Sunday, November 25, 2012

Muhyiddin lambasted for bad education policies



Muhyiddin lambasted for bad education policies

Leven Woon | November 25, 2012
An Indian NGO rep tells some 6,000-strong crowd at the Dong Zong rally that Muhyiddin is a failed education minister.
FULL REPORT
PETALING JAYA: The Dong Zong rally against the National Education Blueprint kicked off today with various speakers training their guns at the ruling government, including one who labelled Muhyiddin Yassin as the “dumbest education minister in the world”.
Dubbed as “Peaceful Appeal Against National Education Blueprint”, the rally saw more than 6,000 people gather at the Padang Timur here since 10am, many holding umbrellas under the hot Sunday weather.
The protesters also displayed banners that among others read: “Safeguard SJK (C) and SJK (T)”, “Guarantee existence and development of multi-stream schools”, “Education blueprint stumbling block to unity” and “National school syllabus to fuse Chinese school”.
Both Barisan Nasional and the MCA were targeted by the protesters, as several placards were spotted reading: “Shameless MCA president betrays Chinese education”, “BN MCA, Corrupt and Abuse of Power”.
Thasleem Mohd Ibrahim, who heads the National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT), said in his addressing speech that the people respected Bahasa Malaysia as the national language and only demanded the rights to learn their mother tongue.
He criticised Muhyiddin, who is also the deputy prime minister, over his controversial policies such as the introduction of the Interlok novel to secondary school students and the National Education Blueprint.
“What does he know? He knows nothing about education. He is the most stupid education minister in the world,” he said, drawing the protesters’ applause.
Elaborating on this to FMT later, he said Muhyiddin was obstinate in pushing through the controversial policies despite objections from various quarters.
“I believe that he does not even listen to his officials nowadays,” said the NGO leader.
Thasleem also surprised the crowd by saying that the education blueprint was against Islam because it was racially-oriented and unfair to the alternative type of schools.
“I challenge the mufti to prove that this blueprint is acceptable from the Islam point of view,” he said.
By 12pm, the crowd size increased to about 10,000 people, who were made up from some 700 organisations nationwide.
Protect vernacular education

Dong Zong president Yap Sin Tian, while addressing the crowd, hit out at the proposed drastic increase of Bahasa Malaysia learning time in Chinese primary schools, from the current 180 minutes a week to 570 minutes.
“The students would not have sufficient time to learn subjects such as geography and science if the proposal is passed under the blueprint. Chinese schools would slowly lose its unique feature,” he said,
He also denounced the marginalisation of Islamic religious schools, deterioration of the standard of conforming schools and Muhyiddin’s recent statement against the construction of new Chinese independent schools.
Meanwhile, a grassroots MCA leader drew a mixture of applause and boos when he was invited to the stage to give a speech.
He cited the example of Black American activism in the 1960s to encourage the crowd to continue the struggle.
KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall president Tan Yew Sing, meanwhile, said the education blueprint was ill-intended as it was designed to contain the rising number of students in vernacular schools.
He warned that the government would face severe consequences should there be any attempt to modify the vernacular schools.
PKR vice-president N Surendran, DAP vice- president Tan Seng Giaw, PAS central committee member Khalid Samad and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) representative Chua Soon Boi also spoke against the blueprint while supporting the multi-stream education policy.
The two-hour rally concluded with the unanimous adoption of two motions, which are to oppose the blueprint; and to urge the government to comply with the global education development and to reflect the Malaysia’s multicultural background in the blueprint.
Also read:
MCA member slams leadership over education policies


















Dong Zong must not fear: Ka Siong & MCA belong to the DUSTBINS OF HISTORY!















Cracks in Najib-Muhyiddin team ahead of polls?
























‘Education blueprint has no ulterior motive’

November 25, 2012
Deputy Prime Minister says Dong Zong should stop making accusations at the government, adding that their action was politically motivated.
SERDANG: Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today said that the National Education Blueprint (PPPM) 2013-2015 was launched with no ulterior motives or hidden agenda to sideline other languages.
Describing the query on the status of Chinese education raised by the United Chinese Schools Committees Association of Malaysia, or better known as Dong Zong, as a misunderstanding, Muhyiddin said the government was fair to all schools.
“The blueprint which was introduced to develop the country’s education is being seen as something done at the expense of Chinese education, that is not true at all.
“All schools, except Chinese private schools which want to be independent, will benefit from the plan because we want to upgrade all schools,” he told reporters after visiting the Malaysian International Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism (MAHA) Exhibition here today.
Today, Dong Zong staged a gathering to protest the blueprint for fear that it would sideline vernacular schools. It also called on the government to be fair to all schools.
On the issues raised by Dong Zong, Muhyiddin said there was no mention in PPPM that Chinese or Tamil schools would be sidelined, in fact, it clearly stated all national-type Chinese (SJKCs) and Tamil (SJKTs) schools would be maintained.
He said the additional teaching time for Bahasa Malaysia in SJKCs and SJKTs would be carried out by conducting extra classes without affecting the time for the teaching of Chinese or Tamil.
On the abolition of transition or ‘remove’ classes, which Dong Zong objected, Muhyiddin said the classes would be unnecessary if the learning of the Malay language in SJKCs and SJKTs was on par with normal schools.
The deputy prime minister said Dong Zong should stop making accusations at the government, adding that their action was politically motivated.
He said Dong Zong always looked at efforts made by the government as having ill-intentions and aimed at diminishing the Chinese language.
“If that is the intention, it could have been done ages ago. The proof is that after 55 years of independence, the Barisan Nasional government did not do it. No Chinese schools were closed. There is no ruling that Chinese cannot be taught, instead there are more Chinese teachers and also Chinese schoolw now,” he added.
This, he said, proved that the views of the Dong Zong were wrong and hoped that the Chinese community would not be misled by them.

















