So my dog’s Chinese too, eh?

November 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm 27 comments

Below are my responses to commentators who participated in the Satu Sekolah untuk Semua (SSS) discussion in yesterday’s posting ‘Anak pemimpin DAP sekolah apa?

HuaYong  |  Nov 24 at 12:11 am

“Desegregation [will] work provided there is complement strategy that resolve the entire sosio-political aspect.”

Helen: To expand on Hua Yong’s statement about “the entire sosio-political aspect”, it’s really the elephant in the room that SSS has conveniently ignored.

Abolishing vernacular schools will put pupils under one roof from ages 7-12, true. But …

(i) Abolish Sekolah Agama as well? That’s another outside mainstream system.

(ii) What happens when the children go to Form 1? Don’t the residential schools segregate them?

How do you think Ah Chong will feel when his best friend Ali from primary school is accepted to an institution at secondary level whose doors are closed to him because of his skin colour?

(iii) What about the Maktab Rendah Sains Mara? Aren’t they as mono-racial as Chinese schools? [SJK(C)s have a small percentage of non-Chinese; MRSMs have a small percentage of non-Malays.]

(iv) Then there are the matriculation colleges. Aren’t the STPM and Matriculation discriminating students too? And UiTM must surely be one in the world.

(v) And let’s not forget what happens after the youngsters leave school.

When Tony Pua suggested reducing the number of civil servants, there was an uproar – he was apparently threatening the Malay rice bowl (employment with the government).

Malays complain about Vacancy ads that require Mandarin speakers. Such application forms imply segments of the private sector employ Chinese predominantly.

If vernacular schools are abolished, the next generation of Chinese risk losing Mandarin competency. Hence, just like the Malays, they will be disqualified from the Wanted ads requiring knowledge of Mandarin.

Will you be happy if these Chinese school leavers were to later demand government jobs? (Recall the unemployed graduates problem that gave rise to Dr M’s brainwave of the PPSMI.)

chewal  |  Nov 24 at 9:52 am

“kalau semua orang tanpa mengira bangsa belajar di satu sekolah yang sama, parpukari pun tak akan panggil cina babi dan keling. This is happen due to the small children being disaggregate since the beginning.”

Helen: Small children are not segregated in Tadika Islam?

HuaYong  |  Nov 23 at 9:32 pm

“LGE the kebangsaan school anglo, his right-hand boy call-the-Chinese-speaking-graduate-rude TP, and left-hand girl anak-Malaysia-race HY, the three most prominent future leaders of DAP line-up, to my amazement, are rejected and snubbed by the SSS horde as racist and chauvinist? Where is the integration and interaction between the SSS horde with the three kebangsaan school icon(s) …”

Helen: By “three kebangsaan school icons”, HuaYong is referring to Lim Guan Eng, Tony Pua and Hannah Yeoh who do not have Chinese school background. I agree that their politics is anglophile [and evangelist].

We’ve already had a glance at Tony Pua’s views excerpted in my previous posting and most are familiar with Hannah Yeoh’s opinions by now.

HuaYong’s observation is valid: Given Tony and Hannah’s aggressive positions against race chauvinism (the latter especially is prone to throwing the ‘racist’ accusation at anyone not supporting their Malaysian First concept), these DAPpers from mission school or Sek Keb background are SSS’s natural allies. Same boat.

BIGCAT  |  Nov 24 at 11:01 am

“Most of you who whacked Helen here do not even understand how these Chinese schools came into being and why they are so close to the heart of the Chinese community. Why do you think our forefathers agreed on the existence of these Chinese schools?”

Helen: Appreciate BigCat’s understanding perspective.

To explain a little: Imagine if a Malay child is usually told by older relatives to rajin sembahyang dan jaga iman, then comparatively a Chinese child is often reminded by our uncles and aunties to tekun belajar / pandai-pandai membaca buku (literal translation). It’s the different ethos of our cultures, that’s all.

Iqraq  |  Nov 24 at 12:04 am+

“Here’s another interesting point of view. I have personally witnessed this when I was teaching in a Malaysian university i.e. vernacular-school-educated Chinese students and national-school-educated Chinese students not being able to get along together. How might we expect students of other ethnicities to fare?”

Helen: Iqraq provided the url link to an article by Malaysian Insider columnist Erna Mahyuni titled ‘Not Chinese enough’ where she talked about “sad bananas”, i.e. the Chinese who can’t speak a Chinese dialect.

Possibly like some assimilated Chinese-Thais and Indonesia’s ‘lost generation’ at the peak of the republic’s suppression of Chinese language and culture.

In comparison, Chinese here have been successful in preserving our language. The flip side of this ‘success’ is the lack of integration issue that crops up time and again, and is being revisited now.

Erna’s article has attracted 71 comments at time of writing. I liked this exchange between two TMI readers (screenshot below).

TMI reader Olangato Thirimu’s riposte: “You listened to that person ranting at you for 5 minutes?” is LOL and reminds us that in our race-and-religion quarrels we sometimes lose sight of the fundamentals and big picture.

Below is another screenshot – Pure Shiite that has made several links to this blog (which will be reciprocated).

SatD wrote: “Let her [Helen Ang] be in her ethnic enclave with her Mandarin barking dog.”

< “Mandarin barking dog” > Hahahaha.

