49,000 youngest drop-outs?

by Azly Rahman
12:22PM Jan 4, 2013

If it is indeed true, as recently reported by Malaysiakini that 49,000 ‘stateless children’ are not going to school because they do not have identity cards, then something must be done to immediately address this issue of fundamental human rights. They must be allowed to go to school by any means necessary as the government resolves the issue of their ‘stateless parents’.

This ruling regime will be committing an act of the worst form of mental slavery should these children not be allowed to have the basic education and the right to be intelligent. If, as alleged, this regime can grant identity cards to newly-arrived immigrants in prepration for the coming elections, we must insist it to be able to do this for these children.

You, in the government, will be called a ‘pariah regime’ if this is not done for those children. The implications of not having those children schooled will be devastating; a reaffirmation of the vicious cycle of poverty, alienation, dehumanisation, and the fast-track way to build Malaysia’s prison-industrial complex. These children are already ‘drop-outs’ even before they enter schools!

What is wrong with our education system when we are now seeing a ruder apartheid-isation of schools? We continue to see the growth of a hideous class and caste structure in schools, from smart schools for the children of the rich to ‘pariah schools’ for the children of the abject poor. And now in the case of the ‘children of stateless parents’, we even have no schools for children of the abyss of the underclass, especially Malaysians of Tamil origin.

What a criminal act we have been doing since these years of independence – children of the rich paying tens of thousands of ringgit per semester for the best private schools to get to the best slots in college and best jobs in society through the best connections, yet thousands are not allowed in schools because of some ‘colonial legacy’.

We need to radically restructure the way we look at human beings, design education policies to be just and equitable, and to have a common school system to help children have common dreams… as Malaysians and nothing less.

Amidst the niceties of the rhetoric of educational reform and progress designed merely by a poor understanding of systemic change, we are creating a dystopia – of a future in which the 99 percent of society will one day overthrow the one percent after they learn what hegemony means and know what rights they have to social, educational, and cultural justice.

Lifeboat mentality

We have designed a school system based on the ‘lifeboat mentality’ and ‘gunboat diplomacy’ – a philosophy of “to each his own”. Hence, there are schools well-funded and those not funded at all. Ultimately, we will see more of society with both lifeboat and gunboat mentality wrapped in one.

Each child has the rights to get access to good teachers, technology, techniques, and tender-loving care in schools, regardless of race, religion, national origin, or even if they have no identity cards. Until the age of 18, these rights must be honored in order for the very fundamental goals of education for human freedom, development, and gainable and sustainable employment to be achieved. This must begin with the philosophy of education that we base our practice upon.

Race-based politics in Malaysia has been so pervasive that we have forgotten what education should mean, even though the language of humanism and systemic change in our educational blueprints is laced with niceties of the means and ends of education.

Outside of the rhetoric of a ‘world-classism’, if we deconstruct the meaning of education in a hyper-modern county such as Malaysia, we see the nature of humans being viewed as cogs in the wheels of capital or human machinery in a system of corrupt crypto-crony capitalism that preys on cheap professional and manual labor produced through schooling as means of social reproduction.

This is a continuation of what the British imperialists did in the kangani and kanchu system, facilitated by the Malay monarchy. The history of Malaya is a history of the exploitation of human beings written in a vainglorious way to mask the oppression of those enslaved by the feudal and neo-feudal class.

It is hoped that education, in its progressive evolution in our times, be framed in a newer understanding of what it should take to put the child at the center of learning and for the school to be a place to cultivate and to be a ground for democratic participation.

It should be a place for a child to develop his/her fullest potential and be free from being discriminated for any reason. It should help a child’s growth as a cultural and social being who will use scientific thinking to become good citizens imbued with ethics and critical sensibility.

I hope we look at the plight of the 49,000 children of ‘stateless parents’ with a simple logic: that as long as they are on our soil, they have the right to an education, to be treated with all the rights and privileges as a child ready to learn, and will be given education until they turn 18 while this issue of ‘statelessness’ is resolved.

Failure to do this will mean another level of success in creating a truly world-class Malaysian prison-industrial complex, rivaling the United States of America.

