Posted in Vernacular school

Vernacular School: Learning Tamil

Before we begin the discussion on SRJK (C) in my vernacular school series (following on which will be titled ‘VS’ in the header), this is a prelude.

I don’t have much to say on Tamil schools since I’m not qualified to comment. Only that if Chinese insist on our Chinese schools, then by the same token, I can understand if Indians want to keep Tamil schools going.

A friend of mine who attended Tamil school told me he was the better for it and most importantly the schooling taught him the value of frugality.

To me what he said makes sense. I don’t think we can quantify values, such as to compare between the races but eating habits are something visible.

I feel a twinge of guilt that I (and probably other Chinese) are more cerewet compared to Indians and Malays. This statement is, needless to say, only a broad generalization.

We are known for our 8-course dinners on more formal occasions and banquets in China even today can be royally sumptuous. To the Chinese, food is more than just to fill our stomachs. It’s also a social vehicle – imagine if we don’t know how to use chopsticks in company – and the occasion reflects on the host (his status, his means, etc).

I observe to my own embarrassment that my Indian friends eat more simply than I do. They also eat more vegetables whereas the Chinese are known for their taste for exotic meats.

So if my friend says that he learned the value of thriftiness from his Tamil schooling, I say good on him.

Senseless wastage is bad, undeniably. That’s why I liked what Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg did — which was: He slaughtered a pig and a goat.

In other words, he personally killed the meat that he ate. This awareness will make us more responsible in our actions with regard to food consumption (‘Telegraph’ article here).

Schools are not just places where kids learn to read and write but they’re also for the transmission of language and culture which in turn shape our ethos.

Next, briefly about my experience learning Tamil. I’ve blogged a bit previously on the aesthetics of Tamil alphabets. From my 16 Oct 2011 posting:

“Vowel atau huruf hidup dalam bahasa Tamil disebut ‘uyir’ yang bermaksud hidup/jiwa. Konsonan dalam bahasa Tamil ialah ‘mey’ (badan/jasad). Apabila vowel bercantum dengan konsonan, ianya menjadi uyirmey — sempurnalah jasad bertemu jiwa.”

Some samples of Tamil words can be seen in my 2 March 2012 posting. This basic vocabulary introduced at kindergarten level (samples scanned from the flash cards I use to study) indicate the deep spirituality of the Indians in their worldview and old civilization.

In another posting, I’d found on the Net a virtual Tamil keyboard which enabled me to type nambikei — நம்பிக்கை . (Postscript: Hindraf has extended PKR an invitation to meet Indians tomorrow 1pm at Padang Chetti, Klang. If Anwar doesn’t show up, I hope Uthaya breaks the tembikai this time).

Before I started Tamil class, the alphabets all looked like just squiggles to me. The saying ‘tak kenal maka tak cinta’ is quite true.

Nowadays whenever I’m in Brickfields (Little India), I’ve begun to take notice of shop and stall signboards, and attempt to decipher their script.

Most times when I go out and I expect to have to wait – whether for an appointment or in the queue – I’d bring along a Tamil workbook plus a small stack of writing squares (paper). I keep half a dozen 2B pencils and an eraser in my bag.

One time, an Indian lady looking over my shoulder pointed out that my writing strokes were wrong. I had been experimenting with Tamil alphabets through the Chinese hanzi (radical-phonetic) method in my head.

Another time, I was doing homework in a mamak shop while waiting out the rain. The F&B staff appeared pleased to see a non-Indian learning an Indian language. They were foreign workers either from India or Burma (which has an ethnic Indian population as the country borders India).

The point I’m trying to make here is that people love their native tongues wherever they are although far away from home.

Indian vendors are friendly to my failings as an elementary learner, e.g. at the food stalls where I don’t know how to say ‘mutton’, I might say adu (goat). Or koli (hen) instead of chicken. I like Indian food. I like Malay food too. (Wink … a famous Twit keeps tweeting about her love of Italian food and her diet).

Malaysian Firsters do not promote local cultures or local languages.

Ideologically speaking, the Firster position is anti vernacular school. Why DAP are being hypocrites on the issue of VS is explained here: ‘Eh, Guan Eng belum ajar Dong Jiao Zong lagi ke?’

Another personal observation: People tend to treat you nicer when they see that you try to communicate in their language. For example, when I buy my Tamil books at the Indian bookshop, I’m given free bookmarks by the shop owner.

The other day, I took a taxi to the bus station. Getting in, I wished the driver kalai vanakam (good morning). The meter for the ride showed RM11.10. He asked me to pay only ten ringgit. I got a 10 percent discount on the fare.

Personally, I’m happy that Malaysia has an Indian minority. It gives me the chance to practice Tamil. The ice-cream seller, for example, told me his name.

Our ethnic diversity is an asset and we can choose to avail ourselves of a win-win situation.

Of course it goes without saying that every citizen must be competent in BM, and Malay should be respected as the country’s lingua franca. My debut blog posting ‘Memartabatkan bahasa kebangsaan’ supports this position.

A major grouse appears to be the complaint that Malaysian Chinese are not fluent in BM. I shall be making the argument that the fault lies not with the SRJK (C) but with attitude.

Author:

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64 thoughts on “Vernacular School: Learning Tamil

  1. On this topic I have to disagree with you, Helen.

    In my view, Malaysians can and should be trilingual, as a minimum. French doesn’t count. We are in an environment where we can encourage future generations to be multi-lingual, if the single school system is expanded to make multiple languages a core part of the syllabus. No cheating either; teach Malay languge in Malay, English in English, teach Mandarin in Mandarin, teach Tamil in Tamil.

    The school system is the platform for creating social solidarity. Separate systems create an environment for polarization – I won’t even pick on vernacular schools, just observe the Sri Garden anglophiliac approach as an example.

  2. I’m trilingual, though my command of Malay and Tamil are somewhat subjective. I’m genuinely torn on the concept of Tamil schools because I have met teachers who are more dedicated to improving the lot of impoverished Tamil school children. But here lies the problem. The middle-class Indians would not send their children to Tamil schools and so there is a certain amount of stigma attached to being educated in a Tamil school.

    1. The part about middle class indians not wanting to send their children to tamil schools is new to me.

      Compare these middle-class indians with the middle and upper class chinese. They think that mandarin is now a global business language, on par with English. That thinking bolsters their support of politically motivated organisations like Dong Zong and increases their arrogance.

      I don’t have to be chinese to understand the DAPster/ malaysian chinese mindset. There is always an element of chauvinism in it. The supporters of chinese schools probably think chinese and english are now the ‘global languages’. Mind you, these are people who work to migrate from Malaysia as soon as they get a better offer eslewhere.

      I know that Helen supports vernacular schools. Her account on learning Tamil also lends that credence. But she should look at the stats.

      http://www.ethnologue.com/ethno_docs/distribution.asp?by=size

      In terms of worldwide usage, of all the indian languages, Hindi comes out top. If you add Urdu (because of the similarities between the two), that lead is further enhanced. Then comes bengali, telugu, marathi. THEN it is tamil.

      So in terms of usefulness, tamil is not high on the list. Most of the indians in my office in the mid east encourage me to speak hindi. They probably think it leads to better intra-worker cohesion, but I still see those who come from Kerala stick together, and those from Maharashtra gravitate to one another. It’s just human nature to speak in a language familiar to you and find those who share it.

      Having one school system using only one language will not create social cohesion in any time soon, unless you do something to suppress the use of other languages. Suppressing other languages would violate human rights principles. The countries in SE Asia that did that (thailand, indonesia come to mind) did it at a time when the world wasn’t as open and connected as it is now.

