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.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
PETALING JAYA, June 28 – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today questioned the sincerity of the prime minister in announcing a new merit-based scholarship programme obviously aimed at winning back Chinese voter support from Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
“Last time, when I said it, I was called a Chinese agent. Now that Najib has said it what are you going to call him? Is he now a Chinese agent and traitor to the Malays?” said Anwar sarcastically when asked today about the new scholarships to be based purely on merit.
The Opposition Leader has been frequently labelled a “traitor” and “Chinese agent” by Umno leaders since he launched PR’s reform agenda.
Anwar’s PR has successfully used its Ketuanan Rakyat, or supremacy of the people, slogan to differentiate itself from Umno’s Ketuanan Melayu, or supremacy of the Malays, rallying cry which has caused concern even among non-Malay Barisan Nasional (BN) parties.
But Najib, in a speech to Chinese political and community leaders last night, pledged to set up a new “National Scholarship” based entirely on merit, and also indicated his administration’s willingness to eventually drop the racial quotas in more sectors of the economy.
The prime minister’s remarks suggest a concerted effort is finally being made to hijack PR’s more multi-racial platform.
Najib’s pledges on reform seem to also suggest that he believes he can control the potential backlash from Malays while wanting to convince the non-Malays that, even if they have misgivings about Umno and BN, they should have faith in him.
Anwar appeared to acknowledge the threat from Najib today, and claimed the prime minister had only partially adopted the opposition’s agenda but failed to emphasise on protection for the poor.
“When we proposed something, it has to help people regardless of race but at the same time we will protect the poor, that is our approach,” he added.
FROM THE WEBSITE OF LIM KIT SIANG
(This email is reproduced completely unedited, in its pristine atrocious English for two reasons: firstly, it seems to have become the standard Malaysian English; secondly, the subject of the spectre of endemic crime which haunts the daily lives of Malaysians refuses to be buried by the distraction of the atrocious English used, for the writer is able to communicate his genuine cry from his heart and to strike resonance among the Malaysian public.
(Both issues must be addressed: how to improve the command of English language among Malaysians, but even more important, how to start reducing crime to make Malaysia safe again for its citizens, tourists and investors. – Kit)
Greetings to all Member of Parliament,
I write this mail to you all for a reason of snatch thieves in KL has been rising more and more in front of my eyes. Here’s a few incident:
1. I was having my lunch at KL near Tune Hotel. After having my lunch, I was carrying my notebook on my hand and a motorcycle pass through me coming from behind attempt to steal my notebook, but they failed. Then they run away with their motorcycle as fast as they can to another road.
2. I was working on a roadshow at Taman Melawati around CIMB Bank area. My colleagues was walking around promoting something, and heard a voice of shout from a Malay lady and when my colleague saw her, her bag was already with the thief.
3. The incidents where pregnant lady was snatch and she lost her life. MORE…
FROM THE WEBSITE OF LIM KIT SIANG
by Tan Hao Chong
I am a 2008 SPM student ranked top 7th in a premier school at Johor Bahru (S.M.K. Sultan Ismail) .I scored 11A1 and 1A2 in Chinese in SPM. I applied for JPA and was rejected after appeal. I was not even offered for local institutions. I am active in co-curricular activities and I believe I have done well in my interview.
The rejects had brought many sleepless nights for me and my parents. What is most sad is that students of poorer results were randomly selected in an attempt to confuse the public. My mum took the matter to the Sin Chew Press and Nanyang Press. Thanks to the papers the matter was brought to the attention of many.
I am writing to you as going to Mr. Lim is our only and last hope for justice now.
|Here are some of the facts:
Out of the 800 appeals made through MCA, 250 were of straight A1s as tabulated below and as far as I know , only 69 cases were successful
No of A1 No. of students
Immediately after SPM, I attended a seminar organized by MCA Youth in Johor Bahru and was excited to hear the announcement by Dato’ Wee that 20% ie 400 out of 2000 scholarship will be awarded to students with good results regardless of race, economic background, CCA and interviews. Obviously , this was not done. We are disappointed with MCA for failing to give us justice.
The head of JPA promised to publish the results of successful applicants and until now nothing was announced.
By changing the name of scholarship and promises of more transparency in future is only going to help the future applicants, which is very unfair to current applicants. We would have missed our lifetime opportunity.
We understand that you are going to bring this matter to the parliament. This is a good news for many of us .We hope your action will bring justice to us and our confidence in the education system and future of Malaysia.
Friday, 12 June 2009
By Gavin Khoo
The Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah said any move which questions the interests of the Malays and Bumiputeras in terms of scholarships and places of study not only violates the fundamental provisions in the federal and state constitutions, but also questions the sovereignty of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers.
