Continue Teaching Science and Mathematics in English

by M. Bakri Musa

The government’s decision to revisit (and most likely do away with) the current teaching of science and mathematics in English is an instructive example of how an otherwise sensible policy could easily be discredited and then abandoned because of poor execution. Had there been better planning, many of the problems encountered could have been readily anticipated and thus avoided, or at least reduced. The policy would then more likely to succeed, and thus be accepted.

Ironically, only a year ago a Ministry of Education “study” pronounced the program to be moving along “smoothly,” with officials “satisfied” with its implementation. Now another “study” showed that there was no difference in the “performance” (whatever that term means or how they measure it) between those taught in Malay or English.

The policy was in response to the obvious deficiencies noted in students coming out of our national schools: their abysmal command of English, and their limited mathematical skills and science literacy. They carry these deficits when they enter university, and then onto the workplace.

The results are predictable. These graduates are practically unemployable. As the vast majority of them are Malays, this creates tremendous political pressure on the government to act as employer of last resort. Accommodating these graduates made our civil service bloated and inefficient, burdened by their deficient language and mathematical abilities.

This longstanding problem began in the late 1970s when Malay became the exclusive language of instruction in our public schools and universities. Overcoming this problem would be a monumental undertaking.

The greatest mistake was to underestimate the magnitude of the task, especially in overcoming the system’s inertia. Today’s teachers and policy makers are products of this all-Malay education system. Change would mean repudiating the very system that had produced them, a tough sell at the best of times.

In their naivety, ministry officials convinced themselves that such enormous obstacles as the teachers’ lack of English fluency could easily be overcome by enrolling them in short culup (superficial) courses that were in turn conducted by those equally inept in English. Or by simply providing these teachers with laptops programmed with instructional modules!

Even if we had had the best talents devoting themselves exclusively to implementing the policy, the task would still be huge. Unfortunately we have Hishammuddin Hussein as Minister of Education shepherding the change. An insightful innovator or an effective executive he is not. Being simultaneously an UMNO Youth Chief, he was also distracted in trying to pass himself off as the champion of Ketuanan Melayu.

These factors practically ensure the initiative’s failure. The tragic part is that the burden of the failure falls disproportionately on the rural poor, meaning Malays, a point missed by these self-professed nationalists. I would have thought that that alone would have motivated them to succeed.

A Better Way

Teaching science and mathematics in English would solve two problems simultaneously. One, considering the critical shortage of textbooks, journals, and other literature in Malay, teaching the two subjects in English would facilitate the acquisition of new knowledge by our students. With the exponential growth of new knowledge, it would be impossible to keep up solely through translations, even if we were to devote our entire intellectual resources towards that endeavor.

The other objective was to enhance the English fluency of our students. Of course if that were the only consideration, there are other more effective ways of achieving it, like devoting more instructional hours to the subject.

If, as the recent Ministry’s “study” indicates, there is no difference in performance between those taught in Malay or English, that in itself would favor continuing the program because of the twin benefits discussed earlier. Besides, changing course midstream would not only be disruptive but also counterproductive. Our educational system needs predictable stability and incremental improvements, not disruptive U-turns and faddish changes, especially in response to political pressures.

A more important point is this. Altering a politically pivotal and highly emotional public policy requires careful preparation and deliberate execution. If I were to implement the policy, this is what I would do. Lest readers think that this is hindsight wisdom on my part, rest assured that I had documented these ideas in my earlier book, long before the government even contemplated the policy.

Being prudent, as we are dealing with our children’s and nation’s future, I would begin with a small pilot project, analyze the problems, correct the deficiencies, and only then expand the program.

First, I would implement the policy initially only at primary and selected secondary schools, like our residential schools. The language requirements as well as the science and mathematical concepts at the primary level are quite elementary, and thus more readily acquired by the teachers. And at that level the pupils would not have to unlearn much as everything would still be new.

In schools where the background English literacy level of the pupils is low as in the villages, I would have the pupils take English immersion classes for a full term or even a year. We had earlier successful experiences with this with our Special Malay Classes and Remove classes. This strategy has also been tried successfully in America for children of non-English-speaking immigrants. Another idea I put forth in my earlier book is to bring back the old English schools in such areas. As the Malay literacy level in the community and at home is high, these pupils are unlikely to “forget” their own language.

At the secondary level, our residential schools get the best students and teachers. Consequently the program could be more easily implemented there as the learning curve would be steep, and mistakes more readily recognized and corrected. Once the kinks have been worked out, expand the program.

Second is the issue of teachers. Fortunately Malaysia has two large untapped reservoirs of talent: recently retired teachers trained under the old English-based system, and native English speakers who are either spouses of Malaysians or residents of this country. Given adequate compensation and minimal of hassles, they could be readily recruited.

I would add other incentives especially if they were to serve in rural areas where the need is most acute. Thus in addition to greater pay, I would give them first preference to teachers’ quarters.

A permanent solution would be to convert a number of existing teachers’ colleges into exclusively English-medium institutions to train future teachers of English, science, and mathematics. As the present teacher-trainees have limited English fluency, I would begin admitting them right away in January following their leaving school in December of the preceding year.

From that January till the regular opening of the academic year (sometime in July), these trainees would undergo intensive English immersion classes where their entire 24-hour day would be consumed with learning, speaking, thinking, and even dreaming in English. With the subsequent three years of additional instructions exclusively in English, these graduates would then be fully fluent in English.

With such quality programs, these graduates would be in great demand within and outside their profession. With their heightened English facility and mathematical competency, their educational opportunities would also expand as they could further their studies anywhere in the English-speaking world. With such bright prospects, these colleges would have no difficulty recruiting talented school leavers. Our teaching profession would also be enriched with the addition of such talents.
As for textbooks, there is no need to write new ones. The contents of these two subjects are universally applicable. Meaning, textbooks written for British students would be just as suitable for Malaysians, so we could select already available books. With its purchasing clout, the government could drive a hard bargain with existing publishers.

I hope Ministry of Education officials, including and especially Hishammuddin, would heed these factors when they review the current policy. They should continue the current policy, correct the evident errors, and strengthen the obvious weaknesses. The success of this policy would also mean success for our students, and our nation. That is a worthy pursuit for anyone with ambitions to one day lead the nation.

  1. #1 by ChinNA on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 1:40 pm

    Malay-sians are not short of ideas just successful execution. Unfortunately, I lost my mastery of BM now although I am a product of the all-BM education.

    Mr Bakri is right, the transformation to being proficient in English is a long journey. Till today, I am still not proficient in English for science and mathematics.


  2. #2 by Tantech on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 2:48 pm

    Why Chinese objected to teach science and maths in English? Because it would mean they have not many subjects left in Chinese. Why do you call it a Chinese school when you have only 3 subjects in Chinese?

    My proposal is – Bring back the English school! Let Chinese and Tamil schools to have their own identity. They have BM and English subjects. It is good to give parents more choices. Well if they think English is important for their children, then go to the English school.

  3. #3 by Mr Smith on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 2:53 pm

    It’s amazing how Bakri of the exact state of affairs back home, right to the nitty-gritty, even though he is living across the globe.

    Interestingly, those back home in UMNO know nothing about what is happening under their very noses. Anyway does it matter since their own children are packed off to overseas or international schools.

    When Bahasa Malaysia was first used as the medium of instruction to replace English in the 1970s, I told my friends that “this would be an intellectual sacrifice of the future generations”.

    Today I can smugly say, “Didn’t I say so?”

    The problem today is, the teachers themselves are not proficient in English to teach Maths and Science in the language.
    Try conducting an essay writing competition among teachers and you will know what I mean.

    There are hundreds of retirees who were the products of the colonial system but the Education Ministry chose to ignore them in place of half baked Malay teachers who attended local culup English courses.
    Need we ask why the entire civil service is filled with non-English speaking graduates rejected by the private sector.

    The real losers in this catastrophic system are the Malays themselves, socially, educationally and intellectually. This is the result of political interests superceding the interests and survival future of their own people.
    And yet there is not an iota of indication that the BN government wants to undo the wrong.

  4. #4 by Mr Smith on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 2:54 pm

    Correction to the above : “It’s amazing how Bakri is aware of the exact state of affairs back home, right to the nitty-gritty, even though he is living across the globe.

  5. #5 by max2811 on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 3:02 pm

    The education policy in Msia is too politicised. The worst lot are the Chinese school students who has to do Science and Maths in English.

    Being an English teacher for 28 years in a Chinese school and a product from a missionary school, I find the education policy on the teaching of maths and science in English for Chinese school ridiculous.

    These two subjects should either be done all in Chinese or English and not both. The allocated time is shared by the two languages making the poor pupils not comprehending the concepts and and not having enough exposure and time to learn English.

    Over the years, pupils that come from Chinese schools are very good in their maths and science but very poor in their spoken and written English. Instead of allocating more time to teach English, Chinese educationists fought to have more time for Chinese subjects. We keep churning people who can’t communicate well with the western business world.

    But they can still manage to make it in the working world due to their resilience and being hardworking, albeit two steps slower.

    My suggestion is to let educationists decide on strategies and not politicians. Politicians tend to be racist and lacking in knowledge on how to restore the glory. I shudder whenever I recall an English graduate teacher asking me to check her essay for mistakes.

    Bring back the English medium schools. Promote English teachers who have a distinction in English at MCE/GCE level(rare breed)in primary schools. Don’t look at the colour of the skin or the ‘bin or binti’ in the names. Just look at his/her capabilities and grades.

  6. #6 by Tantech on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 3:10 pm

    Learning science and maths in English does not guaranttee competent in the language. If the students can’t even command fluent English, they will not be able to follow thru. That was why all Malay, Chinese and Tamil schools did badly in these two subjects. They lost interest as they could not catch up.

  7. #7 by Samuel Goh Kim Eng on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 3:12 pm

    On the question of science and mathematics in English
    The ‘bottom line’ is not in the language but knowledge
    So let’s be realistic and let other thoughts perish
    And accept what’s best now for all to openly acknowledge

    (C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 140608
    Sat. 14th June 2008.

  8. #8 by Anak Malaysia on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 3:47 pm

    Dear Malaysians & Muslim Brothers and Sisters,

    We, PR Malaysians of Arab UAE were laughing loudly when we read some articles wrote by a top Malay scholar in a prestigous university in Middle East. The Malay scholar was graduated from local ITMara holding 1st class honor degree in science and mathematics. He was under your government scholarship programme to do his Master degree and PHD in an Arab country.

