Malaysia current ills and future solution?

By Michael Yeo

There are reports of mass migration of Malaysian to overseas, and the Malaysian per capita income is decreasing. The country economy lacks foreign investments due to incorrect policies taken in 1989. The Asian Tigers – Thailand, China, Taiwan, S Korea, Japan, and Vietnam is all vying for foreign investments and aggressively pursuing value-added export market. With the potential oil production in Cambodia from 2011 (estimated), Malaysia will be relegated to the bottom in the ladder. Globalisation does not discriminate against any nation, but they will shy away from countries where her Governments have acted against the flow of capital. The oil asset is fast dwindling in Malaysia.

Malaysia is going backward; this is not a surprised as bad policies in educations, corruptions, cronyism, political systems that give rise to self imposed racism are all present in this dysfunctional state. Let me elaborate:

Present political divides

With the formation of Malaysia we have political parties that were established to serve sectorial population – the MCA, MIC and BN. In Malaysia we have political parties that are solely race or religious based – MCA, MIC, BN, PAS, DAP, PKR. Within these parties they form coalition government or coalition opposition.

Though the Constitution Article 153 provides for the Malays it must be seem that their provisions have indeed marginalised all non Malays that have at present give rise to current discontents, but with the exception of the super rich.

I acknowledged the cultural diversities of Malaysia, but this segmentation of political parties on race is and will continue to be the source of discontents. In USA their political systems are not race orientated, yet USA is a country of immigrants of various nations. The American does not have MCA or MIC or BN equivalent but they have Democrat and Republican parties. Malaysian political race based parties are itself a self imposed problem. I do not see the race problem solve by merely forming a coalition. There will never be equitable dissection of the spoils in the events of a victory in the next election. How long will it get out of hand before one party accused the other of unfair policies – it is 50 years and yet the MIC and the MCA is losing their traditional ground support, not to mentioned their living standards has stagnated.

Segmentation of School by race

To compound the problem we have schools that are also race based – Chinese school, Tamil school and Malay school, religious school – and these schools caters from day one of a child education. Imagine of the indoctrination the child gets in his or her education. They seldom mixed with other races except the few who chose to send their children to the school of their choice and not according to their race. It is therefore a segregation of races at the tender age.

The current Malaysian leadership is advocating 1Malaysia, to me it is a Sisyphean task. In the past 50 years they have not succeeded and under current political and economic environment it will be a futile attempt.

Cohesion is when all races gather together, they communicate and respect each cultural difference. The only way to overcome the problem is to start a free primary and secondary national school that caters for all races rich or poor, with English as a medium of instruction, fully funded by the ruling Government with curriculum comprising compulsory on science, maths, social science, Malay language and English language with optional language subject Chinese (Mandarin), and Tamil and Islamic Studies. In order to convinced parents of the national school, the optional Mandarin or Islamic Studies or Tamil classes is open to all students year on year until they finishes their secondary school. These national schools are to be staff by qualified teachers and are paid 20% above their counterpart in current sectorial school and where local teachers are in short supply, overseas qualified teachers are to be appointed. In order to maintained a desired standards KPI are to be set for the teachers,

One might asked what happen to the current schools. To me I will say let them be as time will prove to the old mindset that change is inevitable. If we are sincere about change the parents of today will vote with their feet.

If Malaysia is sincere in their search for long term solution for racial harmony and economic growth, they must begin with education of the young that must be in non race based school so the young will mingle and enjoy their cultural diversities. These schools will be creating future productive citizens of the nation that can articulate and communicate with the rest of the world. And most importantly the population of the future will eventually rid themselves of the MCA, MIC, and BN mentality but instead form political parties that are relevant to all races.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 11:40 am

    Talk, talk, talk, write, write, write
    All very cheap – NATO
    Things will not change, racists remain racists or become more extreme racists
    Closet racists emerge to proudly confirm themselves as racists
    We will still be doing d same 50 years fr now
    When d nation is populated by 50 million ppl
    A small racist group super filthy rich
    N d majority struggling 2 survive
    Working as maids? No lah, no need maids, robots hv taken over

  2. #2 by lkt-56 on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 11:42 am

    Starting young is the solution and focus on education is also correct. But to advocate a deliberate bias towards one particular language is not correct.

