School – Where A Nation Is Built. Where We Learn About One Another. Including About Pendatang. And Togetherness.

16 08 2010

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It is so true, when Tagore said, “To build a nation, build a school“. The face of a nation is very much determined by her citizens.

To a true citizen of a nation, there is only one nation in this world even though he respects the existence of other nations. The Malay proverb says, “Di mana bumi dipijak, di situ langit dijunjung“. A true citizen will embrace this proverb, dearly at heart and soul, even though he acknowledges that, maybe, “Hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri.”

He sinks or he swims together with comrade citizens, true comrade citizens. To him, his nation is the only nation there is. Other nations come second.

True. Gold may glitter at other places, but a true citizen like him, will strive to turn stones into gold. Hail-storms into refreshing cool showers. Nothing is impossible. Where there is a will, there is a way.

He is unlike those, the fake citizen, who only wants to swim. Who is quick to jump ship at a slightest suspicion. Who wants to have a small boat for himself in this big ship, while pointing his finger with loud mouth at a leak. The fake makes noise while grabbing the small boat, which belongs not to him, but to the entire ship. The fake is not with the rest. He does his own thing, wanting to be separated. If at all together, he will only be with his own kind. He does not mingle.

How would a fake understand the law and order set out by the captain of the ship when the fake is so self-centered? How would a fake understand the “adat-resam” of the people of the ship when the fake does not mingle? How would the people of the ship understand him when the fake speaks a foreign tongue?

The fake is only on the ship as long as the ship is sailing smoothly. He will jump ship at a slightest suspicion. So what is so wrong with the word “Pendatang” then?

PENDIDIKAN ANAK BANGSA, MEMBENTUK NEGARA

We, at the SATU SEKOLAH UNTUK SEMUA, are very proud to re-produce an article by de minimis, titled “RAMADAN AND MY CHILDREN“, with a quote from one of the paragraphs in the article:-

“Their lives are so much richer and varied and, their understanding of the different Malaysian communities is very much deeper than it would have been otherwise. They are, I am proud to say, becoming the true Malaysians that my wife and I had hoped that they would become.”

The full article is copy-pasted herein below.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ramadan and my children

Both my son and daughter left their drinking bottles at the dining table when I took them to school yesterday morning. I was puzzled. They are not the forgetful type, well, my son can be a bit of an absent-minded professor.

Later in the day my wife asked my daughter how she could have forgotten the drinking bottle. She replied that she did not want to have a drink in school during Ramadan, or eat.

I, later, recalled that the children were doing that even in their primary school days. It was different, then. Their Muslim classmates would tell them that it was unfair to eat and drink in their presence when they, the Muslim classmates, could do neither.
Now, in their teens, my children’s decision to fast during Ramadan is more of an act of solidarity with their Muslim classmates.
Needless to say, my children attend an SMK and, have lots of Muslim friends.

Mind you, my son actually fasts until the time for buka puasa! He’s obviously an interesting fellow. Very introspective. At 15, he’s curious about the different faiths and beliefs in our great Malaysia. I’m lending him a book on it.
As my Muslim friends often reminded me over the years, Ramadan is a time for reflection. It would appear that this period of mindfulness has rubbed off on my children.

Much as many Malaysian parents believe that SKs and SMKs have declined in quality, I am having absolutely no regrets in having my children attend a mainstream school just as my wife and I did in our time.

Their lives are so much richer and varied and, their understanding of the different Malaysian communities is very much deeper than it would have been otherwise. They are, I am proud to say, becoming the true Malaysians that my wife and I had hoped that they would become.

On the matter of the perceived quality of SK and SMK education, I must say that some of the teachers I had in my time in school were rather dodgier than the teachers in the school that my children attend.

Mr George was way past his teaching prime when he taught us Physics. During the Physics class he would spend 5 mumbling some inanities about Newton’s Laws of Motion and them slink away to his room to read the Business Times. It was Napolean, the lab assistant that got us through. I had to take tuition.

