Another from the BC HRC egroup discussion.

Schools, I will comment on.Wonder by Alex Grey

Firstly, vernacular schools are a pointless idea. I think that the moment this country decided to be a nation, all have decided to absolve themselves from their “national origin”. I personally find it insulting that Malaysians are still referred to by their ethnicity i.e. Chinese, Indian, Eurasian, Lain-Lain, etc. That in itself is what’s sowing the seeds of polarity and fueling societal schisms. If indeed we are a multi-racial society, then we are too diverse to be defined.

And then there is Religion; this incessant need (amongst Muslims especially) to subvert all by saying “My God is better than your God” or “My God is the only God”. This is only tearing the social fabric of this country up and is silencing the population; denying youths the opportunity to pursue knowledge and engage in social discourse.

Schools should serve as the fundamental pillar by which the youths of this country are given access to wisdom and allowed to think as widely as possible in the fields that they are most passionate about. It should not be a ground by which communities are divided ethnically and made to attend different classes (Islam and Pendidikan Moral). Nor should it also be a place where the propagation of language is stifled. If Man is not taught how to communicate, how shall he speak?

Schools must I firmly believe conduct all their subjects in English. Make Malay a compulsory subject. Also provide the option for a student to either learn one of the Chinese languages or one of the Indian languages – this I believe must be fervently propagated. Most importantly, there should be NO religious education of any sort. Which invisible man one chooses to worship is an issue for him to deal with at home and not in public life. My God has no bearing on your life and neither has yours on mine. My relationship with my God is personal.

One of the cornerstones of any multi-racial society has always been the freedom for people of different ethnicities to come together and start a family. That cannot be done in Malaysia because one would have to be Muslim to marry a Malay. Where is the logic in that? My love for another goes beyond the message of any Prophet, Sage or Holy Man. Kahlil Gibran very wisely said in The Prophet –

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”

I can find no truer words.

Schools should be the very place where we are stripped off our bigotry and prejudices, where our minds are illuminated and where we are all made to feel at home in this beautiful Peninsula.

Alas, the people of this country fail to see that.

10 replies on “Pointless vernacular schools”

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  2. Sorry. But our education system is making us as an idiot. It is not the language that really matters. The policy makers, the bloody idiot ministers. Don't tell me those idiot ministers / policy makers didn't send their children to overseas studying. Why? For one simple. They want their children to be better off than any one of us put together. Why? They will inherited the minister portfolio. They wanted to create a dynasty. Why can't we realized gentleman. They wanted us to be stupid. (we are not of course). whatever………..

  3. Loyar Bagus,

    Once again, in reference to your first two paragraphs, note what I've said in my last comment in paragraph 4. I am referring to Malaysia and not to any other country. I do agree that Christians do indeed evangelise to the point where it becomes a nuisance, I find it terribly sickening myself, which is why I say "Keep your religion to yourself".

    In relation to your 3rd paragraph. I disagree, there are various quotes in religious texts that call for violent acts against homosexuals, women and even against certain ethnicities. There is a lot of violence, bigotry and hatred in religious texts. I firmly believe that the 21st century is no place for this kind of superstitious nonsense.

    I also do not think there is such a thing as "true religious people" just as there is no "true Christian" or "real Muslim". Religion like God is a fictional man made conception that has been moulded in accordance with the spirit of its age. Religion is ultimately just another tool to make people walk in line and think alike i.e. social control.

    In relation to your 4th paragraph, well if you think that religions contain strains of morality, then spare me all the mystery, pageantry, miracles, God, angels, demons, Satan, heaven, hell, “I need to be saved” fiction and just tell me "Thou shalt not kill, steal, etc?". There is no need for the fanciful stories and fairy tales. It is a waste of time and a great insult to a human being's intellect.

    To your 5th paragraph, my parting shot was not dedicated to you but to all who consider themselves religious and neither was it said to offend.

    All religions are imperfect just as the human mind is imperfect. When you place religion into the hands of politicians and give them the opportunity to instruct pupils on what to believe in, how to think and what their conscience should be, you are violating that person's freedom to think for himself and to be himself. That is why matters relating to religion should never be propagated in school. Spirituality is personal and a person should be given the opportunity to contemplate his purpose on his own (and/or with those whom he hold near and dear). It is not supposed to be an educational policy for if it were to be, you will inevitably curtail the freedom of thought and conscience of a human being thereby creating a nation of blind, subservient sheep who have no ability whatsoever to think critically and be well informed.

  4. Aston,

    Perfect, you say Muslims ESPECIALLY. Then please tell me why the people who are eternally pestering me on the streets wherever I am in the world happen to be Christians?

    BTW, "seditious" in Singapore also relates to material that can cause religious and racial fractures. Evangelical material can fall into that category. My point is that the first people who were prosecuted under the Sedition Act in Singapore were Christians who were trying to evangelise. So don't blame the Muslims for having some sort of especial dominance on religious bigotry.

    The fact that people kill or commit harm in the name of religion often shows that they are not true religious people at all. As an example, let's take the Crusades, the classic whipping boy of "religion sucks" – how can one possibly say one is a true Christian when one goes around killing people for merely being of a different faith, sacking and raping, bearing in mind that the fundamental tenet of that particular religion is forgiveness and salvation?

    "You must realise…?" Spare me the patronising, please. And for the record, I never said that religion equalled morality. Mainstream religion (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc) all contains tenets of basic human morality. When one teaches these religions, one teaches elements of morality – there are no two ways about it. Thou shalt not kill, steal, etc?

    I am not religious, so I take no offence at your very catchy parting shot. Like you say, a person's relationship with their God is personal. But if someone offers X the chance to learn more about X's religion at school, why should X say no to it? Isn't a relationship about learning more about the other, learning to appreciate it and learning how to come to terms with it with that added knowledge?