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Dong Zong must not fear: Ka Siong & MCA belong to the DUSTBINS OF HISTORY!























MCA member slams leadership over education policies

Leven Woon | November 25, 2012
The grassroots leader vows to pull out from the party if MCA fails to change the outcome of National Education Blueprint.
PETALING JAYA: The 6,000-strong Dong Zong rally against the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025 today saw the surprise attendance of a grassroots MCA member from Kota Tinggi, Johor.
Breaking ranks with the party leaders who had openly snubbed the rally, the Kota Kecil MCA chairman Tai Foo Him led three busloads of people to support the rally which was held in Padang Timur here.
He told reporters that majority of 110 people who came with him were MCA members.
He drew a mixture of cheers and boos when asked to speak at the rally where some of the protesters had carried banners reading: “Shameless MCA president betrays Chinese education” and “BN MCA, Corrupt and Abuse of Power”.
“I feel ashamed when I saw your placards condemning our party. I think our leaders must change,” he said.
“If they don’t, then maybe it’s about the time for us to change,” he added, without elaborating.
He then cited the example of Black American activism in the 1960s to encourage the crowd to continue the struggle.
Speaking to reporters later, Tai said the MCA leaders did not dare to speak out against the blueprint because they were afraid to lose their government positions.
The branch chairman who joined MCA in 1989 also criticised the party for openly rejecting the rally.
“MCA and the Chinese community are from the same root. Nevermind if you don’t support the rally, but why oppose the rally?” he said.
Tai warned that should MCA failed to change the outcome of the blueprint, he would pull out from the party.
He also said he has done nothing wrong for the party to level a possible disciplinary action against him.
Also read:
Muhyiddin lambasted for bad education policies



















Dong Zong must not fear: Ka Siong & MCA belong to the DUSTBINS OF HISTORY!






















The demonstration by Chinese education group Dong Zong against the National Education Blueprint (NEB) today drew some 10,000 people.

























Dong Zong Rally Slams National Education Blueprint as Anti-Islam

Sunday, 25 November 2012 18:24
The rally took place today in Petaling Jaya. Pix: FMTThe rally took place today in Petaling Jaya. Pix: FMTPETALING JAYA: The Dong Zong rally against the National Education Blueprint kicked off today with various speakers training their guns at the ruling government, including one who labelled Muhyiddin Yassin as the “dumbest education minister in the world”. 
Dubbed as “Peaceful Appeal Against National Education Blueprint”, the rally saw more than 6,000 people gathering the Padang Timur here since 10am, many holding umbrellas under the hot Sunday weather.

The protesters also displayed banners that among others read: “Safeguard SJK (C) and SJK (T)”, “Guarantee existence and development of multi-stream schools”, “Education blueprint stumbling block to unity” and “National school syllabus to fuse Chinese school”.

Both Barisan Nasional and the MCA were targeted by the protesters, as several placards were spotted reading: “Shameless MCA president betrays Chinese education”, “BN MCA, Corrupt and Abuse of Power”.
Thasleem Mohd Ibrahim, who heads the National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT), said in his addressing speech that the people respected Bahasa Malaysia as the national language and only demanded the rights to learn mother tongue. He criticised Muhyiddin, who is also the deputy prime minister, over his controversial policies such as the introduction of the Interlok novel to secondary school students and the National Education Blueprint.

“What does he know? He knows nothing about education. He is the most stupid education minister in the world,” he said, drawing the protesters’ applause.

Elaborating on this to FMT later, he said Muhyiddin was obstinate in pushing through the controversial policies despite objections from various quarters.

“I believe that he does not even listen to his officials nowadays,” said the NGO leader.
Thasleem also surprised the crowd by saying that the education blueprint was against Islam because it was racially-oriented and unfair to the alternative type of schools. “I challenge the mufti to prove that this blueprint is acceptable from the Islam point of view,” he said.

By 12pm, the crowd size increased to about 10,000 people, who were made up from some 700 organisations nationwide.

Protect vernacular education

Dong Zong president Yap Sin Tian, while addressing the crowd, hit out at the proposed drastic increase of Bahasa Malaysia learning time in Chinese primary schools, from the current 180 minutes a week to 570 minutes.

“The students would not have sufficient time to learn subjects such as geography and science if the proposal is passed under the blueprint. Chinese schools would slowly lose its unique feature,” he said.
He also denounced the marginalisation of Islamic religious schools, deterioration of the standard of conforming schools and Muhyiddin’s recent statement against the construction of new Chinese independent schools. Meanwhile, a grassroots MCA leader drew a mixture of applauses and boos when he was invited to the stage to give a speech.

He cited the example of Black American activism in the 1960s to encourage the crowd to continue the struggle.

KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall president Tan Yew Sing meanwhile said the education blueprint was ill-intended as it was designed to contain the rising number of students in vernacular schools.
He warned that the government would face severe consequences should there be any attempts to modify the vernacular schools. PKR vice president N Surendran, DAP vice president Tan Seng Giaw, PAS central committee member Khalid Samad and Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) representative Chua Soon Boi also spoke against the blueprint while supporting the multi-stream education policy.

The two-hour rally concluded with the unanimous adoption of two motions, which is to oppose the blueprint; and to urge the government to comply with the global education development and to reflect the Malaysia’s multicultural background in the blueprint.


- Free Malaysia Today


Read more:

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Education Ministry Answers Dong Zong's Queries


Sunday, 25 November 2012 00:08
THOROUGH EDUCATION: It's not accurate to say that additional time given to Bahasa Malaysia may jeopardise their mother tongue as it was only for students in rehabilitation classes who were weak in the language, says Abd Ghafar.THOROUGH EDUCATION: It's not accurate to say that additional time given to Bahasa Malaysia may jeopardise their mother tongue as it was only for students in rehabilitation classes who were weak in the language, says Abd Ghafar.KUALA LUMPUR: The National Education Blueprint 2013-2015 does not intend to sideline any vernacular schools which exist in this country, said Education Director-General Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud.

The Education Ministry will ensure that every government and government-assisted school received access, equity and quality education, he said.
"The existence of National Type Schools (SJK) is also enshrined in the Education Act 1996 (Section 28) and further strengthened in the Blueprint (Chapter 7, pages 7 - 16)," he said in a statement Saturday. The statement was issued in response to a memorandum from the United Chinese Schools Committees Association of Malaysia or Dong Zong, querying the status of Chinese education.
A total of 20 Dong Zong members, led by its chairman Dr Yap Sin Tian, had presented the memorandum to Minister in Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz on Sept 26.
Abd Ghafar said the government had no intention of changing the status or features of national-type schools, and that even both prime minister and his deputy had said Malaysia had the edge from various legacies, being the only country outside of China to have national-type Chinese schools.
Abd Ghafar said it was not accurate to say that additional time given to Bahasa Malaysia, to 570 minutes a week, may jeopardise their mother tongue. He said the additional time was only for students in rehabilitation classes at SJKC who were weak in the language, only some 30 per cent of the students.
"The Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) has been implemented in stages since 2011 beginning with Year 1. In 2014, this 2011 Year 1 cohort will be in Year 4 (Level 2 KSSR).
"The increase in Bahasa Malaysia learning time for the Level 1 SJKC is from 270 to 300 minutes, while for Level 2, from 180 to 270 minutes."
However, the differences should be seen in the context of two systems, namely the time allocated for level two, which were 180 minutes for KBSR and 270 minutes for KSSR, he said.
He said the longer period of up to five hours a week or 300 minutes allocated for remedial classes was only compulsory for SJKC students who required them, hence, the time increase allocated to Bahasa Malaysia for Year 4 to Year 6 was actually from 180 to 270 minutes.
"The length of time is increased by one hour a day with the aim of improving Bahasa Malaysia proficiency among students who have not attained the minimum proficiency from Years 4 to Year 6 in SJKC and SJKT.
"The ministry feels that it's better for students who have not mastered the language to be identified at an early stage in Years 4, 5 and 6.
"The availability of remedial classes for an hour each day for those who have not attained the minimum level of proficiency, will help them master the language before they complete primary schooling."
At the same time, he said the government admitted that the mother tongue was important, and encouraged people to master Bahasa Malaysia, English and their own mother tongue.
Abd Ghafar also explained the rationale for Year 4 to Year 6 SJKC pupils to follow the same syllabus as national schools.
"It is aimed at enabling SJK pupils to master Bahasa Malaysia faster before they enter secondary schools where Bahasa Malaysia is the main medium of instruction," he said.
He added that this would also ease their transition to secondary schools and prevent them from dropping out.



























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Malay Rights v Special Position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Special Position of the Malays (Part One)

 

 




















Muhyiddin has confirmed that the greatest threat to Najib’s signature 1Malaysia policy is the “Malay first, Malaysian second” DPM