      Just as an aside, I met an Ethiopian taxi driver. He spoke excellent english. I asked him if use of amharic, his native language, was common. He said it was and wanted to elaborate further, until he ran over cat. The conversation abruptly stopped.
      ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

      Poor cat. It’s the nightmare of cat owners. — Helen

      1. I think outside of heaven, man will be divided (of course even our visions of heaven & how to get there will be divisive!!) . I mix with so many Indians that its interesting… Gujaratis will tell me not to trust the Sindhis, then the Tamils & Keralans will be outcast by the Maharashtrians even in places like Dubai. Then you still have the sublime caste system. India being such a large country and diversity of ethnic voices, they even find it hard to find common ground. The British or Gandhi couldn’t achieve this in their lifetime. But we still respect their unity in diversity when faced with an external threat.

        But many bring up the role of Chinese in Thailand and Indonesia. Mind my ignorance but I believe, in one instance, forced integration (Indonesia) where biting the bullet finally paid off or generational assimilation/evolution (Thailand) made it work. Some comments speak of Thailand being controlled by Chinese thereby sidelining the general Thais. Quick question? Why keep voting the Chinese class (predominately Bangkok Chinese) to be their rulers? No gun to the head in democratically appointed Thailand. In fact there is division between northern Chinese Thais (Thaksin, Red Shirts) and the Bangkok elite class (Yellow Shirts who are seen to be royalist).

        Travelling throughout Indo-China, one cannot but notice vistages of Chinese culture. Chinese vassal states or more than that? I’m no historian or anthroplogist but could the Vietnamese (Confucius university in Hanoi), Cambodians and Thais share a common culturally experience as those in southern China especially the Yunnan, Guangxi area?

        Does Thai Buddhism make a difference in the area of tolerance, hospitality & assimilation? (ie. non-confrontational)

        Again, more questions that providing answers.

      2. somehow i don’t get the impression that worldwide usage or global usefulness has any bearing on helen choosing to learn tamil. my guess, it’s more local usefulness. she already has malay, english and chinese in her repertoire. adding tamil to her belt is just a matter of course. right, helen? :)
        ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

        Don’t think there are many Bengalis around for me to speak with :) — Helen

      3. Why do the rural, brown-skinned thais vote Thaksin and remain with the red shirt movement time and again? Of course there is no simple answer, but from my observations and interactions with thais and foreigners during my years there, the general consensus was the red shirts believe that thaksin and his pheu thai party had the best plan to change the condition of the poor in the north and bring them some degree of prosperity.

         The problem is the rural thais  realize the game is stacked against them. Both sides of the political divide are actually Chinese dominated. For the native thais it is a matter of choosing the “devil they know.” In the past year I believe the  pheu thai party had changed the price floor of unprocessed rice, set a minimum wage and also gave aid and special loans to victims of the floods.

        However, I heard from some elitist yellow shirts that they think setting rice prices would cause Thailand to lose its dominance in the global rice market, and setting minimum wages would make thai labor uncompetitive. I think they agree on giving aid to flood victims because many of the yellow shirts were also victims (I think each household got THB5000 or about RM500 for the clean up).

        I hear the yellow shirts won’t easily agree on who would get the overall project for flood mitigation, because if any company were to win the other side would accuse the process as ‘corrupt’ . See how that compares with our MRT project. DAP and their greedy partners are calling the process corrupt and a form of ‘land grab’ of Chinese areas of KL, even though the process has actually been very transparent, even according to international standards.

        In places like Thailand, the elite Chinese are fighting the other elite Chinese. The red shirts, most likely with the blessing of thaksin and his top tier, targeted and burnt down  a large part of Central world, a massive mall in downtown BKK owned by Chirathivat, a thai Chinese  billionaire known to be associated with the yellow shirt movement. The yellow shirts sought the help of the king and, by extension the army , to help their minority voice be heard . They used the lèse-majesté laws to fight dissent and maintain their position.

        Mind you, the red shirts still command a strong majority. Theirs is a populist party, unlike the yellow shirt that relies upon political sophistry, based on undemocratic principles (such as using the monarchy as their proxy).

        In Malaysia, we are lucky to have NEP, otherwise I am sure we would be exactly in Thailand’s situation, where the Chinese control both the economy and politics. Only members of royalty would have any wealth and power, but they would be nicely placated by members of the Chinese elite.

        Our Agong was reminded time and again by UMNO that his former palace was once the property of a Chinese tycoon, and therefore building a new one was important and a matter of symbolic significance!

      4. Isn’t the argument by supporters of Chinese schools that a) mandarin is now used worldwide b) the chinese schools have higher quality of education? I call bullshit on the second one because I have met several Chinese educated engineers and there is nothing remarkable about them, so at the very least, that is a subjective issue. The former can’t be readily disputed. In my view, it is rather clear-cut that mandarin is becoming an important language, I don’t deny it.

        If worldwide usage is the criteria, then tamil and malay would lose out to mandarin and english. If local usage is the criteria, then I still think that English would prevail over malay in all spheres of interactions (except within government institutions, but who cares about that, right? Even melayu tulen tunku aziz doesn’t seem to speak malay without some hesitation). In the private sector, mandarin or English would certainly prevail over malay and tamil combined.

        What’s worse is that the standard of malay used often on internet forums is so deplorable, I care not to use it at all online. Helen has been more respectful toward the malay language than most malay internet users! The inconsistent standard of malay online and in the real world is whole other topic that I think should be raised. But, I don’t want to get too deep into that, lest I scare away helen’s malay readers, which she claims she has a lot of.

         

      5. Yes, I don’t believe there is much economic value in learning Tamil as opposed to Hindi for example. Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of Tamil as it us a far older language than even Hindi. But Tamils are a minority and while they are a hardworking and successful bunch, most of them are fluent in English anyway. Many middle-class Tamils also don’t necessarily identify with the culture of Tamils like movies etc. There is an added dimension to it when they are Christians or Muslim.

  3. i support one school system.keep it simple and effective.one language, one school.one majority. until these rule change, until then, we re-look at our school system. period.

  4. “Some Chinese politicians survive simply by harping on Constitution that guarantees some provisions on Malays. They keep asking how long Malays want NEP.

    But they are silent on the source of all disunity:SEPARATE SCHOOL SYSTEM

    I am not living in utopia. Making one school concept will not make all Malaysian problem dissapear. But it is a start for genuine integration.” – Shamshul Anuar

    This comment was made in a previous article by Enc. Shamshul. It’s a genuine & valid comment/concern but in reality the issue does not lie in integration alone.

    The reason why we keep revolving around this same issue is because we look at Chinese education/Chinese venacular schools in particular. With the adamant views on Dong Jiao Zong & other Chinese educationist, they seems bias, racist, radical, chauvinistic or even facist. ie. anti-integration or anti-nationalist.

    Although I’m not Chinese educated but quadlingual with some smattering grasp of other languages, the Chinese educationist have some valid points of concern but that issue should be left for another day except to say that MCA is also a key proponent of the venacular stream with TAR Kolej & University (including MIC).

    The key issue is our national philosophy of education in a narrowing world because of globalization. First, what is education? Second, who is the student? Third, where do we want to bring the student to?
    Fourth, are we educating everyone (In USA the “no student left behind” policy) or are there are pockets of society that are too improvish to be educated? Fifth, is everyone getting the same level of education or if you are rich, then a better quality of education in premier schools and the poor have to contend with the sekolah pondok, estate venacular school? (Read Ivan Illich – “Deschooling Society”)

    Our present system is a hodge podge (ie. rojak) of educational mess. It doesn’t formulate a policy with the student in mind or our nation’s/economic needs but based on shameless political posturing (eg. PPMSI where everyone is divided including Malays). Let us not go to DSAI’s education policy that was so eschewed and loaded. So today, there is so much back flipping on policies due to political pressure. Is this how education works? Our private tertiary policy is even worst – a mass production money making machine.

