Parental campaign for option for their children to be taught maths and science in English in primary and secondary students should be respected by Cabinet Ministers and MPs

A parent C.W. Leong today sent me a petition he had started in his son’s school in Subang Jaya canvassing support for parents to be given the option for their children to be taught mathematics and science in English in primary and secondary schools, reporting good response.

This is Leong’s message to all parents who are against the abolishment of teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI):

We are the silent majority.

Our mistake is, we did not lobby loud enough in the first place.

This is a signature campaign to appeal to the Minister of Education, to review the decision to abolish PPSMI,


Give parents the option to choose English.

This campaign is by parents concerned for their children’s education.

Many parents are doing something similar to this in schools all over the country.

The more action taken, the better will be the results.

Please forward to as many parents as possible, and get as many signatures as possible.

Then send the petition to the address shown in the pdf attachment.

If you feel like handing in personally to the Ministry, by all means do so.

I have received the pdf file he attached as follows:

This is a signature campaign initiated by parents who support the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI).

This is an appeal to the Minister of Education, to review the decision to abolish PPSMI, most importantly at the Secondary School Level.

Give Parents the option to choose English.

Please sign the petition attached, get as many signatures as possible.

Send the cover letter together with the signatures to the Minister of Education as soon as possible.

You may also wish to forward copies of the petition to Tun Dr. Mahathir who strongly advocates the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English.

Send to:

Deputy Prime Minister’s Office,
Level 4 West Block, Perdana Putra Building,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya,

Forward to:
YABhg Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad
Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana
No. 1, Jalan P8H, Precinct 8,
62250 Wilayah Persekutuan,

Deputy Prime Minister’s Office,
Level 4 West Block, Perdana Putra Building,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya, MALAYSIA 13 Julai, 2009

Yang Amat Berhormat,

Per: Rayuan Pengekalan PPSMI

Kami, ibu bapa ingin merayu kepada pihak Kementerian Pelajaran supaya mengkaji semula keputusan memansuhkan PPSMI.

Kami berharap pihak kementerian akan mengekalkan PPSMI, terutamanya di peringkat sekolah menengah.

Pertimbangan daripada Yang Amat Berhormat amat dihargai.

Sekian, terima kasih.

Yang ikhlas,

Bersama ini dikepilkan tandatangan ibu bapa yang menyokong rayuan ini.

Ibu bapa yang menyokong Pengajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris

Parents who support Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English

Petisyen Rayuan kepada Menteri Pendidikan supaya mengkaji semula keputusan memansuhkan PPSMI, terutamnya di peringkat sekolah menengah.

Petition to appeal to the Minister of Education, to review the decision to abolish PPSMI, most importantly in secondary school.

No. Nama/Name Tandatangan/Signature NRIC

The parental campaign for option for their children to be taught maths and science in English in primary and secondary students should be respected by the Cabinet Ministers, government and MPs.

I am disappointed that the Cabinet yesterday failed to have the political courage to admit that it had made a bad decision the previous week as to come up with the world’s most crazy educational system where students in Form 4 in 2012 will have to switch to Bahasa Malaysia for mathematics and science in the last two years of secondary education, after nine years of learning these two subjects in English – again to switch back to English for the next five or six years for pre-university and tertiary education!

Under this crazy education system, Chinese primary school students who join Form 1 this year after six years of maths and science taught in the mother tongue, will learn these two subjects in English for the next three years, and again forced to switch to Bahasa Malaysia in medium of instruction in Forms 4 and 5, before switching back to English for another five or six years in pre-university and tertiary education for maths and science.

If there is a competition to devise the most exquisite form of mental torture of Malaysian school-children, those who devise such a crazy educational system of multiple flip-flops in medium of instruction in maths and science will win the gold prize!

Since former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir started a poll on his blog a week ago for visitors to vote whether they supported or opposed the Cabinet decision to teach mathematics and science in Bahasa Malaysia, as of 3.15 pm today, 96,182 had voted with 86% (82,944) opposed to the move and 14% (13,238) supportive of Bahasa Malaysia.

The reasons which have been given by Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to justify the Cabinet decision to replace English with Bahasa Malaysia as medium of instruction for mathematics and science are most wobbly and totally unconvincing whether in logic or educational principles.

Muhyiddin acknowledged that Mahathir’s vision for PPSMI was more to enable Malaysians to have a better grasp of scientific, technological and mathematical knowledge, but pointed out that “we do not have the means to do it”. (New Sunday Times 12.7.09).

