Revisiting the topic of Malay rights from one side of the fence but in view of all.

Ketuanan Pin Biru

We (and when I say we, I mean the non-Malays) often complain of the different privileges received by the different races. We condemn frequently organisations such as PERKASA, the “Ketuanan Melayu” mentality, and all the privileges that we see our Malay contemporaries get. We express disgusted disapproval of the inequality.

We whine that Malay is the national language and Islam is the national religion as opposed to our preferred language. Ah! We can also go on about how much sacrifice it is to go to a halal restaurant, because you have a Malay friend with the group.

So, one day say, the Prime Minister tells us that he has the mandate from the Malays and wants to negotiate a compromise. Mr. PM will ask of our dissatisfaction, and we will give him a long list: we want our children to be admitted to all public universities, we want to be given more business licenses, we want to either take away the Bumiputera discount or get the same discount, we want to be given the privilege to buy special shares so as to earn money, and the list goes on.

Mr. PM says, “Fine, we can come to a compromise and I can agree to at least half of your requests, but will you agree to give up vernacular schools and make our education system a one-school system?” Funnily enough, before he can explain how the individual vernacular language will be taught as an elective subject in all schools (private or public) and that it will eventually delete one of the many causes of racial disunity, the strongest protesters of that proposal will be the same persons who claim injustice in the first place.

If change is indeed a goal, there are sacrifices we have to make. We can argue until the cows come home that we are giving up our right to learn our mother tongue and our roots, but we are Malaysians and it is about time we should start acting like Malaysians. Our roots are all here in Malaysia, not in China or India. Do we really expect them to give up what they have been enjoying for more than five decades in the name of change without us making an effort at the same time? If we do, how then can we advocate for fairness?

As many would remember telling me in their wisdom to look at the big picture, and the big picture here is that giving up vernacular schools will mean lesser racial disunity. The usual trend is that the cliques are racial based and that barrier is language. Really, be honest, you would have used the excuse of not being able to have more friends of other races because of language. I have that problem.

The big picture is that if we can accept each other, we can learn from each other and the troubling PERKASA will not exist to protect the rights of the Malays.

The big picture is that there is hope for change.

155 replies on “We, the Non-Malays”

  1. Perhaps the motive of this is? racial tension? what is the motive here? to show that you are not really agree about something?

    Ah! We can also go on about how much sacrifice it is to go to a halal restaurant, because you have a Malay friend with the group.

    I hate this..

    you can go eat with malay frens! anywhere u want…you can also send to any school you think your child be better off..nobody stops you!!!

  2. munirah on 13 May, 2010 at 4:26 pm


    i agreed, we got screwed by elite class, thats all.

    this country, there are no races.

    Only The Poor, The Rich, and The Powerful.

    Which one are you??

  3. People should grasp the idea that 'we agreed' to multilingualism, retain our ethnicities and cultures as it is, and NOT assimilate but integrate as a diverse nation. And that is enshrined in stone!

    Education is a parents concern, not the state. Choice must always remain with us. I will decide what stream is best for my children and their future! It is for the state to simply provide what we the people choose.

    If vernacular education were abolished, the entire vernacular press and media industry, the vernacular music industry, festivals, etc, – all would collapse, in a single generation.

    There are some religious cultures for whom diversity is doctrinally anathema, who insist on uniformity, to wean away the people from their own cultures and beliefs. First the language goes, then the culture, then the religion. That would be the final objective in the insistence on linguistic uniformity. Not unity.

    We have not seen unity in Indonesia but on the contrary there is killing of chinese, ethnic wars between christians and muslims, pogroms against Timorese and Papuans, war in Acheh, etc. Where is the unity when they all speak the same language?

    We can never trust any government on POL for all students. Sure they will oblige for one generation to lull us. But after that? We tried that experiment and failed.

    No parent would want their children in schools where there is peer pressure and condescension from majority students and teachers alike.

    For all of us to effectively communicate with each other, no more than 1,500 words each in Malay and English is required. That is just 3 years of language education in school, or can be acquired in a 3 month course.

    Unity requires a uniting common cause, like a common enemy, but in a diverse country like Malaysia with it's unique history, that can only be freedoms and human rights. What else can be a common cause that unites us?

  4. EUNICE, I HATE YOU FOR POSTING ARTICLE like this on such a day.

    ITS like raping your mom on your sister's death anniversary.

    You are plain stupid. Remove the name ONG.

    put Eunice Elizabeth. Shame on you.

  5. guys, dont get emotional.

    Even if we gave up the Cina kebangsaan school and india kebangsaan, it makes no difference.

    Look in KL, i see a lot of ppl are from sekolah kebangsaan, so did they get anything? Oh? no result because you need every single one study in sek kebangsaan, but hey, the result still the same. We still pass with flying colors, and work in oversea. You stuck here, working for low paid job, and your minister is using the money to buy ferrari instead of helping you.