    Education should be left to the educationist. Language is only a vehicle to communicating ideas & thinking (although there is a distinct cognent relationship between thinking processes & certain languages), not the holy grail. BM is a given non-negotiable but a second (English) and possible third language elective (Putonghua, Tamil/Hindi, Iban/ Kadazan Dusun) is a strong requirement in regards to globalization & maybe integration (?).

    But Shamshul’s question is valid – integration. My colleague requested his children’s headmistress to allow an outside tutor to teach Tamil in the school fully sponsered by other parties. The request was flatly turned down because ministry’s policy is that there must be minumum 10 students and they had 6. I told him to go recruit Chinese student to make up the numbers!! Why not?

    So, we Malaysians only see one level of this venacular issue without knowing what are the policies at ground zero set by the ministry. To remove the scaffolding of the VS, a proper holistic & integrated system must be in place to replace this. Is the government ready?

    Lastly, why does the government (ie. UMNO) allow MCA/MIC to take up and continue to support the VS system? Out of cultural respect? Education is never neutral, especially when it comes to governments. Propoganda, agendas & mild “brain washing” takes place in every educational process. If “integration” is upmost for national unity, why isn’t it enforce or do the powers that be want this division to continue?

    I’ve raise more question than answering them… but go figure.

    1. hi Tok Rojak!

      i have. gone and figured, that is. :)

      first i thought…
      while some would say the apparent lack of political will to bring into being an integrated education system in the country is due to that tired reason of a nasty government wanting to divide in order to rule easier, the reason is maybe not really that sinister. perhaps it’s more of a case of those in charge over the year letting the education system fall prey to the “tikus membaiki labu” syndrome until the system is so damaged that ad hoc patchings to hold it all together are all they could do now.

      then i also thought…
      if my late parents were to be believed, malaysia’s multi-ethnic communities had actually achieved some sort of comfortable integration in spite of the disparate education system we inherited and continued to adopt for more than a decade after independence. therefore the problem we’re seeing is not a lack of integration among the races, but rather the unravelling of what integration we had already achieved. so the problem cannot in all honesty be blamed on the lack of a single school system with one language of instruction.

      so at that point i concluded, until the real reason(s) for the recent polarisation is/are identified, pushing for what may not actually be the right or necessary solution may just perpetuate further the “tikus membaiki labu” scenario.

      then, before i could come back to helen’s blog to write the above, i chanced to read this: https://ifilesjs.wordpress.com/2012/04/

      …and now i’m faced with the possibility that the whole chaos that is the msian education system may actually be due to some dark design after all. so now i’m back to figuring… :(

      1. Thanks Mekyam. I have my take on this. If needed, people like LKY can easily bull doze his way to create integration (as Shamsul points out as political will). So what has stopped BN especially its major stakeholder doing the same? As you read the “I-Files” you can see that for a brief moment, DSAI was left to his whim & fancies (incuding the number he did on the Kadazandusuns in Sabah. ie. Pairin). I’m not for one moment convince by his “good will” for the common good.

        I believe that Mahathir gave him a free hand as an able leader & good mentor until proven otherwise with the protege’s underhandedness. I also have my versions of the transformation of Mahathirism from the Cedet days from a social & academic point of view. There were several troubling milestones in his political journey to make him change his cause/mission/vision half-way leading to his emotional resignation. Having heard him speak personally & reading The Malay Delimma, I have great admiration for him & his concern for the Malays (you need to admire people who are great even if you disagree with them). We came pretty close in integration under his early days – remember when foreigners ask us… where we were from? We said we were Malaysians, not Chinese or Indian from some place called Malaysia.

        So when Forrestcat mentions that if he was so bad, why give TAR full varsity status. Why? Remember, that one point of his political career, the Chinese voting block saved him & BN from total humilation. I do not wish to speak on his behalf but if this his true, he must at least make Malays realize that the Chinese are not here to break the Malay rice bowl but to enhance it.

        Therefore, maybe there is an agenda to allow VS to continue to exist whether for a political tradeoff, seperation of educational streams, I can’t answer that but the most obvious overt agenda was under DSAI.

        The present state of the system? I think the “low standard” faced today is basically the system was left to run by itself. The ministers were neither educationist, visionaries or good administrators. They lost the story plot. Politicans are good at posturing and trying to survive, where have time to think about these things? That is why PAS is making headway in the rural heartlands through sekolah pondok & madrassahs. If you don’t fill the educational vacuum (fill the empty minds of the children), then someone will do your job for you.

        I just talking nonsense as usual..

    2. Wow!!!, you have read ivan illich, wow I am impressed. He was a consequential thinker beyond his time. Like most great thinkers, a man who died with little or no material possession.

  5. Tok rojak,

    The solution is actually is quite simple. Simple however it may be but it looks so complicated because of lack of political will.

    One school concept. All students irregardless of race and religions study under one roof. Bahasa melayu and english are compulsory. Make provision for Chinese to learn Mandarin in the school. So does the Indians with tamil class.

    But all study under one roof. It does not take a genius to appreciate that all prejudices will dissapear once we “know” other races. “knowing” can only take place by interacting.

    I understand the reason UMNO is so accomodating to vernacular schools. It understands the significance of 40% of voter who are non Malays.

    I am amused when many Chinese friends often compare with Singapore. They say Singapore practises meritocracy/Really?

    But these people are silent to facts that Singapore does not tolerate vernacular schools..

    What is lacking is political will. While i may praise UMNO for its tolerance that i believe a unique phenomenon unheard in other parts of planet, too much leeway is bad. UMNO may not want to accept reality that separate school system is the best natural ground for extremism.

    And I repeat some politicians want us to be separated despite crying out loud about being “malaysian first”. The most recent hypocrisy was shown to all under the sun when the debate between 2 ‘apeks( aptly put by Malays) was conducted in Mandarin. So, what UMNO said about DAP is true after all.

    Imagine what the Us people would say if say some politicians conduct a debate in Spanish on American TV.

    Let us not deny the truth. Let us send message to politicians to start having political will by doing the right thing.

    There are no 2 way about it. If we value integration, then one school system is the logical step. in fact the prequisite for integration.

    Or we can choose to be a hypocrite. I hope we realise we have more than enough hypocrite politicians on plate.

    1. You notice that I’ve intentionally left our Singapore in my comments. Everyone points to Singapore. For a fact, LKY had a political agenda to integrate Singaporeans in a national educational system. ie. your comment on “political will.” Indonesia is similar but a more painful story. At one time, not only Chinese papers and use of language, use of Chinese names. Therefore they need to embed one’s Chinese family name in the new nationalised Indonesian name (eg. Rudy Hartono). But don’t forget, while doing this, Indonesia also stood on the platform of Pansacila – the respect of religion.

      First, assimilation should leave out religion or try to subsume one’s culture to another. Again, my call for appreciation of unity in diversity.

      But my argument is that we (incuding “Bangsar” Malays) are not convinced of the “alternative” (not just integration issue). The Chinese educationist claim a certain degree of educational “standard” besides being accused of chavinistic trends. Macam PPMSI, hari ini OK besok, tak begitu cocok. Filp flop policy. Maybe some students will perpectually fail if too stringent standards? Jika manja anak, dia belajar apa? Kadangkala harus pakai rotan mendampingkan sukses. Saya pernah jumpa anak sekolah Melayu di sekolah Cina. Mengapa? Mereka balas, ibu bapa lebih suka. I’m not for or against but we need to see the “alternative” not the present rojak system.

      Again, my naive question, why is UMNO not slowly moving towards this integration? Set a time line – say 10-15 years. Out of respect for MCA/MIC? Are you sure because if they had the political will, surely nothing will stand in its way (like DSAI when he was education minister). Or is there a deeper reason? Maybe better its not so good to mingle the races too much and keep a certain group’s ethnic identity (to keep distinctiveness)? Nanti belajar tabiat yang tidak begitu baik dari kaum lain? Hey, no answer, just more questions except to say BN sama PR, mereka kedua ini ada agenda sama2. Kedua parti mengetahui kepentingan pendidikan yang boleh menjadi kataylst untuk perkembangan fikiran.

