MORE Pro and Contra Views

25 02 2010

We now publish more pro and contra views on the subject of single stream education or Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua (SSS) for our country, Malaysia, for a continued healthy and constructive discussion among us.

The following articles were obtained from the public domain. Let us discuss the views put out in the articles in the usual, civil manner.

Everybody is welcomed to participate in the discussion – both those resident locally and those overseas. We also welcome both pro and contra comments from non-Malaysians in Malaysia or elsewhere in the world.

Do feel free to let us know what you think – not only of what is said in the articles and comments in this post but also those in past posts.

The post immediately before this carries a few comments with historical perspective.

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1. Vernacular Schools Detrimental to National Integration?

http://www.amy2kyo.com/2008/06/22/vernacular-school-is-it-detrimental-to-national-integration/

Vernacular School? Is it detrimental to National Integration? bla bla bla
June 22nd, 2008

Great discussion with Sang Suria yesterday.

First and foremost, we defined what is meant by ‘vernacular’.

Kamus Dewan – relating to or a language or dialect commonly spoken by the members of a particular group or a community in a society Oxford Fajar Advanced Learner’s English-Malay Dictionary – language or dialect spoken in a particular country or region, as compared with a formal or written language.

From this two interpretation, we can sum up that ‘vernacular’ means the non-formal language that is commonly spoken by a particular group of people in a society. Language systems for the Indians, Chinese, Malays and other minorities were considered as vernacular languages back in the British Occupation. Why? The formal language back then was the English Language because the British were in power over Tanah Melayu. (I rule your country, therefore you must use my language!)

People like Chin Peng fought for the democratic rights – the equality of languages and culture as contained in their Anti-Japanese Nine Point Manifesto in 1943 and the Eight Point Programme in 1945. Of course it wasn’t a successful move.

Two years later, in 1947, Pusat Tenaga Rakyat (Putera) and the All-Malayan Council of Joint Action (AMCJA) combined efforts to formulate a document called “The People’s Constitutional Proposals for Malaya.” The Malay Language emerged as the national and official language, replacing English during the post-independence.

The Chinese and Tamil languages faced discrimination. The Alliance and BN did not promote a healthy growth for the languages. (Racist freaks!) (I rule your country, therefore you must use my language!)

We didn’t really touch on this side of the story in yesterday’s discussion. We talked more about experiences for those coming from vernacular schools. I didn’t even utter a word at all because I’m not from any vernacular school and didn’t know what to protect whether is it detrimental to national integration.

See, my primary and secondary school are of the national schools. During primary education, un/fortunately, I was the only Chinese in the whole school of hundreds of pupils. I got along very well with Malay and Indian friends. I can even speak the language without flaws, as if I’m a Malay.

Secondary education was a little hard for me to adapt to. Why? The school that I went to is a multicultural school, Malays, Indians, and Chinese were mixed together in a classroom. In fact, I faced difficulties to speak Mandarin because I have not learnt it. Family members speak English to me since childhood. Of course the language barrier wasn’t a big problem because I picked up the language quite fast. (I broke the rules of Critical Period Hypothesis. Haha.) Then I got along very well among Chinese friends.

Indian friends are not a small amount too. I used the English Language to communicate with them, sometimes BM. Not as bad though. I used three languages in school. It was cool.

To answer the question “are vernacular schools detrimental to national integration?” YES! Why must we segregate the people according to races? National schools can give the best of national integrity when everybody is mixed together. Put in vernacular languages into national schools as electives. Anybody can take up extra language subjects. Want to learn about the History of the Chinese Language? Make it as a subject in school! I think there won’t be any objections, maybe there are. Nobody will ever know the answer if there aren’t any actions taken. Maybe this could be one of the agenda in upcoming Rancangan Malaysia.

There are a lot of factors which can counter that argument too, such as family upbringing. Parents are the ones who shape their children’s mindsets. “Cina tu makan babi, haram tau, jangan pi kawan ngan mereka.” “Malay people are lazy, they are the criminals, not a good friend to be with.” “Indians are dark, dirty and smell of Indian oil, don’t go near them.”

Did you ever hear this before? I bet you guys did and kept quiet about it. Parents therefore send their children to vernacular schools just so that they can mix with their own kind. What can we do? These mindsets are permanently set in the minds of everyone since young. How do we erase these mindsets? Not an easy task. We should all bring the People’s Constitutional back alive again, where we regard everyone is equal. We filled in forms with “bangsa Malaysia” instead of Melayu, Cina, India, Lain-lain.

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2. Battle To Save Malaysia’s Chinese Dropouts

http://www.asiaone.com/News/Education/Story/A1Story20080130-47357.html

Chow Kum Hor
Thu, Jan 31, 2008
The Straits Times

Battle to save Malaysia’s Chinese dropouts

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – MRS Chong, a mother of two, is deeply worried about her 11-year-old daughter’s studies.

The reason: The Standard Six pupil does not seem to have much homework from her Mandarin-medium school in Seri Kembangan, a predominantly Chinese middle-class enclave that is 30 minutes’ drive from Kuala Lumpur.

Although school has just started, others in her daughter’s year have already been inundated with schoolwork in preparation for the year-end government examination that Standard Six pupils take.

But her daughter and her classmates ‘appear to have been spared the burden’, although they are ‘not very good’ in their studies, said the 38-year-old housewife, who declined to give her full name.

Those familiar with the Chinese school system in Malaysia will understand Mrs Chong’s anxiety.

It is not uncommon for these schools to neglect the less academically inclined, and lack of homework is one of the signs. Teachers are too busy coaching the potential top-scorers to spend time on the weaker pupils.

‘Some schools are overly focused on those who can score a string of As. These are the students who give their schools a good name. But they (the good students) are the minority,’ said Chinese educationist Goh Kean Seng.

The result is that those who fail to keep up with their schoolwork drop out of school in later years, said Mr Goh, principal of a private Chinese secondary school in KL and an active member of an influential Chinese education group.

The situation is worsened by the switch from Mandarin to Malay as the medium of instruction when the pupils go on to secondary school, he added.

Government primary schools use either Malay, Mandarin or Tamil as the medium of instruction. But all government secondary schools teach in Malay.

About 90 per cent of Chinese children in Malaysia go to Mandarin-medium primary schools, which are run by the government.

But less than 5 per cent go on to Mandarin-medium secondary schools, which are privately-run and fee-paying. Parents prefer to send their children to government schools, where education is free.

‘Many drop out because they cannot cope with the change in the medium of instruction,’ said Mr Goh.

It does not help that some parents refuse to send their children to ‘Remove Classes’, a year-long preparatory programme in secondary schools to bring children up to speed in the Malay language.

Pupils who fail their Malay language exam at Standard Six are required to go on this programme before they can start Form One. But those who do so are often perceived to be slow learners, so parents try to get their children exempted from it.

Deputy Education Minister Hon Choon Kim told The Straits Times: ‘Many parents see Remove Classes as a dumping ground, which should not be the case.’

The Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) estimates that 25 per cent of Chinese students quit studying before they are 18, when they are due to sit for a government exam equivalent to the O levels.

This estimate puts the annual dropout figure at over 100,000 – what the party’s youth wing calls a ‘silent epidemic’.

There are no official figures on the number of dropouts among the Chinese, but feedback that the MCA gets from the community suggests that the situation has deteriorated, especially over the past five years.

Among the dropouts, some become apprentices in workshops, picking up skills like plumbing or motor-repair. But many more, eager to make a quick buck, find themselves in illicit trades, such as peddling pirated DVDs or collecting debts for loan sharks.

Police statistics do not show the number of dropouts involved in criminal activity. But MCA officials say anecdotal evidence suggests that more youngsters these days are prepared to break the law to earn a living.

Malaysia’s crime rate has been soaring over the years, going up by 7 per cent last year compared with 2006.

‘It’s very sad to see young Chinese dropping out of school at the age of 15 to 17 and ending up trying to evade police arrest every day,’ MCA Youth’s education bureau chief Wee Ka Siong told The Straits Times.

The party is deeply concerned, not only because education has always been important to the Chinese community.

‘With globalisation, not having the paper qualification puts you at a disadvantage. We do not want young, able Malaysians to lose out,’ said Mr Wee, also a lawmaker from Johor.

The MCA has set up a series of programmes to address this problem, one of which helps the less academically inclined enrol in vocational schools.

This way, they not only acquire skills like electrical wiring or tile-laying, but also have a piece of paper that says they are qualified.

The party also arranges for students with mediocre or poor grades to get extra coaching after school.

In addition, it has set up a RM6 million (S$2.6 million) fund to subsidise dropouts undergoing skills courses.

Datuk Hon said that the Education Ministry, together with the MCA, has undertaken a pilot project in about 10 Mandarin-medium primary schools nationwide to reduce the number of dropouts. It is aimed mainly at boosting the self-confidence of those who are not exactly star students.

‘Sometimes, we hold essay-writing competitions that exclude straight As students. If we open the contest to all, only the good students will win,’ he explained. Parents are invited to the prize-winning ceremonies of these contests.

He noted that the programme has had encouraging success, with students showing more enthusiasm for their studies. The ministry plans to expand the programme to more schools.

‘We just do not want anyone left out. Every student counts,’ Datuk Hon said.

This article was first published in the The Straits Times on Jan 30, 2008

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3. Which One Comes First, the Nation or Oneself or Maintaining Mother Tongue?

http://rights2write.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/1-school-and-1-malaysia/

1-School system and 1-Malaysia
03/11/2009 by drrafick

1. Past week few people commented about the need of having a single stream school system in Malaysia. Najib as anticipated played down the issue by saying that it will not be implemented if the people do not want it. As Malaysian, we need to ask ourselves which is more important, political survival of some politicians or the need to be one, as a nation.

2. Some people may argue that the country has progressed over the last 52 years with the current system in place. There isn’t a need to change because education index among Malaysian is high, per capita income is high. We have many highways and tall buildings. Are these criteria enough to measure the maturity and success of a nation?

3. Former Propaganda Minister, Zainuddin Maidin said “Malaysia should emulate Singapore’s single stream school system so as to produce a population that “no longer spoke and acted on racial sentiments”. Well, there is some truth about what the Zainuddin is saying but it is not the only reason. Singapore became what it is today, because of strong political leadership with political will and strong governance. They had one mission and the mission remains the same since 1965. In Malaysia, it is not the same. For e.g. One PM came with out with Islam Hadhari and the next PM made it into “Islam hari hari”. The point I am trying to get at is that our goals change with the PM of the country.

4. The key point that we must accept is that after 52 years of implementing the present education system, the people of this country are still divided along racial lines. The current system of education does not promote trust between the people. It becomes a sore point among many people in the street. We must appreciate that the current system is in place because some people felt it is a must to maintain their mother tongue and the politicians who pushed this ideology did it for the sake of themselves and not the country, Malaysia. These are the very people who govern the nation for 52 years and place their interest first before the nation. I believe it is time to move forward.

