Something that has no comparison anywhere else in the world

by Loh Meng Kow

“Are the Malays that evil as to be accused of the horrific crime of ethnic cleansing? Are the Malays that ‘bad’ as to allow Chinese and Tamil Schools to continue to receive government funding – something that has no comparison anywhere else in the world?”—A statement by a Malay leader.

I shall deal only with the second question which concerns non-Malays since independence.

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948 reads:

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

The colonial government in Malaya respected the rights of the parents to choose the kind of education they wanted for their children, and we had Chinese, Indian and Malay schools, in addition to the English schools in Malaya before Independence.

The three main races joined in the ‘fight’ for Independence of Malaya with the objective that the individual community and they together should enjoy as much, if not more, rights and autonomy after the independence than during colonial rule. Thus the availability of schools in the mother tongues of the choice of the parents should be a given. The Chinese and Indian schools should have as a matter of course, received full government funding as it provides to national schools. The comment ‘that it has no comparison anywhere else in the world should be correct in true spirit that the vernacular schools should not have been ‘marginalized’.

The sarcasm is brought about by the fact that succeeding leaders of UMNO considered it appropriate to place obstacles on the vernacular education. It was considered that this was not done elsewhere in the world because other country is blessed or cursed with its multiracial composition like we have here, and yet it was ruled on racial ground, where a slight majority in population could win the right to perpetual rule.

All citizens are equal before the law, including those with respect to Inland Revenue. All schools irrespective of the medium of instructions should have been entitled to receiving government funding. That should have been the responsibility of the government. But, not all Chinese or Indian schools in the country received full funding from the government. Many of the buildings and facilities of vernacular schools depended on donations, unlike those of the ‘national schools’ which are fully funded by government. The number of Chinese and Indian schools does not increase in keeping with population growth. It is the use of political might to place obstacles on the education of the minority groups which would not have happened anywhere in the world. Yes, that was something that has no comparison anywhere in the world.

Some 60,000 Malay students have enrolled in Chinese primary schools. These Malay parents, the silent minority, have indicated that Chinese schools are their choice. The Education Minister could not have missed this fact and he should realize that the surge of Malay students in Chinese schools would put pressure on existing facilities available to them. He pledged no closure of Chinese primary schools, as though that was the greatest gift for buying votes from the Chinese community. It would appear that the minister defies the universal declaration of human rights, and he considers his post in the ministry an extension of his office in UMNO.

The declaration of 1948, article 26 (a) provides also that higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. 59 years after the declaration, and 50 years after Independence, only 10% of the places in matriculation courses is available to non-Malays who formed 40% of the population. Even on quota basis, it was not equally accessible. It was not on the basis merit for admission at the Matriculation level. It was also not on the basis of merit when grades of the Matriculation equate that of STPM for university admission. Again like what the Malay leader said, that is something that has no comparison anywhere else in the world

  1. #1 by Libra2 on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 8:58 am

    No, Malays are not bad! In fact most of them are good.
    It is UMNO Malays who are bad, real, real bad.
    They are greedy and corrupted.
    They lie and cheat.

  2. #2 by k1980 on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 8:58 am

    Something that has no comparison anywhere else in the world– the PM, Internal Sec Minister and Finance Minister working together blissfully oblivious to the affairs of the nation

  3. #3 by Short-sleeve on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 9:24 am

    It is the UMNO malays, MCA chinese & MIC indians that are taking this country down the gutter.

  4. #4 by megaman on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 9:35 am

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Power without check and balance will definitely lead to breakdown and abuse.
    It is the same logic everywhere regardless of race and religion.

    The only difference is BN chose to use race to mask their corruption.

    A simple conclusion that many fail to see, preferring to be blinded by pure racial hatred and ignorance.

    It is easy to blame others for faults of your own, but difficult to change for the better.

  5. #5 by mybaru1 on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 9:42 am

    It’s as clear as broad-daylight how the “declared illegal 1987 UMNO party” manipulated and lumped the whole world’s problems and blamed it onto & framed DSAI ……… and now Hindraf?

    What a SHAME, How SHAMEFUL! Bloody DISGRACE!

