This time we publish the views of two parties that oppose SSS and two others who support SSS.
As usual, let us discuss them in a cool and amiable manner. We hope you would give your views or read the comments to this post as well. You may form an opinion on who are right based not only on what those four say but also what others who comment here say.
Both pro and contra comments are welcomed.
Here are the views of Dong Zong and Huang Zong:
1. From http://www.malaysianbar.org.my
Tuesday, 03 November 2009
By Kong See Hoh
KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 2, 2009) : Dong Zong (United Chinese School Committees Association) says it is against a single stream school system and will submit a memorandum to the prime minister to express regrets over recent remarks made by academics, MPs and the education minister on the subject.
Speaking to reporters after chairing the annual meeting of Dong Zong affiliates (Dong Lian Hui) in Ipoh on Sunday, the education movement’s president Dr Yap Sin Tian said the decision to submit a memorandum to Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak was reached in the meeting.
He said Dong Zong would draft the memorandum as soon as possible and seek endorsement from other Chinese groups on the memorandum, the Chinese press reported today.
Yap said the meeting also censured historian Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim for raising the subject of the single stream system.
Khoo had proposed a restructure of the national education system, including the implementation of a single stream, to ensure attainment of the goals of the 1Malaysia concept.
He said the existing school system with various streams does not help the people really understand the meaning of the concept.
This prompted calls by several MPs for the government to introduce a single stream school system as well as dissenting voices from the Chinese community.
Yap said instead of promoting national unity, the implementation of the single stream school system would hamper unity and create racial tensions.
He urged the government and political parties to state their stand on attempts by some people to use the 1Malaysia concept to achieve their political agendas of a “nation state” and a single stream school system.
He also urged all quarters to raise their guard and to stand firm against any assimilation policy.
He said Malaysians must accept the fact that Malaysia is a “multi-national state” (a state which contains two or more ethnic groups as identified by religion, language, or colour) and not a “nation state” (the concept of one country, one race, one culture, one language and a single stream school system).
Meanwhile, Hua Zong (Federation of Chinese Associations of Malaysia) president lambasted proponents of single stream school system for creating the misconception that the current multiple-stream school system and Malaysia’s multicultural traits, which are the country’s strong points, were stumbling blocks to unity.
“We must remind academics and politicians with extremist thinking not to abuse the 1Malaysia concept,” he said at the anniversary celebration of the Perak Chinese Assembly Hall in Ipoh on Sunday night.
Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he was all for single stream schools to promote unity and 1Malaysia.
However, he said the issue should be looked at in its totality with views from all quarters, including those of the Chinese and Indian communities.
Such schools, he said, were the ultimate objective of the Razak Report but due to circumstances involving the country’s history, it ended up with a multiple-stream system.
Last Saturday, Najib said the government would consider the views of the people before making a decision on the proposal to implement a single stream school system.
He said the government would only change any policy if it had the people’s agreement, otherwise it would retain the existing policy.
He said a change to a single stream school system required a major shift in policy and it raised the question of whether the people were ready to forgo their right to choose the type of education they wanted.
2. From the Sun2Surf, 11 February 2010
Chinese groups against national schools’ BM syllabus
Kong See Hoh
KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 17, 2009): A number of Chinese groups are against the Education Ministry’s proposal for vernacular primary schools to adopt the same syllabus used in national schools for the Bahasa Malaysia (BM) language subject, the Chinese press reported today.
Currently, the BM textbooks used in Chinese and Tamil primary schools are different from that used in national schools. So are the UPSR (Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah) BM examination papers.
Responding to a report in Sin Chew Daily, which broke the story on standardising the BM syllabus on Monday, Dong Zong (United Chinese School Committees Association) president Dr Yap Sin Tian sees the move as burdening pupils from vernacular schools who have to grapple with three languages.
He pointed out that for Chinese schools, where BM is taught as a second language, to adopt the same syllabus as that used in national schools, where BM is taught as a first language, goes against the principles of the national education philosophy.
He said Chinese school pupils have to learn three languages and cannot be expected to follow the same syllabus and the same way of learning BM as their peers in national schools.
To force Chinese schools to adopt the same syllabus will also affect the character of these schools, he said.
He urged the ministry not to resort to all means to change the syllabuses in Chinese schools. National Union of Heads of School president Pang Chong Leong echoed Yap’s concern on the possibility of an added burden on Chinese schools pupils.
He was worried that Chinese schools pupils might not be able to catch up as they have one more language to learn than national school pupils.
Pang, who said he had made clear the union’s stand at a meeting with the ministry, hoped that it would think thrice on the proposal.
Hua Zong (Federation of Chinese Associations in Malaysia) president Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah said instead of raising the standard of BM in vernacular schools, the move may backfire as the pupils, because of the medium of instruction in their schools, may have problems coping with syllabus of a higher standard.
