Monday, 8 September 2008

The News

My friend Mr BG sent me a succession of 3 smses yesterday (Sunday; 7th September 2008). The first sms asking me to read The Sunday Time page 6 went like this:

"U see pg6 sunday times whether maths n science taught in english or malai results so bad. d hole edu sys is sick! questions r in such simple nglis"

The second and third smses went:

"Spelling should be malaise" and

"Next time politicians corrupt they can say they don know maths"

The first thing that came to mind was I had to do something that I have not done in quite a while; read the New Straits Times! That I did online and after reading the article, it was obvious why BG sent the third sms. This article seemed politically motivated.

I had also wanted to comment about the article as there was so much I wanted to say. On second thought, I knew the article was bound to attract opinions from proponents and detractors alike so I decided to wait. Lo and behold! Today we see so many comments.

Since I was already reading mainstream newspapers I decided to check out The Star and Utusan too. It suffices to say that I not only had not missed much the last couple of years but also saved money by sparing myself lots of aggravation reading shit. Shit to me anyway.

I may be wrong but it appears to me reporting in mainstream newspapers has not only gotten more blatantly slanted, some reports are even outright inciting or bordering on seditious! Perhaps this is the concerted strategy to counter socio-political bloggers who tend to say anything and everything. If earlier, bloggers and internet news portals have been accused of being blasé and irresponsible it appears now the mainstream media are in on the act and all shackles are off!

Alas! All is fair in love and war and unless we be mistaken,
the country is at war! It is a civil war fought over the hearts and minds of the people. Mainstream and alternative media are but weapons of war. They are the purveyors of information (or disinformation). The powers that be who control mainstream media have every right to dictate what is written and what is not including how, if written. Where this leaves journalists who are supposed to be the custodians of such a valuable and essential institution of modern society is obvious! The end it appears, justifies the means. M. Bakri Musa has this take:

Sycophantic Editors Ruin Trust


M. Bakri Musa (

The result of the recent Permatang Pauh by-election was a surprise only to those who depended on the mainstream media and the government's massive propaganda machinery for their source of news and information.

A measure of how far detached from reality those who sit in the editorial suites of our mainstream papers can be gauged by the pre-election editorial of The New Straits Times where its Editor-in-Chief Syed Nadzri boldly predicted that Anwar would be defeated. Obviously Syed Nadzri was beginning to believe his own spin.

In coming to such a wildly off-the-mark conclusion, Syed Nadzri is either a lousy observer of the public mood or he is more concerned with sucking up to his political superiors. In either case, he does not deserve to be the custodian of such a valuable and essential institution of modern society.

To me Syed Nadzri is both. That he is a poor judge of the public mood can be seen by the ever declining circulation and influence of his paper. Syed Nadzri is only the latest in a long series of those who, through their lack of professional integrity and journalistic skills, have destroyed this once-valued brand name. As one naughty wag put it, that paper should now be more correctly called, The New S**t Times.

It pains me to note (what is obvious to all) that since the paper was acquired by UMNO, nearly all its senior editors and journalists are Malays. I refuse to believe that a Just Allah had not bequeathed upon the Malay race our fair share of talent. I also refuse to believe that past luminaries like the now-ailing Samad Ismail was an accidental fluke and not the trademark of our culture. He should be an inspiration for the present generation of journalists, a measure of what we are capable of producing.

Instead we have the likes of Syed Nadzri, individuals more adept at sucking up to their superiors. Syed Nadzri has obviously learned little from the fate and experiences of his many predecessors who were similarly afflicted. While such a trait may have facilitated their ascent to the top, once there it is no guarantee of career longevity.

Syed Nadzri should have learned, or somebody should have taught him, that while political winds and personalities may change, your professional duties and ideals do not. Yours is to ensure that the public be well informed, the prerequisite of a healthy, functioning democracy.

The slow but sure decline of The New Straits Times was interrupted only briefly when Abdullah Ahmad, a former Ambassador to the UN and a Mahathir appointee, took the helm. He survived but only briefly under Abdullah Badawi. At least Abdullah Ahmad left in a blaze of glory, having had the courage to speak his mind publicly.

As I look at its roster of past Editors-in-Chief, I am struck at how quickly they, with few exceptions, have descended into oblivion once deprived of their perch at the editor's desk. Kadir Jasin has his widely-read blog where he gives the occasional pungent comments now that he is freed from the tethers of officialdom. Again remarkable because of the rarity, Abdullah Ahmad is one of the few editors whose writings have been respectable enough to appear in reputable foreign publications.

The New Generation of Pseudo Journalists

My observations apply equally to those who helm Bernama, RTM and TV Tiga, as well as the other mainstream papers like The Star, Berita Harian, and Utusan Melayu. What we have today is a generation of pseudo or pretend editors and journalists. Ever wonder why the public ignores them? They have betrayed the public's trust in them.

It is instructive that Ahiruddin Atan, Noraini Samad and Kadir Jasin now reach more readers through their blogs than when they were with the mainstream papers! It would not be long before they would effectively overcome the blemish in their resume that was the time they spent with the mainstream media.

I would be irresponsible if I were to stop here, pointing out only the problems and not offering solutions.

One thing is clear. The present "leaders" in journalism are very much part of the problem. Having brought up and flourish under the present system, we cannot expect them to change, or be part of the solution. Getting rid of them would be a necessary first step to solving the problem.

Replace them with competent and established editors from abroad if need be, and tie their compensation to the success of their papers. There are many measures of this (circulation figures, advertising revenues) but an important one would be how often articles and commentaries in their paper are being picked up by other publications.

Additionally, I would have as a regular event an annual week-long continuing education series for our reporters, journalists and commentators where they would hear from the leading practitioners in their respective fields. I would invite established journalists from abroad in various fields (political reporting, economic analyses, and investigative journalism) to lecture and share their experiences.

I would include as part of the program a basic writing course as well as courses on effective interviewing. Even more basic, I would gather all the editors, and guided by a competent teacher of English grammar and stylist, craft a uniform editorial format on such things how to handle long names and honorifics, as well such simple things as standardized spelling. Is it Kota Baru or Kota Bharu?

While we are discussing the basics, I would have someone competent in mathematics to teach our reporters and journalists on the meaning and significance of numbers. Then we would not have such silly statements as, "The price of food increased 5 percent last month." Is that 5 percent over the previous month or over the same month of the previous year. Percentage is a ratio; you must therefore state the reference point.

Then as a concrete commitment to ensuring the future quality of the profession, I would groom at least half a dozen young journalists every year for entry into the leading journalism schools in America. With the promise of future infusions of fresh, bright and well-trained talents, rest assured the quality of local journalism and media would be enhanced considerably.

Only through such careful preparations and nurturing would our future journalists be able to differentiate between news and propaganda, between ministerial speeches and important policy announcements. Our society would then be well served. Journalists owe their readers and the public honest professional reporting, not propaganda to serve the needs of their political masters. This is what separates a free democratic society from an authoritarian state.

Syed Nadzri did reply the above in Rocky's Bru citing that M. Bakri erred. Check it out HERE

As readers we too should have the right to choose what we read notwithstanding the fact that most of us tend to be part of the choir that is being preached to. The following by Asohan in the Star underscores this:

The view from the centre

Stray Thoughts

We should let facts colour our opinions, not the other way around.

AT the risk of showing my age (yet again), I have to ask: How many of you out there can remember the "great" scientific discoveries and research experiments of the 1960s to 1980s?

The two that remain most fixed in my mind were the ones involving "paranormal" research and experiments that "proved" that plants have emotions. They were exciting enough to have even seen coverage in Malaysian newspapers.

J.B. Rhine (1895-1980) and his foundation in the United States conducted most of the cutting-edge research into what he called parapsychology – as well as some of the most mundane ones too. You know the type: Researcher holds up a playing card with its back to you, and you try to read his mind to find out what card it is.

Apparently, the number of correct guesses could not be attributed to pure chance alone, and women were more "psychically sensitive".

Around the same time, in the 1960s, US scientist Cleve Backster (b. 1924) used lie detectors to get polygraph readings of plants while they were being cut or burned. The spike in readings, he ventured, indicated that plants felt fear.

Many people took up the call that, yes, plants have emotions too. Never mind if they do not have any limpid glands.

The general press ignored the developments – or lack thereof – that followed. It turns out that the emotions being recorded were those of the people doing the cutting, according to some peer reviewers of Backster's experiments.

What about the mind reading? It turns out that the ones conducting the experiments were invested in proving the hypothesis.

They gave out subconscious cues, while both subject and experimenter were eager to please.

As for women being more sensitive ... well, having participated in similar experiments in university, I believe there is a reason why women did better on such tests.

Think about it: Most parapsychology departments are part of the arts and social sciences faculties, where you get the hottest chicks. Geek wants to prolong his interaction with a test subject who just happens to be a pretty girl. Chances are, his hormones will be generating subconscious cues. She goes, "Is it a red ..." and he frowns slightly. "Oh, I know, it's a black suit," and they go on from there. Everyone's happy.

Oh, okay, it may not have been that bad, but the issue remains: Many of these experiments were not rigorous or objective enough to eliminate what is known in scientific circles as "confirmation bias".

That's when you allow the hypothesis you're trying to prove nudge the data you collect.

And it's not just science geeks who are vulnerable to it. We all are. We let our beliefs cloud our judgement. Or, as a letter to the editor by someone from Sydney explained "confirmation bias" on Monday (Need for a media watchdog, Views, The Star, Sept 1) "favouring information that supports one's own views".