    Quote: “Manyak Busuk-Hati Punya UMNO, Manyak Hati-Busuk Punya Kerajaan!! Mau Kasi Orang Mati Kah? Sudah Kalah Bicara/Dialog Hantam ISA!!!” PORDAAH!

    Websites – , ,

  6. #6 by Mr Born In Malaysia. on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 10:00 am

    As 40% are non-Malays in Malaysia but only 10% Universities placement are allotted to the non-Malays. Any citizen can see that the figures do not tally , the quota should be 40% non-Malays over 40% placement in the Universities.
    As higher education is the most important to achieve success for everyone , the Barisan cabinet has taken away all the non-Malays right to live a better future.
    This is a clear cut marginalisation to the smaller races in their own country. A clear scene of bigger bully the smaller.
    Let us all give yourselves a wake-up call and give the apposition a chance to fight for our rights.

  7. #7 by sj on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 10:05 am

    UMNO Malays, you corroded our rights beyond recognition. You play all Malaysians for a fool with your racial discrimination policies. You incite hatreds among fellow Malaysians to ensure your own survival. You made many Malaysians think corruption is ok. You strive to create mediocre thinking among fellow Malaysians. You crippled our economy beyond reasons. You use mobs that cannot chain logics in your arguements. You foster useless cabinet members and useless MP that has poor education background and are kurang ajar and dishonest. You twist and abuse religions to no end for your own interests. You dont bring real progress to Malaysia, but a facade of white elephant constructions. You dont invest in the minds of people, but instead you erode them to keep people as docile as possible. You are the anti thesis of a progressive society.

    The more I read about your actions the more I am convinced that you people are the main problems of our society since independece. I believe other parties can do a better job than you people. You had your chances, you have been given more than just second chances. Other people deserve people. If Tunku Abdul Rahman was still alive, he would be so angry at you people for you completely destroyed his legacy.

  8. #8 by DarkHorse on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 10:20 am


    When I first read the quotation, I thought it sounded so eerily similar to something I had read somewhere! So I did a fast rewind and lo and behold, I found that it was my translation of a statement by our Shamshul Annuar made in Bahasa supposedly made by a Malay leader according to him – on another thread “ISA detention of Hindraf five most deplorable.”

    For the record, Shamshul Annuar who said he was not an UMNO member, and was only dropping by to make his contribution to the blog, was so ferociously attacked both for his views as well as personally by posters. It was on the same thread that YB Kit has had to appeal for calm and for posters to respect each other, that he was distressed by what he read.

    Shamshul Anuar said, “As a Malay leader put it clearly” Jahat sangatkah orang Melayu sampai dituduh melakukan pembunuhan etnik. Jahat sangatkah orang Melayu kalau sekolah aliran Cina dan India masih menerima sumbangan Kerajaan , sesuatu yang tiada bandingan dalam dunia ini”

    I had that translated into English for readers thus:

    Are the Malays that evil as to be accused of the horrific crime of ethnic cleansing? Are the Malays that ‘bad’ as to allow Chinese and Tamil Schools to continue to receive government funding – something that has no comparison anywhere else in the world?

    I feel Loh Meng Kow ‘stole the thunder’ if you will – unintentionally it would appear – and should make up for it by giving due recognition to the author of the original quote made in Bahasa and translated by me into English with all its inaccuracies.

  9. #9 by max2811 on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 10:29 am


  10. #10 by mendela on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 10:41 am

    max2811 comments should be removed immediately.

    It is UMO whom hijacks and steals the whole country.

  11. #11 by sani on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 10:48 am


    Though i don’t agree to vernacular schools in general, i disagree more to education that’s not up to par. Just like in medicine, when you don’t put quality before color, it is a vicious cycle that will prescribe the wrong doses to everyone, regardless of your race.

    Many parents have no choice but to put their kids in Chinese or Tamil schools. It is a difficult choice ,as you can’t help them as much as you want as a tuitor, if yourselves don’t speak either Mandarin or Tamil.

    Yes, I agree that only in Malaysia that the goverment fund vernacular schools. But that was before. Many Western countries are now pouring resources into Mandarin + Indian languages programmes. We must remember that their basic national education systems are rock solid + world class in the 1st place.