I am sure this is not what we want to see – a continuation of the lifeboat mentality aided by race-based gunboat diplomacy!


DR AZLY RAHMAN, who was born in Singapore and grew up in Johor Baru, holds a Columbia University (New York) doctorate in International Education Development and Master’s degrees in the fields of Education, International Affairs, Peace Studies and Communication. He has taught more than 40 courses in six different departments and has written more than 300 analyses on Malaysia. His teaching experience spans Malaysia and the United States, over a wide range of subjects from elementary to graduate education. He currently resides in the United States.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 4:27 am

    A pariah government who does not care …a most hypocritical government who is afraid to be defeated in 13th GE.
    “People First” slogan…will sent some to hell and some as Oppositions.

  2. #2 by monsterball on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 4:29 am

    What do you expect from a hypocritical government?
    “People First” slogan will sent some to hell and some as Oppositions.

  3. #3 by chengho on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 5:11 am

    People of Malaysia must support 1 School for every one , National school

  4. #4 by monsterball on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 6:00 am

    The more drops out…the better for Umno b.

  5. #5 by Ray9393 on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 7:08 am

    How to progree if we continue to live under the coconut trees not keeping up with the real globalized world. Imagine we study Math & Science in Bahasa now in 1 school (BM). Guess our ranking. We cannot even translate well and fast enough. Poor student cannot understand English scientific terms and obviously had not enough Malay referenece now (maybe forever). Where do you expect the graduate to go? Maybe work as maid or a factory workers in Indonesia. Sad. What happened to us?

  6. #6 by monsterball on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 8:48 am

    1 School is long long away.
    So much dirt and filth to clean…so many corruptions cases to be filed….so many promises to be made good by PR govt..
    So many bodohs like chengho to be guided to think right…and when all Malaysians are proud to be Malaysian first….race second….then PR can get the best teachers….best subjects…best text books…starting from Primary One….work on to Form 5.
    There is no doubt the Chinese School system is the best…right now….and the 1 School can start from there. All others will be converted to be like that…………and maybe named..”Chengho 1 School, Sungei Buloh”…all across the country..something like that……for such a smart idea.
    PS: …. As if PR do not know what to do.

  7. #7 by tak tahan on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 9:42 am

    I will support 1Tanjung Rambutan for chengho and En Rambutan aka cintanegara alike.

  8. #8 by cseng on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 9:54 am

    An educationist like Azly would take educational as basic right for purpose of human development.

    An umno politician would take it as a political tool to strengthen their grip of putrajaya. Whether or not, it destroysy the innocents children does not matter to them. For them is 1 school system, so that you can not compare and indoctrinate them to suit their need. All they take about is your must support, never heard they say we must improve so they can come willingly.

  9. #9 by cseng on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 10:02 am

    If anyone could do a research on the malaysia education policy and movement for the past 5 decades, are we moving in circle, flip floping, 1step foward 2 steps back, from good to bad, turning worse now become cruel?….

  10. #10 by cseng on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 10:07 am

    The whole problem of our education is not the academical element.. but THE political element of quotas, making education for political purposes, creating unnecessary artificial pride…

    Hence ypu couldn’t solve this without political change….

  11. #11 by chengho on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 10:18 am

    The whole problem is Malaysian from play school divided into 3 diff school with 3 different language , there is no national integration and agenda . Very much like the agenda of the former colony master , divided into traditional & new village and rubber estates .

  12. #12 by monsterball on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 10:30 am

    Who approved and divide them ….chengho?
    Get that right….. before offering your idiotic advises.
    Where is your buddy cintanegera? His rambutan tree sick again.

  13. #13 by monsterball on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 10:37 am

    eunuch….. one says chengho is???
    Must love the movie “Rear Window” sitting on a wheelchair….back..ahhmmmmmm so painful.

  14. #14 by chengho on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 11:20 am

    Dapter must come out with GE manifesto 1 School for Malaysian ; National School , don’t think they dare , Pas will still want to maintain their Semi Arabic school . N Adil well u know them , no school is better .

