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Convent Bkt Nanas: Kristian First atau M’sian First?

Bersambung daripada posting awal ‘Convent Bkt Nanas bantah pengetua kerana Melayu, Muslim?

The Malaysian Insider hari ini menyiarkan sepucuk Surat Terbuka kepada Menteri Pelajaran Muhyiddin Yassin.

Pengarangnya Dr W. Vinita Perera menuntut supaya Jabatan Pelajaran Wilayah Persekutuan memohon maaf secara rasmi kepada SMK Convent Bukit Nanas atas perkembangan yang tidak diredhai, yakni pelantikan Zavirah Mohd Shaari sebagai pengetua.

Beliau mendakwa kerajaan telah mengingkari janji yang diberikan mantan Perdana Menteri Dr Mahathir Mohamad pada tahun 1998 bahawa pelantikan pengetua sekolah mubaligh hendaklah bersyaratkan rundingan dengan pihak berkuasa sekolah terlebih dahulu.

Dr Vanita menjelaskan meskipun pengurusan sekolah mubaligh sekarang dikendalikan sepenuhnya oleh kerajaan persekutuan namun sekolah-sekolah tersebut (termasuk tanah yang diduduki) masih kekal hak milik golongon rahib dan paderi Kristian.

Di dalam suratnya, beliau berkata:

“This move is perceived as a threat and a means of undermining the community which promulgate the ethos of excellence in education behind these schools.”

Maksudnya tindakan melantik pengetua Melayu ditanggap sebagai satu langkah untuk menggugat serta melemahkan masyarakat Kristian yang membentuk etos (jiwa khas suatu bangsa) kecemerlangan dalam bidang pendidikan yang dipelopori dan didokong golongan mubaligh.

Maka kita harus menafsir kenyataan Dr Vanita (beserta kenyataan yang dibuat oleh Ketua Biskop Kuala Lumpur Murphy Pakiam pada Disember 12) tentang “etos Convent Bukit Nanas” sebagai menggambarkan bahawa sekolah mubaligh tetap mempunyai ‘jiwa khas’ yang berciri Kristian.

Tafsiran yang selanjutnya ialah masyarakat Kristian menganggap etos bukan-Kristian, jika ianya diterapkan ke dalam sekolah mubaligh, akan menjatuhkan prestasi akademik sekolah-sekolah yang dibina mereka itu.

Selama ini, saya selalu mengaku bahawa saya bersifat keCinaan dan ekoran itu saya menyokong sistem pendidikan vernakular kerana sekolah Cina sememangnya diwarnai etos Cina. Saya inginkan kanak-kanak Cina diasuh jiwa Cina mereka.

Pandangan hidup yang dipegang ini mungkin disebabkan cara saya sendiri diasuh oleh arwah ibubapa saya. Seingat saya, sehingga mencapai umur 10 tahun pun saya belum lagi menggunakan bahasa Inggeris dalam percakapan saya. Kedua-dua ayah dan emak bertutur dalam bahasa Cina di rumah.

(Walaupun saya tidak cakap Inggeris pada zaman kanak-kanak, saya tidaklah bodoh matematik.)

Sebaliknya fahaman Malaysian First menitik-berat ciri-ciri keMalaysiaan yang wajib dikedepankan.

Dalam pada itu, saya ingin mengajukan soalan berikut kepada para pendakwah ajaran Malaysian First:

Kenapakah pula timbul bantahan terhadap seorang pengetua warga Malaysia atas alasan beliau tidak sesuai untuk menerajui sebuah SMK – Sekolah Menengah KEBANGSAAN – yang diuruskan kerajaan?

Adakah SMK Convent Bukit Nanas Kristian First atau Malaysian First?

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Anda mungkin juga meminati:

Tolong jangan salahkan Cina bukit!

Sebab Cina dan India menolak sekolah kebangsaan

PPSMI: Lepas ini kita ajar Perdagangan dalam bahasa Cina ya

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25 thoughts on “Convent Bkt Nanas: Kristian First atau M’sian First?

  1. helen, to me “Religion first or Citizenship first” is always a stupid question/remark. I am muslim of course I’m gonna answer Muslim first. And I expect a good Christian follower to also answer “Christian first”.

    Schools which run christian programs should naturally get a christian principle. La salle schools run friday mass for students. Non-christian schools doesn’t. I’m muslim, not a christian, but I understand their concerns.

    Another question is, why not Christian principles for those schools ?