5. If we accept the fact that Malaysia comes first before the politicians and the hardcore racist people, then we must do what is right. The right thing is the government must provide a single stream education system. This is not something new. It is practiced worldwide. It is proven beyond the shores of Singapore. In Indonesia, the government there even forces the non Malays to have an Indonesian name but we don’t have to go that far. We must accept that people, who eat, play together and talks in common language maintains a stronger and lasting bond. We must start afresh after having a failed system in the last 52 years.

6. We must have the political will to change. It is better to cut off and starts a new and gets rid of this thorn in the flesh. The government must no longer support vernacular schools. Politicians on both sides must not be held ransom by the votes of people that support vernacular system. The vernacular schools can continue to exist on their own as other private schools in the country. This is done in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei and many other parts of the world. They should not get any government funding. Any government of the day that continues funding vernacular schools either via donation or others means that the government is promoting racial based policies. Maintaining mother tongue and culture should be done at home. Malaysian school system must be devoid of excessive religious infusion and must focus on key elementary subjects. Language classes can be provided within the government system as an option. My not so favorite Education Deputy Minister, Wee Kah Siong may not agree with me. He would argue that it is embeded in the Malaysian constitution. We have change the constitution more than thousand times. Changing it once more makes no difference.

7. As Malaysian, we need to ask ourselves. Which one comes first, the nation or oneself or maintaining mother tongue? Should we sacrifice and continue splitting this nation of ours along racial lines or focused to be as one. To me, Malaysia comes first.

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4. Sad Over Dong Zong Statements

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/11/5/focus/5046040&sec=focus

Reconsider stand on single school stream

I WAS full of disbelief and felt so sad for the young souls of Malaysia after reading statements made by Dong Zong in the local media recently regarding the single stream school system.

As much as I respect the association’s right to its opinion on this matter, I fail to understand why it has to object to a proposal which will ultimately make Malaysia a better place to live for all of us.

The claim made by the education movement’s president that “instead of promoting national unity, the implementation of the single stream school system would hamper unity and create racial tensions” is definitely badly flawed and bordering on the ludicrous.

The association may have its own objectives and expectations to meet, but it should look at the big picture and put the interest of the nation above all else. I can only wish the majority of the people do not subscribe to such sentiments, otherwise we might as well bid farewell to peace and harmony in this country for the future.

It is common knowledge and universally accepted that children learn best at a young age. It is during these times that they should be given the opportunity to mix freely regardless of race, colour and creed.

A conducive environment made available at this stage is important to allow them to foster racial goodwill and inculcate the virtues of understanding, sharing and caring. To deprive them of this space will limit their ability to develop the feeling of camaraderie and oneness in their adult life.

Another equally intriguing point raised by the association is for “all quarters to raise their guard and to stand firm against any assimilation policy”. I can’t clearly remember any programme or action undertaken by the Government since independence that can be regarded as trying to assimilate the people into a single community.

On the other hand, what was aggressively propagated in the past is the integration of the various races to enable them to co-exist peacefully in a multiracial country like ours.

One can’t help but wonder how an experienced group like Dong Zong can come up with such indefensible statements in relation to the single school system. I don’t want to delve into the politics of the movement and will leave the guessing game to others.

The association may have good reasons only best known to them when making these comments. Nevertheless, I would suggest that Dong Zong seriously reconsider their stand on the issue, this time around giving more thought to and emphasis on efforts deemed pertinent to nation-building.

Meanwhile, the powers-that-be should treat the single school issue with tact, but at the same time decisively and firmly in their proceedings. As peace-loving citizens, we should also do our part by throwing full support to the proposal.

Indeed, it is incumbent on all of us to contribute selflessly towards making this country a united and successful nation, in tandem with the spirit of 1Malaysia.

ZAMRI BIN MAHMUD,
Kuala Lumpur.


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80 responses

26 02 2010
Sher

Encyclopedia Brittanica says in China Mandarin is spoken mostly north of the Yangtze River. In the south where the Chinese in Malaysia came from, most people speak the local dialects – Cantonese, Hokkien, etc.

So, if people do business in northern China, knowledge of Mandarin is essential. If in the south like Canton, maybe not.

How good a knowledge of Mandarin to do business in China I don’t know. I suppose the Mandarin taught in schools as an elective subject is sufficient, meaning Mandarin does not need to be the medium of instruction in schools.

26 02 2010
SSS Admin

Sher,

Thanks for visiting and commenting again.

The level of proficiency of spoken and written language needs not be high to do business in any country. Though people trade not just in salt even in Timbuktu these days, surely a fair knowledge of Swahili is sufficient to conduct business even in modern technology in the relevant states of Africa.

Language proficiency is not the major criteria for the ability to do business. The dollar sign, the bank gurantees, the letters of credit are often the primary consideration. For investment promotion projects like bringing in major investors to set up large industries in Malaysia (the preferred activities of Malaysian bisunesses oveseas as such investment would provide jobs and gain foreign exchange), one major consideration is often the ability of those proposing them in getting the necessary approvals at the various levels in Malaysia with speed and ease.

Even these may be a secondary consideration for investors in China who have been familiar with corruption which had existed in a big scale even since the days of the eunuchs in imperial palaces two thousand years ago. As we do not wish to encourage that, perhaps a higher level of knowledge in Mandarin might impress the potential investors. Nevertheless, we believe such knowledge is obtainable through the Mandarin taught in schools without having it as the medium of instruction at such schools.

26 02 2010
Chong

Why you say Chinese and Indian schools no good? What about Malay hostel schools? They also one race only, no mixing. You must be fair. Many Malays also like Chinese mix with them only. People like not become busybody okay what.

26 02 2010
SSS Admin

Chong,

Welcome to our site and thank you for leaving a comment.

First, those attending boarding schools meant for Malays are those who have passed the primary school level. This means they would have a good grounding for some 4-5 years in national schools, mixing with others during their formative years.

Secondly, those boarding schools were set up as a special measure to bridge the vast gap in educational advancement between the mostly rural Malays and those living in the towns. The British colonial rulers built very few schools in the kampongs, and only at the primary level, whereas they built a sufficient number of schools in the towns, both at the primary and secondary levels. The boarding schools enable the rural Malay children to get secondary education and the various recreational and extra-corriculum facilities that are still not available in the kampongs right to this day.

The idea of not being busybody must not be stretched to the extent that children and others do not mix and alienate themselves until not knowing about the other races and hardly have any feeling of togetherness as fellow Malaysians.

27 02 2010
Dot

Here are some facts from a Working Paper presented by Zainal Abidin Bin Abdul Wahid (who later became Professor), History Department, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, submitted to the History of Malaysia Congress in 1978, published by The Historical Society of Malaysia, 1979, pg 4-5:

1. The British colonial education policy was generally to let the Malays continue as farmers and fishermen. They built only Malay schools for the Malays in the kampongs, whereas they built English schools in the towns where most of the Chinese lived. The Malay schools were only at the primary level whereas the English schools were up to secondary level.

2. It is wrong to say that the Malays under British rule were not interested in education. Since early 20th Century, Malays in Krian had asked the British to build English schools for their children but their request was rejected. This was in the state of Perak where in the latter part of the 19th Century the Malays had stabbed to death British Resident JWW Birch for wanting to impose tax on the Malays, yet the British succeeded in imposing tax on them later.

3. The Malays in Klang had, at about the same period of time, also asked for an English school be built for them. The British Resident in Selangor agreed and a school was built. But the British colonial bosses at Federal level (the then Federated Malay Staes) considered it as contradicting the British colonial education policy and the school was closed down only after four months of being opened. Imagine that.

4. Malays who were aware of the questionable intent of the British colonial education policy had continued to ask for Malay schools be built at the secondary level. In fact, even a university was suggested by the Malays as early as the early part of 20th Century.

All these were in historical records dug up by the Professor and presented to the Congress in 1978.

27 02 2010
Dot

Additional facts from the Professor’s writing referred to earlier –

In 1975, after 5 years of the New Economic Policy, Bumiputera educational and occupational achievement were only as follows:

Bumiputera doctors – 10.6 %
Bumiputera in engineering services – 14.1%
Bumiputera architects – 24.1%
Bumiputera surveyors – n/a
Bumiputera accountants – n/a
Bumiputera financial services – n/a
Bumiputera chemists – 0.0%
Bumiputera meteorologists – 0.0%

Note that in 1974, out of 26,000 Malaysian students studying abroad, only 20% were Bumiputera. This situation did not change much by 1978.

The vast number of Malaysian students studying abroad were Chinese. They had the money and the lead in locating places of study etc because of the advancement in their educational position since the British colonial times. They should not begrudge the assistance given to the Malays after Merdeka , like hostel schools, as the Chinese generally had all the educational facilities provided for them in the towns by the British colonial rulers.

28 02 2010
SSS Admin

Dot,

Thanks for your two comments regarding the Bumiputera educational and professional situation in 1974 and the Malays asking for English schools be built for them but rejected by the British during their colonial rule.

Stereotyping of Malays as lazy and not interested in education was started by the British but a little hang over remains among mischievous Malaysians to this day. Awareness of the importance of education among the largely rural Malays during colonial time was limited because they hardly had any education in the first place. But those who had exposure to education did ask for more than the four years of Malay school i.e English schools for the Malay children. Proof of them not being lazy and uninterested in education can be seen in the number of Malays in professional fields these days. It is by no means adequate when considered against the percentage of Bumiputeras in the country.

Bumiputeras continue to remain the disadvantaged group being mostly in the rural areas where there are no secondary schools and need the residential schools. They are also still financially disadvantaged and the facilities afforded them to reach tertiary level education must be continued. If in 1974 eighty percent of the 26,000 Malaysian students overseas were mainly Chinese, their number must still be significant considering that most of the 20 billionaires in the country now are Chinese. The spin off from their wealth help so many other Chinese to become well off and can afford overseas or local private University education on their own. The Chinese still control the economy in this country and the average Chinese has more money than the others.

26 02 2010
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26 02 2010
Aysay

The Straits Times report in Singapore says of Chinese schools in Malaysia

“inundated with schoolwork … schools neglect the less academically inclined … lack of homework is one of the signs … Teachers are too busy coaching the potential top-scorers to spend time on the weaker pupils … overly focused on those who can score a string of As … students who give their schools a good name … they (the good students) are the minority … those who fail to keep up with their schoolwork drop out of school … situation worsened by the switch from Mandarin to Malay as the medium of instruction when the pupils go on to secondary school … 25 per cent of Chinese students quit studying before they are 18 … the annual dropout figure at over 100,000 … ”

I say, that’s a very high figure of drop outs, every year.

27 02 2010
SSS Admin

Aysay,

Good to hear from you and read your comment again.

It is a high rate of dropouts occurring year in and year out. The system does look unfair to the not-so-bright children and yet the parents and promoters of such schools talk about unfairness of the Government trying to enforce the same syllabus and the same standard of Bahasa Malaysia in Chinese schools as in the national schools. It is not possible to understand their logic and their mentality.

We believe the system of placing emphasis on the bright ones for the sake of getting a good name for the school is not good anywhere. It is at the expense of the other children. Additionally, there is the requirement to pass BM in order to pass their examination at the SPM level. With their medium of instruction being in the vernacular language, BM is foreign to them right from day one in primary school and it becomes that much more difficult at the later stage of their schooling. No wonder so many drop out.