When a politician (or blogger) says what you want to hear, it's the truth. When he doesn't, it's a damned lie. When the mainstream media misses a story, it's because they're trying to cover it up; when the alternative media misses it, it's because they didn't have the resources.

Dan Cohn-Sherbok, a rabbi of Reform Judaism and professor of Jewish theology at the University of Wales, once wrote in an essay, "In our encounter with reality, it is also the case that one's conception of the real is to a large measure socially conditioned".

He argued that there were three theories of truth:

1. Correspondence theory: A statement is true if, and only if, it corresponds with the facts (science).

2. Coherence: Truth is equivalent to systematic coherence; that is, a statement is true if it logically coheres with other statements within some systematic whole (mathematics).

3. Pragmatic theory (or functional truth): A statement is true not because it corresponds with the facts or because it is systematically coherent with other statements, but because it is made true by events ... because it works in the lives of those who believe in it.

The last can be a powerful and meaningful "truth". It is what gives faith and religion, when properly applied, their strength.

But it is also a double-edged sword. When applied dogmatically, it gives rise to the kind of a socio-political scenario we have now in Malaysia, where the truth has become a malleable commodity to be shaped by the powers-that-be for their own purposes.

Heck, even the powers-that-wannabe seem to be doing it, which is why the DAP has kept relatively quiet over the racist actions of Kulim-Bandar Baru MP Zulkifli Nordin (PKR) but has lodged police reports against Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail over his racist statements.

Revelations and epiphanies come only to those who open up their minds. The greatest movers and shakers in human history are people who managed to move away from their complacent cultural frameworks to forge new truths – Abraham Lincoln, Ashoka, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa.

(Making a politically expedient about-turn doesn't count, by the way!)

Cohn-Sherbok may be right. We view the world through lenses honed by our beliefs and our cultural frameworks, and tempered by our experiences.

But if we truly have courage and vision, we would allow these lenses to be shattered once in a while and use our naked eye to look for the truth.

A. Asohan, New Media Editor at The Star, swears he's been smoking only tobacco.

The bottom-line is still the freedom of choice. It is when this freedom of choice meets with Dan Cohn-Sherbok's third theory of truth (per Asohan's article above) i.e. the Pragmatic Theory, that we may find vindication. I agree with Asohan when he says,

"...we view the word through lenses honed by our beliefs and our cultural frameworks, and tempered by our experiences. But if we truly have the courage and vision, we would allow these lenses to be shattered once in a while and use our naked eye to look for the truth."

Yes the nation is indeed at war. It is a war being fought on numerous political and economic fronts. The economic war can only begin in earnest after the war for the hearts and minds of the majority has been won over. On the political front, the war that will probably be won eventually through the ballot box as the nation moves towards a two-party system. Essentially, by their sheer numbers, it is actually a struggle for the hearts and minds of the Malay voters and I believe amongst the many salvos already fired, the following "shot" in the Utusan yesterday (7th September 2008) is an obvious example. This is clearly not a war for the faint hearted:

Ancaman kepada Melayu

Entah mengapa sejak kebelakangan ini sudah timbul 'keberanian' luar biasa daripada pelbagai pihak untuk mempertikaikan apa yang sudah termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Antara perkara yang semakin lantang menjadi perdebatan atau perbahasan ialah mengenai Perkara 153 berhubung keistimewaan orang Melayu.

Walaupun pihak-pihak yang berbuat demikian amat memahami ia sesuatu yang sensitif namun mereka tidak mempedulikan itu semua.

Sebaliknya satu demi satu hujah mereka keluarkan bagi menggugat apa yang sudah terpahat dalam Perlembagaan. Persoalannya wajarkah perkara seumpama itu terus menjadi pertikaian? Tidakkah ia sepatutnya dihormati memandangkan ia adalah satu Perlembagaan negara?

Dalam pertemuan dengan wartawan Mingguan Malaysia, ZULKIFLEE BAKAR dan NORAINI ABD.RAZAK, Pensyarah Undang-undang Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM), Dr. Sham Rahayu Ab. Aziz secara terus terang menyifatkan, apa yang terjadi sekarang kerana orang Melayu dilihat lemah.

Malah katanya, kegagalan orang Melayu untuk berhujah mengenai intipati apa yang terkandung dalam Perlembagaan juga menjadi punca pihak lain mampu mempertikaikan apa yang sudah diperuntukkan.

Selain itu pada pandangan Dr. Sham Rahayu sikap generasi baru yang mahu memperjuangkan kesamarataan antara kaum juga turut menyebabkan segala yang ditetapkan oleh Perlembagaan mengenai orang Melayu semakin 'terancam'.

Mingguan: Kenapa sejak kebelakangan ini perkara-perkara dalam Perlembagaan terus dipertikaikan?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Kalau kita mengkaji sentimen sesetengah pihak pada masa ini ia memang menunjukkan mereka mahu melihat apa yang ada dalam Perlembagaan dan kemudian mempertikaikan kewujudannya tanpa mahu memahami kenapa ia diwujudkan. Apa yang sepatutnya orang ramai lakukan ialah bertanya kenapa sesuatu perkara dalam Perlembagaan itu diwujudkan, contohnya dalam soal hak keistimewaan orang Melayu yang terkandung dalam Perkara 153.

Kalau melihat sejarah bangsa kita dan pembentukan Perlembagaan sesetengah perkara itu harus diterima, ertinya tidak boleh dirobek atau diubah semata-mata untuk mengikut perubahan semasa. Bagi saya, dalam demokrasi ada ruang bagi membolehkan perkara dalam Perlembagaan diperbincangkan tetapi bukan sampai ke tahap yang boleh menggugat Perlembagaan itu sendiri. Ini termasuklah perbincangan yang menjurus ke arah provokasi seperti hendak membuang peruntukan Perlembagaan yang sedia ada.

Apakah peruntukan Perkara 153 dalam Perlembagaan itu keterlaluan melindungi orang Melayu sehingga menjejaskan bangsa-bangsa lain?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Kalau kita mengkaji Suruhanjaya Reid, ia mengatakan kalau kita mengambil hak Melayu secara tidak terancang ia boleh meruntuhkan pembinaan bangsa dan negara. Atas sebab itu saya tidak bersetuju jika ada pihak mengatakan bahawa Perkara 153 memberi kelebihan melampau kepada orang Melayu.

Ini kerana sistem tersebut mesti bergerak dengan hak-hak munasabah terhadap bangsa lain. Suruhanjaya Reid merujuk salah satu terma Perlembagaan ialah menjaga kedudukan Melayu dan Islam serta menjaga hak-hak munasabah terhadap bangsa lain, jadi apabila kita menjaga kepentingan Melayu ini tidak bermakna kita mengabaikan bangsa lain. Untuk membina sebuah negara yang aman dan damai serta mewujudkan kestabilan politik kita memerlukan kesaksamaan dan keadilan.

Tetapi apa yang ditonjolkan seolah-olah orang Melayu mendapat segala-galanya sedang bangsa lain tidak mendapat apa-apa?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Saya berpendapat mengikut Perlembagaan orang Melayu diberi sedikit kelebihan atau keistimewaan tetapi dari segi aplikasinya mungkin tidak begitu ketara. Adalah tidak adil untuk mengatakan orang Melayu mendapat segala-galanya. Cuba lihat siapa yang mengawal ekonomi kita?

Kalau kita mengkaji laporan Suruhanjaya Reid mengenai Perlembagaan, kelebihan kepada orang Melayu diberikan sejak 1948. Pada tahun itu, orang British sendiri tidak pernah menyentuh soal Melayu dan Islam. Ini kerana ia menjadi subjek yang terlalu sensitif kepada British. Namun dalam masa yang sama terdapat terma bahawa bangsa lain tidak diabaikan.

Kenapa baru sekarang semua ini hendak dipertikaikan sedangkan ia sudah termaktub dalam Perlembagaan?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Punca utama kerana orang Melayu tidak pandai berhujah, kita tidak memahami sejarah sendiri. Kelemahan orang Melayu sekarang ialah tidak memahami kenapa diwujudkan keistimewaan dalam Perlembagaan. Atas sebab itulah kalau kita lihat ada di kalangan orang Melayu sendiri menentang Perkara 153.

Kalau kita merujuk pembinaan bangsa, adalah jelas semua rakyat Malaysia tanpa mengira kaum berhak untuk merasa bangga menjadi rakyat negara ini tetapi ia tidak bermaksud kepentingan Melayu harus dilunturkan. Kita memahami sejarah menunjukkan Malaysia adalah sebuah negara yang dianggotai oleh pelbagai bangsa tetapi kita tidak boleh mengenepikan kerangka asas pembinaan negara ini iaitu orang Melayu.

Seharusnya kita memberi pemahaman kepada bangsa lain kenapa terdapat peruntukan tertentu mengenai Melayu dan Islam dalam Perlembagaan.

Dalam soal Perkara 153 bukan mudah ia ditarik begitu sahaja. Ini kerana ia mempunyai hubung kait dengan peruntukan-peruntukan lain seperti keistimewaan raja-raja.