Certainly, the syllabus has gotten better, I feel, when compared to my time in school. That said, the amount of new Bahasa nomenclature that is churned out by Dewan Bahasa is stumping even my older Malay friends!

It is amusing to note that when the simplified Pinyin Mandarin came about a few decades ago, the Mandarin-literate older folks were equally stumped.

I imagine that, even more monumental was the South Korean shift from the classic text to Hangul, which is, I understand from my Korea-pop-crazy daughter, a phonetics-based script.

If we become more aware of the context of things, we will be less emotional and paranoid. Times change and we just have to adapt.
Granted that there is incompetence here and there. But, as I said, if we trouble ourselves to recall our own past, we cannot deny that there were some major nincompoops during our time. So, how is it different now?

So, I suggest that we dial it down. Take some time out to understand the context of issues before just sending out rants.
Malaysia is like a beautiful diamond prism that produces many different colours depending on the direction of the light that we hold it to.

Malaysia is not a football that is to be kicked around with.

Posted by de minimis at 8:17 AM

There is another one of a TRUE MALAYSIAN that we are proud of here,

Sathiya Jalan Pasar ~ Sidewalk Trader with a Golden Heart! – by Mahaguru58

So let us all contribute our small step here to build this nation, MALAYSIA, by signing this

PETITION

How would the children of Malaysia have a chance to understand those who went to separate schools of his own kind, where almost everything there is not “Malaysian”?

We hereby, again and again, call for the Prime Minister and The Minister of Education of Malaysia, to realise SATU SEKOLAH UNTUK SEMUA,  now!!!!.


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25 responses

17 08 2010
Vic

Just wondering, in your context of one school for all, what are the subjects that you think should be taught?
Will mother tongue be taught? If not least emphasized?
We are blessed with multi-culture population but are the best of these multi-cultures going to be taught in school? Or only the things that the government think are good be taught? Or you assume so that the government is wise enough to decide what is the best to be taught?

I am open to the concept but doubtful it will work, unless everyone really understands each others’ cultures instead others have to learn one particular culture!

“He will jump ship at a slightest suspicion”. Tell me are you the quartets or Jack & Rose in Titanic?

Build a school is indeed the basis of building a nation and I fully agree a school that can incorporate all Malaysians. Problem is, if I can learn your culture and religion, why can’t you learn mine?

I’m going to open another sensitive topic to you, I dare say I know more about your culture that you know mine! Contest that if you could!

If we can’t stop debating on who’s the host and who’s the guest, SSS is just a waste of time.
Like the ex-premier of China – Deng XiaoPing said it, “no matter white cat or black cat, as long as it catches the mouse, it’s a good cat”. I don’t really see our government have such attitude.

You posted 2 other links that promotes SK

17 08 2010
SSS Admin

Vic,

Mandarin, which is presently used as the medium of instruction in Chinese schools, should be taught as an elective subject in national or single-stream schools, even though it is not a mother tongue language. If mother tongue means dialects like Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka that are spoken among the Chinese in Malaysia now, allowing such mother tongue languages be taught in schools has huge implications. We will end up having scores of languages in schools because the Malays and the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak have dozens of dialects and sub-dialects.

In such an event, where would unity be? The Chinese in mainland China adopt Mandarin as their national language to unite the people. Now they are enforcing the use of Mandarin and displacing Cantonese, and the people of south China and Hong Kong have been demonstrating against it. If China can enforce the use of their national language, Mandarin, why can’t we enforce the use of our National Language, Bahasa Malaysia.

This talk about multi culture and unity in diversity – can we see concrete proof that it has worked? If so, why 13 May 1969 occurred? Wasn’t there a latent, underlying cause to the outbreak of racial violence? Is there not serious racial polarisation in our country now? Read the newspapers, both mainstream and non-mainstream media, as well as the many socio-political blogs and you’ll find a wide array of differences, accusations and counter-accusations, snide remarks, innuendos, racist and subversive comments and statements made by Malaysians of many races. Unity in diversity sounds good in commercial adverts and looks good on tourism billboards. But there is hardly any proof that multi-culturalism can unite the people and we need unity for long term harmony and peace in this country. We need to have a Malaysian culture, a Malaysian identity, something that all Malaysians, irrespective of ethnicity, can be proud of, both at home and abroad.