      LKS is very stringent on university quota even among Chinese. Why? If too many graduating but no jobs, then you think what they will do to the government. Sekarang satu klass yang boleh berpikir tapi ada unsuran2 radical. Political agenda in social engineering? Again another question, no answer.

      1. “LKY had a political agenda”

        lky political opponent are mostly from chinese school.

        we dont hear much SSS in the past because chinese vote go to bn, dulu lain sekarang lain. oh btw, the claim that spore do not tolerance chinese school dun sound right, what spore did is to make their national school (eng school actually) more attractive, and propagate a perception that chinese language is useless. here we did the same, we make bm bahasa kebangsaan, but economy and employment still largely relied upon foreign investment, and the continuous flip flop make everyone clear about one thing, language be it bahasa malaysia or bahasa melayu is merely their political tool, english remain the lingua franca and smi continue to absorn the chinese speaking only workforce, so cari makan no issue, this is what helen call ‘attitude’.

        1. Helen would have to correct you here.

          Regarding your claim “SMI continue to absorb the Chinese-speaking only workforce”, I’ve no disagreement with your assertion.

          The need for Chinese to master putonghua for work purposes and business is what I’d call ‘pragmatism’ & the reason why I support vernacular school, i.e. being realistic about cari makan.

          What Helen calls ‘attitude’ is what Overseas Bumi is consistently commenting on, i.e. his observations on the way Chinese treat people with darker skin than ours.

          Or how Joceline Tan has phrased it:

          “… if the Indian Muslims here [in Penang] actually bothered to read the racist and insulting remarks that DAP cybertroopers make about mamaks, they would run off in all directions.”

          I’ve seen so many arguments put forward by Chinese that English must be mastered because this is a requirement to get ahead in the job, English is a global language, English is the language of Sc & Tech, yadda yadda.

          What I’ve rarely heard is the admission by Chinese that BM must be mastered because this is a requirement to live in this country and after all, they’re the ones thumping their chests loudest that they’re Malaysian First.

          That’s “attitude”.

      2. sorry to misread u helen, then that is my own interpretation of ‘attitude’.

        “What I’ve rarely heard is the admission by Chinese that BM must be mastered because this is a requirement to live in this country and after all, ”

        not sure about you, but most of us from my generation can master bm quite well, not as good as you but u r from a entirely diff profession. i cant even speak english until college, my spm eng is 6 while bm is 3, hence my bm is definitely better than my english, but i admit now is reverse. are you sure you are talking about chinese like me, or the mf type, but their number is quite small no matter how u count it. dear, do u really mix around with chinese like me in the past? :)

      3. A Malaysian Chinese lady living in the MidEast told me she didn’t like being in close proximity to Arab people here because they smell. She was rather blunt about it.

        Normally, I would chalk it off to the chinese being chinese (ie rude). But, there may be a scientific reason to it.

        East Asians in general have fewer apocrine sweat glands. See this:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_odor

        East Asians (Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese) have fewer apocrine sweat glands compared to people of other descent and the lack of these glands make East Asians less prone to body odor.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocrine_sweat_gland

        East Asians have fewer apocrine sweat glands compared to people of European or African descent, and it may be for this reason that they are less prone to body odor.

        In other words, that ‘attitude’ may be due to genetic reasons.

        Of course, being in the modern world, humans can adjust to the situation by using antiperspirants or deodorants.

        But it doesn’t explain why chinese women pursue white european men, because obviously those men should be more odorous than they are.

  6. Salam Dek Helen,

    Sukar untuk menjanjikan sekolah satu aliran akan memberi perubahan kearah lebih baik dalam masa yang singkat. Tambahan pula dalam menghadapi rintangan dan cabaran yang pastinya getir kerana kepada yang tidak bersetuju akan melakukan apa saja sedaya upaya untuk menggagalkannya dan kemudian berkata,”Nah, bukankah sekolah satu aliran satu kesilapan”.

    Cuma Pak Ard ingin imbas kembali zaman persekolahan puluhan tahun dulu. ACS Ipoh, sebuah sekolah Kristian Cina. Kebanyakkan pelajarnya adalah Cina, kedua terbanyak adalah India dan Melayu paling sedikit pada masa itu. Jadual waktu pelajaran kami hampir sama dengan sekolah lain cuma ada waktu khas untuk “Chapel” dimana murid-murid bukan Islam dikehendaki pergi ke gereja sekolah dan pelajar Islam pula ke kelas pengajian Islam. Kawan-kawan saya yang bukan Kristian, iaitu Hindu, Buddha, Toaist dan Sikh pun pergilah ke gereja tersebut. Tak terdengar pun rungutan dari ibu-bapa mereka. Memangpun mereka tak memeluk agama Kristian semasa zaman persekolahan mereka. Hairankah kita bila sekarang ramai bukan Melayu pergi ke gereja dan meninggalkan agama asal keturunan mereka?

    Antara sebab yang pernah disuarakan kenapa sekolah kebangsaan ditolak oleh bukan Melayu adalah kerana bacaan doa sewaktu perhimpunan pagi. Pelajar bukan Melayu tidak perlu meng”amin”kan pun doa tersebut. Sekadar berdiam sebentar tak sampai lima minit. Ya, kita mesti hormati hak setiap warganegara.

    Akhir kalam, Pak Ard tak ada fakta-fakta hebat, sekadar apa yang pernah dilalui dan diperhati. Sekian.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Arwah mak saya pun bekas penuntut ACS. — Helen

    1. Pak Ard, I’ve always respected your point of view. I try not to talk about religion but I’m happy with your openess. You are right, after years being in a “Christian” school, why no mass conversion among Muslims, Buddhist & Hindus? For one, I think the schools had a proper pespective of education. Beyond religion, morals and educational standards were upmost to the Christian missionaries – ie. what is seen as religious education or “Christian indroctrination” by extremist. To put in bluntly in the white man’s words – “to give the savages an education and make him a gentleman.” PM Najib was in St. Johns & Rafida in Covent Bukit Nanas but both are still Muslim.

      Sorry I’m not replying in BM. Nak cari cari istilah BM setakat ini pun susah.

      Princeton, Havard, Cambridge & Oxford were founded by Christians especially Puritans. Over the years, it has been securalized but the “standard” has been maintained. When you & many others attended Christian schools, did we talk about prostelyzing? No, we talked about “standards”. Beside Maktab Melayu Kuala Kangsar & Royal Military College, the rest started to slide over each admistrative change (within BN). In these schools, they punished you when you were wrong or badly behaved, kicked you out when you couldn’t meet the mark.

      Today, we have no problem about integration but what will the “alternative” look like? What will be the standard like? Are we afraid to weed out the weak in order everyone grows strong or shield them? Are we trying to be popularist (what politicians love doing, not pure educationist)?

      Aiyaaah… lagi membangkitan soalan dari solusi….

    2. the western country successfully create a perception (in short, propaganda) that everthing from them including religion, music, culture, education is sort of progressive, the rest is inferior. hence the answer is 1) irrational fear and impression that anything not western is not progressive 2) freedom of religion.

    3. Salam dek Helen,

      ACS Ipoh hanya untuk murid lelaki, hanya ada pelajar perempuan dalam tingkatan enam, mungkin dek Helen maksudkan MGS Ipoh, atau ACS ditempat lain, sebab di Kampar pun ada ACS juga dan mungkin juga di tempat lain.