Kalau soal Melayu hendak ditarik balik apa yang raja ada lagi? Sedangkan institusi raja-raja bertanggungjawab terhadap dua perkara iaitu Melayu dan Islam. Institusi raja-raja dibentuk oleh Perlembagaan dengan tujuan mewujudkan kestabilan politik. Tetapi kalau soal Melayu ditarik dalam Perkara 153, ertinya raja pun tidak akan wujud. Keadaan itu kalau berlaku sudah tentulah akan menjejaskan kestabilan politik negara. Bagaimanapun kalau boleh soal mengenai Melayu ini tidaklah dibincangkan dalam suasana terlalu panas atau penuh provokasi. Tetapi dalam masa yang kita sudah tidak mampu menyembunyikan segala-galanya di bawah karpet. Masyarakat kita sudah mengetahui isi kandungan Perlembagaan. Oleh itu orang Melayu terutama pemimpin kita harus pandai berhujah dan memahami Perlembagaan tanpa sentimen politik.

Kita harus pisahkan antara isu politik dengan isu Perlembagaan. Kita perlu berbincang soal Perlembagaan secara akademik dan intelektual bukan provokasi. Saya lihat dari semasa ke semasa semakin banyak peruntukan Perlembagaan mengenai orang Melayu diganggu gugat. Dahulu ia bermula dengan Perkara 152 iaitu mengenai bahasa Melayu dan sekarang Perkara 153 pula.

Kalau pencabulan ini terus dibiarkan, ia akan menyebabkan porak peranda kerana sistem pentadbiran negara dan kestabilan politik akan terancam.

Dalam soal pemain dalam menjayakan peruntukan sedia ada, apakah ia berpunca dari kelemahan pelaksanaan?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Saya bersetuju kalau orang mengatakan masalah kita bukan dengan sistem tetapi pemain. Bagi saya membiarkan peruntukan-peruntukan itu dibincangkan secara provokatif mendatangkan masalah lebih besar. Dalam soal ini pemain harus memastikan peruntukan itu dijalankan sebagaimana yang dimaksudkan dalam Perlembagaan. Selain itu, mereka juga harus memantau sejauh mana peruntukan itu dilaksanakan.

Para pemain dalam sistem ini perlu berubah dan melihat balik apa yang mereka buat itu bertepatan dengan tujuan atau objektif Perlembagaan atau tidak. Ini bagi mengelakkan Perlembagaan hanya menjadi kosmetik.

Kalau Perlembagaan itu hendak dihormati ia harus dilaksanakan, masalahnya tidak ada penguatkuasaan jika ia dilanggar. Walaupun Perlembagaan bukanlah kanun keseksaan tetapi kita sudah membina satu konvensyen atau adat Perlembagaan yang harus dihormati.

Atas sebab itu kita memerlukan penguatkuasaan yang tegas ke atas pencabulan Perlembagaan. Kalau kita dilihat lemah dalam soal ini sudah pasti ada pihak yang akan melakukan provokatif untuk menolak apa-apa yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan.

Di kalangan generasi muda adalah jelas mereka tidak menghiraukan mengenai pencabulan Perlembagaan ini?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Tidak dapat dinafikan bahawa generasi baru memperjuangkan kesamarataan. Saya setuju dengan pandangan bahawa akibat daripada perjuangan inilah berlakunya pencabulan Perlembagaan. Justeru kita harus melihat agenda di sebalik tindakan berkenaan.

Adakah asas kesamarataan itu menjadi benda yang kukuh? Kenapa kita analogi sistem kesamarataan kita dengan barat. Apa yang ada di negara kita terlalu unik. Sepatutnya kita pergi kepada keadilan bukan kesamarataan.

Saya rasa faktor utama yang menyebabkan kekeliruan ini berlaku kerana orang tidak faham apa konsep keadilan dalam sistem Perlembagaan kita. Kalau hendak bagi semua orang sama rata itu tidak adil. Lihatlah sejarah bangsa mana-manapun sudah pasti ada sesetengah golongan harus diberi keutamaan. Apa yang diberikan oleh Perlembagaan kepada orang Melayu tidaklah melampau. Jadi tidak perlulah lagi dipersoalkan mengenai hak keistimewaan orang Melayu ini. Bagi saya mereka yang membangkitkan isu berkenaan mempunyai agenda politik.

Kenapa orang Melayu selalu dilihat bersalah apabila mempertahankan hak Melayu?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Apologetik. Orang Melayu terlalu berdiplomatik dengan sifat kemelayuan, sedangkan Melayu sebenarnya kuat dan hebat, tetapi sekarang ini kita terlalu apologetik. Sikap apologetik dan diplomatik, sikit-sikit minta maaf menyebabkan orang naik tocang. Sikap ini kalau dilakukan terlalu kerap orang akan bosan. Saya rasa faktor utama mengapa hak orang Melayu di sisi Perlembagaan sering dipersoalkan ialah tidak tegas dari segi penguatkuasaan dan sifat apologetik. Inilah dua karakter yang menyebabkan Perkara 153 dipijak, menyebabkan kedudukan orang Melayu dipijak sehingga orang Melayu rasa bersalah dan malu untuk mengaku kita sebenarnya ada keistimewaan.

Sekarang ini ada pula Melayu liberal yang juga mahu supaya diwujudkan kesamarataan?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Kelompok ini yang menjadi racun, saya sebut ini adalah Melayu yang makan Melayu, Melayu yang menjadi racun kepada Perlembagaan. Tidak mustahil mereka yang mencetuskan semua ini. Mereka yang nak jadi juara memperjuangkan hak sama rata, tanpa memahami sejarah Perlembagaan secara semangatnya. Mereka melihat Perkara 153 itu seolah-olah membawa pandangan buruk kepada Melayu, mereka rasa keistimewaan itu macam bantuan kepada orang cacat, benda yang buruk kepada orang Melayu. Ini menjadikan orang memijak Perlembagaan. Mereka ini tali barut yang menjadikan Perkara 153 dan orang Melayu sendiri bencikan keistimewaan Melayu. Kita tidak menafikan perkembangan mutakhir ini menunjukkan wujud dua Melayu iaitu Melayu liberal dan Melayu Perlembagaan..

Kita lihat suara untuk kesamarataan ini semakin berkumandang tetapi ia seolah-olah menjurus kepada bidang tertentu sahaja?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Masalah ini tidak akan selesai selagi kumpulan yang tidak berpuas hati ini menyatakan dengan jelas apa sebenarnya yang mereka mahukan. Kita lihat dalam pengambilan anggota polis terbuka kepada semua kaum tetapi adakah kaum bukan Melayu berminat menyertainya. Kita tidak pasti apa benda dan sektor mana yang mereka inginkan. Kalau nak juga keistimewaan Melayu ditarik balik tunjukkan bahawa keistimewaan ini telah menafikan mereka daripada mendapat hak-hak yang munasabah termasuk dari sudut ekonomi dan politik. Tunjukkan, barulah kita fikir Perlembagaan itu layak diubah.

Adakah Doktor melihat ada agenda lain di sebalik timbulnya cakap-cakap mengenai hak keistimewaan orang Melayu ini?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Saya melihat isu bukan agenda saja-saja atau demi kepentingan bangsa tetapi lebih kepada agenda politik. Sepatutnya semua pihak mesti membezakan antara politik dengan Perlembagaan. Jika kita lihat kedudukan bukan Melayu terutama dari sudut politik dan ekonominya amat memberangsangkan dan bukan sedikit kalangan mereka yang kaya raya di sebalik wujudnya Perkara 153 ini. Saya tidak nampak apa salahnya dalam sistem itu, cuma mekanisme itu yang perlu dilihat balik dan saya rasa Perkara 153 tidak boleh dikompromi dalam membina bangsa Malaysia. Kita tidak boleh potong Perkara 153 sampai bila-bila pun, kerana bangsa kita memerlukan safeguard (pengawalseliaan) iaitu Perlembagaan untuk mengawal Melayu.

Kita mesti ingat di dunia hanya di Malaysia yang wujud Melayu begini, di Indonesia sudah tidak ada, di Afrika Selatan juga tidak ada identiti Melayu sebegini. Kita yang masih tulen dan mempunyai keistimewaan kalau hendak dilihat Melayu di Singapura apa agaknya yang mereka ada.

Mungkinkah semua ini berpunca daripada kelalaian di pihak pelaksana Perlembagaan itu sendiri?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Saya tidak fikir kerajaan semasa begitu prihatin dengan apa yang terkandung dalam Perlembagaan. Jika diikutkan misalnya Perkara 152 mengenai kedudukan bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa kebangsaan tetapi kerajaan memperkenalkan dasar pengajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam bahasa Inggeris. Walaupun untuk menarik balik dasar itu melibatkan kerugian dari aspek perbelanjaan kewangan tetapi kalau hendak menghormati Perlembagaan kita kena kembali kepada dasar lama. Jika tidak orang akan melihat dasar Kabinet bercanggah dengan Perlembagaan, bercanggah dengan sejarah dan kehendak Suruhanjaya Reid itu sendiri.

Saya percaya jika banyak sangat orang persoalkan sesuatu dasar yang ada kait mengait dengan Perlembagaan maka pasti ada silapnya. Semua pihak patut lihat balik apa yang tak kena dan sepatutnya kita pulihkan perkara-perkara yang tidak betul ini secepat mungkin.

Berikut petikan Perkara 153 Perlembagaan

Perkara 153. Perizaban kuota berkenaan dengan perkhidmatan, permit dan sebagainya bagi orang Melayu dan anak negeri mana-mana antara Negeri Sabah dan Sarawak.

(1) Menjadi tanggungjawab Yang di-Pertuan Agong untuk melindungi kedudukan istimewa orang Melayu dan anak negeri mana-mana antara Negeri Sabah dan Sarawak dan kepentingan sah kaum-kaum lain mengikut peruntukan Perkara ini.

