Here are extracts of articles found in blogosphere that we can discuss from the perspective of bringing about unity in the country.
Would the vernacular schools taking money from the Government lead to a loss of their independence or would they care at all about it? Would “stooping so low” mean anything to them as far as money is concerned? Is it a case of simply taking the money, continue their Mandarin medium of instruction, curriculum and syllabus?
In the next article, a Chinese educator passionately states his views on the role of education in bringing about unity. To us at Kempen SSS, the more we have this kind of responsible and concerned citizens, the better for the country. We salute him and fellow Malaysians like him.
The last article, by a former academician, currently a Universiti Malaya Consultant (Pakar Rujuk) and Senator, talks about many national policies that were formulated with noble intentions ending with uninspiring slogans in the last one year or so. And suggests that many teachers and schoolchildren are still ignorant about the various national policies. Those policies have not led to optimum benefit to the various national institutions, including the Ministry of Education, said he.
Let’s talk about them, agree or disagree with their views, and state our own views in the usual manner.
SUNDAY, MAY 2, 2010
…AND HOW THE VERNACULAR MANDARIN SCHOOLS LOSE THEIR INDEPENDENCE.
By Mansor Puteh
THE OFFERING OF THE THREE MILLION-RINGGIT GRANT BY THE GOVERNMENT TO A VERNACULAR MANDARIN SCHOOL IN HULU SELANGOR SERVES AS A WARNING TO THEIR COMMUNITY THAT THEIR SCHOOLS ARE NOT INDEPENDENT ANYMORE.
THEY HAD TRIED TO REMAIN STOIC IN DEFIANCE BUT THEY COULD LAST TOO LONG BEFORE THEY FALTER AND NOW START TO BECOME BEGGARS.
THIS SHOULD BE A CAUSE OF WORRY FOR THEIR COMMUNITY WHICH MEANS THAT THEIR ECONOMIC HOLD IN THE COUNTRY MAY BE EXPERIENCING A DECLINE, OR ELSE THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO SUPPORT THEIR ‘INDEPENDENT’ SCHOOLING SYSTEM.
Worse, it is just the first step towards them surrendering their schools to merge into the national schooling system or the sekolah Melayu in the future the more the population of the Chinese shrink and the more the economy of the Melayu increases and expands.
Therefore it was not a coup by the vernacular mandarin school or their community, but a huge blow to their psyche and independence.
But one of the strangest outcomes of the recently held Hulu Selangor by-elections is how the Indian voters and public have moved away from trusting their future with their alliance with the Chinese creating unholy kingmakers, which alas has only benefited the Chinese and not the Indians.
And the Chinese voters in this constituency are mostly with vernacular Mandarin school background who seem to be living in a world of their own.
They are living in a state of denial for too long of having been fed with a lot of propaganda by their vernacular press and those in English which are controlled by their brethren who do not seem to want them to leave Hong Kong where they are stuck at. So everything about them is Hong Kong, Hong Kong and Hong Kong…
They have not come to the realization what Malaysia and the Melayu are.
That the economy of the country is slowly being eroded from them, but which is now slowly but surely going into the control of the Melayu.
They may have felt so, especially when they see the many Melayu traders operating their makeshift stalls beside and around all of them.
They can also feel it when their business had started to shrink as more and more Melayu customers started to go to the stores operated by their own kind and not to the ones they operate.
The Chinese in Hulu Selangor must also feel that their future as traders is bleak. But with not much education and not able to speak Melayu and English, they do not have social mobility like many of the other younger Chinese and Indians who do have that.
It’s got nothing to do with the Indians now wanting to return to the Malaysian Indian congress or MIC.
And where was Hindraf in this equation? Nowhere.
It was an unholy alliance and an unofficial one based on the wrong premise that a larger non-Melayu political defiance and resistance could pose a serious threat to the Melayu hold on the politics in the country, ganged up by the immigrant backgrounds of these two communities.
And the Indians can see for themselves, despite the exertions of many other non-Melayu social, cultural and political activists, how more and more Indians from India are willing to come to Malaysia to work even as illegal workers in the food stalls.
This is despite the fact that how some of them have alleged the Melayu majority and government had ‘systematically’ marginalized them for too long.
And many Chinese, too, should be aware of how many Chinese from Beijing especially who are willing to come to Malaysia to work as foot reflexologists and doing other things, because they are not able to get a decent job in their own country.
So who are the Indians and Chinese in Malaysia who charge that they have been subject to ‘institutional discrimination’ and were not able to progress when their brethren who had only recently come to the country are able to benefit from the country?