    Nothing to do with “Malaysian first”. They are christians and they want to keep the school’s christian tradition
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    So Nick, do you consider ‘Race first or Citizenship first’ an equally stupid question? Will you ask ‘those people’ why they’re always attacking Muhyiddin Yassin for wanting to honour his Malay traditions? — Helen

    1. Ms Helen Ang,
      You seem to have misinterpreted the letter I have written. You say you are Malaysian First, I say I am an Anak Bangsa Malaysia. We are for the same cause. My ethnicity and my creed personal and of no relevance to anybody except to myself. I have been careful to repeatedly say that this has nothing to do with race or religion (ethnicity or creed), and to not let this discussion degenerate into one, which it obviously has! I went to school in CBN, and hardly very much in my curriculum had any ‘christian’ elements. And I am far from saying to select a principal based on creed. Hence my follow on statement that during my time in CBN we did have a Pn Sharifah Bt Ibrahim which we all loved.
      The point of the letter is
      a) the other members in the decision making process was NOT consulted – the board of governors (some of which compromise the mission), the PTA, the Old Girls. The Education Department acted independently void of consult.
      b) the government broke their agreement
      c) show some respect to the other team members – as this could degenerate into a race-religion ‘issue’ very quickly as a result of this POOR decision.

      My statement below:
      “This move is perceived as a threat and a means of undermining the community which promulgate the ethos of excellence in education behind these schools.”

      By the term ‘community’, I mean the 3 groups mentioned above, besides the government. As a result of this spectacle, I actually started reading about the origins of Convent Bukit Nanas, the founding mission, and the founder of the mission. When I say ethos I mean that there is some history, some tradition behind all of it, and the community that upholds it, would like to be part of the decision-making process in the selection of the Principal of the school. That is all. Would this be too much to ask? Yes, Convent Bukit Nanas is a mainstream school, but it has so much history and tradition behind it, and we want to ensure that it is not lost. Please understand that this is not a debate in citizenship nor religion.

      Many thanks & Kind regards,
      Dr W. Vinita Perera

      1. Dear Dr Vanita,

        With regard to your misinterpretation, “You [Helen] say you are Malaysian First”, heaven forbid! I’m the last person to want to have anything to do with the DAP’s most debased slogan.

        To me, their ‘M’sian 1st’ sloganeering is the height of ignorance (not that I’m debating the pecking order in which Citizenship should ideally fall into place) but just that that political party is quite, quite clueless on the subject matter.

        About your point that “the government broke their agreement”:

        Wwhile it may have been a tradition that’s generally been upheld but unless the stricture is contained in an Act of law or made into an enactment, it may not be legally binding.

        You cite the Royal Commission on Teaching Services Report but a report only recommends. The IPCMC made recommendations as did the Reid Commission pre-Independence. Not all their recommendations were taken on board.

        Hence even if Dr M did promise in 1998 (the Reformasi year when his hold on power was shaken) … we should all know by now how much a politician’s word is worth.

        Thank you for your response here for the benefit of my blog readers.

        Best regards,
        Helen

      2. My mother taught in a Convent school for over 10 years. This is my point of view as a Muslim whose mother was an English teacher at a Convent school. First of i understand that the Principal elected by Jabatan Pelajaran Wilayah Persekutuan was not consulted with the “community” you spoken of which are board of governors, the PTA, the Old Girls. But will it do harm for the school to accept her as a Principal. What values that you fear will interfere with history, tradition and founding mission? I don’t like the use of the phrase “founding mission” cause it sounds more like it’s coming from some freemason grand lodge officials would normally say.

        Convent Bukit Nanas or any other Convent schools has their own Christian values and to me should be preserved. But at the same time Convent schools are also mainstream school just like Chinese and Indian schools which have UPSR, PMR and SPM. It’s not a totalitarian Christian schools which doesn’t cater for mainstream education and only teach Christian religion or values. The only different between Convents with Chinese and Indian schools is that the value and tradition is toward religion. I don’t think any Chinese or Indian schools will have issues if the principal is a Muslim. Just like Sekolah Kebangsaan have Chinese and Indian principals.

        This is where i disagree with Nick Chan, Convents are not a totalitarian Christian religious schools which only teach Christian religion and values. So why not accepting a Malay principal? In Malaysia we have another type of school for Muslim which is Sekolah Agama Rakyat. These schools specifically teaches Islamic religion and values. These schools don’t have UPSR, PMR or SPM. So of course these schools will need principals who are only Muslims. But Convents are not the same as Sekolah Agama Rakyat right?? They can accept students or teacher who are not Christians right?? So why not a Muslim principal.

        If the issue here is not because the principal elected by the ministry is a Muslim but because the Ministry did not consult with the community first, so why not the community suggest to the ministry another suitable Muslim to be the principal. Just for the sake of the discussion to be true to the issue – “it’s not about religion or race but because the Ministry did not consult with us”.

      3. Ms Ang,
        I would appreciate very much if you could remove the tag on my name.
        Many thanks & Kind regards,
        Dr Perera

  2. still equally stupid, although totally irrelevant in this theology subject. in fact to ask “religion first or malaysian first ” is downright irresponsible and insensitive. no good followers of any religion will answer “malaysian first”, and at the same time they are no less patriotic!