We believe it is not practised in national schools. All will therefore receive equal attention from the teachers. Children will certainly not face the problem of a switch to BM as the medium of instruction if they attend national schools right from the start.

27 02 2010
Ishen

People look after themself, dont want be left out. Can still love country. Not wrong we want Mandarin. Chinese schools Chinese pay what, only some govement money. If people throw your langage, sure you dont like. Mandarin our calture, mah.

28 02 2010
Dot

Here is what I wrote earlier and was posted elsewhere:

There is no issue of loss of Mandarin as a cultural heritage – SSS never says do away with Mandarin, only not have it as a medium of instruction, can be studied as an elective subject.

In addition to BM’s position in the Constitution, perhaps the following can help some of the recalcitrants give more respect to the language than they do:

The Large Family of the Malay Language –

The Malay language is very ancient and comprises of a huge family of languages. Whereas the Malays (Rumpun Melayu of 350 million people) constitute only 6% of the total population of the world (6 billion people), the large family of Malay languages (totalling 1,268) represent 22% of the number of languages in the world (totalling 6,000) – from the book, “The Malay Civilization”, by Mohd Arof Ishak, published by The Historical Society of Malaysia, 2007 .

These are actual languages in the scientific and linguistic sense. If dialects are included, the number is larger still.

Scientists who have studied the family of Malay languages include the following:

1. 1772-75 Dr Reinhold Forster who accompanied Captain Cook in his 2nd voyage to the South Pacific. He compiled a list of words from 11 languages in several islands there and compared them with words of the same meaning in the Malay language and with 3 languages in South America. He found them having similarities with the Malay language but none at all with the South American languages.

2. 1776-80 Anderson, another scientist travelling with Captain Cook studied the numericals used in various islands of Polynesia and in Madagascar and compared them with those used in the Malay language. He found very clear similarities among them.

3. About 1800, a Spanish Jesuit priest, Abbe Lorenzo Herves, confirmed that the Malay language, the language used in Madagascar, and the languages of the Polynesian islands belong to the same family.This priest was recorded as the person who had made “the most remarkable discovery in the history of linguistic studies, being the identification of one family of spoken languages, namely the Malay and the Polynesian languages, which were spread very far and wide from the Island of Madagascar across a 208 degree angle to Easter Island” – L. Andrews, “A Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language”, 1977, pg 7.

4. Some years after that, a European scholar, William Marsden, also identified the oneness of the languages referred to by Herves and called them “The Great Polynesian” (Language).

5. In 1836, a leading Linguist, William Von Humboldt, carried out a large and comprehensive study, comparing 9 languages in the family of the Malay language – Malay, Malagasy (Madagascar), Javanese, Buginese, Tagalog (Philippines), Maori, Tonga, Tahitian and Hawaiian. He concluded that these languages belong to the same civilization – the Malay civilization.

Given below are the number of Malay languages found in selected areas:

Peninsular Malaysia : 1 (+4 orang asli languages)
Sumatra : 22 languages
Java : 3 languages
Philippines :160 languages
Borneo :153 languages
Sulawesi :114 languages
Taiwan : 23 languages
Madagascar : 11 languages.

The Spread of the Malays –

How old is this Malay race, Malay Polynesia or Austronesia race?

In the 20th Century, various studies have been carried out on the migration and movement of the Malay people who have crossed the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Linguistic and archaeological studies especially since the 1950s have contributed a lot towards finding the age of the Malay race.

G.W Grace, a linguist of the 1960s, placed the origin of the Malay language at between 3,000 BC – 2,500 BC i.e 4,500 – 5,000 years ago – William Howells, “The Pacific Islanders”, 1973, pg 104. Isidore Dyen, a linguist of the 1950s, explained that Malayo-Polynesia is a major branch in the Austronesia (Malay) language and is of the opinion that the Malayo-Polynesian language alone is older than the Indo-European language which scholars have said appeared around 2,500 BC. Dyen believes that the Malayo-Polynesian people had started moving around and spread even well before 2,500 BC – William Howells, pg 104.

R. Ferrel a linguist expert on the natives of Taiwan, wrote in the 1960s that the Atayalic language in Taiwan grew out of proto Malay language (the original Malay language) since 4,000 BC-3,000 BC i.e 5,000-6,000 years ago. Ferrel is also of the opinion that the Tsouic language in Taiwan had grown out of proto Malay language at about the same period. The original Malay language is therefore much older.

There have been studies done attempting to show that Taiwan/ south China is the origin of the Malay race. Peter Bellwood is a well known supporter of that and believes that the spread of the original Malay language occurred between 5,000 and 7,000 years ago and that this took place in the centre of the Malay world, i.e an area that could not be identified but in the range of islands between Taiwan, Philippines and East Indonesia – Peter Bellwood, “Man’s Conquest of the Pacific, 1979.

Linguist William Howells himself had placed the first movement of the Malay people outward at 4,000 BC. So, it is clear that various scholars and linguistic experts have put forward the view that the Malay race is an ancient one and is about 7,000 years old, or even older.

This means that the Malay race is one of the oldest in the world.

Archaeologists have put out archaeological evidence showing that in the Polynesian islands, the Tonga islands were the first settlement of Malays – they arrived from Fiji Island. Samoa became the second island settled by the Malays there. These were estimated at around 1,000 BC.

The Malays reached the Easter Island around 500 AD despite it being the only island in the vast ocean so far away. Carbon dating of artifacts had shown that the Malays from Marquesas Islands reached and settled in Hawai around 750 AD – Joseph Feher, “Hawai, A Pictorial History”, 1969, pg 27. By 1,000 AD, the bigger islands of the Hawai chain had all been settled.

They arrived in boats built by inhabitants of the Marquesas Islands; the boats were as long as 18-24 meters and each could carry 30-40 people.

From Tahiti, the Malays moved to Cook Islands and eventually touched the islands of New Zealand around 1,000 AD.

The fact that the Malays had discovered and settled all the islands of the Pacific Ocean, which is so vast, is testimony to the excellence in sailing and navigation skills of the Malays. This is a feat not comparable to any others up to this day. All researchers and scholars agree that all the islands of the Pacific Ocean, however small or isolated, bear marks of having been visited and settled by the Malays in a period of time stretching 3,700 years or a little longer.

The Malay Archipelago was the birth place of Malay civilisation. American Professor Wihelm G. Solheim had produced a number of books and notes on the prehistory of Southeast Asia – Mohd Arof, “The Malay Civilization”, 2007, pg 22, 96. Professor Solheim said that the Malays had been living a culture of seafarers and traders, possessing sailing and navigational skills that enabled them to traverse the entire seas of the Malay Archipelago since 5,000 BC or 7,000 years ago.

According to Professor Solheim, the specific place in the Malay Archipelago with the highest possibility of being the origin of the Malay people is the area where today is found the Bugis, Bajau and other Malay ethnic groups that have been very active seafarers and traders for ages in history. They have made the Sulu Seas, fringed with the large islands of Borneo (Kalimantan), Sulawesi and Mindanao, as the busiest seafaring area. They spread to the Pacific Ocean, starting from eastern Indonesia, before 5,000 BC. They moved north as traders through Philippines, Taiwan and southern China, reaching Korea and Japan.

Professor Solheim also believed that the Cham Malays who still occupy parts of Vietnam and Cambodia to this day had moved there from the Malay Archipelago after about 2,000 BC. Solheim also stated that the Malay language evolved in the Malay Archipelago at the end of the Ice Age when the Malay Archipelago took shape about 8,000 years ago. The latest research on this subject done by Stephen Oppenheimer, “Eden in the East”, 2001, strongly supported the views put forward by Solheim.

Ancient Chinese records written as early as 3rd Century AD mentioned “Kun Lun” people (ancient Chinese terminology for those coming by sea from the direction of Southeast Asia) conducting trade between east and west. Those records mentioned the boats used by the Malay traders. They were large, about 170 feet (51 meters) long. These were corroborated by other records. In the Polynesian islands of the south Pacific, the well known English voyager, Captain Cook, himself saw and recorded boats of about 108 feet (32 meters) which could carry 300 people.

28 02 2010
SSS Admin

Ishen,

Thank you for visiting and commenting.

Loving the country should be based on respect for the Constitution, wanting to do almost anything for the country, putting the country’s interest above our own interests. When we love our spouse or children, we naturally try to do that. Let us therefore try to look at loving the country from the Constitution angle and have Mandarin studied as an elective subject but not as the medium of instruction in schools as that is not in line with Article 152 of the Constitution.

Here is what is written in one blog (possibly mainland China blog in English) about Mandarin. (Note that Mandarin is the Beijing Guanhua dialect, which was used mainly in the Beijng area, and it became the national language of China only fairly recently – “The new government decided a national language (Guoyu) be established and so it was decided by a group of scholars in 1913 that Mandarin be made the standard” – see below):

************

How Did Mandarin Become the Official Language In China? (Q and A 1-5)
Updated Apr 04 2006 11:20:25 Beijing Time

1. Q: How many languages does China have?

A: China has over 50 recognized minorities, most with their own language. The major languages besides Chinese include the following: Manchurian, Mongolian, Uyghur, Tibetan, Yi, Zhuang and a great number of minor languages concentrated in the southern provinces of China bordering Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.

Within Chinese, several languages can be distinguished. Often these are confused with dialects, but these languages are not mutually intelligible and some differ more than the European languages that neighbor each other.

The languages that are related to each other and to Chinese within China are called Sinitic languages. “Sinitic” can also mean “of or relating to China.” The Sinitic languages are related to various Tibetan and Burmese languages and together form a language family called Sino-Tibetan.

2. Q: What is the official language of China?

A: The Beijing Guanhua (Mandarin) dialect is the official language in China.

At the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, there was no single, national language in China nor an education system that could teach the proper sounds of any of the languages. There were archaic dictionaries and a literary Chinese over a thousand years old that little resembled the spoken vernacular. The new government decided a national language (Guoyu) must be established and so it was decided by a group of scholars in 1913 that Mandarin be made the standard. A set of phonetic symbols were created (zhuyin fuhao) and a dictionary created called Guoyin zidian (Dictionary of National Phonics). However, this dictionary did not resemble Mandarin as it was spoken because it retained pronunciations of the Ru-sheng characters, so it was a mix of northern pronunciation with the rhymes of the southern languages. Not a single person could speak the language set down in this dictionary except Yuen Ren Chao (Zhao Yuanren), a native Wu speaker but skilled linguist and phonetician who is famous for developing the tone contour system used by linguists and doing much of the early dialect fieldwork. He is the one who made a set of recordings of this dictionary for use in schools. Nobody really could learn from this dictionary, and it wasn’t until 1932 that a dictionary based on the pronunciation and speech of Beijing came about. Now, in addition to the term “Guoyu” (which is the term now used in Taiwan), Putonghua or “universal language” has become the national term for the official language. This is usually called Huayu “Chinese language” by most overseas Chinese. Another term, zhongwen is used to refer to Chinese in a more literary sense.