  15. #15 by monsterball on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 11:35 am

    DAP must do this…must do that….as if he is Najib’s right hand man.
    Even Najib dare not talk to DAP like this….except crackos and half past sixes….all created by Mahathir.

  16. #16 by monsterball on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 11:42 am

    This is a serious post about 49,000 drop outs….and how to save them.
    These 49,000 are obviously having very low IQ.
    There should be in Monfort Boys School..to learn a trade.
    For the girls…sewing and cooking classes.
    Some may have interest in driving and train them to drive and be taxi drivers.
    This is just out of my brain without thinking twice.
    When the PR politicians occupy PutraJaya…..they know what to do.

  17. #17 by chengho on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 1:04 pm

    Monsterball Sir, just light up your cohiva no 5 and sip your white wine , enjoy the evening . N get the dvd ” Recount ” the story when Algore lost to Bush in 2004 .

  18. #18 by tak tahan on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 2:16 pm

    eunuch,you also relax and have your joint.Do not forget to clean up your hole after servicing your masters.

  19. #19 by cseng on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 3:53 pm

    Dap advocate malaysian malaysia since very begining… there is no institutional racism in this context. Those talk 1 malaysia, 1 school, 1 law.. people like chengho should vote DAP to realise the oneness instead of many races, many laws, many schools, many seperation policies that enable the gravy train to grow….

    But foremost get those 49000 children into school first….

  20. #20 by chengho on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 5:41 pm

    Should we go like 1Thiland and1indonesia ; with one language and names, don’t think we agree , diversity is the best , but fundamentally uphold the constitution ; let’s start our kids at 1School , they will mix n know each other from kindergarten .

  21. #21 by cseng on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 10:02 pm

    Chengho, I agreed! if you insist on Malay race rather than bangsa malaysia, it is still OK. Malay is a an open race anyway, you can be malay malay or constitutional malay, open that a little for whoever Malaysian wanted to be malay, Malay and become bumiputra… so that they can buy reserved land, bumi shares, NEP and privileges like malay bumiputra, Ridzuan Tee is queuing with first ticket, I am second…. then we go real 1 m’sia ala indonesia,…. ask Umno to open this up.

    In conditions, practice freedom of religion ala Indonesia, freedom of education, freedom of politic belief, are you ready? to be real 1 Malaysia.

    Look deeper, those who shouted loudest of malay delima in Umno, how many of them are malay malay, how many of them are constitutional malay? Are they fight for Malay or ripping advantages of being malay? why Malay has to be exclusive in 1 malaysia, why not just bangsa Malaysia? you just need to answer these to yourself.

  22. #22 by chengho on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 10:11 pm

    In Uncle Sam , they profiling into African American, American Chinese , Italian American , etc,etc n a lot of quota system here too , so what new

  23. #23 by waterfrontcoolie on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 10:37 pm

    After all, the whole education policy is aimed at Shiok Sendiri syndrome hence they do not really care for any consequences when other children are affected! The racist attitude is so bad that one can hardly blame those affected to show such contempt and dislike for the concept of 1 Malaysia!

  24. #24 by cseng on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 10:41 pm

    What new? which part of America are you living?..

    Barack Obama is the realization of the dream of Martin Luther King Jr … we still practicing institutional racism (formerly known as apartheid), here. That is new.

    American would die to protect their legitimate governing process and scarify their leader if needed. We stupidly support the leader to corrupt the process, risk the legitimacy by counting ghost’s votes. That is new.

    Public officers in America operate under transparency and accept accountability by stepping down under guilt of perception. Our ministers keep himself behind OSA, ISA, worst PM has to decide for their resignation. Perception is non problem. That is new.

    BTW, do you know how to differentiate race, nationality and religion?

  25. #25 by monsterball on Sunday, 6 January 2013 - 11:27 pm

    chengho…you have tasted Americans…Italians….French..Afrikans,,,,
    What’s news??

  26. #26 by chengho on Monday, 7 January 2013 - 6:17 am

    Cseng , are u drunk from too much misinformation , too much syiok , do not mix well with other people
    In Uncle Sam country all about hard fact and evidence , do u see fox tv channel, I bet no .
    Zairil khir johari Abdullah , a Malaysian Chinese Muslim isn’t ,not Malay Muslim , why u guy keep referring him to being Malay , silly u cseng .

