Saturday, December 13, 2008

Vern schools vs Single Medium

"Mukhriz's point about vernacular schooling" is a belated posting by author Syed Akbar Ali,which shows why the debate on the issue will continue despite Najib Razak's point that the Government will let be the Chinese and Tamil primary schools as long as there's demand for them.
In Singapore, the Government found a way to let vernacular schools die their natural deaths a long time ago. Maybe, just maybe, we can learn from the republic. I wrote a piece for mypaper, published yesterday.


  1. Anonymous7:36 pm

    Dear Rocky, your blogs have always been a must read for me. This was a good article but I must add that medium of instruction in the National Schools in Singapore are conducted in English. That being said, the other languages (Bahasa Melayu (Malay), Tamil & Mandarin) are taught as a second languange (at least during my time in the 80's) and where students were compulsorily made to choose either of the available electives. The solution seems to be on using 'English' as the medium of instruction for education. I opine that whilst Bahasa Malaysia is our accepted National Language, using 'English' as the medium of instruction in our National Schools will not make the Bahasa Malaysia Language or any other language for that matter any lessor or inferior to 'English' nor will the same wipe out Bahasa Malaysia or other languages. Parents and kins alike must be responsible to teach their young on their respective mother tongue whilst embracing 'English' as our medium of instruction in all National Schools in Malaysia. You mentioned rightly that the Chinese make up the majority in Singapore. Yet they had not imposed strictly on the use of Mandarin as the medium of instructions in their National Schools (at least during my time). Even their National Anthem is in Bahasa Melayu. So Malaysia, I think, must now embrace the world by producing multi lingual Malaysians who are equipped with the Global Common Language that we know as 'English'. Regards and keep up with the great blog. Cheers..... Darell (Sabah)

  2. is it true that by closing down vernacular schools all malaysians will be united.

    is vernacular schools the cause for disunity in our country.

    if singapore can have a single, non race based political party, why cant malaysia do the same ?

    how can a "vernacular" political party in malaysia say vernacularism is bad ? first close down race based political parties and the rest will fall in place

  3. Anonymous8:17 pm

    Well Mr Rocky,
    If Malaysia suddenly declare that there shall be 4 official languages, namely:

    1) English
    2) Malay
    3) Mandarin
    4) Tamil

    Plus, declaring the medium of communication for administration, education, science and all official things such as parliament IN ENGLISH AND ONLY ENGLISH

    Hey, come on! USE YOUR BLAIN. USE YOUR BLAIN. Please study Singapore carefully. Anyway, Singapore got the boot because of languages

    Yo guys,
    You guys willing to forgo malay as The ONLY national language and have 4 official languages such as English, Malay, Mandarin & Tamil???????

    You sure?????

    still residing in Singapore

    P.S : Me no racist! Me a realist like LKY. Don't do foolish thing lah. Just like the Yogi thingy. Heed the sultans man. Unless you guys wanna be biadap!

  4. Baby M is really rocking the boat due to his ebbing confidence in the UMNO Youth elections. Datuk Muhkriz. There is a more inclusive and far gentler way of saying CLOSE DOWN VERNACULAR SCHOOLS. Repeat after me; ESTABLISH INTEGRATED SCHOOL SYSTEMS WITH VERNACULAR CHARACTERISTICS.

    Sigh. I guess you'll only do it after March 2009. Dang.

  5. Anonymous8:33 pm

    Agreed to your proposal i.e. to integrate the education systems in Malaysia BUT the medium to be used in the newly established "single-main stream" education system MUST be ENGLISH instead of BM, CHINESE or Tamil.

    Will the militant nationalists accept this proposal to use English as the main teaching medium. BM, Chinese and Tamil languages are to be used as supporting mediums, so that our childrens are multi-lingua and respect these 3 languages and its cultures.


  6. The existence of vernacular schools is not the main cause of racial polarisation in Malaysia.Period.
    The New Economic Policy has been and still is one of the main causes of racial polarisation.Both the vernacular schools issue and the NEP issue are deem to be"sensitive" and, therefore, cannot be debated in details in public.If, I am not mistaken, this is in the Constitution!Unless the Constitution is amended the status
    quo remains.

  7. Anonymous8:43 pm

    Ah, so we must emulate Singapore when it comes to schools.

    But we should not even take a leaf from their success stories in other fields (eliminating corruption, cleanliness, obeying rules, showing the door to the folks who cannot account for hard cash in their suitcases during overseas travel, money politics....alamak, the list is going on on lah. I better stop here)

    And you want such unique educational institutions in Malaysia to be dealt with the same way Singapore did it?

    Where do we go for 'Malaysia Truly Asia' when it comes to education? Or is it only for Tourism purposes?

    And how do they do it in the West?

    Before we go there, what about schools that also use Middle Eastern languages to teach the young ones in Malaysia? Cannot talk about it, because it has to do with a faith?

    Then what about the 'integration efforts of the church folks in Malaysia who want to communicate in Bahasa Malaysia - using texts that are widely used in the most populated Muslim country in the world?

    OK...Ok...we should stick to schools and the way to plan their natural 'demise'.

    Aiyah Samy, what say you?
    Speak up...even if you are not an MP or Minister.

    Come out with your reasonings on why such schools shud continue to exist.

    Long time no hear you speak on this. Do not let your folks downline to speak on this.

    Take the 'lead' like always you want to do.

    You are still 'young', 'dynamic' and full of 'energy' - much better that everyone who is younger than you.



  8. Anonymous8:53 pm

    rocky. i know its long but you might wanna read this.

