English-Medium Islamic Schools

by M. Bakri Musa

The Minister of Education will soon decide whether to continue the teaching of science and mathematics in English in our schools. That decision will not materially change the continuing decline in educational achievements of Malays.

This harsh reality is the consequence of our national schools – the default choice for most Malays – being abysmal failures. Most non-Malays as well as affluent Malays are fully aware of this and thus have long ago abandoned the system. Observe the steady stream of school buses and private cars full of young non-Malays heading south on the causeway every school-day morning. As for affluent Malays, ask where Najib Razak and Hishammuddin Hussein send their children for their education!

In today’s economy, the most advantaged are those with high science literacy and mathematical skills, as well as being fluent in more than one language, with one of those languages being English, the language of commerce and science. Fluency in English is no panacea of course; a visit to India and the Philippines will quickly disabuse us of that assumption.

The next most advantaged will be those fluent only in English. The least advantaged would be those literate in only one language, and that language is other than English. This unfortunately is the fate of Malays today.

While one could attain high levels of science literacy and mathematical skills without knowing English, that is true only if one’s primary language is Japanese, German, or any of the other already developed languages. It is not true for Swahili or Urdu. It is definitely not true for Malay, no matter how passionately our language nationalists assert to the contrary. Even with those Germans and Japanese, the crucial point often overlooked is that they are also literate in English. Japanese children for example, learn English right from kindergarten.

These educational deficiencies of Malays are long standing; they cannot be solved through expensive investments in facilities and personnel alone.

The problem is most critical, and equally most difficult to overcome, with rural Malays. The cultural, intellectual, language and other ambience at home and in the community are not conducive to these children lifting themselves out of their trapped environment. They need help desperately. To effectively do so, our leaders must be daring and exceptionally innovative; resorting to pat answers would not do our students justice.

English Schools in Rural Areas

In my earlier books I proposed setting up English schools in the kampongs. It makes sense to begin there as those Malays are the ones with the lowest proficiency in English, and thus would benefit most from such an initiative. With their already high usage of Malay at home and in the community, these pupils would not likely “forget” their native tongue if they were to attend these exclusively-English schools.

This is not a novel or risky social experiment, rather the resurrecting and improving of an old successful one. That was how Malays of my and earlier generations received our education. And as Tun Mahathir noted, we have not become any less Malay for the experience. Nor have we degenerated into “brown Mat Sallehs,” the expressed mortal fear of the nationalists. Indeed that was how those ardent defenders of Malay language as Nik Safiah and Hussein Ismail received their education and enhanced their intellectual development. Now they want to deny today’s young Malays – their grandchildren – the very same opportunities that they had enjoyed and benefited from.

While my proposal would be an improvement over the present system, there are problems with its implementation. Politically, there could be similar demands for such schools to be set up elsewhere, especially in areas where the background level of Malay in the community is low. Then we could potentially end up with situation akin to the bad colonial days where students would be fluent in English but at the expense of their proficiency in Malay. That would be unacceptable as Malay is now our national language. Further, it would divert resources and personnel away from rural areas, where the need is most desperate.

Then there is the ire of the nationalists. They would go ballistic seeing those village children heartily singing Baa Baa Black Sheep instead of Nyet Nyet Semut, fearing the cultural and other “polluting” influences on our young. Telling them that those children would continue singing our melodious Malay lullabies at home would not reassure these nationalists.

A more practical problem would be in getting good teachers to serve in rural areas, although this could be alleviated through generous incentives like higher bonuses and providing living quarters. Not readily surmountable would be that such schools would necessarily be small; hence their academic offerings would be limited.

English-language Islamic Schools

To bypass these problems, I propose setting up English-medium Islamic schools. Again I am not suggesting anything radical here, merely extending an already successful experiment. I am simply proposing that the successful formula of the International Islamic University (IIU) be extended down to the school level.

Like IIU, these Islamic schools would use English as the medium of instruction, be open to all, and teach religious as well as “secular” subjects. These schools could be set up anywhere, not just in rural areas. Consequently they could be in major towns and thus be of sufficient size to offer a varied and rich curriculum.

In fact IIU already has its Islamic School, also using English as the medium of instruction. Unfortunately its curriculum and pedagogical philosophy are more madrasah-like, the antithesis of a modern educational institution even though the school prepares its students for the GCE “A” examination. The emphasis at that school is on students learning the rituals of Islam and memorizing the Quran. I would prefer that those be done outside the classroom.

The Islamic school I have in mind would be modeled after the many excellent Christian – in particular Catholic – schools in America. Their academic standing is such that they are the first choice for many non-Christians, including Muslims. These schools are first and foremost academic institutions, concerned primarily with education. They are interested in making their students better citizens, not on producing future priests or on proselytizing.

These schools regularly matriculate their students to highly competitive universities to become engineers and doctors. Only a tiny fraction, if any, would end up in the clergy. Likewise, my version of Islamic schools would produce Malaysia’s future scientists and scholars. These schools are not meant to produce converts to Islam or turn students into ulama.

There are now many such Islamic schools in America, and their number is rapidly growing such that the University of California, Irvine, currently offers a teachers’ credentialing certificate in Islamic Education. Ultimately these schools would lead to the establishment of an English-medium Islamic University modeled after and of the caliber of Georgetown. Meaning, they would offer solid liberal education in a rigorous academic environment but with an Islamic ambience, akin to the Catholicism of Georgetown.

A more local but historical model of my Islamic school would be our old missionary schools. They did a credible job in educating many Malaysians, including our present Minister of Education Hishammuddin. Just substitute their Christianity for Islam.

English-medium Islamic schools in Malaysia would overcome many of the problems associated with my earlier suggestion of having English schools in rural areas. For one, such schools could be set up in urban areas and thus be of sufficient size to offer a rich and varied curriculum. There would also be fewer difficulties in recruiting teachers.

While English would be the medium of instruction, Arabic (and with it jawi) would be taught as a second language. Islamic Studies would be taught in English, but the emphasis there should be on teaching it as an academic subject, not as theology.

In a typical seven-period day, one period would be devoted to Arabic and another to Islamic Studies. The remaining five would be for regular or “secular” subjects, including English, science, and mathematics. Science and mathematics would be taught as per the current understanding, and not as some presumed “Islamic” variant. The curriculum must include the performing arts, and the extracurricular programs robust and varied to include sports.

The emphasis should be on solid liberal education and critical thinking. Literature for example would be taught not only as a means of learning the language but also to develop the students’ critical faculties, as per Louise Rosenblatt’s “Literature as Exploration” philosophy. Students would be discussing Shakespeare’s sonnets as well as Rumi’s rhymes.

Using English would go a long way in disabusing Malays of the negative psychological connotation associated with learning that language. We would no longer view English as the language of colonials and infidels but as a necessary intellectual tool. For another, such schools would truly educate their students, teaching them to think critically as well as imparting to them modern skills and knowledge. Far too often what goes on in existing Islamic schools is nothing more than indoctrination – masquerading as education.

Properly executed, these schools would attract students from abroad, especially the Middle East. These schools could be viable business investments as well as contribute to making Malaysia an educational hub.

Since these schools are open to all, they should get state support. There is precedent for this; the old Christian missionary schools also received governmental funding. Additionally such schools should get a generous slice of the huge zakat and wakaf endowments. I would also impose a surcharge of RM100 for every Hajj and umrah ticket towards funding these schools.

As can be readily seen, my version of the Islamic school is very different from the current Sekolah Kebangsaan Agama (SKA). Apart from differences in admission policy and language of instruction (SKA admits only Muslims and uses Malay), there would also be profound differences in mission and teaching philosophy. SKA aspires to nurture future pendakwah (missionaries), and like IIU’s version, is more madrasah than a modern educational institution.

My proposal transcends politics; it is also be a splendid way to initiate conversations between Malay leaders in the various parties for the betterment of our people. This dialogue is desperately needed as our leaders are determined to go their separate and divisive ways. They seem intent on erasing any commonality of objectives in the relentless pursuit of their political goals.

English-medium Islamic schools may prove to be the effective avenue to propel Malays up the educational ladder. The Islamic imprimatur always sells. Our language nationalists would not dare oppose such schools even if English were to be the medium of instruction. We should capitalize on this. These schools could be the salvation for Malays, just as Catholic schools were for impoverished and marginalized Irish immigrants in America at the turn of the last century.