    We can always do like thai and indon to demolish the chinese school and indian school, that is why no Indon and No Thais working in china & taiwan & HK, only malaysian Chinese, and malaysian chinese who works in overseas are paying income tax, mind you, unless they migrate, which is a smart move.

    Its always good if u wanna use a girl's name to post a stupid article, but i guess you're paid to write this piece of shiit by some corrupted ppl using my tax money to pay you.

    After 52 years, now u wanna take everything away?

    You took bank, petrol station, car selling business, all money making industries are taken away, and now u wanna take away the school too? You wanna make sure we all suffer poverty together?

    If one race is poor and another race is rich, at least you can do something to earn their money. If EVERYONE are poor, then, cool, at least we die together.

    What? you wanna get rich together? With your brain and attitude? dream on. Not happening in US, Europe, japan, wont happen in msia too. You want money, you go find yourself, dont ever ask from others, and claiming we took away your opportunity, while we has given you, the right to administer.

  6. RE: Cooloc

    Even if what you stated has logical truths in it, that's the kind of hate speech that get people emotional and starts them thinking with their heart, instead of their brains.

    I studied in a missionary school, where most of us speak English to one another, Hokkien to those Chinese who has a weaker grasp of English, and of course Malay to our Malay classmates who would opt to converse in Malay. Most of my Indian classmates would converse in English anyway. My spoken Malay then wasn't very good, but I believe i can write and read quite well. The Malay language's quality is actually it is much much simpler to learn, even simpler than English.

    I think I have a strong command of English in my university days, because I had a lecturer who failed my project paper on the basis that he does not believe anyone could write in the manner and style that I had submitted to him, but relented when i rewrote everything i've prepared, and also summarized everything again to him.

    During my working years, I've ended up managing a lot of Malay staff (Factory job, mostly operators) and so I took the time and trouble, to use Malay to converse with them, to direct them, to discipline them and to guide them.

    In my current job, I'm the only Chinese in my department, I have more than a hundred Malay staff and some Indians as well. I use Malay to get through to them. That to me, is the only way you can command their loyalty and obedience. Why? You speak their language. You need to understand their culture. You need to blend in. If you call yourself a Malaysian that's what you have to do. But that does not come at forgetting who you are. I'm still as Chinese as ever. I love my roasted pork and occasional beer. I speak Mandarin as that has been my mother tongue. I have my typical Chinese mannerisms. But does that makes me less Malaysian?

    What does it mean to be a Malaysian? When you open an accept each others unique quality, culture and beliefs. Not to tolerate. Not to assimilate. But to accept, blend in and go with the ride. Enjoy each others culture, language, beliefs and so on. I think in recent years, we Malaysians have been so caught up in trying to come up with our own identity, that we've forgotten the simple pleasure of just enjoying being Malaysian.

  7. “..Because they learned to mingle. We saw this when there was only one type of school under the British. It was only when people became power hungry, vernacular schools were formed.”

    Errors. The first modern schools in Malaya was a Tamil School and the Penang Free School, both established in 1816 in Penang. Malay schools came 50 years later. At independence there were 1,800 chinese schools, 880 tamil schools and only about 130 english and missionary schools. At any given time in the last two centuries only about 5% of school going children attended english or missionary schools, which is wrongly touted as the epitome of racial mingling and unity.

    There were no problems in education nor disunity for two centuries until Umno introduced the New Educational Policy in 1971. Therein lies your answer.Ethnic cleansing of vernacular schools had begun in a staggered way. Today instead of having more vernacular schools to cater for a growing student population, chinese andtamil school have dwindled to 800 and 535 respectively. What shameful affairs and to think people are actually suggesting a furtherance of ethnic cleansing policies! And that too by some children of victims.

    People still do not seem to understand what our forefathers agreed to, that secularism and multiculturalism in its entirety and forever, shall be the basis of Malaysia. To you your way, and to me mine! Much like religion. *That* has been our tradition for 200 years, retaining at all times the prerogative of the parents over their childrens’ education, and as to what exactly are the values that we wish to perpetuate.

    Our forefathers are people who witnessed the horrors of the Indian partition, Sri Lanka language pogroms of 1956, the killings of 3,000 chinese in Kalimantan/Sarawak between 1948-1951, the expulsion of one million Indians from Myanmar in 1948, and much more. They knew what was coming. In the Reid Commission there were mention of the fears of ethnic cleansing of cultures and languages down the road in Malaya. Today we are witnessing that! Closure of vernacular schools and its concomitant industries is ethnic cleansing of whole institutions that were painstakingly built up over 200 years.

    With such low standard of national education and mediocrity, it would be wiser to discuss the closure of national/malay schools entirely! Afterall, instead of being parochial in these times of glocalisation, we want *unity* with the rising nations of India and China and its 2.8 billion people, under whose shadow we are geostrategically destined to live for all eternity, is it not?