    When you strike first, they strike twice. When you hit twice, they punch trice. When Mukhriz came out with suggestion to abolish vernacular school, Chinese educationist want English in Maths and Science to be in Chinese characters. I respect their braveness in fighting for the survival of Chinese language, but not all Chinese share the same thought.

    ACADEMICIAN-HISTORIAN Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim says Chinese and Indians, being minority races in the country, should give up the use of mother-tongue language as the medium of instruction in their schools to be out of the racial box and stay competitive. But unfortunately his suggestion was rejected by the Chinese community as a whole, but others accepted the suggestion as it is good for our education system. Read his comment here.

    The idea of abolishing vernacular school is not unfamiliar, since it has been debated and proposed by our former Prime Minister Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad. This is to unify our education system and to reform the so-called Bangsa Malaysia into its early stages.

    The Chinese keep on demanding equality rights and etc, but none of them including political leaders are ready to accept the suggestion to abolish the vernacular school namely Tamil and Mandarin based school. Perhaps they afraid of losing their identity which they belongs to.

    This is the problem that we are going to face right now in Malaysia. Racism is kindly accepted and political leaders especially, keep on harping sensitives issues, to get support from the people. When Mukhriz came out with the suggestion to abolish vernacular school, now they are one step foward to liberalise the English based medium.

    Its not going back to Bahasa medium, but it will be reverted solely to Mandarin based instead. What is going on with our education system? Yes this is the democracy country but democracy will never satisfy all the needs and nots of the people, this democracy must put the majority interest as it’s top priority, not minority.

    Enough said, lets here what Leslie Lau, the columnist of MI has to say about his childhood of being in Chinese based School.

    I am the product of a Chinese education and if I am to be honest with myself I hated it. It is not because there was anything inherently wrong with the system. I attended Sam Tet in Ipoh. It was, and still is, one of the top Chinese schools in the country with one of the best academic records around. We spoke English and Cantonese at home. My parents were not Chinese-educated. I found it difficult to cope with Mandarin. Today, I can read Chinese newspapers. I can watch a Mandarin movie without depending on subtitles. I can sort of get by when I go to China. For that I am grateful. And yes, I can read the menu in a Chinese restaurant. My dad used to tell me how he was always a little embarrassed he could not read the menu when he went out for dinner with his expatriate miner friends in Ipoh. Here’s the thing. My Chinese school background did not make me a racist, and neither will going to a national school make a Malay, or an Indian a racist.
    Its not the system that matters, it attitude. I like that. Attitude that forms the most vital part of national unity. But are we? We usually have this “tag” over opposite races. Don’t tell me that you are so naive and couldn’t understand what I say. Aren’t we familiar with these titles? Malay as lazy and stupid, Chinese as greedy and bloodsucking, and Indian as pariya whatsoever? We are familiar.

    Grow up, Malaysia.

    When the Chinese ask for the abolishment of article 153 and the Malays’ privilages, they are not ready yet to give up their Mandarin school based policy. The Malays keep on provoking the “ketuanan Melayu” which I found no benefits of it, and the Indian, with HINDRAF alongside telling the British that they are poor and “ethnic cleansed” , besides having the most biggest temple, that you can find them everywhere at every kilometer along Klang-Banting highway. The most lawyers and doctors are mainly occupied by Indians too.

    Wake up Malaysian. Wake up. Enough sleep.

  9. Anonymous9:03 pm

    Its a must do that long overdue. My vote for Mukriz for this one.

  10. Hi Rocky,

    I thought the piece you wrote was rather one-sided. Or do you think it's just me?

  11. Mukhriz " baby Racist " Mahathir was not sincere when asking for a single school system.

    He is fishing for Malay votes for the UMNO youth elections.

    If he is truly for single school system he should first get his kids it government schools. That he wont do cos he knows the Sekolah Kebangsaan is hopeless

  12. Anonymous9:39 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Anonymous9:46 pm

    Dear Bro, good article but something is lacking in it. You chose to whack DAP but fail to pinpoint UMNO's role. What is the solution? What is the solution Mukhriz suggesting. Is he prepared for English medium schools. Get UMNO to introduce back English medium schools and let the demand and supply decides. Will Mukhriz supports it?

  14. Dear Rocky

    the english educated are migrating annually

    this phenomenon includes mostly the chinese (strange) and also the malays and indians

    equipped with qualifications and able to speak the international language, they are marketable elsewhere

    they do not think twice about packing their bags and leaving for greener pastures whose vast land, resources, less hectic pace of life are definite benefits

    they are not "friendly" to the speak mandarin campaign

    if malaysia wants to do away with vernacular schools, it should NEVER use English as the medium of instruction

    FIRST reason, this is TANAH MELAYU - you don't have to apologise nor justify why it should be in Bahasa Malaysia

    SECONDLY, a language carries with it a "culture" - you do not want the rakyat to relate and identify with an alien culture and worse of all an imported thinking

    THIRDLY it helps in nation building with patriotic overtones

    if they are serious in reducing the draw of vernacular schools, just dump in the funds into mainstream schools for latest IT equipped facilities, upgraded classrooms, attract the best teachers and principals (paid highly of course), create a dynamic curriculum and implement the latest assessment methods, etc

    lastly, pray hard and hope for the best

  15. Bro Rocky,

    Why singapore? Why not other countries? Why not Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Germany, France, Italy, etc? These countries are far more superior compared to tiny island republic. Singapore depends on our water subsidy to start with. Do you think that somone with subsidy mentality is good example?