These are the issues I expect Hishammuddin and his senior officers at the Ministry of Education to deliberate on, not flip flopping on major policies. That they are not doing so is a gross dereliction of duty. Unfortunately it is our young who bear the terrible burden of this negligence.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 7:29 am

    Instead of spending 50 years to bring the level of studies up and up…UMNO purposely.. keep making his own race stagnant and useless.
    Only this way…the brains cannot think and keep depending on UMNO for salvations..and protector of their religion.
    Fortunately…thousands upon thousands Muslims are hungry for knowledge and realize English is most important for a ….working career.
    English language and maths and science.. tuition teachers are always in great demand for decades. You mean the government does not know this…and why?
    Sure they do but they don’t care…..as their own children are all studying overseas…all taught by the English language medium.
    These terrible hypocrites….is fooling his own race…as other Malaysians are smart enough….to take evening classes…not to be pulled down by such corrupted racialists.
    Parents slogged and toll….spending all the money on educations for their children….yet UMNO do not care one bit.
    You think the Chinese schools are all manage by MCA or Gerakan…to be what they are today in Malaysia?
    These puppets of UMNO talk alot…but the whole success of Chinese schools are financed largely by the Hokkien community.
    UMNO hope it will fail year after year…..that’s the truth.
    Know the truths…know the facts.
    Parents are most alert and concern…as such…you can observe and see….Malaysians…other than Muslims….are fluent in the English language.
    So many went further …..to study….Mandarin and Japanese languages too.
    Thank God..many wise and smart Muslim parents do send their children to Chinese schools….which is always in great demand.
    Classes are always full.
    When is UMNO.. going to face the truth of it all.
    Half past sixes are produced by the very man …accusing his own race…half past sixes. That man….Mahathir.. is the cruelest and cunning of them all..dividing his own race…..make them depend on UMNO…by doing exactly what is happening now….education system…stagnant and only good to brag about their command in Bahasa…not suitable to work for any International company at all.
    UMNO is afraid of advancements in life…yet these munafiks talk of space age and Vision2020.
    They will keep saying..their race is not ready yet..which infact..it is their own doing.
    The yearly floods….now terrible landslides….killing again..means nothing to them..after few months.
    Highland Tower tragedy…taught them nothing!!
    Meanwhile..the full acting process is on……..blaming developers..never the government..approving the projects.
    This is a sick country manage by a real sick UMNO government.

  2. #2 by chengho on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 7:36 am

    Sek Rendah /Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan ( Inggeris) like those day elevated Malaysia to the next level. Most of our leaders was the product of these school. Do not deny the rural people from this oppurtunity under the name of narrow parochial politic. Bakri musa articles way to go . Sek Wawasan also way to go. If any leader speak againt it check the back ground of their children .

  3. #3 by kentutoyol on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 8:13 am

    I really like this part:

    ” As for affluent Malays, ask where Najib Razak and Hishammuddin Hussein send their children for their education!”

    ‘ENGLISH’ after all bridges almost the entire world!!!

  4. #4 by charis14 on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 8:26 am

    Good proposal by Bakri Musa. However, the crux lies in whether the following can be achieved : “..Islamic Studies would be taught in English, but the emphasis there should be on teaching it as an academic subject, not as theology.”

    However, the proposal will not work – until there is real and strong support among the Malays to focus on ACADEMIC rather than THEOLOGY.

    In the national schools, the barrier is worse. Besides progressive Islamisation, there is political interference which blurs the academic agenda.

  5. #5 by hotbod14 on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 8:27 am

    a great idea uncle
    but do you eally think the federal gov. will listen good advice from their percieved enemies?????? time for all MALAYSIANS to wake up and get rid of the leaches

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 8:46 am

    Language is transmitter of cultural and other values. To uphold its pre-eminence is symbolic of upholding the “dominance” of those whose first language it is.

    It is hard to see how Bakri’s suggestion will be accepted for so long as UMNO in power. UMNO is Malay nationalistic party. It is an imperative of UMNO politics to support the national language in marginalisation of English.

    To support the national language and also emphasize English – the best of both worlds – is easier said than done. In reality it is like a man trying to delude himself that he could apportion equal importance to his wife and his mistress making both happy when the latter to him is the more attractive (otherwise he won’t take her as mistress).

    To allow competition – and contestation – of the English with the national language is to pave the way for English to eventually, as part of natural process of cost and benefit, to truimph as the de facto linga franca.

    It is also bad for pride of the race. And UMNO’s ideology is to promote the interest of the race.

    Malay political elites know the dilemma – and reality – of how such a policy marginalising English would affect rural Malays adversely in the market place but their politics and self preservation take precedence, their own children, well with money, can be sent to local private schools and later abroad to get the best of English education!

    For so long as their constitutency were steeped in nationalistic values based on race and religion, the vote bank especially in rural areas, so they think, is assured of giving the votes to return them to power, time and again.

    It is well tried formula of success.

    See what happens in the urban constitutencies where Malays are better educated and proficent in English : with better exposure to western concepts of what constitutes acountability and governance, they will vote against UMNO (as distinct from for PR) as they had done so in last election March 8th.

    Critical thinking, liberal education, Shakespeare as suggested by Bakri just don’t give the political returns : indeed quite the opposite.

    I think the far sighted within UMNO know the problem.

    However the majority still try to maintain the traditional way of keeping power, trying to manage changes abound to fit the mould of these traditional ways rather than changing the traditional ways themselves.

    They just don’t know how otherwise; talking about re-inventing the politics may be fasionable and sound intelligent but they neither have the competence nor the political will to change the well tries political formula that, after 50 years of success, has increasingly become obsolescent.

    Indeed stalwarts like TDM will not even acknowledge that the race/religion card as a political tool has become obsolescent. He rather balmes POak Lah’s leadership opr lack thereof.

    It is a basic denial syndrome the test of which whether it will be disabused or otherwise will be the next general election.

    It will testify whether those who refuse or cannot change will themselves be changed.

  7. #7 by max2811 on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 8:48 am

    I would like to correct Monsterball. The Chinese schools are not financed by the Hokkien community only. Please don’t talk cock. I have been teaching English in a Chinese school for 28 years. Chinese schools are financed by the Gov and the WHOLE Chinese community, not just Hokkiens.

    I have rejected promotions to Malay schools mainly because the style of administration of these schools are so politicised. The same goes to Chinese schools. The HMs are so engrossed in how much commission they could get from book suppliers!!

    It’s the quality if people we have in the schools and the system that we adhere to that cause the standard of education and English in particular to deteriorate.

    Sorry for being so gross so early in ther morning. I just get pissed off when people comment stupidly without checking out the facts. have a nice holiday.

  8. #8 by homeblogger on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 8:51 am

    We are already on the right track. The teaching of Maths and Science in English is painful, but it is a necessary first step. We are not going to see change in ten years, but perhaps in the next generation or the one after that. When our young people have got a firm foothold on change (English), then we will see marked improvement in other areas as well. The problem here is that like most Malaysians, we are resistant to change – moreso, then it seems to threaten on our personal rights – in this case, the Malay language. We always want the easy way out, even if it means we continue being “jaguh kampung”s for the next 100 generations.

    No pain, no gain.

  9. #9 by luking on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 8:57 am

    Naj. acknowledges sometime back,one of his son is studying in US.Why?is our U here not up to standard?

  10. #10 by AhPek on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 9:32 am

    Trouble is the racists refuse to see that their UMNOPUTRAS who set up the national school system are themselves abandoning their very own set up by sending their children to places like England,Australia,US or New zealand.The racists in their blindness would go even to the extent that in fact vernacular schools should be closed for vernacular schools are the cause of polarisation causing disunity,refusing to admit that NEP with the accompanying affirmation action policy and the Ketuanan Melayu thing are in fact the real cause of polarisation and disunity.They chose to be blind (‘close one eye’) to the fact that the UMNOPUTRAS themselves have not even an ounce of faith in the very system they have created,and they have spoken (by sending their children to schools overseas).The evidence is right under their nose.What further convincing do they need to challenge Musa’s sizing-up of our national schools as abysmal failures.

  11. #11 by AhPek on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 9:35 am

    The question of the day is “Would anybody with any means at all send their children to a school that is an abysmal failure?”.

  12. #12 by monsterball on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 9:42 am

    max2811…You are the on talking COCK!!
    Government finance can never bring Chinese schools to the level right now..without the larger portions..being financed by the Hokkien community.
    You teach for 28 years. I mix with the financiers for 35 years.
    Go..see how modern .. Chinese schools are.
    You think…the government allows Chinese schools to be that lavish?

