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?