  16. Anonymous10:50 pm

    well it would be better to have single school system since non-malay parties already requested no 30% equity for malay

    zamri, sunway semenyih

  17. Anonymous10:50 pm

    There is no point in arguing on this matter when the students that we produced can only speak half Bahasa Malayu or half English.
    There are thousands of foreign workers in Australia and New Zealand from the tiny Pacific island country called Vanuato. They can speak fluent English and dominate the huge foreign work force.In school, they study their own language and English or French as second language.
    Look at our students even from universities, they can speak English only they themselves can understand.Do you think the orang putik would employ someone whom they cannot communicate

  18. Anonymous11:28 pm


    Dong Jiao Zhong a militant educationist group? You may be technically right, as the term "militant" would point to "aggressive physical actions", if you considered the planned mammoth strike or their previous endeavours, as "agressive".

    The arguments are heavily stacked in favour of Datuk Mukhriz's proposal and presented from a neutral point of view, I'm sure people would eventually be inclined towards the idea of a one stream school system.

    But you chose to do it ala Utusan and honestly, your article stinks. You may have some valid points, but the extreme point where you chose to start from doesn't make you any different from the others at the other end of the thread.

    Dong Jiao Zhong are extremists from my point of view, but I haven't seen anything yet to justify calling them "militants". I don't know what your intention was, but maybe I should stop short from assuming that you are just trying to seed hatred.

    Maybe there's a thin line between extremism and militancy. But until the line is crossed, let apples be called apples.

    Perhaps this is the freedom of speech you are championing for. But it doesn't mean what you say or write can't be rubbish.

    I just realised I judged your article solely based on one word. But I'm sorry to say, that one word really indicated the ill intention of the whole article, regardless of the other well articulated arguments.

    Marvin, Kota Kinabalu

  19. Anonymous11:41 pm

    Orang bukan Melayu sering melaungkan satu bangsa satu negara saya juga mahukan begitui.hanya bezanya saya mahukan satu negara, satu bangsa, satu bahasa dan satu sistem pendidikan nasional. Mereka tidak begitu, mahukan yang menguntungan mereka sahaja..bahasa & sistem pendidikan mereka mahu dikekalkan. jadi cajkap tentanng apa ni. begitu juga bila Barak Obama memenangi pemilihan presiden US mereka mengatakan hal tak terjadi di Malaysia. Mereka sengaja melupakan bahawa Malaysia diperintah oleh Perdana Menteri keturunan (bangsa..kaum..mamak..apa-apalah) selama 22 tahun..

  20. Anonymous11:53 pm

    Venacular school has been hanging around for a long time in this country , even as long as those imperialist school (e.g ACS, St Micheal etc)or maybe earlier. Since it has been so long it's has become a part of our nation's fabrics that should be preserved & protected as a part of history that we have learn in our school.

    The other valid argument that I'll like to put forward in preserving the current education system is that it offer a variety of the country educational system for it's citizen to choose. Suppose if an Indian school is not fun at all to study in , he can always get to choose a Malay or a chinese school or like wise if a malay school is too far from his house he can always choose a nearby chinese or Indian or english or whatever school for his conviniance. There for we don't feel bored with only one national school education system available in the society.

    As for our nation unity , it's basically has been falling a part because of our national schools education system that has been proven failed ever since Dr Mahathir became the education minister of our country.

  21. Thank you, Darrell, I do try to keep up.

    As for your point about English being the medium of instruction in those Singapore integrated schools, you are right. I am, actually, inclined towards using English as the medium of instruction in our own integrated education system, with emphasis on Malay as it is our national language. (Make Malay and local literature a compulsory learning cos if we don't, how do we expect to create a Bangsa Malaysia?).

    I wrote in the TELL magazine (October issue, I think) about this. I agree with Mukhriz's call to do away with vernecular schools and strengthen our kids' fundamentals by having a single stream but for practical reasons I suggest English be the medium. We can start with Maths and Sceince.

    Dear Mut,

    You didn't get it wrong. It was rather one-sided as it is an opinion piece.

    Thank you.

  22. Anonymous12:43 am

    Patriotism is one thing, language is another. We have to be real and practical. Once we leave the shore of Bolehland, Bahasa Melayu can go to the dogs!
    Have not the UMNOputeras screwed up the education system in this country bad enough. If they do not think so, then, they should lead by example. Let these rich and powerful have their children in the local schools and not put the in International schools or sending them overseas.

  23. Anonymous1:09 am

    Even with single educational system, will our people be unified? We keep blaming our vernacular educational systems for the polarization of our peoples. We refer to the success done by other countries in uniting their peoples under single educational system. However, we forget one thing, foreign countries do not have such thing as "ketuanan" of one race over the others. As long as the concept of superiority of one race over the others still persist, our peoples will not be unified.

    Imagine the situation when our children are finally schooled in a single educational system. Yes, they will speak common language, learn under the same class room and play in the same school compound. It is idealistic environment. But we forget that as long as differential treatment according to skin colours still persist, our children will realize that the whole system in our country is unfair. Imagining a Chinese or Indian student watching his Malay peer able to enter MARA and further study to oversea but they can't. Why? Because they are not bumiputra even they may fare better than them academically. As long as the injustice system still persists, we can't reach final unity even though how much we wish.

    Most of the administrators and policy makers in the educational system are not ready to make compromise, esp. the Malays. We heard ample of examples where non-Malays are forced to wear Malay costumes, non-Muslims are forced to fast together with Muslims in the school during Ramadhan, frank cow sacrifice in school during Haji in front of Indians, lacking of teachers to teach elective language, a big ban for non-Malay cultural society...... A lot more.


  24. Rocky,

    Saya perasan satu perkara. Komen di blog anda dan blog-blog lain terhadap perbincangan sekolah vernakular, nampaknya ramai betul kaum India memberi komen yang sangat negatif. Dengan demikian, saya berpendapat, elok juga jika saya komen tentang mereka.