  5. Loyar Bagus,

    Your first paragraph doesn't make any sense. Here are two adults who happen to publishing seditious material. They committed a crime and are arrested. What has that got to do with religion or the school they came from?

    Your second paragraph is a result of not fully comprehending my sentence. I shall reiterate for your full understanding.

    "And then there is Religion; this incessant need (amongst Muslims ESPECIALLY) to subvert all by saying “My God is better than your God” or “My God is the only God”."

    Pay close attention to the word ESPECIALLY. By no means am I only blaming Muslims. I am saying any adherent to any religion might it be Islam, Christianity or Judaism are using religion to curtail the development of the minds of the young. Refusing them the opportunity to quench their curiosity and labelling issues as taboo and thus should not be spoken about. Further, there is this arrogant need to impose upon non-adherents superficial religious doctrines thereby affecting the rights and freedoms of others. In this country, which happens to be Muslim majority, this is becoming prevalent. Take a look at the religious freedom cases that have hit the courts and you have your answer there my friend.

    Your third paragraph is simply flawed logic. Why do you equate morality with religion? Both are absolutely different. It is fallacious to assume that Religion has a monopoly on Morality. Religions are probably responsible for more harm in this world than any other human conception ever has been. One merely has to read any History book to see that behind the veils of holiness, there is a lot wickedness incited frequently by religious demagogues upon others. Religious adherents are trumped up by the idea that all actions proclaimed in the name of God would absolve them from all responsibilities that accrue as a result of their actions. This has given way to a lot of bullshit.

    You must realise any kind of behaviour moral or immoral doesn't come because God said it is right or wrong. Behaviour is shaped by society through role modelling. We follow what we see. If we see our religious leaders screaming out loud to vilify non-adherents and impose upon others, you can expect a lot of confused young men taking to the streets to blindly and violently suppress bona fide attempts to resolve social problems and deliver justice.

    In short: Keep your religion to yourself!


    My last sentence adequately states my position. I shall reiterate my disappointment.

    “Alas, the people of this country fail to see that.”

    It is owing to the lack of the above implementations that this nation will never become what it ought to have become and what it now wants to become.

    This nation has been silenced by irrelevant religious dogma and the result is the society we have today. A dumb herd conforming society that never wants to pursue any cause that doesn’t involve some kind of reward in the afterlife. There are no public intellectuals in this country. There are no philosophers. Nothing. Everyone is only selfishly concerned about differences rather than the similarities which make us human.

    Should we move on? I certainly think not. We should not sweep the problem under the carpet. The public needs to be informed on what benefits can accrue from taking such actions. If they choose not to accept it and would prefer to be led by their fears and insecurities incited by their corrupt politicians and crooked religious leaders, then this nation will only continue to swirl a little bit further into the drain and be washed of all its hopes, dreams and aspirations.

  6. Abolishing vernacular schools, making English primary language, disassociating cultural identity – if we were to embark upon all the above, it must be right after we achieve independence by drafting a constitution in that manner.

    That boat has left. We've got to work with what we have and the fact of the matter is, we have vernacular schools, we have Bahasa as official language and we have Melayu, Cina, India and 'lain-lain'.

    To suddenly introduce all this notions right now will just create a backlash.

  7. Indeed, look south to the Little Red Dot – two Christians were jailed for distribution of seditious evangelising materials to Muslims. Hubby is a technical officer for SingTel and Missus is an associate director at UBS. So much for school being the place to strip one of one's bigotries.

    So don't just complain about the Muslims – many evangelical fundamentalist Christians are just as bad, and are even more aggressive at times.

    And why must religious instruction be banned? In Australia, a secular country with Christian origins, they provide (optional) Protestant and Catholic instruction in PUBLIC primary and secondary schools. Do you see religious riots and conflict there? Nope. Religious instruction is a wonderfully convenient and useful way to instil a sense of morality in young, impressionable minds.

  8. Why has our education system become sooo….. chaotic ????

    It was never like this in the 60's & 70's. "NO" racism at all.

    There was "hell" of a lot of intergration amongst the students.

    Teachers were "excellent" & sooo… "gung-ho" !!!!!

    Nowadays we see teachers "complaining" not able to teach some subjects in English…!!!

    Too much work…!!!

    Setting up tution centers to make money…!!!

    Going for some "stupid" meetings/seminars during schools hours……!!!

    (Students are left with "nothing" to do for hours…!)

    I tell you…..

    I can go on & on & on…………………………

    But don't worry, "Nothing" will be done…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I will have to do something for my daughter's education.

    Better to go overseas. Their whole "program" are so much better.

    The money previously spent on the Taiwan trip (which was useless…!)…….

    Should had been spent on to "better" & the "know-how" of our education….!!!!!

    Here……! Education system is sooo…… "topsy-turvy" !!

    Wish we had "those" days education….!!!

    Wish we "also" had those days teachers……!!!


  9. Careful there with such kind of posting … Seditious! Seditious! To Aston, numerous things are pointless: religion is pointless, morality is pointless, native language is pointless, Chinese is pointless, Tamil is pointless, except…. (We dare Aston to state: Malay/Islam is pointless). All this also says that Aston's very existence is pointless. He should throw himself into a well, after that Loyar Burok can cover it with a stone for letting in such an inanity, such stupidity, into its site (Or, perhaps, both are of the same calibre of mind? Reminds of the Lingam-type lawyers.)

  10. Muslims are not the only one who claimed "My God is the only God" or "My God is the only true God" or "My God is better than your God". Christians do that a lot too. I do not believe in an almighty all empowering God but when it comes to religious discussion, I can only say "My God!!".

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