Article sourced HERE
November 3, 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.