    What a nice joke from his article wrote by this top Malay scholar ? He wrote a simple essay message about the good teaching of science and art in both English and Malay languages in the local ITM. The local university allowed combination of both languages in order to pass the public exam.

    Let us share with you his short essay message here:-

    ” Malaysia government kini encouraged all rakyat to read more rujukan books in sains and teknologi semasa. Ini can memperkembangkan ilmu science and technology bagi semua rakyat Malaysia to compete dalam zaman gloablisation sekarang. This is also because rakyat kita masih weak in both bidang sains and teknologi for bersaing with graduates from overseas universities. Akan tetapi sikap our goverment masih kiasi dan kiasu to post many brilliant students and tak kasi many scholarship kepada other smart races pasal sistem education quota dalam Minister of Education ”

    We dont understand …….apa dia tulis ? Do you ? Maybe a First Class Professor from ITM read it with excellent answer to reward him with 1st class honor degree. MY GOD !

    Similar, I trained a local fuel degree Chinese holder from University Technology Malaysia about the fuel consumption system compared with the solar power system. I was suprised that the Chinese young graduate is able to write good essay in 3 languages in Mandarin, English and Malay without “rojak mixed essay” . I asked him the same question about the Malay scholar method of writing essay with mixed languages. He told me that it is good to master Maths and Science in English language. But also master Chinese in business accountancy and business field for him to find a better career in HK and Singapore. Similar, he said Malay language is only used in government departments and to understand or mixed with the local Malay communities so that he can able to challenge them. Similar, I asked an Indian fuel engineer who master English, Tamil and Malay languages was given the same answer like the Chinese grad.

    Therefore, I interviewed a Malay Science grad from UM recently about the same question. He told me a simple answer:-

    “Dont worry,be happy, our kind government will find jobs for Malays in civil services and govt agencies. It is alright to learn more Malay to be a genuine Malay and ignored English of the colonial white fellows are useless to our “Ketuanan Melayu” in Malaysia. Why waste time and money to learn English supremacy in science and technology in Malaysia. Our current PM advised Malays to venture agricultures, fishing and farming are more lucrative careers.”

    Finally, I am forced to pick this Malay grad to become an technical executive trainee in the top fuel national company rather than other better selections due to unequal policies in Malaysia. Lastly, he quited after 3 months because he cannot read, listen and write or draw in a simple fuel hydroplastic technical system in science and technology in English version as well as to calculate the figures in English mathematics. In view of unfair policy, the position is still vacant for few months to get a qualified pre-BUMI who can master in science and technology in English. I was informed that the two grads Chinese and Indian are serving top Shell and Exxon in other countries. What a waste of brain drain due to unfair employment policy in Malaysia ?

    No further comments by PR Malaysian wishes to listen and read more comments from all Good Kind Malaysians. Let us PROTEST on fuel price hike anytime and anywhere on July 5, 2008 as called by NGOs and Oppositions. BRAVO !!



    Al-Sheikh Ahmeed Al-Malmudi Fuad
    (Retired) Senior Fuel Engineer & Analyst
    PR Malaysian & UAE citizen

  9. #9 by donplaypuks on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 3:50 pm

    Kerismuddin is a wolf in sheep’s clothing! As long as he is there he will pretend to promote English, while organizing behind the scenes objections from UMNO to champion Ketuanan Melayu and all-BM education system.

    Sack Kerismudin and you will see genuine changes. Bring back Peoples’ Own language in all Govt schools so that purely Chinese & Tamil schools can be phased out.

    Why should taxpayers be burdened with promoting Chinese or Indian culture, history or languages in separate schoos when all can be covered in a single school as it was in the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s – the genuine Sekolah Kebangsaans.

  10. #10 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 3:57 pm

    ///Learning science and maths in English does not guarantee competence in the language///-Tantech.

    Teaching of science and mathematics in English etc is fire fighting when the main problem is “Ketuanan”. English was one of the good legacies of colonial rule. However after English Tuan had left, you wanted to be the new Tuan, you denigrated and marginalised his language replacing it with yours in 1970s and now complain why your graduates are unemployable in a complex Globalised competitive world for not being proficient in English Tuan’s language??? The effective way is just to revert to the times when English was medium of instruction. But that is not easy because root cause of present problems is there are now hordes of ‘nationalists, supremacists, linguists having vested interest against such reversion and resisting it under grandiloquent justifications of national pride, national unity etc.

    It is a self-inflicted wound. It stems from feelings of inadequacy that needs to be compensated by hubris, which for so long as the state of affairs subsists, the price is incompetency.

  11. #11 by oknyua on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 4:04 pm

    M Bakri Musa, years ago while doing my studies in the local university, students were asking the dean the need to have “external examiners.” The reason then and now is the same; they can’t articulate well in English. Most, if not all of my lecturers then were overseas trained and such questions didn’t manage to go beyond the lecture halls. But these very students are leaders today. They pose this same question except now they are at liberty to provide the answer. I am not surprised if is English is banned in schools.

    What surprised me is our leaders’ failure to see the demographic composition of those who are unemployed and unemployable. I don’t mean to demean graduates who resort to driving taxis or taking other menial jobs but Malaysia itself needed well-qualified and well-trained workforce. Why are these graduates unemployable? No, it’s not due to laziness. No it’s not due to stupidity. It is simply because they can’t write and read English.

  12. #12 by AhPek on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 4:10 pm

    “Don’t look at the colour of the skin or the ‘bin or binti’ in their names. Just look at his/her capabalities and grades.”. max2811.

    You have got to be kidding! Do you think they don’t know.Of course they know but what is important is not meritocracy it is the important affirmative action.You must have a good number of intakes from bumiputras into teacher’s college (probably 80% from the group) and publicly they will say that the Chinese are not interested to get into the teaching profession.You must also have a good number of bumiputras teaching maths and science in English (I was told these group of teachers are given special allowances).
    They are not interested in getting back the retired teachers who were schooled and trained in English as the medium of instruction.Or if they are serious they could get a lot of teachers from India and South Africa who are well versed in teaching both the subjects in English.
    This can never be a problem, it is a problem because of the apartheid policy this country is pursuing.

  13. #13 by AhPek on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 4:12 pm

    One more further comment.The retired teachers from India or South Africa should not be too expensive to employ as well.

  14. #14 by Kasim Amat on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 4:50 pm

    // “This can never be a problem, it is a problem because of the apartheid policy this country is pursuing.” – AhPek //

    This is not true, Malaysia has never adopted apartheid policy. Please be careful when you write.

  15. #15 by Loyal Malaysian on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 4:55 pm

    I am all for the continuation of the policy.
    But as Bakri so aptly pointed out recent pronouncements by political leaders and education ministry officials are laying the groundwork for its reversal.
    “Nasi sudah menjadi bubur” -Bakri’s suggestion on how it should have been implemented only adds salt to the wound.
    But will the powers-that-be take decisions with the welfare of the younger generation in schools now at heart.
    Or will it be just another political decision as was how it was implemented back in 2003.?

  16. #16 by justice_fighter on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 5:19 pm

    Throw away racism, if we are to make ourselves truly competitive globally, I would love to see our education system practice “Teaching Science and Mathematics in English & Chinese”.

  17. #17 by chiakchua on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 5:32 pm

    Certainly there is big problem with English proficiency for our new graduates, particularly those from government institutions and universities! If our so called national leaders do not look into this problem urgently, the casualty can be as big as ‘tsunami’! However, considering our whole group of leaders who are themselves just ‘racist politicians deeply immersed with ketuanan ideology’ or ‘yes sir’ leeches for their own interest, I just don’t know how are they going to put things right.

    We recently employed one P.D Polytechnic Mechanical Engineering Diploma graduate (Malaysian Chinese) as Sales Executive. English proficiency? Well, I will give him 20 out of 100! He may not get his confirmation if he does not improve his English within the next 6 months; we had asked him to go for tuition.

    We have also employed one BP Tun Hussein Onn university Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering (Honours) graduate supposedly as Mechanical Engineer but is now temporarily put under as Trainee Engineer. His English proficiency is even worst; 10 out of 100!

    The UMNOputras are leading all of us to doom (holland)!

  18. #18 by limkamput on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 6:05 pm

    Is Malaysia falling behind and becoming more scr*wed up each day solely because of language policy? For Malaysia, may be English proficiency is important because of our internationalised economy and multiracial population. But if we look at Japan and more recently Taiwan and Korea, they too have become very developed without having to adopt English as a medium of instruction in schools. May be they are larger economies with vast indigenous research capability. I really don’t know but I think it is a valid observation.

    I think the gradual demise of our great country is very complex. It is probably a combination of many factors – racism, inept leadership, corruption, mediocrity, poor language competency, unprofessionalism, and lack of pride in whatever we do (if you go to Japan today, you still can see ordinary Japanese prepare nice noodle for you. In Malaysia, even a bowl of Hokkien Mee is prepared by a foreign worker. You see, in Malaysia, we are just a nation wanting to exploit everybody else except himself/herself).

    I think it is best that we don’t over generalise and over simplify issues. May be teaching science and mathematics in English may help us a bit but it is not sufficient. May be our biggest problem is our mindset and value system. If you ask me, may be we need a complete switch to English education system to change our mindset and value system. May be we need to study more European, US and Commonwealth History and less “good for nothing” history of the Arabs and the third world countries. May be it is not just science and mathematics. May be our education system should first and foremost make our people more inclusive, cosmopolitan, liberal and self assured. Right now, what I am seeing is an education system producing students who pre-occupation is to assert whose language, culture, civilisation, race and religion are the greatest of all!

  19. #19 by limkamput on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 6:10 pm

    sorry correction: Right now, what I am seeing is an education system producing students who pre-occupation is to assert whose language, culture, civilisation, race and religion is the greatest of all!

  20. #20 by esgreat on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 6:21 pm

    Maybe a simple question to ask is: do we need the Ministry of Education at all? We spend more than RM20 billion a year in education, and where does that bring us?

    Do we need an education system that is so centralized? This centralization makes the syllabus inflexible. And this is definitely inefficient to cater for people who are not suited to a single way of learning.

    Schools should be responsible to the parents, not the government. They should be providing the skills that the parents hope would help their children lead a better life…not the forced down syllabus and ‘guidelines’ they have to adhere to.