      Kami budak ACS cari “pasangan” dengan budak MGS la masa dulu. Memandangkan ibu dek Helen telah tiada, tak eloklah Pak Ard tanyakan namanya, semoga rohnya aman, “May she rest in peace”.
      __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

      Memang Mak kata Anglo Chinese School. Ayahnya (datuk saya) ‘chief clerk’ di New Caledonia estate (ladang getah) dan tahu berbahasa Tamil juga. — Helen

  7. Sorry LKY is very stringent on university not LKS. LKS hanya ikut arah angin yang meniup. Hahaha

  8. Salam dek Helen,

    Sekolah satu aliran masih jauh. Demokrasi tidak mengizinkan. Apa-apa perubahan besar secara mendadak akan meletakkan pembuat perubahan itu dalam keadaan bahaya kehilangan sokongan. Kerajaan semasa tentu tidak berani mengambil risiko. Yang dituduh Diktator pun tak berani, inikan pulak yang kata sekarang bukan lagi masa “government know best”.

    Jangan risau sangat, terimalah keadaan sekarang seadanya.

    Sekolah Wawasan mungkin satu pilihan, tetapi Huayong pernah menyangkal dengan alasannya, namun alasan tersebut tak dapat Pak Ard sahkan. Andaikanlah alasan tersebut sahih maka tujuan dasar sekolah wawasan masih boleh diterima, cuma pelaksanaannya kurang keikhlasan. Ianya boleh diperbetulkan.

    Dalam renungan Pak Ard, bahasa bukan sebab utama penolakan sekolah kebangsaan oleh sesetengah warga Malaysia. Biarkan teka-teki itu disitu.

    Pak Ard cuba asingkan isu bahasa dari isu sekolah satu aliran. Bahasa Kebangsaan gagal didaulatkan kerana kegagalan pelbagai pihak. Kerajaan semasa gagal dan membiarkan bahasa kebangsaan dihanyutkan “kehendak pasaran”.

    Pak Ard pernah mewakili syarikat tempat bekerja berbincang soal perniagaan dengan syarikat milik Cina yang wakilnya juga Cina didikan VS. Kami berbincang dalam bahasa Melayu walaupun pada mulanya Pak Ard berbahasa Inggeris. Ini berlaku atas perkiraan bahasa terbaik beliau adalah bahasa Cina, kedua Melayu dan ketiga Inggeris.

    Pak Ard pula, yang terbaik bahasa Melayu, kedua Inggeris, ketiga tak ada. Sudah tentu mengikut “kehendak pasaran” bahasa yang patut kami guna adalah Bahasa Melayu kerana tujuan asas adalah saling memahami bukan mendaulatkan bahasa kebangsaan.

    Namun dalam urusan pemerintahan, kerajaan semasa perlu menunjuk teladan. Pak Ard pernah coretkan di laman ini satu masa dulu apabila PM kita bertemubual di satu stesen TV berbahasa Cina, TV7 kalau tak silap. Beliau guna bahasa Inggeris, pengacara rancangan itu pula mengalihbahasakan ke bahasa Cina, bukan alihbahasa itu dipersoalkan tapi bahasa Inggeris, kenapa tidak bahasa kebangsaan, tak kan pengacara tak mampu mengalihbahasakan bahasa kebangsaan.

    Tak hairanlah Pusat Transformasi Luarbandar diringkaskan jadi RTC dan lawan web kementerian diringkaskan moa, moe, mof dan pelbagai mo lagi. Akhir kata, Pak Ard tak boleh pukul anak sindir menantu, itu dera namanya, kalau nak pukul anak, pukullah anak, nak pukul menantu pukullah menantu…selamat malam.

  9. Was reading sinchew when an Aneh wanted to borrow it .

    “you tau BC !!!!??”
    ‘NO lah , saja mau check TOTO & kuda numbers !’

  10. An Indian fren tak mau certain school for his son.

    “WHY !!!??” (aku was curious.)

    ‘TOO many Indian boys there !!’

  11. Speaking as a non, ten years ago, I would have believe one school concept as championed by regular commentators here like Shamsul Anuar. Nowadays, I no longer believe in it when our national schools have been pretty much become breeding ground of religion indoctrination. Heck, today’s Malaysia is no longer the same Malaysia that my parents used to live in when secularism reigned supreme. Now, almost everyday we’re seeing news that must be related to religion (that includes news on banning certain foreign artistes from performing in Malaysia). And because of religion difference, Malays and non-Malays don’t exactly share the same world-view (in one commentator Iqraq’s words in past threads of Helen’s blog), which makes real integration that difficult.

  12. “The true victory (the true negation of the negation) occurs when the enemy talks your language”.

    The fact that most of the world now hold western “concepts” such as “free speech”, “democracy”. “human rights” as what we should/must strive for is indicative that “we”, the people of the Non-West, are already talking the language of the West.

    I have said previously that vernacular school education does not protect its students from the influence of western culture. On the contrary, it serves only to further promote the propagation of western values without even knowing that you are actually doing it.

    The thing with Chinese education is that, there has been a trend that has been going on for years now, where there is a significant number of Chinese who in their misguided thinking, have concluded that there is absolutely no need to master English, or any other foreign languages due to the rise of China. Their position is based on the premise that as China rises to world power status, other cultures will have to adapt to China’s influence rather that the other way around.

    This is ridiculous. As we have seen in Malaysia, the Chinese that are fighting for the DAP’s Malaysian First ideology are those that were educated by Chinese schools, with of course the Anglophiles providing the ideological “tutoring” in the background.

    If you do not know what the other side is really up to, the agenda that it is secretly “cooking up”, because you do not know the language in which these values are being propagated (i.e you do not know English or any other languages where these values are being expressed), you become susceptible to them, brainwashing as I call it.

  13. I remember a documentary about tamil vernacular schools on some western channel, bbc if i am not mistaken, a tamil principal in malaysia spoke tamil on tv with english subtitles…it was truly humiliation because he is a malaysian yet refuse to speak malay or at least english? such behavior would not be accepted if he is indonesian and even western countries.

    True as helen said, it is not the fault of schools that the products failed miserably in bahasa, but still, the schools create an environment of chauvinism and illusion that malaysia is exclusively for their kind, the chinese students from sjks will speak chinese all their school years and would eventually work in chinese owned or dominated companies which advertise chinese speaking candidates need only apply.

    Touche, how do you expect the chinese or tamil that have poor grasp in bahasa let alone english (i met sjkc engineers and techs, their english is as bad) be accepted into the mainstream society such as working in the government and even glc and yet they cry foul of being treated as second class citizen?

    In australia and even britain nor any western country, you need to proof of english competency to be accepted into the civil service and critical key industries such as research, my uncle who is malaya had to pass swiss german and french test before becoming a swisss citizen and even to registered in to the swiss board of engineer, then the chinese and tamils in malaysia should expect the sanctity of bahasa and a crucial precursor to attain their cherished first class position…as helen said, peole respect you when you speak their language..

    but in malaysia..the chinese educationists and even other vernacular scum like tamil and missionary educationist themselves practive anti malay apartheid in their small chauvinist worlds – djz demand malay teachers who cannot speak mandarin be expelled from chinese schools, the bukit nanas convent rejecting a malay muslim principal because she is not christian, ..these all are biadap….najib may stupidly be showering gifts on these beacons of chauvinism…but many malays are livid! !

    Imo, we can allow the operational of the v schools, but i demand no more be built. there are more malay children and cohorts who need more schools….lets do a referendum on the one school system if these vernacular goons still act arrogant!

  14. One more thing, may I add that, if you want to protect yourself from being the victim of your enemy’s deception, you learn their language. How do you protect yourself if you don’t know what they are truly expressing through written and oral speech ? Think about it folks. Learn other languages folks. Learning other languages does no harm. In fact, learning other languages is liberating “la langue est liberatrice.