    Boleh dikatakan, ramai penulis blog berpendapat kaum India yang menghantar anak mereka ke sekolah Tamil tidak dapat sebarang manfaat melainkan keupayaan berbahasa Tamil. Bak kata Syed Akbar Ali dari OutSyed The Box,

    "I have personally seen Tamil people not able to read and understand the sign which says ‘Makmal’ at the hospital. They will definitely not be able to read ‘Laboratory’ either. They cannot fill up simple forms at the hospital or the bank which are written in Malay or English. The insistence on Tamil education is surely costing them quite dearly."

    Walaupun begitu jika dilihat dari sudut statistik terkini, kaum India kini jauh lebih berjaya dari kaum Melayu. Lihat saja jumlah Peguam, Doktor, dan dari bidang-bidang profesional lain. Tetapi persoalannya berapa orang dari mereka yang datangnya dari sekolah Tamil atau pun dari sekolah Cina. Kalau adapun tentu mungkin terlalu sedikit untuk dikira dengan jari. Kebanyakan mereka mempunyai asas dari Sekolah Kebangsaan - aliran Melayu. Sebab itu mereka fasih dan mampu menulis dalam bahasa Melayu dengan baik.

    Mereka yang berpelajaran, seperti Dr Segaran, malayamuda dan ramai yang lain bukan tidak menyedari hakikat ini tetapi mengapakah mereka masih menentang cadangan Mukhriz? Mereka bukan saja menentang tapi mengutuk habis-habisan dan kadang-kadang melebihi batasan orang yang sopan dan berpelajaran. Pandangan saya tentang perkara ini, mereka melakukan semua ini sekadar hanya memberi sokongan moral kepada kaum Cina walaupun mereka tahu ini akan membinasakan kaum mereka sendiri.

    Disini kita dapat rumuskan kaum India yang bercakap banyak dan menentang cadangan Mukhriz telah sengaja menganiayai kaumnya sendiri. Dengan demikian, kerajaan tidak perlu risau tentang tentangan mereka kerana mereka adalah pengkhianat kaum mereka sendiri. Biarlah mereka dihukum oleh kaum mereka.

    Kita semua sedia maklum tentang sifat dan sikap kaum India. Mereka cukup suka jadi bos. Kalau dia bos meranalah anak buahnya. Kalau dia di bawah, berkilat habis dibodek bosnya. Kalau mereka seorang , bukan main sopan. Tapi kalau lebih tiga orang, karam kapal dibuatnya. Mereka seperti lalang. Akan berpaut kepada yang menguntungkan mereka. Tidak ada pendirian. Tiba-tiba boleh jadi lawan. Bak kata orang-orang lama, kalau kita terjumpa ular dan kaum India di hutan dan terpaksa ambil tindakan, pastikan kita bunuh kaum India tu dulu sebelum ambil tindakan terhadap ular tersebut. Renung-renunglah sikit agar dapat panduan yang diperlukan.

  25. I don't see any problems of having both vernacular and single medium schools at one time. Let the vernacular schools continue their operation privately. That means they are to be privately financed. Those parties who wanted to continue with vernacular school should realise that they would have to run the school for themselves, thus no more shouting for aids. Sounds unfair? Well, that's what they wanted, free to do what they want to do. Of course students and parents would suffer. Then again, it is the job of those who shouted for the continuation of vernacular school to make sure they don't. Single medium school should be fully financed by the government.
    We can have to types of single medium school - Bahasa Malaysia or English school. Sounds like vernacular? Yes, in BM school, the full time language would be BM, except for English class. Maths and Science would be in BM.
    In English school, the full time language would be English, except of course the BM class. Maths and Science would be in English.
    One thing that should be maintained is that everybody from all of those school must score in their BM least a B or grade 2. This of course higher than before. As for the English paper, students should at least score grade 3 or a C. The rest remain as usual. There is no minimum score for Mandarin and Tamil.
    Don't tell me that I have not fully understood your strive to continue your Chinese and Indian school. I do.
    But imagine what would we become if everyone of the 26 communities in Sarawak and many others in Sabah ask for Iban, Bidayuh, Kayan, Kadazan, Dusun and Bajau schools. If you want your rights, I guess the Sarawakians and Sabahans want theirs. What do you have to say about their rights.

  26. Anonymous10:57 am

    Dear Rocky,
    If all Malaysians are realist and brave enough we should accept this sensible suggestion by Mukhriz then we can talk about we all " Malaysian"

    Jangan Banyak Cakap

  27. Anonymous12:01 pm

    Hi Jitu,

    Saya adalah seorang yang berpelajaran di Sekolah Kebangsaan. Saya bangga kerana anda mengkategorikan saya sebagai seorang yang berpelajaran. Komen dan pendapat anda pada permulaan juga adalah seperti seorang yang berpelajaran tetapi pada akhir perenggan anda telah menunjukkan bahawa anda adalah seorang yang berpelajaran ala 'UMNO' iaitu racist.

    Apa yang saya soalkan adalah apakah Cadangan Mukhriz apabila beliau cadangkan penghapusan sekolah vernacular. Adakah beliau akan berterus terang untuk menyokong aliran english dalam sistem pelajaran kita. Ramai ahli keluarga Mukhriz belajar di luar negara untuk mendapatkan pelajaran english. Adakah anda sedar tentang perkara ini? Sediakah Mukhriz menyatakan pendirian beliau seperti saudara Rocky?

    Saya tidak akan menjawab perenggan akhir saudara memandangkan saya tidak mahu terjerumus dalam kategori orang seperti awak. Sekian dari seorang yang berjiwa Malaysia dari segala aspek.