But alas, this ganging up did not serve the interests of the Indians as the Chinese deserted them and went on their economic quest to control the politics of the country, leaving most of the Indians, still in the same places as their ancestors were.
Most of them have seen how the Chinese had been using the Indians to add to their leftist leaning and gain a lot of advantage as kingmakers this way.
In this way, they were able to gain much from the Chinese right as well as the Chinese left, meaning, the Chinese parties in Barisan and the other Chinese parties in Pakatan, all of which aim to serve their own community only.
They had left the Indians in the lurch.
So the by-elections were when the Indians shown their contempt of the Chinese minority which they had ganged up to try and swing the results of the elections in the past.
But all this came to naught as the Chinese continued to ignore the plight of the Indians even after getting the support from them in almost all the elections that had been held till the last general one in March, 2008.
The Indians in Hulu Selangor had shown their bravery by ignoring the Chinese and came to town on their own by supporting Barisan which they see as the Melayu whom they can trust with their future.
This trend is set to continue as more and more Indians begin to finally realize that their future is in the hands of the Melayu and not in the hands of the Chinese whom they consider to be too self-centered to allow Indians into their psyche, other than to use them to win votes for their candidates.
And in fact, the Chinese did not vote for Pakatan, as it seemed to look like. They never had in mind of doing so.
They only did not vote for Barisan. And they wanted to see Barisan fulfill their election pledges of giving them alms which Barisan did, despite being given the boot by the Chinese voters in this state constituency.
This does not go down well with the other Chinese who are grateful and also with the Indians who are now able to see who the Chinese in Hulu Selangor are and how their education and community leaders are, being weak souls for having accepted the three million-ringgit grant offered by the federal government.
It is just a ploy to fool the Chinese leaders by not exactly saying that they are of a certain stripe, with no backbone by bending too far to the back to accommodate their narrow views of things and in the process allow the so-called independent Chinese schools to be further downgraded to become no more than DEPENDENT SCHOOLS.
And many will also want to see if as yet another step for such vernacular schools in Mandarin and Tamil to move towards being ultimately absorbed into the national schooling system of the ‘sekolah Melayu’.
This can happen the more such schools continue to demand financial support from the government, and aided by the diminishing population of their communities so that the economy of the country are not in the hands of the Chinese anymore but the Melayu.
Then the Chinese and Indian or more appropriately, the Tamil communities will be able to see more of the ‘usefulness’ of their vernacular schools that they had trusted too much in the past in the true light that they do not give their children much of a future in this new Malaysia that only serve the propaganda of the Chinese community leaders only.
And the giving of the three million ringgit grant by Najib to the vernacular Mandarin school in Rasa should be seen not as a coup for the Chinese education, but as a huge blow to their psyche. This is how low they are willing to stoop in order to get such funds.
And they are definitely not going to stop here. They will make more demands and get everything they want, while they still stick with the Left where they have no future of getting any assistance and support from.
So in the end, the younger Chinese who are in such vernacular schools and the Tamils who are in their own vernacular schools will be uncalculated (inculcated? ed.) the feelings of being indebted to the government and especially to the Melayu, too, and their future is not in the hands of their own community leaders who had already forsaken their ideals.
Too much is being said about the lack of unity amongst Malaysians. Contributor Uncle S believes that the key to solve this problem is in our education system:
1MALAYSIA, CHINESE, MALAY, RACE, SCHOOLS
Education: The Key to Unity
Wednesday, 05/05/2010 at 00:00
Malaysia’s unscientific reasoning to our education system
Ever wondered why we have been independent for 52 years (technically, Malaysia was formed in 1963, so, it’s 46 years really); however, Malaysians at large could not speak our NATIONAL language fluently?
Ever wondered why in MOST promotional posters for Malaysia, there are pictures of 3 main races of Malaysia but many a times, minorities in Malaysia do not feel a sense of belonging to the place they call home?
It is widely attributed that a success of a nation is based largely on the unity of people in the nation. I applaud PM Najib’s 1Malaysia with its aim of trying to unite all Malaysians under one roof. Weirdly enough, ask any Malaysia out there and you would soon realize that it just a nice paperwork put together.
What is the X Factor that is missing in making Malaysian unite?
“Education is the transmission of civilization.” – Ariel and Will Durant.
If only our puny government realises that education could shape an entire generation, they would’ve taken some drastic actions since the formation of Malaysia. Hence, to shape a generation whereby all races could be united under one roof, it all starts with education. Isn’t it surprising how we then wonder why races in Malaysia aren’t united?
Reality of our education system
The mere existence of vernacular schools distorts the fabric of our society. Just picture, Ah Meng is taught to mingle with his Chinese friends in the Chinese PRIMARY school which he attends. He eats Chinese food and speaks Mandarin in school. He is sheltered from the reality that there are Malays, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans, etc living amongst us in Malaysia.