    In terms of child development: literacy and numeracy, children respond better when taught in a language they can understand. To teach the child in critical early developmental years with a language other than the mother-tongue will be counter productive. Therefore as much as we would like to have inter-racial harmony we cannot have education method that will impede a child’s development.

    It is okay for the child to switch medium of instruction during secondary school years but certainly primary schools must be in the child’s mother-tongue. ie. If you speak English at home (regardless of whether you are malay, chinese or indian) you go to an english primary school. if you speak chinese at home go to a chinese primary school, etc.

  3. #3 by Godfather on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 11:45 am

    In the next GE, we have little choice but to vote out this government before they bankrupt the country. This is a government that is bankrupt of ideas. If you read Najis’ interview with the NST about their plans to reduce spending in light of lower contributions from Petronas, you will laugh.

  4. #4 by lkt-56 on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 11:49 am

    The writer says:
    Cohesion is when all races gather together, they communicate and respect each cultural difference…

    I venture further to say that cohesion is when an individual starts to think less of himself and more of others around him. How to achieve this? Start them young. Teach them the virtue of being generous, help their friends, treasure their environment, and other values that reinforces:
    “Think less of yourself and think more of others.”

  5. #5 by Godfather on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 11:57 am

    The solution for Malaysian education is simple – the government must continue to finance all vernacular primary schools, but there must only be one form of national secondary school based on English. Those who want secondary school education in their mother tongue can finance it privately – but the students will not have any priority in local university intakes except for degrees in their own languages.

    Then cancel all quotas for local university intake and substitute that with a point-based system that has a large emphasis on family circumstances.

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 1:14 pm

    The unpopular Goods and Services Tax Bill 2009 was tabled for its first reading at the Dewan Rakyat. It has been criticised by Opposition.

    It seems that ruling BN coalition had only 63 of its 137 members in the Parliament when this highly important bill (from public stand point) was being debated and put to vote.

    Equally appalling is the Opposition did not get 80 percent attendance to defeat this bill at first reading.

    Any defeat of such a fiscal bill in the tradition of the Westminister implies a reverse motion of no confidence on the ruling coalition.

    Why is the Opposition ‘sleeping’ here?

    Isn’t this a reflection of current ills amongst our politicians on both sides of the political divide?

  7. #7 by Godfather on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 1:35 pm

    Let’s not be naive here. Do you think that the Speaker would allow proceedings to go on if it were apparent that BN would lose the vote? That it would not be possible to create enough of a ruckus to trigger a re-vote?

    I agree that elected reps must fulfill their attendance in Parliament for all major bills, but the poor attendance on both sides of the divide was probably the result of a foregone conclusion that it would be passed by hook or by crook.

  8. #9 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 1:50 pm

    Who is this guy? He has been gone a long time and clearly out of touch stating the stuff that WE ALL HAVE KNOWN FOR LONG TIME..

    But it does point out that while the obvious solution stare in our face and have been known, we continue to argue it because reason don’t matter, power does – that is Malaysia. We are not a country of reason. Its about primitive power – obscene, shameful, low class underserving of pride and dignity. So next time people insult Malaysia, keep in mind, we deserve it.

  9. #10 by OrangRojak on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 2:01 pm

    certainly primary schools must be in the child’s mother-tongue
    Are you aware of any successful country, anywhere, that sponsors this? This is exactly wrong. A child’s ‘mother-tongue’ being a foreign language after 3 generations is a pitiful failure of integration and nation building.

    Lim Kit Siang’s call for government support for Chinese Schools in Malaysia should probably be seen in light of his long career at the head of what most people perceive as a Chauvinist Chinese Party. regardless of his personal attitudes towards many Malaysian hot topics, I expect he represents some powerful interests and also benefits from the support of well-established lobby groups. If he sometimes deviates from “Malaysian Malaysia” or “LKS for Malaysia”, we must concede that he is not a totally free agent.