It was originally thought in the early stages of developing Mandarin as the national standard that within 100 years, or by 2030, that the whole nation would be unified linguistically under Mandarin. Because of the sheer size of China and the number of various languages spoken there, teaching everybody Mandarin and making it the national standard has been a very long journey, and even now with less than 30 years to go, most of the languages and dialects are thriving. In many schools, classes are given in the local language and Mandarin is studied as the universal language (much like a foreign language class) to use for speaking with any non-locals.

3. Q: How many Sinitic languages are in China?

A: It is difficult to measure the differences between languages and dialects when the definitions are not clear. However, the Sinitic languages of China (which exclude other minority languages such as Tibetan, Uyghur, Manchu, etc.) can be grouped into several large groups. The northern language, Mandarin, is more or less uniform over most of the country, and within that region has two areas that may be considered slightly more unintelligible to the other Mandarin dialects: the Jin language of Shanxi province and Huainan of southern Anhui province. The other languages are located in Southeast China: Xiang in Hunan province, Gan in Jiangxi province, Wu mostly in Zhejiang province, Hakka–spread over several provinces, Yue mostly in Guangdong province, Pinghua an offshoot of Yue, and finally Min in Fujian, Taiwan, and Hainan provinces. Min can further be divided into a northern and southern language, and there are several more branches that can be distinguished. Min is thought to have branched off from Ancient Chinese at an earlier date than the other dialects, and thus has a greater amount of variation developed among them.

In all, this accounts for 11 languages:
Guanhua (Mandarin),
Jin,
Huainan,
Xiang (Hunanese),
Gan,
Wu (Shanghaiese),
Kejia (Hakka),
Yue (Cantonese),
Pinghua,
N. Min, and
S. Min (Hokkien/Taiwanese).

4. Q: What is the definition of a language and dialect? What is the difference between Chinese dialects? What is the definition of Chinese dialects?

A: Languages evolve slowly over time. One or two small changes happen with each new generation of speakers of a language. During the course of a few hundred years, the same language may have evolved so much, it could become a completely different language. Or, a language that is spread out over a large area where travel between cities is difficult could cut a language up letting each area develop independently of each other. This is what happens when a language is spread out over many islands, such as in Indonesia or the Philippines. The result: hundreds of related languages have developed in these two countries. Or after the collapse of the Roman Empire, the distances between Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and Romania remained so great, the dialects developed into separate languages. At around the same time that happened, dialects had already appeared in China and they too have been developing, over a vast area of land, into their own languages for about two millennia now.

So how do we distinguish a dialect from a language? A separate dialect is a form of speech different than your own that you can still understand (intelligibility) and the speaker of that dialect can still understand you (mutual intelligibility), though sometimes with difficulty, or you may not recognize the use of some words. Dialects often appear humorous or fun, because you can still understand, but it just sounds funny. After some exposure, most people can imitate the speech of a different dialect without difficulty. Most recognizable in dialects is an intonation different than your own speech and the use of different vowel shapes in addition to some different vocabulary. But what makes a dialect not a language is that the grammar and syntax are pretty much the same. This is apparent between the main American and British dialects of English.

A separate language is a form of speech different than your own that you cannot understand. Not only is the intonation different, but the use of different vowels and consonants together with different use of vocabulary, grammar and syntax make it very difficult to understand. If the language is closely related to your own language, you may be able to recognize some words and may feel a little comfortable with grammatical patterns. But your overall comprehension would remain quite low. Languages differ from each other in a myriad of ways, some only by a little, and others by a lot. This is why it’s difficult to draw lines between what is a dialect and what is a language.

All of the Chinese languages use the same vocabulary and roots, more or less. They have a unified syllable and tonal structure as well. And all of these languages originate in one country: China.

Traditionally, languages have been identified with countries and nations, and dialects with local varieties. Although Denmark and Norway are separate countries, speakers of Danish and Norwegian can still understand each other. What makes them languages and not dialects? Will Serbo-Croatian remain as one language (even though it has two writing systems) or will its dialects develop into several different languages soon? Now the language is spread over Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia (Yugoslavia), so will these be considered separate languages? Mandarin Chinese in Beijing and Mandarin Chinese in Taipei have different writing too, but these will remain as just dialects of the same language. Taking into consideration that Chinese dialects were in fact just dialects more than a thousand years ago, the Chinese term” 方言 “dialect” has remained until today. The word “方言” could arguably have a different meaning than its English counterpart “dialect”. Where we can argue that many of the speech samples found in China are not dialects but rather languages, a Chinese can still indefinitely refer to them as 方言 because this means only “speech of some place.” So, because of the wider semantic use of “方言,” and its narrow translation into English, the problem of calling Chinese languages as dialects will remain as indefinitely as the term 方言 is used.

But the facts are clear: so much deviation has happened over time that we can now recognize these major dialects as separate languages. We can identify different phonologies, different vocabulary, different grammar, different syntax, and tonal developments.

5. Q: How many Chinese dialects are there? What is the number of dialects?

A: To date, approximately 1500 dialects have been recorded. There are tens of thousands of villages in China however, and not every single one of them has a distinct dialect. We can group villages, cities, or even counties together as belonging to a single dialect. But if every minute detail is considered as a separate dialect, then it is nearly impossible to create an exact count. Since people living in the same region speaking dialects of the same language can more or less understand each other, it is safe to say that each of the Chinese languages have only a few dialects.

Mandarin can be divided into seven main dialect areas: Central Plateau (Zhongyuan), Beijing, Southwestern, Northeastern, Jiaoliao, Jilu, and Lanyin. Jin is concentrated within the northern Mandarin speaking area and has eight dialect divisions. Huainan is nestled between Mandarin, Wu and Gan speaking areas and has five dialect divisions. Wu, located on the eastern coast, with six main dialects, with the majority of the people speaking varieties of Taihu. Xiang and Gan each have several dialect divisions. Min, spoken along the east coast, can be further divided into sub-languages, each with their own dialects, the main languages being Northern and Southern Min.

Hakka and Cantonese each have several dialect divisions with Pinghua (Cantonese) recognized by some as a separate language.

If we just count the main dialect divisions in the classification of each language group, we can say the following:

Mandarin: 7 dialects, 42 subdialects
Jin: 8 dialects
Huainan: 5 dialects
Wu: 6 dialects, 13 subdialects
Xiang: 3 dialects
Gan: 11 dialects
Min: 2 languages, 6 dialects, 9 subdialects
Hakka: 8 dialects
Cantonese: 8 dialects
Pinghua: 2 dialects
Total: 11 languages, 64 dialects, 64 subdialects (of just some of the dialects)

Editor: Carrot Chen

http://www.lifeofguangzhou.com/node_10/node_22/node_24/node_217/2006/04/04/1144120825920.shtml

1 03 2010
Wan

Whooa! I tot the Malays only about 2,000 years civilisation. And Malay Archipelago only up to Irian Jaya. Wow, 6,000 even 7,000 years old and Malays up to New Zealand, Christmas Island and Hawai. Txs folks for widening my horizon.

2 03 2010
Abang A Bakar

Pengtahuan saya tidak tinggi dan tidak luas. Saya terperanjat baca Rumpun Melayu sangat lama, sangat luas, ada 153 Bahasa Melayu diBorneo. Saya hanya tahu ada sedikit kata kata peribumi yang sama dengan Bahasa malaysia. Rupanya satu rumpun bahasa, satu rumpun bangsa.

Bahru sekarang saya tahu peribumi lain termasuk Kadazan dan Iban pun Rumpun Melayu, bahasa mereka juga serumpun dengan Bahasa Melayu. Kalau begitu tidak banyak beza mereka dengan Melayu lain walau pun agama berbeza.

4 03 2010
SSS Admin

Abang A Bakar,

Lawatan dan komen anda disini dialu-alukan.

Ada diantara kami diblog Kempen SSS pun tidak sedar begitu lama dan begitu luas tamadun Melayu dan famili Bahasa Melayu ini sehingga masa membaca maalumat-maalumat yang dikeluarkan itu. Yang penting juga ialah hal bahawa Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia yang menerbitkan buku “Tamadun Alam Melayu” itu bukannya sebarang persatuan. Ia ditubuhkan dalam tahun 1953 dizaman pemerintahan British lagi, diPengerusikan oleh Dato Mahmud Bin Mat, dengan Timbalan Pengerusinya Dato Thuraisingam dan Dato Sir Tan Cheng Lok, personaliti-personaliti terkenal dan dihormati dimasa itu.

Perstauan ini juga mengeluarkan bahan-bahan sejarah Malaya/ Malaysia yang diiktiraf sebagai sudut pandangan orang-orang Malaya/ Malaysia. Ini berlainan dari Malayan Branch, Royal Asiatic Society yang terdiri dari pegawai-pegawai dan lain-lain rakyat British dan Eropah, yang memberi pendapat dari sudut pandangan negara-negara Barat. Namun demikian, kajian-kajian yang digunakan penulis-penulis tempatan itu tidak terbatas – ia-itu termasuk yang dilakukankan oleh bijak pandai dari negeri-negeri Barat.

Bahan-bahan sejarah yang diterbitkan Persatuan itu bertauliah dan bermutu tinggi, Persatuan itu dihormati ramai. Berbagai bahan sejarah telah dikeluarkannya sejak penubuhannya sabelom Merdeka dahulu. Buku-buku dan rencana-rencana yang dikelurakannya berupa akedemik, ditulis oleh mereka yang berkelulusan tinggi dan berpengalaman mendalam, termasuk Profesor-Profesor dan pemegang ijazah PhD bergelar doktor falsafah dan sebagainya.

3 03 2010
SSS Admin

Wan,

Thank you for visiting again and commenting.

Yes, quite a number of Malays have not been aware of how ancient their history and culture is, how large the family of Malay languages and the extent of Rumpun Melayu (Family of Malays) are.

What is significant in those studies that blogger Dot summarised in this and in the Demi Negara blog is that the studies, researches and conclusions were those of experts in the relevant fields. They were/ are linguists, archaeologists, sociologists, etc – scientists who carried out their research in a scientific manner. The person who studied several of the languages of the Pacific Islands even during Captain Cook’s time was a Doctor who travelled with Captain Cook himself. Historians and other scholars have built up on those works.

28 02 2010
Sayong

Tuan

Saya terlepas nak komen dipos yang lalu orang cakap pasal sekolah berasrama. Datuk saya dulu beri tahu sekolah Malay Kolej dipekan K.Kangsar tu dibuat omputih sejak belom Merdeka lagi. Jadi apa dema nak sibukkan, dema belom jadi rakyat pun masa tu.

Pasal Bahasa Melayu tu, sedap juga dengar ceritanya dah bukan main lama ada didunia.