Tan Sri Muhyiddinm Yassin has confirmed that the greatest threat to Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s signature 1Malaysia policy is his “Malay first, Malaysian second” Deputy Prime Minister.
In his speech yesterday, Muhyiddin said Malaysians cannot refute the fact that the future of the nation depended on the unity of the Malays and Muslims, who formed the majority.
Muhyiddin said if the Muslims split due to differences in politics or other fundamental issues related to religion, then it would be difficult to achieve peace and unity for the nation as a whole.
Muhyiddin is wrong as forming a greater majority than Malays and Muslims in the country are Malaysians regardless of religious faiths.
Muhyiddin yesterday completely repudiated Najib’s signature 1Malaysia policy, which is defined by the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap launched by Najib in his first year as Prime Minister, viz:
“The goal of 1Malaysia is to make Malaysia more vibrant, more productive and more competitive – and ultimately a greater nation: a nation where, it is hoped, every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second and where the principles of 1Malaysia are woven into the economic, political and social fabric of society.”
It is clear that after 39 months as Najib’s Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin has not become more 1Malaysia-minded but instead has remained as racist as ever as when he declared in his response to my challenge on April 1, 2010 that he was “a Malay first and then only a Malaysian”.
Muhyiddin had said: “How can I say I’m Malaysian first and Malay second? All the Malays will shun me and say that it is not proper.”
He even challenged me to declare that I was Malaysian first and Chinese second.
I never had hesitation to declare both inside Parliament and outside that I am Malaysian first and Chinese second.
It is a reflection of the failure of the Malaysian nation-building process as well as the hollowness of the 1Malaysia Policy that up to now, Najib dared not set the example to declare that he is Malaysian first and Malay second.
Just as a Malaysian who declared that he is Malaysian first and Chinese second does not make him or her less of a Chinese, similarly a person who declared that he is Malaysian first and Malay, Indian, Kadazan or Iban second does not make him or her less of a Malay, Indian, Kadazan or Iban!
If Muhyiddin still maintains that it is wrong for a Malay leader to declare that he is “Malaysian first and Malay second”, is he going to take the next logical step and propose in Cabinet and the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council to scrap the 1Malaysia Policy as a total failure after three years?
Or worse, that it is a complete fraud on Malaysians for the past three years especially as the objective of the 1Malaysia policy has not found unanimity or consensus in Barisan Nasional let alone majority support of UMNO, the political hegemon in Barisan Nasional!
Even the de facto Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir and other UMNO leaders have criticised the 1Malaysia slogan as “hollow” and “inconsistent”.
When is Najib going to be frank with Malaysians – that his signature 1Malaysia Policy is just an empty slogan without serious purpose or meaning whatsoever?





















Malay Rights v Special Position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Special Position of the Malays (Part One)















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Who have conned the Chinese in M'sia? Under Umno, there is NO HOPE for them! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THICK-SKINNED & BLACK HEARTS: The result of Dr M's UGLY MALAY agenda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our choices: Emigration, encampment or engagement ― Thomas Fann

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRUTH EXPOSED

PROF KHOO KAY PENG SPEAKS OUT ON WHAT IS TRULY 1 MALAYSIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, you want to be a doctor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you still want your kid to study accountancy and become a big banker?

 

 

 

 

 

 

RACIAL IMBALANCE in civil service: Let's STOP ACTING DUMB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race-based policies must end, says Anwar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meritocracy nowhere on the BN's agenda, ONLY RACE & RELIGION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 TRUTH EXPOSED

PROF KHOO KAY PENG SPEAKS OUT ON WHAT IS TRULY 1 MALAYSIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even education is not spared: Latest blueprint a new 'KILLING FIELDS' for BN CRONIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'Instead of change, Najib brought us shame'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dong Zong must not fear: Ka Siong & MCA belong to the DUSTBINS OF HISTORY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The havoc education reform inflicts (Part 1) — Bakri Musa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Please scroll all the way down page to READ articles on TARC by Koon Yew Yin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Koon Yew Yin Personal Scholarship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Announcement


Koon Yew Yin Educational Foundation Fund
All students who have secured a place to study for the foundation course in any of the
public Universities, including UTAR, are eligible to apply for scholarships from the Koon Educational Foundation Fund.

The scholarship provided will be sufficient to cover tuition fees and cost of living expenses for the one-year foundation course.

On successful completion of the foundation course, the students will be required to apply for the government PTPTN loan to complete the degree courses chosen by them.

Conditions:

1. Scholarships will only be given to needy students whose parents are earning less than RM2,000 per month.

2. Scholarship recipients after completion of their degree courses are not required to compensate in any way for the financial support received. The only condition is that they will have to promise to help other poor students when they themselves are financially secure and in a position to help the unfortunate and needy.

3. All applications should be sent to the address below with appropriate parents’ salary or pay vouchers or other evidence of income as well as offer letters from the universities. For students with parents engaged in self employment, a letter of reference from a school teacher or official on the financial status of the parents will be sufficient.

Contact:

KYY Foundation
kyyfoundation@gmail.com

or post to

KYY Foundation
27, Lengkok Harimau
31400, Ipoh
Perak














Who have conned the Chinese in M'sia? Under Umno, there is NO HOPE for them! 

Please scroll all the way down page to READ articles on TARC by Koon Yew Yin












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Pakatan hits back at Muhyiddin, says he lacks new ideas


