK sahaja.

Adil ke tuduhan sebegitu sekiranya jumlah bilangan SK yang ada diambil kira dan dibandingkan dengan bilangan SJK ada ?

Ada banyak bilangan SK yang tinggi kualitinya di mana para ibubapa berebut-rebut untuk menghantarkan anak mereka kesana. Di pusat bandar Kota Bharu sahaja ada beberapa SK yang ibubapa bergegas untuk mendapatkan tempat bagi anak mereka seperti SMIP, Zainab, dsb. Itu baru dipusat bandar, belum lagi dijajahan lain seluruh Kelantan. Bagaimana pula di seluruh negara? Banyaknya SK yang tinggi kualitinya tidak pula hendak dicanangkan.

Bandingkan dengan bilangan SJK yang lebih sedikit dan ada beberapa saja yang ternama, saya rasa “anytime” SK mendahului SJK.

Tuduhan “low quality” ini nampaknya ingin sengaja diputarbelitkan sepertimana (secara reversenya) pemberita akan bergegas melaporkan kemalangan udara yang jarang-jarang berlaku, walhal kemalangan jalanraya sering berlaku setiap hari tidak mendapat liputan berita sebegitu lantang.

Kualiti tinggi pendidikan di kebanyakan SK adalah merupakan perkara biasa, agaknya tidak sebiasa seperti di SJK sehinggakan perlu dipukul gendang buat bising.

Apakah namanya kualiti pendidikan sekiranya murid itu dapat 20A tapi nak masak mee maggi pun tak tahu ? Apa lagi kalau murid itu tidak terdidik untuk menjadi anak bangsa yang sejati malahan akan lebih kepada mengkhianati negara pula apabila “kiblat”nya lebih kepada negara asing daripada negara Malaysia sendiri dengan menjunjung bahasa asing bila bertutur, meremehkan negara Malaysia dan menyanjung negara asing dsb.

29 01 2010
SSS Admin

Amir Hamzah,

Terima kasih kerana sudi singgah dan meninggalkan komen.

Kami tidak dapat mempastikan sama ada betul atau tidak SK itu “low quality”. Ada pendapat yang telah dikeluarkan begitu tetapi ada banyak juga pendapat yang menapikannya dan mengatakan sebaliknya. Tdak lama dahulu Kementerian Pelajaran mengumumkan keputusan menukarkan syllabus Bahasa Malaysia diSJK yang lebih rendah dari SK dan ada diumumkan secara resmi juga bahawa, walau pun syllabusnya lebih rendah, pencapaian murid-murid di SJK dalam perkara itu pun masih rendah.

Pada umumnya, perlu diingati bahawa ada berpuluh ribu SK dan jumlahnya jauh lebih banyak dari SJK. Oleh itu, komen-komen yang dikeluarkan berkenaan mutu SK nyatalah tidak menyeluruh, dan mungkin berkaitan dengan beberapa buah sahaja yang didapati “low quality”. So’al garis panduan atau kriteria bagi menentukan mutu itu juga diambil kira: Bahasa Malaysia memang penting, juga Sains dan Matematik. Tambahan pula, mutu tidak bergantung kapada keputusan peperiksaan sahaja. Prestasi dari aspek kejasmanian dan kerohanian perlu dinilai bersama.

Untuk membolehkan kita tahu berkenaan mutu SK dan SJK itu perlulak suatu kajian di buat. Itulah sebabnya Cadangan SSS menonjolkan suatu kajian mendalam dibuat keatas tiga sistem pelajaran yang ada sekarang itu – SK, SJKC dan SJKT. Berdasarkan kajian tersebut, tindakan yang sesuai boleh diambil berkenaan kekuatan dan kelemahan sistem-siistem pelajaran tersebut.

27 01 2010
Unity Seeker

Why are we not united? 52 years after independence? Were the British colonialists to blame? What about us ourselves? Where did it all go wrong?

The Malays are divided: they have UMNO, PAS, PKR. The Chinese are divided: they have MCA, Gerakan, DAP. The Indians are divided: they have MIC, Makkal Sakti and what have you. There are also duplication of parties in Sabah and Sarawak. We are all not united.

The BN are not united: read what Pemuda UMNO and MCA Youth say. The PR are not united: see what Lim Kit Siang says about their “irreconciliable differences”, PAS-DAP spat and PKR-DAP accusations in Selangor State Government and even PKR motorbike-riding MP Zulkifli retorting at beleagured, sodomy-charged PKR boss Anwar.

THEN WHY THE HELL PEOPLE ARE BEING DIFFICULT WITH THIS SSS ATTEMPT AT UNITY THRU THE SCHOOLS? WHAT ARE THE LEADERS DOING?