He said Clause 2 of Article 153 of the Federal Constitution provided the King with specific powers to safeguard the interests of the Malays as well as the Bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak in terms of scholarships and places of study.”
The monarch represents an important institution in the country. Hence, his statement above is not going to help us to look beyond the question of race when addressing the issue of educational opportunity in the country.
Is it racist when a non-Malay student demands his right to a place in a local university or to be given a scholarship if he/she did exceptionally well in a public exam?
Isn’t it problematic if a remarkable student was not offered a course of choice in a local university or being denied a scholarship to pursue higher education but an opportunity was given to a less remarkable one?
It is only a zero-sum game if it is politicized as one
Over the years, the issue of university placement and scholarship has continued to harm and frustrate many parents and students. Many good students had to look for study grants overseas which had resulted in a massive brain drain for the country.
It does not have to be a zero sum game. Giving more places of study and scholarships to more non-Malay Malaysians does not have to come at the expense of the Malays.
Any government would have been proud to provide opportunities to its people especially youths to acquire the highest level of education possible so that they can return to contribute to the country’s development.
It is no longer an issue about the Malay rights or supremacism. It is about retaining the best brains in the country. Most knowledge based economies are no longer merely competing for FDI but FHCI (Foreign Human Capital Investment).
Sultan should have known better
Hence, the Sultan of Perak should have asked the government to try to accommodate as many bright Malaysian students as possible, regardless of race or creed, by offering them places in the local universities or giving them scholarships to study abroad.
He should have encouraged the government to correct the flaws in the scholarship and university admission processes so that the issue of deprivation and unfairness can be solved once and for all.
Instead, his warning to the complainants not to question these rights (access to scholarships and places of study) because their action is akin to challenging his sovereignty and authority is most unfortunate and unproductive.
A constitutional monarch is supposed to be a symbol of unity and sovereignty of all Malaysians, not just the Malays or Bumiputeras.
His statement will leave a deep impact on the society’s direction and nation building. On race relations, this country has a long bumpy road ahead to travel.
Finally we have an education minister that is thinking along the same line as most supporters of English language in this country. Make English a subject that has to be passed and you will see that every student and parent will sit up and pay more attention to this subject.
Teachers of English would also be more responsible when they know that a child’s future is in their hands. No pass in English, no SPM certificate. Hooray!
On the issue of grammar not being taught in schools, I would like to differ here with our minister. Grammar can be taught via Communicative English but the unfortunate thing is, the teachers entrusted to teach Communicative English have completely ignored the teaching of English grammar because they are themselves weak in it.
To make matters worse, they do not use grammatically correct sentence structures when they teach and therefore, the children pick up sentences with grammatical mistakes and use them as if is the correct way to express themselves.
How often do I hear working people who have good command of the English language (vocabulary and facts) make simple grammatical errors like: ‘He don’t want to go’ or ‘You has to go’. This is shocking!
If our minister wants grammar to be taught separately, I think this would be a backward step in the teaching of the language as the most modern approach to the teaching of English language has grammar incorporated into the various elements of reading, listening, speaking and writing.
To help our teachers and students get back on track, maybe the textbooks could incorporate a section devoted to basic grammar for each lesson, thereby covering all aspects of grammar within the first six years of primary English lessons. Most text books do have this but I think the stress should be on primary schools rather than on the secondary schools.
At secondary schools, more difficult aspects of grammar should be taught with all the exceptions that are so commonly found in English. Please do not go back to the days when I learned English from a book by Wren and Martin (published in India, by the way) where I had to learn things like adverbial clauses, conditionals, subordinate clauses etc.
Such aspects are for those who want to specialise in teaching English to undergraduates or for those who want to master English completely to be competent teachers of the English Language, – not for students taking English language as a second language.
I am sure the officials in the English Department of the ministry of education can identify the basic areas that all primary school children should know in English Grammar and ensure that all primary teachers are familiar with them and that all primary English Language textbooks highlight them all the time all the six years.
So I look forward to a future where Malaysians will speak better English, write better English and therefore be better international business, academic and scientific people.
FROM MALAYSIA TODAY WEBSITE
So this is his solution to the JPA scholarship crisis? By keeping people from achieving their full potential??
By Nat Tan (jelas.info)
First of all, Al-Fatihah to Ismail Yaacob, Kelantan ADUN 😦 Takziah kepada keluarga…
Secondly, Jenice Lee’s two day remand is horrifying. Maybe more on that later.
Right now, I wanted to note that Muhyiddin could probably win an award for stupidest idea ever. The Star:
Students sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination may not be allowed to take as many subjects as they like in future to make the scholarship selection process fairer.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Government might limit the number of subjects taken by students in the SPM for fairer Public Service Department (PSD) scholarship selection.