28 02 2010
SSS Admin

Sayong,

Benar bahawa MCKK itu dibina oleh British dimasa pemerintahan kolonial. Sabenarnya, ia dibina diawal abad 20, lama sabelom Merdeka. Itu hasil permintaan Sultan Perak pada masa itu kapada Residen British bagi negeri Perak untuk menyediakan anak-anak muda Melayu masuk didalam bidang pentadbiran negara, apa yang kemudiannya dikenali sebagai Perkhidmatan Tadbir Melayu atau “Malay Administrative Service” (MAS – satu peringkat dibawah perkhidmatan elit kolonial British yang dipanggil “Malayan Civil Service”, MCS, yang sekarang menjadi Perkhidmatan Tadbir Dan Diplomatik, PTD).

Selain dari sebab personaliti Sultan Perak itu, mungkin satu sebab juga penjajah British setuju adalah mereka sedar bahawa orang-orang Perak kuat semangat nasionalismanya. Mereka membunuh Residen British yang pertama bagi negeri Perak bernama JWW Birch bila rombongannya pergi kekampong-kampong mengistiharkan mahu mula mentadbir dan memungut cukai dinegeri Perak dalam tahun 1875.

MCKK tidak boleh diperso’alkan oleh sesiapa atas sebab pembinaan sekolah berasrama penuh itu adalah diatas permintaan khas Sultan Perak kapada British berpuluh tahun sabelom Merdeka dan nyatalah termasuk didalam rangka Kedudukan Istimewa Melayu.

28 02 2010
Xavier

If Mandarin became official language in China only in 1913 (less than 100 years ago), and most Chinese accepted it, why can’t vernacular school Chinese (and Indians) in Malaysia accept BM as the national language since Merdeka (53 years ago)?

Mandarin is not the mother tongue of Chinese in Malaysia. We are now living in Malaysia, we carry Malaysian citizenship. But I support the Chinese in this country wanting to learn Mandarin. Why not learn it as an elective subject and let BM be the medium of instruction.

1 03 2010
SSS Admin

Xavier,

Thanks for visiting and commenting again.

It does look like Mandarin became the official language in China only recently in relative terms. Really, the Dong Zong people should be accepting Bahasa Malaysia as the official language in Malaysia and, since schools are the official business of any country, they should adopt BM as the medium of instruction.

The fact that vernacular schools have existed since Merdeka does not mean that it is right to allow them to carry on. Even mainland China changed their system – from thousands of years without a standard or national language to having Mandarin as the national or official language in the early 20th Century. The Dong Zong members have become Malaysians and should comply with the Constitutional provision that BM is the national and official language of the country.

Viewed from the China development perspective, there simply is no excuse for their intransigence. It is this kind of attitude and mindset that creates a stumbling block towards national unity initiatives. They need to seriously re-think, consider the widening racial polarisation in the country and adjust their stand accordingly.

28 02 2010
Ikhwan

No need to worry Dong Zong using the word “assimilation”. Some one wrote that in China they used the word “barbarians” for others until the 17th Century. Professors and historians have told them it was a myth and proved them wrong. Their problem was isolatiing themselves, so did not know others were also civilized. Some one else said in modern history the West treated them like pariah until only recently.

In Malaysia, the Dong Zong also isolate themselves, send their kids to Chinese schools, don’t mix much with others. Maybe they don’t understand the word “integration”. Maybe some day professors and others can tell them the meaning of the word.

1 03 2010
SSS Admin

Ikhwan,

Welcome to our site and thank you for leaving a comment.

Throughout history, isolationist policies have never been good. The US tried that but joined the others in World War I, and again in World War II. If they had stuck being aloof on their own, they would not have been able to get others to join them in the Iraq and Afghanistan bashing – the so-called “defence of freedom and way of life” – after the alleged Muslim extremist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York, their military headquarters, the Pentagon in Washington, etc. More importantly, they would not have been able to play leadership roles in various political, economic and social organisations that have helped thier own country to develop.

China isolated themselves for so long and, had, for hundreds of years been treated by the West as a pariah state. But in the last 10-20 years they have joined the international community and have been seen playing bigger roles in the United Nations peace keeping roles and in the economic development of developing countries in Asia and Africa, much to their credit and benefit.

We now hope that the Dong Zong would come out of their isolation, join other Malaysians in the mainstream of society, participate in unity seeking efforts like having single stream education. Obvious benefits they can have from joining Malaysian society are such things as their children not facing the multifarious problems that have been discussed in the articles and comments published in this post, including the estimated 100,000 per year drop outs from Chinese schools many of whom were said to be driven to criminal or immoral activities.

2 03 2010
Kardasi

About integration – Professor Khoo Kay Kim and Professor Teo Kok Liong already told them in many ways, many times. They dont want to listen. They have different plans.

3 03 2010
SSS Admin

Kardasi,

Thanks for another visit and comment.

Indeed Tan Sri Professor Emeritus Khoo Kay Kim and Professor Teo Kok Liong had spoken and rationalised the need for single stream education in the country. We hope the Dong Zong leader would not have any mischievous thoughts about “multi-nation state” and caution him against having any. We want a harmonious, peaceful and progressive nation. Progress we must, but it must be based on the system that has been established for ages in the country and on the Constitution of the country.

28 02 2010
Virdon

“Chin Peng fighting for democratic rights in the MCP Anti-Japanese Nine Point Manifesto in 1943”, etc? Maybe so at the beginning but he got hijacked and ended up taking instructions from Communist China and Communist International. After Merdeka he also lawan the govenment. He wanted Malaya to be under China. Mana boleh.

1 03 2010
SSS Admin

Virdon,

Good to hear from you again. Yes, mana boleh.

Whatever good Chin Peng and the Malayan Communist Party did against Japanese aggression was negated by the many bad they did terrorising the country for decades after that. Trying to gain power by armed struggle – even when Malayan/ Malaysians were ruling the country. They cannot go into the books as anything good but bad. Never again. Members of armed forces and innocent civilians killed, suffering and misery, curfews and the curtailment of freedom and civil liberties, and the retardation of economic growth for so long.

A few nasty fellows are trying to re-write our history by saying they were nationalists and this must be stopped, the attempt regarded as subversif.

1 03 2010
Nono

The China article on Mandarin as the official language of China says, “even now … most of the languages and dialects are thriving. In many schools, classes are given in the local language and Mandarin is studied as the universal language (much like a foreign language class) to use for speaking with any non-locals.” No wonder despite being a large and populous country, previous to 1911 they were conquered and ruled by foreign powers for hundreds of years – the Mongols and the Manchus – and were bullied by the Japanese and the British – Hong Kong was returned to them only in 1997.

Is the attitude of the Dong Zong like the above – no need to conform because even in China many do not conform to Mandarin being the official language? Are they not being anti-national in China and are the Don Zong being so, too, in Malaysia? Mongol, Japanese or British conquest of Malaysia is inconceivable these days but we want unity for long term stability and progress as a nation.

Those in China who stubbornly stick to their dialects even in schools until the present day could be descended from those who did not accept the rule of the foreign power, the Manchus (Manchuria became a part of China only after World War II). But then the Manchus were out of power by 1911 and it was the new government which thought of uniting the people under one standard language in 1913.

Since many have said the Malaysian Chinese came from south China and there is the write up saying they could have descended from the Tais and the Miaos who had inhabited south China before the northern Chinese migrated south and displaced them, could it be that the Dong Zong wants to show its independence and stick to Mandarin as the medium of instruction in their schools? But independence from what? And Mandarin is not even their mother tongue. Even in China Mandarin is not the mother tongue of many who continue to speak their dialects at home as well as at school. There is no rationale for the Dong Zong action, or non-action as far as Article 152 is concerned.

And they have the audicity to talk about “multi-nation state” and call people trying to close the racial polarisation gap as being a stumbling block to achieving unity. Pathetic.

1 03 2010
SSS Admin

Nono,

Thank you for visiting and commenting again.

We hope the Dong Zong are not thinking the way of those in China who do not conform to Mandarin being the official language there and continue sending their children to schools conducted in the local dialects.

You see, whether in China or in Malaysia, loyal citizens should respect the official language of the country. If you look at it in another way: even in China there are those who do not put such a high value on Mandarin, but we are not going to argue about that because promoters of the single stream education system or SSS say Mandarin can be taught and studied in vernacular schools, so long as the medium of instruction of all schools is Bahasa Malaysia.

We are not sure whether Mandarin is mandated or embodied in their Constitution or any set of laws in China. But in Malaysia it surely is stated in our Constitution as the National Language of the country and must be respected accordingly.

1 03 2010
Bravo

Dear sir

Writer no 1 is good. Eevn in 2008 he already talking – “Put in vernacular languages into national schools as electives.”

But he also talking – “Anybody can take up extra language subjects. Want to learn about the History of the Chinese Language? Make it as a subject in school! I think there won’t be any objections, maybe there are.”

I think there are. Maybe history of Malay language OK. Some one write up there Malay language big family. Bahasa Malaysia in the constition. Some one also write about mandarin language up there.

2 03 2010
SSS Admin

Bravo,

Welcome to this site and thank you for your comment.

Extra language subjects can be catered for in schools subject to certain limits. Mandarin is used by about 1 billion people but mostly in China. Tamil is used only in south India; in the north Hindi is spoken more than the other Indian languages. Mandarin and Tamil are not spoken much overseas other than in China and India. Similarly Japanese and Russian are not spoken much outside their countries. Spanish is understood in many countries in South America but some of the former Spanish colonies no longer use much Spanish; Philippines is an example where “the 400 years of Spanish colonisation gave way to 50 years of American Coca Cola-isation” to the extent that American English is definitely spoken more than Spanish in that country now. English is more international in that it is used and understood in many countries.

Mandarin and Tamil can certainly be taught in schools because sizeable proportions of the population want them, but only as elective subjects. Knowledge of Mandarin may help business as China is a hugely growing economy. Still, studying it as an elective subject should be sufficient, not necessary for Mandarin to be the medium of instruction in schools. India is also a growing economy but English is used a lot in all parts of India.

Those who have interests in studying other foreign languages may study them privately. For example, the Alliance Francaise has been offering French language classes for years in this country.

1 03 2010
Interested party

These are what I read here and there. Correct me if i am wrong:

First, the Chinese came into Perak from Penang mid-19th Cent. Brought in by Long Jaafar, Ngah Ibrahim etc to work their tin mines. Then the Kapitan China brought in secret societies and gangsters for protection. They fought each other for control of the mines.

Then the Ghee Heng or Hai San (forgot which) Kapitan and 44 gangsters wrote Petition. Asked British in Penang to enter Larut and help regain their mine lost to rival gang. British entered. One thing after another, it led to British intervention in Perak.

Then British wanted to impose tax. Dato Sagor and his men killed British Resident James Birch. British retaliated with guns and fire power. Nobody helped, many Malays got walloped. Then British control over the Federated Malay States.

Then World War II, Japanese came. Chin Peng fought with 9 Point Plan etc. Japan lost in war, left, British came again. Chin Peng and Malayan Communist Party fought British also. Then Merdeka came. But he wanted Malaya to be under communist China. Fought the government of independent Malaya also.

Chinese not citizens and stateless all those years until Merdeka. Then they got citizenship. In exchange for that Malays got Special Position. Agreed by Malay and non-Malay leaders at Merdeka time.