Sorry boss, I’m shouting those words. Fed up la. Sampai nak marah pulak.

29 01 2010
SSS Admin

Unity Seeker,

It’s alright for you to shout those words and release a little of your anger so long as they don’t crack the computer screen! Hope our attempt at a little humour would be received in the spirit it is intended by you and all our readers.

Unity is elusive for so long as efforts at bringing about unity are being politicised. Even the Bureau Tata Negara programmes designed to bring about unity have been politicised. Of course, there are those who say they are designed to promote Ketuanan Melayu and such but that certainly is not the specified official purpose of the programme. They aimed at getting participants have a better understanding of the history of the country, the backgound of the Independence movement, the Independence itself, the Constitution and the like. They were meant to provide a better perspective of things Malaysian in the interest of national unity.

There has been a lot of talk about the “flip-flopping and auto-piloting” kind of rule in recent years that had allowed a lot of crossing the lines on rules of decency among people, expressed in public forums and the mass media, thereby contributing a lot to racial polarisation and disunity. Let’s hope and pray that a strong government would emerge in the not-too-distant future so that there can be firmness and resoluteness in controlling unkind, unfair, even seditious kind of statements and carrying out policies that serve the interest of the people based more on the Constitution, less on vote-attracting motivations.

27 01 2010
kampong boy

the writer say government’s discriminatory policies contribute to racial polarisation. if he mean new economic policy, he should think that after race riots happen in 1969 malays only had 2% wealth in 1970. they say malays only kampong and government jobs, chinese do business and control economy. need change what they say restructure society, then call affirmative action.

all this can do because malays got special position when non-malays got citizenship.

it make things fair little bit for malays because i read british did not help them but help chinese business and schools when ruling country, and malays left behind very far. No secondary schools in kampong and primary schools also very few.

30 01 2010
SSS Admin

kampong boy,

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment.

Yes, the Special Position of the Malays was in exchange for Citizenship for the non-Malays. These were agreed between the Malay and the non-Malay leaders just before Merdeka. They became known as the Social Contract. Those two elements were embodied in the Constitution of the country. They should not be questioned. Questioning one would lead to the same of the other and it is no good for unity in the country.

The Malay Special Position is spelt out under Article 153 of the Constitution. Tun Dr Mahathir has said that there is no equality when there is Article 153. All citizens have to accept that and not begrudge it because that was agreed at Merdeka and the non-Malays, who were not citizens and were stateless all those years under British rule, got citizenship after Merdeka. Tun Tan Siew Sin said in 1969 that the Malays were “generous enough” in agreeing to citizenship for the non-Malays at Merdeka and in relaxing citizenship rules for the issue of certificates after Merdeka. The non-Malays are therefore expected to keep their end of the bargain.

27 01 2010
Ex-Hostellite

Dear sirs,

I disagree that boarding schools harm Malaysia. On the contrary, I think MRSMs, MCKK, etc are useful to the country. They help reduce the huge gap in the educational advancement between the major races and play a role in bringing about unity in the country.

First, unlike vernacular schools which are mostly at the primary level, these hostel schools are mostly at the secondary level. Pupils would normally have attended the national schools at the primary level and would have a grounding of multi-ethnic mixing and togetherness in their very tender formative ages, unlike in the vernacular schools.

Secondly, the boarding schools were meant for pupils from the rural areas where there were and still are no secondary schools. They live far from secondary schools in towns and commuting meant several hours miserably spent on buses to and fro school, hungry and exhausted upon reaching home. Some FELDA settlements of yester-years simply didn’t have bus service to town.

Thirdly, pupils living in rural areas normally do not have facilities like those afforded at boarding schools or schools in towns and they would have to continuously suffer the disadvantage that had been suffered all those years under British colonial rule. Such facilities include those for recreational, extra-curricular and character-building activities.

Fourthly, boarding schools provide modern amenities (rural electrification came gradually and in stages) and expose them to an atmosphere that broaden their mind and increase their general knowledge. Bear in mind that until now many children in rural areas do not know what an architect or an engineer or a surveyor is all about whereas children in town or in boarding schools are likely to learn about them from relatives of friends, etc. This is knowledge that helps motivate the pupils in terms of careers and acquisition of professional qualifications.

Fifthly, all the above have helped to bridge the vast gap left behind by the British in the educational advancement of the rural children compared to those in the towns. Because the rural children were mostly Malays and the urban children Chinese, it helped lessen the huge disparity in education between the major races in the country that the British colonial rulers created.