  28. Anonymous1:18 pm


    'tis the season again. the hu-has by the politikus abt vern school as well as teaching & learning of maths & sci in english come & go bcoz they want to score some political mileage as the party election is nearing.
    Pls wake-up. there are also other more pressing edu. ssues in m'sia that warrant attention. what abt. the pledge & target underlined by the Edu. Blueprint to change the present out-dated exam system to a new assessment one? the present exam-oriented assessment only produce 'robot'.
    Who's gonna champion on this? The MOE has been procrastinated on this far too long. i bet even Dong will support any move to expedite this new assessment system.


  29. Anonymous2:17 pm

    Dear Darell,
    It is always the opportuniistic "marauding politicians" who are always out to exploit the race issues to gain votes. you can have whatever education system you want but give them mahathirs, give them mukhrizes or even khairys and in the end you will still have a disunited nation while the liars laugh their way to the banks.


  30. Anonymous3:58 pm

    gear bro,

    i hv already expected when you write about vern school, chinese mostly and some indian will strongly object. surely they will agree with condition abolish bahasa malaysia (not bahasa melayu) as well. IF THIS IS THE WAY NON-BUMI THINK, TRUST ME , FOREVER MALAYSIAN WILL NOT BE ABLE UNITED. NEP is for all malaysian. everybody got direct/indirect and morel/less. surely some races got more some got less due to the objective of NEP itself.

    It should have been done before independent 1957.


  31. Anonymous6:00 pm

    YES, that's right : let it be ONLY
    one medium for 3 different RACES & that is ENGLISH ..ENGLISH , ok !

  32. Anonymous6:21 pm

    alah .... biasa lah si bangsa cina dan india....mesti nak menafikan apa alasan pun. cari lah negara di dunia nih.. mana satu negara yang anak watan nyer sanggup beri hak pada bangsa asing. suruh orang melayu bersikap terbuka...padahal segala gala dah kita beralah. memangketurunan pendatang nih sampai bila pun takkan mengakui. . kenapa engkorang boleh terima bahasa inggeris ...sistem satu sekolah kalau di adakan boleh ker mematikan bangsa korang....kata nak jadi bangsa malaysia... teras bangsa malaysia perlu ambil teras asal ia itu tanah melayu yang kini dah tukar malaysia kan malay tu teras.
    sebagai melayu .... sampai bila aku tak terima bukan melayu berfahaman sempit.

    nak tegak jugak srjk ... duduk di sini mengaku bangsa malaysia...suruh orang melayu bersikap malaysian ....woi! aku dah lebih dari malaysian daripada korang....sebagai melayu dah banyak benda aku beralah..tapi bila di sarankan anak engkorang suruh masuk sekolah kebangsaan
    tak mau. duduk di tanah melayu yang dah tukar nama jadi malaysia kena sesuaikan diri ....

  33. The language is not a problem BUT the segregation of our children from the age of 6 yrs old is a major setback for united Malaysia. Malaysia just need to turn back the clock to Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Inggeris like those day and this vernacular school will dissappear on natural death .
    Apart from mathematic and science add a few more subject in English beginning 2009 session you'll see the impact . Parent of Malaysia is very pragmatic . Don't worry with what politician say you just cannot satisfy every body . WE are not running a popular song contest we are talking about future generation. The venacular school can continue with whatever language the wish .

  34. Anonymous8:03 pm

    We have blinded compare ourselves with other countries that practice single stream educational system. We view vernacular schools as the obstacle to the unity of our peoples. And we also single-mindedly believe that by doing so, our goal of racial integration will achieve. Is it really that simple????
    First, 2 conditions have to be fullfilled in order to do this. First, equal right and status of peoples regardless of origin or race which is severely lacking in our country. Second, of course is the single stream educational system that is hotly debated.

    First, let us view the countries that have put their children under single educational system. Not near, our neighboring country, Indonesian. The Chinese can be said to have been successfully assimilated after the merciless crack down on any Chinese cultural movement. They lost their language, vernacular education, culture, festivals and even their name. Are they being considered as a part of the people? No! They are still being victimized during the economic crisis in 1997. Remember the culling, murder, rape, robbery, other crimes against humanity? Now only the their government recognized their faulty way. Chinese there are now allowed to reopen vernacular language and learn Mandarin. They have gone through many hardship to learn that assimilation would not work and yet we want to revert back to that?

    Another example, the middle east who shares same language, cultural background and religion. Who knows, they also have single stream school. Turn out, this place is the most violent place on earth. Endless fights between tribes, fraction and countries. Endless terrosism terrorizing innocent peoples. The war between Iraq and Iran? The conflicts between sects of Islam? Why are these countries so chaotic. Why are they not unified under single educational system?

    Another example, Swiss is one of the countries with the highest personal income and also the most desirable place to live on earth. They have 4 official languages - German, French, Italian and Roman. Each language is being respected. I don't c their peoples are being separated, instead they are more unified that those country who practice assimilation under single language.

    Just last few points to say:
    1) Single educational system will not unify people unless racial equality is achieved
    2) Every race should defend their own roots. Race without roots is vulnerable.
    3) There is no contradiction in being Malaysian while retaining racial identity
    4) Patriotism should not be judged superficially. Instead, we should c on contributions. Do other races love Malaysia lesser than Malays?


  35. Anonymous9:19 pm

    Melayu kepada bangsa lain,

    "Kamu berubah dulu, baru kami berubah"

    Cina kepada bangsa lain,

    "Kamu berubah dulu, baru kami berubah"

    India kepada bangsa lain,

    "Kamu berubah dulu, baru kami berubah"

    Iban, Kadazan, Murut, Melanau, Dayak, Negrito dll. kepada bangsa lain,

    "Kamu berubah dulu, baru kami berubah"

    Boleh berhenti jadi budak-budak dan cuba jadi orang dewasa?

