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Mansur Puteh: Vernacular Schools in Malaysia

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By Mansor Puteh

There are many who are often confused when they say 80,000 Melayu are enrolled in SJKCs. Earlier it was said to be 60,000 Bumiputera students.

But the truth is that the so-called Bumiputeras are mostly those who are the so-called ‘Sino-Bumiputeras’ of Sabah and Sarawak.

There is no such a thing called the Sino-Bumiputeras. They are Chinese, since their fathers are Chinese and mothers Natives of the two states. They just want to claim Bumiputera rights which they are not entitled to get.

Of the real Melayu, there are at the most 12,000 in SJKCs.

Unfortunately analyses by many on this matter do not take into account the failures of those Melayu (Malays were British subjects), how all of those who had studied in the SJKCs finally enrolled into the Sekolah Kebangsaan including the Chinese who did not dare to go to universities in Taiwan or Hong Kong and even China where the medium of instruction is Mandarin.

They cry and complain if they are not given places in the universities in Malaysia where the medium of instruction is Melayu.

And of the many Melayu who had studied in the SJKCs, how many finally get to go to university, or even excel in the secondary school? How many get a string of As for SPM and STPM? Virtually none that Dong Zong could be proud of to show.

And of the many Melayu how many who are experts in Mandarin and who had gone to study history to decipher the ancient Ming Dynasty manuscripts to reveal more historical facts surrounding the history of the Melaka Sultanate? None.

And this one fact will startle you: The many students who dropped out of the SJKCs especially the Chinese students, and also those who drop out of the SJKT, end up going into crimes.

They cannot be absorbed into the workforce in the private as well as the public sectors. Therefore, they have to sell counterfeit DVDs in the pasar malam, or paste stickers on public properties, creating the third sector – ‘Crimes Sector’.

Get the facts from Bukit Aman and ask for the profile of the petty crimes and those who are involved in the vice trade and illegal entertainment outlets in the country, and the bottom line is that they are all dropouts of SJKCs and SJKTs.

Those who have higher morals amongst the dropouts take up petty trading in the pasar malam or sell telephones and doing other things.

Can Dong Zong be described as a chauvinist group? How many times do their leaders encourage assimilation? Do they ever attend Merdeka and Malaysia Day parades or watch them?

Do they speak in Melayu? Do they allow their children to mix with the other non-Melayu children?

And no Chinese companies actively asked for Melayu with proficiency in Mandarin as an advantage, to work for them.

I hope the NST can organize a public forum with Dong Zong and ask them to speak in Melayu. They won’t accept it. In fact, they even send their press releases to TV3 in Mandarin as were shown on television themselves.

Vernacular education in Malaysia (Mandarin and Tamil) is based purely on the large number of Chinese and Tamils (not Indians) that are still in the country.

The position won’t be tenable in the future if the size of the communities shrinks and with the empowerment of the Melayu in the economy and politics of the country.

It is estimated that by 2050 the population of the Melayu will be 80%. If this happens, there is no way for anyone not to be able to speak in Melayu.

In fact, if the government was insistent, there will not be that many non-Melayu who are eligible to get driving licenses since the written tests are conducted in Melayu, when most of the Chinese and Indians are not even capable of reading what is written in the tests.

How many of the Chinese and Indian taxi-drivers could truly pass these tests?

It is a shame that NST is offering Rita Sim a special column to express her support for vernacular education, when all that she does is to use it as a propaganda platform, spouting predictable and one-sided views on the matter.

The vernacular Mandarin or Tamil newspapers won’t have any column that extols the virtues of the Sekolah Kebangsaan over the vernacular ones.

It is also pertinent to note that of the Chinese and Indian groups, on Mandarin and Tamil are favored or championed by them.

But how come the other Chinese and Indian groups such as Hokkiens, Cantonese, Malayalees, Punjabis, Telugus and so on do not demand the establishment of their own schools in Malaysia?

The problem is that their numbers are too small for them to make such demands.

So the main factor here is ‘numbers’. This means if the numbers of the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia shrink in time, vernacular schools will also become irrelevant even to the Chinese and Indian communities.

In Singapore, the government said the Indian community there said they did not want the establishment of Tamil schools.

Lastly there are at least 30% Melayu who have Chinese ancestry including all of mine. Therefore, one can say most of the Chinese in Malaysia of an earlier time had rejected China and being Chinese.

The Chinese today are those who aim to create a colony in Malaysia and not wish to assimilate.

In fact, according to a book written by a Chinese in Indonesia, any Chinese who left Chinawas considered to be a traitor. And if he returned to China, he would be arrested and sentenced to hang.

If he chose to leave China, he should adopt local ways.

That is why the Chinese who went to Indonesia at the same time as those who came to Tanah Melayu assimilated with the Jawa (not Javanese), it is said 80% of the Jawa is said to have Chinese ancestry. No wonder, many Jawa today have Chinese features, including many from the Jawa royal families.

Therefore, what I am saying here is that the issue concerning vernacular education in Malaysia and the others surround it, have not been fully discussed or debated.

[Source: MalaysiaKini]

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