  8. I for another have given up on Malaysia as well. Born and raised but discriminated against in my own native soil. I now pledge loyalty to Australia where I am treated fair and equal.

    I had not forgotten my grassroots but what is the point remembering it! All that I ask is equal rights and opportunities being a citizen but as a racist government, it is therefore impossible. Oh well……….Malaysia's loss is Australia's gain.

    It is still pretty interesting to frequent the current affairs going on in Malaysia. It is as though one is reading the collapse of the Roman Empire.

  9. To me, Ketuanan Melayu is the false notion of malay greatness or malay supremacy. Truth is – there is nothing to associate the malay race with greatness.

    By any widely accepted standards, it will be obvious to see that the malay race does not qualify to be called one of the great races on this world. Truth is that the Chinese and Indians have a culture accomplished far greater and much more than these jokers have.

    It should be Chinese and Indian supremacy in Malaysia. The only reason why malays have power in Malaysia is because they have the biggest population, and the racist rhetoric of the malay Umno politicians always sway the malay vote towards themselves.

    Anyway, back to the untrue notion of Ketuanan Melayu. Let us see what malays have accomplished. Has any malay won the Nobel Prize – no. Has any malay been nominated for the Nobel Prize – most probably not.

    By contrast, numerous Chinese and Indians have won the Nobel Prize and various other awards. The Chinese and Indian diaspora is widely recognized as two of the three most successful diasporas in history, the other being the Jewish diaspora. All over the world, Chinese and Indians have become successful artists, CEOs, doctors, filmmakers, scientists, writers, etc, etc.

    Name one malay who is widely recognized around the world in his or her field. The only malay whose name might be recognized out of this country is Mahathir, and he is part Indian. Is malay culture recognized as a world renowned culture – no.

    Malay culture, if cultures were ranked, would be close to the bottom. What is their culture compared to the great Chinese and Indian cultures that are centuries old and really rich! The Chinese and Indians have a 5000 years old history during which China and India have played a very important part in world history.

    Nobody knew about malays until the Indian kings of south India first came here. That is why the oldest archeological remains in Malaysia, in Lembah Bujang, are Hindu temples.

    The malay sultanate itself was started by a Hindu – Parameswara. And even at the height of its power, the Malacca sultanate was nothing more than a vassal of the Chinese emperor.

    Have any malay architect designed anything worthwhile – no. Have any malay author won the Booker Prize or the Pulitzer Prize – no. Have any malay filmmaker won an Oscar – no. Have the malays achieved anything in sports – no.

    Chinese and Indians have achieved all this. So there is no real Ketuanan Melayu. It is a fiction concocted by racist stupid politicians to keep the "kampung malays" happy thinking that they have had a glorious past.

    They don't. Their history isn't worth mentioning. You would never find a mention of malays or Malaysia or Tanah Melayu in most books of world history while entire chapters are devoted to the history of China and India.

    The discriminative constitution and law of Malaysia is just a recognition of this fact. The malay leaders and to every single malay knows that on a level playing field, the malays will never be able to compete with the Chinese and Indians.

  10. I'm a Chinese and I went to Chinese Vernacular Primary school, I have friends of different ethnicity who learned Chinese together. I remember one time, a Malay student transferred from Malay school joined us, he struggled with his Chinese and was especially poor in dictation, some of the Chinese students in class offered to tutor him during breaks. It was a memorable event.

    Later on, I went to public high school, there are more Malay students there but the Chinese have no problem of mingling with them. We still kept in touch till this day.

  11. I am a Chinese Malaysian who emigrated to New Zealand four years ago. I love Malaysia and I remember my times in the kampung in Seremban where we (Chinese, Indians and Malays) used to play football together.

    At 15 in 1976, I applied to join the Royal Military College (RMC). I was the school soccer captain, had a distinction in Bahasa Malaysia and excellent academic results. I was prepared to be soldier, to die for my country. However, I was rejected by RMC. I was too young to know the reason then.

    I continued with my schooling at the same school, finished my Upper Six and was offered a Bachelors course in University Malaya and also at University of Singapore. I chose the latter because that was the defining moment for me when I first felt the effect of the NEP policy.

    I finished my Masters in Law, and came back to Malaysia in the 1990s. That is when I began to see all the segregation of the races and the true impact of the NEP policy.

    I see the corrupt ministers, the discriminatory practices of government departments and institutions, the insults hurled at the Chinese, the Kampung Medan riots blamed on the Indians, the numerous police abuses, etc.

    Still I believed things would change for the better eventually. But for a decade, I saw the non-malays being marginalised, MCA and MIC are no longer able to sit on the same table with Umno as equal partners.

    Umno can make racist comments and need not apologise. That is when the moronic Hisham with his keris comes to mind. In which developed country is a political leader allowed to play racial politics and threaten another community with impunity?

    Everyday, I read the same comments about the situation in Malaysia, the non-malays wishing for a Malaysian Malaysia.