  13. #13 by monsterball on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 9:47 am

    Yes…you are right….few HM are caught making commissions from suppliers.already 15 years ago….and all have been terminated.
    You get piseed off?
    Why..you are just a teacher…how much management do people.. you know?
    The one thing I agree is that not all are financed by Hokkiens.
    Yes..that is true…but the biggest contributors are the hokkiens…and I am not a Hokkien..in case you want to know.

  14. #14 by GilaPolitic on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 9:50 am

    I wish to thank the writer for his excellent remark:-
    ” As for affluent Malays, ask where Najib Razak and Hishammuddin Hussein send their children for their education!”

    In fact, most affluent UMNO cronies and their selfish leaders send their children to English medium international schools or overseas. The abolishment of English medium of all subjects except a single non compulsory English subject over past 22 years has caused lower standard of education system and declined in the unversities scoring in THES ranking. Malaysia has many top scorers of super As but poor thinking out of boxes and poor comand in other languages like Mandarin and English.

    I am educated in half past six school after our education system was changed from English medium to Malay medium half way my primary education and had affected the moral of many students during my schooling days. UMNO leads BN had imposed the compulsory to pass Bahasa Melayu papers and caused many smart English students to drop out during primary schools and secondary schools. Furthermore, many English educated smart students are denied to enter local unversities because of race quota and compulsory to score good grade for Bahasa Melayu papers in oral and writing. As a result, I have no choice but to pursue my professional studies and MBA via limited private institutions like Systematic School which offered ACCA, CIMA, etc.
    During the mid 80 , no private universities are allowed and many smart students were forced to migrate overseas getting foreign scholarships caused a huge brain drain for past 25 in Malaysia.

    I am sad to interview many good local graduates but unfortunate majority local grads have poor comand in oral and writing English and they are unable to think outside the boxes. My office boy, a Malay educated in Cambrige High school is able to converse and write better English than many top As local grads today.

    What a shame ?

    You will be suprised to take note that four local grads are learning and reporting to the Office Manager (former office boy). This is because most local grads are unable to think outside the boxes and too weak in English communication.

    Over 22 years since the abolishment of English medium, the Malay leaders have destroyed their own Malay generations in term of education advancement and also failed to upgrade it own Malay language. A big problem for the students to understand the correct words for Bahasa Bakul, Bahasa Melayu and Bahasa Malaysia are mixed up with many Malay jargons and also translation of English words to Malay words. For example, higher institution is translated to institusi instead of using a pure Malay word of pengajian tinggi. Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka are facing huge problems to translate many words in Maths and Science in English to Bahasa Melayu because most of the words used in Science and Maths are not applicable for Malay language.

    If the UMNO continue to please their members called to abolish English and Maths in English in the schools to accomodate their leaders to win more votes, then the UMNO leaders are gambling the future generations of all Malaysians are worst than money politics in UMNO coming election. Their UMNO leaders greed to win a high post in UMNO election by practising money politics and gambling the children education future are halal whereas yoga and i-dance are non-halal and haram. What a big SHAME ?

    The lastest remark from ex PM, son to abolish vernacular Chinese and Indian medium in primary schools is a racist call to garner more Malay Umno members votes for him. Malaysians support Uncle Lim called to defend the vernacular schools of other Chinese and Indian rights under the Federal Constitutions. Why the idiot is free from police interview ? We agreed with Zaid Ibrahim said double standard in UMNO. – implied the same meaning for double standard between the rich UMNO Malay communities and the poor Malay communities. Similar, double standard between Malay and non Malay in education and employment systesm in Malaysia.

    It is time Malaysians must protest enough is enough to the BN ruling parties, UMNO, MCA, MIC, PBS, PBB etc to stop destroying the children education future in Malaysia. Are Malaysians moving forward to achieve Vision 2020 or reverse gear to zaman kolot ?
    If Malaysia continues to be governed by the corrupted and racist leaders, a black future of Malaysian generations to come. Please mark my words today.

    In GOD, we TRUST forever.

  15. #15 by Kathy on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 10:37 am

    monsterball, the HMs that are caught making commissions like you said, have been terminated (the ones that you may know) but there are those that are still at it but managed to cover up their tracks and not get caught.

    Anyway, it would be best to find a way where all the main languages should co-exists in the school curriculum and schedules as equals. Let us concentrate on English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin and Tamil. If I got the chance while in school to be able to pick up Tamil, I would love to learn that language.

  16. #16 by One4All4One on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 10:39 am


    Let’s remind ourselves that the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English is still currently being questioned and debated vehemently and at times emotionally, antagonistically, racially, ethnically and even through unthinkable and coloured vision which has neither rhyme nor reason.

    Such is the state of utter indirection, clouded vision, uncertainty, impasse, indecision, and confusion with regard to the teaching of science and mathematics in English.

    If a decision could not even be reached unequivocally and decisively on such matters, how would you expect Bakri’s well- intended proposal be considered, let alone be taken seriously? It would be far-fetched and unfathomable to those nationalists, either genuine or pseudo.

    Then there are the ever present political masters and opportunists, who may know next to nothing about education, who would stand out and make themselves heard and seen as defenders of race and religion, who would shoot down just about anything (rightly or wrongly ) as long as their interests and positions are protected and perpetuated. Even though their acts are at the expense of the greater good of their very own people whom they claim to protect and defend. What a contradiction and paradox!

    The Eduction Ministry must view the whole issue objectively and more consistently and consider the implications, benefits, advantages vis-a-vis disadvantages, and effects of the teaching of the subjects in English. If the long haul benefits and importance outweigh the sum total opposing (though reasonable and acceptable) considerations, then it would make sense to continue with adopting the English language. It is not going to be an easy decision to make.

    Of course, Bahasa Malaysia should be given its rightful place and its learning be encouraged. (I personally find Bahasa a beautiful language). Having said that, a language ought to be taught in a manner less rigidly so as to make learning more fun and interesting, and less stressful.

    Of course, the quality and standard of teachers and teaching have to be improved and upgraded. No point having the best policies and infrastructures without quality guidance and instruction.

    Let’s take a step at a time.

  17. #17 by hadi on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 10:48 am

    It is very true YB, sometimes when you look around, you are saddened of how those under privilege, not only Malays, but the Chinese, Indians and those in Sabah and Sarawak being sidelined due to the system that favors the privilege few.
    After 50 years, the situation is not getting better. The have and have not are getting wider and we have people who are selfish and ignorance in the like of people in power.As long as the public mind has not change, the irresponsible leaders, many of them with the power that be, will continue to manipulate the society.
    Sure, Malay language is the national language but you don’t go to Europe or the USA trying to communicate in the language. The government has to be rational and whatever the pressure that come from the so called group of the defender of the language, we need to be forthright and tell them to stop dreaming and wake up in the interest of the nation. It is about the future generation and the nation. It is about sincerity, honesty and objectivity and the end state is national interest in meeting future challenges.
    Political bickering can take a backseat but can we trust in the like of our education minister to lead the changes? Education system is going through a stagnant period, and its natural leaders are mediocrities.
    YB Kit, Open the issue for public discourse and PAKTAN RAKYAT as an entity can take the lead. Malaysia can only go forward and other than that, we will be cursed by future generation.

  18. #18 by zak_hammaad on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 11:00 am

    Islam was revealed in Arabic and all it’s primary and legislative sources are in arabic and every crucial classical resource remains in Arabic (although some works have been translated into other languages). It is arrogant for DAP, who in most part concist of non-Muslims to be advising how Muslims schools should be run.

    Agreed that secular subjects need to be in English due to the standard global dictates, but to extend this to Islamic subjects is a misnomer that invites further misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Remember that religious extremism within islam stems from the fundamental fact that most purponents use non-Arabic language to understand and justify their fanatical ideas. By retaining the source langauge of a religion, it is usually much easier to rebutt justifications for unwarranted violence in the name of Islam.

    Majority of Islamic schools are not in the same league as IIU, where the latter is a recognised as a diverse institution of academic learning.

  19. #19 by HJ Angus on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 11:02 am

    My daughter studied in RGS in Singapore and one of her classmates was the PM’s daughter during secondary school.
    My eldest daughter studied in JB’s SIGS primary school and the Sultan’s and Muhyidin’s daughters were her classmates but she left after Darjah 6 so I don’t know if the other 2 continued or moved elsewhere.
    I think most VIP children get sent overseas in their teens.

  20. #20 by One4All4One on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 11:04 am

    A way to allow a wide spectrum of Malaysians to enjoy the type of education preferred by the elites ( who kept on sending their children overseas ) is to bring that kind of education and institutions to our soil.