    National education must be able to produce good people in all fields + as a unification institution, one thing that our national systems had failed since 1970. Thus many parents are going towards the Chinese + Tamil stream, not as a matter of choice.

    After screwing up the National system, The BN are set on destroying the vernacular one as well.

  12. #12 by greenacre on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 10:55 am

    Government funding for Tamil and Chinese schools is stated as a one off thing in the world forgetting to state that chinese and indians are taxpayers and their rights are enshrined in the constitution.

    Perhaps this guys must also state that no where in the world there exists a constitution that specifically states one religion as protected, one race as special. They want all the hardware that was in the past stated as a social contract (my foot) but don’t want the software that is undergoing tremendous change in a flat world.

  13. #13 by cheng on soo on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 11:06 am

    Ai yo! shy lah, dont mention better! how much is the yearly funding, not even a quarter of the sum need to send a man into space. How much govt collect tax from Indian n Chinese Msian. That 1 year funding, is not enaf for every Primary Chinese n Tamil school children to even enaf for them to pay their average bas sekolah for 3 weeks.
    Sure there is no other countries that provide similar funding?? who wan 2 bet with me? No big money ,just RM10/- bet (hey, i.e. more than every primary Tamil N Chinese children get for a YEAR from this funding.)
    NOW, even Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, USA, Japan, UK, S.Korea etc are encouraging their people to learn Chinese lah.

  14. #14 by raven77 on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 11:14 am

    Vernacular schools, be it Malay, Chinese, Indian, etc do not bring unity. It doesnt bear logic. Anyone who claims otherwise is glorifying it only for their own sgo out and get the eelfish ends…..we need to bo back to a neutral language like English and run this country on a managed democracy style. Singapore were in our same shoes and they have done well, same as India and Pakistan. Stick to basic rules and go out and get the economy running….enough of all this talk of race, religion, language, etc…

  15. #15 by sani on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 11:16 am

    Cheng On Soo

    You hit the nail right on the head

  16. #16 by sani on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 11:18 am


    Bulleyes….correct, correct, correct

  17. #17 by Bigjoe on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 11:22 am

    Richard Teo is correct to point out the Chinese and Indian school existed and supported by Colonial government before independence.

    The truth is Chinese school were initially started without any help from colonial government. But under the colonial government, these schools were encouraged to take on more students by providing funding on a per student basis. It encouraged the setting up and growth of schools.

    The truth is government have an obligation to fund schools because they collect taxes to do so. Long time ago even in Western countries, education was entirely private and government only got into education later and collected taxes for that purposes. In the US in particular that right to collect certain taxes like property is tied to providing education.

    So the real question is, if the Malaysian government is collecting taxes mostly from Chinese, isn’t it illegitmate if they are not providing the reciprocal education funding? In other words, if Chinese are not getting the education they want which by the way is the biggest part of the budget, shouldn’t the Chinese demand their money back so that they themselves can fund it the way they want?

  18. #18 by AsIseeit on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 11:23 am

    Even the Australian PM speaks Chinese!

  19. #19 by UzMiNoOnist on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 11:23 am

    When the Chinese have to fund its own school and the national school. Is it too much if I pay less Income Tax?
    Can anyone give us the percentage of tax contribution from the Chinese population to UMNO’s MalaysiaL.

  20. #20 by Mr Born In Malaysia. on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 11:24 am

    To all non-Malays out there , next year’s election is your chance to change for a better tomorrow or future for your kids.

    Please do not let the Umnoputras and their cronies like MCA/MIC/Gerakan/PPP to take away your rights and futures.

    Deny them of their 2/3 win so that they will no longer abuse their absolute power.

    Give the opposition a chance to run the country. Anyway , we have nothing to lose since we do not have any special rights at all for the past 37 years under the Barisan government.

  21. #21 by madmix on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 11:34 am

    The man is stating a fact: that non-Malays are indeed second class citizens, not Malaysians to be treated equally; to be grateful for whatever “kind gestures” thrown their way. Malays are only “bad” if they do unspeakable things to non-malays, depriving them of their rights as citizens is no “bad”.