November 28, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders today claimed that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s attacks on their coalition reflects his lack of new ideas for the country and his party Umno’s desperate desire to win Malay-Muslim votes ahead of the 13th general elections.
Yesterday, the Umno deputy president had said that PR’s PAS had lied about fighting for Islam, claiming that the party’s struggle is not supported by its allies DAP and PKR.
PAS’ Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (picture) said the attacks on his party were due to Umno’s fear of losing votes from the Malay-Muslim community.
“Clearly what Umno is doing now is intended to fish for Malay-Muslim votes,” he said.
He said Umno had to resort to such tactics because the party itself no longer has any goodwill among voters, with scandals like the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) and the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) giving the perception that it is a corrupt party.
“Because Umno is facing PAS, so they (Umno) need to ruin the image and credibility of PAS. Because of that, the main one he bashes is PAS, not DAP or PKR.
“Because we are fighting one against one with Umno. The one that will replace Umno is PAS and also replacing the Malays in Umno.
“It can be clearly seen that he attacks us (PAS) because he knows that PAS is ready in a strong position to replace them,” Dzulkefly told The Malaysian Insider in Parliament today.
DAP’s Liew Chin Tong also said that Umno’s leaders are creating fear for BN’s political foe to draw support from Malay voters.
“I think both Muhyiddin and Mahathir are only working on Malay ground. They are hoping that by creating fear towards PR, they can hold on to Malay support. They are hoping by doing all this they can win just with Malay support,” he said.
“They don’t understand that the country has changed a lot. People are comparing both sides. All Malaysians regardless of ethnic groups are hoping for a good government that has integrity and is not corrupt,” the Bukit Bendera MP said.
I really think it would be more apt for the deputy prime minister to showcase his leadership capabilities by spelling out what is his vision for Malaysia because I see that as sorely lacking from his attacks on Pakatan Rakyat. — Nurul Izzah Anwar
He described Muhyiddin as working together with MCA to pressure both PAS and DAP to return to their traditional support base.
“All Pakatan parties have ventured out beyond their comfort zone, especially PAS and DAP,” he said, referring to the former’s Malay support base and the latter’s non-Malay support base.
Liew contrasted PR with BN, saying that the former will not rely on voters from any single ethnic group but will work to win the people’s support as a coalition that holds the middle ground.
“We want to be a centrist coalition that is acceptable to all Malaysians,” he said, adding that such attacks are merely an attempt to distract the pact from its focus on issues of good governance and integrity.
PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar said it was disappointing to see Muhyiddin, who is also the deputy prime minister, using the old fear card instead of offering new ideas for the country.
“This is normal; every single election, they use the politics of fear, hatred, bigotry, (it is) always utilised by Barisan Nasional and Umno,” she said.
“And it is sorely disappointing to see the deputy prime minister not offering anything new for the development of Malaysia, but utilising the race card, the fear card in order to maintain support.
“I really think it would be more apt for the deputy prime minister to showcase his leadership capabilities by spelling out what is his vision for Malaysia because I see that as sorely lacking from his attacks on Pakatan Rakyat,” the Lembah Pantai MP said.
Liew shared Nurul Izzah’s view, saying: “Umno has no new ideas anymore against PR and what they can do is destroy the credibility of PR as a possible coalition government.”




























Embracing diversity, integration in education

The very first step for the Malay ultras to take in the right direction is to cease making a scapegoat out of Chinese and Tamil primary schools.
 
By Dr Boo Cheng Hau

The recently announced National Education Blueprint contains nothing new. And it shows the powers-that-be have no real intention to listen to the public or make any bold reforms to our ailing education system.

It is a repetition of the sad old story about racial prejudice, not much different from the so-called “National Education Policy” which was largely based on Umno’s Malay nationalist belief that the national language should be the sole medium of instruction.

Proponents of the Malay-medium only policy also emphasise the Malay nationalist perspective of history that having one common language – such as in our neighbours Indonesia and Thailand – can save Malaysia from disintegration.

Racial prejudice and political demagoguery as the basis for our nation’s education agenda of true unity will not get us far. Let me prove how discriminatory is our education system and the false impressions that it projects.

I had a taste of victory for what it means to have “equal opportunities” in education about 30 years ago when I argued for admission, on behalf of a schoolmate, into an American university which has produced some of the Nobel laureates.

My friend was originally from Taiwan but studied in a Chinese independent secondary school here in Malaysia. She did not sit the SPM or UEC (Unified Examination Certificate). To my surprise, the admission officer of the American university requested for UEC results in lieu of SPM qualification.

She did not sit the UEC because the exam was still new at that time. After a long discussion, the admission officer agreed with my proposal that she be admitted conditionally on producing evidence of completing 12 years of primary and secondary education – a standard which almost all American universities and colleges go by.

She was then admitted “under probation” for one semester, meaning she would be considered a regular student after the period of study with a GPA of 2.0 and above (an average of C and above). She graduated eventually without any impediment.

Her experience goes to show how democratic, liberal and flexible the American education system is. This is one of the key factors that allow the United States to become the most technologically advanced country, and one to which many talents from other parts of the world choose to emigrate.

The value of the UEC

In the 1970s, nobody in Malaysia took the UEC exam seriously except for the powers-that-be who attempted to ban it on account that the exam was (perceived to be) “anti-national”.

Nonetheless besides Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore where the UEC was recognised, many American universities and colleges had already begun accepting it as a gateway for college admission.

As far back as 30 years ago, one of my classmates was admitted to the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology based on her UEC results and Chinese Independent School coursework assessments.

Would our public universities and UiTM open their admission policies and welcome UEC holders by integrating them into the mainstream of higher education institutes rather than discriminating them? Some top American universities even admit Chinese independent secondary school students based on school results and class ranking without referring to standardised examinations such as SPM, UEC, GCE, SAT and the like.

Yet after 30 long years, our own Malaysian government still despises the UEC as “anti-national”. In fact, except for respective language subjects, all UEC subjects are offered in three languages; in other words, one can opt to have his math, science, or other papers tested in English, Malay or Chinese.

Chinese independent school graduates are barred from using their UEC results as a means of admission to local public universities and teacher training colleges. This discrimination is deemed necessary to maintain Umno’s self-righteous “National Education Policy” for the promotion of “interracial unity”.