    It is only fair that the government provide the type of education to the masses which the ministers, top officials, and other elites themselves preferred for their children.

    The billions spent overseas should instead be channelled locally for the benefit of more anak-anak Malaysia irrespective of colour or creed.

    Then the government would not be accused of practising double standards. The petro-dollar earned by Petronas would certainly be adequate.

  21. #21 by AhPek on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 11:25 am

    ‘I think most VIP children get sent overseas in their teens.’. HJ Angus.

    Isn’t this a damning verdict on our national schools.All this exercise in arguing as to whether vernacular schools should be close is immediately summed up by that very statement of yours,Angus.Mukhriz,acting perfectly like the old block,is in fact using vernacular schools to advance his political career.Who says he has at heart the building of a first class public school system model along public Singapore’s school system.I am sure he has sent his children to international schools (Garden School for example) here if not already in England or Australia.And if he can do that(mind you do that first for nobody and non Malays especially would believe the words of any UMNOPUTRA),I am pretty sure most parents would like to send their children there for sending children overseas have definitely burnt a big hole in their pockets

  22. #22 by One4All4One on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 11:43 am

    In foreign soils, no racial or religious issues and political interference would come in the way of education.

    Whereas locally those vexing issues seem perennial and allowed to perpetuate, which certainly affect the teaching and learning processes in schools.

    The standard and quality of education are better in overseas’ schools and higher institution of learning due to their commitment, policies, practices and endeavour.

    If similar approaches could be duplicated here, there are no reasons why we can’t do the same, given the resources and capabilities that the nation has.

    The only way is to leave politics out of education, and Malaysians would not have to suffer declining standards of education and would be relief of the need to look elsewhere.

    Unless and until impartiality, integrity and sincerity are put in place, most Malaysians would continue to be marginalised and remain helpless and hopeless in this ever changing and challenging world.

    The elites and the rich would never suffer such humiliation and handicaps and would remain at the top of the heap.

    One wonders if it is by design or accident that the government is not doing enough for the masses to address the situation.

    Can there be a movement to challenge the government to demand for more equality and access to better educational facilities and treatment for all?

  23. #23 by negarawan on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 11:44 am

    Hey Najib and Hishamuddin, lead by example, show us your committment to national type schools by sending your children and grandchildren there. Hishamudin, you should resign as education minister otherwise. In Singapore, the education minister sent his children to national schools. You UMNOputras should emulate what Singapore is doing, in many ways. Shame on you UMNO!

  24. #24 by AhPek on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 11:46 am

    But then again who amongst the UMNOPUTRAS would advocate such good public schools,for that would spell the death knell on their political hold on the country.One can then expect the continuation of the national along the present line with no emphasis on critical thinking to continue.The mass production of the unthinking man suits perfectly their agenda.

  25. #25 by cybervista on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 11:50 am

    Leaning a language is people dependent. Most of Malay, yes please admit the fact, think that their Malay is very good as Malay is their first language (mother tongue). They always deny that Chinese is not as good as them when come to Malay language. They are still living in the “flog-well” as many of Malaysian Chinese master Malay language far more better than them.

    Their arrogance of of thier first language makes them worst. They are not willing to improve themselves when come to languag learning. They are still living on the tree (70’s) and still believing that with only their first poor language (Malay, bahasa pasar which talk / used only in pasar) can earn them a good living.

    As long as their mind set of “Ini bahasa saya. Saya sememangnya lebih pandai dari anda [sepatutnya: kata sendi nama ialah daripada] dalam selok belok bahasa Melayu / Malaysia”, their won’t improve. They will fail forever.

    Last word: language does not belong to anyone / race. Everyone can learn a language. Chinese language does not belong to Chinese only: You can learn Chinese, and so am I. This also applies to Malay langauge or English language. It is really dependent the mindset of that particular individual.

    I am Chinese educated person. Albeit my English is not as good as other, but I am proud of myself as I understand 3 languages. In the current situation of Internet, because of my capability, I can gain better information than those only understand 2 language or 1 langauge (which is the worst). I gain plenty of information from China (Chinese website).

  26. #26 by One4All4One on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 12:00 pm

    That brings us back to MERITOCRACY and DEMOCRACY, and a liberal dose of it!

    Can’t we shun parochialism, bigotry, racism, ethnocentrism, “supremacy tendencies”, divisive political practices and ideologies, and give EVERYONE a chance to hope and work for a more meaningful and brighter future?

  27. #27 by disapointed86 on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 12:46 pm

    very well written proposal…it will remain as a dream as long as the BN govn rules the country..bear in mind..Honestly speaking..NOTHING can be changed with the mindset of the BN mininsters..Mr Bakri Musa..dont you think its foolish when the Malay ministers did nothing to help their own race??…whats the point of sitting on the throne doing nothing??…rather than talk craps about ketuanan melayu?..this kind of mentality and attitude can never develop the country..moreover their own race…god bless the malay…

  28. #28 by OrangRojak on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 1:02 pm

    I’m not convinced religion is the right ticket to attract teachers to rural areas. I notice from your tax office online that low-paid people still pay some tax in Malaysia. Small amounts of tax can hardly be worth collecting, can they? Why not introduce a national tax-credit of about RM1000 pa, so low income adults can go to tax offices to collect money. Add onto it a tax refund for each child in full-time education. Collect the money from raised taxes for higher earners, or add tax onto products that wealthy people consume a lot of and poor people consume less of. One single band, to make it easier to understand (more than 2 or 3 is silly). Tax is a colour-blind way of redistributing money. More money in the kampongs means better pay for teachers, means better teaching and better resources. Tax rebates for children in education means more money in kampongs too – there are more children per adult in kampongs than there are in cities.
    Don’t be fooled into thinking lower taxes for high earners is a saving. The bars on your windows, rape alarms, waiting in police stations to report thefts, and not being able to depend on public utilities all suck money.
    It would be interesting to see what the effect on an election would be if race and religion were taken off the table and cash put on it.

  29. #29 by monsterball on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 1:39 pm

    Very true Kathy. After all….HMs getting commissions from suppliers is nothing new in every school since Merdeka time….and not easy to catch.
    At least the Chinese school Board of Directors sack corrupt HMs and take pains to investigate.
    You never hear one HM is sacked …in all National type schools.

  30. #30 by sinnerconman on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 1:42 pm

    This morning I met a Malay gentleman in his early 30s with his six year old daughter. I made a comment: “Adik sangat manis masa senyum”. I was left speechless to hear, “I came to Malacca for holiday and I am going back to Johor and then to Singapore tomorrow. I like Malacca. This is a very beautiful place”. Then I noticed the father’s middle My Card no -04- and and to make the story short: this Malay, a real Malay and a real Muslim tells me that his wife is a Singaporean. They work in Singapore but stay in Johor earning $ to spend Rm and that his daughter is a Singaporean because he believes in the educational system in Singapore. Finally I asked him,” How about Ketuanan Melayu”? He laughed and said, “That is a slogan and I don’t need any help and I am proud of what I have with my own effort. Your Home Minister ISAed a reporter and Teresa Kok for their protection and they were not tortured and only complained of food”. The main point I want to stress is the good English speaking little six year old sweet girl who wanted to be a doctor. Calling Malaysians to unite and you have only one right and that right is your vote to vote for a new government which can never be that bad – even from the frying pan into the fire and I will choose the fire, either way I will be roasted. Cheers.

  31. #31 by Loh Boon CHAI on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 2:38 pm

    Wawasan 2020 – 11 years left.. but our education system is lagging far behind! Will Malaysia make it there ??

  32. #32 by waterfrontcoolie on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 2:50 pm

    Max2811, I agreed with your conclusion that those private Chinese schools many a time went overboard in their chauvinistic pursuit, they should use the instituitions to educate and not to politicize just like UMNO. With the current scenario, there is no doubt that these instituitions can easily be used to achieve the Malaysian-type of education with borderless objectives i.e. providing international syllabi for all Malaysians to pursuit any programme available world-wide. Our long term interests has to be the world!
    As stated many of those boards are membered by relatively rich but half educated businessmen whose main objectives are limited to their immediate interests. Having annual parties with scrolls and bantings hanging all over the place.Only if they are willing to look outside their myopic range.
    In many instances, the parents could only ‘pray’ hard that when their children are at school at a particular years, they have a ‘responsible’ head. Many of these heads are not promoted because of dedication or ability; they bought their jobs knowing very well that many Chinese parents accept whatever instructions the head may decide: generally buying tons of workbooks!!
    If only politicians, especially from the Chinese community, stopped playing politics on this issue and put their resources together to create essentially an environment to meet the Community’s immediate needs. I believe the community can just leave UMNO to play with the BUMIs’ education for the next century!
    Of course, this is a better way to cause changes to take place rather than keep on preaching when they are not interested in the future of the people except their pockets! When they finally realize that the only way out is to change the educational policy, maybe they would consider. Without doubt, Malaysians who strives well overseas are those who can handle more than two languages, not necessarily at an expert level, but at least able to communicate the facts clearly!