  22. #22 by undergrad2 on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 11:46 am

    Ethnic schools in the United States date back as far as 1848 when the first influx of Chinese laborers arrived to work on the railways and mines in California. At first classes in Cantonese grew to serve residents of Chinatowns in a number of large U.S. cities. The Chinese Emperor in 1905 took an interest and dispatched Chinese government personnel to look into the needs and identify the problems associated with Chinese schools. In the early 1900s these schools were in fact funded by the Chinese government. This was later to give way to family-oriented Chinese schools funded by private donations. Since 1900 these schools operated outside the U.S. education system and evolved into dynamic, creative and practical institutions of primary and secondary education serving the Chinese and mainstream American society.

    Ethnic schools in the U.S. are allowed to exist, funded privately and they exist for the most part outside the national education system.

    But that is United States. The First Amendment rights of its citizens are too important to make way to some dubious concept of nation building which developing countries say must be followed in their quest for a national identity.

    But perhaps it is not untimely to take a fresh new look at the education system in Malaysia? Has there been an over tinkering of the national education system which followed the politicization of education in the late 60s? Have we carried the concept of socio-economic engineering a bit too far?

    Food for thought.

  23. #23 by DarkHorse on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 11:49 am

    “Richard Teo is correct to point out the Chinese and Indian school existed and supported…” Bigjoe

    Richard Teo or Loh Meng Kow??

  24. #24 by AnakTiriMalaysia on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 1:22 pm

    UITM (UNIVERSITY INSTITUT TEKNOLOGI MARA) is probably the only university which only open to certain ethnic. There is 0% of the students is from the so-called ‘non-bumiputra/non indigenous people)…The practice of admittance is , if your are from the wrong race, this university is not for you -even if your scored strait ‘A’s in O-level or A-level…

    so right here in Malaysia, this is :

    ‘Something that has no comparison anywhere else in the world’

    Probably ‘Guinness Book of World records ‘ should have a subsidiary records -called ‘ GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD NOTORIETY RECORDS’……. In this case UITM is most qualified to be listed in the record, for its practice…..

  25. #25 by tc on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 1:34 pm

    “UMNO Malays, you corroded our rights beyond recognition.”-sj .
    Well said sj.Could you readers read sj article once again.This is the type of mature writing we should be reading.Factual and concise.

  26. #26 by burn on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 3:12 pm

    well, this is what you get, when inexperience people took over. who to blame? blame the gomen that lead by BN UMNO… clown ministers!
    my time was in bahasa, during young, you no nothing. but once you’re working, you will notice that english is the common language that were use to communicate, doing business with multinational and private companies, beside chinese.
    i was lucky, to learn english when in college, bcause most of the students communicate in english. but sad, my written english is like sampah! still learnin…
    now, i sent my 2 children to chinese school, but would prefer english school rather than bahasa. since at home, i communicate with them in english and bahasa. my wife in chinese and english. so, they manage to learn 3 languages in one go…
    with bahasa, it will bring you nowhere to the outside world. only in gomen own corporate companies in malaysia… they should realize that!

  27. #27 by R for Retard on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 4:16 pm

    Well guys the reason why the non malays dont get placement in matriculation is because they dont want the non malays to know the fact their students are given answer sheets and given passes without ever needing to study. Then they’ll be sent to UiTMs all over Malaysia and again they are handed certs just like that. The end result, lots and lots of UiTM grads who cant even write anything in english nor can they read or speak the language.

  28. #28 by Loyal Malaysian on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 4:29 pm

    I think somewhere along the line the point that Chinese and Tamil primary vernacular schools are part of our country’s education system is missed. The question ought to be why our government places so many obstacles in the path of development of those schools. Yes, the shame is on our government and in extension the MCA and MIC as to the level of funding given to the vernacukar schools.
    Of course one can debate as to the role of the vernacular school system on national unity. But that will be another question. However, my opinion is that until society at large can ignore the question of racial origin of all citizens, why expect having a single primary school system to make any difference.

  29. #29 by EddieTheHead on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 6:42 pm

    Well R for Retard, you are spot on, on that issue. Here’s my exchange with a guy on the issue:

  30. #30 by liaw3003sc on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 8:14 pm

    Congrate to Loh for the good write-up. It would give us more valid points to share with our fellow Malaysian to get them to vote opposition. It is, however, undeniable that provision of education is the responsibility of any responsible government. It is also the right of every citizen. Those fellows are only talking nonsense!