Yup, I talk to my dog in Chinese. It could be because my mom used to talk to the dog in Chinese dialect which is our home language.

My dog understands Chinese words like 来这边 (come here) and other phrases of typical doggy vocabulary; similar to hundreds of millions of canine pets around the world that are introduced to the languages spoken in their respective household.

When asked 要 吃什么?(What you wanna eat?), it barks, “Steak medium rare, please” … uh-huh, in Mandarin.

Who says dogs can’t talk?

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Anak pemimpin DAP sekolah apa? 1Sekolah: DAP menyokong penuh Dasar Kebudayaan Kebangsaan

27 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Akubas  |  November 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Sepanjang perbincangan topik hangat ini saya menyedari ttang beberapa perkara pertamanya;

    SSUS hakikatnya telah terlepas pandang beberapa kriteria penting dalam usaha utk menyatukan dan mengukuhkan hubungan antara kaum di Malaysia. Persoalannya, adakah dengan menutup sekolah agama, MARA, UiTM dan sebagainya sekolah vernakular juga boleh ditutup.

    Saya merasakan nilai sekolah2 adalah tinggi utk melaksanakan apa yg secara teorinya kelihatan logik. Perlu diingat sekolah khas untuk etnik Cina mahupun sekolah khas utk melayu (MCKK) sebagai contoh telah lama bertapak di Malaysia. Malah boleh dikatakan ada sesetengah sekolah telah berdiri hampir lamanya (MCKK & Chung Hwa Confucian School)

    Keduanya usaha utk melahirkan sist. sekolah mengambil masa. Kerajaan British pada ketika mengeluarkan tiga laporan. Akhirnya Laporan Razak diterima pakai. Dengan erti kata lain secara amnya sistem sekolah vernakular telah diterima pakai sejak sebelum merdeka lagi. Merubah sesuatu setelah lebih 50 tahun bukanlah perkara mudah. Harus diingat Singapura merubah sistem pendidikan secara sedikit demi sedikit sebelum perubahan secara total sekitar 80an.

    Ketiganya, meskipun saudari helen menekankan akan persamaan antara DAP dan SSUS saya tidak dapat melihat dimana garis silang ini dpt dilihat. Secara jujurnya saya lebih percaya DAP hanya akan mengunakan isu sekolah vernakular sebagai kuda tugangan mereka. Saya percaya sekiranya mereka berkuasa kelak DAP akan lebih mirip PAP dengan memansuhkan langsung sist. sekolah yg berbilang kepada sist. tunggal mungkin dengan bahasa english sebagai medium perantaraan.

    Keempatnya, saya mempunyai ramai teman non-malays, salah satu sebabnya saya bukanlah jenis yg sosial dan lazimnya saya akan berkawan rapat dengan teman di sekolah. Hakikatnya, sepanjang saya di Victoria Institution selama 2 tahun saya tidak merasakan terdapatnya jurang yg luas antara kaum. Sebahagiannya adalah kerana semasa saya disana medium bahasa yg digunakan adalah bahasa inggeris (PPSMI). Malahan saya adalah ‘batch’ terawal mempelajari mata pelajaran sains dlam BI. Hakikatnya, sepanjang tempoh itu saya dpat melihat bagaimana konsep satu medium dpat merapatkan hubungan antara pelbagai etnik di Malaysia.

    Namun saya sedar membangkitkan persoalan pengunaan bahasa inggeris sebagai medium pengantar akan menimbulkan perasaan kurang senang di pelbagai pihak (Kaum Melayu). Ini menimbulkan pertanyaan andai bahasa melayu tidak sedia dikorbankan mengapakah adanya permintaan utk mengorbankan bahasa etnik lain…

    Sekian,

    Reply
    • 2. Helen Ang  |  November 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm

      SSS mahu SRJK (C) and (T) diserap ke dalam sistem SK (kesannya sama, yakni pemansuhan sistem vernakular).

      Bab quid pro quo bukannya untuk menutup Mara, sekolah asrama dan UiTM tetapi mem-BUKA-nya kepada semua.

      [Akubas] “percaya sekiranya mereka berkuasa kelak DAP akan lebih mirip PAP dengan memansuhkan langsung sist. sekolah yg berbilang kepada sist. tunggal mungkin dengan bahasa english sebagai medium perantaraan.”

      Saya rasa ianya satu kemungkinan. Sekarang DAP 2.0 dikuasai puak evangelis yang berkiblatkan Barat.

      Dengan PPSMI, budak di sekolah rendah Cina mempelajari 4 subjek dalam bahasa bukan-ibunda: BM, BI, Matematik, Sains (memandangkan UPSR hanya 6-7 kertas). Sebab itu asalnya Dong Jiao Zong membantah dasar BI tersebut.

      Reply
  • 3. Obefan  |  November 24, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    One way to test how sincere is the ssus crowd is to ask if exclusively malay education institutions will also be opened to other races. So far vast majority of them fail. I need not repeat myself as to what their real agenda really is.

    I have been reading some articles on J-type schools in Msia. In 1960s and early 1970s, most of these schools were closing or had few pupils because most chinese n indian parent prefer to send their children to SK. When the SK policies n syllabus was greatly changed in 1970s, this was when parents switched to J schools as the quality in SK schools dropped n keeps dropping until today.

    This is what happens when the education ministry is treated as seat warmer for future prime minister.