  33. #33 by dawsheng on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 2:57 pm

    The say Islam is a beautiful religion but I think that is not true, Islam can be a horrific religion, it is very violence, with fist, guns, tanks and bombs, hunger, torture, diseases, blood and death. So is other religions, they proclaim they are for the good of mankind, but they are also like Islam. Like Islam, they also want to be better than the rest, they think they are better, they are purer and special, and all of it lead to conflicts, and more conflicts, and more conflicts. Religion is nothing but the game people play, and like politics, it is just another necessary evil.

  34. #34 by Taxidriver on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 3:09 pm

    To expect umno to switch to english-med schools so that the malays become like zaid ibrahim or musa bakri, knowing good and bad? uNTHINKABLE! Because in a few more years there will be many qualified malays to compete with them and/or their children for umno’s top posts. This is against their interests. So……cannot…..cannot…..CANNOT!!! Or will umno be buried and forgotten by then?

  35. #35 by Taxidriver on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 3:29 pm

    SORRY. The correct name should be M Bakri Musa

  36. #36 by A true Malaysian on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 5:09 pm

    English schools should be allowed in the education system alongside with National & Vernacular Schools. Let people decide for their own which schools they choose to enroll their children to.

    Why beat around the bush to have English-Medium Islamic School when the article is apparently touches more on lack of the command in English among the Malays. If English school is allowed to exist, we will see more people, the Malays inclusive, send their children to these English Schools.

    Anyway, I appreciate Bakri Musa’s concern.

  37. #37 by cintanegara on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 6:47 pm

    The Eid ul-Adha is one of two Islamic feasts celebrated every year. Today, two billion Muslims around the world are celebrating it. In Malaysia, it is more commonly known as Hari Raya Korban or Hari Raya Haji and a public holiday is observed.

    Surprisingly until today, there is no official greeting to the Muslims from DAP, neither in this blog nor its official website. Last October, DAP criticized the Government over this issue (ignorance of the celebration). Sadly, they did the same thing.

  38. #38 by sinnerconman on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 7:25 pm

    Sinnerconman calling cintanegara, you are invited to the blog calls “The Might Of The Pen” wishes Muslims Edi Mubarak and where sinnerconman did wish Muslims Edi Mubarak and prefers to wish Selamat Hari Raya Haji. You need not be so sensitive and so bitter on this holy day of Sacrifice when the Muslims were getting cold and wet in the rain this whole morning and you sat in the comfort of your home. Calling all Malaysians to unite, including cintanegara, you have only one right and that one right is to vote for a new government – it can never be that bad and even in the worst scenario such as from the frying pan into the fire, I will choose the fire because in either way,I will be roasted.Cheers and Selamat Hari Raya Haji.

  39. #39 by OrangRojak on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 7:30 pm

    I once had to call a Malaysian company frequently (can’t remember which one) that had a voice message that went something like “…and to all our X customers, Happy Y” where X was Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Y was the name of the current festival. I must have called nearly every day for a whole year, but I never heard “…and to all our tiada agama customers, please cheer up”. Not once. I felt quite left out.

    Go on admit it cintanegara, secretly you’re not sad at all, you’re celebrating an easy goal against DAP! Nice shot. Happy holiday by the way.

  40. #40 by ctc537 on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 7:33 pm

    For English to be introduced and widely accepted in rural areas the government has to launch massive campaigns to spread rational thinking among the conservative kampong people, the vast majority of them are Malays. But the bigger challenge is convincing many Umno leaders that they have to do this to open the minds of rural people for changes, even though such changes my not bring them more political and personal fortunes. English-Medium Islamic schools? To be frank, as a Chinese with few Malay friends, I don’t know whether a Malay can come to terms with this fresh idea.

  41. #41 by sinnerconman on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 7:37 pm

    We always respect others and when cintanegara demanding others to wish, this is certainly not right. Cintanegara did not even wish the Muslims in this blog and we do not feel insulted. We will like you to join us and I am sure I can turn you inside out and down side up. Every time whenever you made a comment you got bashed upside down. I really feel sorry for you. It is still not to late to wish the writer.Cheers.

  42. #42 by ctc537 on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 8:27 pm


    Don’t argue over whether Chinese schools are financed by the Hokkien community only or by the Gov and the WHOLE Chinese community, not just Hokkiens. I’m a non-Hokkien from Penang island. Penang has many Chinese secondary schools and this attests to the fact that the Hokkien community do contribute substantially to Chinese education in this country.

  43. #43 by rubini on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 9:59 pm

    After 50 years we are in DEEP shit. It will take at least 25 years to reverse the slide in our education system. Another 25 years to improve them. People like Bakri Musa fail to realise that in Malaysia Politics First, Politics Last.
    The medium of the language is not an issue. It’s a question of proficiency in which a language is taught & learned. Learning is a process. The human brains learn differently.
    Some people are more apt in using the right side & some people are more the left side.
    Educating A Nation A National Goal of Uplifting people out of poverty, ignorance, immorality into productive & contributing citizens towards society, which they live in.
    How will a child which starts school today end up as? Is our society better or much worse than previously?
    Unfortunately, its not as most readers pointed, in the interest of the ruling party to have a well educated young people to be ablke to respect the old, have humility to be charitable to all, to challenge adversaries & earn the respect of society.
    Schooling is perhaps the best part of a persons life, educating our people to lay the foundation of a better society should the goal of our Educaters.
    Sadly, I live in world which is filled with state sactioned bigotry,dicrimination, divisiveness, hatred of each other & corrupted society.
    I am lucky, that i work overseas, and able to save some for my children education to send them overseas universities when the time comes. I won’t sacrifice my children’s & grandchildren’s future just to battle overzealots criminal politician & their accomplice civil servants.

  44. #44 by cintanegara on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 10:00 pm

    DAP tends to follow Singapore’s political trends, policies etc. Somehow, their intention must be in parallel with their sincerity and do not restricted themselves to areas that bring beneficial to the community they represent.

    Apart. from the national education system, they must also consider the following policies:-

    1. Only Majority can become the PM
    2. Only Majority can hold senior minister posts in the cabinet
    3, Only Majority can lead the Military
    4. Only Majority can lead the Police Force
    6. Only Majority can lead the top government agency
    7. Only Majority can fly the fighter jet
    8. etc

  45. #45 by waterfrontcoolie on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 10:23 pm

    cintanegara, please don’t conclude that the non-Bumis are desperate to take those top posts you mentioned; we only seek to have HONEST and REASONABLE Malaysians to lead. As Real Malays and Quasi-Malays made up of the majority of the population, can we expect that they are enough of you to take the lead? Or are you not qualified by the two adjectives mentioned above in spite of all your beliefs in righteousness and fears for the Almighty?
    When Lau-Lee was confronted with high pay for his Ministers, he daringly quoted their previous incomes before they became Ministers. Any chance we could say some thing similiar? by the tone of your language, you refused to see truth or you can find truth and honesty in your own mind?
    This is the issue we are all discussing, denial syndrome and many more mightier empires had fallen because of such syndrome. Do remember, we are no where near it in any sense of the word. Unless your mind is open to realize that we still have a long way to go. we will definely compete with Zimbabwe sooner than you expected. You can go on targetting at the our Southern neighbors, they are the least bothered by all the ‘sloganeering’ we may manufacture; they will continue to enjoy their fruits of success henceforth. We need to wait only for 15 years or so to see how far we can go when crude and gas are KAPUT!!

  46. #46 by w2008 on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 10:37 pm


    yeah you are right.

    Only Majority with greedy brains can lead Malaysia to hell.
    Only Majority with corrupted brains can lead Malaysia to hell.
    Only Majority with stupid brains can lead Malaysia to hell.

  47. #47 by A true Malaysian on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 10:56 pm


    I think you were intentionally making a mistake by saying DAP represents a community. What I know is that DAP does represents Malaysian Malaysia.