Lessening the disparity helped restructure society. That was the objective of the New Economic Policy which was started after the race riots of 1969. Restructuring society by creating an equitable ditribution of wealth and reducing the education gap helps in reducing grudges and dissatisfaction and these in turn help in bringing about tolerance, understanding and unity in the country.

30 01 2010
SSS Admin

Ex-Hostellite,

Good of you to drop in and leave a comment. We wish to elaborate on the points you raised.

MARA was created, in the form of RIDA (Rural and Industrial Development Authority), well before the New Economic Policy. It was designed to help the rural population, most of whom were Malays, to progress. Malays as a whole were left far behind economically and educationally because the British colonial government did not help the Malays economically and educationally, unlike they did for the Chinese most of whom live in the towns. They did not build enough schools in the rural areas and many Malay children had to walk 3-4 miles in the kampungs or cycle even 20 miles to schools in the towns, often hungry and exhausted after school.

And, most importantly, those schools that were far in between in the rural areas were only primary schools. There were no secondary schools in the rural areas, even until now. Whereas they were, since British times, a sufficient number of schools and at both the primary and secondary levels in the towns where most of the Chinese live.

MARA residential schools were built to help Malay pupils from the rural areas gain access to education in a reasonable manner. Similarly, residential schools other than MRSMs were also built. These were in line with the NEP which aims at reducing the huge disparity in the economic and educational situation of the Malays compared to the Chinese. As more Malay children gained better education, their ability to become professionals in various fields increased. This also helps in the ability of the Malays to participate in business and improve their lot in the economic field.

As they are the major races in the country, reducing the economic and educational disparities between the Malays and the Chinese would help in reducing grudges among the Malays, who form the majority of the population of the country, and this helps in bringing about unity in this country.

28 01 2010
Penuntut

Tuan

Jangan marah saya bertanya: kalau mahu mempertabatkan Bahasa Malaysia, mengapa banyak menggunakan Bahasa Inggeris?

28 01 2010
abda

Saya fikir itu adalah kerana post ini sekarang sedang membincangkan rencana-rencana yang ditulis didalam Bahasa Inggeris dan banyak komen dibuat dalam Bahasa Inggeris.

Sehingga sampai masa kebanyakan rakyat Malaysia fasih dalam Bahasa Malaysia, saya fikir mustahak juga dijawab komen dalam bahasa yang sama kerana yang penting ialah mendapatakan pengkomen dan pembaca yang kurang fasih faham apa reaksi yang mahu diperkatakan.

28 01 2010
Kenn

Dear Sirs,

The question by Penuntut is a valid question. I am one guity as charged because I use English more than Bahasa Melayu, in blog writing. It is unbecoming of being a Malaysian, to be very blunt about it.

Saya menulis dalam bahasa Inggeris semata-mata kerana saya menganggap ruangan citra ataupun “blogsphere” ini sebagai ruangan international, terbuka kepada seluruh umat manusia di dunia ini. Oleh itu, saya berpendapat mesej yang saya ingin sampaikan adalah lebih wajar disampaikan dalam bahasa yang lebih difahami oleh masyarakat dunia.

Saya tidak teragak-agak untuk menggunakan Bahasa Kebangsaan kita sekiranya ianya khusus untuk rakyat Malaysia sahaja. Walaupun begitu, mesej untuk mendaulatkan Bahasa Kebangsaan lebih tertuju kepada mereka-mereka yang mendabik diri sebagai rakyat Malaysia, tetapi tidak fasih bahasa Melayu. Macamana mereka-mereka ini akan dapat mengetahui mesej-mesej yang hendak disampaikan sekiranya mereka ini sendiri tidak fasih berbahasa Kebangsaan ?

Seperti kata Saudara Anas Zubedy ( sila layari http://tersenarai.blogspot.com ):-

“It’s a question of whether or not all Malaysians can speak Bahasa Melayu fluently. If you can’t, then there’s a problem somewhere.”

Yes, there is a problem somewhere when a Malaysian cannot speak Bahasa Melayu fluently. Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua is one of the solutions to address this “nationalistic” problem.

30 01 2010
SSS Admin

Penuntut,

Kami tidak tersinggung sedikit pun bila pembaca bertanya secara baik dan bersopan saperti Sdr lakukan. Terima kasih kerana menziarahi laman web ini dan meninggalkan komen.

Kami bersetuju dengan pendapat Kenn dan abda diatas ini bahawa yang penting pada peringkat ini sekarang ialah bagi mendapatkan semua pembaca fahamkan maksud dan segala yang diperkatakan disini.