    Hardly anything, besides perhaps the construction of giant concentration camps complete with gas chambers, could be further from a contribution to building a unified nation than government support for foreign-language schooling. Malaysia is ruined by racism and powerful self-interest groups. Any small contribution towards the reinforcement of those groups should be avoided at all costs.

    Who is in any doubt that it is the ability of the educators in the Chong Hwa school which brings their results, and not the medium of instruction? What self-respecting professional would lift a finger to further the interests of an apartheid regime of which they are doomed to remain a second-class citizen? We do not need changes that further cement the structures of racism in this country.

    We need the skills and dedication of those educators to be made available to Malaysians of all ancestries. The only way to do that, as far as I can see, is to do away with the racist constraints that the framers of the Constitution themselves objected to. It is UMNO and their cronies who have deviated from the letter and spirit of the original Constitution. Malaysia’s Rulers went on record to say that they did not want communal bias in the Constitution. The preservation and extension of communal bias cannot be presented as anything other than a betrayal of those noble intentions.

    There is no country where racism is not a threat to stability and harmony. Almost every other country who has tackled racism in their societies has done it by outlawing racism – or if they tried to deal with it by becoming even more racist, as Malaysia tried, it ended badly. ‘Multi-culturalism’ is nothing more than a cynical political ploy to manage a population as distinct voting blocs. There is nothing more retrogressive than a government enforcing countably many ways of being on its people, whether that number is 1 or 20. Such a technique can be profitable in the short term when a nation is faced by an external threat, but militating as it does against people’s nature to fully explore every last opportunity available to them, will eventually cause internal conflict. What any of us may perceive as ‘multi-culturalism’ is merely the consequence of migration and people’s freedom to make different choices regarding tradition, habit and custom. When we might be tempted to think ‘multi-culturalism’ we should instead think “ooh look: people making different choices and sometimes forming ephemeral groups around those choices”. It is only natural, and should be left undisturbed.

    Malaysia is a nation with a rich heritage contributed by people of diverse backgrounds. It has an official language which also happens to be the first language of the majority of its people. A common language unites a nation, but it can’t do it alone. The Malaysian prospect of ‘pretending’ to be united at school only to face rejection by one’s own government afterwards is unbearable (I am still convinced that the figures for people who can no longer bear the absurdity and cruelty of Malaysian citizenship will show that Malaysians of all origins are equally sensitive to the wrong perpetrated on them). Race-based policies and politics must go, and must go soon.

    As far as teaching goes, the #1 priority should be on making the skills and experience of teachers at excellent schools available to all Malaysians as a national project. Supporting the establishment of an aggravating enclave is not the way to do it. The way to do it is to treat those Malaysian citizens as excellent Malaysian citizens and give them the rewards their excellence deserves. More funding for second class citizens in an apartheid regime would be a very hollow victory indeed.

    Since the Chinese Schools have done so well on Independent funding, there appears to be no rational argument for giving them government financial support. If anything, financial support from our government appears to the ‘kiss of death’ to almost any venture. I could not credibly pretend to support English as the ideal medium of instruction in Malaysian schools. My bias is apparent. People have fond memories of English-medium instruction in Malaysia, but I am tempted to think that it was technique, content, and outlook they remember rather than choice of language.

    I think the Malaysian National Schools system must be based on Bahasa Malaysia – nothing else will deliver an integrated nation while preserving its heritage. At the same time, students must be free to dream that they can become the Prime Minister with the full support of all of their friends and neighbours, regardless of where their grandfathers came from, if they excel in their studies. The cancer of racism must be cut out in its entirety from Malaysia and methods put in place to limit its effect wherever it attempts to take hold.

    My proposal would be to make Mandarin, Tamil and English (or ‘the top 3’ whatever they are might be more future-proof) official languages (with BM as national language) of Malaysia, and to make all official documents available in all 4 languages, and to ensure that all government offices above a certain size has an officer on duty who is fluent in each (or all) official languages.