  3. C.H.I.J( primary) in J.B. it’s Principle is malay muslim for quite a few while, still one of the best in J.b. A top cluster school ,because the principle ,the PIBG and the teachers WORK TOGETHER, you moron.Dr Vanita!!!!

    1. Assalamualaikum En Asrar,

      The contestation is not about a muslim or non-muslim principal. Please read my comments again, should it not be clear. It is devoid of ethnicity or creed.The contestation is the school board of governors(comprimising some individuals from the mission), PTA and Old Girls Association was not consulted and left out in the decision making process, and the FT Education Department made an independent autocratic decision. Should they all not be consulted? By our Malaysian ethos is this not disrespectful? I am Malaysian first, and my comments as an Anak Bangsa Malaysia void of any disparity. I have no qualms about a principal of any religion, but selected based on merit, and in agreement by ALL parties.
      You may also be interested to know that on further investigation Pn Zavirah is the spouse of a high profile politician in the ruling party. So is this another demonstration of decorum and meritocracy out the door, and advancement based on nepotism and cronyism. Do you support this?

      Walaikumsalam,
      Dr W. Vinita Perera

      1. Vinita,

        Anak Bangsa Malaysia ala Hannah Yeo @ Norlina Yeop ?

        Please do not hide behind verbose and empty rhetoric. Firstly if the school board think themselves as Malaysians, then why all shortlisted candidates are from the Christian faith ?

        Secondly, why call the Education dept as autocratic as it is a common practice anywhere in the world for the education dept to decide on the head of school without having to “consult” the school. What Malaysian ethos you talking about ? If you talk about good faith please publish the criteria the school used to decide on the shortlisted candidate and name them. Please spare us the BS.

  4. Might as well make a declaration that non-Christian students and non-Christian teachers are also not wanted, not eligible or qualified to study or serve at “sekolah-sekolah mubaligh”.

    1. If there are eligible and qualified non Malays to head MRSM why not. Problem is, are there non Malay teachers teaching in MRSM? If I am not mistaken teachers from schools under the Ministry of Education and MRSM (MARA) are appointed by different appointing authorities and therefore they are under different employers.

  5. kalau tak silap saya memang ada, or pernah ada, non-malay head for mrsm. can someone clarify? be that as it may, i honestly think time should be spent on better, worthwhile things than squabbling about this issue which, incidentally, has been blown out of proportion by certain irresponsible quarters.

  6. Agree with Nick Chan Abdullah. Mengaku biar bertempat. If it is about religion, of course I’m Muslim first, and I am no less patriotic. My blood is for my country too. I don’t know what’s the big deal. I thought there IS non-malay -muslim principal in SK or SMK. If convent schools act wholly like a sekolah agama islam which is they really teach about Islam religion 100%, then it is not wise to put a Muslim-Malay in convent school. and SK and SMK never force non-muslim students to do anything related to Islam teachings. however, what if the principal is indian-hindu or chinese-buddhist? will this create a big deal too to Convent school? ya la, at least it’s not malay like Muhyiddin kan?

    1. You raise a valid point, however base on experience and event in the past, there is a tendency for both Christian and Muslim trying to impose their values into the environment which under their in charge, while Buddhist and Hindu prefer to keep religion to themselves. Actually the same emotion happen in Chinese school to reject those that have no grasp of Chinese language to be the principal, but that is solely from the point of functional and merit.

      Due to the tremendous change in population proportion in term of race and religion, there will be fewer so called mission school in the future, thus personally I prefer them to preserve the tradition nonetheless the small number to reflect a more diverse and distinct of our society values that treasure diversity. That said, the call to keep religion out of school seem to me a valid proposition for our long term development.

  7. Is this the first time the relevant members in the decision making process are not consulted about the appointment of principal in such schools?

    Or it is the first time such complaint is made?

  8. Helen… Dr W. Vinita Perera or Dr.Vanita? anyway i respect Dr.Vinita opinion, values and due respect for consultation for the appointment of the principal… it is still a mainsteam school and yet uphold its tradition… however it is a different story for chinese vernacular school… these schools are bad for Malaysia and create silo mindedness in creating a better and integrated Malaysian culture… future chinese cannot even speak Bahasa Malaysia fluently… it is happening now even… it mayb good for ur self-centered ethos but not good for the country… vernacular schools are a very divisive factor in our Malaysian future… anyway my well and most respected wishes for Dr.Vinita in overcoming the issue at hand and i sincerely hope it can be sorted by MOE also… to me whatever it is Malaysian first… divided Malaysian translates into bad future for all of us, be it chinese, malay, indian or all other races…
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    (1) There’s a bigger picture behind the scenes (more repercussions to come) behind this seeming Convent dispute on the status of mission schools.