  31. #31 by undergrad2 on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 8:59 pm

    It seems we should not be expecting “due recognition” from the author Loh Meng Kow – which reflects poorly on him.

    It does not meet the definition of plagiarism but still like Dark Horse says some recognition of the real author of the quote is in order. Shamshul Anuar I believed made up the fictitious quote and attributed it to a fictitious “Malay leader who says”.

    But then what about the translation? That was clearly the work of Dark Horse.

  32. #32 by bra888 on Friday, 21 December 2007 - 10:10 pm

    I believe that the main problem is that there’s no mutual communication between Malays and Chinese/Indians.

    Just think about it, being a Malaysian, I’m sure that most of us can communicate in the most basic BM. That made it easier for Chinese/Indians to communicate with Malays thus enabling Chinese/Indians to understand them better. However, it does not work effective the other way round with the way that is happening now.

  33. #33 by 1eyecls on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 11:50 am

    old junks normally stayed too long in their ministries are 100% corrupted,they know the means and ways to chip in-and-out,even they are caught with their pants down,our present judiciary system is helping them scot-free!

    e.g.,besides SEMI,we hv our Parliament Queen (her attendance ratio to DEWAN RAKYAT is 2:1XX),Chan K.C.,Krisman and Najis!

  34. #34 by 1eyecls on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 11:56 am

    our Parliament Queen famous quote:”jangan main-main dengan aku,nanti aku sue you ‘go to court until you cough!’ baru tau!”

    btw,X’mas is near,hv you shop untill you drop?

  35. #35 by shamshul anuar on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 1:33 pm

    Dear Dark Horse.

    Indeed I quoted a statement by an UMNO leader, a ketua Bahagian. That is not my own creation. That statement, an impromptu sentences actually a manifastation of what Malay feels about Hindraf allegation.

    They ( Including me) are hurt that they are accused of a heinous crime; that is etnic cleansing.

    As for Mr Loh, I hope he must exercise care whenever he quotes anything. But I give him benefit of doubt. Mr Loh may not realize that proper recognition is expected whenever someone quotes another’s sentences( or translate the quotation). In academic fraternity, however, this is serious. It is called plagiarism.

  36. #36 by DiaperHead on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 8:54 pm

    Not quite Shamshul! It is not plagiarism.

    But it is good that you clarified the matter as to the source of the statement. It was not your statement because you said yourself you were quoting a Malay leader. That is not the issue.

    Obviously Loh Meng Kow was reading your post when he decided to write his short article. He could at least have mentioned where he got the quote and the fact that Dark Horse made the translation. The work is that of Dark Horse.

    He could easily have avoided claims of plagiarism had he changed the words used a little. But he did not. He could have said “as translated by a poster on this blog”. But he did not.

  37. #37 by EARNEST on Monday, 24 December 2007 - 3:51 am

    Yes, give credit where credit is due. The source has to be duly acknowledged.

  38. #38 by ktteokt on Wednesday, 26 December 2007 - 11:18 am

    Whilst the world is turning towards Chinese as an international language, Malaysia is moving in the opposite direction. The one and only place to learn Chinese is none other than Chinese schools and the MCA President even said in the newspapers that Chinese is getting important but he doesn’t seem to be doing anything positive besides announcing such an “empty” message!!

  39. #39 by shamshul anuar on Thursday, 27 December 2007 - 10:06 pm

    Dear Ktteokt

    I refer to your remarks. Perhaps you are not aware that currently some Sekolah kebangsaan also teach Mandarin and Tamil. In future more sekolah Kebangsaan will start teaching the language.

    It is a good development. However, as much as we acknowledge the growing importance of China as an economic superpower, let us not lose sight on the importance of proficiency in English which is language of business and international relation.

  40. #40 by ktteokt on Sunday, 30 December 2007 - 9:09 am

    Teaching of Chinese and Tamil in SKs has been going on since the sixties. Nothing new. I agree that English is important on the international scene but what is more important is that we should not stress so much on Bahasa Malaysia. Look at the standard of English in Malaysia today and you will know how pathetic the situation is!

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