(2) Walau apa pun apa-apa jua dalam Perlembagaan ini, tetapi tertakluk kepada peruntukan Perkara 40 dan peruntukan Perkara ini, Yang di-Pertuan Agong hendaklah menjalankan fungsinya di bawah Perlembagaan ini dan undang-undang persekutuan mengikut apa- apa cara yang perlu untuk melindungi kedudukan istimewa orang Melayu dan anak negeri mana-mana antara Negeri Sabah dan Sarawak dan untuk memastikan perizaban bagi orang Melayu dan anak negeri mana-mana antara Negeri Sabah dan Sarawak apa-apa perkadaran yang difikirkan munasabah oleh Yang di-Pertuan Agong daripada jawatan dalam perkhidmatan awam (selain perkhidmatan awam sesuatu Negeri) dan daripada biasiswa, danasiswa dan keistimewaan pendidikan atau latihan yang seumpamanya atau kemudahan khas lain yang diberikan atau diadakan oleh Kerajaan Persekutuan dan, apabila apa-apa permit atau lesen dikehendaki oleh undang-undang persekutuan bagi mengendalikan apa-apa pertukangan atau perniagaan, maka, tertakluk kepada peruntukan undang-undang itu dan Perkara ini, daripada permit dan lesen itu.

(3) Yang di-Pertuan Agong boleh, bagi memastikan, mengikut Fasal (2), perizaban bagi orang Melayu dan anak negeri mana-mana antara Negeri Sabah dan Sarawak jawatan-jawatan dalam perkhidmatan awam dan biasiswa, danasiswa dan keistimewaan pendidikan atau latihan atau kemudahan khas lain, memberikan apa-apa arahan am yang dikehendaki bagi maksud itu kepada mana-mana Suruhanjaya yang baginya Bahagian X terpakai atau kepada mana-mana pihak berkuasa yang dipertanggungkan dengan tanggungjawab bagi pemberian biasiswa, danasiswa atau keistimewaan pendidikan atau latihan atau kemudahan khas lain itu; dan Suruhanjaya atau pihak berkuasa itu hendaklah mematuhi arahan itu dengan sewajarnya.

Jangan prejudis kepada perkara 153
Senarionya sekarang Melayu cuma mempertahankan hak dalam Perlembagaan tetapi pada masa yang sama bukan Melayu menuntut tambahan hak, adakah ini bermakna akan berlaku kesamarataan yang sekali gus menjejaskan hak orang Melayu?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Apa yang kita faham akan sampai satu tahap di mana demokrasi seumpama barat yang menekankan kesamarataan akan berlaku di negara ini. Tetapi untuk proses tersebut menjadi kenyataan tidak diketahui bila masanya. Saya percaya tempoh 51 tahun biar pun ada pihak yang berpendapatan sudah tiba masanya untuk kesamarataan namun hakikatnya tempoh tersebut belum mencukupi. Paling penting untuk kita fikirkan ialah apabila tiba masa tersebut apa akan jadi kepada Perlembagaan kita?

Bukankah ketika itu Perlembagaan akan menjadi kosmetik?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Itu yang saya maksudkan. Kalau sampai ke tahap itu pasti akan timbul cadangan supaya Perkara 153 dimansuhkan daripada Perlembagaan. Mungkin kita akan sampai ke satu tahap di mana orang Melayu sendiri rasa tidak perlu lagi keistimewaan atau pun sampai satu tahap kerajaan kata kita tidak mampu mempertahankan Melayu lagi, mungkin satu kerajaan lain yang akan berkata begitu, maka ketika itu lepaslah orang Melayu macam anak ayam. Apabila berlaku keadaan seperti itu tentunya akan menimbulkan ketidakstabilan politik. Sebabnya saya melihat sejarah, mungkin orang kata apa yang dah berlaku biarkan berlalu, tetapi ada juga yang berkata, jika kita tidak belajar dari sejarah maknanya kita akan mencipta sejarah kejatuhan kita.

Walaupun Perlembagaan kita dikatakan living document, boleh berubah dari semasa ke semasa tetapi sebenarnya kesamarataan itu yang Suruhanjaya Reid mahu. Kalau kita baca semula laporan Suruhanjaya Reid sampai satu tahap tidak akan ada beza antara kaum-kaum di negara ini. Saya rasa ia terlalu ideal. Sampai macam mana kulit saya tidak akan jadi putih macam orang Cina, orang India tidak akan jadi sawo matang macam orang Melayu. Masalahnya sampai ke satu tahap kita bimbang Perlembagaan menjadi perhiasan dan ini yang perlu dimainkan oleh pihak yang menjaga Perlembagaan ini.

Jangan sampai satu tahap sama rata dan itu boleh membahayakan Perlembagaan dan kestabilan politik kita. Kita mencipta satu bentuk sistem Perlembagaan yang unik dan tiada mana-mana contoh Perlembagaan di dunia yang mempunyai ciri-ciri Perlembagaan kita. Cuma Malaysia sahaja di dunia ini ada Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Apabila saya baca laporan Suruhanjaya Reid saya tertanya-tanya adakah mereka faham keadaan di Malaysia ini atau mereka menggunakan minda Inggeris untuk menilai bangsa-bangsa yang ada.

Boleh Doktor berikan contoh wujudnya minda Inggeris dalam Suruhanjaya Reid?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Contohnya mereka berkata keistimewaan orang Melayu untuk substantial number of years – banyaknya itu amat subjektif, adakah 50 tahun cukup untuk membina bangsa kita, adakah 50 tahun cukup untuk orang Melayu matang. Kalau diikutkan sekarang memang orang Melayu itu matang tetapi dari segi keupayaan yang sebenar bolehkah orang Melayu berdiri. Sebab itu Perkara 153 ini tidak boleh dilepaskan kerana menyedari orang Melayu belum sampai ke tahap itu. Saya tertanya-tanya apa sangat yang bukan Melayu hendak sebenarnya. Adakah mereka tidak mendapat peluang pekerjaan, adakah mereka tidak mendapat kepentingan ekonomi, apa sangat yang disusahkannya tentang Perkara 153 ini. Lebih menyedihkan lagi apabila ada orang Melayu sendiri tidak mahu mempertahankan kedudukan Melayu.

Adakah ia mungkin disebabkan oleh kaum-kaum lain percaya bahawa kaum Melayu diberi keistimewaan keterlaluan sehingga hak menjejaskan hak mereka?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Kalau hendak kata mereka tidak mendapat legitimate interest (perkataan yang digunakan dalam Suruhanjaya Reid), kita sendiri lihat kedudukan kaum-kaum lain di Malaysia sekarang ini. Adakah mereka tidak diberi peluang sedangkan mereka boleh 'survive' malah dalam banyak bidang mereka amat berjaya. Kalau Melayu tidak diberi kedudukan ini adakah Melayu boleh survive, itu yang penting dan mesti kita tengok.

Saya juga tertanya-tanya adakah selama ini negara kita tidak aman dengan adanya keistimewaan orang Melayu. Adakah kita tidak gembira berada di Malaysia hanya kerana adanya 153 ini. Persoalannya apa susah sangat dengan 153.

Dalam buku Chinese Dilemma dan Chinese Contributions mereka bangkitkan tentang peranan mereka, sememangnya kita terima peranan mereka membangunkan Bank Negara misalnya, tapi mereka kena ingat ini adalah negara mereka dan itu adalah sumbangan mereka. Apa yang mereka tidak dapat di negara ini. Sistem pendidikan misalnya kita lihat Singapura hanya ada satu sistem, tetapi di sini semuanya ada. Perpaduan bangsa kita seperti yang dikatakan oleh Syed Naquib Al-Attas umpama jalur-jalur besi yang tidak boleh nak dicairkan kerana adanya prejudis. Adakah 153 menjadi satu isu untuk mereka prejudis kepada Melayu, saya rasa itu tidak adil untuk bangsa Melayu.

Sepatutnya mereka kena tunjukkan sejauh mana benarnya Dasar Ekonomi Baru telah menyekat legitimate interest mereka, kalau Lim Kit Siang kata orang Cina tidak diberi peluang sila perjelaskan peluang apa.

Blogger Aisehman has this comment about the above.

Coming back to my friend BG's smses, this following was the article. There were so many who commented on NST Online. Not all agreed with the thrust of the article and NST allowed their opinions to be posted; to me this means not all hope is lost.

Study reveals policy's flaws

By: Elizabeth John and Aniza Damis

TANJUNG MALIM: Five years after schools began teaching Mathematics and Science in English, tests on thousands of students have revealed poor scores in these subjects.

The tests and surveys, part of a study of that policy, have also shown that the majority of students still find it hard to follow Mathematics and Science lessons in English.

Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) put over 3,000 Year Five pupils and about 2,800 Form Two students around the country through short Mathematics, Science and English language tests between February last year and January.

The schoolchildren were from a mix of urban, rural and vernacular schools in Peninsular Malaysia.

The tests were made up of modified past-year examination questions. Some were taken straight out of textbooks.

Some 1,700 Year Five pupils tested this January had a mean score of 7.89 out of a maximum 20 for Mathematics.

The results were not much better for Science: a mean of 4.08 out of 14. English proficiency was not good either: a mean of 11.87 out of 31.

The mean scores of Malay and Orang Asli pupils were also much lower than those of the Chinese and Indians, said study leader Professor Emeritus Datuk Isahak Haron.