Pada permulaannya rencana kami berbentuk dwibahasa – kami terjemahkan rencana dalam bahasa Malaysia ke Bahasa Inggeris dan sebaliknya. Tetapi kami adalah kumpulan sukarela dan mahukan mana masa yang ada digunakan untuk usaha-usaha lain, maka kebelakangan ini kami keluarkan rencana-rencana dalam satu bahasa sahaja. Tetapi kami coba pelbagaikan – ada masa rencana Bahasa Malaysia, ada masanya dalam Bahasa Inggeris, saperti kali ini.

Biasanya SSS Admin kami menjawab atau membuat respon kapada komen pembaca mengikut bahasa yang digunakan pembaca.

Disuatu masa akan datang, apabila hampir kesemua rakyat Malaysia sudah fasih didalam Bahasa Malaysia, kami tentu akan menggunakan Bahasa Malaysia sahaja didalam portal ini.

29 01 2010
Virdon

Commenter “a” says, “A rakyat that is no longer divided will pay no heed to any number of keris-wavings.” The reply to that is “A rakyat that is united will not have to face any keris-wavings” as there would not likely be any more of such. So, let’s be united, folks.

“A rakyat united will call for a more even-handed affirmative action policy.” The rationale for affirmative action has been frequently explained. I think the fault is not in the policy but in the implementation. It got hijacked by corrupt politicians. So, let’s hit out at the corrupt politicians.

“A rakyat united will stop this f***ing bulls*** about race, and start talking about the nation.” Yes, let’s do that. The SSS people are talking about a united and cohesive Bangsa Malaysia. Let’s talk about that more.

I’ve not given up hope on Malaysia, my country. I don’t have anywhere else to go. And I don’t care for any other country. I was born here and so were my parents. We’ll just have to try and make it better whatever we can.

I don’t think It’s really the old chicken-or-egg thing. I don’t want to talk about political parties else I be accused of bias. But all political parties have to take some blame – all are pursuing agendas for the rakyat they represent, and they do represent races, don’t they? Not a single one is truly Malaysian in composition and policies.

But we the rakyat can aslo help to change things. These people here are trying to do it thru the singe-stream schooling. I support that. We must start from the young. The adults are so hardened in their ways and thinking in many cases.

31 01 2010
SSS Admin

Virdon,

Thank you for dropping in and leaving a few inspiring sentiments.

It’s admirable of you to have the attitude that this is our country, that you are not giving up hope, and that we rakyat can also do whatever we can to improve the situation in the country. We are proud of you as fellow citizens and this is what we expect of all citizens in this country of ours.

The problem started when there were those who took up citizenship after independence, after so long being stateless, yet were not thinking of permanency in this country or fully accepting the terms agreed by their leaders prior to independence. True, the British did say when persuading the Malays to agree to citizenship for the non-Malays that the non-Malays were mostly transient. But it turned out that they were not. We think the later Malays had no real problem with that. But when some of them do not respect the Special Position of the Malays under Article 153 or the importance of Bahasa Malaysia under Article 152 of the Constitution, many Malays spoke up.

We agree with you that the nature and the composition of polititical parties in this country tended to make them speak for the interests of Malaysians along racial lines. It may take a long time for this to change and one way to encourage the development of a Malaysian mentality and identity is to have all children, especially at their formative ages, study together and develop a sense of togetherness, common hopes and aspirations for their future and for the country. We believe that SSS is the way forward.

29 01 2010
Sayong

Siapa cakap SK penuh dengan pentadbir rasis? Siapa kata banyak Pengetua tak hormat agama murid-murid bukan Islam? Beri buktilah. Jangan senang cakap saja.

31 01 2010
SSS Admin

Sayong,

Terima kasih menziarah kami dan meninggalkan komen.

Penulis tersebut tidak memberi bukti-bukti diatas kata-katanya yang Sdr sebutkan itu. Dia menyebutnya dalam rangka mengeluarkan cadangan bagi membaikki keadaan. Boleh kita terima atau tidak cadangan-cadangannya itu adalah satu perkara tetapi dia ada coba memikirkan masalah persepaduan negara dan mengeluarkan cadangan.

Maka inilah yang penganjur SSS telah kemukakan – Kerajaan perlu mengadakan suatu kajian mendalam terhadap sistem pelajaran yang ada sekarang ini, termasuk sistem sekolah vernakular. Dengan membuat kajian tersebut, boleh dapat dipastikan benar atau tidaknya tohmahan-tohmahan saperti yang Sdr tidak puas hati itu. Jika benar, tindakan perlu diambil, termasuk ubahsuai atau rombakan sistem-sistem pelajaran dan pengajaran yang ada sekarang ini.

31 01 2010
Andrea

You blame Chinese schools and Indian schools and say no unity. People are not happy goverment unfair. Why cannot have Malaysian Malaysia and people become happy and unite?