    As far as I know, schools like Penang Free School, High Schools, and perhaps all Chinese schools were initially built as private schools. Has their quality improved after being taken over by government?

    If the schools were allowed to self determine what they teach and how they teach, we would’ve been much better off.

    Here’s an interesting article to read:

  21. #21 by lovemalaysiaforever on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 6:31 pm

    Be realistic! We are not in China nor Taiwan…which have strong background in many many years no matter with their knowledge in mathematics and science…
    The problem now is, our country is truly lack of elite young generations to compete in the era of globalisation. This is the true fact…if we keep on pampering and creating a comfortable zone for the education system, we definately will fall back.
    Look at Vietnam, Thailand or even the nearest one Singapore..look at their primary education books especially in Science subject. We really have a gap comparing to our books even to Standard 1 & 2. Don’t you dare to think and compare with those advance country like Japan and Korea in their Science and Computer subject.
    We parents really have to take time to sacrifice to nurture them so that they are not left out.
    As we all knows that “Yes” we are lack of qualified teachers to teach but we must not just put the blame on those teachers for our children’s poor performances…I don’t agree on this.
    It’s our own responsibilities as a parent to monitor our own children and also guide them in their studies. Hopefully, parents nowadays do not put their first priority on making money especially to those mothers….
    We have to take the responsibility in both hands seriously for the betterment of our younger generation due to Malaysia’s current situation which can not be avoided.
    I myself a 1970’s primary student and I really deeply feel that the problem today we are facing is really impact from those days where English education were remove to Bahasa Melayu. Look at my English today, it wasn’t so good and I have to keep improving day by day.
    Give some time for the adjustment in education system, this is actually an opportunity to strive further for our younger generation. At least the goverment does not apply Maths and Science in Bahasa Melayu which is even worse…..
    Rich people can afford to send and facilitate their children to better education schools but the majority poor ones doesn’t afford even to provide their children for extra-classes especially during inflation we are facing now..So, why waist this opportunity???
    Give our children sometime for their adjustment because their brain actually can absorb like sponge, don’t worry..
    The important part is we parent must take up our own responsibility.
    Hope that my comment does not create any hard feelings to anyones who read it..

  22. #22 by 318 on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 7:44 pm

    Who was the smart minister that converted our education from English to Malay medium? Congratulation to him.Hidup Malaysia

  23. #23 by limkamput on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 7:46 pm

    I notice that other bloggers are allowed to link their postings to other blog sites whereas i am not allowed to do so. May I know why I am being targetted at? I hope to get a response from you.

  24. #24 by limkamput on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 7:48 pm

    Who was the smart minister that converted our education from English to Malay medium?

    Abdul Rahman Yaakob, the uncle of present CM of Sarawak. But of course the ultimate responsibility is UMNO, MCA and MIC.

  25. #25 by cheng on soo on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 7:58 pm

    Want to get teachers to teach science & mathematics in English, yet don’t want to pay too much?? Don’t suggest South Africa lah, but ZIMBABWE, there are probably thousands (young, middle age, old, all got) of them very very willing to come !

  26. #26 by AhPek on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 8:06 pm

    One of the biggest problem is this; every parent thinks that his child is of university material and this group of clueless UMNOPUTRAS respond by opening the doors of tertiary education to poorly qualified (may even be less than qualified students) students to university education.The result is half-past-six graduates who are unemployable. A good example given by Anak Malaysia is an article written by a supposedly first class honours Mara graduate!The rubbish churn out by him would of course suggest that any donkey can be first class honours graduate.
    We must recognise the country needs masons, plumber, welders,entrepreneurs besides doctors, lawyers, engineers or scientists.Build schools to cater for this.For those of us who are interested go and look up the education system of Finland rated as a country whose education system is top class.
    Trouble is UMNOPUTRA thinks our education is top class and there is no system out there for us to emulate.Just take a look at Singapore.They sent people from the Education Ministry scouring the top school systems of the world and I remember they sent, some 4 years ago I think, a delegation to study the school system of New York Bronx High School Of Science.This school is not only very strong in Maths and Science, it is also strong in its liberal Arts,Languages and appreciation of Music.Emphasis is also placed on extra-curricular activities for they believe in developing well rounded students.Passing thro its corridors are 7Nobel Prize Winners in Physics and 6 Pulitzer Prize winners.Because of this visit I believe Singapore is changing from heavily exam oriented system to one that also gives development of an all round student.

  27. #27 by sonsofsabah on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 8:09 pm

    Whose stupid idea was it to change from English to BM? Wasn’t Dr. Mahathir? This is the worst policy that came back to bite. This policy essentially drop Malaysian english standard to that of indonesia.

    English is the accepted standard for math and sciences.

  28. #28 by badcliq on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 8:10 pm

    I think Anwar Ibrahim wanted all to be in Malay language medium..if not mistaken, even after PR be govt, that’s one his plans as well….correct me if i’m wrong?

  29. #29 by Loh on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 8:43 pm

    ///Teaching science and mathematics in English would solve two problems simultaneously. One, considering the critical shortage of textbooks, journals, and other literature in Malay, teaching the two subjects in English would facilitate the acquisition of new knowledge by our students.///—Bakri Musa

    That is true at the tertiary education level. But preparation for the students to use English for mathematics and science does not have to begin at the primary school level. In the 1950s Chinese schools used English for the teaching of science and mathematics in secondary schools. Students from Chinese schools then were known to be strong in mathematics and science subjects.

    ///The other objective was to enhance the English fluency of our students.///— Bakri Musa

    The schools should spend more time teaching English as a language rather than using it to teach mathematics and science. The policy does not see improvement in the standard of mathematics and science, and is even doubtful in terms of enhancing the language ability of the students. In giving more time to English, the students wound at least benefit learning the language. They do not need that much time to learn the concepts of elementary arithmatics, and the terms used in English. As for science, the facts are better told in the same medium of instruction.

    It is sensible to teach mathematics and science in English beginning from secondary school,

  30. #30 by cheng on soo on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 8:50 pm

    There is nothing wrong to teach Science or Maths in Bahasa, the important things is never neglect English, and hv right attitude towards learning (Science, Maths, English, etc), and not want privileges, preferential treatment in everything (exam, Uni education, scholarship, lower passing mark, etc).
    those ppl who always want gomen to help them, nvr progress far! self help is the MOST important.
    If what anak malaysia said abt a 1st class honour local grad is fact, then really, no hope lah for Msia educ. (at least for the next 10 years)

  31. #31 by bernadette on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 9:00 pm

    I notice that other bloggers are allowed to link their postings to other blog sites whereas i am not allowed to do so. May I know why I am being targetted at? I hope to get a response from you.” linkamput

    that’s so so so full of self importance! you’re just doing it in the wrong way!

  32. #32 by isahbiazhar on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 9:03 pm

    The biggest mistake to be made by the government is to abolish English and bring back Bahasa Malaysia to teach Maths and Science in English.We have sacrificed many students in this experiment.The biggest culprits are the teachers themselves.They refused to study English because they studied them in BM.The ministry could influence and make at least 50% of them to teach in English.The net result is that we had penetrated and the pocess is going on fine.If we were to go backward it means the 50% of the teachers will see the weakness of the government and it will be held as a reason for any future commitments.The whole system will go into the drain and soon nobody will have any confidence which will result in future debacle.Initial destruction is the price we pay but the future is very bright.There will not be any disparity between the rural and the urban as we are becoming developed.BM can never stand the time and soon we will be facing global unemployment becaus our students cannot speak or write in English.The time will come when our natural resources will be depleted and we need the brain.The world brain will be in English and if we begin the rot now it can be assured that we will not exist as a nation because many including the Malays will leave the country.It will be left to the real aboriginese who can survive because they just need food and shelter.the rest of the requirement is not there for the others to survive.

  33. #33 by kolchyi on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 9:08 pm

    we not really need to mastering english if we born with talents….

  34. #34 by gundam on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 9:31 pm

    it is unnecessary to teach science and math in english. ppl having tis kind of concept will forever be colonized by the british, mentally, thus losing their own identity as a race and human. the problem in m’sia lies within the leaders and policymakers. it is their mindset to politicize everything tat fails the education system too. i’d recommend jst to teach those subjects in the students’ mother tongue. those who glorify and overestimate the importance of english for everything should really visit most of the european countries such as switzerland, german, italy…..russia, japan, korea, china. the world can still be a good place to live without embracing english.

  35. #35 by limkamput on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 9:37 pm

    bernadette Says:
    that’s so so so full of self importance! you’re just doing it in the wrong way!

    I see, i can’t get one thing right. May be you want to show me your perverted way, the “wetting your pants” way perhaps.

  36. #36 by AhPek on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 9:38 pm

    ‘The schools should spend more time teaching English as a language rather than using it to teach mathematics and science.’. Loh

    Definitely true because you don’t learn much English thro using English to learn maths and science. One first must master the English language first before proceeding to use that language to understand science and maths.To master English can only be done thro doing English Literature. In fact when Mahathir proposed the return by using it as a medium of instruction in science and maths,Professor Hyacinth Gaudat suggested a better way would be introducing English Literature which this mamak was not in favour of.In fact after Mamak’s displeasure over her suggestion,the media stopped publishing whatever comments from Hyacinth. This is the mamak who killed the English language when he was the Education Minister in the 70s drafting the KBSM syllabus removing English as the medium of instruction.Started removing English in the English Primary School in 1975 and by 1983 the medium of instruction in the universities is Malay.He now wants to be remembered as the mamak who introduced English to Malaysia’s Eduction System!How to beat that i ask you?

  37. #37 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 10:21 pm

    Yes one can learn some English when science and mathematics are taught English but that is altogether different from really acquiring proficiency in English which I feel is better achieved from constant exposure to and opportunity of usage of the language as it is ordinarily written and spoken. (In fact I even doubt that the language is learnt from learning its grammar rules). Regarding acquiring English proficiency via English Literature, as suggested by Ah Pek, it is probably relevant to those who are native English speakers/users or those who have already acquired a reasonable standard in English as second language. English literature is too hard for those who are deficient in the language and trying to improve from that lower base.