Muhyiddin is wrong. Malaysia has the means to do it and more to join Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan to become the world’s top nations in maths and science – provided we have a Cabinet of broad-minded and far-sighted leaders who are prepared to modify its disastrous PPSMI decision last week, viz:

  • Abolition of PPSMI from Standard One from all national, Chinese and Tamil primary schools to revert to the use of mother tongue as medium of instruction for these two subjects.
  • This argument does not apply for children whose home language is the English language or a total immersion education system is adopted with English as medium of instruction. For this reason, there should be option for parents to decide for their children to be taught in English for these two subjects both for primary and secondary.
  • Use of English as medium of instruction for mathematics and science in secondary and tertiary education.

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  1. #1 by nckeat88 on Thursday, 16 July 2009 - 4:18 pm

    This is the fault of Pakatan Rakyat especially the drama king Anwar. He had sacrifice my kid’s future for his political career by supporting the abolishment of PPSMI. DAP is no better by blindly supporting the Anwar.

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 16 July 2009 - 4:30 pm

    I was one of those students who did their primary school in Malaysia and then went to Singapore for secondary school and beyond. I was at the top of my class in a top school here and joined a middling school in Singapore and ended up at the bottom of the class for the first half of the year. AND at home I spoke English with all my friends and siblings. I crawled my way up to the top eventually but the experience was cathartic.

    Switching from one medium of instruction to another in secondary school in math and science is doable but it will be cathartic especially for below average students. However, cathartic experience actually something I feel is valuable personally. Nothing like learning to crawl back when thrown into tailspin to test yourself.

    Some may not be able to cope and hence will need extra help but for most people it will be useful experience.

    This is no different than National Service in Singapore where boot camp is cathartic but overall find it personally benificial. Some will have a tough time even suicidal for a few but can be handled separately and dealth with..

  3. #3 by k1980 on Thursday, 16 July 2009 - 4:46 pm

    Only 9% of primary and 19% secondary school teachers are proficient enough to teach Science and Maths in English. Therefore only 19% of secondary schools possess the staff qualified to teach PPSMI. The remainder 81% are fit for the garbage dump. So it is impossible for all secondary schools to offer PPSMI. Who is to be blamed for this fine kettle of fish? Hint: He’s a mamak

  4. #4 by k1980 on Thursday, 16 July 2009 - 5:03 pm

    Just because there are some school children who can’t study Science and Maths in English, the children of the whole country have to stop studying Science and Maths in English!

  5. #5 by taiking on Thursday, 16 July 2009 - 6:03 pm

    Remember. Umno members and umnputras are all products of umno’s (-)meritocracy system. They are either stupid fools or idiots. And there is a one in a million chance of finding amongst them one who is merely stupid. So dont hope so much.

  6. #6 by voice_70 on Thursday, 16 July 2009 - 6:07 pm

    Change is a process that takes time. If we are not brave to take the plunge now and accept the fact of our weakness, the quality of our future generations (in English language) will continue to spiral. There will forever be a shortage of qualified English speaking teachers. Is the Ministry of Education so blind or ignorant of the fact that there would NEVER be sufficient supply of English speaking teachers if they do not act ‘today’ to achieve the results ‘tomorrow’. This clearly reflects the mentality of the people who are suppose to be the pillars to guide the future generations.

  7. #7 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 16 July 2009 - 6:13 pm

    I don’t have children in school anymore but this Minister of Education is just being an obdurate nincompoop!
    He speaks of “final decision” as if it is the “Final Solution” made famous by Hitler – this should be the last straw to break the BN camel’s back – or are you guys waiting for more?

  8. #8 by homeblogger on Thursday, 16 July 2009 - 6:20 pm

    I’ve said it before and everybody knows it too. The reason only 9% of primary and 19% of secondary school teachers are proficient enough is because the rest don’t care. When the PPSMI was launched, they already knew that it would be reversed. All they had to do was just be themselves : lazy, apathetic and unwilling to learn new skills. They knew that this day would come, so why bother trying to improve themselves? These teachers could have taken it upon themselves to improve their command of English knowing in their hearts and minds that as they do, they become role models and an inspiration to their young charges to succeed and NOT be afraid of challenges. Alas, they chose the easy path, the one that was expected of them and has been their trademark of our education system- to be complacent and indifferent.

    After all, the government will take care of them from the cradle to the grave. Why do they need to work hard? Like Mahathir said recently (I cannot recall where I read it, so forgive me for paraphrasing) “The government gives them APs, they sell them to the highest bidder, the government gives them contracts, they sub it out to others preferring to just take the quick money”. The government encourages the Jaguh Kampung mentality among the Malays – who cares if the whole universe speaks English as long as they can still hide their heads in the sand of pride and prowess in Bahasa Melayu ignoring the reality that the progress marches on, with or without you.