1 02 2010
SSS Admin

Andrea,

Thank you for visiting and saying a few words.

What is clear is that most of the vernacular schools are not diverse in racial composition. Pupils hardly mix with other communities and they are not afforded the opportunity of developing a sense of togetherness, of common hopes and aspirations that are necessary for the evolution of a united and cohesive Bangsa Malaysia. We badly need that in order to arrest the growing racial polarisation in the country today.

Fairness of the Government has in the past been seen from the perspective of acceptance of the Constitution. Those who have no problem in accepting all of the Articles of the Constitution appear not having seen the Government as unfair. Those who have reservations on one or two Articles like Article 153 on the Special Position of the Malays appear to have seen Government policies concerning that
subject as unfair.

But non-Malay leaders at Merdeka have agreed on the Malay Special Position as a quid pro quo or in exchange for the Malay leaders agreeing to citizenship for the non-Malays, who were not citizens and were stateless all the while under British colonial rule. If non-Malays grudge the Malay Special Position, the Malays can grudge the non-Malay citizenship right, and it’s not good for unity in the country.

The so-called Malaysian Malaysia slogan was concieved by Lee Kuan Yew before he and Singapore got kicked out of Malaysia. Now the DAP is promoting it. That concept is subversive to the Special Position of the Malays – it is an encroachment on that special position. If that is allowed, the Malays, who form the majority in the country, would not be happy and there can be no unity.

31 01 2010
Semerah Padi

Salam Admin,

Diberitakan dalam tulisan-tulisan blog mengenai isu Zahrain (PKR) mengecam Lim Guan Eng (DAP) yang LGE menggunakan bahasa mandarin dalam ucapan di sebuah konvensyen.

Semua sedia maklum, mandarin adalah bahasa kebangsaan Republik Komunis China dan Bahasa Melayu adalah bahasa kebangsaan negara Malaysia.

Ini sudah jelas bahawa terdapat ramai yang kononya bergelar warganegara tapi masih degil bersifat serta berkelakuan sebagai seorang “PENDATANG”. Di bandar-bandar besar seperti Kuala Lumpur, pergilah di mana-mana ceruk dimana adanya spesies “PENDATANG” ini berkeliaran. Dengar sajalah apa bahasa yang mereka pertuturkan?

Dont get angry with the “PENDATANG” labeling, just pack your backs and LEAVE!!!

Thanks to Najib Razak who has been promoting the mandarin language without first MENDAULATKAN bahasa Kebangsaan, yakni Bahasa Melayu.

“DImana bumi dipijak, di situ langit dijunjung”

1 02 2010
SSS Admin

Semerah Padi,

Isu berkenaan mereka yang dipanggil “Pendatang” ini adalah so’al berpatutan atau “reasonableness”. Mereka sendiri membantah bila dipanggil pendatang. tetapi sejarah menunjukkan mereka memang datang beramai-ramai dan tinggal dinegara ini yang dikenali sebagai Tanah Melayu dipertengahan abad 19. Sabelom itu ada hanya segelintir kaum Cina diMelaka yang telah menyesuaikan diri dengan budaya tempatan dan digelar “Baba” dan “Nyonya”.

Mereka mula masuk negeri Perak (Larut) dari Penang, di bawa oleh Long Jaafar dan Menteri Ngah Ibrahim untuk berkerja dilombong bijeh timah mereka dan melombong tanah yang lain. Mereka pulaknya membawa kongsi gelap, penjahat dan gengster yang kemudiannya menghuru-harakan keadaan, akhirnya menawan perusahaan lombong diPerak, malahan dilain-lain negeri juga pun. Nyatalah itu sesuatu yang tidak patut.

Mereka tidak mempunyai kerakyatan diseluruh tempoh penjajahan British dan
mendapat kerakyatan salepas Merdeka. Perlembagaan negara yang telah dirangka dan dilulus Parlimen yang diwakili wakil-wakil semua rakyat mengandungi Artikel 152 yang menyatakan Bahasa Malaysia sebagai Bahasa Kebangsaan negara ini. Ada dari kaum pendatang ini yang tidak hormati Bahasa Kebangsaan itu dan mahukan Bahasa Mandarin sebagai bahasa pengantar disekolah Cina, walhal bahasa Mandarin boleh dipelajari sebagai mata pelajaran disekolah yang bahasa pengantarnya BM dan boleh digunakan selain dari bertutur dikhalayak ramai. Ini juga suatu yang tidak patut.