    If you want the situation to change, do something about it. Why keep the racist Barisan Nasional in power? If you keep voting them in, you deserve what you are getting now. Stand up, exercise your voting rights.

    My children are the third generation in my family having to go through this NEP crap, hence I decided to leave Malaysia.

    I had a choice, I exercised it, I emigrated for the simple reason that I don't feel safe anymore in Malaysia and I do not wish my children to undergo the discriminatory practices in Malaysia. In New Zealand, minorities like me are protected.

    I am free to say what I want, and everything is on merit. I have no complaints even though I miss Malaysia. Have a look at how Muslims (a minority) are treated here and maybe Malaysia authorities may learn how to treat its minority races better.

    I yearn for the old days when my old football team existed without consideration of colour, race or religion.

    That said, I doubt Malaysia will be the same as in the 1970s as long as the Barisan Nasional race-based parties are in power. So exercise your rights Malaysians, you have to take the risk of voting for an alternative government.

  12. My school in the 50s and 60s when terms like bumis and non-bumis did not exist.

    Back then, there was a kind of kindred among school children then that does not exist today. We were racially different but we were all equal in every other way. Nobody was – special.

    Today when a non-malay student goes to school, he has already been told over and over again by his parents that, "You will have to do superlatively in order to get into a local university."

    The child comes back having done creditably well, and doesn't get the university course of his choice. But his malay classmate, with worse marks than him, gets more than he asked for.

    All these double standards and retrogressive policies were put in place by our selfish politicians whose aim, rather than uplifting the malays, was to perpetually stay in power for their own good.

    The end result is a new generation of Malaysians who are not united in the least.

    The first thing to be done towards a real Bangsa Malaysia is to pull down all divisions that categorise us along racial and religious lines.

    All, irrespective of race and religion, must be subjected to a truly merit-based system in every sphere of Malaysian life.

    All political parties that exploit any form of religion should be banned.

  13. "Racial polarisation in the country is not caused by the country's vernacular school system but more by the government political, education and economic discriminative policies." – an educationist said today.

    The prime minister and all the Umno ministers will never admit that polarisation arises more out of the race-based policies and privileges one race gets over another.

    Similarly, there are other areas of our daily lives where terminologies used have made us view certain practices as privileges rather than sacrifices. For instance, the bumi discount for houses.

    The total sale value to the developer is still the same. It is just that the non-malay buyer is likely to be required to pay for some of the discount given to the malays.

    But the longer the NEP policies continue and the greater the vehemence with which Umno politicians issue threats, terminologies will change and more people will talk about these practices or policies in words that may not sound as pleasing to the ears of the beneficiaries.

    Obviously, at that point we shall probably see a new round of discriminations and disagreements. Unfortunately, as long as only weak people take on leadership roles within Umno, threats will continue, NEP policies will be sustained and corruption will prevail.

    That unfortunately is the legacy we have as Malaysians.

    The basic building blocks of unity, whether you are uniting different ethnic groups in a country or trying to re-engineer a corporation of differing cultural values, are the same.

    The principal parties have to be treated as equals – nor special privileges no favours that would favour one group over another. Any privilege that is given should be given to all on the same basis – for example, special privilege given to the financially poor regardless of race or ethnic origin.

    It is only on this equitable footing that you can foster true nationalism and build lasting unity, since each component group will have the same stake in the nation and has equal likelihood in reaping the rewards or suffering the consequences.

    My recommendation to the government, not simply as a businessman but also based on pragmatism, is not to waste any more taxpayer ringgit on nationalism programmes until it has established the pre-conditions for its success.

    What is sad is that, after almost five decades of independence, we have been unable in Malaysia, to bring globally-vision leaders to the forefront – leaders who can see beyond racial boundaries to recognise the immense sociological and economic potential that can benefit all Malaysians.

  14. From the article I am guessing that the writer Eunice is not a mother. Any non Malay parent who wants the best for their children and have done their homework will realize that generally, the vernacular schools offer higher standard of education. The govt must improve the standards of national schools and make them a viable choice for parents. The standard of our national schools has dropped so badly that even Malays are reluctant to send their children. Those who can afford it are sending their children to private schools. That is why private schools are flourishing in Malaysia.

    There is also the added advantage of learning an extra language. Forget about the elective subject as I doubt it will work. If the govt is serious on this, why not implement it right away to show its effectiveness? Show that the national schools can have properly funded language classes with proper teachers and allocate an appropriate number of classes per week.

    Last but not least, stop the Islamisation of national schools as it is scaring the non Malays away.

    The writer is also naive to think that abolishing vernacular schools is the answer to racial harmony. I grew up in the east coast and attended a national school. In primary school, I had many Malay friends and some of my closest friends were Malays. By the time I reached secondary school, all my Malay friends were shipped off to boarding schools and I was left with my non Malay friends. I probably speak better Malay than many urban Malays today.

