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?
“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, 2010Both 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
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!!!!.