He said pupils may end up with an aversion to the language, and “worse still for Chinese schools, parents seeking better environment to learn the national language may decide to send their children to national schools where Chinese language is already made a subject”.
United Chinese School Alumni Association of Malaysia said in a statement that Chinese schools cannot accept the proposal as it is a roundabout way of reducing the number of classes for subjects taught in Mandarin.
It has been reported that the ministry proposed that along with the change in syllabus, vernacular schools will have to teach BM an additional 90 minutes a week, at the expense of other subjects.
On Monday, Education Director-General Datuk Alimuddin Md Dom told Nanyang Siang Pau that the government is considering adopting national school BM syllabus in vernacular schools beginning with Year One in 2012.
He said if the pilot project proves successful in Year One, it would be extended to other classes.
He said the move is aimed at bring the standard of the language in vernacular schools to be on par with national schools.
However, he said it is still at the conceptual stage.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said the ministry needs in-depth studies on the proposal and has yet to make a decision.
He said he had objected to the proposal in at least three internal meetings.
Here are the views of Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim and Professor Teo Kok Siong:
3. From Bernama, October 22, 2009 18:26 PM
Education Needs To Be Restructured In Line With 1Malaysia – Khoo
BUKIT MERTAJAM, Oct 22 (Bernama) — Historian and academician Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim has called on the government to restructure the national education system and do away with the multiple stream arrangement.
He said that having a multiple stream system was not helpful in getting the people understand the concept.
He added that the people had been segregated since they were small either according to streams in schools or mother tongues, and when they grew up, it would be difficult for them to cooperate with one another.
“We don’t need a multiple stream system, and the teaching of mother tongues can be incorporated into the curriculum,” he told reporters after a discourse programme on “One Malaysia: Challenges and Hopes” here Thursday.
He said that there would be people who would object to the proposal, but he added that they should look into how far the existing system had been able to strengthen the country’s nation-building efforts.
Dr Khoo said that during the British era, vernacular schools were set up to allow students to learn about their countries of origin.
“However, the system is no longer needed as they are now citizens of Malaysia and should be taught to accept the country and its multiracial races as part of themselves,” he said.
He expressed disappointment over the attitude of some sections of the societies whom he said were ignorant of the country’s history.
He also took to task some politicians whom he said were more interested in pursuing personal agenda.
“There are politicians who prefer separation than integration,” he said, adding that this attitude would be a hindrance to the full acceptance of the 1Malaysia concept.
4. From malaysiakini 6 September 2009
Prof Teo: Hubungan kaum di M’sia hanya retorik
Sep 6, 09 12:25pm
Hubungan antara kaum di Malaysia hanya retorik – hanya nampak baik di luar tetapi di dalam tidak baik, kata Felo Penyelidik Utama, Institut Alam dan Tamadun Melayu (ATMA), Prof Teo Kok Seong.
“Di negara ini, sifat curiga mencurigai antara kaum yang menjadi masalah,” katanya dalam wawancara dalam Mingguan Malaysia hari ini.
“Saya juga melihat keadaan ini berlaku kerana parti yang berasaskan kaum yang jelas memperjuangkan kaum mereka sahaja dan ini akan mengheret soal lain seperti bahasa dan sebagainya,” tegas beliau lagi.
Menurut beliau, sepatutnya ada satu bahasa pengantar sahaja dan bahasa lain boleh dipelajar tanpa ada masalah.
“Namun kepentingan sistem satu bahasa adalah penting untuk memupuk perpaduan di kalangan masyarakat berbilang kaum,” tegas Prof Teo.
Katanya, politik yang bersifat perkauman sangat bahaya dalam usaha memupuk perpaduan.
“Sekarang ini kita hanya melihat perpaduan di peringkat luaran dan tidak ada interaksi yang sebenar antara semua kaum.
“Komunikasi antara kaum ini, ada yang hanya bercakap bahasa pasar sahaja, malah ada yang tidak langsung boleh berbahasa Melayu,” tambahnya.
Oleh itu, tegasnya, perlu ada usaha untuk memupuk satu interaksi tulen antara kaum supaya perpaduan yang diperjuangkan selama ini akan berjaya.
Menyentuh mengenai media, Prof Teo berkata semua akhbar vernakular Melayu, Cina dan India bersikap perkauman.
“Ini biasa terutama di negara ini yang penduduknya berbilang kaum. Apabila suratkhabar bersifat perkauman, maka ia akan bersikap membela golongan tertentu dan dari segi berita, banyak berita yang disiarkan pun ke arah golongan tertentu,” katanya.
Prof Teo berkata beliau tidak kisah dicemuh kerana pandangannya itu “kerana beliau mewakili masyarakat Cina yang berfikiran sederhana”.
Ditanya mengenai peranan pemimpin politik dalam memulihkan perpaduan antara kaum, beliau berpandangan mesti ada had dalam politik.