    I personally do not bother who is the one is PM, Senior posts and so on so long they are capable enough to do the jobs and are elected based on merits and not ‘relationship’. So, if the majority race is the ‘pandai’ one, so be it, show us you can do the job.

    If the majority is of ‘tidak apa’ attitude, then better let the minority to do the job.

  48. #48 by zak_hammaad on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 11:00 pm

    dawsheng Says:

    >> The say Islam is a beautiful religion but I think that is not true, Islam can be a horrific religion, it is very violence, with fist, guns, tanks and bombs, hunger, torture, diseases, blood and death.

    ‘They’ say a lot of things and what you have described above can easily fit any given world religion. However, just because the purported followers of a religion are violent extremists does not mean this is a reflection of the faith they claim to follow.

    Hitler said “I am and will always remain a Catholic” – He was never excommunicated from the church til his death. Are you going to blame Catholicism for all his bloodletting!? Were the crusades a reflection of the ‘peace-loving’ Christians? Of course not! Pope Pius XII himself along with the Vatican are accused of approving anti-Semitic measures during WWII – Maybe you should look up on the panel that was set up by the Vatican to investigate the Church’s treatment of the Jews during the Second World War.

    If adherents fail to follow the faith they claim to be following, would you blame the faith or the individuals? Study the message of the religion of Islam and not the extremists… Thank you.

    In the recent example, the terrorists who bombed Mumbai used the issue of Kashmir as their prima facia (i.e. social and political marginalisation and Indian state suppression) for the attacks, they did NOT invoke religious justifications. It is human emotions and human nature for revenge that drives many hot-headed fanatics to kill civilians, which is very irnonic because injustice many a times begets injustice.

    Night night.

  49. #49 by cemerlang on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 11:22 pm

    Imagine our very own MAS pilot communicating with the control towers around the world using Melayu, what do you think will happen. Or each time he flies into the Indian airspace, the Indian controller will speak his own Indian language and our pilot is still speaking Melayu. He flies into the Iranian airspace. He will still be speaking his Melayu and the Iranian controller will speak his own Iranian. By the time, the plane reaches the Iranian airspace, you can be quite sure our plane will be escorted by Iranian military aircrafts. What will happen next is anyone’s guess. See. Language is important. Oh ! If our pilot speaks Arabian, imagine too what will happen if he flies into the U.S. airspace.

  50. #50 by sinnerconman on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 11:28 pm

    Poor and pitiful cintanegara is a real sadist. The moment he makes a comment, he enjoys being bashed from left to right, from up to down, and from front to back. Suddenly this blog becomes more active.

  51. #51 by BNseedell on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 12:06 am

    When most of us are worrying and debating about our Malaysian education systems and standards, other countries are moving fast forward in upgrading their education systems and developments. Soon, many private colleages in Malaysia may have to either fold up or look for investors to buy them over.

    I obtained the following information from a Malaysian friend (a male Bumiputra) who is woking in Doha, Qatar. I am pleased to share these information here with reference to M. Bakri Musa’s latest entry.

    A lot of people used to travel to the US or to the UK in order to get a recommended degree. However now that Qatar has developed so much, a lot of people are traveling to Qatar! The level of education is quite high and it’s setting the standard for higher level education in the Middle East.

    Qatar is developing it’s Education City. What’s unique about this is that it’s essentially a 2,500 sq. ft. campus that integrates various universities together. Universities include, Virginia Commonwealth, Weill Cornell Medical College, Texas A&M, Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Calgary, and the Qatar Academy.

    Almost all Qataris profess Islam. Besides ethnic Arabs, much of the population migrated from various nations to work in the country’s oil industry. Arabic serves as the official language. However, English as well as many other languages like Hindi, Malayalam, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, and Persian are widely spoken in Qatar.

    Surprisingly, many local Qataris have never objected openly to the setting up of foreign schools in Qatar as they are very open-minded and far-sighted.

    It’s high time our Minister of Education looks and thinks out of the square box (i.e. Malaysia) and see how other small nations are advancing in the field of education.

    Listed below are the types of learning institutions currently in operation in Qatar. From the names you can know how open is the government of Qatar as far as education is concerned:

    Nursery List:

    Busy Bees Nursery
    Central English Speaking
    Elder Tree Nursery
    French Nursery
    Lifetime Nursery
    Lifetime Centre
    Little Angels Nursery
    Mary Poppins Nursery
    Starfish Lane Kids
    Sunbeam Kindergarten
    Tots Corner Nursery

    Primary and Secondary Schools List:

    Al Jazeera Academy
    Al Khor International
    American Academy
    American School of Doha
    Aspire Academy
    Bangladesh MHM
    Birla Public
    Bright Future Pakistan
    Compass International
    Doha College Primary
    Doha College Secondary
    Doha English Speaking School
    Montesorri British School
    DPS Modern Indian School
    French School
    Ideal Indian School
    Lebanese School
    MES India School
    Newton International
    Pakistan Education Centre
    Park Shama School
    Philippine School of Doha
    Philippine International
    QAFCO Norwegian School
    Qatar Academy
    Qatar Canadian School
    Qatar International School
    Qatar Leadership Academy
    Shantiniketan Indian School
    Summit Academy
    Int’l School of Choueifat
    The Cambridge School
    Cambridge International
    The English Modern School
    The Gulf English School
    Japanese School
    Iranian School
    Jordanian School

    Academic Organizations and Learning Centres List:

    Berlitz Language Centre
    British Council
    Cedars Tutoring Centre
    Educational Hearing School
    English Language Centre
    French Cultural Centre
    International Centre of Music
    Intilaaqah Programme
    Qatar Foundation
    Qatar Science and Tech. Park
    Doha College Secondary
    Doha English Speaking School
    Shafallah Special Needs
    Sunbeam CentreofExcellence
    Supreme Education Council
    The Academic Bridge
    The Learning Center
    ACCA (Oxford Brookes / Ernst & Young)

    Universities and Higher Education List:

    Carnegie Mellon
    Qatar Foundation
    Aspire Academy
    Virginia Commonwealth
    Texas A & M
    Georgetown School of Foreign Services
    CHN University Netherlands
    University of Calgary
    College of the North Atlantic
    Qatar University
    Qatar Aeronautical College
    Weill Cornell Medical College

  52. #52 by storm62 on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 12:41 am

    aku tak cintanegara yg rasuah.

    aku tak cintanegara yg tak adil.

    aku tak cintanegara yg tak bertanggungjawab.

    aku tak cintanegara yg membunuh.

    aku tak cintanegara yg membohong.

    aku tak cintanegara yg menipu rakyat.

  53. #53 by storm62 on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 12:58 am

    aiya cintanegara,

    bila gua celebrate Wesak Day mana ada UMNO ucap Happy Wesak Day ?

    bila gua celebrate Nine Emperor God, adakah UMNO ucap Happy Makan Sayur sama gua?

    hari gawai kat sarawak, adakah UMNO ucap Happy Gawai day?

    gua mia kawan aneh celebrate Thaipusam, mana ada UMNO ucap Happy Thaipusam?

    lu bising2 buat apa. lu celebrate lu mia, gua celebrate gua mia ma.

    jangan main tembak2 saja.

  54. #54 by just a moment on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 3:01 am

    Still on this issue of English language thinggi? Anway, good write up Bakri Musa, at least good attempt to alleviate a chronic problem.
    I remembered yrs ago, one of my kid’s tuition teacher mention about English ‘subject’ in school.

    You know, English cannot be term as a subject like others to begin with and he continue.. English is a language, not a subject where you just self study hard, remember stuff like ‘math’s formula and then find yourself proficient in it. Wait… just,ponder,and think about it before you disagree..

    Meanwhile, I had brought some self taught German language books and tapes before. Well, my 2 months lessons were pretty good until I ran out of avenue to used them. The point is, unless one has intention for long term plan that requires that language eg. someone to talk or engaged in works, forget about the stuff.
    I used to speak 4 dialects while growing up in Kampong. Now in city life for too long and lack of practice, I forgot how to communicate 2 other dialect though I still can understand a whitabit.

    Now, back to reality, since our country have everything to do with our ‘Big Bad Boys’ which not surprisingly have destroy almost the entire country’s avenue, eg, from every sports-with-politics, massive-national projects like Eon and MAS-with-politics, school education-with-politics, peaceful vigils-with-politics, now cycling-with-politics, alcohol-with-politics, what makes us think an English Islamic School is going to be “Non politics”? Sorry, Bakri Musa, don’t mean to pour cold water.