As an educationist, I have been taught that from the age of 6 to puberty are the most vital years. In Erik Erikson (Danish-German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on social development) theory of psychology, around age 6 to puberty, we go through what is called the Industry vs. Inferiority stage.
This is where a child is comparing self-worth to others (such as in a classroom environment). A child at this stage can recognise major disparities in personal abilities relative to other children. Erikson places some emphasis on the teacher, who should ensure that children do not feel inferior.
This is where the vernacular school system crumbles when it comes to fostering unity. What is there to compare when there are no other races mingling with them? Hence, when they go to secondary schools (where they are forced to mingle with other races), it is all too awkward for them. They are forced to speak our “national” language which:
They are not good at,
They are not interested in (because they use their mother tongue to answer UPSR questions).
This creates a lot of tension and dissatisfaction amongst races in secondary schools.
I would like to relate an incident to all of you out there. I am apparently, Chinese-Malaysian, because of my Chinese heritage. Hence, it is expected of me to not be fluent in Malay and I should not know how to use my hands to eat. However, because I went to a national type school, I am fluent in Malay (in fact my written Malay is better than many other Malays I know) [Ed: Yes, it is], I embrace the Malay culture and I can use my hands to eat.
When I was in secondary school, I was out casted by the Chinese students who went to Chinese schools saying “I’m not Chinese enough”. The straw that broke the camel’s back for them is when they saw me eating nasi lemak with my hand. They hit me in the back of my head saying “Do you want to be Malay?”
No Chinese kids wanted to have any connection with me because I was “more Malay” than Chinese. Now, think about this for a second: this is what goes on in schools! What happens when they move in colleges, universities, work place, etc?
My take on this scenario as an educator is to abolish all vernacular type school. Introduce a single national school system. There are many quarters who would argue with this:
Dong Jiao Zong would say :“It would erode our culture”. I say, bull shit! Culture should be taught at home. In fact, in Malaysia, we are given the freedom to have cultural celebrations, newspapers in mother tongue and food stalls according to your ethnicity. What culture do you learn at school besides speaking Mandarin/Tamil? Janet Holmes with her book; ‘Socio-Linguistics’ would back me up on this point.
I’ve heard parents say: “Malay teachers in national schools are lazy”. I say, go to hell! It is not about a matter of race! Don’t be fucking racist. It is about the excessive workload that is piled on teachers by the Pusat Pelajaran Daerah (PPD), Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia (KPM) and the like. They are overburdened and yet they could still teach. You call that lazy?
If language is really an issue, please take a look at Singapore (which has almost the similar race composition as Malaysia). They have a single national schooling system. The medium of instruction is in English and students are REQUIRED to take an extra language, be it, Malay, Mandarin or Tamil.
I am confident, if this system is adopted in Malaysia, 1Malaysia could be a reality. When 1Malaysia is a reality, only then Malaysia could move forward.
Uncle S is a young educator-basketball coach with a passion for bringing the best out of his students. He believes that he could help the world by trying his best to inspire the future generation. He does it not for recognition, but to prove that there is always a place for passionate educators.
Kecuaian memasyarakatkan pelbagai dasar nasional
Oleh Dr. Firdaus Abdullah
SATU Malaysia dan Rukun Negara Serta pelbagai dasar nasional
Syarat utama pembinaan negara bangsa Wajib dimasyarakatkan secara optimal
SATU hakikat pahit yang patut kita terima ialah sistem pendidikan kita tidak (belum) dimanfaatkan secara optimum untuk memasyarakatkan pelbagai dasar nasional.
Yang dimaksudkan dengan ungkapan ‘dasar nasional’ di sini ialah gagasan-gagasan yang bertujuan meningkatkan kesejahteraan rakyat dan negara dari segala segi menuju ke arah matlamat akhir pembinaan sebuah negara bangsa yang bersatu padu dan aman sentosa.
Di samping itu dasar nasional wajar pula berfungsi sebagai panduan utama atau pedoman falsafah dalam tata cara pengurusan pada setiap peringkat unit pentadbiran negara di pelbagai sektor.
Semenjak setahun yang lalu, dasar nasional yang menjadi sebutan di mana-mana ialah gagasan “1Malaysia: Rakyat Didahulukan, Pencapaian Diutamakan”. Selain itu yang patut juga diingat dan dihayati ialah Perlembagaan Persekutuan, Rukun Negara, Wawasan 2020, Dasar Ekonomi Baru, Dasar Bahasa Kebangssaan, Dasar Kebudayaan Kebangsaan, Islam Hadhari dan lain-lain lagi.