    Reply
  • 4. chewal  |  November 24, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Since my comment is up there in the article, I have to make a resubmission.

    When we talk about SSS or SSUS (sekolah satu sistem), we are talking about the mandatory school system or the government school. We were not talking about private schools or private education entity including tadika islam You can have your own private school in whatever language that you want, you can also take your children to international school which is not based on malaysia curriculum. Nobody stopping you.

    So, please don’t bring tadika islam in the discussion. Btw, do you know that we have tabika perpaduan which is run by the government?

    Reply
  • 5. Iqraq  |  November 25, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Kesemua rakan-rakan mempunyai hujah yang mantap. Saya rasa mari kita buat style ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ dulu sebelum kita cari penyelesaian. Kepada para penyokong sekolah vernacular (termasuk Helen), sila kemukakan setuju atau tidak setuju: Anak-anak kami perlu memulai zaman persekolahan mereka di bawah bumbung yang sama dan fasih bertutur dalam bahasa yang sama. Jawab soalan ini dahulu, kemudian kita boleh bincang penyelesaiannya dengan mengambil kira hujah masing-masing.

    Reply
  • 6. HuaYong  |  November 25, 2011 at 10:18 am

    “If vernacular schools are abolished, the next generation of Chinese risk losing Mandarin competency.”

    I think you are wrong Helen, in the grand scheme of SSS, multilingual is part of the program, though I am not sure how we could do that because until today, I haven’t meet a single Kebangssan School Chinese beside politician that can write or translate a simple sentence into Hanzi, for instance:

    Let her [Helen Ang] be in her ethnic enclave with her Mandarin barking dog, while we proceed with our agenda to educate all animals how to meow, but of course with the prerequisite that the cats know only meow and carry on with the privileged and protected trademark, this is what we meant by unity and harmony.

    让海伦与她那只用中文狂吠的狗活在民族聚集区内,而我们继续进行我们的议程教育所有动物如何学猫叫,当然前提是猫只须喵且继续保留特权和受保护,这就是我们所谓的团结与和睦。

    Reply
    • 7. Helen Ang  |  November 25, 2011 at 10:47 am

      Hua Yong,

      You note: “I haven’t meet a single Kebangsaan School Chinese beside politician that can write or translate a simple sentence into Hanzi …”

      Well, with their lidah bercabang, the biawaks can even speak two languages at the same time.

      But I don’t think I’m wrong in my prognosis even if SSS allows POL to be taught.

      I made a comparison of competency using English as the model in my earlier exchange with the reader ‘Gedik’. I’m copypasting the relevant passages below from my Nov 19 posting.

      *** *** ***

      Bahasa Cina and Bahasa Tamil as a Pupil’s Own Language (POL) subject may be able to provide a rudimentary grasp of the language.

      But let’s take English for comparison. There is so much emphasis put on the teaching of it yet our politicians, right up to Dr M, complain that M’sians are not up to par in the language with some barely able to string together a grammatically correct sentence.

      We’re subjected to 11 years of English (up to Form 5), and more if one attends kindergarten. The teaching hours allotted to English are phenomenal and the sikap menjunjung BI pada tahap gila. But the result?

      Comparatively, Dong Jiao Zong is well aware that POL will not be granted the same kind of resources accorded English. Mandarin and Tamil will not be taught 5 days a week and in double periods like English.

      In fact, in some SKs, it is taught only after school hours (i.e. outside the regular timetable).

      Furthermore, there is presently the requirement of minimum demand — there must be at least 15 pupils asking for it although this situation will not logistically obtain if 1Sekolah is launched/vernacular schools abolished.

      *** *** ***

      By the last paragraph above, I’d meant that in the SKs presently, there’s no guarantee of POL classes being held because the non-Malay enrolment may just be too small to meet the criteria of demand not to mention the sikap acuh tak acuh of the school authorities.

      On the other hand and hypothetically, if there’s 1Sekolah with proportionate (to our population) number of Chinese and Indian students — let’s say a quarter of the class is Chinese — then granted, the Chinese language classes will be held.

      But will its teaching be effective? That’s why I made the earlier comparison with English. As we all know from the PPSMI debate, English is now so highly worshipped.

      Yet despite the tons of funding pumped in, all the training for the teachers and increased timetable hours, the Anglophiles are still complaining that Malaysian kids can’t master English. So how is Mandarin and Tamil likely to fare?

      Reply
  • 8. chewal  |  November 25, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Helen,

    for thousands of time again and again, you’ve made fundamental mistakes in your understanding. Look at your statement :-

    “As we all know from the PPSMI debate, English is now so highly worshipped.”

    you regards PPSMI to English Language which is wrong. It has nothing to do with worshipping English or mastering English. It is for science and mathematics. Indirectly yes but not directly.(btw, have you learned the meaning of the word INDIRECTLY ?)

    The problem with english language competency must be dealt with English Language subject and not PPSMI. For this case, the MBMMBI policy can be the suitable candidate.

    If you have failed to understand some basic principles in a policy like PPSMI, how can we trust your understanding in SSS idea ?
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Chewal,

    To fill in the other readers on what you mean by my alleged inability to understand the word ‘indirectly’, I’m copypasting your earlier comment from my Nov 17 posting.