  27. #27 by chengho on Monday, 7 January 2013 - 6:19 am

    Uncle Montersball Sir, not yet not yet , must get the right tool and technology . Just like Microsoft spreadsheet vs excell Mc , u must know how to use it , otherwise big mistake , no balancing .

  28. #28 by cseng on Monday, 7 January 2013 - 7:49 am

    Don’t worry abt me… chengho.

    Ha… you said, Malaysian-chinese-muslim, malaysian-malay-muslim? What is the identity? Based on nationality? Race? Or religion? malay itself, can be malay-malay, constitutional-malay… are you confusing me or you are confused?

    Same question do you know how to differentiate nationality, race and religioon?

    In bolehland, when people ask what are you? Different ppl reply differently. 1 type reply:I am m’sian, 2nd type : I am malay, 3rd reply: I am muslim.. and you probably can guess the political party they support. The correct answer is either i m m’sian or human being.

  29. #29 by chengho on Monday, 7 January 2013 - 7:57 am

    If you ask an American , who are you? some people will answer 1 – I m American , 2- I m American Chinese , 3- I m African American and the rest u can figure out .

    If you are in Beijing , n they ask you n ur answer I m Chinese , they will stare at u , u know what I mean

  30. #30 by cseng on Monday, 7 January 2013 - 8:02 am

    In your uncle sam kingdom, is there a famous singer who are born african american and dead as white Caucasian?

    In bolehland how many were born non malay and die as malay? Why you can’t accept zairil as malay, when he is? But not other? Why such exclusiveness? Do you need me to name some?

  31. #31 by cseng on Monday, 7 January 2013 - 8:16 am

    Chinese american… not american chinese, 1 is american happened to be chinese, the other is american before and now became china citizen.

    Good, now you learnt! Nexttime just addressed your self malay malaysian, I m chinese malaysian… and malaysia is for malaysian. Thanks for supporting dap’s oneness malaysian.

    You can’t talk abt china, 5000yrs of civilization, too much pride, too much burden, you can’t understand. The civililization and race is beyond nationality… they can go anywhere, become any national but their culture is more precious than lifes for many. You are incapable to understand.

  32. #32 by chengho on Monday, 7 January 2013 - 9:14 am

    Cseng , u understand democracy isn’t , the num count , seem like u are gone cases , better fly kite

  33. #33 by cseng on Monday, 7 January 2013 - 11:03 am

    Democracy it is about legitimate governing process… about legitimacy!, only then majority works.

    It is not only about the numbers, that is dictatorship. It is not, you help me, i help you!, that is kickback, corruption.

    Protect the legitimacy of processes, the system, fcuk that greedy human leader that screw the process and corrupt the system. If you can’t see that through… fly kite could be something you could handle.

  34. #34 by monsterball on Monday, 7 January 2013 - 11:12 am

    Why is chengho not sleeping in New York?
    He must be on a night shift for something.

  35. #35 by monsterball on Monday, 7 January 2013 - 11:17 am

    Cseng seems to tickle chengho…making the eunuch angry.
    chengho never once tells me to fly kite..very respectful to me.

  36. #36 by cseng on Monday, 7 January 2013 - 11:41 am

    Democracy it is about legitimate governing process… about legitimacy!, only then majority works.

    It is not only about the numbers, that is dictatorship. It is not, you help me, i help you!, that is kickback, corruption.

    Protect the legitimacy of processes, the system, dumped that greedy human leader that spoiled the process and corrupt the system. If you can’t see that through… fly kite could be something you could handle.

  37. #37 by chengho on Monday, 7 January 2013 - 5:46 pm

    BN is the legit Gov of the day cseng , support Gov
    Do not oppose for the sake of oppose , Gov can accept diversity of opinion , good for Gov balance sheet and score card , but pls no gag orders strategy like CEC

  38. #38 by monsterball on Monday, 7 January 2013 - 5:54 pm

    chengho please do not write for the sake of writing.
    Keep quiet…no one will notice…how stupid you are.
    You are shaming your parents having a son like you.

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