Tetapi sayang, usaha-usaha pemasyarakatan pelbagai dasar nasional tersebut, tidak memanfaatkan secara optimum pelbagai struktur atau institusi negara yang sedia ada, termasuk Kementerian Pelajaran sebagai satu struktur penting dan strategik dalam sistem kenegaraan kita.
Walau pun barangkali pelbagai dasar nasional tersebut disentuh dan diimbas sekali sekala dari semasa ke semasa di bilik-bilik darjah sekolah rendah dan menengah atau di dewan-dewan kuliah IPT. Tetapi sebagai satu modul atau kandungan utama atau silibus khusus dalam kurikulum akademik atau kokurikuklum sistem persekolahan kita, pelbagai dasar nasional tersebut masih belum mendapat perhatian yang sewajarnya.
Jadi tidak menghairankan jika ramai guru, apatah lagi murid yang masih jahil atau kabur-kabur pengetahuan mereka tentang pelbagai dasar nasional itu. Kerana itu kebanyakan dasar nasional yang digubal dan dirumuskan dengan niat dan hasrat yang mulia itu, tanpa disedari telah merosot menjadi slogan-slogan yang kurang bernas.
Juga tanpa kita sedari, kecuaian kita memasyarakatkan pelbagai dasar nasional itu secara sistematik, istiqamah dan berkesan telah memperlambat (jika tidak hendak dikatakan ‘menggagalkan’ ) usaha kita membentuk sebuah negara bangsa yang bersatu padu dan mempunyai jati diri sendiri.
Hakikat ini semakin kuat saya rasakan bila isu berkenaan dibangkitkan dengan berbagai-bagai cara oleh para Senator dalam sesi Dewan Negara yang bersidang dari 26 April hingga 6 Mei lalu. Secara am mereka menyuarakan kemusykilan terhadap aspek-aspek tertentu gagasan 1Malaysia. Beberapa orang Senator secara khusus menanyakan keberkesanan usaha-usaha memasyarakatkan gagasan itu setelah setahun diperkenalkan oleh Perdana Menteri.
Walau pun secara eksplisit mereka menyuarakan berbagai kemusykilan terhadap gagasan 1Malaysia tetapi secara tersirat dan dalam konteks yang lebih am, kemusykilan mereka tentang aspek-aspek tertentu gagasan 1Malaysia adalah juga gambaran daripada kemusykilan terhadap pelbagai dasar nasional yang lain. Antara contoh yang disebut ialah salah pengertian (kejahilan) sebahagian besar generasi muda terhadap DEB. Demikian juga pengetahuan dan penghayatan mereka terhadap Wawasan 2020 dan Islam Hadhari juga boleh dipertikaikan.
Dalam sidang Dewan Negara 26 April yang lalu, Senator Datuk Idris Buang dari Sarawak bertanya “bagaimana perkembangan mutakhir mengenai keberkesanan konsep “1Malaysia: Rakyat Didahulukan, Pencapaian Diutamakan.” Dan dalam sidang 5 Mei pula, Senator Datuk Maijol Mahap menanyakan soalan yang lebih khusus merujuk kepada langkah-langkah kerajaan “menanamkan semangat ‘penerimaan’ (acceptance) dan bukan ‘tahan sabar’ (tolerance) yang merupakan satu unsur dalam gagasan 1Malaysia itu. Sekurang-kurangnya ada enam orang Senator yang lain menanyakan soalan yang hampir sama maksudnya.
Saya sendiri secara khusus menanyakan “langkah-langkah yang diambil oleh Kementerian Pelajaran untuk meningkatkan pengetahuan, pemahaman dan penghayatan generasi muda terhadap falsafah dan ideologi negara (terutama Perlembagaan dan Rukun Negara) dan dasar-dasar rasmi negara seperti DEB, Wawasan 2020, DPN, Islam Hadhari dan konsep Gagasan 1Malaysia, melalui kurikulum dan melalui kegiatan kokurikulum.”
Saya berharap soalan saya akan dijawab secara lisan agar dapat dibahaskan melalui soalan-soalan tambahan. Tetapi sayang jawapan yang diberikan adalah secara bertulis hingga tak mungkin dibahaskan lebih lanjut. Saya dapati masih terlalu banyak ruangan yang belum kita manfaatkan secara optimum dalam usaha memasyarakatkan pelbagai dasar nasional demi pembinaan sebuah negara bangsa yang bersatu padu, aman, makmur serta adil dan saksama.
Senator Datuk Dr. Firdaus Abdullah
ialah Pakar Rujuk di Akademi Pengajian Melayu,