    “the statement from ministry of education in 2002 after the cabinet meeting on 19 july 2002 about the policy :-

    “In conclusion, the policy decision to implement PPSMI was made to ensure students’ mastery in science and mathematics in view of the fact that most of the sources are available in the English language. Indirectly, it is also hoped that the implementation of PPSMI would contribute to the enhancing of students’ command of the language.”

    “this statement was made after the cabinet meeting which Tun Dr. Mahathis is the prime minizter. Please identify how the policy will help english INDIRECTLY! in chewal blog, it mention the same in the first item of the faq where enhancing english language become secondary.”

    My contention remains the same, i.e. In 2002, the Cabinet headed by Dr M claimed that students’ English can be improved through using the language to teach Math & Sc, even if you add the caveat ‘indirectly’ or ‘secondary objective’.

    The Cabinet/Dr M statement says (bottomline) it is hoped PPSMI would contribute to enhancing students’ English.

    Cheers,
    Helen

    Reply
    • 9. chewal  |  November 28, 2011 at 10:42 pm

      Helen,

      Your statement about Dr. M intention to enhance english through PPSMI is not from Dr. Mahathir. It is your own personal statement based on your misunderstanding.

      I’ve given the fact that support my statement. It is coming from the ministry of education and you can check from their website. This statement is maintained since 2002. Following is the statement :-

      In conclusion, the policy decision to implement PPSMI was made to ensure students’ mastery in science and mathematics in view of the fact that most of the sources are available in the English language. Indirectly, it is also hoped that the implementation of PPSMI would contribute to the enhancing of students’ command of the language.

      Now, please read the statement above and if you still maintain your false contention, I would advise you to improve your english comprehension.

      And how dare you accuse Dr. Mahathir of having amnesia when you are the one that having problem with english comprehension. Your blatant lie on the issue is unacceptable.
      __________________________________________________________________________________________

      Chewal,

      It was you who left a comment on my Nov 17 posting, saying:

      “the statement from ministry of education in 2002 after the cabinet meeting on 19 july 2002 about the policy :-

      “In conclusion, the policy decision to implement PPSMI was made to ensure students’ mastery in science and mathematics in view of the fact that most of the sources are available in the English language. Indirectly, it is also hoped that the implementation of PPSMI would contribute to the enhancing of students’ command of the language.”

      “this statement was made after the cabinet meeting which Tun Dr. Mahathis is the prime minizter. Please identify how the policy will help english INDIRECTLY! in chewal blog …”

      Therefore, if the statement was issued after a Cabinet meeting & Dr M chaired that meeting as the PM usually does, plus the fact that PPSMI was his solo brainchild which he bulldozed thru, then it is very reasonable to assume that the statement (which you yourself quoted for my info) which was endorsed by the 2002 Cabinet, and bearing in mind that every Cabinet is headed by the PM of the day, the “hope that the implementation of PPSMI would contribute to the enhancing of students’ command of the language [English]” was most certainly endorsed by Mahathir.

      That is the logic of the situation following the chain. I stick to my contention & it is not false that recently when posting in his blog CheDet in Dr M conveniently forgetting the Cabinet statement which you dug up in your research, our ex-premier was exercising selective amnesia b’cos he now DENIES that teaching Math & Sc was also to improve the students’ English besides its other objective of hoping to improve their Math & Sc.

      Helen

      Reply
      • 10. chewal  |  November 29, 2011 at 11:44 am

        The reason I quoted the statement from MOE in 2002 which can be concluded as the statement by Dr.M is for you to read the whole paragraph and try to understand the meaning behind it.

        Let me spell for you since your comprehension ability is bad. From the statement :-

        1. The decision was made to ensure student’s mastery in MATHS AND SCIENCE.

        2. Most of the sources are in English.

        3. Indirectly, it can enhance student commands of the language.

        As I’ve been asking so many times, please learn to understand the meaning of indirectly.

        Okay, let me again spell for you the meaning of indirectly :- from dictionary, indirecly means :-

        1. NOT directly planned for!
        2. Happenning in ADDITION to the intended result.

        Now, can you understand that enhancing english language is NOT what PPSMI is planned for! It is not the intended result!

        If you still fail to understand the notion behind PPSMI as consistently proposed by Dr. M, all I can say is your stupidity has cloud your judgement about the policy.

        Don’t blame others when you can’t think or understand.

        In malay, it is callecd Bodoh Sombong. Normally we will make the sentence like this….Dah lah bodoh, sombong pulak tu….

        Reply
        • 11. Helen Ang  |  November 29, 2011 at 12:12 pm

          So we’re both agreed that the Cabinet (headed by Dr M and whose brainchild the PPSMI is) felt that this point – “Indirectly, it is also hoped that the implementation of PPSMI would contribute to the enhancing of students’ command of the language” – was important enough to be included in the 2002 statement by MOE, meaning that Dr M endorsed if not conceived the idea that PPSMI would contribute in improving students’ English.

          Over the intervening several years until MOE decided to overturn this policy (which made Dr M very angry at Tun Dollah), ‘everyone’ who was pro-PPSMI was repeating the line that it would help student speak better English until this idea was ridiculed so much that it lost traction.

          So now that the idea is not selling any longer, Dr M conveniently forgets how back in 2002, he spearheaded the notion that PPSMI would contribute to improving students’ English.