    However, as I grew up, I was constantly being bombarded with racial bias. Applying for a place in a public university. Applying for a govt scholarship. Looking for a job. Buying a house. Buying IPO. Investing. If it didn't work for me then, why should it make a difference now?

  15. I will be the first in the line to shut-down the vernacular schools. But I will extend it to every other government run non-national school, such as religious schools, as well. There should only be one main-stream school system in Malaysia and everyone should be learning the same things in schools – and this includes learning multiple languages.

    Those who defend vernacular schools tend to defend it on an emotional level, rather than a rational one. Let us not confused the different issues – such as schoola standards. I can assure you that there are lousy vernacular schools, just like there are poor national ones.

    And there is plenty of discrimination going around in vernacular schools as well, just on the opposite side of the coin. That is why our children are ending up more divided than ever. When one side takes one extreme, the other side takes the other extreme. Nobody seems to care about the centre.

  16. Tan May Ling say " ……they can send their children to Chinese primary school for discipline and learning of arithmetic. (It has been consistently found that Chinese children are 1 to 2 years more advance than American children in arithmetic.) Then they should attend lower secondary schools in Malay medium to learn the National Language and learn how to get along with new friends. After Form 3, send them to do A-level in private school. They should have no problem competing with pupils from Form 5 in Malay or Chinese medium schools. Also they have to work hard and no time for mischiefs, hopefully. After that send them to overseas for university education.

    This is just an example of taking advantage of the systems."

    I am chinese who attend national school from primary until secondary. I have a few comments on your view:

    1) Children in vernacular school are not all discipline. some yes and some no. school bully happens in national and vernacular.

    2) not all students in chinese primary are good at aritmetric. some yes and some no. I came across malays students at national primary school were excellent in mathematics too. even I cannot beat some of them during my childhood days i must admit.

    3) most chinese students tend to mingle only with the same colour skin when they enter national secondary school. how to improve on bahasa? maybe they feel comfortable with own skin colour since they used to do during primary vernacular school.

    4) a recent survey shown that many chinese youths drop out from school.


  18. Having different types of school is not the cause of racial disunity. UMNO is the cause of racial disunity. They spew racial hatred and encourage segregation by race and religion.

    Think about the Allah issue. All the fuss was created by UMNO and when they stop the issue goes away.

    Giving up vernacular schools won't guarantee racial unity.

    Only way to create bangsa Malaysia is to get rid of race based parties such as UMNO, MCA and MIC and their divide and rule strategy.

  19. Eunice,

    Do you seriously think UMNO will ditch its policies on education (100% admittance to Malays in some institutions of higher learning and 100% loans and scholarships to Malays) and religion (mosques in nearly every housing estate with taxpayers funds but non-approval or conditional for other religious places of worship with private funds)to name just two, in return for your giving up the vernacular schools.

    Najib is on a perception management exercise. He wants to rid the non-Malay public of the perception that UMNO is extreme. So what does he do? He gets someone like PERKASA to do the dirty work.

    Is that picture not big enough for you?

  20. Not only that. I have been going through my kids' text books and it's disheartening to see the hidden racism in it. For example, more often than not, for a comprehension passage, you'll see a Malay child being the good child, and the Chinese or the Indian being the one who misbehaves.

    I have gone through so many of the books across so many years, and I see the consistency of such subconscious ideas being planted into our children. This is truly sad.

    Parents, keep note if you do not believe me. Go through your children's books and see for yourself.

  21. i went to sekolah kebangsaan. i can’t read and write in chinese. I scored full As in SPM, yet I did not get any scholarship while my Malay friend with 3 Bs got the scholarhip.

    Whether or not you go to vernacular school makes no difference.

    You will still be discriminated in Malaysia.

  22. Many of my Chinese friends, those more than thirty plus, have supported whole-heartedly the idea of National Language education to the tertiary level. This is partly due to the fact that there were few choices, except you are well to do in those days, for one to opt for education in other medium after the primary school.

    We have gone through the Secondary and Tertiary National Education system, and our owned experiences must be telling. The fact is that many are cursing the system that they have been put through!

    Why it is so? Because when we are out of school and facing the world, you know the training do not equipped you with the essential language tools that you need…, you are handicapped by the insufficiency of skills to deal with the outside world, progress and uplift yourselves to compete internationally given the country is so rely on global trade for even your daily consumption like food items.

    Are you not smart? Are you not hard working? The fact that so many university graduates nowdays failed to find job must be telling! Even the country's elite do not send their young generation to local schools, just look at Hishamuddin, Najid etc…, what has this shown? The education system is lousy, low class…, face the fact!

    How many of the current political and business elite are locally trained??? I thought it is only DSAI? Who else can climb higher with the language handicap?

    The problem is there are so many hypocrite in this country… When they do not want it, they ask people to do it probably in order others will be continued stupid for them to cheat? Khairy is one promoter for sure!