Deng XiaoPing was a lng-time Secretary General and later Chairman of the Communist Party of China, who had personally experienced, and perhaps played a considerable role during Mao Zedong’s so-called Cultural Revolution in China in the late 1960s. But that Revolution brought an upheaval of gigantic proportions, some 30 million people died preceding and during the Revolution. It was chaotic, anarchistic and culturally devastating for the Chinese. Imagine, the burning of books (the first time done in China was over 2,000 years previously under Emperor Chin Shih Huang Di), the ridiculing and public shaming of Professors, teachers and even parents, dragged along the streets hand cuffed, abused by rude language and taunts, allegedly for being counter-revolutionary, when actually the whole affair was to get rid of Mao’s opponents.

Deng’s statement was therefore that of a communist. To the communists, many things can be done, even anarchy and revolution. The end justifies the means, even though it cost 30 million lives, including those various factions of the so-called Mao’s Red Guards who ended up fighting and killing one another. Another often repeated communist doctrine is: never mind what you say, so long as you say it often enough, some people will end up believing you. We cannot subscribe to such thinking that reflects anarchistic tendencies. We speak for unity and cohesion among the people in this country.

17 08 2010
Dot

On the number of Malay languages, may I add that there are over 1,000 languages in the large family of the Malay language. It is the language of over 350 million “Rumpun Melayu” people who have existed since over 5,000 years ago, originating in the Gugusan Pulau Pulau Melayu or the Malay Archipelago, stretching to Madagascar, South Africa, Christmas Island, Australia, New Zealand, the Polynesian Islands, Hawaii, Taiwan and Indochina.

These are the findings of experts in linguistics, anthropology, archaeology etc explained in the book, “The Malay Civilisation”, by Mohd Arof Ishak, published by the Historical Society of Malaysia in 2007.

18 08 2010
SSS Admin

Dot,

Yes, the terminology used in the book is “languages”, as stated in your comments in past posts here. And when dialects are taken into account, the number is far higher than 1,268 stated in the book. This includes 457 Malaysian and Indonesian Malay languages and 438 Austronesian Malay languages. Language, apart from archaeological and other evidence, is one of the criteria used in determining that the Proto Malays (Orang Asli), the Deutero Malays (the Malays of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines), the Malayo Polynesians and the Austronesians are one and the same people, of the same stock, referred to as the larger family of Malays or Rumpun Melayu comprising some 350 million people.

The Bumiputeras of Sarawak and Sabah also belong to this group, too, according to the research and study findings by the scores of experts in linguistics, anthropology, archaeology etc that are explained in the book. Similarly the Filipinos, including those practising different religions due to the different foreign infleunce they were exposed to. Those researches and studies were carried out since the time of the scientists sailing with Captain Cook in the 19th Century, continued in the 1st half and intensified in the 2nd half of the 20th Century, spanning a period of over 100 years.

Malay or Bahasa Malaysia is not an international language. But neither is Mandarin, though spoken by over a billion people. With such a spread in the use of the Malay language and that it is spoken by 350 million people, Bahasa Malaysia is also a formidable language, like Mandarin is. But when Bahasa Malaysia is written in the Constitution as the National Language, it must, in Malaysia, be more important than Mandarin and must be treated so by all Malaysian citizens.

17 08 2010
Vic

Please ignore the last line🙂 my bad.

19 08 2010
Perwira

Must teach HISTORY, sir. Make it compulsory.

History of Malaya. And Malaysia. Include period when the non-Malays were brought in by the British in big umbers.