  15. Helen, I m going to ask you a question here. Its going to make some people uncomfortable, especially the Chinese educated. Here goes :

    if Pakatan comes to power, and it begins to erode the character of Chinese schools through various methods, like introducing religion (Christianity, Islam), and slowly imposes other conditions such as posting non-Chinese speaking teachers to Chinese schools (Helen, I m basing this entirely on the premise that Chinese Schools and the Chinese community will accept such conditions being impose on them as they, the Chinese community, are mostly brainwashed into thinking everything the DAP do is good, well, most of them have been brainwashed anyway don’t you think Helen ?),

    when it reaches the stage where the Pakatan government has the adequate support from various stakeholders of society to abolish Chinese schools, the Chinese community realises that they have been taken for a ride, what do you think they (the Chinese community, the Chinese educated), how will they respond ?
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    I’m guessing some will respond like George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and the same as they’ve responded to hudud, i.e. they have no objections. If DAP-Pakatan say good, it must be good. Let’s explore HOW MANY these ‘some’ Chinese really are (next posting). — Helen

    1. Thanks for the reply Helen. It looks like the Chinese will buy anything the DAP-Pakatan Cartel is selling to them, even if its snake oil and “sweet poison”.

    2. ai, i think ur assumption is flaw. as of today, pr take the stand to preserve vs, and oppose ppsmi, dap is clear on the former while vague on the later, they want the vote from both. chinese community is diverse, chinese educationist (not limited to the current bunch of idiot from djz) not necessary can work well with dap, in fact kua, lee n chong (this are the grp i respect) that quit dap clearly show that we dun buy everything dap say or do, but i suspect most malay that comment here have a poor grip of djz relationship with chinese base political parties.

      that said, djz n chinese educationist may misread the will of chinese community pertaining to chinese education, i think quality and english is the crux, not chinese language.

      1. are you really sure ? he he he ! Tony Pua has said that PPSMI should be an option for schools if they wanted too. Until LKS, LKS and the rest come out openly and say that they will do absolutely anything to preserve vernacular schools, nothing is certain. he he he ! Now, now, are you Boxer or Squealer ? he he he !

      2. Who cares..neither grps bring any benefit to the mainstream malay…ifny dun care abt the position of bahasa. Why should we even bother…i always think that umno commented too much on these vernacubengs

        Chinese in malaysia generally despise mahathir but forget that under mahathir era chinese education were allowed to expand…take TAR college which become university…such things would be unimaginable during tun hussein onn and tun razak era..

        MCA would not even dare mention the word melayu lest he be hounded by pemuda umno back then unlike the pemuda umno now who is spineless..cannot even get that MCA woman in malacca to explain herself for joining bersih gathering in malacca and she is still in MCA and we get tunkuy abdul aziz muzzled for voicing out concern….mca and dap, true bermuka muka..maybe sleep in same bed
        ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

        Would the mattress be Star brand? — Helen

      3. ai, not really sure but this is what i wrote “as of today, pr take the stand to preserve vs, and oppose ppsmi, dap is clear on the former while vague on the later, they want the vote from both. ”

        which part u dun understand?

      4. Take the stand to preserve ? Are you saying or implying that taking a stand is equal to taking action ? I m sure you know the difference between taking a stand and taking action. You know what I mean ? Or are you Boxer ? Or are you Squealer ? he he he ! I can also say i take a stand now, and I can also say that later on that I m taking another stand ? Are you Boxer ? Are you Squealer ? he he he !

      5. chinese in malaysia generally despise mahathir but continue to give him the mandate to rule via votes. no?

        expression like who cares and vernacubengs show that u r not interested to discuss, or u dun know what we r talking about and thus substitute the argument with straw man, in either case, u r wasting my time. i move on.

      6. the he he he is mind boggling, did u take ur ubat today? ur reply seem to suggest that i’m speaking to a person who cannot hear, and writing to a person who cannot read. perhaps it’s both. did I say stand equal to action? I am saying there is another possibility to what you project, and I even said dap stand is vague wrt ppsmi, again which part you dun understand?

      7. Did I hit your nerve HuaYong, the defender of Chinese education ? Now go read Animal Farm, Chinese Boy he he he ! okay, I need to have some medications. If I don’t take medications, HuaYong will reproach me again. Now I m going to take my medications. He he he !

      8. AI, nope, and far from it. I have great respect toward you so i hope we could give all this a pass. I think Tok Rojak writing worth our further discussion and explore. I read Animal Farm, but i don’t think this is how we should interpret Orwell words, otherwise nothing move. We still have a pretty healthier democratic system in place.

    3. Interesting discussion going on… another hot potato. First, DAP doesn’t have a platform on education except to be opportunist & jump on the bandwagon to speak what people are speaking about (like calling LGE an enviromentalist because he wore a green T-Shirt). Inside PR, besides DSAI brief (and disasterous) time as education minister, PKR also has no educational policy with the exception on PAS. Many are surprised but PAS actually has a education policy (not yet declared but we leave that for another day). BN/Alliance had the extreme good fortune to inherit the British tradition & educational foundation. That is why early teachers were sent to places like Kirby and returned to head most of the teacher’s college we still have today (Maktab Penguruan).

      Some comments talk about West & Eastern values in education (eg. HY & Ahmad Ibrahim) or the missionary educationist (eg. Forrestcat). Just to make a slight correction, the missionary educationist no longer exist with the fall of the colonial powers. These educationist came on the same boat with the colonist, some not to subjugate the “natives” but had a true mission to save “the savage” (another issue left for another day) through education.

      The dichotomy between East & West is valid and rooted in Western civilization. To answer HY, there are new indigenious movements in education that try to find a new contextualized educational approach (eg. Africa, Latin America etc). These nationalistic movements are sometimes sprinkled with Marxism or socialism.

      However, Western thinking (ie. education) has been greatly influence by the Renaissance (eg. Da Vinci), the discovery of the New World, then the Enlightenment followed by the Industrial revolution. The Enlightenment was the water shed of Western thinking where everything include the place of “truth” and religion was questioned. This led to the period of reasoning and rationalism. Today’s post-Modernism (eg. Lady Gaga, LGBT movement etc) is the grandchild of the enlightment. Therefore, sometimes conservative Muslims associate this with Christian decadence. Christianity is in a fallen state in a secular West. However, this is a genetic fallacy since all religions have to engage with post-modernism.

      Chinese education is sheer rote & repetition because of Confucian ethics. In imperial China, students needed to “pass” government exams to be court officials. The “order of the universe & society” as extol by Confucius. That is why China is so good at “ciplak”, not new innovations.

      Many non-Chinese seem to think that students in VS are doing well… Are we sure? To be honest, yes due to a mental block plus biasness, BM is a barrier to most Chinese students in these schools. Ibu-bapa cakap bahasa pasar, anak pun ikut. Therefore, chances of moving on pass Tingkatan 5 is slim except for exceptional students. These are the 6-12 “A”s students that even make Malays blush when they speak BM.

      Sorry to dissapoint readers here, not everyone has a “nice” job waiting for them in big Chinese companies when they fail to pass Form 5. Many end up car mechanics, sales girls, waitress, cooks or factory jobs in Singapore. But a proper study & statistics is needed in this area. For Tamil schools not sure but surely can’t be any better.

      We are in agreement for assimilation and integration but the two key issues (which is the same concern for “Bangsar” Malays or even Malays on a whole). 1) Is there are a comprehensive, holistic policy in place? Can the system prepare the student to prepare for the global challenges (in terms of the syallabus, the languages studied for local/global communication etc) 2) The standard of the system in terms of teaching staff, text books, learning environment etc?

      Once this factors are in place, agreed by all (Malaysians), government (visionary) and most importantly parents (please leave out race & religion). Then we need to set a time line (10-15 years) for integration.