    I don’t think anybody in PR will argue that the civil service would need more staff for such a change – either it’s overstaffed or it isn’t. Even if it isn’t, if we are to believe PR proposals for a more efficient civil service, either you need to confess that that means redundancies, or offer an alternative project those staff may be employed in.

    I think it’s not unrealistic to promote or even fund ‘centres of excellence’ in foreign-language education. If die-hard Chinese educators wish to establish Chinese Academies of recognisable excellence for post-secondary, continuing or private tuition, I think it would be unreasonable for (any other) government to refuse to support them to some extent.

    Of course, none of these things are likely to come to pass. We have a nascent 2-party system, thanks to overwhelming support for ‘something different’. Perhaps predictably, the Pakatan is formalising its coalition by dropping anything of value that might give a voter hope for a brighter future. Given the route they’ve chosen, I think their method is unavoidable. But what of hope and the principled voter? Where does it leave them – other than on the 16:35 Refugee Airlines to Michigan?

    I beg LKS to consider sponsoring (even just in words) a new political party – he doesn’t even have to be a member of it. He can be a ‘mentor’. He’s a good politician, but his hands are tied by his traditional support. The ‘1Malaysia’ campaign may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Najib has run a fantastic advertising campaign for a product he doesn’t have.

    I’ve often thought a new political party (preferably fronted by younger Malaysians, though not by overt discrimination) should be formed under a generic banner, and my top tip would be United National Organisation – UNO (if you can fund a BM name that adds up to SATU, also good). They could have a logo which was a ‘1’ or a silhouette of Malaysia. The marketing is already in place, there’s demand for it, all we need is the product. Rather than try to work out the details after the fact – as with PR, build it from principles from the ground up: take the UDHR as a basis and the original intent of the Malay rulers and the Reid Commission at Independence. No discrimination of any kind. Total transparency in funding and dealing with issues.

    As I understand it, PSM is not a member of PR, but it seems as though you don’t run against them in constituencies where they’re likely to win a seat. That suggests to me that you have at least some expectation that they would form a government with you if the chance arose. You could do the same thing with UNO / SATU. It would be a bit of a hot-seat, because many great, perfectly-normal-in-any-other-country manifesto points that would be good for UNO are ‘sensitive’ here. You could invest your higher principles in UNO, while PR keeps the expediency.

    There has to be some hope in Malaysia for people who are not brain-dead. Your Pakatan Rakyat coalition is having to shed attractive principles by the day in order to find common ground. Please don’t just discard them, and invest them in a new project instead. I still expect you will win at GE13, but what sensible person is going to look forward to a Pyrrhic victory?

  10. #11 by AhPek on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 2:02 pm

    ‘So next time people insult Malaysia,keep in mind,we deserve it.’.Bigjoe.

    We certainly do for we have not only been returning them to power year in year out since Independence but giving them two thirds majority most of the time!
    And Michael Yeo,what have you been smoking all this while?

  11. #12 by Godfather on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 2:10 pm

    .,and who would we have as numero uno in UNO?

  12. #13 by OrangRojak on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 2:35 pm

    numero uno in UNO
    People who care about the answer to that question can vote PR. Not all parliaments promote a political party’s president into the #1 seat, do they? If they do, well – add it to the list of stuff that’s wrong and UNO can campaign for a fix to that one too!

    Perhaps they could take a leaf out of Malaysian Royal heritage and have a rotating president…

    I think Mahathir is right, and some of LKS’ recent articles seem to indicate that LKS agrees that if people didn’t want racist little empires, they wouldn’t keep voting for them. I don’t have a shrink-wrapped box on my shelf that contains the answer to the world’s problems, but my own opinion is that elevating persons above their position (such as chief administrator or good golfer) is inviting disaster. I would expect more open-minded voters to not instantly dismiss a political party that emphasised consistency and integrity above personality.

  13. #14 by lkt-56 on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 4:44 pm

    Are you aware of any successful country, anywhere, that sponsors this?
    When I look at the developed nations or first world countries:
    1)United kingdom – Their children are taught in mother tongue.
    2) France – They learn in mother tongue
    3) Germany – They educate their children in German
    4) The Chinese – They teach their young one in Chinese…
    The list goes on…and they are successful.