Anything that will make children understand position and role of each community. About the Special Position that British said had always been there “since day one”. They said they respected it since the beginning they came to this area. They dealt with the Malay rulers. Point out a bit of the tipu like the excuse for them to intervene in Perak and colonise the country. So that Malaysians can always blame the Brits to divert when they get high arguing. After all, bloody Brits caused a lot of the problems we face now, what.

Make the children understand unity, nationalism, patriotism. What love of country is. Explain how to kira love for country.

20 08 2010
SSS Admin

Perwira,

We are pretty sure that Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim we sopke about above would agree with you. He has even spoken about it himself. Knowing the history of the country is fundamental to appreciating the need to be together, to forge unity, to have a good understanding and goodwill among one another always. It will help greatly in understanding of the Constitution.

Understanding the Constitution, especially the circumstances in the drafting of the Constitution, would enable Malaysian citizens to respect and live by it fully. In fact, the history to be taught in schools must include that part on the drafting of the Constitution and elements of what has become known as the Social Contract – the recording of the Malay Special Position and citizenship for the non-Malays.

True, history should be made a compulsory subject thereby ensuring each and every Malaysian to eventually know sufficiently about the Constitution and the obligations and responsibilities of all citizens. Unity, nationalism and patriotism can be taught in the same history subject.

17 08 2010
sepadu

Here is a beautifully written comment I found in RIDHUAN TEE blog that I cannot resist submitting to this blog. It was in one single long paragraph and I have broken it up into several paragraphs for ease of reading.

How I wish most Chinese are like this very amiable, fully Malaysian one:

cinamalaysia said…

Hi Dr..

Hurm..I like your words. I am a chinese guy who live in Malaysia happily. I studied in SRK for 2 years and Sekolah Kebangsaan for another 4 years. Then I went to SMK before going to the university. I have many chinese friends, indian friends, and malay friends as well.

In school, I like Sejarah so much. Thus it makes me understand our SEJARAH deeply. My point here is, we, the non- muslim should really appreciate of being Malaysians. The Malays have sacrificed so many things to us- THIS IS NO DOUBT ( read history textbooks) They let us celebrate our ceremony in our own way, let us build our praying rooms, and so on. Talking about my malay friends, they understand and respect me as a friend. I dont speak english while communicate with my malay and indian friends, instead i use malay language bacause i realize it’s our national language.

I still remember the moment i went to jakarta. I tried to speak mandarin to the chinese people there, but the DONT EVEN UNDERSTAND that. Instead, they are so proud to speak in bahasa indonesia. I think, in order to build us as ONE NATION or ONE MALAYSIA and to increase the understanding among all the races in malaysia, we should communicate in our national language.

Saya sedar bahawa kemahiran berkomunikasi saya dalam bahasa melayu tidaklah sehebat rakan melayu saya yang lain, tapi ini tidak bermakna saya harus mengabaikan bahasa kebangsaan kita semua. Saya berpendapat, jika kita benar – benar saling menghormati PERLEMBAGAAN NEGARA seperti yang diajar dalam silibus SEJARAH, pasti kita tidak ada masalah dalam mengukuhkan perpaduan antara kaum. Dengan belajar sejarah, saya yakin bahawa saya lebih memahami malaysia.

Berkenaan dengan hak orang melayu dan pribumi, saya faham bahawa itulah yang dipelihara dalam perlembagaan dan wajar dihormati. But my dear non – muslim friends, we should not be worry because the next sentence say that ‘ HAK KAUM – KAUM LAIN JUGA AKAN TURUT DIPELIHARA”. I think our part is absolutely secured because I’ve never heard that our right is put aside. I got scholarship from the government, I got the freedom to practice my belief, and its so perfect to be here! no place like Malaysia..

Saya sayang Malaysia..

1 Malaysia untuk kita semua!

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=28829025&postID=5416137369981393884

18 08 2010
SSS Admin

sepadu,

The writer is indeed a true Malaysian. We are proud to have him as a fellow citizen and in the same ship as comrades in arms, as friends and buddies. We have not a single doubt on the loyalty of a Malaysian with his kind of thinking and disposition and will have no qualms about his fighting spirit in any battle or war against others who may be trying to destroy our beloved nation. Syabas dear friend, cinamalaysia.