But now some even want to question Malay Special Position Article 153 and Dong Zong don’t respect Bahasa Malaysia Article 152 of Constitution.

So how? Reasonable or not?

3 03 2010
SSS Admin

Interested party,

We are happy that you are an interested party in the issues being discussed. Welcome and thank you for the comment.

When the British first entered Perak, that in itself was an act of intervention in the internal affairs of the then Malaya because they did it without permission and security for the miners who brought in secret societies, thugs and gangsters into Larut, or even the lack of security was the internal affairs of Malaya all the same. They could not, in civilised societies, have been in “hot pursuit” of gangsters taking custody of one tin mine from a rival gang even if they considered those Petitioners were from Penang where they had authority. Of course the theory of hot pursuit into neighbouring states was not well defined those years but so was the definition of civilised societies. The British were like the Chinese pre 17th Century where they regarded all others to be barbarians and found out only much later that that was only a myth, as pointed out by China expert history Professor Wang Gung wu. Having lost their Empire in the 20th Century, the British hung on to the coat tails of the Americans in order to have a significant place in international affairs. So, they, too, said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and joined the bombing of Iraq. Et tu, brute.

When Dato Sagor and his men speared to death the first British Resident JWW Birch in Pasir Salak in 1875, it was becuase the Malays did not accept the British wanting to rule. It was the Resident’s trip to publicise the fact that they were rulers pursuant to the Pangkor Treaty of 1874. Of course, it was not a treaty on equal terms. How could there be such a treaty when the Malays had only spears, keris and tombak against the British guns, muskets and canons. It was a treaty signed by Sultan Abdullah with guns behind his back. It was an unequal treaty. It was a treaty of the victor and the vanquished. How could there be equal terms when no Malays could conceivably speak English, let alone knew any element of international law. It definitely was a one-sided treaty. Nationalistic Perakians had the right to rise against the unjust British imposing colonialism unto Malaya. The British brought in a huge force to quell the uprising. Alas, Dato Sagor and several of the attackers were caught and hanged, others were imprisond for life and Sultan Abdullah was banished from his own country – to the Sychelles. The British brutes.

You are spot on regarding the other points. The Malays had the tradition of being “patut” (reasonable) in their laws since ancient times. Books on Malay civilisations, customs and traditions will tell us this. When extreme unreasonableness persists, flare ups occur. Let us keep urging everybody to be reasonable so that harmony, peace and progress prevails. We have been freed from British colonialism and let us all be really responsible for our own country.

1 03 2010
sepadu

These are good articles on the SSS subject, it seems to me. They reflect a good spectrum of the thinking on both sides of the aisle regarding this matter. I wish to comment on 1-2 points raised.

As regards the first writer’s point about parents shaping their children’s mindsets, sending their children to vernacular schools to avoid racial slurs perpetrated by other parents, so that their children can mix with their own kind – it seems to me that this is the chicken and the egg issue. Sending children to vernacular schools would not change the mindset of either the parents or the children. In fact, the mindset of the parents begets the mindset of the young and it will go on perpetually unless the cycle is broken.

We can hardly expect the parents to change their mindsets first. We need to expect the change in mindset to start from the children. It is generally agreed that changing the mindset of adults is extremely difficult – the word “set” is in itself telling. But the minds of the young at their “formative age” are not yet set and can quite easily be tailored to the desired path if they are in a multi-racial environment from their first day at school. This is where single stream education or one shool for all plays an important role.

However, the question still remains: how do we get the parents to send their children to national schools. It seems to me impossible to get that from those with set minds. Therefore the only way is to make it mandatory that all schools adopt Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction, the same curriculum and syllabus. Over time, parents will find hardly any difference on which school they send their children to, all schools will become national in character with diverse composition of pupils. Then children can realise that whatever racial slurs they may have heard from their parents are not what they see for themselves by mixing with others of different races. The cycle is broken and racial slurs may not be expected from this generation when they beome parents.

I am glad that the writer speaks about the Constitution and a “Bangsa Malaysia instead of Melayu, Cina, India, Lain-lain”. This is what SSS is all about – the creation of a united and cohesive Bangsa Malaysia, where everybody would be proud to identify and think of themselves as Malaysians, for long term harmony, peace and progress for all of us.

3 03 2010
SSS Admin

sepadu,

Changing mindsets is an extremely difficult task. We imagine from books and films that psychological warfare is an art or a discipline by itself. It may be a part of military training that commandos or special forces go through. We also read of communists being drilled or brain-washed such that they think of nothing else but that which the “drillers” want them to. And, of course, James Bond films and spy thriller books tell of special techniques that interrogators and offensive intelligence operators carry out to get stubborn fellows to finally “spill the beans”, including all sorts of “incentives” not excluding beautiful women, drugs and torture chambers.

However, these are wayward measures never even considered by any of us normal civilians. Ours is a job of seeking the understanding and compliance of all citizens with the provisions of the Constitution of the country, of continuously explaining, arguing and counter-arguing what are being raised by non-conformists, seclusionists and recalcitrants. Malaysian ctizens must be loyal to the Constitution and to the country. The needs of the country must over-ride the interests of the individual, the national interest must supercede personal interest. In times of peace the country does not ask the citizens to be prepared to die for their country, except perhaps those keeping peace and order where necessary. But the country does expect all citizens, for example, to be able to, and speak, Bahasa Malaysia, especially in public groupings.

At a press conference held by DS Rais Yatim recently, a questioner asked the Minister of Communications and Mass Media a question in English and, when told to speak in Bahasa Malaysia, said he did not speak the language, prompting the Minister to ask the fellow which school he went to, then dismissed the fellow’s question and turned to questions from others present. This can be seen clearly in a video clip on the Home Page of Demi Negara blog. We fully support the Minister’s reaction. The questioner deserved to be shamed and ridiculed in public. That was not just a matter of the mindset of the questioner. It was pure and ouright rudeness, arrogance and disrespect of authority as represented by a Minister of the Government of a democratic and sovereign country. The newspaper or mass media organisation the fellow represented should take disciplinary action on the rude and uncaring chap they employ and his action had subjected the organisation to public odium and ridicule. The Minister did ask for the organisation’s name and it was named publicly there. What a shame.

2 03 2010
Adam

Don’t want to be left out, don’t want to lose out. These words are very often used by the Chinese in Malaysia. They are mentioned a few times in the articles you published, including by one of the two the Deputy Education Ministers. I wonder what they actually mean.

I have read them in other blogs as well. Some people say they originate from the word “kiasu” and others have related them to a sense of extremism, hence the words “ultra kiasu” were used.

There must be some history behind those words. Wonder if it has anything to do with moving places, of migration, and ensuring that nothing is left behind. But perhaps it’s more of the spirit of competition, of fighting for survival, of the turbulence in their long history, of wars, inflicting hardships and destruction. You have to pull up your socks and be alert all the time so that you don’t get left out or lose out. So, in the process you look out for, exploit each and every opportunity that comes your way and the limit is often hardly seen.

It my be good for progress but, as a well travelled friend has said to me, the rat race in the West has not always been good to society. It causes a lot of anxiety, heartaches and frustration as well. When man’s desires are extreme, boundaries are transgressed, wars take place. History is full of such events.

Can we have a world free from such wanton search for and exploitation of each and every opportunity, politicisng every issue there is under the sun? Can we have the single stream education concept not politicised by politicians and expect the Deputy Education Minister not look at his own Ministry’s policies as the cause of drop outs in Chinese schools? Has he read and thought about what Shakespeare said, “The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the stars but in ourselves that we are underlings.”

4 03 2010
SSS Admin

Adam,

Thanks for another visit and comment, including the Shakespearean wisdom.

We can only try to enjoin the quote from the famous English playwright with Malay words of wisdom that have been contributed by readers in this blog, like “Dimana bumi dipijak disitu langit dijunjung”, “Kera dihutan disusukan, anak dikendong kelaparan”. Such words of wisdom would not be applicable to Malaysians who are reasonable, who respect the Constitution of the country. Perhaps it is alright to be “kiasu” or not wanting to be left out or lose out; only the extent of it matters and being “ultra” is not good in anybody.

Some may say it is in a matter of intrepretation of the Constitution. But how else can one interprete Article 152 which says that Bahasa Malaysia is the National Language of the country and that schools are the official business of any country, hence BM must be the medium of instruction for all schools. How else do you interprete a Deputy Minister who speaks in public against the policy plans of his own Ministry of Education with respect to the standardisation of Bahasa Malaysia syllabus in vernacular schools with that of the national schools. Having spoken against it “three times” he said, he should have known his views were already noted but superceded. He can tell his political party supporters at party meetings but surely he can apply discretion on his response when asked by a reporter in the ordinary course of business.

We hope that, when being “kiasu”, all Malaysians will stay within the limits. The Constitution defines such limits and it must be respected.

3 03 2010
Kit

Hey kawan, talk from Merdeka time la. Why go history long time ago. we also want live in malaysia, malaysian citizen alredy and we also make malaysia good. Chin peng also fight bad japanese and english people.

4 03 2010
SSS Admin

Kit,

Thank you for visiting and commenting, friend.

Have you heard the expression, “Learn from history” or “Development of a country based on its history”?

Since ancient times, the world has been full of wars, suffering and misery. Right now there are wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East and parts of Africa, some declared, others not. World War I ended in 1918 and barely 20 years after that World War II began. People should have learnt from history. Maybe they have – it’s now over 60 years since the last world war.

Egypt with over 5,000 years of civilization now can boast only of ancient monuments and relics of antiquity. China with 3,000 years of recorded history, huge manpower resources and over 1,000 inventions became respected in modern history only in the last one or two decades. Communist Party leader Mao Tze Dong repeated the burning of books and “denunciation” of Professors, etc, that Emperor Chin Shih Huang Di did 2,200 years earlier. Perhaps if they have learnt from history more than they did, they would have reached greater heights.

All Malaysians must look at the history of this country, understand its origins, the developments that have made the country what it is today in order to grow well. Lack of understanding of the contributions of the various communities can cause friction and hiccups in the fostering of good relations and the development of a united, peaceful and strong nation. Yes, Merdeka is part of that history but that alone is insufficient to generate a full sense of awareness of what this country has been about and create a proper sense of togetherness, of really belonging to this country.

Knowing the history of this country for the period long before Merdeka would enable us to have a proper perspective of right and wrong, of good and bad. For example, communist terrorist Chin Peng and his gangs of bandits, after fighting the Japanese and the British, even fought Malayans/ Malaysians. They wanted Malaya/ Malaysia to be under the influence, if not the suzerainty, of communist China. Once we learn that kind of our history properly, we can avoid past mistakes and progress in truly harmonious and peaceful ways.

4 03 2010
Warta

Now, let’s see what the Dong Zong people want:

1. Constitution says Bahasa Malaysia is the national language. BM has become the official language of the country. Dong Zong leaders want Mandarin language as medium of instruction in Chinese schools.

2. Constitution allows “mother tongue” to be taught and studied in schools. They want Mandarin, not their mother tongue, not only taught but also as medium of instruction.