  23. If we can add the number 1 infront of everything, will it make any difference?



    Sara, blame the headmaster. I believe extra activities as stated in no. 2 are not from MOE and not all national schools are like that. This is what happen when we have too many type of race- based school. Bias, misconception etc. ref no.4, generalization.

    I wish all schools are like RMC.

  24. I dont think its the difference of which school you are attending which is causing the disunity. If you go to a chinese school, you would still notice that the non chinese and chinese students would still clique among their own race during break time even though they have the same medium of conversation which is mandarin in school.

  25. If the key issue of unity in Malaysian context is as simple as a unilingual environment, I'm quite sure everyone will raise their hands and legs agreeing on 1Sekolah , 1University etc. concept.

    I guess the key issues still are the lack of political will in our country leaders to move the country forward, and the lack of awareness in looking at the bigger picture of our country and seek a better future for our country.

  26. One type of schooling? Not necessary. One type of syllabus for all children across the country ( be it primary or secondary level e.g., in SK, SJKC, SJKT, or SM) — a resounding YES. But why in Form 6, Malays students are given the opportunity to study in pusat asasi sains, matriculation etc, of which the syllabus is different, or to put it crudely, easier and watered down syllabus while the chinese students have to study physics/chemistry/biology/maths at STPM which is of higher standard. can you not make the form 6 syllabus common, perhaps using matriculation syllabus as the benchmark?

  27. The problem with National is:IT IS NOT A NATIONAL SCHOOL.Why,Like some had mentioned the standard isn't there at all.Yes,there are few national school with excellent result but the question is how they achieve excellency.There are many reasons why non malays and non muslims are reluctant to send their children to national school.The reasons are:

    1.The so called national school had become muslim religious school.What with J-QAF,Religious class in the afternoon,islamic lessons in the morning and implemention or force feeding of islamic value down the throat of non muslims and non malays.Any simple survey at that any typical natinal school on the number of teachers will show that 1/3 of the staff are JQAF and Islamic studies teachers.

    2.Budget.School budget will most probably be spend on religious reasons compare to education.Majlis Tahlil .Majlis Bacaan Yassin,Majlis khatam Al quran, Isalmic competition,Islamic motivational course/talks,just to name a few.While the non muslims will be carrying out colouring contest.In a chinese school the money will most probably be spent on books,extra classes and the welfare of the students and teachers.Even some muslim parents commented on,think how the non muslims will feel.A mother told me once,sending my son to national schoolis like sending him to be converted to Islam.

    3.Post.Go around any national school,how many of the head prefects are non malays or non muslims?The reason given,it will help the student gain entry to ASRAMA PENUH.So,leadership qualities,talent and brain take a backseat while,quata,cronyism triumph.

    4.dedication.The teachers in chinese school are more dedicated compare to national schoolThat is a fact.

    So, can you blame the non muslims or the non malays?

  28. So sam, who can speak on behalf of non-malays?

    dang, now I wonder who can speak on behalf of malays.

    Thank you sam, thank you very much.

  29. I also support vern. I got no chinese/indian friend at all, they tend to flock together like birds of feather on a fine weather.(vice versa la with my malay friend.)

    Why is this happening?

    Language? Vernacularization? Ketuanan Melayu? Income tax?

    For, one thing to unite us, and it's proven, is sport. and I wish I can speak chinese/indian fluently, so I can join them, or is it easier if they speak Bahasa, or do we need to converse in English, if that will make us unite.

  30. Eunice, in the first place, please, don't use "we" (non Malays) as if you represent all non-Malays. Please have the courtesy, just say its your personal opinion. Eunice, you don't speak for me, get that.

    You paint us non Malays as the root cause for all the troubles. Fist, Bahasa Malaysia or the Malay langauge, and Islam as the official religion of Malaysia has never been questioned by any NON MALAYS, please Eunice don't say otherwise.

    And please don't be a simpleton, by suggesting the abolishing of vernacular schools in Malaysia could solve the racial divide and bring fairness to Bolehland.

    Finally, next time, when you write, don't forget "YOU DON'T SPEAK FOR ALL NON MALAYS."

  31. Dear Michael and Temenggong,

    With all due respect, i feel that the approach you both have is really not very much different from what our 52 year old government is advocating. You selfishly claim for rights without wanting to surrender what you already have as compromise.

    I agree that vernacular schools alone are not responsible for the social disunity. But it is one of the reasons. And look to great countries like Thailand or even Indonesia for that matter. They have significant cultural identity as compares to us simple because they allow themselves to be assimilated. But thats another argument altogether.

    My cause is simple. Gandhi professed that the best weapon against violence is to simply disarm. In honor of that, for us to expect change, we must first change ourselves.

    I support the abolishment of vernacular schools with the condition that the quality of national schools are improved and mandarin/tamil be taught as a compulsary elective.

    All good in the name of unity.