We have read his other comments in the Ridhuan Tee blog. We have not much further to add and wish to publish excerpts from another inspiring one as follows:

cinamalaysia said…

.. I live my own way.. the way that all of us, Malaysians, are supposed to follow, regardless of race, religion, and skin color. I wonder how is it so difficult to build us a one nation? Years later, i found the answer. LANGUAGE BARRIER. I live in the Chinese culture, chinise school, mixing with majority of my Chinese friends. But, the unbalanced thing is, it limits my area of concern. It limits my communication skills, thus it limits my different races friends. Until i was transferred into SK (from standard 3)and then SMK, I have a lot of malay friends. It enhances my communication skill DRASTICALLY (even it is not as good as my Malay friends). I think I really get what Dr tried to say, one school mission should really be done for long term benefits. We dont want to mingle around with our races only right? no variety. Thus, to get to know each other, we should use the language that is understandable by everyone. Not to mention that english is not ok, but to me, BM pun ok la.. lagi senang..semua faham punya..cincai kira meh..

to me, in order to stop the unpleasant voices talking about ‘hak dalam perlembagaan’, we should make the Malaysians as ONE BIG NATION. How? definitely by using ONE LANGUAGE only. in school/university, do we really have to use English or many languages? I doubt it. If you go to Germany,they are so proud of their national language. Even Indonesia, belajar perubatan pun pakai bahasa Indonesia. critical course u see…

So Malaysians, just be proud of our national language, it might not be my mother’s tongue, but it is the official language of my beloved country. Bila semua orang boleh berkomunikasi dalam bahasa Melayu dengan baik, saya fikir kita akan lebih sepakat dan usaha untuk memupuk semangat menghormati sesama kita (terutamanya menghormati perlembagaan) lebih mudah. Sifat perkauman bermula apabila kita dipisahkan sejak kecil. Sewajarnya, semasa kita masih kanak – kanak di sekolah, kita sudah dididik dengan pergaulan mesra antara kaum. Barulah kita faham akan sensitiviti dan hak semua kaum.

But my dear friend Song, don’t get me wrong, even if I talk about one school or the importance Malay language, it never made me a Malay. I am still Chinese. And I understand Malaysian constitution.

17 08 2010
Kenn

Hi,

There are many true Malaysians out there. Of course they are not so loud mouth compare to those whom never seem to ‘accept’, whether directly or indirectly, that Malaysia is the “Tanah Tumpah Darah”.

To a certain extent, I think you are quite right when you say that these fake Malaysians are only on the ship when the sailing is smooth. Somehow, Malaysia is not just at their heart and soul. It seems their mother land, foreign ancestral lands are closer to their heart. Just that, they, the fake Malaysians, dont do their living there. If they ‘jumped ship’, I am quite sure they will go to other countries, not their ancestral mother lands. And they will try to do the same, like they do here. Only a strong, nationalism and patriotism of the country will stop them from “menjunjung langit negara asing bilamana kakinya berpijak di bumi yang lain”.

I wish the government would go back to the principles of Rukun Negara & The Constitution and really uphold those in spirit and actions. So far, the actions by the government in upholding these are very dissapointing.

18 08 2010
SSS Admin

Kenn,

For those who may not have a good knowledge of Bahasa Malaysia, “Tanah Tumpah Darah” means the country one is born in. Being born in this country entitles one to be a Malaysian citizen. But acquisition of citizenship brings with it responsibilities of citizenship, like happen in every country. No one can be suckers and no one should be suckers, just sucking the benefits this country offers without fulfilling the obligations and responsibilities of a citizen. As cinamalaysia has stated above, the first responsibility is to understand, respect and live by the Constitution of the country.