So this is his solution to the JPA scholarship crisis? By keeping people from achieving their full potential??
It’s almost like making people dumber to ‘level’ the playing field, which in turn, is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
Worst of all, it does not solve the problem one teeny, little screwed up bit.
LIM KIT SIANG
A noon meeting with the Public Services Department Director-General Tan Sri Ismail Adam in Putrajaya has been scheduled on the subject of another round of injustices in the PSD scholarship awards, out of line with the “1Malaysia” slogan of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The subject has provoked national debate and soul-searching. I reproduce three emails below: MORE…
The Might Of The Pen
UNIVERSITI Sains Islam Malaysia lecturer who passed only four out of 157 of her law students claims she was forced to resign so that the university could protect its reputation, a well-known portal reported.
Nor (not her real name) said the reason she left was because she could not stand the pressure from the university management on her to give “sympathy marks.”
To read further please go to :
The Malaysian Insider
APRIL 14 — It is an old and tired formula of Malaysian politicians, both from Barisan Nasional (BN) and the opposition, to say different things to different audiences.
Chinese political leaders have in the past frequently given interviews to Chinese language newspapers in which they would make certain remarks which could be deemed by their Malay colleagues to be sensitive in nature.
So when Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the deputy prime minister and Umno No 2, gave an interview to Mingguan Malaysia which was published two days ago, he may have thought he was only addressing a Malay audience.
One of the questions posed to him, reproduced verbatim here was this: “Tetapi bukankah setiap kali pilihan raya kecil, permintaan kaum bukan Melayu dipenuhi, malah di Bukit Gantang walaupun peruntukan RM1juta diberikan tetapi kaum Cina tidak juga menyokong BN?”
His answer, among other things, was this: “Ya, kadang-kadang kita berasa terpedaya juga kerana zahirnya nampak macam ‘ok’, sambutan dengan tepukan gemuruh tetapi mungkin sudah ada tertanam dalam hati iaitu sesuatu tidak mudah hendak berubah, pokoknya masalah isu Perak terutamanya di kalangan masyarakat Cina yang mungkin telah dipengaruhi dengan sentimen simpati kepada Datuk Seri Ir.Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin, kononnya dia ‘dijatuhkan’, lepas itu kononnya dasar memberi pegangan tanah selama 99 tahun dilihat dasar yang menguntungkan.
“Ini yang mungkin menyebabkan sukar BN mendapat sokongan walaupun kita fikir bila mereka hendak sekolah Cina dibantu, kita bantu, sepatutnya mereka membalas budi.
“Pada waktu itu, kita pun tidak berharap sokongan kaum Cina akan meningkat 40 peratus dan sebagainya cuma kita berharap ada peningkatan sedikit tetapi apa yang berlaku ia mencatatkan penurunan, macam tidak ada penghargaan terhadap apa yang kita lakukan.”
Today, the DPM blamed the Chinese media for wrongly translating his remarks.
The offending remark which appears to have drawn the ire of the Chinese community, including leaders from BN, is this: “Ini yang mungkin menyebabkan sukar BN mendapat sokongan walaupun kita fikir bila mereka hendak sekolah Cina dibantu, kita bantu, sepatutnya mereka membalas budi.
Translated, without being pedantic, the last four words would mean “they should be grateful”.
Muhyiddin is not doing himself or his boss Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak any favours by continuing to defend the remarks.
The prime minister most certainly would not have wanted such a disastrous start to his tenure.
Najib has committed himself to project an image of being a leader of all Malaysians.
His deputy has now succeeded in alienating the Chinese community.
While it is true that Chinese voters have thrown their lot behind Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties, such remarks will not help BN recapture the votes.
Muhyiddin claimed today that what he meant was the Chinese appeared unappreciative. He denied saying the Chinese were ungrateful. But the damage is already done.
Perhaps all political leaders should learn a lesson from Muhyiddin’s experience.
It is probably safe to say assume that nearly all Malaysians have at least a rudimentary command of the national language. Since the national language was made the medium of instruction in schools in the late 1970s and early 1980s, all Malaysians who have gone to school would have a fair to excellent command of the language.
But the lesson is not just limited to the national language.
Up to 10 per cent of the 600,000 children enrolled in Chinese primary schools, where the medium of instruction is Mandarin, are non-Chinese.
A majority of the non-Chinese pupils are Malay.
This means Chinese leaders also cannot go around making racist remarks in Mandarin.
Jadi Tan Sri sepatutnya tahu bahawa kami pun faham Bahasa Melayu.