Dr M turns up the heat with online poll
Displeased with the government’s decision to scrap the language switch policy, it’s architect Dr Mahathir Mohamad is seeking the public’s opinion on the matter.
The internet savvy octogenarian has started a poll on his blog, which requires visitors to click on either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to express their stand.
Incidentally, Mahathir’s blog Che Det – named after his nickname in Kedah – is one of the most popular blogs in the country, drawing millions of visitors.
“I am not surprised over the disappointment and even anger towards the government’s decision on the teaching of maths and science,” he said in his latest posting.
“Seems to me like the government is not listening to the voice of the people,” he added.
In view of this, the 84-year-old former premier felt that a blog poll might enlighten the government as to the opinions of the people.
After explaining to visitors what the poll is about, Mahathir added: “I will then try to let the government know your opinion.”
At press time, a total of 2,150 people had voted, with a whopping 72 percent disagreeing with the government’s decision.
Yesterday, Mahathir said although the government had sought his views on the matter, it was not reflected in the decision.
The former premier also denied Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement that he was ‘consulted’.
“That was not a consultation. I was just briefed on what was already decided,” he said.
Mahathir also questioned the data, which Muhyiddin claimed, showed that the policy had failed to meet its objectives.
“I think the figures shown are not accurate. They were comparing urban and rural students.
“Naturally, rural students perform poorer that urban students, not just in science and mathematics but also other subjects,” he said.
Mahathir had bulldozed the language switch policy in 2003 amid strong protest from various quarters. The policy required the teaching of science and maths in English.
Yesterday, Muhyiddin had announced that beginning 2012, the two subjects will be taught in Bahasa Malaysia at national schools.
As for national-type schools, he added, the subjects will be taught in the respective mother-tongues.
Najib: Change is for the best
When asked to comment on the opposition to the policy switch, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said it was a decision made in the interest of the nation and for the future generation.
“The change in policy and the new changes proposed will push and enable our students to master the English language in a wholesome manner…
“At the same time, it will not impede the growth of the national language,” he told reporters in Putrajaya.
“As for the objections, nevermind. In the field of education, we can never get an unanimous decision. There must be some who object,” he added.