    (2) Methinks whatever accusations you level at vernacular school applies to residential schools, MRSM, UiTM & scholarships as well. It takes two hands to clap, and two sides to create the divisiveness.

    Pls have a look at http://tinyurl.com/7x84gw5. I’m neither endorsing nor disputing the Bumiputera enrolment stats but opening this up for discussion to you & anyone else interested or who has the accurate/relevant figures.

    Cheers — Helen

    1. “these schools are bad for Malaysia”

      I think you need to justify what you claim with more factual statement, perhaps start with definition of ‘bad’ and ‘integrated Malaysian culture’, follow by showing us a model country, but before doing so, read and understand our constitution, and read the constitution and creed from other countries, that will definitely helps before you put your thought into writing, at the least you can see the elephant in the room.

      1. Enough with the Christian crap about DAP, why is vernacular schools bad?? Just because they oppose unity

        Example: My friend in college admitted in Malaysian Studies class that she has never interacted with a Non-Chinese in her 10 years of Chinese vernacular education

        the number of non-chinese/indians in these respective schools are too small

        Same goes for the MRSM’s, the best and most forward thinking Malaysians come from government schools.

        Adrian

  9. Helen, I admit I often ridicule DAP for their Malaysian First slogan, but I don’t fully share your interpretation of what DAP meant by MF, this is comprehensible since no one from DAP trying to clarify the concept. I agree there is fraction of DAP leaders that fall under your version of MF, however most of us would infer that MF is merely a political rhetoric lash against racism policy, and I don’t think DAP have much to do with this CBN case. Cheers.
    __________________________________________________________________________

    Hua Yong,

    (1) Nobody from DAP can clarify how they’re to be considered M’sian 1st b’cos they perch on shaky ground. One glaring example, Art.152 of the FedCon on national language.

    (2) The slogan as “a political rhetoric (back)lash against racism policy”, I understand that. But DAP’s posturing has not helped (i.e. LGE boasting that 98% of contracts in Pg went to Malays) & it’s made things worse (like DAP supporters giving thumbs up to hudud, which will add another layer of discrimination (religious) on top of the racial one.

    (3) Perhaps DAP as a party is outside the Convent controversy but their evangelist camp & their Christian supporters who have been at loggerheads with Muslims have still got to defend their trumpeted meritocracy & being above Race-Religion politics vis-a-vis the headmistress’ appointment.

    DAP is drawing its staunchest support from the Christian network & by fanning Christian anger.

    Cheers,
    Helen

  10. Dr Vanita,

    Pelantikan DS Zavirah tidak harus dilihat ada kaitan dengan kedudukan suami beliau. Beliau diposting ke CBN kerana memang telah terbukti beliau seorang pengurus sekolah yang cekap dan cemerlang. Penyataan yang menyatakan `she is from nowhere’ sememangnya amat menghina bukan sahaja diri beliau, bahkan penghinaan terhadap KPM dan JPN sendiri. Saya melihat statement-statement yang dikeluarkan lebih banyak dipengaruhi oleh emosi. Dr Vanita harus turun ke padang melihat keadaan CBN pada masa ini sebelum memutuskan seolah-olah jika DS Zavirah menjadi pengetuanya maka CBN akan jatuh merudum.

    CBN bukan sekolah agama. itu jelas. Kalau diletakkan pengetua buddha atau Hindu, ada masalah tak agaknya. Seperkara lagi Gentleman’s agreement tidak semestinya boleh digunapakai sepanjang zaman. Lihat dahulu keadaan dan keperluan semasa. Pengetua adalah penjawat awam yang menurut perintah. Jika marah sekalipun, jangan membuat personal assassination terhadap orang yang tidak dikenali dan menjadikannya sebagai mangsa. Sesuatu itu bukan masalah jika kita tidak menjadikannya satu masalah.

  11. Dr Vanita,
    Apa kecoh2 ni, babe? Your last statement in this blog is damn silly. Apa lah kaitan suami dia pulak ni if she is a good pengetua with a good track record.So what if she has a husband who so happens to be what you said? Is it a sin according to you? You have proof that he influenced in the decision making? My grandma has two words for you, Bodoh sombong!. So immature & emosi.

  12. for a chinese you are a disgrace. i thot chinese are good at math and logic and if u dont see the logic of CBN wanting to elect their own principal. if u had a company for 50 years, would like ur neighbour to come elect a CEO for tt company. u dont hv a blog just to be confrontational. When u r wrong accept u r wrong, dont talk nonsense make urself look more stupid than u look already.

    1. The government has the option of fully nationalizing all schools and taking the action of shutting down vernacular and mission schools.

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