    It may look “politically wrong” for nation building but in terms of developmental psychology it is best not to meddle with nature.

    A child’s ‘mother-tongue’ being a foreign language after 3 generations is a pitiful failure of integration and nation building.

    It appears so… but I am not so sure. What is mother tongue? It is NOT the language of your ethnicity. It is the language you use most at home. The world is a global village and English is widely spoken. Many people in the world are speaking English to their children. Therefore English has become their “mother-tongue”. Many Singaporean families speak English at home. I consider Singapore a successful nation and that goes with using foreign language as “mother-tongue”

    When we might be tempted to think ‘multi-culturalism’ we should instead think “ooh look: people making different choices and sometimes forming ephemeral groups around those choices”. It is only natural, and should be left undisturbed.

    Exactly! Accept that world is made up of different peoples, Red, white, yellow, and green? if one day Martians come to earth. :D

  14. #15 by OrangRojak on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 5:15 pm

    Oh. I meant when the mother-tongue is a foreign language. I’m sorry if that wasn’t apparent.

    Your example of Singapore – for example – is a nation who must have, at some point, abandoned their mother-tongue, unless cintanegara is wrong about the origin of many of its people. I don’t think you can use Singapore – or any of the countries you mention – as an argument against a national school system that teaches in the national language. I’d be interested to read how you square ‘meddling with developmental psychology’ with Singapore’s widely regarded developmental success – built on a language switch. The two look mutually incompatible to me.

    You would do better to point to a country like Ireland (the Celtic Tiger!), which teaches in a foreign language, but which also places heavy emphasis on learning Irish. The reason I propose BM instead of English is not only because I think heritage is important, but also because nobody would believe my support for English was not prejudice!

    My point about diversity is that a government who does not interfere in the culture of its people would not fund something that was solely the preserve of one group. More than that, it would not seek to establish official groups and allocate its citizens to them in order to ‘fairly’ fund the few categories it identified, as it is impossible to capture a nation’s natural diversity with a few official categories. To be fair to all citizens, a government should have policies that refer to ‘citizens’ or ‘nationals’ and not to arbitrary sub-divisions of them.

    I hope that’s cleared up any ambiguities.

  15. #16 by gundro on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 5:24 pm

    – Actually my primary school was taught in English which is not my mother tongue so this excuse has been overated.

    – The good quality of education in vernacular schools is due to the teaching not due to the language it is taught in. This culture can be replicated to other schools.

    – Finally, this right is enshrined in the constitution just like Malay priviledges.

    So they need to be some give and take between the NEP to realise a 1 stream school which as Michaed Yeo pointed is quite futile for the government to undertake now given the strong opposition.

  16. #17 by lkt-56 on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 5:55 pm

    Thanks for the clarification Dr.Rojak.

    I suppose you are right that it is not appropriate to use those countries on why mother-tongue education in a child’s formative years is important. There is at least one country that endorses mother-tongue education. You may refer to this link:
    Switzerland – Preprimary Primary Education

    I’d be interested to read how you square ‘meddling with developmental psychology’ with Singapore’s widely regarded developmental success – built on a language switch. The two look mutually incompatible to me.

    You recall Malaysia’s disastrous experiment with teaching science and mathematics in English even at primary school level?

    When the poor child is forced to grapple basic concepts in an unfamiliar language, chances are the concepts become mere “words” to the child and he switches off. Let him learn the basics in his mother-tongue and he will happily integrate into and English medium or Malay medium system at secondary school level.

  17. #18 by monsterball on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 6:10 pm

    Soon Malaysians will export maids…factory workers to neighboring countries…to survive.
    Right now…those with qualifications and brains are running away.
    It seems more than 200000 in England….mostly Muslims…do not want to return…and visa expired….now becoming illegal immigrants.
    UMNO never feel shameful at all.
    Malaysia is going backward….and we know why…except UMNO crooked hypocrites.