          Pura-pura lupa dan lagi buat tak tahu …

          Reply
      • 12. chewal  |  November 29, 2011 at 10:15 pm

        Helen,

        What in this simple sentence that you don’t understand. “enhancing english is the indirect outcome of the policy.” by indirectly it means it is not planned for or intended for as defined by cambridge dictionary.

        What so difficult to understand that enhancing english is not what ppsmi is planned for? This is inline with Tun Dr. Mahathir recent statement that PPSMI is not for english language.

        I’ve made this reply after meeting the man himself this evening and again I asked him about PPSMI. His answer together with the event that lead to the policy is crystal clear. PPSMI is for science and math and his mind is still sharp as ever.

        Your assumption is totally wrong. You are short-sighted and mentally retard, no wonder you can’t comprehend his idea.

        _______________________________________________________________________________________

        Chewal,

        I’m also aware that Dr M’s “mind is still sharp as ever” and sharper than people half his age. That’s why when he conveniently forgets, the ‘amnesia’ is surely selective like the 14 times during the VK Lingam RCI.

        Cheers,
        Helen

        Reply
      • 13. chewal  |  November 30, 2011 at 9:08 am

        You should know how to differentiate important facts that relate to the policy from piece of shit information. The vk linggam case is a crap. Bullshit trial will get a bullshit answer.

        That is the reason why you are not smart. You can’t prioritize important information in your mind.

        When it comes to the policy/ideas especially the one that involve the development of the nation, Tun Dr.Mahathir will never forget what he was saying.

        So, next time think carefully before you call someone as having amnesia. Don’t lie and stop putting words in Dr. Mahathir mouth. When you did that and can’t substantiate your assumption, you looked stupid. Please learn to accept your mistake and jangan jadi ‘bodoh sombong’.

        Reply
  • 14. RantingMelanau  |  November 25, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Whoever was ranted on for 5 minutes by some Cina guy deserves it! I would have told him where to stick his ranting after 5 seconds or better shouted him down in Melanau!

    Reply
  • 15. OverseasBumi  |  November 25, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Helen, I used to really support your blog,but I see you are still a chauvinist at heart — not that there is anything wrong with it!

    Only problem about being chauvinist is that you only see your community’s problem first.

    I understand our forefathers’ need to maintain the chinese schools. It is because in return for supporting this arrangement, our (BN) government had good support from the Chinese community

    Fast forward to today, the Malays see that the support for the BN coalition is rapidly eroding, and they realize that the chinese school arrangement is obvously not working to maintain political cohesion.

    I think that it is only fair now that since we see waning support among the Chinese for the BN coalition, the Malays should also withdraw support for Chinese enclaves and chinese language schools.

    I don’t want my post to sound like recriminations between races, since I share a philosophy where we should work towards a solution. I think the best way for find a soluation is to look at the US experience . Several US states are now over-run by spanish speaking mexicans. A vast majority of white americans don’t speak spanish, but those living close to the Mexican border have realised that in order to integrate the Mexicans, whose population is rising at a faster rate than the whites, the best way is to teach everyone the Spanish language alongside the English language. Of course, more emphasis will be put on English because it’s what the majority of people still speak it!

    It is understood among Americans that the white population will never gain spanish fluency like the mexicans, but there will be some understanding between them. We in Malaysia should seek such middle ground.

    The problem i see, and which i sense in you, is that your people don’t want eager Malays to learn Mandarin or any Chinese dialect. I have tried several times in my life to learn Chinese dialects,but I am often derided or rebuked for my mispronunciations, even though the words were understood.

    This is where Malays become very wary of the Chinese. If the Chinese want to have their language to themselves, then it is obvious they would use it against us, economically and socially. In my experiences in Malaysia (and overseas) this is a common phenomenon.

    I have lived in many countries and I know there are kinds of people who don’t like sharing their language skills , while there are others who do. I know that Thai people, who speak with 5 tones, are more welcoming of ppl speaking their language. Any mistake one makes is quickly dismissed and they generally praise any foreigner who tries to learn the Thai language.

    But, from I see, the chinese in Malaysia and, in my experience, in other parts of world, are snobbish about their language just like the French. They feel like the chinese language shan’t be corrupted by foreign speakers, especially Malays.

    This is the crux of the problem!

    I know you will try to twist your words by saying that Malays are also unsharing when it comes to access to specialised education or that Malays do have opportunities to learn CHinese but are unwilling ,however I think those issues are beside the point. The Malays, in the end, are the majority. And the language spoken by the majority should take precedence. They should have the choice to use it while have knowledge of other languages spoken in their country. Currently only the Chinese and Tamils have the choice of using languages that others outside their group don’t know.

    I am not the best Malay speaker, but I do defer to those who are. In the case of the DAPpers, they try to usurp authority by denouncing the Malay language, while quietly promoting the Chinese language. It is that promotion of a language alien among the Malay majority that’s really irksome. I think Malays would generally welcome English, but if it is about replacing Malay with English, while elevating Chinese languages (and Tamil), then that is the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back!

    Reply
    • 16. akubas  |  November 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm

      Frankly, I’m not a staunch supporters of vernacular school. However at the same time I totally doubt the sincerity of either SSUS and DAP. However the very idea that vernacular school is engraved with deep seated chauvinisticism is somewhat far-fetched.