  38. #38 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 10:37 pm

    If one cannot even string a proper sentence in English (whether oral or written), I imagine it is near impossible to read and understand English Literature by poets, dramatists and writers of England, ages gone by, like Chaucer, Shakespeare, Worthsworth & Coleridge with their archaic, convoluted and Latin strewn form of expressions. :)

  39. #39 by sebol on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 10:42 pm

    Sejarah telah menunjukkan bahawa bukan melayu boleh berjaya dalam Matematik dan Sains meskipun diajar dalam BM.

    Akan tetapi, disebabkan kuota terlalu kecil bukan-melayu ke IPTA, maka IPTA yang menggunakan BM akan jatuh.

    Sekiranya lebih ramai bukan melayu diberi peluang belajar dalam BM, maka graduan IPTA tidaklah seteruk sekarang,

    Istilah Sains dan Matematik dalam BM juga boleh diperluaskan penggunaannya.

    Tak perlu salahkan bahasa, salahkan sistem kuota IPTA yang tidak adil itu.

  40. #40 by lovemalaysiaforever on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 11:04 pm

    The other point in teaching Maths and Science subject in English is because it does have their own type english words whereby these words we seldom learn through ordinary English language lessons. Correct me if I am not.

    In Accountancy and Maths it have it’s own words and understanding.

    In Science it also do have it’s own words too.

    *Therefore those words we can hardly find in our normal English language lesson nor in our daily normal dictionary.

    These are advantages for our children getting to know and learn more useful English words.

  41. #41 by winterman05 on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 11:42 pm

    Dr. Bakri Musa,

    You have written very clearly that English should continue to be the medium of instruction for Science and mathematics; and I sincerely hope, for the sake of our school-going children’s FUTURE and eventually the NATION;s FUTURE DEVELOPMENT, the educators including the Education Minister will READ and STUDY your article and take down NOTES on the relevancy of English in the study of Science and Mathematics.

    May I add some points on the subject-matter ?

    1. The DEFEATIST ( FATALISTIC) attitude must change, especially among the Malays. They give up HOPE easily! They try to avoid difficicult subjects. They want an easy way out; and they like to take up EASY courses which do not require too much LABOUR and BRAIN-POWER; and both Science and Mathematics require a lot of LABOUR and BRAIN-POWER! This is my observation; correct me if I am wrong.

    2.So, to please the majority of the people ( meaning Malays) and for POLITICAL expediency and polictical advancement, Education Ministers tend to play the music which Malay parents and children like to hear!The most important consideration should be the FUTURE of our school , College and University; and eventually the NATION. To play political football at the expense of the FUTURE is a rather shallow and selfish way to do things, especially in EDUCATION.

    3. Education is the FOUNDATION that must be built up for the CHARACTER, KNOWLEDGE and ADVANCEMENT of children. Should we CARE enough for them? Or should we care only for ourselves?

    4. There are prononents of Malay -medium instruction who do not think DEEPLY the CONSEQUENCES of NOT encouraging and improving the learning of ENGLISH. Of course, translations from English to Malay could be done; but could translators keep PACE with the SPEEDY flow of Science and Mathematics in English? I remember one Malay man, learned in both Malay and English, who told me that it would take 3 to 4 years to TRANSLATE ONE book form English to Malay! Now, just compare the speed you can translate and the speed each Science and Mathematics book is produced! You simply CANNOT keep up with the speed books are churned out EVERY day in English! You will alwyas be far BEHIND.

    It is just like running a marathon race; and you are trailing; and breathless in trying to keep pace with the fast runners!

    5. We know very well that THOUSANDS of GRADUATES who have paper qualifications are UNABLE to speak proper English at interviews; and thus fail to get jobs in the private sector!And the private sector has no time to waste on RE-TRAINING graduates to speak proper English; they are more interested in getting jobs done and making profits. So, finally, most of the Malay graduates compete for GOVERNMENT jobs or join POLITICS!Could teh Government absorb so many graduates ?

    Naturally, quite a number of such unsuccessful graduates will blame the Government for failing them to get jobs! To a certain extent, it is true! The ROOT CAUSE lies in the EARLY part of education in Primary schools! PUPILS MUST be give a strong FOUNDATION in English at Primary school level. To try to have an INTENSIVE course of 3 to 6 months of English when GRADUATES want to seek employment is TOO LATE indeed!

    It is tantamount to going for INTENSIVE 3-6 months’ training in prepartion for the OLYMPICS!!! Olympians take YEARS and YEARS of training! A lot of HARD work and PERSEVERANCE are done before a person could eevr DREAM of competing at the Olympics.

    The same goes for studies. You simply cannot mug and mug and mug on the night before the exam. It is just IMPOSSIBLE to achieve a commendable result in the exam.

    Hence, I fully agree with Dr. Bakri Musa on the approach to studying English; and instead of we going backwards while others are going FORWARDS, we should GRIT our teeth, work hard, and master the English language for the good of the children and for the nation. To REVERSE gear is to go BACKWARDS.

    S.H. Huang

  42. #42 by justice_fighter on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 1:03 am

    If Malaysia can produce its home grown Nobel laureates in sciences and yet they first learn science and math using BM, I have nothing against using BM to teach science and math.

    The fact is most Nobel laureates use English or other languages (including Chinese too but never BM!) when they first studied science and math.

    If you can communicate competently in English and Chinese, you have plenty to gain in globalization, but the same can’t be said for BM.

  43. #43 by cemerlang on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 1:52 am

    If Malaysia wishes to be a developed nation, language must be mastered and can be used in any situation even in the different government departments. While there are a lot of unfairness, trickery, manipulation and deceit in the government service, this is made worse when the government servants cannot speak English or speak poor English. Going back to English and education, English language itself should be made a compulsory subject and if the examination results are really so bad, then the students can re-sit for the English paper alone. There are not many Malay writers out there who can translate a good book from English to Malay. So you will have to depend on the ordinary everyday Malay language user who are not fluent in Malay to translate those English words into Malay words. It is not as easy as it looks. Many times, the meaning is out. Learning English has nothing to do with what happenned in the past when we are ruled by foreigners. Learning English is meant to help us to be competitive with the rest of the world because English is more widely used than other languages and the Malay language is not exactly one of the major languages in the world, no matter how you all try to put it in the spotlight.

  44. #44 by Dr.Mohan on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 2:05 am

    One has to look at the 1956 Razak Report which was envisaged by the Tun Razak for independent Malaya in understanding the medium of instruction issues.It only recommended that English and Malay be made compulsory subjects in all schools.however, it clearly stipulated that educational policy be directed by the Minister of Education.Hence when Razak took the helm in the aftermath of the 1969 riots, he had wanted a broad-based government and perhaps appointed a Sarawakian Abdul Rahman Yaakob as the Minister of Education.The latter shocked the nation when he announced the change in the medium.even leaders like Tunku and Tun H.S.Lee had appealed for Science and Maths to be retained in english.To this Rahman’s reply was highly polarised with words such as ‘over my dead body’ in a fuction in the then newly inaugrated National University.Perhaps Razak himself was caught in surprise for that was not his vision in the light of his recommendations in the 1956 Report.It was perhaps in the then highly polarised situation that he did not comment on Rahman’s move.It was perhaps the reason for him to return Rahman to sarawak as CM and appoint what Razak saw as a then highly qualified and nationalist Dr.Mahathir as the Education Minister.While Dr.M had intellectual credentials, he had a political agenda and hence further aggressively pursued this language policy.When he realised the futility of the policy where in his words in an University in USA that even lecturers cant present research papers properly in international conferences and in the light of globalisation issues that he wanted to change it before leaving.There were some who commented on english Literature.Please be aware that in secondary schools, the government does have 6 periods a week for English and English novels (simplified versions) are taught.In science and mathematics there is no better alternative than to teach it in English as it exposes students to an ocean of knowledge.Yes China and Japan do it in their languages but how many of you know that Chinese primary schools in Malaya from the pre-war days taught Science long before even the Government introduced Science as a subject from Std.1 lomg after independence? The students of today can have access through internet and references that were not heard of in the days I studied in English medium.To sum it up I would ask the authorities to look at Brunei Darusaalam with a predominant Malay population.In the first few years of primary education Malay is the sole medium of instruction with English as a subject and in the later years english becomes the sole medium onwards through secondary to tertiary.Brunei Malays speak and write fluently in English and the situation of 1st Class Honours student writing such articles would never been seen from them.Why not we see this system and its sucesses as a base in a postive light to science and mathematics be taught in english?

  45. #45 by Dr.Mohan on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 2:07 am

    Please correct typo errors.Reduce content if you see it as too long.Thanks.

  46. #46 by bernadette on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 2:08 am

    “May be we need to study more European, US and Commonwealth History ..” linkamput

    this is crap! what use is the study of elizabethan england to students in malaysia?

  47. #47 by limkamput on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 2:37 am

    bernadette Says:this is crap! what use is the study of elizabethan england to students in malaysia?

    Precisely coming from one who knows nothing but thinks he knows everything. Someone with a pathetic childhood probably still wetting pants every night. But if you ask nicely may be i will explain to you.

  48. #48 by bernadette on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 4:54 am

    that’s a rhetorical question – LOL. if you stop being an arrogant twat, you’d have noticed that…

  49. #49 by limkamput on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 5:09 am

    See how stupid can you be. So you think you are the only one who knows how to ask rhetoric questions and none of us knows how to be sarcastic? LOL louder than you. Btw I suspect you are the one who polluted a blog with all the extreme racist remarks – you know those who wet their pants at night will usually do such a thing.

  50. #50 by bernadette on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 5:43 am

    it’s “rhetorical” and not “rhetoric” questions. obviously you’re the product of the system you’ve chosen to criticize. at least you’re right on that one!

  51. #51 by bernadette on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 6:00 am

    “We know very well that THOUSANDS of GRADUATES who have paper qualifications are UNABLE to speak proper English at interviews; and thus fail to get jobs in the private sector!”

    true! not only are they not able to speak english properly but are not able to write and string two sentences without making some sort of mistake. for these people government service is the only choice. government service then becomes the dumping ground for many of the country’s retards.

  52. #52 by 318 on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 7:29 am

    Kasim Amat BN goverment didn’t practice apartheid policy but discrimation policy

  53. #53 by pamelaoda on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 8:14 am

    ‘Second is the issue of teachers. Fortunately Malaysia has two large untapped reservoirs of talent: recently retired teachers trained under the old English-based system, and native English speakers who are either spouses of Malaysians or residents of this country. Given adequate compensation and minimal of hassles, they could be readily recruited.’