Isahak has called the policy a failure, particularly in terms of its impact on Malay students in national schools (Sekolah Kebangsaan), and is asking for a return to the teaching of Mathematics and Science in Bahasa Malaysia.

In the survey, many Year Five pupils told researchers they found it hard to learn Mathematics and Science in English, saying they did not understand the lessons.

In one sample, less than a fifth of the Year Five Malay students surveyed considered it easy to learn Science in English and only about a third thought it was easy to learn Mathematics in English.

When a sample of 1,300 Malay students were asked how well they understood the Mathematics and Science lessons when it was taught in English, over 60 per cent said they only understood the lessons "sometimes".

The policy had even failed in its aim of improving the pupils' command of English, said Isahak, a lecturer at the Faculty of Cognitive Science and Human Development.

Students struggled to correctly complete even simple sentences, he said, citing the following sentence in a passage taken out of a school textbook: "He ..... to bed" (The answer is "went".)

An average of 14 per cent and 19 per cent (two different groups) got the answer right.

Even the highest score according to racial breakdown -- 41 per cent of Chinese students in one group answered correctly -- did not speak well of the policy's aim of improving English.

Isahak suggested that it would do more good to allocate more time, staff and money to the teaching of English at the primary school level.

He urged a change in how the language was taught in schools. He said the standardised syllabus should be scrapped in favour of lessons tailored to suit the abilities of different students.

The UPSI study also incorporated findings from other surveys of secondary school students that pointed to similar problems.

Shortly after the policy was implemented in 2003, Associate Professor Hashima Jalaluddin of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia interviewed 43 teachers and 971 Form One students from six schools in the central and southern states of Peninsular Malaysia .

Most of the teachers said students had problems following Mathematics and Science lessons in English, while 70 per cent of the students said they would be more interested if the two subjects were taught in Bahasa Malaysia.

Only a quarter said they had no problem following the lessons in English.

In 2004, Zainuddin Bikum surveyed 229 students in two schools in Kuala Kubu Baru, Selangor, for his dissertation at UPSI and found that more than half of the group was facing difficulties.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's Professor Juriah Long found that about half the students in both urban and rural schools were worried because they found it difficult to follow Mathematics and Science in English. This was one of the results of her 2005 survey of over 7,000 Form Two students nationwide.

Her study, which also looked at the location of schools and the socio-economic background of students, found the concern was greater among Malay students, those in rural schools, and poor students.

Isahak said Malay students in national schools, mostly in rural areas and from lower socio-economic backgrounds, had lost out the most as a result of the decision to teach Maths and Science in English.

The ones who gained from the policy were a small percentage of Malay students from upper middle class families who went to good schools, he said.

However, UPSI's own test results showed Year Five Malay students from rural schools scored highest in nine out of 10 Maths questions and two out of seven Science questions compared with Malay students in big town and city schools.

Meanwhile, Malay students in city schools consistently fared the lowest.

Isahak believes the difference in the percentages is marginal and because there are more Malay students in rural areas, it is these students who will be most affected.


Readers' Comments:

Ben, PJ:
Note that it not the fault of the subjects being taught in english that is the issue here. What contributes to the students lack of interest in Maths and Science being taught in English is the pure lack of effort made by most teachers. In most primary and secondary schools, once the language change for these two subjects were made 5 years ago, the teaching personal remained the same. Most of the teachers were good at what they taught, but only in Bahasa Malaysia. Yes, there were courses set up by the government for school teachers to attend. But how can one improve his or her language skills, especially to the level of TEACHING in just a week or two attending such courses? There should be more effort made by our teachers in adjusting to this change in order for any progress to be seen amongst our students.

David Ng, Petaling Jaya:
Patience, hard work and sacrifice are the main ingredients to allow the young minds of our children to expand and excel. My son will be sitting for his UPSR exams starting tomorrow. When he was enrolled into a national school which he is still in since Year 1, he could hardly utter a word in Malay, let alone form simple sentences, speak nor understand properly. His exam results were poor and carried red ink in almost anything in the national language. He struggled in school without private tuition. My family and I endured a frustrating yet satisfying journey in guiding him on the right track. Right now he is on his own. By all means, he is no "A" student but he is finally scoring decent marks in his Bahasa Malaysia subjects at par with his peers in his term exams and UPSR trials. I wish him well in his UPSR and regardless of the end result, I will still be proud of him as he has come a long way. What we need are more educators who are proficient in both the Malay and English languages to help our young ones master this shotcoming of unsatisfactory results in Science and Mathematics. As it is, a large number of our primary school teachers themselves cannot confidently nor proficiently teach in the English language. It is not a problem with our children. They can be taught to master almost anything. The problem stems from the educators, or rather the system that created our educators. Reverting Science and Mathematics back to our national language is definitely not the solution.

Farhan, Kuala Lumpur:
When teaching Maths, the objective is to increase the student's proficiency in Maths. Likewise for Science. The teaching of the subjects should not have anything to do with the language. Let the teachers use whatever language would better serve the students, whether it be Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mandarin or Tamil. As long as the objective of imparting knowledge of Maths and Science is met, then language shouldn't be a barrier. To improve English, improvement should be made to the English syllabus, not making other subjects as scapegoats.

Concern parent:
Bahasa Malaysia has been the national language but for Malaysian to be able to compete internationally, they must be able to communicate in English and soon Mandarin. It not enough just to teach Maths and Science in English but other subjects as well. Further, the use of English must be taught early in the primary schools. Many dropped out due to the weak command in English (poor effort to improve due to lack of motivation), poor attitude of the students and incompetent teachers. ENGLISH IN MATHS AND SCIENCE MUST STAY. I am sure the Ministry would have to put in more effort to ensure the competitiveness of the future of our children globally rather to be complacent of "Malaysia" scenerio only. The malay saying, "Katak di bawah tempurung" - shameful.

Geraint, Johor Baru:
We will see just how much the education ministry values the opinion of the people when a decision is made on this issue. I am sure if a survey is made, find out whether the majority wants the current policy to stay or not, most of us would say yes. If we persist long enough, I am sure we will see improvements. Common sense should prevail over idealistic nationalism.

Look at the results of the above study positively. Analyze it properly, find out where the problems are and figure out good corrective measures. Don't just scrap the whole policy! For example, if some teachers are not good at teaching Math & Science in English, send them for more training (only the problematic teachers). Another example, if students at rural areas are not able to catch up, send to them better teachers (probably more incentives should be given to these teachers for their willingness to be sent to rural areas). Anyway, some students are still failing Bahasa Melayu subject even though it is taught in Malay language! My point is we should use the results of the study to IMPROVISE THE POLICY and not to decide whether to continue with it or scrap it totally.

Amran, Pulau Indah:
My answer is simple. The "culture" of learning Math & Science in English is NOT there!

Paul, Petaling Jaya:
It's not the language that is the problem. So stop blaming the language. My elder brother and sisters studied in the MCE and LCE days and I the SRP and SPM era. We still did well without tution. My teachers were very dedicated to teach. They take the pain to ensure we do well and so did my parents. Let's face it, the real problems are 1) The teachers are not interested in teaching the students and in the students' future, 2) The focus is on students going for tution where the teacher teaches; 3) Parents don't spend time with their children to encourage them and help them in their studies. My children have challenges in BM based subjects does that mean all subject must be thought in English. Please go to the root cause and admit the failures and work to improve the quality of our teaching staff rather then fault the policies. The teachers also can't speak proper English and so communication is really bad. Teachers and Parents should desire to want the best for the children and work towards ensuring that they know how to teach and do it effectively.

Theresa MJP:
I strongly believe that Maths and Science should be taught in English. I have a few reasons for this. I am now living in New Zealand and I am one of the pioneer students who sat for PMR, SPM and STPM in BM. My BM is no doubt very strong and powerful. However, now I am associating with people of the globe who mostly speak English. I am sad to say that I am not able to put across my opinion nor thoughts to them confidently and thus, hinders my performance and confidence. Learning only one period of English is insufficient. Therefore, in order to prepare our citizens to face the world and voice out opinions confidently the use of English is definitely paramount. So by learning the two most important subjects in English, students are given additional opportunity to use the language. Moreover, the scientific terms used in both the subjects are universally accepted. As such when we further our education to foreign country we are able to stand on par with the rest of the world. Currently, when our local university degree is used overseas very often, our certificate is assessed and not equivalent to foreign degree. Therefore, we are asked to spend money to sit for special English Test. It is so stressful on the student and on the parents when their child is not competent in using English. Why put the the candidate in such predicament? Why can't we have a paper qualification that is compatible worldwide? The people of Malaysia just have to be open minded and see the truth. Please give our students to use English in Maths and Science. Children when are supported and given the right environment they can master most everthing. Our teachers too are not confident in using English in the classroom, so select and train teachers who are competent.

Chin, Klang:
We have to remember that 1 generation of good spoken Engish has gone. The parents of the present group of children also can't speak, read and write English well (inlcuding myself), so it's natural that they find it difficult. We might need 2 generations before we can be succesful in the implementation. Please be patient and realistic. Everybody knew that we can't survive outside Malaysia without English.

I come from Malay School, later joined English medium school thru Special Malay Class.

Two main benefits of this school: 1.Racial integration, 2.Learned English, plus Bahasa Melayu thru subjects Bahasa Malaysia(compulsory),Sastera and Pendidikan Agama Islam.