      First of all, you should realized that there is significant rise in number of malays whom their parent enrolled them into SRJK schools. The very idea that vernacular somehow segregrate themselves into a ghetto of race and creed is somewhat far fetched though admitedly I should not boast on this matter as the actual fact and figures is not easily attainable to any individuals.

      Apart from that, we nowadays have higher learning institution providing emphasis on learning Mandarin. Just so you know, these lecturers are those who you labeled as ‘Chinese Chauvinistic who wouldn’t want to share the sanctity of their language’.

      Secondly, the very basic idea that US bonds with their hispanic citizen is rather misleading than distinguishing the actual facts. These bonds does not formed naturally out of concern. As matter of facts, this bonds form through the cultural revolution as early as 70s.

      To make matter worse, US did not have good relations as it was supposed to with Mexico. They had always been animosity between them.

      Than why does it started to change?

      The answer lies in the fact that US needed a strong and reliable partner than that of China. Hence they formed NAFTA.

      So does US really tried as hard as possible to actually promotes unity through learning culture and language of the others. It is hardly true, students in US learns either Spanish or French just as if what Malaysia had done few years back (I do not know whether kids in primary school nowadys learn Mandarin). This language are taught just as if they were another subject. On top of that, it is not evidenced in improvement of racial tension back in US. As matter of facts, they are still voices proposing supremacies of English.

      Lastly, NEP does bring Malays into business sector that was long dominated by chinese. However to say that Chinese do not want to share their wealth is blatant disregard of actual historical facts.

      Do you know why former prime minister Tun Dr M never questioned on sincerity of Chinese and why do people always said that he had soft spot for Chinese Businessmen.

      It turns out, when NEP is finally launched, one of the most succesful ventures of this policy is when Malaysia tookover Sime Darby from British. This ventures however is not possible without one of the those whom you blamed being the chinese chauvinistics.

      Yes, the takeover of Sime Darby is made possible by the ancestors of Chan Wing (I forgot his name but I remember his great grandfathers name)…

      Reply
  • 17. OverseasBumi  |  November 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I also want to clarify one more thing. I think most Chinese believe that Chinese Chauvinism is acceptable, and in several cases even required! Your culture is, after all, built around a profound respect for your ancestral heritage. Most of you pray everyday for your ancestors to ‘live’ in peace in the afterlife, in whatever form, and this is a common practise for those who follow the buddhist and confucius philosophies of life.

    So, from that point of view alone it is obvious that you can’t abandon your chauvinistic tendencies. It is ingrained in your psyche to promote and support ‘your family’. A brown skinned fellow human will certainly not appear like your ‘family’, though you would conciously justify his existence as part of the human race. Yet, effectively he will still be viewed as ‘different,’ if not most likely ‘lesser.’

    I always ask myself what would a chinese do if he is interviewing a Malay with equal qualifications as another Chinese. In every iteration of this thought experiment, I would come to the same conclusion. The chinese with a strong confucius/buddhist uprbringing will still choose the Chinese over the Malay. I have personally experienced this in a ‘professional’ environment.

    Now, I know I am singling out the Chinese a bit too much here. But the essence of this argument is about the rise of Chinese culture in the region to the point of becoming a global hegemon, and the tacit support given by all chinese of every nationality. You are now exhibiting similar symptoms.

    However, I think people overlook that unlike the rise of the West, the Chinese have not tried to promote the concepts of social justice and equity like the West. The West went through a tough time, but they managed to recognize the importance and relevance of race in the social fabric. They downplayed the importance of fair skin and they rejected nepotism and favoritism based on familial or racial ties.

    But look at any chinese company today and they have their children, aunts and uncles all participating in the same business venture either directly or indirectly. They have created a network based on family (in other words , RACE).

    In recent times we have seen the rise of Malays people due to the NEP policy. I believe it has worked, even though it has not been a resounding success it was supposed to be. Malays know that there is still a glass barrier that the Chinese maintain, just like the glass ceiling that men maintained to prevent women from rising to executive positions.

    My point is this, the chinese have to learn to share, and not accuse others of taking away their wealth or power when they had hundreds of years to accumulate it.

    So effectively, the partisanship and chauvinism that the Chinese like you , Helen, exhibit will no doubt be translated by people outside your group as racist! We can never be included in your ‘club.’ This is because we think you will use your dogs as pets to scare us away, or you will intentionally eat pork so we can’t socialize with you during lunch, and at night you will sip on a glass of wine or beer so we can’t enjoy time with you.

    The Malays who do relax their beliefs to interact with you will be accepted marginally, but you would still keep them at arm’s length. And if the relationship devolves into an uneasy one, you can always accuse that Malay of not following his own beliefs, thus proving his lack of character and leadership.

    I see this pattern so much that i am sickened by it, but this is the reality I face. I have worked overseas and with many races. The only other race that I notice that exhibits a similar pattern of behavior are indians/pakistanis.

    Remember, we malays could also act in such a manner, but we don’t and sometimes we can’t. We look and act differently. Some of us are dark skinned and some of us are very light skinned. I think the chinese can’t claim the same (unless you include exceptions like Namewee).

    So, what do you plan to do? I think it is about time you start giving people free Mandarin lesson. Teach people and don’t punish them if their pronunciation is off. Do malays blast those Cina Bangsar types if they speak poor Malay? No, because at least there exists communication. But if there is NO communication, especially when there is your beloved sekolah Cina, then it becomes a problem. There will always be ill feelings that can never be thrashed out. That is a recipe for disaster!!! Especially at time when the world economy is fragile and when political parties are stoking racial sentiments!