    Who cares if a million children are comfortable in learning Maths and Science in English as long as certain children are spared the realities that surely await them – that they will graduate from college one day, and find that they still need the government’s help to learn what should have been learnt long ago – English. And they will continue to need the crutches of the NEP and a government to protect them from the realities of life in a global economy.

    I love Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Malaysia or whatever you want to call it. It is a beautiful and poetic language. But a powerful and comprehensive medium of instruction it is not. If it were, there would be NO need to borrow soooo many words from the English language. I shudder at the thought – even Bahasa Melayu cannot stand on its own merit without the help of others.

    Surely this cannot be true. The Malays I know are strong of mind and spirit. They are a hard-working people who are sensitive to the times and wise to the ways of the world. Perhaps it is the government that is their stumbling block to progress.

  9. #9 by newchief on Thursday, 16 July 2009 - 6:54 pm

    you said it!!! ‘we are the silent majority’ .

    its not the system that fails. its those people who puts speaking 15% english to teach maths and science in english THAT FAILS!!! will the education ministry dare to reveal the % of teachers (in terms of race) teaching in these two subjects?? your guess is as good as mind because these teachers were trained in malay versions during their student time!!!

    i won’t find it surprising these teachers can speak proper english so what to expect of them to teach your kids???

    since bn has changed format AGAIN, i’m very very sure these teachers will be the happiest of them all to be teaching in malay but at the sacrifice of your kids!!!

    SERVE YOU RIGHT for being the silent majority!!! don’t you know by now bn is very stubborn and won’t respect your views??? even mathatir’s vote blog of 86% against in malay is also thrown out the window SO WHO ARE YOU TO VOICE NOW!!!

    even for pk, i understand anwar’s the one who kick out this idea in the first place for it to be taught in malay version together with the blessings of pas. why?? well, because they want to PLEASE especially the malays to vote for them!!! bn noticed this brilliant idea so they ‘copied’ pk’s plan hoping it will work and IT DID for manek urai!!!

    even if you request for dap’s help now who was also very silent but keep on barking about port klang case, pkr and pas will not support it.

    likewise,mca or gerakan now starts voicing. no bn will care for it because once the decision is made, IT IS FINAL!!! (marked these words for your next general election please but i won’t know who to vote for anymore)

  10. #10 by boh-liao on Thursday, 16 July 2009 - 7:29 pm

    Well, voters who voted for BN, you asked for it
    Your kids will thank you for it
    People who qualified to vote but did not bother to register as voters or did not bother to vote
    You too asked for it
    One way to get out of this mess is to CHANGE
    VOTE wisely in the the next GE

  11. #11 by negarawan on Friday, 17 July 2009 - 12:16 am

    Let’s face it. The reason UMNO switched the policy is beacuse they are desperate for votes from the Malay heartland. Period.

    UMNO does not care about the education of the future generation and the competitiveness of the country. UMNO politicians are only interested in holding on to power and to rape the country of its wealth and resources for their own selfish benefit.

  12. #12 by taiking on Friday, 17 July 2009 - 8:50 am

    This is one issue that will never go away. Bring back the old system. Have english medium schools as the official main stream school alongside chinese and tamil schools and sekolah agama. This is an era of choices. The world became smaller and choices in life grew both in numbers and varieties. Sending kids to study in singapore and australia is within the financial capability of quite a number of people in malaysia. That too has been placed by parents into their basket of choices for determining their children’s education and future. Its a fact that we as a nation are not able to attract true foreign brains. Instead we got labourers and criminals and our umno government happily gave them resident rights over loads of other trully deserving ones. The point is we should then at least keep our own brains and not let them flow away. Unfortunately, for policital reasons, the umno gobermen only wants to keep those with no merits.

  13. #13 by boh-liao on Friday, 17 July 2009 - 10:14 am

    BN will ensure that the majority of people, esp voters, remain uninformed and unemployable – esp during this digital age, no or poor English will ensure that most people will remain dumb and easily manipulated by BN, for they can’t read English articles in the Internet that open their mind against the evil deeds of BN, MACC, polis

    BN supporters – what you vote is what you get

  14. #14 by Lee HS on Friday, 17 July 2009 - 1:51 pm

    What you can do as a non-recognised “citizen” of Malaysia. Work less hard to make only enough for your family for 3 years.


    So tha the Government will not be able to collect taxes to fund their corrupted, bias and prejudice projects.

    This is what you can do to teach the un-enlightened masses and the idiot government.

    If you can vote them out the next GE.

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