  18. #19 by OrangRojak on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 6:15 pm

    Hey monsterball! Where did you find your 200,000 figure? I’ve been trying to say that the greatest reason for not giving a racial breakdown for migrants in an apartheid regime would be that it shows the ‘favoured race’ are leaving in great numbers. Come on man, share the wealth!

  19. #20 by lkt-56 on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 7:07 pm

    I don’t think you can use Singapore – or any of the countries you mention – as an argument against a national school system that teaches in the national language.

    Ah-so ne! That escaped me when I was trying to read your post in between (psst…) work. I was not using Singapore to argue against using a national language to teach. I am merely putting up a case for teaching primary education in the child’s mother tongue. ;)

  20. #21 by Loh on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 8:00 pm

    The education system in the country allowing vernacular schools to flourish has produced law abiding citizens who are appreciated by countries that accept them. The students from schools using different languageas the medium of instruction have not created disunity and racial polarization in the country. What caused it is Ketuanan Melayu brought about through NEP that relied on BTN to implement policies which went against the teaching of Islam that emphasizes justice and equality irrespective of race, and may I add, religion.

    NEP had to be initiated as a cover-up for the real reasons why May 13 occurred. The discriminatory policies should have been reversed when Petronas produced windfalls that would have allowed the government to roll back their racist policies. Unfortunately racial opportunist pioneered by Mahathir used NEP to enrich enough UMNO leaders to continue with policies that went against Islamic teachings. Now corruption, legalised and institutionalised, and supported by racism is making Malaysia a failed state. MACC which was created to fight corruption has been utilised to ensure that the government in power will not be challenged.

    The country can only be saved if there is a change of government. UMNO should be sacked as federal government for Ketuanan Malayu governance to cool down. The five-year hiatus will send UMNO leaders who served the party for personal gains to embark on other get-rich quick missions, leaving others to climb political ladders. Unlike Singapore, political certainly in Malaysia has made the country trailing behind other low income countries in the region. A regular change of government in Malaysia would be to the nation’s interest.

    Mahathir said that Malaysia should negotiate for a higher price for water supplied to Singapore because it has a per capita income five times that of Malaysia. He called Singapore a rich country. For 150 million gallons a day at 3 cents per thousand gallons, Malaysia receives 4,500 Ringgit a day. If the price is raised to 60 cents per thousand gallons as Lee Kuan Yew once agreed but Mahathir negated hoping for a greater kill, Malaysia would get 90,000 Ringgit a day or 33 million Ringgit a year. It would take 33 years to reach a billion Ringgit, or 3,300 years to collect the 100 billion which were squandered away by Mahathir in 22 years.

    Mahathir recognised now that Singapore citizens on average earn five times that of Malaysians. He fails to or pretends not to realise that the pitiful situations Malaysians are in are the results of his policy failure during his term, and particularly his failure to remove NEP in 1990. The discriminatory practices against non-Malays are back to haunt the Malays as well.

  21. #22 by OrangRojak on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 9:17 pm


    The Switzerland reference you posted is talking about the mother-tongue of new arrivals in pre-school classes. Switzerland is a special case: its cantons are like Malaysian States, but the locals may speak French in one canton, Italian in the next, German in another, or Swiss (Romansch? Can’t recall…). The cantons are not just separated by languages, but by snow-capped mountains larger than any in Malaysia.

    I think I posted before about getting lost in a blizzard in Switzerland on a walking holiday and descending from the mountain into the ‘wrong’ valley. I had badly frostbitten heels and couldn’t walk out for a week. The phrasebook I brought, intending to work on my language skills, was German. The Valley was French-speaking. My French is only slightly better than my German, which is terrible. While I was limping around the very pretty village in the beautiful valley I found myself in, I did at least get some extra help from the old woman in the Tourism office. I said to her, by mistake, that she was “very pretty” instead of “very kind”. The place I ate at every day was the ‘Hotel International’. It had a sign on the door saying “No English Spoken”.