Semua rakyat Malaysia mesti hormati dan patuhi Perlembagaan negara. Mereka yang tidak berbuat demikian boleh dianggap tidak setia kapada negara kerana Perlembagaan adalah undang-undang yang paling tinggi dan asas kapada kesetiaan terhadap negara.

31 01 2010
Kenn

Dear Sirs,

…language and education are two indispensable instruments for sustaining one’s culture. Therefore when the Chinese educationalists fought for the preservation of Chinese education, they were actually fighting for the status of their language, and vice versa…

Tan Puay-Ching

Which simply means, the chinese FIGHT to preserve their chinese identity.

Anas Zubey said in an interview:-

“…that Malaysian culture must have budaya Melayu at its core…”

“It doesn’t mean other cultures are not Malaysian, but that they play a supporting role to Malay culture. It’s a question of whether or not all Malaysians can speak Bahasa Melayu fluently. If you can’t, then there’s a problem somewhere…”

So, let us ask ourselves:-

Are we the citizens of Malaysia? Where are we setting our foot now?

It is commendable for one to fight, preserving one’s identity and language, like the chinese in the People Republic of China.

It is treasonous to fight for foreign culture in a foreign land.

Malaysians must fight to preserve its culture and language.

Why get angry when someone calls you “PENDATANG” when you behave like one? If you continue to behave like one, it is best for you to leave this foreign land and be at your mother land.

Like the saying of a Malay proverb:-

Di mana bumi dipijak, di situ langit dijunjung

To build a nation, start with a school (Tagore). There should be only Sekolah Kebangsaan, one school for all.

3 02 2010
SSS Admin

Kenn,

SSS aims at the creation of a united and cohesive Bangsa Malaysia. Consequently, there ought to be the evolution of a Malaysian culture from that Bangsa Malaysia. That Malaysian culture must have Bahasa Malaysia as its base because it is the National Language and it is written so in the Constitution.

SSS has repeatedly stated that Mandarin and Tamil can be taught and learnt in schools but as elective subjects. They should not be the medium of instruction in schools as they account for the existence of three systems of education in the country – SK, SJKC, SJKT. Three systems of education cannot conceivably produce a united and cohesive Bangsa Malaysia in the short, even in the long, term.

1 02 2010
quitting sek keb

May children were the only two non Malays in Sek Rendah Keb. My elder son went on to Sek Men. but since form 1 he had been continually harassed by Malay form mates taunting him (with such words as Cina Babi etc etc) , challenging him to fights and also threatening to beat him up.

I went to see the disciplinary teacher, the HEM and then the Pengetua but the harassment still continue. It got so bad that before school starts for 2010, my elder son decided that either he get a transfer from the school or he wants to quit studying.

Finally, we transferred him to a Chinese school some 50 miles away and my family had to move to the town , having to rent a house there . It was financially pressing for us but it was the best solution.

I am sure glad that the Sek Jenis Keb C is an available alternative.

3 02 2010
SSS Admin

quitting sek keb,

We welcome you to this portal despite your dissenting views. We would, however, like to try and assure you that whatever bad experience you and your child experienced in the sekolah menengah you mentioned, it must have been the exception rather than the rule. You have nevertheless not given particluars about the school and the names of the personalities involved for any verification to be made and perhaps the higher authorities be requested to investigate and take the necessary action.

School bullies exist in many places, not necessarily just in sekolah kebangsaan. The Deputy Minister of Education announced in 2008 that SJKCs had a drop-out rate of 25% and one wonders how many bullies there were there and the reasons for the high drop-out rate, which the Deputy Minister himself found perplexing.

This is why the SSS Proposal calls for an in-depth study into the existing systems of education (three systems viz SK, SJKC, SJKT) to be carried out by an independent and non-partisan team of experts (including well-recognised foreign ones), determine the strengths and weaknesses, then amend or devise an education policy based on the findings and the recommendations of such a study.

6 02 2010
janah

Jangan marah SK saja. Sekolah vernakular pun ada macam itu. Bacalah komen “a” oleh pembaca rencana No. 2 itu. Dia kata

“Students from vernacular schools as young as nine years of age are taunting Indians for their skin colour”

1 02 2010
quitting sek keb

Ada dari kaum pendatang ini yang tidak hormati Bahasa Kebangsaan i

====

This type of thought is real bigotry and is pure rubbish. BM is still taught in the Chinese Primary school and all other subjects in the Chinese secondary schools are as those in the Sek Men Keb with only Mandrin as an additional subject.

Such utterances is not only a real lie but is also calculated to arouse the emotion of anger and hatred towards the Chinese Schools.

Non Malay Malaysians should master BM but need not follow the Malay culture .