    Agreed totally! The government is really clueless about “recycle” system. Put some creativity into their brain and to think out of the box, there are some many ways to tackle problems. Instead they totally ignored so many useful resources and talents!

  54. #54 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 9:49 am

    Makes a good point that being UMNO chief and education minister is actually in conflict….

  55. #55 by Anak Malaysia on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 10:14 am

    Dear Bloggers & Malaysians,

    Yesterday I met a retired Malay soldier, Salim Khalid who served the British army during Japanese occupation in Malaya and we have half a hour chit-chat at Kopitiam.

    I got to undestand and also shocked to be informed by him about the education system in Malaysia. He told me that the government under the late Tun Abdul Razak was responsible to promote Bahasa Melayu in the education system with a goodwill to ensure all races of the nation are able to communicate Bahasa Melayu for better understanding and mutual respect. The standard of Education was excellent and students achievement in English subjects were remarkable. The number of students who scored all A+ in 8 subjects were limited less than 100.

    Unfortunately when the baton of power was transferred to TUN Dr M, the standard of English had gone down to earth in Malaysia. The supermacy of Bahasa Malaysia took over but majority of students still fair badly in their competency in both English and Bahasa Malaysia. Similar when the current education system has lower the standard of marking to ensure more students passed their public exams and to avoid thousand students drop out from schools at young age.

    Now we read thousand of students scored super A+ with a top Malay scorer achieved 18A. Bravo !! said the senior Cambridge educated soldier praised his three sons for scoring excellent SPM and STPM results with remarkable all A+. He sadly told me that he never feel proud of his sons achievement because for one good reason given by him.

    His sons are rewarded with overseas scholarship by JPA to do science degrees in medicine, pharmacy and aeronautical engineering. Simple, his sons have failed to secure any top elite universities in UK due to their poor proficiency in Mathematics, Science and Literatures. He said that his sons are hopeless in English subject because they cant communicated in English fluentlhey and cant write good English with many grammar mistakes. They failed their interviews and then entry assessment tests in five elite universities in UK. Their super all A+ are equivalent to all D+ during his Senior Cambridge exam. What a shame to the Education System in Malaysia ?

    However, non-good top universities are able to offer them such courses because of their imcompetency and poor command in English in several core subjects like biology, chemistry, maths, english 119 and physics. Now they are absorbed in local universities.

    Similar he informed me that his neighbour, Chinese hawker’s son who scored 13A in SPM and 5A in STPM was offered a foreign scholarship to do his medicine degree in Havard University when our JPA rejected his application and appeal letters. His command of English, Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia are excellent because he read lot of English books in science, mathematics and literatures after his leisure time. Salim said this Chinese student was offered to do his medicine or pharmacy degree in Oxford, Cambridge,Havard, MIT, Stanford, NUS and Monash with part scholarship. He was shocked to notice that his applications for medical degree in local universities were rejected but was offered with lousy degrees in political science and agri science in third class local universities.

    Salim did assisted the Chinese student to get recommendation letter and appeal for his scholarship but failed due to unfair scholarship quota system practiced in Malaysia. Salim was very dissapointed with the Education Dept and JPA for denying a Chinese smart student is pinched by the Singapore government. Salim said he disagreed with his own UMNO party and the BN government is still adopting backyard education policies based on races and also destroying the quality of the education subjects. He was very dissapointed with the current education system is very low standard and producing quantity of hopeless graduates by all local universities.

    We ended our conversation in Koptiam where Salim is proud of his Senior Cambridge Exam result but happy to serve the country as a good Soldier. His last words noted that his comrade, a Chinese Malaysian soldier was killed by Japanese soldier because he defended and save his life and Malaya. During the World War 2, Japanese occupation and Communist emergency, many good Malaysian of all races were perished to defend this country.

    Many foreigners and PR Malaysians are confused and doubtful on why Malaysian UMNO leads BN government has to continue in the discrimination and marginalisation education policies against other non-Malay in Malaysia. A very SAD Story from a good Malay Soldier who has high dream and great hope on his three sons to become elite graduates from elite universities are gone down to the drain. Also the brain drain of smart Malaysian of all races. What A BIG SHAME ?

    Anymore comments !!


    Al-Sheikh Ahmeed Al-Malmudi Fuad
    (Retired) Senior Fuel Engineer & Analyst
    PR Malaysian & UAE citizen

    donplaypuks Says:

  56. #56 by limkamput on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 10:38 am

    If I do not know the difference between “rhetorical” and “rhetoric”, I obviously would not be able to come here. Anyway, the issue here is not really about language. Now if you have lost an argument, please do not resort to petty issues like pointing out one’s occasion grammatical mistakes. But then, what can we expect from someone who wets his pants every night. In fact, the more I interact with you, the more I realize my judgment of you is right. Btw, would you want to deny or admit that you have posted five highly inflammable racist remarks in a blog? This is not a rhetorical question. This is a gambit question, got it? If you are undergrad2 masqueraded under the your present ID, I would also know.

    Btw, don’t be too cock sure about your language proficiency. Sometimes, “rhetoric question” may be right. Let me ask you, is it operations research or operational research? But then, I don’t expect you to hear of this before!

  57. #57 by limkamput on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 10:41 am

    should be occasional…. sorry i am dealing with a “wet pants” fellow here!

  58. #58 by Tickler on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 11:45 am

    Jun 12th 2008 | HONG KONG
    From The Economist print edition
    The Brits make a linguistic comeback

    IT WAS an admission of cultural defeat; but then Hong Kong is nothing
    if not pragmatic about such things. On June 6th its education
    minister, Michael Suen Ming-yeung, lifted restrictions that forced
    four-fifths of the territory’s more than 500 secondary schools to
    teach in the ?mother tongue?, ie, Cantonese, the main language of its
    residents and of southern China. Schools may switch to English, the
    language of the former colonial oppressor, from next year.

    This reverses a decade-old policy adopted after Hong Kong’s reversion
    to China in 1997, in an assertion of independence from both former and
    present sovereign powers. Emotion may have played a large role in the
    decision. But it made some sense. Students speak Cantonese at home,
    and so using it is the easiest way to impart information and promote
    discussion. It is also the first language of most teachers: a study
    done at the time concluded that schools labelled ?English-medium? were
    actually teaching in Cantonese but using English-language textbooks
    (with predictably chaotic results).

    After much bureaucratic shuffling, 20% of schools were permitted to
    continue teaching in English. That may have made sense to teachers and
    administrators, but not to ambitious parents. They know that their
    offspring will need English to get ahead. Those who could flee the
    public system for costly private schools, or for the eight
    semi-private schools run on the British system, did so. The rest made
    extraordinary efforts to enter the minority of English-language
    schools. They have huge waiting lists; Cantonese ones gaping holes.

    That helps explain Mr Suen’s change of heart, for which no reason was
    given. So does a survey published last year, which concluded that
    students from the Cantonese schools did far worse than their peers in
    getting into universities?a result that would horrify Hong Kong’s
    achievement-obsessed parents. And whatever the educators think,
    employers from coffee bars to banks either require people to be
    bilingual or pay more to those who are. Private schools offering
    supplementary English tuition have mushroomed.

    Hong Kong’s slow-moving educational bureaucracy has devoted much
    thought to how English could be offered without harming other studies,
    and without sacrificing a generation of teachers with a vested
    interest in a system based on their first language. Mr Suen has
    skirted these difficult issues. A much-debated but still undisclosed
    formula will allow an increasing number of subjects to be taught in
    English. Every step is controversial. As China’s most global city,
    Hong Kong needs skills in both English and Mandarin, or putonghua,
    China’s common language. Pragmatists want Hong Kong to drop Cantonese
    entirely in favour of the two more broadly used languages. But that
    may demand a level of cultural indifference which even Hong Kong
    cannot muster.

  59. #59 by ShiokGuy on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 11:58 am

    Take the bitter pill and going back to pure english for all secondary school to UNI..

    Malay, chinese and native language at primary level..

    It has been 38 years since the damage is done.. i think to reverse it.. only need 20 years or less..

    Why are we worst that Singapore?

    Part of it is this BM as medium of teaching.

    Shiok Guy

  60. #60 by ShiokGuy on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 11:59 am

    Another thing award scholarship according to merit…

    No skin color…. it about time we beat other countries based on brain.. not simple tallest twin.. longest … biggest… Ego based on brain is better

    Shiok Guy

  61. #61 by AhPek on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 12:30 pm

    English Language is no longer the language of England, it does not belong to England anymore.It has become a world’s language completely essential in international business and it is a language most prevalently found in scientific journal of any importance.And yet how could it be possible for this country not to have recognised this especially when English was once used commonly throughout the country.The only answer I could satisfy myself is the false pride of the Malay extremists in UMNO which has done so much to destroy this blessed country over the past 50 years.

  62. #62 by AhPek on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 12:53 pm

    The two main architects in the destruction of the English Language in this country are none other than Razak and mamak.

  63. #63 by limkamput on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 1:10 pm

    Anak Malaysia,
    Look you are not a “Sheikh” and you are not from UAE. Please don’t insult the intelligence of others here. By the way, before you make further comments, I just want to let you know that your English too is horrible. Bernadatte can’t see it because he is intellectually corrupt or perhaps he only reads my postings!

  64. #64 by yellowkingdom on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 1:20 pm

    I believe that to teach Science and Mathematics effectively in English, we must first inculcate the love of reading in English amongst our young right from Primary-level. Let us get right back to basics. Focus our efforts in developing the joy in reading among our children.
    I’m a product of the BM medium of instruction during primary school in the 1970’s. I learnt “Sejarah Melayu” instead of world history.
    I developed an interest in BM and enjoyed the flowery prose and witty “pantuns”.
    Now my children, who converse mainly in English at home is struggling to cope with BM in class. It’s only the BM exam results that cause them to be placed in the lower classes. I may have to send them for BM tuition as advised by my other friends.
    Read the following about what my friend, a Canadian married to a Malaysian is doing pro-bono for our children.

    Volunteers inspire pupils in reading habit

    JOHOR BARU: Primary school students read books with colourful pictures as they found them more entertaining.

    M. Jinesvaran, 11, from SJK (T) Jalan Yahya Awal, said reading was not something he did regularly, but since a group of 10 foreigners volunteered to start a reading class at his school in March, he began to love books.