    Its not easy topic unless the hearts and minds are truly sincere and brutally honest about this issues, we’ll all be running and creating more circles. Bottom line.. Changed the Goment. No two ways about it. By that also, no garuantee, just jumping into fire, like the rest mentioned here.

  55. #55 by k1980 on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 10:12 am

    In Lat the kampung boy’s memoirs, he claimed that he could read English after just 2 years in Special Malay Class. How the hell there are still thousands of idiots who can’t read English after university (15 years of education)? Sumtin is wrong sumwhere

  56. #56 by cintanegara on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 10:46 am

    In the last posting, DAP highlighted plenty examples of gibberish English. Despite focusing solely on English, they seem not to be particularly interested in encouraging the community they represent to speak proper Bahasa Malaysia.

    After 51 successful years, we can still find serious grammatical errors throughout the daily conversation/writing. Sometimes we wonder DAP genuinely serious to improve the quality of BM, as the National Language.

    Below are the instances of ungrammatical BM used in everyday conversation.

    First instance

    Venue – service workshop (shoplot)

    Customer – Saya mahu servis dan tukar minyak hitam hari ini.

    Mechanic – Aiiya, ini hali wa tatak senang wo, keleta manyak….lu taluk sini lulu, petang lepas bikin lu boleh angkat mali la .

    (Correct Sentence – Minta maaf, pagi ini saya sibuk kerana kereta terlalu banyak. Awak letak kereta di sini dahulu dan petang nanti awak datang selepas diservis,)

    Second Instant

    lu bising2 buat apa. lu celebrate lu mia, gua celebrate gua mia ma.

  57. #57 by OrangRojak on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 11:42 am

    I wanted to point out earlier, but forgot, that referring to ‘Swahili’ or ‘Urdu’ as undeveloped might not be entirely fair. Bahasa Malaysia is only 40 years old: there are not many economic powerhouses in the world using Esperanto as their national language either.

    I don’t think the problem is entirely language: Bahasa Malaysia, and even Old Malay, Swahili and Urdu, while all being relatively modern developments in linguistic terms, do not have very rich histories (comparatively) in terms of recorded development. Urdu is possibly the odd one out, as it is descended from Sanskrit (according to wikipedia – oh the shame – I’m not a linguist, and too lazy to check references). The thing about the Indian sub-continent is that it does have a very long history, and a relatively well-recorded one.

    In my opinion, the length and breadth of a nation’s well-recognised history is of enormous value to its citizens, giving them a sense of position in the ‘great scheme of things’. India, for all its current problems, has a long history of contributing to global intellectual development. One should compare (perhaps starting from Ramanujan) the categories at wikipedia for “Indian mathematicians”, “Malaysian mathematicians” and “Indonesian mathematicians”.

    India (among others) played a large part in Malaysia’s history long before Islam first visited these shores, and I would like to see more widespread recognition of Malaysia’s longer history, rather than the truncated version espoused by Malaysia’s government in recent times.

  58. #58 by w2008 on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 12:14 pm

    Hi, everyone.

    If indian was here in malaya long before Islam visited here.

    And I supposed China visited here too before Islam visited here.

    How about we dig out the history to bargain with the goverment that actually Indian and Chinese was here before the Malay arrived here, so it should be Indian and Chinese get the speacial position first then they should be considered second

  59. #59 by w2008 on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 12:30 pm

    They know it very well the NEP and their special position is blocking this country progress.

    But they never want to discontinue it but insist it retain and not even a review for reduce their quota.

    They not interest for the country progress, they more interest easy money.

  60. #60 by AhPek on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 2:07 pm

    ‘……………………..,and I’ll like to see widespread recognition of Malaysia’s longer history,rather than the truncated version espoused by Malaysia’s in recent times.’. OrangRojak.

    And the reason they do that is to reinforce their assertion that besides Malays and the natives the rest are ‘pendatangs’,meaning the rest are new arrivals.The Malays unlike the Indians and Chinese are not pendatangs,and so this has to be reinforced by invoking this idea!
    So as the new version of Malaysian history goes,the Indians and chinese were brought in by the British as indentured labourers and labourers to work the tin mines somewhere in the mid-nineteenth century.Parameswara,the Indian hindu
    prince,who started the melaka sultanate has been made a malayHang Hang tuah is no longer mention anymore.As for Yap Ah Loy the founder of Kuala Lumpur,you now have another person,a Malay as the founder,to be politically correct .

  61. #61 by AhPek on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 2:11 pm

    correction: ‘………………………as indentured labourers and labourers to work the rubber plantations and tin mines …………………………….somewhere in the mid-nineteenth century.’.

  62. #62 by cintanegara on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 2:13 pm

    Dear Ah Pek,

    Would you kindly refer to my recent comment on the ungrammatical BM used in everyday conversation? I look forward to hearing your constructive views pertaining this. Hopefully, you don’t run away this time.


  63. #63 by AhPek on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 2:41 pm

    But as far as we understand,only the orang aslis are the original people in Peninsula Malaysia and kadazan-dusun,bajau,murut,suluk,iban,penan are the original people of East Malaysia,all the rest including the Malays are pendatangs!

  64. #64 by A true Malaysian on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 3:51 pm


    Before Ah Pek answers you, I wish to share my thought here.

    I think you should not regard people who are not fluent in BM as a ‘disgrace’ or ‘tidak cinta negara’. To me, so long as their ‘pasar BM’ can get their message across or communicate with Melayu, we should encourage them to do so instead of branding them ‘tidak cinta negara’. Mind you, these ‘cinapeks’ are the one who contribute positively in term of Malaysia’s economy unlike to ‘cintanegara’ people, who are fluent in BM, but a menace to the ‘our’ country.

    Another thing is that, I am still confused what BM stands for. Is it Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa M…whatever? Even you guys are undecided on this and keep changing mind which term to be used so that that ‘Bahasa’ is ‘our Bahasa’, and we can be proud of it.

  65. #65 by AhPek on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 4:10 pm

    What do you mean run away there’s nothing to run away from such bland comment coming from you.That bahasa malaysia is pasar bahasa language market and this spoken market language as used by various communities with their inabilities to pronounce certain letters phonetically (unfortunately you have not given an example how the Indians speak pasar melayu)adds colour and flavour to the life of the nation,much like I speak engrand and orangrojak speaks british,and that’s why i pondered sometime ago how our 2 worlds can meet.
    For you who has no idea at all of the colourful tapestry of life as reflected in a multiracial nation has taken upon himself to correct their grammar.How dumb can that be???

  66. #66 by AhPek on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 4:14 pm

    correction: language market to read market language.

    ” For you……………………………..multiracial nation has taken upon yourself…..

  67. #67 by k1980 on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 5:15 pm

    w2008, before you can announce that you have dug up the proof that the Indians and Chinese were actually here before the Malays, you will disappear like P.I. Balasundram ( after just one visit to the local police station)

  68. #68 by zak_hammaad on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 6:06 pm

    w2008 Says:

    >> If indian was here in malaya long before Islam visited here.

    Islam is not a race therefore your supposition is nonesensical. If the region was Hindu prior to the establishment of Islam does not mean that the people of Malaya were ‘Indian’, lol.

    >> How about we dig out the history to bargain with the goverment that actually Indian and Chinese was here before the Malay arrived here,

    I doubt that you will find consensus on history that you seek to ‘prove’. Even the ‘Encyclopedia of Malaysia: Early History’ has pointed out a total of three theories of the origin of “Malay”.

    Human transmigration is as old as mankind himself, there is not a single race/ethnicity/religion that can claim sole ‘historical’ exclusivety to a particular country or region.

    The racial origins of S.E Asia is indeed interesting and very complex. I would recommend that you perhaps look into ‘Proto Malays’ who origins extend back to around 5000 bc. In ‘ancient Malaysia’, the Negrito aborigines were considered to be one of the first groups of people to inhabit the Malaysian peninsula. When the Proto-Malays (made up of seafarers and farmers) came to the peninsula they sent the Negritos into the jungles and hills. After the Proto-Malays came the Deutero-Malays, which were made up of many different people inc. Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Proto-Malays and Siamese. The Deutero-Malays combined with Indonesians make up the people known today as the ‘Malay’.

    Good day.

  69. #69 by AhPek on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 6:36 pm

    Since I’ve taken up your challenge I’ve also taken up to the hills and got myself soaking wet in the process.Now that I;ve taken my showers,what do I find,a deafening silence from you.Never mind.
    Now if I am asked to grade storm62 how effective has he made understood.This would be his result: Pasar Malay—A1

    Bahasa Malaysia—-F9
    Storm62,you got BM F9 from me is because I don’t see any grammar in your letter so according to what cintanegara says,so no choice lah have to give you F9.But Pasar Malay no need grammar one and using that you have got yourself understood very well,my BM so poor also can understand one.So you get A! from me for Pasar Malay!