      Salam!
      ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

      Thanks for bringing up the plight of dropouts from the vernacular system: “Many end up car mechanics, sales girls, waitress, cooks or factory jobs in Singapore”. These people are not on the M’sian First radar. — Helen

  16. By the way Helen, since you’ve mentioned George Orwell’s Animal Farm, who do you think is going to play the role of the Boxer, the animal whose second maxim is “Napoleon is always right” ? He he he !
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The Choir of 45,500 Angels? Tweet, tweet …

    1. I think the Chinese community, err I mean the vast majority of them, will play the role of Boxer, after all, they have all bought Napoleon’s Malaysian First snake oil. He he he ! And their hatchet men, those from The Star, Tricia Yeoh, Haris etc, will play the role of Squealer he he he ! As always the big guns of the DAP, Hannah, Teresa, James, David, Tony, they will play the role of the pigs. He he he ! Oh yes, there’s Napoleon, a.k.a the Dear Leader he he he !

  17. Helen,

    I treasure all comments. They look from various angles. there is no denying on the importance of English as a language of trade and commerce today. Meaning stop kidding that you can communicate in Malay with a Saudi Arabian bussinessman or a Filipino diplomat.

    And there is no denying that learning an extra language is a bonus. It makes lives easier for you .

    But the compelling reason for One School Concept is more than just economics. It is not about a language actually. It is about mixing together from tender age UNDER ONE ROOF.

    That is the practice in other parts of the world. Why we differ here?

    For this reason alone Helen( I hope you are not offended), Malays do not generally trust the Chinese( and vice versa). This is sentiment of malay community.

    “Dia asyik cakap Malaysian Malaysia. Dia bising katanya dilayan macam pendatang. Tetapi dia tak mahu anak bergaul dengan bukan Cina( maksudnya yang berkulit lebih hitam darinya”. This come from a malay friend.

    “dia kata sekolah kebangsaan terlalu “melayu”. Dalam masa yang sama dia ugut tak mahu cikgu Melayu di sekolah Cina tetapi demand kerajaan bayar gaji untuk sekolah bukan Kebangsaan”

    What i am stressing here is integration is just a dream until we make the move to demolish the invisible wall between the Malays and the non Malays.

    Nobody is saying Chinese not to learn their Mandarin. Go and learn. And in fact Malays also encourage and respects those who know other languages. But learn under one roof.

    “an idle mind is a devil’s work”. If our mind is “kosong” on other races trial and tribulation, then it is naturally easy to fall to misconceptions fed by useless politicians.

    There are fanatics among Malaysian politicians. One party once in a while says wants total Islamic law but shows nothing on how this can be implemented. They ignore the fact that approximately 40% is non Muslim. I will still how respect if at least they can present their case comprehensively. Where are the blueprints?

    And there are politicians from one party that literally waging war on Malays to be relevant in their community. With limited powers they bulldoze hawker stalls just because the owners are Malays. Yes. Just because the owners are Malays. But they are so accomodating to Chinese hawkers to the point of creating massive traffic jam just to please these Hawkers who operate literally on the busy street in Penang.

    And yet they dare to accuse other of being racist.

    These 2 examples may have nothing to do what kind of school system in place. But a deeper analysis shows that we “tolerate” these nonsenses as we do not “know” the other people.

    So much distrust can disappear once we “know” other races. Knowing means not just skin deep conversation with neighbours.

    Let us be honest here. Let us accept reality that integration will only start if we put the effort. Let us expose these useless politicians who “cari makan” simply by dividing us so that they can overlord us.

    Let us take the basic baby step. Let us for our children sake, mix around.

    1. Spoken well Enc. Shamsul. Your first sentence speaks realism.. In Malaysia perlu BM, ini mustahil – the non-negotiable. But when facing the orang putih, pakai Inggeris atau lebih baik bahasa Arab kepada orang Arab. We cannot trade with ourselves, right?

      In reality, Malaysians don’t realise that dropouts from Chinese VS are neither good in BM nor English. That is why they speak Mandarin/dialect and some spattering bahasa pasar but no English. We talk so much about the bigots of Chinese schools but few realize the “victims” of the system. They are not pushed to overcome the hurdle of English, let alone BM. This is reinforced in homes not by propaganda but by generational handovers/ignorance. Grandparent left school at Standard 3, parents at Standard 6 or Form One/Three, at least children get to see Form 5. Is this upward mobility? If in the new village, they will say yes.

      Then to integrate with SMJK, have to repeat an extra year to “assimilate.” Complete waste of time!! Some smart kids are finishing their physics degree at 18 years old because of a more open system.

      But your other comment is equally interesting. “Malays do not generally trust the Chinese( and vice versa). This is sentiment of malay community.” You are 100% right. Although non-Malays make up close to half of Malaysia (45%) their voices will not carry weight in the public discourse. When we address issues like education, jobs, politics, the constitution, culture.. we are labeled biadap.

      So I strongly advocate that progressive Malays set their own agenda with the Bumi consensus in mind (Orang Asal, Sabahan & Sarawakians) with the intention to fully integrate the non-Malay, non-Bumi into a holistic policy that will bring Malaysia forward. As expressed, the train analogy that moves forward (maybe without class distinction but the driver should/can be Malay). As one person replied, even with new tracks etc… This means a whole new infastructure where Malays want to bring other Malays/Bumi forward and with the assistance of dan lain2 to add meat to the bones. What say you?

  18. Tok rojak,

    Malays are a humble lot. That itself is a good trait. But Malays also have one damaging trait, that is misplaced priority.

    Damaging in the sense that they let non Malay politicians( some, not all) to challenge the Malays with impunity. Take a simple case of Guan Eng, in his trademark “biadap” called Najib as “hitler’.

    As Najib refused to react, Guan Eng will be bolder. He is sending messages that it is ok to be rude to the head of Govt.

    AS FOR SEPARATE SCHOOL, the real victims are Malaysians themselves. We allow people like Guan eng and DJZ to determine that our children are separated from tender age.

    The irony is that these people( DAP) are the loudest when it comes into wanting a real “malaysian Malaysia'( meaning whatever provisions for malays are open for other races while they still insist “mandarin is preferred” in private sector)

    Is DAP really powerful and holds supreme position among Chinese community? Is that really so or people keep saying that until we are made to believe it?

    As I said earlier, a knife can cut both way. Tacit approval on DAP insisence on vernacular separate school may actually victimize Chinese students more than Malays. Many of them are not able to converse in Malay, effectively putting them out of civil service. And they also cant speak English.

    That does not Malay students are excellent in English. But is another topic for another day.

    As long as we keep electing racist like DAP as our representatives who give false hope that Chinese no need to integrate with Malays, then be ready to pay the price. Then do not be surprise when Chinese find Malays do not trust them or occasionally call them “pendatang”. Because some of them are so fond of behaving like “pendatang”.

    1. Dear Shamsul, the Chinese have a saying,”when talking to devil, speak like devil. When talking to man, talk like man” Do you know why they do not have a shadow cabinet? Because no substance, no agenda…

      Over the years, DAP has had some exceptional leaders (like Lee Lam Thye, P. Patto, V. David and others). Either LKS got rid of them or made it hard to continue the struggle. Some even went to Bangkok as broken people because they held the universal dream of socialism or equality of all men (including Malay leaders of Parti Sosialist Malaya). It is for this reason I admire independent leaders that are exceptional natural & good leaders – like the old Gerakan. They had a vision & roadmap for development (eg. Penang). Malays were happy.

      I have always told friends, hand over the government (not even to PR) to DAP, how are they going to develop meritocracy where it will be all inclusive. They can’t even hold on to their existing Malay leaders (sometimes even good Chinese leaders), so how are they going to integrate the Chinese-Malay-Dusun-Iban connundrum?. That is why they equally need PKR to “kautim” this part of the show although they know that PKR may turnout to be a wrong partner.