    “I have read 11 story books since then and The Lion King is my favourite,” he said during a reading session at the school’s meeting room.

    Starting young: Jinesvaran and his friend Rajeswaran (right), 11, reading with Brown, who is among 10 volunteers supervising the pupils in reading at the school in Johor Baru.
    He said it was great fun to read under the supervision of volunteers Dave Brown, 56.

    “He is good at cracking jokes and I love the way he reads,” said Jinesvaran.

    Teacher R. Melavilli, 44, said the programme was superb as volunteers provided the books and spent time reading with the pupils.

    “I am glad my pupils get the opportunity to learn from them.

    “They are good at explaining when the pupils don’t understand the story,” she said.

    The English Language teacher said the school was more than happy to use this time allocated for co-curricular activities.

    “The sessions are held once a fortnight,” she added.

    Group leader Marianna Pascal, 45, hoped the programme could reach needy children.

    “My objective is to reach children in estates and the outskirts where there is little opportunity for education,” said the English teacher.

    She said she started a library at an orphanage in Seremban and the response was overwhelming.

    Pascal, a Canadian who married a Malaysian 13 years ago, said most Malaysians did not read because the books they were given during their younger days were boring.

    For more information on the programme, call Pascal at 07-331 8658 or 016-764 5184.

  65. #65 by AhPek on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 2:23 pm

    If you have to do science and maths in any language, one has to be at the very least sufficiently proficient in that language used as a medium of instruction.English is not a language Malaysian pupils are sufficiently proficient in and yet the education ministry sees it fit to use the language in teaching science and maths.They are in fact putting the horse before the cart resulting in pupils not only not comprehending the two subjects well but worse still it will result in stifling and killing whatever interest they may have initially.That is why it is important to introduce English Literature as a subject to help not only improving English but hopefully also the reading which is a life-long education.
    Yellowkingdom,Sir, your post here is a clear indication of how important reading is not only in improving language skill but more importantly in stirring up the curiosity of young children All inventions spring from curiousity and if an education system does not do that it has failed the nation because the system has not help the young to realise their full potential.I remember very clearly some years (perhaps 20 years ago I think)Time magazine carried out a story on the best Primary Education in the world and she has selected New Zealand which she reckons has the best primary education for young children.Why?Because New Zealand concentrated mainly on the 3 R’s and did it superbly well.For example story telling plays a large part in the curriculum throughout the 6 years. story telling not only given by the teacher,the pupils themselves also take their turn in telling stories as well.It is observed that these kiwi kids have springs on their feet when they go to school in the mornings.Now take a look at the poor Malaysian young primary school kids.They carry a whole bag load of burden on their backs dragging their feet to school with the world’s problem weighing down on them. The oomph and enthusiasm for school is just not there.

  66. #66 by k1980 on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 5:29 pm

    Let’s assume for a moment that PM Gordon Brown was struck down by hay fever/syphilis which affected his brain. He decided to implement the teaching of Maths and Science in Bahasa Melayu throughout Britain, simultaneously from Elementary scools through to the Unis. After 5 years of dismal results, he decided to switch back to the English language.

    Why the dismal results? Because the British students do not have the grounding in BM to enable them to understand the Science and Mathematics being taught to them

  67. #67 by bernadette on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 7:22 pm

    “….I just want to let you know that your English too is horrible. Bernadatte can’t see it because he is intellectually corrupt or perhaps he only reads my postings!” linkamput

    only read the postings of someone who calls himself a nincompoop? why should i want to do that? i only reply to some of your obnoxious postings. and stop being paranoid. this is my first time here.

  68. #68 by bernadette on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 7:29 pm

    I notice that other bloggers are allowed to link their postings to other blog sites whereas i am not allowed to do so. May I know why I am being targetted at? I hope to get a response from you.” linkamput

    have you found out why yet? like i said stop being paranoid.

  69. #69 by bernadette on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 7:47 pm


    one question and you don’t need to answer. why do you think i am a man? a sexist mindset which you’d do well to discard.

  70. #70 by limkamput on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 7:55 pm

    there is no need to bring up new issues, just answer the questions asked earlier. You deny or admit that you have posted seditious remarks in another blog. I don’t care whether you are a man, a woman or in between.

  71. #71 by cheng on soo on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 8:44 pm

    English is important, but not to extend that maths & science can only be taught in English in order to progress?
    The important thing is the attitude towards learning, Look at Japan, S Korea, Germany, France, Russia, Italy, China, Taiwan, (surely they don’t use English to teach maths & science). Can we say they are backwards in science & maths.??

  72. #72 by bernadette on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 8:46 pm

    why should anyone want to post seditious remarks when they are kept busy by twats like yourself?

  73. #73 by limkamput on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 9:14 pm

    Look, wet pants, there is no need to twist and turn. Just answer “yes” or “no”. Give me a direct answer. There is no need to answer a question with another question. As i have said earlier many times, you are not as smart as you think because you don’t know what you don’t know, got it?

  74. #74 by bernadette on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 9:50 pm

    obviously you’re too daft to understand that sometimes the answer is in the question. but let’s not over tax your brain.

  75. #75 by limkamput on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 9:53 pm

    NO wet pants, i am not happy with that, especially dealing with lawyers. Just answer yes or no. I put it to you, did you or did you not?

  76. #76 by bernadette on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 10:05 pm

    me? a lawyer? thank you for the compliment.

  77. #77 by limkamput on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 10:18 pm

    oh, don’t be too quick to accept compliment. despicable coward, that is who you are.

  78. #78 by catharsis on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 10:47 pm

    ……………………limkamput Says:

    Yesterday at 19: 46.32
    I notice that other bloggers are allowed to link their postings to other blog sites whereas i am not allowed to do so………………………


  79. #79 by limkamput on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 11:05 pm

    Catharsis, may be our moderator is on extended holidays. We talk about BN abusing power. But think about it, power is to be abused, otherwise what is it for?

  80. #80 by catharsis on Sunday, 15 June 2008 - 11:12 pm


  81. #81 by Kathy on Monday, 16 June 2008 - 7:18 am

    MAX2811, not all Chinese educated are poor in their written and spoken English. I knew some of them that are good and if not, better than those of us from the Mission schools. By the way, I have to say that the current format or system in the Chinese schools are in the bad state.

    The teachers are really not qualified to teach – they lack the interest to build the yound minds and they do not have the proper qualification to teach. We can forget about Maths and Science being taught in English in these schools – found out that these two subjects’ allocated time are often taken up by other subjects and the teachers would leave it to the last minute before the exams to so-call “teach” them.

    It also does not help that these schools prefer the stream the students and those in the better class are often given tips for the exams (knew about one teacher in Klang that actually told the students from her tuition class about the exam questions that were coming out the next day). These are not the ways of building the young minds – this route is taking them to the end of their world with immediate effect.

    None of the parents and grandparents that knew about these problems wants to bring it up – due to the fact that their children and grandchildren will be victimised by the teachers and the principals and that MOE do not really want to help us out. Too many subjects for the primary school children to take up – should just go back to the basics and get them to learn up their languages properly – have chinese language and tamil in national schools’ timetable instead of POL classes. Then it can be trully called a national school. Why have Arab language when we are not in Arab??????

  82. #82 by bernadette on Monday, 16 June 2008 - 7:35 am

    I notice that other bloggers are allowed to link their postings to other blog sites whereas i am not allowed to do so. May I know why I am being targetted at? I hope to get a response from you.” linkamput

    now why should the moderator want to target somebody so humble as to call himself the blog’s nincompoop?? the moderator has better things to do than spend time educating you on how to do it. you have a blog and come to this blog to suck up to readers in the hope some would visit your blog. how pathetic!

  83. #83 by bernadette on Monday, 16 June 2008 - 7:43 am

    kathy may have something to say….lol

  84. #84 by limkamput on Monday, 16 June 2008 - 9:41 am

    Bernadette, it is slowly coming out, your cowardice. Others are linking to their sites almost everyday and why did the moderator allow that and why didn’t you say something. I did not call you a intellectual corrupt for nothing, you are, every inch of it.

    I did the linking once a while when topics are relevant. This is my first time starting out, and I sincerely believe I could contribute something. I did not do it for money or for fame. I did not even use any of my real identity and I did not write for monetary gain. If there is anyone more pathetic, it is you, yes you, the “wet pants”. I have all the IP addresses with me. What I need is to take another step to find out who is that coward who tried to put me in trouble by writing all the racist slurs in my blog. But I have no doubt in my mind it is this “twat” (see I learn fast) who did it.

  85. #85 by lakilompat on Monday, 16 June 2008 - 11:33 am

    “bernadette” i dunno why u so keen to promote ur site? u shud not divert attention, and emphasize more on this thread discussion is more ethical things to do.

    Pertaining to teaching, i think, most Malaysian if can afford would prefer to send their kids overseas to study pre-u program rather than wasting time in Malaysia.

    With this fuel price increases, most of them will be denied.

    I would say, if Malaysian education remain at the current rotting stage, this will definitely prevent Malaysian to excel in the future.

    Our Universities are not recognize in term of merits in overseas, it is not even in the world ranking. This mean only local companies will hired local university grads. Education is the future asset of a country, too bad we didn’t make it into education world map.

    No doubt, you will see trends of increasing Mat & Minah Rempit on the streets. Young man who become hawkers assistant or tyre shop assistant.

  86. #86 by Kasim Amat on Monday, 16 June 2008 - 4:09 pm

    //lakilompat says: “No doubt, you will see trends of increasing Mat & Minah Rempit on the streets. Young man who become hawkers assistant or tyre shop assistant.”//

    lakilompat, are you implying more Malay will become hawkers or tyre shop assistant? What message are you trying to diseminate here? Are you trying to say Malay are inferior who can only linger on the streets and always be subordinated to other races such as Chinese when it comes to jobs? This is an extremely discriminatory statement and I hope you can retract it. In order to be a mat rempit, there are a lot of skills needed and these skills if developed properly, could be transformed into a very unique culture in Malaysia and potentially contributed to the tourism industry. If Chinese has Lion dance, why can’t Malay have Mat Rempit? We should look at the issue from a creative angle. This is 21 century for Allah’s sake.