3. Government since Merdeka (no racial polarisation issue at that time) allowed Chinese schools in Mandarin. They want different curriculum and syllabus.

4. Government allowed Bahasa Malaysia less hours, different syllabus. They want a lower standard of passes.

5. Government gives them ‘Remove Classes’, for those who fail BM at Standard Six, another year to catch up with BM. They want their children to be exempted from it.

6. Government wants to standardise BM syllabus and level of passes in Chinese schools with those of national schools. They want the easier syllabus and the lower level of passes.

7. National schools pupils have to study a tougher BM syllabus, higher standard of passes, less time to study more languages. They want Chinese schools pupils a simpler syllabus and lower standard of passes so that they can study additional languages.

8. Malaya/ Malaysia has always been a nation state – one single, undivided and sovereign entity (even under British colonialism). Dong Zong President wants a “multi-nation state” and whatever it means.

What else? Anything missed out from the above?

Have they thought about what others – the majority – want? Are they reasonable people?

5 03 2010
SSS Admin

Warta,

Good to hear from you again. Good of you to have enumerated what the Dong Zong have said they want, against the realities of Constitutional provision, etc.

The lengthy comment by Maju a little earlier (see below) covers a lot about the extent the Dong Zong would go in wanting Mandarin as the medium of instruction in schools, despite the fact that it is not even the mother tongue of the Chinese in Malaysia.

Some of the supporters of vernacular schools say the Constitution “guarantees” them the right to exist. That is absolutely incorrect; there is no such guarantee. The Constitution merely provides that the teaching and studying of “mother tongue” be allowed. This means Hokkien, Cantonese and so on. That provision does not mention Mandarin or any vernacular language. However, the promoters of single stream schooling or Satu Sekolah Untuk Semau (SSS) have no objection to Mandarin being taught and studied in schools, so long as it is not the medium of instruction in any school.

As to whether the Dong Zong are reasonable people, we would leave that to the readers to decide.

5 03 2010
Maju

I like the well written piece by Zamri Bin Mahmud published by The Star about the Dong Zong. He has put out cogent arguments which should be highlighted.

I, too, fail to understand the real reasons why they object to single stream schooling. All the arguments for it have been explained in detail and all their statements on it do not justify their stand. They appear to want to alienate themselves and their children from mainstream Malaysiana, speak for a “multi-national state”, a concept that is subversive to the nation state that Malaya/ Malaysia has always been for ages.

We have been a “multi-racial state” brought about by British colonial policies in the past but racial polarisation has been increasing in recent times and single stream schooling or Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua (SSS) aims at the creation of a united and cohesive Bangsa Malaysia for long term harmony, peace and progress in this country. Why can’t they accept that?

I therefore agree fully with Zamri’s statement that the Dong Zong’s claim that “’the implementation of the single stream school system would hamper unity and create racial tensions’ is definitely badly flawed and bordering on the ludicrous.”

They appear to have succumbed to the chauvinist propaganda against what they call “ketuanan Melayu”, which was portrayed as a master-and-slave relationship. They twisted the “united and cohesive Bangsa Malaysia” that SSS speaks about as being intended to make slaves of non-Malays. But surely they know that a master-and-slave relationship is archaic and anachronistic in modern times and that, with the Chinese controlling the economy, it is not even a conceivable idea. How unrealistic, narrow minded and mischievous can they get to suggest that such things are possible in this day and age? It only shows the cocooned mind they have become by alienating themselves as a small group not living by Article 152 of the Constitution on Bahasa Malaysia, living in a community of Mandarin promoting individuals, oblivious to the needs for bridging the wide gap in the racial polarisation existing in the country for some time now. They should, indeed, in Zamri’s words, “look at the big picture and put the interest of the nation above all else.”

Zamri’s entire statement on the virtues of single stream schooling or SSS is worth repeating: “It is common knowledge and universally accepted that children learn best at a young age. It is during these times that they should be given the opportunity to mix freely regardless of race, colour and creed. A conducive environment made available at this stage is important to allow them to foster racial goodwill and inculcate the virtues of understanding, sharing and caring. To deprive them of this space will limit their ability to develop the feeling of camaraderie and oneness in their adult life.”

On the Dong Zong’s statement “all quarters to raise their guard and to stand firm against any assimilation policy”, I agree with Zamri that there has been no programme or action undertaken by the Government since independence that can be regarded as trying to “assimilate” the non-Malays. “Assimilation” implies the Thai or Indonesian or Filipino way of forcibly making all newcomers adopt local names, wear local clothes and practise local customs and traditions. As Zamri said, “What was aggressively propagated in the past is the integration of the various races to enable them to co-exist peacefully in a multiracial country like ours.” The operative word is “integration”, not “assimilation” as has been mischievously propagandised by anti-national elements.

The Dong Zong was, in fact, making “such indefensible statements in relation to the single school system.” Zamri doesn’t “want to delve into the politics of the movement and will leave the guessing game to others.” But I hope to do it another day. Any sinister intentions on their part must be unmasked for the sake of unity in the country.

6 03 2010
SSS Admin

Maju,

We join you in praising Zamri and others who have written well on the subject of single stream schooling and national unity. Let us hope more would join in the efforts to bring about awareness on the need to get self-alienating Dong Zong and their likes to join society in the large family of Constitution respecting Malaysian citizens.

The Government should really take action on this thorn in the flesh. What has been there for 53 years is not necessarily right. It cannot be right when it contradicts Article 152 of the Constitution. It was conveniently allowed at Merdeka time in the exuberance of getting independence from the British and ruling ourselves in 1957. DS Najib had taken some action with respect to the Education Act years ago when he was Education Minister that somewhat reaffirmed the positon of the vernacular schools. Despite single stream schooling having been raised and discussed in Parliament, he flagrantly announced that Chinese schools can continue and made further grants of financial aids.

No doubt he has the power and the need to regain votes lost at the disastrous 2008 general elections when he was Deputy Prime Minister. But he has to remember that the loss was also considerably due to vocal and concerned Malays voting the opposition in, out of disgust for the “flip-flopping and auto-piloting” previous Government. This can be seen in the Klang Valley, home of very many middle class Malays, which voted in the opposition coalition as the Selangor State Government. The vast majority of Malays send their children to national schools and are opposed to vernacular schools. The majority of non-Malays also send their childen to national schools although they may not be vocal in their opposition to vernacular schools. Venturing an opinion on politics a little, we would say that surely there are a lot of votes on those supporting national schools as compared to the vernacular schools.

Granted, the politicians are the experts on political analysis. But the fact that the 2008 election results were a fiasco never expected by the previous Government clearly shows that politicians had been wrong. Like the case immediately prior to the racial clashes of 13 May 1969 – the shocking election results then spurred bands of excited and jubilant opposition party election workers and supporters parading in convoys of cars and lorries shouting insults, taunting and exhibiting rude behaviour in Malay areas of Kuala Lumpur resulting in racial clashes. The disastrous election results of 1969 were also totally unexpected by the politicians of the time.

To err is human, to forgive divine. To disregard the interest of the majority, however silent it may be, can another disaster be.

We, like the majority of the population, would like political stability and the Government not change hands perhaps as often as Toyota changes its car models. Even Toyota is now suffering with billions of dollars lost to recalling its latest production vehicles which developed mechanical faults that some say could have been less costly to overcome had the bosses taken remedial action on earlier consumers’ complaints here and there around the world. In the context of single stream schooling or SSS, we and the majority of the rakyat are the consumers and are complaining to the Malaysian Government of the inconsistency in the use of vernacular languages as the medium of instruction in schools when the Constitution clearly spells out Bahasa Malaysia as the National Language and it has become the Official Language of the country.

5 03 2010
Blanco

Isu ni goes up and down depending on the appetite of the politicians. Now it is left forgotten.

but once some chap start to bising about their son who cant get work in government office because of his skin color, then this isu will crop again.

i say the government should just impose what kind of schooling Malaysia need to have.

multi streaming or unified one.

6 03 2010
SSS Admin

Blanco,

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment.

The issue is not left forgotten even among the politicians. Minister of Communication and Mass Media DS Rais Yatim only several days ago told one questioner at his press conference to speak in Bahasa Malaysia and, when the rude fellow said he could not speak BM, the Minister asked him what school he went to, chided, ridiculed and shamed him in the pesence of so many other newsmen, etc. We fully support the Minister’s action. You can see for yourself that action in a video clip posted at the Home Page of Demi Negara blog – just google this name and you’ll get there.

It is interesting to hear that there are Malaysians who feel that the Government should just “impose” the kind of schooling necessary for the country. Certainly single stream schooling or SSS is necessary for long term harmony, peace and progress in the country.

The present government, after the general elections fiasco of the “flip-flopping and auto-piloting” one previously, wants votes from the non-Malays so much for the general elections in 2-3 years time that it is pandering to the wishes of vernacular school supporters. However, it has to take note that concerned citizens have been swelling the Perkasa campaign for it to pay attention on issues raised by others as well. So far, a total of 76 NGOs have signed up to pressure the government to listen to the others. Sooner or later it will act on single stream schooling as it is the wishes of the majority, although largely a silent majority at this stage. Better sooner than later because racial polarisation has been increasing and disgruntlement at the situation may also translate into votes.

5 03 2010
Adlin

Semua tau ni cuma propaganda umno aja.

Dalam Islam pun takde paksaan inikan pula pasal sekolah.

Buat apa nak memaksa buat satu sekolah kalau cuma tahu nak pancing undi je?

Anak sendiri belajar kat overseas.

5 03 2010
antusekolah

Memang dalam Islam tidak ada paksaan. Kalau di zaman Rasulullah dulu, awak pilihlah samada nak bersama Nabi atau nak bersama Abu Lahab?

Kalau nak bersama Nabi, kita masuk masjid. Kalau nak bersama Abu lahab, kita sembah Lata & Uzza. Tak ada paksaan. Pilihlah sendiri.

Kalau di zaman ini, di bumi Malaysia ini pun tiada paksaan. Nak bersekolah di sekolah Malaysia, ataupun nak bersekolah sekolah China / India. Kalau nak sekolah Malaysia, duduk lah di sini. Kalau nak sekolah Cina / India, pergilah ke negara Cina atau India. Ini bukan soal paksaan. Ini soal sekolah Cina dan India (sekolah asing) telah diwujudkan di bumi ini sehingga mencemarkan identiti bangsa dan negara Malaysia.

Tak kan ini pun tak boleh fikir? Jangan suka bercakap pasal Islam sedangkan diri sendiri cepat menuduh orang lain dengan tuduhan-tuduhan pancing undi, anak belajar overseas dan sebagainya. Ini hanya mencerminkan keperibadian anda !

8 03 2010
SSS Admin

antusekolah,

Terima kasih menziarah kami dan meninggalkan komen.