The problem is that one small sector of the population does not understand that, does not bother to find out and understand, or live in a closed environment which does not appear to talk about citizenship responsibilities at all, even perpetrates ideas and concept foreign to the norms of behaviour of the average Malaysian. They, like the Dong Zong group, alienate themselves and adamantly want to have Mandarin as the medium of instruction in schools whereas Mandarin can be taught in national schools with Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction, in line with Article 152 of the Constitution regarding the National Language. Some, probably adherents of some anarchistic beliefs, even resist being talked to about the need to respect and live by the Constitution. Imagine, the kind of Malaysians we have in this country.

Either the Government or the leadership of the Government needs to change in its attitude and course of action in order to get such people steered into the right direction and the single-stream schooling or Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua (SSS) implemented. Government is not just the business of tailoring policies to vote-getting devices, but is also leadership and guidance of the people to conscious nation building endeavours, like taking proactive measures in bringing about long-term harmony and unity, which is sadly lacking in the midst of incessant racial polarisation in the country now. We will continue harping on these as we go along.

17 08 2010
Victor

The thing about the word “pendatang” is that it is used in a bad sense. As if the non-Malays are not welcome in this country. Even after becoming citizens.

19 08 2010
SSS Admin

Victor,

There is nothing wrong in the use of the word “pendatang” referring to those who arrived in this country in recent history unless it is said with malice and the intent is denigrating them. The context in which the word is used determines whether it is offensive or not. In Japan where isolationism was practised during the period before the Meiji Restoration and there was virtually no contact with foreigners at all, the people’s attitude towards foreigners developed to the extent that the word “gaijin” (foreigner) and association with foreigners was treated with suspicion until recent history.

In the case of the Penang UMNO leader uttering out the word “pendatang” referring to the Chinese, it is necessary to look into cause and effect, stimulus and reaction. It was certainly politics and apparently he was reacting to a certain political development or statements made by others. It does not help to dwell on it and let us urge everbody to always avoid situations that will provoke unacceptable reactions in the interest of goodwill and harmony.

The Malays have also been called “pendatang” by others although the word does not apply to them. It has been pointed out here and elsewhere that the Orang Asli (referred to as proto Malays), the present-day Malays (referred to as deutero Malays, which include the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak, as well as the Indonesians and the Filipinos), the Malayo-Polynesians and the Austronesians all belong to the large family of Malays, often called the Rumpun Melayu. They originated in the Gugusan Pulau Pulau Melayu or the Malay Archipelago over 5,000 years ago, stretching over time to Madagascar, South Africa, the Christmas Island, Australia and New Zealand, Polynesia, Hawaii, Taiwan and Indochina. The Champa Malays still exist as vibrant communities in Vietnam and Cambodia until to-day.

The Malays, being seafarers, have been moving in and out of the Malay Archipelago, including the Semenanjung Tanah Melayu, for ages. All these are stated in the book, “The Malay Civilisation”, by Mohd Arof Ishak, published by The Historical Society of Malaysia in 2007. The book explains the scores of researches and studies carried out by linguists, anthropologists, archaeologists and others since the 19th Century, heightened in the 2nd half of the 20th Century.

18 08 2010
antu

Victor,

Do you call a spade, a “flower’?

Do you call a “Pendatang”, a citizen?

There is nothing bad or good on the word itself. Nothing is wrong for a “Pendatang” to come and visit a country. A citizen is a “Pendatang” in another country he visits. Nothing is bad.

But a citizen, behaving like a “Pendatang” and adamantly remain to behave that way, is bad! Yes, bad taste, bad sense, bad manners, BIADAP!!

So stop acting like a Pendatang when you are a citizen, like putting national language at back seat and speaking foreign mother tongue at forefront, everywhere and everytime, for example?

19 08 2010
SSS Admin

antu,

All those who were brought into Malaya by the British colonialists to work the tin mines, the rubber plantations, etc, and those who arrived before that were given citizenship after Merdeka. Citizenship carries with it the responsibility of respecting and living by the Constitution of the independent Malaya and, later, the newly formed Malaysia.