    The reason why our universities are ranked out of top 100 is mainly due to the practice of the unique quota system as well as the Islamic approach adopted in higher education. We should know who is the one behind these scoring system. Yes, they are all Westerner and these Western educationists are always against Islamic countries. Further, they failed to appreciate the unique situation of Malaysia where there is a need to help the Malay in order to achieve a more wealth-balanced society. Take away the above unfair scoring systems, there is no doubt one or two of the Malaysia universities would be among the top 50 in the world based on the academic results and other areas. We should be able to see the true color of the Western people who is trying to play down our reputation in the education. So please do not fall into the trap.

  87. #87 by bernadette on Monday, 16 June 2008 - 9:31 pm

    ““bernadette” i dunno why u so keen to promote ur site? u shud not divert attention..” lakilompat


    you meant to refer to limkamput.

  88. #88 by AhPek on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 2:18 am

    ‘The reason why our universities are ranked out of the top 100 is mainly due to the practice of the unique quota system as well as the Islamic approach adopted in higher education. We should know who is the one behind these scoring system. Yes they are all Westeners and these Westen educationists are always against Islamic universities.Take away the unfair scoring systems there is no doubt one or two Malaysian universities would be be amongst the top 50 in the world based on academic results and other areas.’. Kasim Amat.

    Really, looks like you seriously believe the crap you have written!You know you people have got ‘chips on your shoulders’, meaning if you can’t get what you want there is always somebody to blame.Why, for example, you don’t find somebody in the Malay world not getting a Nobel prize to date you would certainly assert we actually can if not for the fact that the whole Nobel Committee is made up of white men who are against awarding Nobel Prize to Muslims! Why there are so many unemployed Malay graduates and your answer is likely to be because employers are racists, only choose non Malays.Surely it would cost you people nothing to admit your weak areas and where the actual problem is so that you will then be sincere in trying to make amends and with that,improvements.

  89. #89 by AhPek on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 2:19 am

    Can’t you people see that!

  90. #90 by bernadette on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 4:25 am


    you’re stealing linkamput’s signature remark….lol

  91. #91 by bernadette on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 4:29 am

    …but in your case it’s different cos you’re referring to Amat and his ilk and not to us readers!

  92. #92 by limkamput on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 9:13 am

    talking about sucking up, hmmm, i just found the greatest sucker!

  93. #93 by limkamput on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 9:49 am

    you meant to refer to limkamput.

    grow up, it shows one thing very clearly: NO one read anything that begins with bernadette says:…..because it is depraved, corrupt, and demeaning.

  94. #94 by NewDAP on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 10:16 am

    We should do away with those racist schools (ie Malay, Chinese and Tamil schools) as these racist schools are producing low standard and unemployable students. Please look around you, most of those low income group, labourers, poor families, hawkers and those involved in vice activities were from the racist schools as most of them not able to read and write properly in English and BM.
    Those racist schools also produced most of those malaysians who are racist as in those schools, they seldom or never interact with other races. Most of those employable and high ranking or position malaysians in big organisations or firms are those from Kebangsaan School. That explained why most of the top management, senior managers, professionals, established lawyers and accountants in malaysia who are malaysian can’t read and write in Mandarin or Tamil.
    Therefore, we just need to have one type of school for all Malaysians, ie Kebangsaan School or Vission Schools where all races are interact and study together in the school. All students will be allowed or given opportunity to learn mandarin and tamil in the kebangssan school.
    Odinary Malaysians only need to learn how to read and write in mandarin or tamil but not necessary have to master it. They only need to master English and BM in order to be employable in Malaysia and to reach the top management level of those big organisations or firms in Malaysia.

  95. #95 by anak_malaysia on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 2:26 pm

    it is neither to do with the Malay, Chinese and Indian race. It is UMNO that politicised the education system in Malaysia so that they will served them under the context of “Ketuanan Melayu” which is actually “Ketuanan UMNO”.

    Bear in mind that it is the Malay capitalist that wanted to see how Malay and Malaysia are right now. When a non capitalist is taking over the power, he have no idea what was the actual plan laid by the former PMs.

    Education wasn’t a problem until UMNO call it a problem. Why in the old days Malaysia can generate a many quality intelligent graduate putting UM ahead of NUS and now we have tons of graduate jobless and our universities falling behind?

    In order for the Malay to excel in the global, UMNO must out of the government.

    Don’t fall into the politic traps of race, culture, skin colour and religion difference. We all are GOD’s children.

  96. #96 by Kasim Amat on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 2:46 pm

    It does not take one hand to clap. To reduce unemployment rate permanently, all corporations should start to adopt Bahasa Malaysia in their day to day operations including all documentations and communications. Countries like Korea, Japan and China have no problems in this then why should we always succumb to the Western language and culture? The problem is not because our graduates are poor in English. The problem is we do not promote Bahasa strong enough in commercial and working environment. Although I can see some local companies already use Bahasa in their operation, how many foreigh companies are using Bahasa in their working envionment? I will say almost none of them! None of these foreign companies have recognised that Malaysia has its own unique culture ad national language should come first before anything. To let English to become a dominant language in the commercial is not in congruence with our national lauage policies and there is a need to set strict criteria on foreign investors in order to protect safeguard our national language. This also helps to keep the local grads in the competitive job market. If not, this serious mismatch in the commercial world and our education system will ruined the future of our local grads!

  97. #97 by Neobanchuan on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 3:14 pm

    Well say Kasim! I fully agree with you.

  98. #98 by cheng on soo on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 4:42 pm

    Even if all companies use BM in their day to day operation, there will still be many unemployed graduates. English is not the only problem of these unemployed graduates !

  99. #99 by tuppavongallo on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 7:13 pm

    To Kathy

    “The teachers are really not qualified to teach – they lack the interest to build the yound minds and they do not have the proper qualification to teach. We can forget about Maths and Science being taught in English in these schools – found out that these two subjects’ allocated time are often taken up by other subjects and the teachers would leave it to the last minute before the exams to so-call “teach” them. ”

    Please do not point fingers at all Chinese primary schools just because it happened in your school or your children/grandchildren’s schools. There are many responsible teachers out there who are good at the language and are qualified to teach. Imagine asking me, an English teacher to teach Science or Mathematics, I would kill the students though my English proficiency is ok. I simply do not know anything about Mathematics or Science and would eventually wipe out their interest totally.
    I would like to comment here that the situation in the Chinese primary school may be better than those in the national schools as there are many teachers in the Chinese primary schools who are proficient in the language. Most teachers in the Chinese primary schools who are MCE holders are proficient in the language and through proper brushing up they will be able to make it through. One of the tools to help them is the self-access learning modules supplied by the Education Ministry and I personally find that these modules are well prepared.

    “It also does not help that these schools prefer the stream the students and those in the better class are often given tips for the exams (knew about one teacher in Klang that actually told the students from her tuition class about the exam questions that were coming out the next day). These are not the ways of building the young minds – this route is taking them to the end of their world with immediate effect.”

    Please note that this thing does not happen in all schools but it is undeniable that it is happening. There are still many decent teachers who truly teach their students and do not have to resort to these tactics.

    Please do not demoralise the teaching profession by suggesting that if one teacher does that , all teachers will follow suit.

    Why do you hate teachers so much? Why must you taint them? What did your teachers do to you? If your teacher had done anything to you, does it mean that other teachers will do so?

  100. #100 by tuppavongallo on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 7:41 pm

    Personally, i think that if we want the standard of English to improve, the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English is insufficient.
    English has to be made a compulsary subject whereby those who fail in their UPSR should attend Remove classes to bridge the gap. Start at the root, not at the top, sending them to attend English courses just because they can’t speak a word of English and can’t find jobs.
    More time should be allocated for English lessons, especially in the Chinese primary schools whereby Year 1 pupils have half an hour of English per week, Years 2 and 3 pupils have an hour of English and Years 4 to 6 pupils have 2 hours of English per week.
    They learn the basics of the language during the English lessons, not Science and Mathematics lessons. In Science and Mathematics lessons, they acquire vocabulary.
    I have heard of Mathematics and Science teachers complaining that English teachers are not helping them because the vocabulary learnt in the English lesson does not help the students in acquiring their Science and Mathematics knowledge. In a way, it is true as English teachers are meant to teach the basics of the language, eg. the four skills, Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing, grammar, blah, blah, blah …..
    They teach the students to use the language, not the language.
    Try to understand us English teachers, we are not Science nor Mathematics experts, neither are we Einstein nor Graham Bell.
    When the students learn and master the basics of the language, they will naturally do better in Science and Mathematics.
    I know of a girl who scored 7As in the UPSR (Chinese school) but did not do very well in Mathematics in Form 1 simply because she cannot understand spoken English well. (one of the loopholes in the Chinese education system is that most students can write but can’t speak nor understand much of the spoken language because they are trained to score in the examinations) This particular girl found it hard to cope in the Secondary school because of her handicap, the English Language , but not because she is weak in Mathematics so she started to master the language and by Form 2 she managed to catch up with the rest.

    So I would like to stress that without acquiring the language, both these subjects can’t be mastered well.

  101. #101 by AhPek on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 11:20 pm

    Cheng On Soo,

    If you say that there will still be that many unemployed even if we were to make all companies use BM as their official work language, perhaps the best person to ask for something else to blame for the problem is
    Kasim Amat.He has a panacea for all Malaysia’s problems, I am sure of that.

  102. #102 by Anak Malaysia on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 - 1:33 am

    Dear Malaysians,

    All languages are good for the speaker or listener to understand and interpret the meaning by sound spoken and words written. If a student can master many languages in his mind, then the student is indeed a great staff asset for the United Nation bodies. Many Asian are multi-lingual with several languages and their students are highly salaried , sort after by MNCs and also given top positions in many foreign affair ministeries. So it is regret to take note of some bloggers/writers here criticised about the racist schools in Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. They are too short sighted in their understanding of the importance of a mother tongue language and master English as a main language for commerce and international communication.

    Limkamput quoted that I am not a “Sheikh” or Arabian origin and PR Malaysian here and my English is horrible. It is fine for a humble Arabian citizen to read such negative feedback, nevertheless, my message is very fruithful and informative to all Malaysians.

    Frankly speaking that I was educated, can read,write and speak fluent Arabic, English, Japanese, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish and Thai languages. I am also fluent in Bahasa Malaysia after attended 18 months intensive classes in Malaysia. I can master all 8 languages for past 30 years after graduated with a triple degrees, master and Phd in fuel technology, atomic engineering and accountancy and IT in elite universities in Dubai, UK and USA.