How can political demagoguery such as Umno’s ever help in promoting national unity and interracial integration? One could argue that the party is actually more interested in maintaining its tight grip on power by continuing to mislead the country that vernacular schools somehow pose a hidden threat.

STPM and matriculation – apple and orange?

The powers-that-be have since declared that racial quotas are no longer applied in local public universities. Instead, they claim a “merit-based” admission system has been put in place.

However, at the same time, university admission standards are “diversified” into two separate entry points – STPM and matriculation.

After years of protests by the non-Malays, only 10% of matriculation programmes has been opened up to the non-Bumiputera, and even this percentage is described by the Malay nationalists as a “sell-out” of Malay rights.

Non-Malays are supposed to be grateful for this small “kindness”, like once upon a time coloureds were supposed to thank their white masters for allowing them to go to schools in apartheid South Africa despite great disparities along racial lines in school facilities.

Almost all the non-Malays who managed to gain a seat in the local universities are students who sat the STPM. Many rue this blatant division of university entrance assessment – along racial lines – as comparing apples and oranges.

Satu Sekolah’s inherent contradiction

The authorities contradict themselves by professing a single-language system to promote national unity through putting children under one roof but at the same time segregating them either at Form 1 or when they finish Form 5.

There is an obvious discrepancy between the teaching facilities provided to the vernacular schools which sorely lack government aid and support, and the residential schools and Mara junior science colleges as well as the elite schools catering for Malays – for example, the prestigious Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) and Tunku Kurshiah College (TKC).

Institutional racism practised in public university admission routes gives rise to an added dimension of polarisation. The racial distribution of students is further exacerbated when non-Malays, erroneously seen as well-to-do, are enrolled in private higher institutions of learning. Most people seem to forget that privately funded education, whether locally or abroad, comes at a heavy cost to their parents.

The indirect makings of apartheid

To generalise most Malays as “poor” and all non-Bumiputera, particularly the Chinese, as “rich” is just as good as apartheid.

The Malay ultras believe they are above being associated with the apartheid system in South Africa created with the ostensible excuse of helping the “poor”, Dutch-speaking whites of that country.

But then what should the international community make of UiTM – Malaysia’s biggest public university with campuses in every state – where almost all its students belong predominantly to a single race?

In the former apartheid of South Africa and during the 1950s in the Confederate states of the American south, physical segregation was made visible by the sign saying, “No Coloured and Dogs allowed”.

In Malaysia, there are no signs to say “No Non-Bumis and Dogs allowed”. However, de facto apartheid still permeates through the fabric of the Malaysian public education system. It is de facto racial segregation in its utmost hypocritical disguise without leaving any physical evidence.

Therefore, I see no difference between those poor whites in the former Confederate states of the American south that once held demonstrations against university admission of black students and those Malay ultras that hold demonstrations barring “non-Bumiputera” from entering local public institutions.

UiTM students did demonstrate against their university opening its door a crack when Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim proposed relaxing the admission just a tiny bit to the so-called “Non-Bumis”.

America’s highest court ruled for equality

In Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the US Supreme Court unanimously decided that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”.

It stinks of double standard, if not a glaring blind spot, when vernacular schools keep getting blamed for institutional racism in Malaysia. If mother tongue vernacular schools (open to all students) are incorrectly termed as racist, then the one-race UiTM is nothing but apartheid.

The old, presumed poverty line along the race divide is no longer valid, not when Malaysia has endured discriminative policies predicated on ethnicity since 1970, which is all of 42 years or almost half a century.

There are very few Malay intellectuals willing to tackle the truth of the matter, but Dr Azly Rahman is one of them. At least he’s been honest and bold enough to speak out on the “bankrupt Umno ideology” of race supremacy in his article Dismantle Our Apartheid Education – see http://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/191989.

What is required is for more members of the Malay intelligentsia to question the veracity of a “moral” claim in the perpetuation of a quota system that amounts to apartheid. The only difference is that segregation, like that perpetuated by residential schools, Mara junior colleges and UiTM, is couched using terminology portraying a righteous morality.

The other difference is that Chinese schools are accessible to any non-Chinese, but UiTM does not welcome the non-Malays. In some Chinese independent secondary schools, non-Chinese are given a blanket free tuition.

Are Malays courageous to re-evaluate?

The Malays are a strong majority in numbers and without doubt politically dominant. Why should Umno cling tenaciously to the view that preferential treatment based on race is the “affirmative action” that Malays still require?

Professor Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi in Memories of Unity vividly describes his confidence to compete in his science class and how he emerged as one of the top students among his almost all Chinese classmates back in the 1970s (see http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?sec=lifefocus&file=/2012/9/23/lifefocus/12063972).

I had a Malay classmate who went to the same Chinese independent school as I did. He graduated as one of the top students and went to a local public university, and he is currently a lecturer at another local public university.

It is a myth that Bumiputera students are unable to compete with non-Bumiputera students on a level playing field. This misconception is wrongly used to justify the institutional racism imposed on the public education from top to bottom.

There are tens of thousands of Malays who have made it in local and prestigious foreign universities and thrived in adverse socio-cultural settings. There is no moral justification for segregating Malaysian post-secondary students into STPM/ matriculation except for satisfying Umno’s racial imperatives.