  36. Anonymous1:31 am

    hi rocky,

    english mandarin and others should be secondary language.

    this is malaysia, malay is the national language...thats it!

    go to england and ask them to change english as secondary language....the least they could do is deport u to bermuda!

    my point is...respect the national language, malay that is...those legal immigrant should know this by now...!

    look at barrack obama...he is half nigerian...he speaks english for god sake! not nigerians! a proper american many none malays can speak proper malay? the proportion is getting lower!

    britain = english
    china = mandarin
    spain = spanish
    malaysia = malay

    should we abolish other language in the single school system? definitely NO...let the students decide whats best for them...give them the freedom to decide!

    i think malaysians now days have become ruder...the malays shouldnt gave up their jawi writing...and the single school system should be adopted from the beginning, when we achived our independence.

    btw...i am malaysian with baba nyonya background...di mana langit dipijak...di situ langit di junjung!!


  37. Anonymous9:46 am

    Dear Rocky Bru,

    Having read your article and other comments, I should ask myself whether we are really concern about racial and educational polarization in Malaysia today. Some say that it's all about how best we Malaysians can be truly united.

    I was born and bred from the generation of early forties and sadly to say that after more than 65 years, we are still bargaining on our Malaysian identity.Some of us have never regarded ourselves as truly "Malaysian" in order to prove our patriotism. Where did we go wrong? Are we truly united and should we blame the politicians?

    As a patriotic citizen of this country, we should always speak from our mind without emotion and respect all our fellow Malaysians. In the earlier years of our independence, the medium of instruction from primary school up to university was in the English medium.All of us irrespective of our racial origin gladly accepted the educational system and had never felt ourselves being marginalised.We also studied Chinese (Mandarin), Bahasa Melayu, Arabic and Tamil languages according to our preference.We were truly united in schools and in our society. Thanks to our parents who were much tolerant and liberated in their thinking.

    I recalled that some of our political leaders were racialist in the early sixties and seventies. However, their racial outlook changed when they were elected as the prime minister for nation. Some of the Chinese labeled them as "pai hua" and the issue was politicised.

    Today, we are being confronted by racial, political, educational, economic and social polarization after 51 years of our independence. I believe one of the most important task of Najib Tun Razak as the incoming prime minister, is to devise a national agenda in order to unite all Malaysians as a single identity that will check all forms of extreme polarization.

    To this end, I believe that at this moment, we will not succeed to create a single medium of instruction that will be acceptable to all Malaysians, if we disregard the usage and growth of other ethnic languages, particular Chinese (Mandarin) and Indian.We should all compromise in order to create a better and viable educational system.

    The use of English as medium of instruction for mathematics and science should not be compromised or politicised by our politicians of the day.English is a universal language in the business and intellectual world.

    Malaysia is not comparable to Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines where the Chinese is only a minority. In Malaysia, the Chinese is not a minority, though the Indian is a minority within the minority.Although the Malays remain the majority, any major policy changes made are deemed to be sensitive to the others, despite the fact that all Malaysians are being protected by the Federal Constitution.

    Can we make a bold move to repeal the constitution that was formulated more than 51 years ago in order to resolve our many differences? If we are not in favour of a constitutional change, it is virtually impossible to reduce or check all the various polarization issues that will continue to be debated and haunting our people.

    In terms of ISA, I feel that there is no merit to abolish the Act, but should be repealed and meted out only to those who commit national treason and acts of terrorism.All detainees under ISA should have their case reviewed and politicians arrested should be released without condition. ISA should not be politicised by the ruling party or government of the day.

  38. Anonymous10:05 am

    If we have single system, our national will go down like our national football team, because it will be administered by incompetent people

    Other examples - national universities, hockey team ....


  39. Anonymous12:03 pm

    To all Malays,
    This is the opportunity for the MALAYs to to leap frog the chinese and indians into advanced scientific knowledgeable society. Malays have to make great sacrifice, let our childrens plough through the hardship of learning english, just to be simply the best better than the chinese and Tamils. I wish Hishamuddin, the Turk will make it compulsory for the MALAYS to learn science and mathematics in English. Meanwhile let Hishamuddin succumbed to the demand by the MCA and MIC to make it compulsory for CHINESE AND TAMILS to learn science and mathematics in in their mother tongues. This will make;

    YB Hisham Gemuk.

  40. Anonymous12:58 pm

    Who the motherfxxker Wong Chun Wai think he knows best that DJZ don't represent the majority of Chinese. Does he think that MCA or STAR should be the rightful representative of the Chinese? He can dream and continue to write without using his brain. Bravo STAR! Bravo MCA!

  41. Anonymous1:34 pm

    'Hey, come on! USE YOUR BLAIN. USE YOUR BLAIN. Please study Singapore carefully. Anyway, Singapore got the boot because of languages'
    nice clip! i agree on English but saying Singapore got the boot because of languages nay nay not that, it suppose to be citizenship!

    ex YISS
    now in MALAYSIA

  42. "I agree with Mukhriz's call to do away with vernecular schools and strengthen our kids' fundamentals by having a single stream"

    Bro, I agreed with Mukhriz too but is he proposing doing away with Sekolah Sekolah Agama? and Mara?

    A single stream system from primary to University level?