3 02 2010
SSS Admin

quitting sek keb,

Not being quite sure where that statement was quoted from and in view of the fact that quite a lot has been written here, we do not know the context in which it was written. The use of the word “pendatang” has been discussed in detail elsewhere and perhaps we may for now concentrate on the subject of the use of BM, Mandarin and Tamil in schools.

True, BM is taught in Chinese schools but the issue is having BM as the medium of instruction in all schools. This is in line with the fact that BM is the National Language as stated in Article 152 of the Constitution. With vernacular schoools having BM as its medium of instruction, the same curriculum and syllabus as the national schools, all schools would become diverse in composition and the spirit of togetherness, having the same hopes and aspirations would develop among children and hopefully a united and cohesive Bangsa Malaysia would evolve, and this augurs well for harmony and lasting peace in this country.

No doubt you said you experienced some bitterness in the national school where your son went to before but we believe such incidents are not the norms as far as national schools are concerned.

4 02 2010
antuskool

I have experience with Ah Seng, Muthu, Ah Chong, Siva (not real names) and several others.

We all went to same Sekolah Menengah (berasrama penuh). We study together, went to prep together, play together, sleep in the same dorm. We speak one language, Bahasa Melayu. We do sometimes speak English. Never at one time I saw Ah Seng speaking chinese with Ah Chong, or Muthu speak Indian with Siva infront of us. Maybe they did it privately.

One day a new student came, Chee Bai (not real name). He was a loner. Could nto speak Bahasa Melayu properly. Even Ah Chong and Ah Seng made fun of him. “Cina Komunis” was the nick name given.

Chee Bai maybe just like your children, quitting sek keb. The parent themselves perhap taught “cina komunis” and the child became “cina komunis” in this land called Malaysia. Never a “cina komunis” fit to mingle in a school, except in China mainland. Like your child, Chee Bai was transfered out. Where? Who cares?!

5 02 2010
SSS Admin

antuskool,

Those not in the mainstream of events do tend to alienate themselves and sometimes get taunted by others. Speaking Bahasa Malaysia is mainstream because it is spoken by the majority of the population and, more importantly, it is the National Language of the country as spelt out under Article 152 of the Constitution.

There may be the odd case of the Chinese boy in a wholly Malay class being taunted by others not because of language but possibly because of being the odd one out. However, such an incidence is very rare and that it happened is unfortunate for the boy and his parents. But we are pretty sure that that sort of situation does not typify the national schools and, as has been pointed out, does not mean the vernacular schools are better than the national ones.

5 02 2010
Enchon

Dear sir

I think the key word there is “hormati”. The Kamus shows it has a very wide meaning. It does not appear to me to be “calculated to arouse the emotion of anger and hatred towards the Chinese Schools”. But because you also link it to Malay culture, mebbe your reaction was precipitated partly by the word “pendatang”. Here’s what some one wrote some where about that word, which has always been associated with the words “Tuan Tanah”:

“If you read articles written by historians (Professors and PhD degree holders in Malaysia and Singapore) in “The Encyclopedia of Malaysia”, you would find that the Malays have been in this country all along since it was first inhabited – the earliest were called Proto Malays, the later were Deutero Malays. This is reinforced in other books, including “Nusantara” by Professor Benard H.M Vlekke.

The Malays have had a continuous existence as a people with a kingdom, with established rules and regulations, law and order, and organised governance since over a thousand years ago. Langkasuka, where Pattani now is, is a case in point. The Srivijaya Empire, the Majapahit Empire, the Malacca Empire, the Brunei Sultanate all belonged to what has been termed as “Rumpun Melayu”. In Nusantara, the Malays had been plying in and out of various territories to and from Acheh to Palembang, Kedah through the Straits of Malacca to the Rhiau-Linggi archipelago, Malacca to the western states of Borneo (the Brunei Sultanate once controlled large parts of Sarawak and Sabah), to Sulu in southern Phipippines, and of course to the islands around Java up to Irian Jaya. These are the Malay-speaking “Rumpun Melayu” people.

When the non-Malays came to Malaya, the Malays were already well entrenched in this country. Even when the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British came beginning from 1511, they asked to speak to the Tuan Tanah, the Malays. The Portuguese conquered and ruled only Malacca, not the other states. The British later controlled all the states but British Colonial Officers dealt with the Malay rulers and protected them. The position of the Malay rulers was entrenched in the Constitution of our country that was drawn up upon Merdeka.

As can be seen from the above explanation, the Malays have indeed been the Tuan Tanah. The Chinese came here in large numbers beginning in the mid-19th Century and the Indians mainly with the opening of rubber plantations and the construction of the Malayan Railway later.