Those who respect and live by the Constitution are treated with respect as fellow Malaysians and have not been called “pendatang” in any derogatory sense. Those who do not respect the Constitution, especially the ones who raise sensitive issues pertaining to the Special Position of the Malays and the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak, have occasionally been called “pendatang” presumably in the hope of making them realise that they should be respecting the Constitution and the Malay Special Position.

That Malay Special Position, which the British Foreign Secretary told the British Parliament had always been there “since day one”, was written into the Constitution and the right of the non-Malays to citizenship was also written in. It was referred to as the Social Contract, one was in exchange for the other between the Malays and the non-Malays. The Special Position is a sensitive issue and is protected under the Sedition Act. With the attempts to question the Malay Special Position and the recent proposal by the DAP MP Tony Pua to scrap or modify the Bumiputera housing discount, some have started to question the citizenship right of the Chinese because the Special Position was the quid pro quo for their citizenship right. This does not augur well for long-term peace and harmony in this country. Everyone in Malaysia, citizens and non-citizens alike, must respect the Constitution of the country. Including Article 152 on Bahasa Malaysia as the National Language of the country.

18 08 2010
Kit

Why cannot have Chinese schools? How much can learn Mandarin at kebangsan schools? Mandarin not easy to learn. Mandarin impotant China now number 2 economy in world. We cannot left out.

19 08 2010
SSS Admin

Kit,

You can have Chinese schools so long as they have Bahasa Malaysia, the National Language of the country, as the medium of instruction and Mandarin taught as an elective subject. When this happens, more Malaysians of other races can enrol at Chinese schools and such schools can get full funding and facilities from the Government like the sekolah kebangsaan. Then there’ll be greater inter-ethnic mixing and a sense of togetherness among Malaysians right from their formative age.

How much time that can be allotted to Mandarin in sekolah kebangsaan can of course be discussed with the Education Ministry. We are confident that they would be delighted to consider any request for longer time if and when Chinese schools are prepared to use Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction.

It is appreciated that Mandarin is not easy to learn and that Chinese school pupils have been used to the rote system of learning. But we wonder if proficiency in Mandarin needs not be very high for the purposes of business communication with the Chinese in mainland China. Remember that even in China, the vast majority of the Chinese do not use Mandarin as their mother tongue – there are a number of dialects in northern China and the southerners speak Hokkien, Cantonese and a number of other dialects, and Mandarin, the official language has taken a back seat there. Now the Chinese Government is enforcing the use of Mandarin in south China and there are protests in Canton and Hong Kong.

You will not be left out any more than the Chinese in southern China who do not speak Mandarin as their mother tongue and Mandarin has been pushed aside to the extent that the Government has made an effort to enforce its use now. We expect the Malaysian Government to want to enforce the use of Bahasa Malaysia now because it is the National Language of the country.

19 08 2010
Kenn

Let me quote some of the things written by Prof. Khoo Khay Kim. The whole text can be read HERE

“…We can’t even have one school for all our children…”

“… the main objective of the country’s education policy is national unity….”

“…But these uniformed activities have been allowed to die, because the students have to study to get 28 As!…”

“…The prime minister should organise activities for the young, which will allow them to socialise. The government should plan for the younger generation to understand one another…”

It is quite baffling to see DS Najib, being the current Prime MInister and had been the former Minister of Education, too much leaning toward vernacular school instead of One School For All.

Someone already calls him as BAPAK VERNAKULAR

20 08 2010
SSS Admin

Kenn,

Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim is a true Malaysian whom we are all proud of and happy to associate with, like the “cinamalaysia” whose comments appeared here earlier. The Professor is a well known academic, a historian, a Member and one-time on the Executive Committee of The Historical Society of Malaysia, an organisation that was formed since the days of the British colonialists. It was and is quite different from the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (which also publishes materials on the history of Malaya then) in that it presented the views of those living in Malaya those days and the Malayans after Mereka, and Malaysians after the formation of Malaysia.