      So to answer your question, no they don’t have control over my mind.. maybe I’m Cina celup but until I see DAP go into the villages (Malay, Chinese & Indian) to develop education for the sake of Malaysians (not some show case for poltical reason), then it may convince me that they are sincere. Just do the job, tak perlu cakap2 banyak.
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      Don’t forget the Lil’-insecure-Emperor kicked out Wee Choo Keong too. He’s someone I’d vote for… sharp & alert in Parliament. — Helen

      1. helen, i’d so vote for yb WCK too!

        btw tok rojak, as i’ve mentioned to helen before, i think the Lims fancy making png, in as far as they can manage it, in the image spore. i fear if they hold the pearl long, it will turn into the “pseudo-fascist” nation that spore is – which most ppl aren’t aware of. well at least, i wasn’t until a few of days ago.

        when eduardo saverin [co-founder of fb] gave up his us citizenship for spore and paid the pocket change [for him] of $365 million in exit tax, everyone here were flabbergeed abt how blatantly crass it was of him. i otoh was more curious “why spore?”. so i decided to check a bit more abt that red dot which i all this while just dismissed as that kiasu nabe of ours. :)

        of the things i came across, this speech of chee soon juan at the oslo freedom foundation is quite an eye-opener: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8MvluwC8jI

        have a listen!

  19. Tok rojak,

    unfortunately finding a Chinese like you or Helen who dare to question DAP is like finding a needle in a haystack.

    But I do understand. For quite some time, Malays also face the same predicament. they are “moulded” to think that criticizing PAS is equivalent to questioning Prophet or islam itself.

    One thing I notice is that UMNO is “lembut” as compared to DAP. We can say so many nasty things about it. Najib will not punish us.

    I am not sure about DAP. With limited power, it has already behaved like the Emperor of China.

    “habis la negara ini jika orang gila macam Guan Eng perintah”

    That was said by my in-law.

    1. Jika orang macam Guan Eng perintah, Malaysia akan jadi Hell on Earth. Tengok…….dah belum perintah, dah fitnah orang yang mempunyai pendapat yang berbeza, akbar pun dia banned, apa lagi……..rakan dia Nga Kor Ming panggil Datuk Zambry hitam metalik…….hai orang apa ni ? Tak ada adab ke ? Sekolah mana yang didik murid semacam ni ? Siapa ibu bapa dia orang ni ? Tak tahu didik anak ke sampai kuat buat fitnah ? Hai apalah orang ni ?

      1. Penang belum jadi neraka lagi lah. Tapi akan berubah menjadi rimba konkrit ala Singapork satu hari nanti, disebabkan oleh pembangunan yang tidak terkawal dan para kapitalis tamak haloba yg bermaharajalela!

    2. How about one questioning DUMNO? All those government agencies will go after them such as lodge police report, fried bugger, doing the rimbo rock and to the extend putting up in the exclusive holiday resort at kamunting. Questioning opposition is kacang putih and further get perks and even titles.

  20. MsianInNY, yes, I’ve read Ivan Illich several times. Then you would be familar with Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Opressed.” Socialism isn’t everything, only the beginning. There are no perfect socialist states in existence. Most are poor, lack or vision & improvished. Nevertheless, these challenges to uplift the poor especially through schooling should be the soul of any educational system.

    Mekyam, DAP is too late on working with Penang like what LKY did with Singapore. I’m late in the discussions on Firsters & Anglophiles here but if using these categories, LKY was/is a super Angophile, mixed with Confucian ethics and social engineering. He immediately absorbed the British foundation in administration, education, political structure and law. ie. Don’t re-invent the wheel. Instilling filial piety in a predominent Taoist/Buddhist society was easy therefore setting the different structures of respect starting from the families till the larger/extended family (the big brother). Of course based on history, we can see how social engineering took placed based on socialist concepts. eg. where to stay, study, birth rate.. At least Mahathir gave LKY a run for his money. Thaksin if given a chance may be in the running as Asian legends, including Susilo Bambang.

    By hitting the ground running, he chose the best minds (he wasn’t threaten by them) in public policy planning (in education and especially in town planning). Does DAP surround themselves with the best minds? Town planning? Penang is best know for its rojak. Soon, this dish will be symbolic of the state. Gerakan (Lim Chong Eu) went about governing the island & developing it not distracted by political posturing. That they left it the big boys in KL to do. Does LGE have this kind of leadership skills? It was not so long ago (15 years) that DAP was still shouting obscenities in Parliment. Until then, I was a soft believer but after that….

    Shamshul, yes Helen is starting to grow on me bit by bit too. Like my first comment last week, if we remove the race & religion stuff, let us talk about national issues that are affecting both the Malays and non-Malays. No poor Malays anymore? Only rich Chinese and maginalized Indians? No poor Chinese? No rich Indians? OK, no problem on NEP but is it still working? No, then we need to re-look, re-thinking and re-apply its original spirit… People (everyone) will look for a loophole in anything… So there are abuses.

    Nothing is perfect. I see so much potential in our country. I think insightful, progressive Malays should start taking the driver’s seat and it is not necessary that they need to be from either side politically. Today, Uthayakumar (Hindraf) has declared he will run as an independent based on his beliefs and conviction for the Indians. Win or lose, he is standing up to be counted. I think this will be our future…
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Yesss! Uthaya for Parliament! — Helen

    1. Tok Rojak;

      You mentioned ‘ social engineering took placed based on socialist concepts’.. Between Tun Mahathir and LKY ,who is more socialist.?

    2. “LKY was/is a super Angophile, mixed with Confucian ethics”
      -more likely legalism rule by law, he doesn’t even bother to display the king’s way (王道), only his hegemony (霸道).

      “Gerakan (Lim Chong Eu) went about governing the island & developing it not distracted by political posturing.”
      -i dont think that’s a fair comparison, would you agree if dap take similar course? do gerakan be it lce and ktk era able to escape the bend toward cronyism eventually? gerakan was started by a group of intellectual, and lce were once with the establishment, dap have no such advantage, and most probably still in a trial and error phase.

  21. Ahmad ibrahim,

    Yes sir. you are right. I notice that Guan eng is arrogant. His tactic is well known. Brush aside any question and accuse anyone who criticizes him as UMNO lackey.

  22. Speaking of Indians, I wondered if anyone here spare a thought on the plight of stateless Indians. I’m just totally stunned with the number as alleged by PKR’s N Surendran (400,000 as he claimed). Al-Jazeera has actually reported about this late last year (the number is claimed to be 40,000). Just two months ago, a pair of Indian brothers were denied citizenship due to some bureaucrazies!
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Have a look at this article which is the clarification by the former chief statistician of Malaysia on calculating the number of stateless Indians. — Helen

    1. Lousy Engineer, thank you for the thoughts. This has nothing to do with Surendran, this is an agenda that HINDRAF have been waging for and now politicians come aboard and hijack it. This is how simple it is with our semua tahu & semua boleh agenda for what is politically expedient when and how we chose it to be.
      _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

      You’re correct. It was Hindraf that brought up the issue in 2010, read here. The PKR middle-class, non-Tamil speaking pollies only recently (baru sedar) hijacked. — Helen

  23. Thanks Helen for those links as they provide clearer perspective. To be frank, I guess I’m one of those baru sedar folks out there, who has probably stuck in the urban, middle class polity for far too long.

    MalaysianinNewYork, I guess whatever issues that were raised by Hindraf, were hopelessly drowned out or muted by accusation that they are racist, extremists, etc. And even if Najib, MIC or whichever political parties out there that are seemingly genuine in trying to tackle this issue (MyDaftar campaign), one suspect that the problem has always been the bureaucracy (i.e. JPN staffs) at large that indirectly defy the memo (direction) from the top and purposely trying to make life difficult for those folks.
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    The Firster poseurs who accuse Hindraf of being racists and extremists are harming the Indian cause. With ‘friends’ like Pakatan, who needs enemies? — Helen

  24. lousy. engineer, you say ” MalaysianinNewYork, I guess whatever issues that were raised by Hindraf, were hopelessly drowned out or muted by accusation that they are racist, extremists, etc”. Sure they are as you state as perceived, but we can’t be devoid of hope and consciousness if truth and reality is what we seek.

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