I noticed those who come from this school were better off than those who came from Malay school, Chinese or Tamil schools. We had good command of English and Bahasa Malaysia, and least chauvinist. Government should re-introduce English medium school like those years.

Go back to BM! It is true countries like Singapore, India and Pakistan produce some of the best brains in the world. But, is it really due to English as their 'teaching language'? What about countries like Japan, Korea, Russia and China? English is not the main teaching language in these countries. Yet, they are able to produce excellent scientists,engineers, physicians etc.

If the problem is with the attitude, do something to change the attitude. Dont blame Bahasa Malaysia as our main teaching language.

cc, Sarawak:
Teaching mathematic and science in english is better. I agree with Ze, Johor about students should work harder and learn like the rest. Do you really think that changing back to old system will be better? I'm not good in english but i enjoy teaching mathematic in english because it's an opportunity for me and my students to learn speaking and understand english.

HangMokhtar, Melaka:
Even at IPTA?

My worry is how this cohort of guinea pigs will fare at the university level(even in the local IPTAs)?

The dearth of technical academic books in Bahasa Malaysia points to a similar policy option at the university level - usage of English for science and mathematical subjects. In this regard, Dewan Bahasa (DBP) and local publishers should accelerate the publication of such books in Bahasa Melayu, possibly through government support in the form of better incentives to the writers/translators.Learn from the Japanese experience - look east policy?

haroldz, miri:
These days we can find english cartoons being translated into BM.

In order to appreciate and understand the cartoon, the children must master (and learn) english.

That how i improved my english during the "growing years".

i try to read english newspaper, watch english news, listen to english channel and use english dictionary.

In schooling days (primary and secondary school), students TOLD to concentrate on BM. When they in the Universities and working environment, english is mainly used.

Some local IPTA still use BM as medium to complete final year report.

eddie penang:
Blame the teachers i don,t think the teachers knows English well. should test the teachers first before.

we blame the you 85% of the teachers will fail the subject.

Quote:catch the bull by the horn not by the tail....

Githa, KL:
Maths & Science should continue to be taught in English. Having experienced it by myself, I feel it will be much easier when the students further their studies in university as they have to search information from the internet and reference books, which are mostly in English.

Students must be encouraged by their parents to speak & read more on English, I believe that is a good way to boost English usage.

At times, the teachers themselves have difficulty teaching in English. They tend to use both Bahasa Malaysia & English in class and confuse the students. Thus, teachers should also play a crucial role to teach Maths & Science in English to their students. Of course, there are some who are really dedicated in delivering their lessons well to the students.

But, if every teachers put extra effort, I am sure the students won't have much problem. It is easy to create and implement a policy, but the pain comes when practising it.

Just because some students don't do well, we should not 'encourage' them by switching to Bahasa Malaysia.

Instead, we should look forward and take actions on how to improve the students' performance further. Why should we give an 'easy' option for students?

If we make it easy for them, will their flying colors reflect a better quality? No, their standard will be lower compared to international students. Everyone should play their role in making this policy a successful one.

Students and teachers should put more effort, and parents should encourage and motivate their children always.

English is an universal language and it is important students should take initiative to master it as it opens doors to many oppertunities.

The teaching of math and science in english was a good start.

Any policy to be success takes time.

Govt cannot judge or change the policy just bcos there was not much improvement in just 5yrs.

It is not just the failure of students but actually the teachers who are not taking initiative to learn.

If teachers dont encourage then why will children be interested.Govt should be strict only then teachers and students will start to take it seriously.

If given choice they will always take a easy route.So just make it compulsary.Instead of wasting time fighting for change of language,they should become serious in teaching and learning in english language.

Siva, Serian:
The survey done IS NOT accurate because the study is done on students that are not being exposed to both B.melayu medium and english medium.
How can you tell some thing is bad when you cannot compare it with others???

Pls give as time as teachers to do our job, we will improve it soon...

Only idiots who do not believe statistical analysis. The outcomes are eye opener. Instead of teaching science and maths in English, more resources should be allocated for English in school. Rectify the subject teaching. And hopefully for idiots and 'mat saleh' wannabes, please stop messing with our children future!

I feel the trouble is with the medium and not the policy nor the students.

Teachers play an important factor here.

Majority science and maths teachers are not competent in the language and they also do not upgrade themselves with language skills.

Please conduct a survey on this and I think we,ll know how many maths and science teachers read english materials other than the provided textbook and a couple of revision books filled with severe language mistakes.

Children can grasp languages quickly and and it's proven with english medium schools long time ago where students from non- English speaking background can easily converse within months of schooling.


Science & maths should be taught in english. I sat for my senior cambridge and we speak good english. Stick to the old system if we want to compete internationally.

Employ proper english teachers to teach proper english... not the ones who cant even pronounce words correctly.

It is sad that a lot of students didn't do well but that doesn't constitute a failure.

It's just a lot of students are lazier.

Try teaching those subjects from that grassroot level than to try to prune the tree at midlevel.

Foundation is very important and start from primary level.

joanne, Ipoh:
Please spare our children of Malaysia from further confusion of even thinking of changing the system again!

Let us, Malaysians be known to be a people that does not change our policies based merely on some 'findings'.

We need to think further ahead in the future if we want to progress as a nation, to go further beyond Asia.

Our children needs a vision from those who are supposed to be in authoritive to bring about a better future for them.

For once, please stop debating whether English or Malay. Let's see things in proper perspective.

WTan, Auckland,NZ:
Stick to present decision, the students pay the penalty if one reverts back to the previous policy.

Educationist should realise that the tree of any system will bear good and bad fruits.

It is all about how one cultivates the process to bring good results.

Zie, Kuala Lumpur:
Policy have been made. As a parent I think we should just continue.

Those days before KBSM and KBSR being introduce we learn most of the subject in English.

The issues is not about the policy, but how does the policy been implement.

Most teachers today just concentrate in their language since those who observe them just evaluate their capability to speak english and in the end, the skill of the subject being taught is neclected.

However, my cousin which is also a teacher told me that they are going to implement other ways of student-centered and result oriented teaching methods.

I hope also for examinations to not just evaluate what students can memorise but how they apply what they have learnt in Maths and Science.

Yhee - Ipoh:
I strongly agree to continue using English to educate our children. This is for the sake of our country and our children. Goverment should make sure that the teachers thenselves can speak properly before doing any research like this and blame the system.

jT3elf, Kuching:
I believe these two subjects (Maths and Science)would be best thought in BM, as in other countries (i.e Japan ,Iran), these subjects are taught in their own native languages, yet we found many of world class Scientist and Mathematician came from these countries. What is important is for our student to grasp the fundamental knowledge first, and understanding the basic principle in these two subjects. The easiest way to make them understand is to explain in their own mother's tounge.

Faidhur, Shah Alam:
Cathy Paul wrote a very good letter, but unfortunately didn't go far enough.

It will certainly not do to revert to teaching Mathematics and Science in Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin or whatever. The subjects need to be continued to be taught in English. English has been accepted by all, Indians in India, Chinese in China, and Indonesians in Indonesia, as the global lingua franca, and having cognizance of this fact, must we pander to the desires of narrow minded communalistic peoples whose only desire is to strengthen their mother tongue at the expense of a good education for our children?

Surely the most obvious solution is to bring back English medium schools, and not alongside Malay and Chinese ones either as that would be impractical. We can expect the State to support such a broad range of schools.

No, we need to have the political will to, as did Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore a long time ago, abolish all other schools and replace them with one single language as a medium of instruction, English.

As an experienced sixth form mathematics teacher, l found that students did equally well in the subject matter; irrespective of the medium of instruction of the subject prior to their Form 6 education. So, at the upper secondary level, it is best to continue the present policy.

Inderbir, KL:
I think the whole education system in Malaysia is in jeopardy.

It is not only Math and science that should be taught in English but all the other subjects as well.

I went to an international school and I realize how much I would have missed had I studies any of the subjects in a language understood only by a tiny fraction of the world population.

long, ampang:
To improve english, learn english. Those Olympic Chinese commentators on TV polish their english by learning english. I dont think they learn Science and Math in English in order to be able to understand, speak and deliver spotless English.

Science and Matth should be taught in the mother tongue so that the children can grasp the concept.

Benny, Melaka:
I am of the opinion that the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English in our Malaysian schools will be flawed. The reason is very simple.

A student should master the English language first before he can read, write and understand the other subjects in English.

It will be difficult to master the English language if insufficient time is allowed for practice.

By this I mean the students will need to speak English most of the time in their schools.

Hence, the only practical solution is to change the medium of instruction to English.

I was from an English medium school right from primary to secondary school.

During those days, I believe almost all Malaysians speak English in schools except for rural schools.

My Malay, Indian and Sikh friends, they all speak English naturally, albeit sometimes Malaysian-style English if you know what I mean. Language learning is the most difficult task.

I believe it may take a decade or so to master a language. Who are our present Malay ministers, past ministers, politicians and other professionals who can speak and write good English today? They are non-other than Anwar Ibrahim, ex-PM Tun Mahathir, Syed Husin Ali, Bakri Musa, Din Merican, Farish Noor and many more who are also bloggers. These are the ones who were mainly educated in the English medium schools where English was spoken 90% of the time. Yes, practice makes perfect. In the rural areas, there is hardly any opportunity for these children to speak English, least of all to have any practice in speaking the language. The Malays speak Malay amongst themselves, the Chinese speak Mandarin or their dialects, the Indians speak Tamil and so on. How then can we expect these rural children to read and write in good English? Speaking and listening skills come first before reading and writing. For a start, the government should allow for the setting up of English-medium schools. There are in fact such schools already called international schools like Alice Smith ( where Raja Petra Kamaruddin came from), ELC, Mont Kiara etc... but these schools are meant for the rich who are affordable. Let the parents decide on whether they want to send their children to English- medium, national-medium or the other vernacular schools. In this way, Malaysia can allow for her people to master the language of their choice. After all, our constitution guarantees the freedom of our peoples to decide on their choice of schools. We cannot have a "one-solution" for all schools as far as the English language is concerned. We had better opt for diversity in the languages. Let our peoples be made up of different language experts - Malay, Chinese or Tamil.