    I think Limkamput is another joker like Kasim Amat who love to write rubbish, non facts and non figures supporting statements but criticising other writers and bloggers here. What a shame to both Limkamput and Kasim Amat?

    Your nickname “Limkamput” well means you are “Kamput/Koyak” type of person is indeed suitable to replace your surname. In the name of ALLAH, such person is useless grabbage scum or “sampah masyarakat”. No hard feelings yeah !!

    If all Malaysians have similar taste like Limkamput, then PR Malaysian wonders why your beloved government has continued to marginalise, discrimate and insult the intelligence of the people of Malaysia for past 50 years but many mismanaged public funds and misused of power in Malaysia.

    No further comments and glad to read positive feedback from good writers and bloggers here.



    Al-Sheikh Ahmeed Al-Malmudi Fuad
    (Retired) Senior Fuel Engineer & Analyst
    PR Malaysian & UAE

  103. #103 by limkamput on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 - 5:36 am

    Anak Malaysia, Jangan panggil sendiri anak Malaysia kalau PR sahaja, faham? Tidak boleh undi pun. Beli petrol put tak dapat rebate, nak cakap besar pula. Tak malu kah?

    There is saying, if you want to know a language know it well. What is the point of you knowing 10 languages, but the proficiency is all “tong sampah” standard. Moat Americans and the British know only one language, but they master it well. Ya, i know, most Asians, particularly Malaysians, claim to know three or four languages, but the standard is “phua tang sai” to be of any use.

    What do you mean by elite universities in Dubai, UK and USA? You mean the Ivy League (from the USA)? Tell you what, if you can prove that you got a Masters or Phd (even in sociology or Islamic studies) from the Ivy League, i shall quit this blog for good. How about it?

  104. #104 by limkamput on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 - 9:20 am

    Repost because of typo:

    Anak Malaysia,
    Jangan panggil sendiri anak Malaysia kalau PR sahaja, faham? Tidak boleh undi pun. Beli petrol pun tak dapat rebate, nak cakap besar pula. Tak malu kah?

    There is a saying, if you want to know a language know it well. What is the point of you knowing 10 languages, but the proficiency is all at “tong sampah” standard. Most Americans and the British know only one language, but they master it well. Ya, i know, most Asians, particularly Malaysians, claim to know three or four languages, but the standard is “phua tang sai” to be of any use.

    What do you mean by elite universities in Dubai, UK and USA? You mean the Ivy League (from the USA)? Tell you what, if you can prove that you got a Masters or Phd (even in sociology or Islamic studies) from the Ivy League, i shall quit this blog for good. How about it?

  105. #105 by lakilompat on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 - 4:43 pm

    The scholarship department who handled and approve the distribution of scholarship still continue to treat non malay as beggar. Rejecting their application even though they earned 13As or giving them inferior offer, it is fortunate these Malay rascist are not the only department in the world handling scholarship. I don’t see many Malay doctor make it, most private hospital like Glen Eagles Medical, Lam Wah Ee, Island Hospital, most of the doctor are chinese or indian (non malay).

    I doubt Malay who applied the scholarship really use up the money to pay for school fees or use it to buy motor bike to join the Mat Rempit or Minah Rempit gang on the street.

  106. #106 by kokhaw on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 - 10:09 pm

    Hi, all. I am a new comer. With regards to whether chinese, english or bahasa in teaching, instead of debating base on races or type of school, can we look at another angle base on fact?

    Chinese is a very special language which using pictorial wording. I have posted a quite comprehensive discussion and comparison between learning chinese and english in my webpage as follow:-

    After read though the article, hopefully, you can understand that why historically and generally, chinese are smarter and good in trading. It is because of the language they practised.

    Majority of humans have the same ability since born, but why certain race of population is smarter. It is because they are trained to become smarter.

    Therefore, in stead of debating base on something sentimental and sensitive, why not base on the fact, we choose something good for the future of our children and the country.

    Thanks for reading my message and we shall expel forward.

  107. #107 by damianmp on Thursday, 19 June 2008 - 4:13 am

    If we combine all the ideas together, we can create miracle. As a trainer of the ETeMS program, I have done all I can to deliver the goods. I have talked for many years on the implementaion of ETeMS since its started in 2002 for year 1 until 2007 for year 6. It is absolutely unfair to anticipate the product because we have just completed the cycle. But, I have made some critical observations that are really bothering me. It is a question of attitude! Unless we change our attitude we’ll never accomplish our objective. It is not really a question of talent or skill because with positive attitude we can achieve our objective. Politicizing this issue does not help while some politicians practise double standard. There are so much to rectify….it will take time to recover the lost glory! My advice is, we have to continue with the program!!

  108. #108 by trublumsian on Thursday, 19 June 2008 - 6:45 am

    Kasim Amat et al., you need to get out of the well and smell the coffee out there a little more. Puuhleez, it’s been 50 years we’ve been resigned to a good view of the rear ends of those around us wheezing by. Seriously, you’ve been victimologized for too long buddy! The less unemployables in Malaysia, as a group, has been feeding Victim-unization doses from generation on in a vicious cycle. Here’s a tell-tale symptom — self fulfilling prophecy without the heart to admit it.

  109. #109 by tourman53 on Thursday, 19 June 2008 - 6:58 am

    The govt. should bring back the English medium schools if they’re really serious about the english knowledge.
    Pls don’t interfere with the chinese school. A solely chinese school means all subject must be taught in chinese except for languages. That’s why they’re called Chinese school.

  110. #110 by trublumsian on Thursday, 19 June 2008 - 7:09 am

    How bout this for some introspecting on why some countries do well using non-English….. basically, only those who meet 1 of these 2 criteria need apply:

    1. Size. A population that is huge will have the opportunity to use critical mass to function wholesome in a cocoon. I.e. China, Japan, and arguably the EU.

    2. A well-oiled engine. A people that is (gulp!) united – concussively, mind you – and has a culture of pushing each other to excel will roll, roll, and keep rolling in gathering moss. The system feeds on each other. I.e. Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and arguably the EU. And what is the lingua franca of these countries when they’re ready to explode and impose onto the global market?? No points for guessing English!

    So, need Malaysia apply?
    : (

  111. #111 by trublumsian on Thursday, 19 June 2008 - 7:41 am

    So here’s my story, and folks can tell me what WENT right that can be applied to our once promising country. Ok, or what went wrong..? :P

    Anyways, I split my primary ed years between Singapore and Malaysia (a Chinese school in Seremban). My sec ed was in a Malay school, although I converse with my buddies in Cantonese outside of earshot. I did well in my SPM, but apparently not good enough for a spot in a local U. I got a B3 in Bahasa btw. UCLA took me without me begging, and Berkeley did too when I knocked on their MBA program. No, I’m not rich, I had to pay off loans for 3 years. Nor am I Einstein reincarnated, I just function under a no-free-lunch mentality. Anyhoo, my 4 years in an English/Chinese medium prepped me for life. My sec years were spent learning the maths and sciences in BM. I had no problems adapting them to my college years. You see, teaching these subjects in English is not the cure, but the immersion of English during formative years, IS. Subjecting students to 2, 3, or 4 classes of English or in English will not help much. Providing an environment to speak and use it will. In the past 8 years, I’ve been sent to manage shop by 3 different Fortune 100’s in places like Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, and the UK. I can’t help but attribute that to my ability to speak and write in eloquent English and the many forms of the Chinese language. That, in turn allows one to pick up other languages like Espanol with a little more head start.

  112. #112 by trublumsian on Thursday, 19 June 2008 - 7:46 am

    typo corrected:

    2. A well-oiled engine. A people that is (gulp!) united – concussively (I meant to say conducive-ly)

  113. #113 by lopez on Thursday, 19 June 2008 - 6:56 pm

    i say let the malays study their malay in malay medium schools, let the tamils study in their tamil medium schools and let the chinese study in their chinese medium schools.

    And of course let us have the good old english medium schools
    and let their parents decide for themsleves.
    The government is there to faciliate that this is want of the people, so be it.

    If you are keen to know what about national interest and competitiveness, i say man,it is already in place as a nation, we have people who are multi tongue and it is of internationale repute.

    So where is it so difficult for those so call policy makers, dumb or have hidden agendas.

  114. #114 by trublumsian on Friday, 20 June 2008 - 8:24 am

    I’ve heard many ethnic Chinese telling me what they want is an education system like Singapore’s, with a touch of Bahasa added into it. In order to really compete on even keel on the world labor market, Singapore is way ahead in foreseeing and prepping the young minds for it. Now, Malaysia should retain its lingual identity, granted, and whatever school formats the Chinese and Indians are asking for should include ample immersion of the language. Young minds are capable in learning 3 languages in parallel if you allow them. Don’t hold back the inclined and diligent ones just because the less motivated ones can’t keep up. That said, we suspect THAT is exactly what the politicos today are up to, in the name of affirmative action. And speaking of affirmative action, is Malaysia the only country who subscribe to the notion of it being for a majority people??

  115. #115 by ummahzy on Friday, 27 June 2008 - 4:53 pm

    As an American citizen teaching English in Malaysia, I have witnessed the unfortunate consequences of a policy that seems to have been implemented “without necessary preparation.” From the start, I have empathized with both the students and the teachers.

    CLIL (Content Language Integrated Learning) is now one of the new buzzwords, or acronyms, in English language training. CLIL is teaching subjects such as science, and Mathematics to students through a foreign language (i.e. English in Malaysia). CLIL can be performed by the English teacher using ‘real’ content (i.e. algebra or biology) or the subject teacher using English. Both methods result in the simultaneous learning of content and English.

    The goal is to make the student proficient in both the foreign language and the subject area, for example English plus Math and Science. To reach this goal, it is necessary for the English teachers to be aware of the areas taught by the subject teachers. The work of the English teacher should help prepare students to keep pace in the Math and Science class.

    I think that with training (of English and content area teachers), Malaysia can produce graduates who are ready for the workforce and able to compete academically and professionally on an international level.

    Furthermore, I’d like to use this blogpost as an opportunity to say thank you to Malaysians of all races for accepting me into their classrooms and giving me the privilege of sharing my mother tongue with them. I came to Malaysia with the intention of staying for two months and have been here for almost four years now. I stayed because of all the opportunities here for me to work and develop professionally, but especially to help others.

    I hope that the Malaysian authorities will do their part in developing and implementing policies that will make Malaysia a land of opportunity for Malaysians!

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