NEP and education apartheid

A few successful Malay billionaire cronies do not mitigate the failure with regard to certain protectionist areas of the NEP. This includes educational apartheid. The rejuvenation of the vernacular schools since the late 1970s when NEP went into full swing is a consequence of our race policies, and not the chief cause of racism.

The NEP was based upon the empirical generalisation that Chinese and Indian Malaysians were all well off and should be “positively discriminated”against in order to help the “poor Malays”.

It’s a different story today as the civil service has become Malay-dominated and this is empirical truth. The tables have been turned as Malaysians of Chinese and Indian descent are marginalised.

The original purpose of the NEP to eradicate the identification of race with profession – Malay farmers, Chinese shopkeepers, Indian clerks – is sidetracked when the civil service has become wholly identified with the Malay race. The racial traits along professions, as reflected in the hiring practices of both the private and public sectors, have been deepened by the NEP.

When I recently requested some documents to be certified by a government department, the Malay clerk gave me a jealous one-eye wink knowing that it was for the purpose of applying to colleges in the US. The one-eye wink might perhaps have been nothing more than the coded message that all you “Chinamen” are rich and can afford to send your children overseas to be educated. This only goes to show up the failure of the NEP in correcting the racial prejudice among races in Malaysia.

How the Chinese prioritise education

The fact is that I told my children I would sell our house and live in a smaller one if we needed funds for their education. I mean education is where they would learn something new and be happy including getting away from institutional racism. We neither hope for Public Service Department or any other government scholarships after hearing so many sad stories of racial degradation.

Selling homes and other property for the sake of the children’s education among the lower- and middle-class Chinese Malaysians is not a new practice. I remember my mother decided to sell off the six-acre rubber plantation left by my deceased father to put myself and my sister through university.

She later worked as a babysitter to cover all our expenses studying overseas. We always thought that there might be more Malays who did not have land to sell. Nonetheless, our good reasoning has not helped many Malays to get rid of their own ingrained racial prejudice both against themselves and other races.

As I write this article, coincidentally, my 17-year-old daughter has just received news that a high-ranking American university has agreed to admit her into its Fine Arts programme based on her multiple talents, multilingual skills and ability to play the Chinese zither and flute. Some universities already made it clear they will admit her by waiving the requirement of her SPM or UEC results.

On the contrary, her talent in playing ancient Chinese musical instruments is definitely not a criterion for admission into any local public university. On the contrary, it may even work against her favour as it could be looked at as a form of Chinese chauvinism and clinging to our ancestral roots.

Deserving of places in local universities

I am not trying to boast my daughter’s academic achievement. She is actually a B-average student but it sure makes a parent proud when one’s child deservedly gains recognition for her talents and, more importantly, she will be able to further develop her talents without being labelled as a non-Bumiputera.

I am glad that her dedication to social work and extracurricular activities, including organising a joint concert of Chinese Orchestra and Western bands, won her recognition from some highly ranked American universities.

One of her recent achievements is receiving a Gold Medal in an international Chinese essay-writing contest in Taiwan. Instead of chucking her unique credential aside, an American university admission director gave great words of encouragement, such as “your family must be very proud of you [for the Gold Medal received]…We would like you to be with us, and I hope you will continue to contribute to the international programme here if you decide to join us”.

I was surprised that she was offered admission and given a partial academic scholarship before we even sent out applications to other American colleges and local private universities.

Some universities are amazed that our students can master two or three languages. They usually give positive encouragement like: “Considering English is your third language, your English is really good.” No parents will send their kid to a college where he or she faces the possibility of being humiliated and degraded on account of race, creed and “non-native status” when my daughter is actually a native-born fourth generation Malaysian.

As a matter of fact, most UEC holders have a greater proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia which is their second language as compared to English which is their third language. If the UEC holders can do well in universities overseas that teach in English, why can’t they be given the same opportunities by our local public universities?

It might be true that their Bahasa Malaysia may not be as good compared with SPM/STPM holders just as their English may not be as good as the Americans, British or Australians when they enrol in American, Australian or British universities. However, if they are given the opportunity to enrol in local public universities, they will be able to polish their BM just like how when given the opportunity to study abroad they are able to polish their English.

More importantly, such openness is needed in order to “converge” the vernacular school alumni into the local higher education institutions and complete an education integration process rather than forcibly “diverge” them to local private institutions and overseas colleges.

We have to be fair and realistic in assessing our students’ language ability based on what is the best they can do in their learning environment. In fact, cultural immersion is the best method to improve Malay language or any other second language proficiency instead of educational segregation like what has been practised here.

Some 30 years ago, it was rare to encounter Americans learning an Asian language. Today, there are American reporters who insist on interviewing me in perfect Mandarin or Bahasa Indonesia. It is a fast-changing world out there but it seems our Umno elites – with the exception of Najib Tun Razak whose son is a fluent Mandarin speaker – are lagging behind time.

The very first step for the Malay ultras to take in the right direction is to cease making a scapegoat out of Chinese and Tamil primary schools. It is an unfounded charge that little children are responsible for racism and racial disunity in Malaysia.