Scientific terms in BM is a problem. Esp when you study abroad, and trying to coupe with the English terms.I hope people understand this .

Janice,Johor Bahru:
Personally, I think the idea of implementing Science and Mathematics in English was good. But, the implementation itself is not really effective. To SJK(C), those 2 subjects are somewhat of an optional subject. They aren't given enough attention by the schools, teachers and the students.

Worse still, most of the teachers aren't proficient in their command of English too. Therefore, it is no wonder the outcome of the implementation is disappointing. Since it has already been implemented, hold on to it but of course with some ammendments. Thank you.

Ju, Kota Damansara:
Based on the this article and the questions and answers presented, it has thus proven that English is the better language to teach Maths & Science.

Referencing to Q&A question No.1 and No. 9 of similar type of question structure shows that the English format scores better than the Bahasa Malaysia language except for Orang Asli children as indicated with the total percentage score of 40.5% for questions in English compared to 38.7% for questions in BM. Even the Malay student scored better in English than in BM for Maths.

Based on the above studies, it does not show the percentage of Maths & Science results if it was conducted in Bahasa Malaysia. I suspect that the result tested in BM would not be much different from question tested in Englsh but atleast they have acquired the command of English as a tool to solve other subjects.

Stop changing the confuses our kids...

Please move forward, adopted English as a medium language in Math & Science is a right choice!

Teachers, please equip yourselves and do not blame the policy and pupils.

Ab Jalil Baharan:
I suggest to add more time in the teaching of english for all.

Reverting the learning of science and mathematic in BM will not solve the problem.

Egbert Louis:
The study has its flaws as it has to show whether the method of teaching the subjects in English was appropriate or correct.

I feel that present teachers are not froficient in the language and thats where the flaw lies.

Very often the teachers are unable to express themselves in English and therefore resort to teaching in B.M.

Noria, Kuching:
What an interesting thought!

Since they can't master English why not other languages.

I suggest Mandarin.. or better yet German.

Since the Germans are considered to be at the fore front of technology these days.Or maybe Bahasa Melayu..or Malaysia.

Oh no!.. I'm confused, now. What language again? To me, it is not the language that is plaguing our students. It is just their attitude. They are so used to being spoonfed and are living in a world where there is practically does not require them to work hard for anything.. not even to buy their textbooks, school fees, uniforms for extra curricular activities, ..even the exam fees are free. Do you know, some of them even say that to get a job is so easy as long as you know the right person... What have we done to our young ones today is very sad.. They have become the most indulgent, narcissistic beings I have ever seen. They are not interested in anything. This is because, if they fail their UPSR they can still go to school, if they obtain all E's in PMR, they still go to school, if they get all 9G's in the SPM hey as long as their Bahasa Melayu is a pass, they still get a certificate. So, everybody knows the olsd adage that says no pain, no gain. Unfortunately this is something tha students today do not learn yet. Thus the lackadaisacal attitude towards learning. Please... we do not need another change of policy..even Rome is not build in a day. To base our judgement on a 5 year term is definitely not fair to the students, to the teachers, to the Ministry. Besides, this is English, our supposedly second language. The students will do fine. the maths symbols will not change, science facts will not change. Besides the UPSR, PMR and SPM questions are in both BM and English. Socan we say that it is the language that is the problem?

Observer of Johor:
First of all, determine the root causes of the poor showing of those students.

Study whether the teachers themselves are qualified to teach.

Are the studnets given enough exposure to English speaking environment.

Students are preferably placed under those English speaking environment during their pre-school education followed by their primary education.

Therefore, emphasis in English education is important to begin right from the beginning.

Actions need to be taken to mould the children from the very beginning with qualified teachers.

Lim, Cameron Highlands:
I think the Ministry of Education should stick to the policy because English is the 'lingua franca' for this century.

Although Malay language is the official language in Malaysia, but English language is everything in this world. For example,agreements etc.

We should not just change the policy just because Malay students failed to cope with the policy.

Please do NOT revert back to teaching them in BM.

You do not expect a policy to work overnight, and to make it work, why not pump in the rural schools with more English teachers?

Don't we have enough manpower to do so?

Choosing BM will probably another great downfall to the education system in Malaysia.

How long do we only want to be Jaguh Kampung? Don't the rural folks also want to be on par with the town folks?

Ze, Johor:
Just because Malay students failed to catch up doesnt mean the policy is a failure. They should make a point to work hard and learn like the rest.

First of the Education Ministry should stop changing policies as and when it pleases.

Once a policy is made stick to it and keep going.

First of all are the teachers suitable for the job. Most of the Malay teachers can hardly speak English and if you engage them to teach in English what can you expect?

Its not the policy that is at fault - it's the attitude of some teachers and students who just refuse to accept English, that's all and they know they can get away with it as most likely next year the policy would be scrapped. This is embarrasing and shameful!

The choice of language in Education is a difficult one. With National, Chinese & Tamil schools available, parents have to decide what is best for their children. In my opinion the decision on Math & Science (BM or English) should not be imposed nor should it be determined by the government. National Schools should continue to teach in BM, likewise in Chinese for Chinese Schools, etc. In a globalised economy, it will be a step forward to bring back English medium schools.

I always hold firm to the belief that education should not be adulterated with politics.

English is always a second language to Malaysian. I came from an era where schooling is very straightforward with all subjects taught in Bahasa Malaysia and yet my command of the English language is perfect.

Bring back the good old education system, please.

Billy, Kuching:
For these six years, we have been teaching Mathematics and Science in English. The learning outcomes and statistics were not showing impressive colors though since our teachers and pupils are not really prepared for this. English is not our mother tongue, it is another subject to be taught! In another words, we are teaching two things simultaneously. Singing and dancing at the same beat sometimes could be very confusing. So this is where it started, blaming the floor by saying that it is not carpeted well. Skeptics and pessimist digging for point to highlight this setback for personal agenda and to discredit the government policy maker. I think it is not fair just to blame the policy and not to consider our attitude as well. Even though it had been an encumbrance for both teachers and student, optimistically I think that it is positively helpful in the long run. This is to consider that our education policyies are to prepare our citizens for a world class education. I strongly believe that our students will appreciate our effort when they are in the top of success.

Umar, Kuching:
The main intention was to improve the command of English among our students. Therefore, more focus should be given to the teaching of the language in the curricullum. Leave Mathematics and Science out of it for these subjects are universally understood in any language. I scored A's in both Sains and Matematik in my SRP 1982 examination although they were taught in Bahasa Malaysia. At the same time I did equally well in Bahasa Inggeris! It did not stop me from going overseas to complete my Engineering Degree! I am very concerned with my firstborn who is sitting for UPSR next week, for he seems to have the typical problems identified in the UPSI research, eventhough he is schooling in one of the so called "Sekolah Bestari" in the heart of a City. Regrettablly, I wouldn't put high hopes on his Mathematics and Science results this coming exam. The Minister of Education and his Ministry should bear the responsibility for the failure. I totally agree with UPSI's recommendation to revert back to the National Language (Bahasa Malaysia) without FURTHER DELAY. What can be a better way of educating our children than in our own mother tongue? English is just a SECOND language. I wish not to see my children's education and future used as a trial or experiment!

Thong KC -Malaysian=Ipoh:
Changes take time but it has to be fast and furios. As GLOBALISATION does not wait for you, decide to be left behind or make haste like India or China. Be forward looking or be left to rot in years to come as we are slowly decaying now.

Cathy Paul:
The debate about the use of English in the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English has not abated even though 6 long years have gone by since the introduction. On the contrary the debate is increasingly becoming more frequent and intense particularly those who hold the view that the two subjects must not be taught in English.

These groups of people includes politicians, educationists and also sadly those championing sectarian causes who are masquerading as educationists are becoming increasingly vocal.

Some of the views put across are very detached from the reality in the classrooms and the tremendous effort and resources put in by the Education ministry to ensure its success because the future of the country in this very globalized world hinges very much on the proficiency level of her citizens. Any tinkering and call for reversion back from English should only and only be based on present reality and future needs and further progress of the country.

I am a mathematics and science teacher with many years of experience. I have gone through the medium change in the seventies as a student and now another change as a teacher. I believe I am an “insider� of some sort and is able to speak with some degree of authority and understanding based on years experience rather than some preconceived ideas or some fears based on unfounded grounds.

Lets go back to the objectives of using English as a medium in the teaching of mathematics and science and compare it with the reality of the classroom situation based on my last 6 years of experience in teaching the subjects completely in English from lower secondary and to form 6 level.