  43. Anonymous2:46 pm

    Dear Rock,

    It will be niced if you could start "Compulsory Science and Mathematics for the Young Malays Iniatiative". Last time Putri UMNO got the energy to roll-out the volunteers to teach english to the rural malays. It seem to died out after the 12th PRU. We must coerce the aristocrates, the middle class and the merchantile Malays to fork out some money, so that the money could be used to drive this initative.


  44. Anonymous4:55 pm

    Its quite simple.

    If National Schools are better than vernecular schools, Vernecular schools will die a natural death.

    The truth is, unfortuantely, national schools and local universities have difficulty in producing graduates with marketable skills. And yes, language flexibility is one of those said skills. Obviously there are exceptions.

    I'm from a National School, perhaps one of the last years where we still had good english.

    Re-form the education system. If its any good, you wont have to scream and shout to get people's attention. Parents are predictable. They want the best for thier kids.

    Unless he proposes a way to cure the ills of our education system, this is just showboating. No one will take him seriously, especially the proponents of the vern schools.

    The education system and racial polarization really has little to do with each other until the time certain races are sidelined going into institutes of higher learning. Thats where it all begins.


  45. Anonymous5:45 pm

    Sekolah kebangsa is hopeless how can you expect Chinese to go the school with lower standard then we have now?

    If the national school are changing to conduct in English I'm sure Chinese are willing go to national school.

    On the question on "Chinese keep on demanding equality rights and etc," Chinese have nothing left in this country except good education for our next generation.

  46. Anonymous5:52 pm

    Salaam, Pak Rocky

    I read your commentary in the Singapore mypaper and thought that it was captured the arguments over a complex situation quite well.

    What you could have mentioned, as was pointed out in a report in another Singapore paper some weeks back, is that the majority race in Singapore (the Chinese) made a pragmatic decision, when Singapore gained it's independence, not to have Mandarin as the medium of instruction in the national education system. They opted, instead, to use English as the medium of instruction in all Singapore schools, with mother tongue (Malay, Mandarin and Tamil) education being a compulsory subject from primary school onwards up to the "O" levels, based on a pupil's race.

    This pragmatic decision was based on the farsightedness of Lee Kuan Yew who foresaw that fluency in English and bilingualism would be a significant competitive edge for Singapore.

    The passage of time has proved him right, with the Singapore education system, based as it is on English, being generally acknowledged to be among the best in the world.

    I would hazard a guess that Singaporeans are no less patriotic even if they are educated in English from preschool onwards.

    The parallel with Malaysia, which shared a common heritage with Singapore of English-medium schools in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, is uncomfortable to a great many politicians and nationalists in Malaysia.

    It would have been easy to build on the English-medium schools system inherited from the British (I have fond memories of a Mr Laidlaw, a British Chief Education Officer in pre-independence Johor, as well as British headmasters and teachers at the then Johor English College in Johor Bahru) who were absolutely uncompromising in their insistence on academic and sports standards. Like almost all students from such schools, I am fluent in both English and Malay, although the medium of instruction was English.

    It's the price one pays when one tinkers with the sound foundations of an tried and tested education system that we had pre-1957 and pre-1969.

  47. Anonymous6:04 pm

    (heha) : the present maths teacher
    is doing this : (5-3=2, five push
    away three is two !) SIGH !

  48. Anonymous6:22 pm

    Yes, copy the Singaporean education system all the way. Just don't be selective... making Bahasa Melayu as the sole medium of instruction. This will naturally be seen as the tool of domination to perpetuate the evils of 'ketuanan melayu' by the minority ethnic groups. What the Singaporeans have is obviously far superior to what we have in Malaysia. Their National University and other institute of high learning rank among the top in the world!!!

    sing of Penang

  49. Anonymous7:00 pm

    The government should force Malays to study in English only. This way Malays will have better oppotunity to ungrade and do better than the Chinese and Indians.

    The government can close down Malay school and Agama school and convert them to English school, make it compulsory for anak Melayu to attend English school but allow Chinese and Indian school to continue. In 50 years time all Melayu will have a better education than the Cina and the Keklen, which by then Ketuanan Melayu will be truly achieved.

  50. Anonymous7:39 pm

    Teach the kids to avoid politics.
    Teach the teachers to avoid politics.
    Teach politicians to stop using schools for political purposes.

    It can be taught in any language, and the rot will be minimised.


  51. Hey, you take away the Chinese schools, what else is ther fore MCA to fight for? Might as well they close , right?

    But one thing about the Singapore solution that Malaysia will not want to talk about is the fact taht Singapore did not try to dish out its own curriculum down everyone's throat. They have maintained Cambridge until today and there is complete confidence in their assessment system.

    Over here, you think the politicians will allow for everyone to be subject to independent assessment so that there is no question or doubt about juggling of results and so on?

    Obvioulsy there has been almost unanimous rejection and doubt over the examination syndicate's ability to be independent and fair. This sense of unfairness and doubt used to be much worse before.

    For there to be a Singaproe solution that will work, we will need to be able to reintroduce Cambridge or something independent. And rather than thrust everyone into it, I would suggest communities take up the effort to decide their own course to follow.

    Fine, we can have the vernacular schools, the National Schools and the "English Schools". Leave it to parents to decide how their parents want to be educated.

    As for community schools I can alreayd identify the Mission schools and the Masjid related schools which can decide to go any which way. Obviously there has to be funding. But most importantly let there be cometition. I believe what got halted in the late 1970s, the demise of vernacular schools, can once again begin to happen.

    Surely the champions of vernacular schools cannot object to, say, the Mission Schools, starting up, once again, to offer English based education.

    Parents today have a choice of vernacular schools or a rejected school system. Give them another choice I say.