  32. Eunice, I couldn't agree more. I feel frustrated when conversing with some Malaysians who can't speak basic Bahasa or English. And we are suppose to be from the same country.

    As for schools, we should allow students to choose to learn other languages apart from English and Bahasa (i.e. Mandarin, Tamil, Iban, Punjabi, Kadazan & etc) in school. A number of my indian Singaporean friends speak 4 languages (Eng, Bahasa, Tamil, Mandarin)

    But will Govt improve our education system and ensure a working and beneficial education? Will they Govt stick to a education system of high standards and not change its mind every 2 years? If that is not going to happen, then I don't see the non-Malays ever agreeing to give up their vernacular schools.

  33. "…We whine that Malay is the national language and Islam is the national religion as opposed to our preferred language…."


    we have no problems with these two. it was the deal from day one. we agreed to it. and stick with it we shall. all languages except bahasa malaysia are not the official languages of malaysia. there is only one official language here in malaysia – bahasa malaysia. and i have no problem with that.

    malaysia is not hong kong.

    malaysia is not taiwan.

    malaysia is not india.

    malaysia is not singapore.

    malaysia is malaysia. i hope we never forget this.

    we have no beef with anyone else – except UMNO BARU! (that political party created by mahathir in 1988 since the DEMISE of the ORIGINAL UMNO in 1987).

  34. When you look at the bigger picture, there are many advantages in having different school systems. I had always thought our children are lucky to live in Malaysia with so many different school systems to choose from. We as parents can pick out what is best in each school system for their education. For instance, in family that converse in English at home, they can send their children to Chinese primary school for discipline and learning of arithmetic. (It has been consistently found that Chinese children are 1 to 2 years more advance than American children in arithmetic.) Then they should attend lower secondary schools in Malay medium to learn the National Language and learn how to get along with new friends. After Form 3, send them to do A-level in private school. They should have no problem competing with pupils from Form 5 in Malay or Chinese medium schools. Also they have to work hard and no time for mischiefs, hopefully. After that send them to overseas for university education.

    This is just an example of taking advantage of the systems.

  35. As a non ‘perkasa’ Malay, I fully agreed with Eunice Ong. You just spewed the bitter truth of non-Malays.Dont tell me i am lying when I say malays receive different pay from their Chinese colleagues in a Mr Lim Company.

  36. Eunice … Eunice… its not the vernacular schools that are causing the corruption, the racial bias and the sheer rape of the country sweetheart.

    Those schools still represent a better class of education then the teachers being churned at to teach at the nation schools who are part of a affirmative action feed me for life handicap program. Ever been in one… I am thinking not.. regardless.

    And these schools some can claim a hundred year tradition older then the govt entity itself.. and my dear there is no price acceptable enough to surrender our cultural uniqueness to conform to a body of govt that despises us.

    Get real, get serious the language barrier is not the end all of harmony and good race relations.. we are resisting their dominance and supremacy until they treat us as equals..

    Imagine asking slaves to no longer attend churches or church schools but instead attend what ever the master wants them to attend.. EVEN though maybe the master's school is better.. people want the choice to Choose for themselves to self determine what is best for their young!

    The idea is to get more freedoms.. not GIVE up FREEDOM to GET FREEDOM. Ugh… think critically before posting crap like this. If all you want is to conform and hope those that are in power and are already ruling and dictating our lives will suddenly get nicer.. then you need to wake up and get a clue.

    But better yet.. get a better education about education before talking about education.

  37. I am somewhat agreeing with your argument.

    I am an academic and I have read the history of vernacular schools in Malaysia. I think most parents prefer vernacular school not because of "roots" or that these schools uses their vernacular language as the medium of instructions. It's because these schools are generally of higher standard, better equipped and there are less discrimination based on race and religion.

    In the 60's parents normally shun vernacular schools and the National Schools were the preferred choices because the National Schools then was of much higher standard.

    My opinion is that Vernacular Schools are not good for the nation in the long run, but until we have better National Schools with more committed teachers whom do not discriminate against non-Malays or non-Muslims pupils. I would object to the abolition of vernacular schools.

    Currently, there are too much discrimination going on in the National Schools for comfort. Who in their right minds would send their children to a school knowing that the school is of lower standard with teachers frequently discriminating their sons/daughters?

  38. I once said no matter what shenanigan and his cronies do to the cow's horn it will always remain as cow's horn and cannot never ever become an ivory. It is those who know that they are cow's horn that they want people or shall I say to force people to think and say they are elephant task.

  39. Loyarburok, It was naughty of you to put up such an ill informed opinion.

    This country, as specified in the constitution, was meant to be multiracial, multilingual and multicultural, and NOT unilingual! This makes us unique among nations of the world. No other nation is like us. National unity comes in recognising that.

    Therefore we should have more chinese and tamil schools. And vernacular universities. Greater national unity comes with that. And more japanese, korean, thai, german, french and other schools too to cater for the many small minorities.