So’al paksa memaksa memang tidak timbul dinegara ini. Tidak saperti diThailand dimana bangsa asing dipaksa menukar nama mereka kenama tempatan, menggunakan bahasa tempatan, pakai pakaian tempatan, dan lain-lain lagi. Begitu juga diIndonesia dan Philippines. Pendatang-pendatang dinegara ini harus bersukyur mereka ada berbagai kebebasan menggunakan nama asing, berbahasa asing selain dari urusan resmi dan selain dari dikhalayak ramai, dan sebagainya. Mungkin banyak sangat kebebasan dibandingkan dinegara tersebut sehingga mereka mahu mengenepikan Perlembagaan berkaitan dengan Bahasa Malaysia sebagai Bahasa Kebangsaan negara. Mereka mahukan Mandarin dan Tamil sebagai bahasa pengantar disekolah pulak.

Mereka bandingkan dengan negara-negara maju saperti Amerika pulak. Mereka tidak sedar atau tidak mahu terima hakikat bahawa negara yang dikatakan paling bebas didunia itu sabenarnya tidak begitu bebas. Tahanan tanpa bicara masih ada lagi diGuantanamo Bay, rakyat kulit hitam, Hispanics dan Asia selalu dishak wasangka dan diheret keBalai Polis apabila ada jenayah berlaku, orang-orang bernama Islam diperiksa terperinci dilapangan-lapangan terbang, dan sebagainya.

Mereka lupakan bahawa diMalaysia paksa memaksa berhenti bila kita merdeka dari pemerintahan British 53 tahun lalu. Kita ada Perlembagaan negara yang diderap, dibincang dan diluluskan diParlimen yang diwakili berbagai kaum dinegara ini. Setiap undang-undang diperingkat Federal, negeri dan tempatan adalah berdasarkan Perlembagaan itu. Kerajaan melaksanakan dasar-dasar yang selaras dan tidak bercanggah dengan Perlembagaan negara. Perlembagaan tidak membenarkan paksa memaksa. Justru, so’al paksa tidak timbul diMalaysia ini. Hanya setiap rakyat perlu mengikut segala peruntukan didalam Perlembagaan dan segala undang-undang yang berdasarkan dan tidak mencanggah Perlembagaan itu.

6 03 2010
SSS Admin

Adlin,

Terima kasih kerana singgah dan meninggalkan komen disini.

Portal kami ini tidak ada kaitan dengan UMNO dan kami terdiri dari rakyat biasa yang mengambil berat (concerned citizens) berkenaan keadaan yang tidak memuaskan dinegara ini. Jurang perbezaan kaum amat ketara kebelakangan ini dan akan menjejas keharmonian dan keamanan negara jika tidak dibendung. Kami diportal ini berfikiran yang sama walau pun tidak mengenali satu sama lain selain dari hanya melalui buah fikiran yang dikeluarkan dilaman citra. UMNO langsung tidak ada memberi arahan, nasihat atau apa-apa bantuan pun.

So’al paksa tidak timbul didalam pendirian kami walau pun ada diantara orang ramai yang mengatakan Kerajaan boleh “impose” sahaja sistem sekolah yang difikirkan perlu. Kami telah mencadangkan supaya suatu kajian dibuat diatas sistem persekolahan yang ada sekarang, ketahuikan baik buruknya dan ambil tindakan membaikkinya. Kami percaya kajian itu akan menunjukkan sistem sekolah kebangsaan diperlukan, tidak sistem vernakular.

5 03 2010
Xavier

This is what I call nationalistic. Well done dr rafick.

He puts forward such arguments as, “… we need to ask ourselves which is more important, political survival of some politicians or the need to be one, as a nation … maintain their mother tongue … the politicians who pushed this ideology did it for the sake of themselves and not the country … and place their interest first before the nation … We must have the political will to change … The government must no longer support vernacular schools. Politicians on both sides must not be held ransom by the votes of people that support vernacular system … ”

Finally he asks, and states his own stand, “As Malaysian, we need to ask ourselves. Which one comes first, the nation or oneself or maintaining mother tongue? Should we sacrifice and continue splitting this nation of ours along racial lines or focused to be as one. To me, Malaysia comes first.”

Bravo. If the majority of our population feels like dr rafick, we’ll be a strong country in no time.

7 03 2010
SSS Admin

Xavier,

Thanks for visiting and commenting again.

Your right, friend. If only we have more Malaysians like dr rafick. There are many, we are sure. Even the majority of Malaysians think of Malaysia first rather than their own personal and selfish interest. But we want the “vast” majority to think that way.

“My country, right or wrong”, the patriotic Malaysians would say. Not “My kingdom for a horse” as some are wont to say. They would sell even their country for the sake of a horse or to escape difficult situations or run away to what they perceive as greener pastures. Some talk about having their bags ready to “cabut” from the country the moment the goings are tough or not to their liking. Some even make loyalty to the country as a business proposition, saying “Give me what I want first, then I’ll give what the country wants.” They have no clue about the famous words, “Ask not what the country can give you, ask what you can give to the country.” Even lawyers and other prefessionals talked about leaving for Australia and Canada even when Vietnam was about to fall to the communists in the 1970s, believing in the Domino Theory that Cambodia, Thailand, and finally Malaysia would fall as well. Thailand and Malaysia didn’t fall, Vietnam and Cambodia are doing well.

As recent as a few months ago, there were reports of the so-called British Overseas Citizens i.e those living in Malacca and Penang absconding to UK, tore their passports on arrival, on the wrong advice that it would enhance their chances of getting permanent residence. Only to find they were refused entry by the British Government and got stranded at British airports, detained week in and week out at the terminal building. Those tearing their Malaysian passports after clearing airport formalities were also not given permanent residence and ended up washing dishes at Chinese restaurants, exploited with low pay and terrible working conditions. One of them was reported to be a not so successful Penang architect.

Whether such emigrants are a loss or a gain to the country may be arguable. But what is certain is that Malaysia can definitely do without those who absconded and dared to tear Malaysian passports, the symbol of the dignity of a sovereign nation. Doing so is clear proof of a lack of loyalty to the country and such people should not be allowed back in Malaysia.

Yes, by all means, let us have those who say, “Malaysia comes first”. God bless you dr raffick, Xavier and the many other Malaysian citizens who think like that. God bless our country and long may peace and harmony remain.

7 03 2010
Jebat Must Die

Tahniah kepada SSS Admin kerana sentiasa mengutarakan pandangan yang bernas ke atas pengukuhan Kempen Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua.

Saya berpendapat, sudah tidak ada alasan lagi dari pihak pihak chauvinis atau pro bahasa ibunda vernakular cina dan tamil untuk mempertahankan sistem pelbagai aliran yang sedia ada sekarang.

Yang tinggal hanyalah sifat ego dan chauvinisma yang melampau. Semua maklum, ego dan semangat chauvisma melampau seperti ini hanya memudaratkan diri sendiri sahaja.

Terima kasih.

8 03 2010
SSS Admin

Jebat Must Die,

Terima kasih mengunjung dan meninggalkan komen. Kata-kata yang menggalakkan dari seorang pemunya laman citra yang ulung dan disukai ramai itu menguatkan semangat dan azam kami mencapai matlamat Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua (SSS) ini.

Mereka tahu bahawa kesemua alasan yang mereka gunakan adalah tidak kuat. Pendek kata, tidak masuk akal mahu berpegang kapada Mandarin dan Tamil sebagai bahasa pengantar disekolah-sekolah masakan terpampang diArtikel 152 Perlembagaan bahawa Bahasa Malaysia adalah Bahasa Kebangsaan negara. Masakan pula Mandarin dan Tamil boleh dipelajari sebagai mata pelajaran pilihan disekolah-sekolah yang menggunakan BM sebagai bahasa pengantar.

Sifat melampau itu yang kita khuatir dan perlu dibendung. DiGermany ditahun 30an-40an ada Hitlerism, di Amerika ditahun 60an ada Ku Klux Klan, dinegeri Cina dimasa yang sama ada Maoism. Melampaunya Maoism nyata dari pembakaran buku-buku, pencacian bijak pandai termasuk Professor-Professor, saperti dilakukan Maharaja Chin Shih Huang Di 2,200 tahun sabelomnya. Dizaman Mao/ “Red Guards”, sehinggakan guru-guru dan ibubapa di”denounced” kerana berpendirian tradisional, diikat tangan, diheret beramai-ramai dimalukan dihadapan khalayak ramai dijalanraya. Tujuan Mao adalah melemahkan musuhnya, menguatkan sistem komunis yang ganjil dan sekarang nyata tidak dipraktikkan lagi hampir diseluriuh dunia.

Apa sifat melampau saperti itu yang pembela sekolah Cina pegang? Apa mereka mahu berpendirian ganjil dengan tidak menghiraukan keperluan Perlembagaan? Apa mereka tidak sedar bahawa apa yang telah ada sejak lebih 50 tahun tidak semestinya betul dan sekarang sudah sampai masanya membetulkan keadaan demi kepentingan timbulnya suatu masyarakat yang jitu dan bersatu?

Kita perlu meneruskan segala usaha bagi menyedarkan mereka bahawa jurang perkauman amat ketara sejak beberapa tahun yang lalu dan amat perlu dimulakan adanya hanya satu sistem pelajaran (BM) – bukan tiga (BM, Mandarin dan Tamil) – dinegara ini. Sifat melampau tidak ada faedahnya, memang memudaratkan diri sendiri. Hitler akhirnya membunuh diri dan orang Geman berjuta-juta mati, Ku Klux Klan diburu bertempiaran hingga tiada lagi, Mao menyebabkan porak peranda dan berjuta-juta rakyat Cina mati akibat perang diantara puak kumpulan “Red Guards” – selain dari 30 juta yang mati kebuluran dan kerenyahan ketenteraman akibat kegagalan dasar ekonomi komunis sabelom itu.

8 03 2010
San Peng

Wow wee! A gold mine of Stirling information spread by intellectual discourse by esteemed blog-master and visitors all over the pages here.

Salam to Sir SSS Admin. Sorry I do not know how to add to the already exemplary materials concerning our need to foster meaningful integration. I humbly wish I can write like the contributors and you sir.

May I copy some of your materials here for my own use and to enrich my collection?

9 03 2010
SSS Admin

San Peng,

Thank you for visiting and for the kind words.

What you have said is already adding to the overall effort at national integration. Every encouragement and appreciation of whatever are being done towards bringing Malaysians together, creating common values, hopes and aspirations for themselves and for the country will spur others to do the same. By all means, copy whatever you find useful as these writings are in the public domain, anyway; though we do not understand why some blogs appear to be made copy-proof/ difficult to copy when they are placed in the public domain. At the risk of being accused of starting a mutual admiration society, may we say that you also write well, even in the brief comment above.

May we add that on many issues concerning the development of our country and on loyalty towards this land we call home, there needs not be well-researched materials quoting scientifically produced theses and conclusions by scholars and Professors. Of course, when those are brought in by blog paticipants, the better. Generally, it is sufficient for all citizens to know the simple basics, for example, that the Constitution must be respected and adhered to, that it is wrong to say “Give me what I want then only I give what the country wants”, that paying tax is not the only criteria for loyalty towards the country, that it is the whole matter of acceptance of and living by what is written in the Constitution. Since BM is written in the Constitution, let us have all schools using BM as the medium of instruction.

9 03 2010
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