    What that article is talking about is the extra help given to new arrivals whose mother-tongue is not local. But they’re being taught the local dialect. If such a situation were to occur here, there would first have to be an earthquake in the South China Sea which threw up a mountain range over which the PRC army would come, annexe Malaysia and subsequently magnanimously force the LKT family to learn Bahasa Malaysia because it was the local dialect of Malaixia province.

    As for the teaching of two technical subjects in a different language, I think the Malaysian experience might be unique among education systems anywhere. I am still agog that anybody would consider it a good idea.

    While I could be tempted to believe that children being taught in their mother-tongue might have a slight advantage over those taught in a language their mother did not speak, I think it’s important to balance this putative advantage against the disadvantages of preserving their foreign-ness, maintaining a greater number of school systems, and in the long-term, the consequence that you’re perpetuating a problem. And let’s not beat about the bush – any reduction in ability to communicate with one’s neighbours is a problem. I should know – I’m British!

    I agree with Loh in as much as the vernacular schools did not cause the current racial disharmony in Malaysia, that they’re excellent education establishments, and their students are fortunate to have been educated in them. They do nothing to bring the races (such as they are) closer together however, when a single decent school system (impossible under our present leadership) could. I think it’s important to acknowledge that ethnic enclaves can come about because they’re of unarguable benefit to their constituents. Do we acknowledge this benefit as a reason to further consolidate the enclave or as an excuse that pretends the wider and longer term problems caused by segregation don’t exist? Maybe we won’t agree on the answer to this question.

  22. #23 by lkt-56 on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 9:50 pm

    I did not know that a mere mountain can divide peoples of a nation in this day and age when we consider the world to be a global village.

    Allow me to quote a passage from this publication by UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education:

    Forcing children to learn a new
    language before they can learn anything
    else creates an educational handicap
    that should not exist. The handicap may be overcome in middle-class or elite
    conditions, but it grows exponentially
    when it intersects with poverty, hunger,
    disability, remote rural conditions, social
    marginality — or simply being born female…

    The link to this publication in pdf format:

    … if you are interested. I have just googled the article and have not read it myself. But I have had the experience many hours of arguing with a dear friend over this subject.

  23. #24 by limkamput on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 10:11 pm

    I don’t know what to say except to actually think that Micheal Yeo is naive nincompoop.

  24. #25 by OrangRojak on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 11:11 pm

    Thanks for posting that link lkt – From a read of the first couple of pages, I’m looking forward to reading the rest. That document focusses on the children of marginalised and disadvantaged communities in countries whose education problems may possibly be worse than those of Malaysia, such as Papua New Guinea and Bangladesh.

  25. #26 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - 11:39 pm

    I am certain that Michael has not gone to any primary or secondary schools for a long time. The moment you increase the salary by 20% for such schools, you think you’ll get the best teachers to be posted there?. Only those with connection will get those postings. Only in 3rd rate country, we find Gomen send graduates who can’t find jobs to teach. Mr. Michael, please go to some gomen schools and find out the truth. I hear so many complaints of graduate teachers in SCIENCE but could not teach form 1 science!!!

  26. #27 by monsterball on Thursday, 17 December 2009 - 6:00 am

    hi Orang Rojak….Sorry for the delay in responding to your question.
    I got the information from reading various newspapers….and Malaysiakini.

  27. #28 by frankyapp on Thursday, 17 December 2009 - 5:39 pm

    There’s no chance for future solution in malaysia current ills as long as umno is totally control by umnoputras and warlords.And malays continue to be cowed by these dishonest gang,the ills and evils of this land will continue to flourish .On the bright side the non malays in P.Malaysia and sabahans and sarawakians might have a fighting chance to prevent it to becoming a catastrophic desaster. Sabahans and Sarawakians are good prospective supporters of DAP,hence DAP selection of local leaders are vital important to lead and win in the next general election.It’s good to see now that DAP is playing a leading role to organising and consolidating all local political parties to stand united to facing the Umno/Bn on a one on one basic.If this’s done,half the battle is won,the rest you can be assured,we east malaysians would know what to do best for new changes. I pray DAP ,PKR ,PAS and local political parties would not make a repeat of the 12th,GE.

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