There are two main objectives, namely to get the scientific knowledge at the source language and to increase the contact hours with the source language so that general proficiency level of the language and the mastery of scientific terms can be improved in the process. Many have argued that Malay, Chinese or Tamil are also the source languages for mathematics and science. I do not intend to argue otherwise but suffice to say that from being a student once and a teacher now I have gone through two of the three mediums in the preceding sentence and each time I need to read up on something scientific, invariably and without fail I will lay my hands on English materials, the very source language that many seek to do away with. The reason for such automatic action is simple ; either I can’t find any in Malay ormy mother tongue or they are hopelessly out of date or when I go to the net only English is shouting for my attention!

I too shared the fear many have expounded that students may not be able to master the subject matter of mathematics and science and neither can the students improve their English proficiency level. So the end results is that they are neither here nor there. These fears are legitimate, however it is not generally true across the board. This is because the determinant is not the subject matter nor the language but the ability, primarily, of the students themselves.

From my experience in the classroom situation, many have adapted well to the English medium in mathematics and science and are performing very well indeed. The mastery of subject matter did not suffer and the English proficiency level have improved tremendously. They are able to write reasonably well and able to converse and communicate meaningfully. This is a very marked departure from the same category of students who can master mathematics and science in Malay but usually lack ability in the English language before the introduction of English as the medium of instruction for the two subjects.

The amazing thing about this group of students is the fact that they do not come from English speaking middle or higher class homes but ordinary man on the street. This goes to show that the objectives set out above are achievable and success within reach. There is no need to change course midway and deprive the nation of vital human resource competent in the source language. Any change of course is rather premature at this stage. A major policy matter such as this must be given sufficient time to prove itself.

There is of course another group of students who are not able to master mathematics, science nor the English language. This is usually cited as the proof that the switch to English is a failure. Such a conclusion is simplistic. They have conveniently forgotten to mention the success of the other group cited above. As a teacher I can tell you, from experience, that this group of pupils is academically disinclined or challenged. They will be weak in almost all other subjects that use Malay as the medium. Some even fail the Malay Language itself. They will still not be able to master mathematics and science even if the medium is Malay. If the reader is a teacher he will understand the point I try to establish here. There is sufficient empirical evidence to support this point in every school if one cares to conduct a study. To put it in simple uncouched language, for the low ability students, the medium of instruction is immaterial. So is the subject matter. Every year there will be thousands who fail more subjects than they pass in the UPSR, PMR , SPM and STPM before this policy initiative. Please get hold of a copy of national result from the relevant authority and you will see my point .

At the higher end of the spectrum in terms of learning ability, I can see a very sharp improvement not only in the English Language itself but also the mastery of the subject matter. It will also be superfluous to mention their mastery of the scientific and mathematics terms in English.

Another fear factor is the proficiency level of the teachers themselves. Granted there are teething problem in this area at the beginning of the policy. This is simply because of the many lost generations in terms of the mastery of English when everything is taught in Malay. However this problem is largely overcome with tremendous resources poured in by government and the various programmes to help to uplift the standard of English among the science and mathematics teachers. Their level of proficiency is no longer a major impediment that should contribute to the reversion back from English, if at all.

A case in point here. At the beginning of the year, I was to a mathematics trainee teacher from a local university under my supervision. I was rather apprehensive about their English proficiency level. However all those apprehensions were put to rest after their first lesson. I was surprised by their level of mastery of the English language. The reason cited by them was that they learn the two subjects in English. This is an early indication of the success of the policy.

Moving away from the situation on the ground, let me focus on the debate on this policy. I note with regrets that the debate focuses on the either-or type of solution. It is either English or Malay. If the political situation is such that some sort of change is necessary , the solutions need not be a either - or type of solution.

I propose a two mediums solution. This is to take into consideration of those who can learn the two subjects effortlessly in English and those who might have difficulty coping. This solution can take various forms, for example :

1. all students in the science stream must be taught the subjects in English. This is applicable to students in the upper secondary.

2. all school must have a minimum number of classes teaching the subjects in English base on the enrolment. The rest of the classes be taught in Malay/mother tongue. This is applicable to all primary schools. This will be a win-win situation for all; for the parents who want their children to learn in their mother tongue and for the nation’s future need for man power who are proficient in English and able to compete on the world stage.

Another and bolder and better alternative is to resurrect the English Medium schools along side with the existing schools. This can be done in a certain ratio, for example, for every three existing schools, one English medium school be created in every district. In short let us find solutions that are inclusive not exclusive. Creative and inclusive solutions will silent all critics without losing the competitive edge of the country. Finally, as a teacher, I fully support the present policy of using English as a medium of instruction in mathematics and science. And I pray for its continuation.

Allen, Segamat:
Change takes time. Why hurry to see the result? This change in policy has not achieved good results partly because for the past few years, there are still some teachers and policy makers who still think that Science and Maths should NOT be taught in English. Many teachers did not bother to teach both the subjects whole-heartedly. There are even some teachers who have taken the incentive but have never taught these subjects in English. They do not speak a single word. So is it the students' fault or there is a problem during the implementation process? Is our country rich enough to simply change policies? Please take into consideration the future, the resources, the training and all not mix education up with politics.

GD, Negri Sembilan:
By all means, carry on teaching in English! We need to ensure our future workforce is able to compete on a platform which uses the English Language. UPSI's study found that students were incompetent in using the correct lexicon of the English language.
By all means, ensure the teachers are up to mark - after all the BISP (monetary incentive) was given to them to improve their English Language command and writing skills, not as Elaun Kesusahan!
This policy is in place for only 6 years. Give it more time.
As it is, we have more kids using the language socially, compared to before. More parents are picking up the language because the kids need to be coached at home.
In short, don't kill the goose that lays the golden egg! The older generation switched midway into Bahasa Malaysiain the 70's without a hitch and it resulted in good speakers of BM proficient in the language structure.Why can't we give the EL more time and reap the rewards a little later for the larger majority? Let us focus on our children, for our country and NOT pay heed to the selfish few with vested interests.

Grace Kong, Sibu.:
We can teach Maths and Science in English but before that, make sure that the teachers concerned are all well-trained in English Language before implementing the programme.

Mirinda Stephens, Malacca:
Sure, we can switch to Bahasa to teach Maths and Science and see how the current generation grow up and suffer the consequences of the future. Maybe some of the policy makers wont be here anymore, so why care? How much weight should we put on one survey like this anyway? Aren't there flaws as well? 10 years from now, when we compete on an international platform with the English savvy people, where will we end? Do we want scientists and mathematicians who can only speak in our national language but cannot communicate at the international level because they lack understanding of English? If we do, by all means, change back and see how our children and their children suffer.

One of the problems with this is the lack of qualified instructors that have good command in English. Is this the problem with the students themselves or the blind leading the blind?

Blogger Dr Rafick (drrafick - Rights 2 Write) has a good comment:

The end justifies the means..
September 8, 2008 by drrafick

I refer to the news article published in NST dated 7th Sept 2008 commenting on the research done by Prof Emeritus Dato Ishak Haron et all (UPSI) which was published in April 2008 on the impact of the use of English in the teaching of math’s and science in schools.

First of all, for many who do not realized it numbers sometimes does not the reality, I am going to try and make it as simple as possible in interpreting the numbers that was presented in the paper.

First the research suppose to evaluate the impact on decision by the government to study math’s and science in English but the content of the research does not reflect the aim of the studies. What the study should have done is to look at the outcome as a result of the government decision in terms of the objective of introducing it in the first place and not look at the difficulty in how the system cope with the decision.

The sample size is too small to reflect the true picture. Out of thousands of schools in the country, only about 30 schools was chosen and this does not meet the minimum sample of any study which should be about 5%-25% of the population studies. From the list of school that was chosen, it appears that there is a gross sampling bias. This means that the school was not chosen at random but was chosen with the purpose that the program has failed to deliver its objectives.

One of the glaring impacts of the study was the comparison between Malay and non Malay students which show marked weakness among the Malay students. In this aspect I think the study was to highlight the glaring problem affecting the Malay students and it is aimed to ask the government to reverse their original decision because the Malays are weak in English.

Overall, having being a parent that was involved in the government decision in 2002, I must say I am appalled at the poor quality studies which are skewed in intention and not representative of the study population. The study failed to take into consideration on the impact of changing course mid stream. What will happen to our children who have been studying those subjects in English in the last 6 years? The study also failed to highlight the actual weakness which is the implementation of the program which is trained teachers, materials and other supporting program to support the weak decision

Having said that, I feel the study conclusion was not proper and actually is a step back. It is well known fact that this issue is a political one and it appears that the research is partly politically motivated.

It does not take a genius to figure out the problem and solution behind this matter. If a proper study was done it will point to the right conclusion. In my assessment the factors that MOE need to consider is as follows:

a. I agree that there is a nationwide weakness among students in studying math’s and science in English. However I disagree on the conclusion where we must revert back to the old way of teaching. The problem lies with resources and program implementation. This must be reviewed. We must find ways to move forward and solve the actual problem and not run away from it. Running away from it does not help and it will have a long term impact on the nation.

b. I proposed:

i. The MOE review its current weaknesses in the program implementation and find ways to rectify it. Train teachers. Provide more materials. Encouraged reading program. Start with comic books!

ii. Give options for the people to chose. Many parents cannot afford to send their children to private school that uses English as medium of instructions. MOE must identify certain schools in every district and allow the current practice to continue. This will give options to parents to choose on the language that they want their children to master.

I sincerely hope that the powers at be will evaluate the study done by Dato Ishak et al with an analytical view. The study in my opinion carries little value and is not representative of the actual scenario. If we are really concern about the fate of the Malays in economics, law and many others field, than more reason why it should be done. We should be nationalistic about this. Maintain the studies as it is.

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