    Reply
    • 18. Obefan  |  November 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm

      overseas bumi,

      if we switch the word ‘chinese’ to ‘malay’ in your posting above, the same also applies.

      And as usual, people has left out indians and kaum lain-lain in the discourse.

      Reply
  • 19. dayak thinker  |  November 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Congrats to those up there who are really concerned about our education but sadly, as always, none of our ministers and officers working with the ministry of education are educators. They are just puppets for mentally retarded politicians. good job anyway.

    Reply
  • 20. OnDaStreet  |  November 26, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Helen,
    You wrote:

    “In comparison, Chinese here have been successful in preserving our language. The flip side of this ‘success’ is the lack of integration issue that crops up time and again, and is being revisited now.”

    Care to explain, if Bumiputeras are being lambasted and labelled as racist, can’t this act of preserving also an act of racism?

    ~ OnDaStreet

    Reply
    • 21. Helen Ang  |  November 26, 2011 at 3:14 am

      Not sure what you wish me to explain but it’s not just Malays such as Muhyiddin who are being labelled and lambasted as racists by the Firsters.

      Indians like those in Hindraf as well as me are called ‘racists’ by them too. However, those espousing M’sian First would not dare call a Kadazan, Iban or Orang Asli ‘racist’ if these natives see themselves according to ethnicity. Firsters do not show consistency in their actions.

      Dunno whether this is relevant to your question or not but my two cents: I believe it’s better that the majority (i.e. Malays) let us minorities preserve our self-identity (viz. language & culture) otherwise we could just turn out to be Ciplaks who become more Melayu-than-Melayu (like a certain few public personalities) who are causing a lot of racial discord. Cheers.

      POSTSCRIPT

      Was your question: If the Malays (unlike the Thais & Indonesians) had been willing to allow the Chinese/Indians to keep our language & culture, does that mean Malays aren’t as racist as the accusations thrown make you out to be?

      My views: Malays are more accepting of outsiders and taking us into your fold than vice versa. e.g. Zambry the MB of Perak is an Umno man

      Comparatively, Chinese are willing to recognise merit, e.g. Indians holding high positions in S’pore Cabinet

      Malays are seen by the minorities as excluding others from your club, I think, due to the economic competition (in M’sia, esp. with Chinese) and religion factors, like halal eating places.

      However, the bad treatment given the Kg Buah Pala villagers and the reaction of the Pg Chinese to Hindraf in particular and Indians in general over that issue, I also think, does not help in making the rest of M’sia think better of the Chinese community and how the Chinese will behave if they get power.

      Reply
  • 22. OnDaStreet  |  November 26, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Helen,
    Need some clarification from you based on this:

    “If vernacular schools are abolished, the next generation of Chinese risk losing Mandarin competency. Hence, just like the Malays, they will be disqualified from the Wanted ads requiring knowledge of Mandarin.

    Will you be happy if these Chinese school leavers were to later demand government jobs? ”

    Based on my understanding, SSS didn’t say anything about cannot learn other languages. Where do you get the idea the chinese and indians cannot learn mandarin or tamil anymore?

    Moreover, in regards of demand government jobs.. I think this is a misleading, as even right now, government has been trying to recruit and employ non-bumiputeras in goverment jobs. Even the police and the army open up recruitment for non-bumiputeras, but majority of non-bumis are not interested.

    Please get your statement checked, will you?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • 23. Helen Ang  |  November 26, 2011 at 3:41 am

      I never said 1Sekolah would prevent the learning of Mandarin & Tamil. Pls ref. my reply to HuaYong [Comment #7] above.

      I queried the effectiveness of imparting BC & BT as single subjects by making a comparison to English where ‘everyone’ is now complaining that our students can’t master the language and many don’t speak it despite the heavy emphasis on the importance and teaching of English in all schools.

      About the jobs, when the Malay grads were unemployed (problem that prompted the PPSMI), the govt had to find jobs for them. So how, if a parallel situation where Chinese can’t get jobs in private sector b’cos they dunno or poor in Mandarin?

      About the govt trying to recruit non-Malays — interesting & complex topic.

      Assuming that this is true, why do you think the non-Malays are deterred or in your words “not interested” in joining the civil service? Or the uniformed services such as police & army?

      Again my 2 sen: The present imbalance (i.e. lack of other races in govt jobs) is very unhealthy for the country for obvious reasons. We really can’t be having mainly one race doing the nitty-gritty of governing, which is essentially the brief of the kakitangan in the Kementerians & Jabatan-Jabatan kerajaan.

      Just to get your opinion, if a non-Chinese who is able to speak Mandarin were to apply for a job requiring competency in the language, do you think he’ll be hired? And do you think the criterion is fair (compare: Should someone who is incompetent in BM be allowed to apply for govt job? where if I’m not mistaken SPM credit is required)

      Cheers

      Reply
      • 24. OnDaStreet  |  November 27, 2011 at 10:59 pm

        “Just to get your opinion, if a non-Chinese who is able to speak Mandarin were to apply for a job requiring competency in the language, do you think he’ll be hired? And do you think the criterion is fair (compare: Should someone who is incompetent in BM be allowed to apply for govt job? where if I’m not mistaken SPM credit is required)”

        Depends on where he/she applied, but it will be likely be hired.