  52. Anonymous9:40 pm

    Dear All Malays,

    If Hang Tuah were still alive till today, I bet his batle cry will be



  53. Anonymous9:41 pm

    Dear All Malays,

    If Hang Tuah were still alive till today, I bet his batle cry will be



  54. Anonymous11:26 pm

    Dr Segaran,

    Janganlah kerana marah dan tak sukakan melayu dan terus menyalahkan Umno itu racist. Saya seorang ahli PKR dan saya sangat bersetuju dengan cadangan mukhriz dan pandangan saudara Jitu..sekarang siapa yang racist sebenarnya? Cuba-cubalah cermin diri awak tu dulu sebelum melabelkan orang itu dan ini...

    Sulaiman Yahya
    Shah Alam

  55. "...saya sangat bersetuju dengan cadangan mukhriz ..."

    Sulaiman Yahya

    bro, setuju tak kalau cadangan nie tutup sekolah sekolah agama & Mara?

    takde sekolah international utk Malaysians...jadi kita semua setuju satu stream utk semua warga Malaysia dari sekolah rendah ke universiti?

  56. Anonymous10:16 pm

    As an educated young Chinese Malaysian, I support Mukhriz for this. Why people can't see that, he do not propose to abolish the study of Mandarin or Tamil, the point is to let the Children interact with one another! Stop being childish you old people!

    -Bangsa Malaysia

  57. Anonymous10:26 pm



    Aku fikir orang pertama Hang Tuah bunuh adalah kau, orang Melayu yang tak yakin pada bahasa sendiri.

    Cucu Hang Tuah.

  58. Anonymous10:33 pm

    Some cina people said they are ok to one school system if english is use, I say, no problem with one condition, they all must perform harakiri after that.

    - cina bodoh

  59. One school for all?

    Sounds familiar,
    it's called Communism. :P

  60. Hey Rocky, remember in the 60s and early 70s no one wanted to send their kids to vernacular schools? Yes even Chinese parents. They'd rather send their kids to St John's, VI, La Salle, the Convents because the standards were higher and with 4 'Os' and 3 'As' you could go straight to a university in the UK or any of the commonwealth countries? Well since Mahathir changed all to BM as the language of instruction and dutiful racism in the system, the standards have become crappy. So only those without choices send their kids to national schools now.
    Make the education better and vernacular schools will die a natural death. Bring back English as the medium of instruction (making mother tongue language compulsory) and send teachers abroad for training again.
    And I remember we were less racially and religiously polarized back then too.
    All this patriotic national-type schooling is a scam to keep the folks servile -- most of the ministers and MPs send their kids abroad. Ask Najib and Nazri and the whole lot of them where their kids are studying or were studying eh?

  61. Anonymous11:23 am

    Cucu Hang Tuah,

    Hang mesti satu kepala dengan the two Malay Right Wing bigots. i.e Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Ismail Hussein, Tan Sri Dr. Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman. Their rational for demanding the young malays to revert back to the use of malays in learning science and mathematics from the tender age, is very suicidle. I guest like them you are just a boring old fart malay who just counting the days to go to "heaven". Young and dynamic malays like us, are hungry of scientific knowledge in our endeavour to put the malays at par or above the other races. Hang surf internet tengok, berapa banyak scietific and technological articles in malays. Pawang dan bomoh melayu pun kedekut ilmu, hang tengok depa publish dah finding pasai ubat-ubat akar kayu. Depa kata rahsia. Tapi bila MIT publish finding pasai tongkat ali, dalam new scientist journal baru orang melayu yang tau bahasa inggeris lain tahu rahsianya. Hang sekolah melayu kut, mesti tak baca Darwin's Survival of the Fittest. Hang baca puisi banyak sangat. Atau masih nostalgik dengan Novel Shanon Ahmad Ranjau Sepanjang Jalan.

    Y.B Hisham Gemuk

  62. Anonymous3:48 pm

    (fury9) : hisham , u salah lah !
    instead of ENGLISH ( tersebut u ),
    it would be CHINESE coz H Tuah was a CHINESE lah !!

  63. Anonymous4:59 pm

    For those of you who suggested that minority should give up their right, pls read this:


  64. Anonymous3:13 pm

    (heha): satria asia , NO, not true ! parents preferred schools like stjohn & convent coz of the exams all in malay, easier for their children to pass with CREDITS in BM ! if sent their kids
    from year one to tamil schools also they (kids) could pass with 'flying colors' lah !!

  65. Anonymous12:45 pm

    AnakMelaka said...
    bro, setuju tak kalau cadangan nie tutup sekolah sekolah agama & Mara?

    takde sekolah international utk Malaysians...jadi kita semua setuju satu stream utk semua warga Malaysia dari sekolah rendah ke universiti?

    Saya setuju yg sekolah asrama + MRSM dibuka kepada cina/india mengikut percentage depa kat negara ni (24% Cina, etc)

    Yg pasal sekolah agama tu jgn la dipertikaikan....cina/india juga hendaklah tak dilarang buat sekolah buddha/hindu (janji jgn lak buat agenda nak murtadkan org islam)

    nikan course la bahasa rasmi sekolah kebangsaan should be bahasa malaysia....sapa lak merepek nak english jadi medium gilo ke apo?

  66. Anonymous11:28 pm


    Y.B Hisham Gemuk

    Hang mungkin orang Melayu yang duduk Starbuck berlagak macam orang putih kot, cuba makan pakai garpu dan pisau tapi pisau letak di tangan kiri... heh heh...

    Kalau kau boleh buktikan bahawa bangsa Arab memajukan budaya sainsnya dengan bahasa Greek, barulah aku setuju dengan pendapat kau, jika tidak diam sajalah.

    -Hang Tuah