Saturday, December 13, 2008


Nobody has spoken out truthfully on the 'successes' of the vernacular schools in Malaysia.

The first truth that had been ominously omitted in the haste that the proponents had to push their ideas however sordid on the goodness of such Mandarin and Tamil schools is that they had sidelined the other dialects.

So much so that there are only such schools that teach in Mandarin and Tamil. Whereas, there are many other Chinese who did not speak Mandarin habitually or Indians who speak Tamil but a host of other dialects.

As such the concept of the vernacular schools is totally wrong as it is biased against those who wish to study in Cantonese, Hokkien and Teochew or Malayalam, Telugu, Punjabi and the other dialects spoken by the Chinese and Indians.

Also, not to forget that vernacular schools, too, must teach the Orang Asli languages and those of the natives in Sabah and Sarawak.

So the two types of vernacular schools that we have are biased even against their own race. No wonder, Indians who are not Tamil-speaking do not enroll in Tamil schools.

If the proponents of the vernacular schools are to be believed, then they should also offer classes to those whose mother tongue is not Mandarin or Tamil.

And despite the fact that the leaders of the Chinese education organizations saying that the Mandarin (it is not Chinese, since there is no Chinese language), schools offer classes in Malay the truth again is that the proficiency of the students in this language is still lacking.

How can we find that out? Look at the way those who had studied up to Form Three or Five and we see how they fare.

Vernacular schools in Malaysia are not the problem. It is the students who are the problems, especially if they drop out of school after Form Three, especially, when they are not so good in Malay as well as in English.

And there are many of them who do that leaving school so early. They go into petty trading, work as interns at workshops and also are engaged in illegal activities.

The Chinese political and education leaders are aware of this but they are closing their eyes.

There was one Chinese-Malaysians who wrote in the Star yesterday how twelve years of studying in a Chinese-medium school had prepared him for the world, and he is now working in London with his own company that employs twelve workers, five of whom are English.

But what he has neglected to mention is that there are scores of thousands of other Chinese who had also studied for twelve years in similar schools in Malaysia, who are not working as laborers or cooks in the many Chinese restaurants in London and the other major cities, including Tokyo.

These people go there as tourists but did not return to Malaysia after their tour.

I was caught at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam when I was thought to be Chinese. I was put in a room with another Chinese-Malaysian who had wanted to work as a cook in a Chinese restaurant.

My shoes were removed and they thought I had concealed drugs in the soles. Even the former Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sallehuddin was also stopped at the same airport earlier, despite being a Sultan and holding diplomatic passports.

In fact, countries which had in the past did not require Malaysians to get visas to enter their countries for one to three months, now do so, because of the many Chinese from Malaysia who had gone there to work illegally in the Chinese restaurants or as GROs and lap dancers.

Japan France now demands all Malaysians who wish to enter their country to obtain visas from their embassies in Kuala Lumpur, and now England is also trying to do it, for the same reason.

But a leading Chinese in London is now charging that the Chinese who stay on to work illegally in London are those who use fake Malaysian passports.

Isn't this just a good excuse to absolve the Chinese Malaysians who are also working there so that the British authorities do not impose the visa regulations that in effect will make it impossible for any Chinese from Malaysia to go to England on the pretext of touring but whose main reason to go there was to work in the Chinese restaurants and factories?

The Malays and other races in Malaysia suffer because of the antics of the small number of Chinese who had been negligent in their behavior, thinking of only themselves when they decided to work illegally abroad.

All this is due to the fact that most, if not all the Chinese who had been so, were those who had studied in Chinese medium schools, and who had been rendered useless because they lack proper education and are not able to communicate either in Malay or English.

The Chinese and Indians or Tamils who are able to proceed and study beyond Form Five in the Chinese or Tamil schools are doing okay because they benefit from studying in the NATIONAL SCHOOLS.

Yeeesss, I uppercased NATIONAL SCHOOLS or SEKOLAH KEBANGSAAN, which are the saviors of the Chinese and Tamils in this country.

In fact, all the leaders of the Chinese and Tamil political and educational groups are also those who had benefited directly from having studied in the Sekolah Kebangsaan, where they could continue their education and obtained their degrees.

None of them had been known to have gone to China, Taiwan or Hong Kong and India to study in universities where they were taught in Mandarin or Tamil.

How many Chinese and Tamils in Malaysia go to such universities so they could continue to study in their mother tongue? So few.

And the talk about the 60,000 non-Chinese who are currently studying in the Mandarin school: What can they do with this education?

The most that they can do is to be able to converse in Mandarin. No Malay or Tamil who had studied in such Mandarin schools had gone far. None of them had become important speakers of such languages.

In fact, RTM still faces problems when they tried to get Malays and Tamils to read news in Mandarin. They say that those Malays and Tamils who had studied in Mandarin schools could only speak in the language, but were not able to read or write well in it.

And if the same students who had studied in Mandarin and Tamil schools, who are said to have been given first-class education for Science and Mathematics, then why are we not having a large group of scientists and mathematicians from amongst them?

A lot of silly excuses have been given to support the existence of the vernacular schools in Malaysia, but they are mere excuses.

Yes, the non-Malays like to talk about how the 'special privileges' that have been given to the Malays and other Bumiputera have been too extended and that they needed to be reconsidered.

But how come they are not talking about reconsidering the 'special privileges' that their communities had been given that allow them to establish the vernacular schools?

Why are they not asking or demanding the government to allow them to establish their own universities that teach only in Mandarin and Tamil so that those who are studying in the vernacular schools can enroll into them so that they do not have to study in the state universities that teach mostly in Malay?

They know Mandarin and Tamil education has got limited use. It is not for the pursuit of knowledge, but for the creation of their Chineseness and Tamilness and nothing more. It is their way of indoctrinating the young Chinese and Tamils into not losing their identities.

But many young Chinese and Indians including the Malay kids who have lost their identity. Just look around you and you can see how they take great pains to look like fake or pseudo-Americans.

And no wonder Khoo Kay Kim has been attacked mercilessly by his own kind, the Chinese leaders in the political and educational organizations. What do they want Kay Kim to say? Do they want Kay Kim to lie? Do they want Kay Kim to be not truthful just so that he could be accepted by them and be their poster boy?

Kay Kim wants to be the poster boy of all Malaysians, while, they only want him to be the poster boy of the Chinese only.

With all the respect and accolades that Kay Kim had got, why does he still need to get recognition from those who are narrow-minded?

Yet, some MCA upstarts are saying that Kay Kim is narrow-minded when it is they who are so.

Okay, is there a way out of this? Yes, there is. How?

Let's have a referendum on this issue. If we cannot have a national referendum, then what else is there that we can do to solve such a pressing issue?

But who amongst the Chinese and Indians want to have a national referendum to decide on which schooling system that is good for everybody?

Remember, the good of the majority is often bad for small groups of people who are so narrow-minded.

Let's organize debates in Malay and in English between students of the Mandarin and Tamil schools and those of Sekolah Kebangsaan and see who fare.

The non-Malays want to call it Bahasa Malaysia and not Bahasa Melayu, yet they are not willing to study in the national language so they can in due course and over time, create the type of Bangsa Melayu they want.

So this talk about Bahasa Malaysia and Bangsa Malaysia, is nothing but a silly excuse to exclude the word Melayu anywhere in their thoughts, lips and psyche. It is a novel and ingenious way to render the Bangsa and Bahasa Melayu extinct. That won't happen.


-Mansor Putih-