        However, it is different for condition set for Bahasa Malaysia. Why ? Simple… we learn BM since 7 years old.. so, for years of practice, we should be able to master the language. Care to explain, for years of study, from 7 years old till 17 years old at least, still cannot speak, write and communicate well in Bahasa Malaysia.. is it acceptable for you?

        Afterall, what is Malaysian if cannot communicate in BM well?

        Reply
  • 25. Yeah  |  November 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Saya rasa tak perlu dituntut agar MRSM dibuka sepenuhnya, baik SSS atau bukan-SSS. No need for any tit for tat, as a matter of fact.

    Perlu diingatkan SatD menerangkan bahawa Perkara 152 Perlembagaan telah mengatakan tiada sesiapa yang boleh dihalang atau dilarang daripada mempelajari atau mengajar sebarang bahasa lain, HANYA penggunaan selain bahasa Melayu mungkin disekat untuk TUJUAN RASMI. Menurut interpretasi sesetengah pihak, pendidikan bahasa dan bahasa pengantar di sekolah jatuh di bawah tujuan ini.

    Namun, mungkin SatD terlepas pandang Artikel 152(b) (atau sengaja dilupakan) bahawa kerajaan Persekutuan dan Negeri berhak melindungi penggunaan dan pembelajaran mana-mana bahasa komuniti lain dalam Persekutuan ini.

    Ini bermakna, bukankah tindakan Akta Pendidikan 1996 yang menetapkan bahawa kelas bahasa ibunda hanya akan diadakan di SK jika memenuhi bilangan 15 orang itu berupa sejenis sekatan? Kalau diikutkan sebenarnya “niat murni” Perlembagaan, sepatutnya pengajaran matapelajaran Mandarin, Tamil, Iban dan mana-mana bahasa ibunda sewajarnya diadakan tanpa syarat bilangan minima.

    SatD tepat apabila mengatakan yang memisahkan kewujudan dan penghapusan SRJK di Malaysia terletak pada “political will”. Yang melucukan ialah samada SatD dan rakan-rakan sepejuangnya dalam SSS sedar bahawa kedudukan ekstrim mereka hanya akan menggalakkan kebencian dan pemulauan etnik minoriti di Malaysia. Hasrat untuk mempelajari bahasa Mandarin atau Tamil di sekolah akan dipandang serong. Cukup licik untuk mengatakan bahawa “satu sekolah” yang diwar-warkan bukanlah sekolah kebangsaan sekarang, tetapi “satu sekolah” fiksyen rekaan ideologi utopia semata-mata yang boleh meningkatkan perpaduan negara.

    And all parents, regardless of their race, religion and creed are encouraged to support this unfleshed out, non-existent “One School” for all. What happens to sekolah agama and sekolah asrama penuh? Cantik slogan satu sekolah untuk semua, tetapi berhati-hatilah apa yang disatukan itu. Saya penyokong penggunaan bahasa Malaysia (atau bahasa Melayu) sebagai bahasa pengantar pendidikan, tetapi saya percaya penting kanak-kanak yang berlainan bahasa ibundanya mempunyai pilihan untuk memulakan pendidikan awal mereka dalam bahasa masing-masing sebelum diintegrasikan.

    Persefahaman yang dicapai oleh datuk nenek kita lebih 50 tahun yang lalu tidak dlakukan sewenang-wenangnya. Kalau yang menjadi isu adalah diskriminasi kaum dalam pengambilan pekerja, itu patut diselesaikan menerusi pindaan undang-undang sektor pekerjaan atau menerusi perundangan anti-diskriminasi industri dari segi umur, seks, bahasa atau kaum, bukan mencari mangsa rogol di sektor lain. Sama jugalah mentaliti sesetengah rakyat Malaysia yang tak senang dengan affirmative policy for the majority. Seek to moderate the leakages in the affirmative policy by limiting it for those who really need it, but please do not to ask for an extension the affirmative policy priviledges to non-malays. This will only serve to entrench the rent-seeking mentality, continued dependency on handouts and arguments on who is more bumiputra.

    ————————————————————————–

    Article 152

    1.The national language shall be the Malay language and shall be in such script as Parliament may by law provide: Provided that-

    (a) no person shall be prohibited or prevented from using (otherwise than for official purposes), or from teaching or learning, any other language; and

    (b) nothing in this Clause shall prejudice the right of the Federal Government or of any State Government to preserve and sustain the use and study of the language of any other community in the Federation.

    Reply
  • 26. Yeah  |  November 26, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    edited

    …tetapi saya percaya adalah penting bagi kanak-kanak yang berlainan bahasa ibundanya diberi pilihan untuk memulakan pendidikan awal mereka dalam bahasa masing-masing sebelum diintegrasikan.

    Reply
  • 27. Iqraq  |  November 30, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Dear Chewal,
    Let’s not use abusive language, in particular, directed towards another person, and even more in particular, directed towards our host. Let’s discuss the subject at hand instead of hurling insults at each other. If others do not agree, we can politely agree to disagree. This is a reminder to myself as well.

    Helen, I don’t think the ‘English as a language subject’ analogy holds water. English is not a language we speak at home. Mandarin and Tamil (for the Chinese and Indians) by and large are spoken at home. So perhaps it is not a fair comparison.

    Reply

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