Being a history professor, he knows what the country went through in intimate detail and fully appreciates that “the main objective of the country’s education policy is national unity….” It has to be. There’s no two-ways about it. The country has been developing along racial lines, right from the fact that political parties were allowed by the British to be registered and to exist along racial lines, vernacular schools were allowed to operate, racial problems have exploded into the 13 May 1969 riots and now racial polarisation is peaking.

The past administration had been lax and had allowed people to say practically anything they wish irrespective of the sensitive nature of matters like the Special Position of the Malays and the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak and it increased racial polarisation further. Indeed, “The government should plan for the younger generation to understand one another…”. Specifically, they should plan for the adoption of the single-stream schooling or the Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua (SSS).

21 08 2010
delas

I’m gladif MOE would inject Mandarin/Kantonese/Hokkien language as an elective syllabus in national primary school, at least we can learn more languages. How i wish i can learnt them during my primary, at least i can know what kind of swearing they throw at me, :p

25 08 2010
SSS Admin

delas,

There’s no problem with Mandarin as an elective subject in national schools. Mandarin is not a mother tongue language. But most Chinese want Mandarin be studied in schools. And most Indians want Tamil, which is also no problem having it as an elective subject. Malaysians are generally agreed on these two languages be taught as elective subjects.

However, having Cantonese, Hokkien etc also taught will be problematic. Other Chinese will ask for other mother tongues be taught also. So would the Indians and the Malays. In an earlier post there are comments about the Malays having a total of over 1,000 languages. In Malaysia alone there are dozens of them. The commonly known ones are Minangkabau, Javanese, Bugis, Banjarese, and the languages of the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak. They are all Malay languages, belonging to the large family of 350 million people called the Rumpun Melayu, comprising Orang Aslis, Malays that are generally known in Malaysia, Indonesians, Filipinos, Malayo Polynesians and Austronesians.

As far as swearing in foreign languages is concerned, Tengku A Rahman was said to be swearing in the Thai language when having a bad day at the golf course. But if one has to swear at inanimate objects like golf balls, there are a few international swear words that can also help reduce the tension. Try “geduk”, for example, :p

2 09 2010
Melayutotok

I am all for a united and peaceful Malaysia for the sake of my children and the generations after that. If it needs be let the primary medium of instruction in schools be in Russian … though I personally prefer the English language for what it’s worth. I am willing to forego my Malay language (in schools that is) .. will the Chinese and Indians give up theirs? I doubt it. This is my Satu Sekolah untuk Semua.

4 09 2010
SSS Admin

Melayutotok,

Thank you for your support of SSS. Indeed it is for the sake of our children, grand children and those after them. There needs to emerge a common identity and everybody feeling proud to identify themselves as Malaysians, speaking the National Language at home and abroad.

However, the medium of instruction in schools needs to be in Bahasa Malaysia because it is stated as the National Language under Article 152 of the Constitution. English is a second language because it is an international laguage spoken in so many countries in the world. Mandarin is spoken by over 1 billion people but mostly in China. Business with China is important for the country but Mandarin can be studied as an elective subject. So is Tamil, which is largely spoken only in the state of Tamil Nadu in India.

Bahasa Malaysia should be the medium of instruction in schools also because it is the Official Language of the country and schools are the official business of any country.

More importantly, BM needs to be the unifying factor for all Malaysians. The world over, people get united under a common language. Even mainland China tries to unite the country by enforcing the use of Mandarin. Although homogeneous as a country, they are by no means united in China. Only a few weeks ago the southern Chinese were demonstrating against the central government’s enforcement of the use of Mandarin and protest rallies were carried out in Canton and Hong Kong.

We in Malaysia needs unity more than ever now. Racial polarisation has been increasing that some call the situation “a time bomb that is ticking fast”. We must avoid another May 13, 1969 racial conflagration and start developing a sense togetherness, mutual understanding and respect. These can come about through the single-stream schooling or SSS.

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