    It is the Umno attempt to 'cap and roll back' vernacular schools, and railroad towards unilingualism, that creates disunity!

  40. Under influence of the students' Socialist Club of early UM, chinese students once demanded for malay to be the medium of instruction in all schools and to create a stronger national identity, along with the Puthucheary brothers.

    This would almost be unheard of nowadays!

  41. MIRA, what is the relevant for this piece of article and your definition of HAKIM?

  42. I am not Malay in case my name suggest so. Check the spelling of my name. I totally agree with your point of view. I witness this in Indonesia clearly. I still wonder why the language becomes a huge barrier for this nation to progress further and come out of this racism clouds. First of all, we need the idiots in MCA/MIC to come to thier senses. After all thier kids in International Schools signing up for French and Latin classes as an elective subjects.

  43. The Chinese are a practical lot. Most parents send their children to Chinese schools because of the perception of a higher standard of education first and foremost. If I can afford it, I would have sent my kids to a good private school or even overseas. It is all about giving our best possible to our children. If the national schools are better than the vernacular schools, I wouldn’t hesitate to send my kids to national schools.

    Lets take our public transport as an analogy. Why do we all own cars and drive to work even though we know that traffic jam is a big problem and that taking public transport will help ease traffic congestion? It is because public transport is not a viable option for most of us. We will only consider public transport if it is clean, cheap and convenient. We are perpetually screaming to the govt to improve public transport and make it a viable option. How would you feel if the govt were to suddenly ban all private cars from the roads and force everyone to take public transport without making any changes whatsoever to improve the current public transport system? On the other hand, I wouldn’t skip a beat and change to public transport if it is like Tokyo or Sydney.

  44. Eunice you are spot on.

    People in Malaysia are what i call “closet racists”. They go around shouting for bangsa malaysia but contradict themselves when being the first to reject a single stream school system. Throughout human history, people have migrated from one end of the earth to another but nowhere on the planet you’ll find 4th-5th generation immigrants still immersed in their ancestral lingua-cultural identity. Fine, no need to assimilate but trying to justify vernacular schools? Come on.

    Likewise I would label the same term to insular Malays who will eventually have to live without affirmative action.

    So I agree with you wholeheartedly. A round of negotiations is what I think is needed. Every single tom, dick and harry or in this case ahmad, ah chong, and mutusamy must agree on getting rid of vernacular schools AND at the same time agree on the proposals Eunice has outlined namely-more entry for non malay children to enter public universities.

    For this to happen we need leaders with a testicular fortitude of every race to face the wrath of their respective communities.

  45. coolooc’s comment is so hilarious i almost fall off my chair laughing. if the chinese & indians are so great, then why did they let the malays have purportedly all the control and power here? the malay majority is no excuse for the chinese&indians’ failure to balance power -there has been instances in history where minority group held control over bigger size groups..he are looking at race as the cause of the problem, when it is not about race although it appears to be so. we are just screwed by the elite class, that’s all

  46. My simplistic view:

    I want every children in malaysia to attend only 1 type of national school. I wish to see malaysians of different ethnicities to mingle again like T.A.R’s days. It’s sickening to see chinese nowadays not being able to speak proper Malay or feel uncomfortable having dinner at Kampung Baru.

    The government can practise favouritism for all I care, in business, handing out contracts, etc…

    But please do not practise discrimination in education. IT does more harm than good.

  47. The issue of vernacular primary schools has little to do with national integration. The medium of instruction doesn’t matter. The biggest issue of vernacular primary schools is simply that the quality clearly points to the failure of Umno-led BN government, the legitimacy of the very philosophies and policies particularly its hegemonistic malay agenda.

    If the vernacular primary schools are allowed to expand, clearly the percentage of malays in these Chinese primary schools would expand striking at the heart of the malay agenda. It would increase integration but not the malay agenda.

    There is no proof that different medium of instruction decrease national unity. What would decrease national integration would be if they thought different philosophy – and for example – religion based schools. Even military schools have been shown to breed disintegration of its students from the larger population.

    The idea of teaching Mandarin and Tamil to attract non-malays to national schools is a non-starter. Firstly, again the medium of instruction is a low low issue compared to the quality of education, secondly, there is already a severe shortage of Mandarin and Tamil teachers that national schools would never be able to do even a half-past-six job of it.

    Thirdly, so long as Islamization of national schools is not stopped in its tracks, non-malays would always avoid it, simply because learning is just harder in a marginalized uncomfortable environment.

    Vernacular schools are allowed to continue as it is simply because removing it would be perceived and rightly so, as eroding the citizen rights of non-malays, i.e. the very right of education – the only upward mobility tool the non-malays has. Non-malays second class citizenship will become third class with things like further Islamization of this country.

    The issue of vernacular schools is not about national integration, it is about hegemonistic malay agenda. The fact it is an issue points to heart of our national problem.

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