There is nothing wrong in the word “Tuan Tanah” or “pendatang”. We all should know our history and our contribution in nation building. Just because the Malays were mainly engaged in padi planting, not in tin mining or big businesses, it does not mean the Malays contributed less to nation building. (There were 350 Malay tin mines at one time but the Chinese secret societies, thugs and gangsters brought into Perak by Chinese tin miners started the Larut Wars where the Malays became involved and te Malay tin mines eventually disappeared – see accounts given in “Sejarah Kesultanan Negeri Perak” written by Prof. M.A Fawzi Basri). The rice the Malays produced fed everybody in the country though as the population increased, imports supplemented our needs. The Malays also constituted the largest group of rubber and oil palm smallholders and pay annual tax on their land.

Even at the present time, when the Chinese are involved in manufacturing and such, the Malays contribute to the economy by buying and providing the market for the manufactured goods. The Chinese may be paying more tax but remember the Malays contribute in terms of manpower, and even sacrificing their lives, for maintaining peace and order (Police) and for the defence (Military) of the country. We all have our part in nation building but we must not begrudge or mock one another’s role – for the sake of unity, long-term peace and harmony in this country.”

Sorry, mainly copy-pasting only, for the sake of better understanding and harmony among us.

4 02 2010
Sher

The debate on single-stream schooling between Prof Khoo Kay Kim and the Deputy Minister of Education recently did not attract much media attention and comments. I have been wondering why. I also wondered whether it was designed to show not much support on the idea.

The debate was organised by MCA Youth, the organisation that opposed the proposal that vernacular schools be absorbed into the national schools system and politicised the issue. The Deputy Minister is himself Head of that organisation. He has been involved in the huge scandal over alleged corruption in the Port Klang Free Zone project, his popularity weakened, lost his position in the MCA Committee. Championing vernacular schools appears to be his flagship in the party. It may not be in his interest that the public comes in droves to attend the debate and the press write ravingly about it.

Consequently, they arranged for the debate to be held in the Chinese Assembly Hall, an old building used to be patronised by traditional Chinese Association members, most of whom have old China values and would be opponents of the proposal to disallow Mandarin being the medium of instruction in schools in this country. They did not use the air-conditioned auditorium of the MCA building that houses the MCA Headquarters, that is centrally located, for the debate.

They also had the debate conducted in Bahasa Malaysia, which may have been a good idea. But they chose a moderator who was not conversant in the language and the Youtube image shows the man pausing frequently to find words to use when explaining the rules for the debate.

The idea of the debate was good but the how it was planned and executed raised a lot of qustions on their intent and sincerity.

5 02 2010
SSS Admin

Sher,

Thanks for visiting and commenting.

It can be expected that those who oppose SSS would try to downplay the importance of the proposal and attempt to show that the idea is not appealing to the public.

What is important to us is that there are 189 blogs (as of now and increasing) supporting and carrying the SSS logo, as shown in the e-Patriots In Support list we provide in this blog. The single-stream schooling has in the past been covered not only by the press but also by TV news reports as well as forum discussions. Tan Sri Professor Khoo Kay Kim played an important role in disseminating the single-stream schooling concept and we appreciate his stand in the interest of unity in the country. We are proud of the man – a true Malaysian patriot.

The matter has been raised in Parliament, the Deputy PM and Minister of Education has encouraged discussions on it and the PM has said SSS would be carried out if the rakyat wants it. He has, however, not said or decided on how to determine whether the rakyat wants it or not. We believe there is a silent majority out there wanting it. We believe he will at least get an in-depth study on the education system going; having the study started does not need to wait for a time when it may be politically tenable for him to do so. We hope he will do it sooner rather than later.

6 02 2010
yonex

What has been for 52 years need not be right. The British ruled this country for nearly 100 years – was colonialism right? Even 100 years ago?

7 02 2010
MrBarns

Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work!🙂

8 02 2010
SSS Admin

MrBarnes,

Thank you for dropping in and for your kind words.

We feel encouraged in our efforts at bringing about unity in this multi-racial country. Some people have written that even a few of the British Colonial Officers at the time of our independence had expressed doubts about the tenability of our multi-racial structure. We are proud that it has lasted 53 years now despite minor hiccups. And we are bent on making it succeed.

We hope you can follow those comments written in Bahasa Malaysia. We lack manpower to continue bi-lingual publication that we started out with. As a general rule, we periodically change the language/ materials used and answer comments in the language they are written. Customer-oriented, so to speak, but, although we are promoting Bahasa Malaysia, the more important reason is getting our Malaysian audience, some of whom are not conversant in the language, fully understand the message we are trying to get across.

Do drop in as and when convenient to you and we also welcome your views in here. Best wishes to you.

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