  70. #70 by AhPek on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 6:39 pm

    correction: ‘Now if I am asked ………..has he made himself understood?’.

  71. #71 by w2008 on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 7:22 pm

    Records saying that chinese was here in malaya between 200-400 years ago, they are nyoya in malaca and chinese in penang settlemens, those two states in those days are not malay states.

    In the old days, indonesia immigrants also enjoy the Malay special position.

    Anyone believe it?

  72. #72 by swipenter on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 7:32 pm

    If it is so freaking important to the malays that they want to stay monolingual and just speak their own language then why should we worry about it. We just make sure that we are multilingual and be proficient in English, Bahasa, Mandarin,Tamil etc.

    Let those who want to speak just one language alone so long as we are not denied our rights to learn English, Mandarin, Tamil etc besides the national language.

  73. #73 by Loh on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 - 9:05 pm

    ///Customer – Saya mahu servis dan tukar minyak hitam hari ini.

    Mechanic – Aiiya, ini hali wa tatak senang wo, keleta manyak….lu taluk sini lulu, petang lepas bikin lu boleh angkat mali la .///–cintanegara

    The mechanic did not claim to be a graduate from MU. What then is the problem? If the customer could not understand the mechanic, and took his business elsewhere, then the mechanic might have suffered. If the customer only wanted to have his car serviced by the mechanic and he got what he wanted, is that anybody’s business regarding the standard of BM the mechanic commands?

    The example of poor English displayed by government department is a different matter. It reflects the quality of the staff. Either correct English is used, or not at all. Granted that some grammatical errors might remain, but the sentences should sound right.

  74. #74 by AhPek on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 1:06 am

    You said,’I look forward to hearing your constructive views pertaining to this.Hopefully you don’t run away this time?’.
    You are simply incredible.Tell me have you ever probed me on any issue before.You have never and why this ‘Hopefully you don’t run away this time?’ coming from you?Or are you trying to copy my style but then again I have reason to since I have asked you 3 times to tell us whether you believe that Australian prisons have 17 aborigines to 1 Australian and why if you do,and also why if you don’t.It’s only after 3 times challenging you that you reply you don’t really know.
    Now that I have given my views,why the deafening silence from you?

  75. #75 by storm62 on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 1:18 am

    aiyoyo ahpek ar, i punya bahasa butul2 F9 la tapi i ciakap mia semua olang bole paham ma. kalau i ciakap BM sikalang mia, itu orang2 kampung pun tak paham ma.

    it all depends on who you’re talking to. thats why i use bahasa pasar to make sure cintanegara understand. hi hi hi.

    as most modern BM is so used to borrowing words from english, i find most kg folks does not even understand what they are reading from the local BM newspaper…hi hi hi.

  76. #76 by dawsheng on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 1:40 am

    “If adherents fail to follow the faith they claim to be following, would you blame the faith or the individuals?” – zak_hammaad

    I don’t know, what will you say to Najib if he tells you he had to be corrupt in order to save the Malay race?

  77. #77 by AhPek on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 2:55 am

    cintanegara is so intent on correcting as he had done on the mechanic’s
    bahasa because you don’t have grammar,mah.So what can I do but to give you BM F9 lah! But I give you Pasar Malay A1, you didn’t see,meh?

  78. #78 by w2008 on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 7:14 am

    Hi, guys.

    Before indepedent, Malay mean anyone muslim practice Malay custom.

    So it mean indonesia immigrants/emigrants also are Malay.

    Anyone disagreed?

  79. #79 by taiking on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 8:52 am

    luking said

    “Naj. acknowledges sometime back,one of his son is studying in US.Why?is our U here not up to standard?”

    Yeah afterall mara is actually better than harvard.

    And w2008 yes that is why i always refer to the indonesian foreign workers in malaysia as “bumiputra-to-be” or “soon-to-become-bumiputras”.

    And the rest of us will still be stuck with the pendatang / penumpang label.

    Somehow this logic works and makes sense only to those who are products of the umno government (-)meritocracy system.

  80. #80 by limaho on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 1:24 pm

    Of course, English has to brought back as the medium of instruction in all national schools. The reason why Malaysian ministers send their children overseas to study is because they know English is important and they have little faith in the present Malaysian system. Correct me if I am wrong. By all means, retain Bahasa Malaysia as a compulsory subject in schools. The deterioration in the standard of English in Malaysian students must be arrested immediately if Malaysia is to progress.

  81. #81 by Loh on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 6:11 pm

    It has been said by a dean of a law faculty in a Malaysian university in the STAR today that the teaching of a language allowed by law does not mean that that language can be used as a medium of instruction.

    Following his argument, the language can only be learnt from a dictionary and it is learning of the vocabulary of the language that the law allows. Grammar of the language cannot be taught too, or else any passage written using the language would certainly involve a certain subject matter; a paragraph would carry some ideas, and these ideas are subject matter. If the teaching of English is done through the teaching of any passage using the language, that language would be a medium of instruction. Thus, if learning a language means more than learning the vocabulary from the dictionary, the law that allows the teaching of any language would mean that the language concerned can be used as a medium of instruction. The framer of the Malayan constitution would never dream that the law is being interpreted the way that professor chose. The United Nations convention for Human Rights provides that it is basic human right to learn the mother tongue. What would that basic right be if it is interpreted by the law professor?

    I wonder what type of lawyers he would help to train. But his explanation would help to support statement by Mukhriz who wanted Malay to be the only medium of instruction in Malaysia.

  82. #82 by ryan123 on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 6:41 pm

    cintanegara aka cintaUMNO,

    Funny~ Years ago, even Dewan Bahasa themselves were flip-flopping about the implementation fo Bahasa Baku in the school, and my respectful BM teacher also complained about it. Have you ever blame it on the responsible organization? I doubt so, and to everyone here it seems that you can only blame ti on DAP due to your pea-size brain. Pathetic huh?

    Not only this, I doubt if you know the functions of a language in societal, economical and educational aspects. It is a systematic application of symbols in converying the intended messages. And whethere there is a need for a person to master it depends on the contexts. Ask yourself, do the Kelantaneses speak Bahasa Baku EVERY MOMENT???

    I sympathesize you, really.

  83. #83 by ryan123 on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 6:46 pm

    blame —> blamed
    converying —> conveying
    whethere —> whether
    to master it —> to master it at the highest level
    sympathesize —> sympathize

  84. #84 by AhPek on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 7:18 pm

    ///Customer:Saya mahu servis dan tukar minyak hari ini

    Mechanic: Aiiya,ini hali wa tatak senang wo,keleta manyak-lu taluk sini lulu,petang lepas bikin lu boleh angkat mali la./// cintanegara.

    What is really important is the mechanic has conveyed a message to the customer and the customer has fully understood.This is precisely what a language is supposed to do—provide a medium to get across and be understood by the receiver (in this case the customer) and in this example Pasar Malay has performed this function perfectly.Yet,cintanegara thought it fit to correct the mechanic’s language!It has of course not occurred to cintanegara
    that had the mechanic resort to using Bahasa Baku his customer would have not understood him at all.Also the mechanic ishappy using Pasar Malay for it has served him well in his business when dealing with Indian and Malay customers.

  85. #85 by storm62 on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 - 10:46 pm

    ahpek ar, sori gua lupa mengucap terima kasi for ur A1 la, thank you, kam siah, tor chea, siah siah.

    FYI, i score A2 for my BM & English for my MCE, but if they have hokkien,cantonese,hakka and hainanese language i sure will score A1 la…thai, indon and japanese maybe C3..hi hi hi.

    ryan123, your sympathy to cintanegara noted & accepted…on his behalf..hi hi hi…just too bad for him…hi hi hi.

  86. #86 by setiawan on Thursday, 11 December 2008 - 1:49 pm

    Sir MBM,

    You said,
    “These are the issues I expect Hishammuddin and his senior officers at the Ministry of Education to deliberate on, not flip flopping on major policies. That they are not doing so is a gross dereliction of duty. Unfortunately it is our young who bear the terrible burden of this negligence.”

    Let me suggest that you are expecting WAY TOO MUCH of that dim-wit His-sham. He is too tamed and brainwashed, thus incapable of giving any revolutionary solution to a life-and-death issue.

You must be logged in to post a comment.