It is, on the other hand, our fear to embrace cultural diversity and true interracial integration that has left us lagging behind many other countries. It is time for the Malay ultras to open their eyes and correct their ingrained prejudice that has worked against their own competitiveness 

















Muhyiddin’s divisive education policy is flawedTeresa Kok


December 22, 2012
DEC 22 – The Deputy Prime Minister cum Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s proposed plan to encourage more students to study science is unfair to those who have the passion and interest for art subjects.
Muhyiddin had proposed tax incentive for parents to have their children enrolled into science stream.
The proposed incentive may set the path for students to drop all the art subjects in school. Parents may be lured through this lop-sided incentive to influence or pressure their children to enter into the
science stream.
The ultimate goal of education is the freedom to learn and experience new and creative ideas based on their own needs and interest.
To promote only the science subjects would indirectly create a misconception within our society that art stream students are inferior.
I urge Muhyiddin to thread carefully in matters of education and not to go on this divisive path. I hope the Cabinet will consult with educationists, parents groups and other stakeholders before the Education Ministry is allowed to proceed further.
* Teresa Kok is the MP for Seputeh.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.



























Malaysia’s slide in maths, science rankings unsurprising, says PAGE

December 22, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — Malaysian students will continue their slide into mathematics and science mediocrity if the current education policies do not change, an education lobby group has warned.
Parent Action Group for Education’s (PAGE) response came after the latest results last Wednesday revealed Malaysia had continued its alarming slip down the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) ranking over the years.
“We expected the results to be that ... If we continue what we’re doing now, we’ll continue to do worse,” PAGE chief Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim (picture) told The Malaysian Insider.
According to Azimah, the Malaysian education system only teaches content knowledge, knowledge recall and rote learning, which unfortunately only make up a minor portion of TIMSS, unlike reasoning and problem solving.
“We haven’t done anything to prepare our kids in TIMSS ... Might as well we don’t take the exams, what a shame,” she said.
TIMSS assesses fourth and eighth grade students (equivalent to Standard Four and Form Two students in Malaysia) over 63 countries in four international benchmarks since 1995.
Malaysia had sent only Form Two students to participate in the study, and 5,773 students from 180 schools took part last year.
For the latest survey in 2011, Malaysia scored 440 in mathematics and 426 in science, below the TIMSS Scale Centerpoint of 500.
In 2007, Malaysia had scored 474 in mathematics and 471 in science. The scores were 519 and 492 respectively in 1999, when Malaysia first participated.
Azimah expressed her cynicism over the government’s plan in the New Education Blueprint to benchmark Malaysian examinations to TIMSS, and reach a top third ranking by 2025.
“If we’re serious of doing well, change,” stressed Azimah, whose group has been championing for Malaysia to continue teaching mathematics and science in English.
Putrajaya has decided to abort the policy that was initiated by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad despite some encouraging results.
“Don’t just give rhetorics, we need to sit down and actually change the curriculum ... so that it’s more inclined towards problem solving and reasoning. We need a total revamp.
“The question mark now ...how are we going to get there?” Azimah asked.
The PAGE chairperson conceded that lack of reasoning and problem solving was an unfortunate consequence of our conservative teacher-centric education.
“Kids should be encouraged to speak up and ask questions,” she suggested.
“They don’t do it because the teachers will reprimand them if they ask the wrong question.
“They’re afraid to make mistakes, they’re ashamed and they don’t want to ridiculed by their friends, so it is best to keep quiet.”
The solution, Azimah explained, is to go back to the root of the problem and overhaul teacher training to move towards making education student-centric.
“The focus should be on the child, not on the teacher.
“Teachers should be more engaging, they should encourage the students, for them to be opinionated,” Azimah added.
TIMMS is run every four years by the International Study Center of Lynch School of Education, Boston College.
Besides examinations, TIMSS also collects contextual information on school environment and location, native language, teachers and family background from the students, teachers and principals.
In 2011, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan led both the mathematics and science rankings by a substantial margin.
Countries declining in science besides Malaysia included Hungary, Macedonia, Norway, Sweden and Thailand.
The same countries also declined in mathematics, with the addition of Japan, Jordan, Romania and Tunisia.





























Science study tax breaks ‘divisive’ and ‘flawed’: DAP MP


December 22, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s proposal to get more students to study science by giving their parents tax breaks is “flawed” and “divisive”, DAP vice-chairman Teresa Kok said today.
Kok (picture) said that this proposal would be “unfair to those who have the passion and interest for art subjects”, saying the promotion of science subjects only would “indirectly create a misconception... that art stream students are inferior”.
“The proposed incentive may set the path for students to drop all the art subjects in school.
“Parents may be lured through this lop-sided incentive to influence or pressure their children to enter into the science stream,” Kok said in a statement today.
She stressed that students should have the freedom to learn based on their own needs and interests.
Kok said Muhyiddin, who is both the education minister and the deputy prime minister, should first discuss this proposal with other stakeholders.
“I urge Muhyiddin to tread carefully in matters of education and not to go on this divisive path. I hope the Cabinet will consult with educationists, parents groups and other stakeholders before the Education Ministry is allowed to proceed further,” the Seputeh MP said.
Muhyiddin reportedly made this proposal last month, having noted that the number of Form Five students from the science stream this year is only 20 per cent and did not meet the national aim of 60 per cent.




















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