Saturday, February 25, 2006

Reclaim the joy of going to school

The commentary by VK Chin in The Star yesterday caught my eye, the subject title being "Don't burden pupils with too many subjects".

This is not the first time that the subject of schoolkids being increasingly burdened by a lack of clear policy direction by our Education Ministry has been brought to the attention of the public. Each year at the beginning of the school calendar, parents and a small group of people in the healthcare industry repeated their calls for a review into the current syllabus where primary school children are being burdened with a bagful of textbooks and workbooks which put a huge strain on the posture of the growing kids.

But does anyone care to listen and actually DO something about it? The Education Ministry seems to be suffering from major impotence in finding a solution to lighten the schoolbags.

These days, there is not much joy in going to school anymore. It is a place where kids spend all day studying and when it's time to go home, they bring back loads of homework which sometimes took up the rest of the day just to finish. Is it any wonder most kids hate school these days?

A Suhakam report on primary education revealed an alarmingly high dropout rate among male primary schoolkids. The report showed that in 2003, 10,695 male pupils dropped out of primary school of which:-

5,111 stayed away when they were in Year 2,
925 in Year 3,
26 in Year 4,
3,366 in Year 5, and
a staggering 6,925 in Year 6!

When asked why this trend of dropping out from primary school is more confined to male pupils, Suhakam commissioner Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said it was because the Malaysian education system is more academic in nature. He said,

"We focus and emphasise more on academic achievements and boys are usually inclined for other hard activities. There have been instances when a female teacher is supposed to supervise boys playing football. Obviously, the teacher being female would not show the same interest in the game as a male teacher would and when the teacher does not show interest, the boys lose interest too."

Similarly, VK Chin in his Star commentary also cautioned the Government to think carefully before introducing new school subjects in order not to overload the present education system. This is because various interest groups have tried to push their pet projects to be part of the school syllabus, ranging from the recent suggestion of teaching road safety to curb the rising number of road fatalities each year to environment, consumerism and awareness of vices such as smoking and drinking.

No one seems to realise that "what is sadly lacking is the number of periods for physical education which has taken a backseat in many primary and secondary schools as principals and teachers seem more interested in improving their pupils' academic standard. ...

Actually, there are many primary schools with less than 2 periods of physical education per week, which surely is vastly inadequate. The focus is always academic with little time for physical activities to strengthen their bodies.

This is an area that the ministry should look into, to ensure that all pupils be strong not only mentally but physically, too.

There are already too many subjects being taught and adding more will be too taxing for the children.

While we wish our children to do well academically we also do not want them to end up with health problems later on in life due to lack of exercise."

A reader of Malaysiakini wrote an interesting letter here pointing out that our pressure cooker education system will blow up. That is really not very far from the truth of the matter.

Just to give you an example of what it is like for a Year 6 school student studying for the UPSR (Primary School Assessment Test) examination this year had to go through in a Chinese vernacular school in Negri Sembilan:-

He wakes up at about 5:30 am to get ready for school because he must be in class before 7 am when the teacher comes in to supervise the morning reading session.

Classes officially starts from 7:20am to 10:00am.
He gets a 30-minute break at about 10:00 am.
Classes resume from 10:30am to 1:30pm.
He gets a 30-minute break for lunch.
Classes resume from 2:00pm to 4:30pm.

By the time he reached home, it is already past 5:00pm and he has yet some unfinished homework to complete before he can call it a day.

The above schedule applies from Monday to Friday, with the exception on Wednesday when he gets to go home at 1:30pm (the only normal school hours day he gets in a week).

On Tuesday, the day stretched to 5:00pm.

On Saturday, he has to return to school for extra tuition from 8:00am to 11:30 am.

Can we honestly say that the long hours spent studying in school almost 6 days a week is good for a 12 year old?

Someone who is familiar with the national school system can probably enlighten us as to whether their Year 6 students undergo a similar routine. I am rather doubtful though.

Frankly, I think it is a terrible burden for these kids to have to go through such a punishing schedule just so that they can score as many "A" as they can for the glory of their school and their parents. But that is the reality of vernacular schools and if you choose to put your kids in these schools, you have not much choice but to play by their rules just like the way they enforced the "crewcut for boys and short hair below the collar-line for girls" rule. Take it or leave it. Of course, most people do take it grudgingly because they'd rather suffer these rules than opt for national schools (which is another controversial subject for another day).

I hope to see the day when our children can reclaim their childhood so that when they grow up and look back upon this period in their lives, it is filled with memories of a carefree period when school is a place they enjoyed going to. It may be far better to teach primary school children how to be a good and conscientious citizen who know how to take good care of public property, to abhor littering and vandalism, to practise good hygiene and good manners and most of all, to respect their elders and their friends and to be mindful and gracious when interacting with people who are different from them, whether by the colour of their skin or religious beliefs.

If we are able to teach young children how to be a model citizen, it will go a long way towards moulding them into the kind of adults we wish for in our society. Certainly that is the aspiration of our PM who's wish is to see each and every citizen of this country developing first class mentality and social graces to go with the first class infrastructure that we have already spent so much money to put in place. But the pursuit of mere academic excellence has resulted in most people pushing aside the need to develop other soft values which makes a person more wholesome and more well-rounded. And in the process, we have created an ugly, selfish and materialistic society where each person cares only for the well-being of himself or his own community to the detriment of others.

Sometimes it is amusing to note that while more developed countries in the West are putting more emphasis on the importance of developing and nurturing a high Emotional Quotient (EQ) as a mark of a civilised society as well as recognising that an individual with a high EQ has a better chance of success in his career, we in Malaysia still regard a high IQ (Intelligence Quotient) as a prerequisite for success in life. That's rather archaic and sadly, a reflection of the minds of our bureaucrats who run the Ministry of Education and directly responsible for the quality of our future generation of leaders.

Sad indeed when you see the reality of what is going on in our country and what is happening in our schools these days.

While the Ministry has admitted that our teachers are currently overworked and stressed out in a less than ideal work environment in a news report published today, perhaps they should also make a serious effort to unburden our kids and do away with an examination-oriented school syllabus. This way, teachers and students will not have to suffer the yearly pressure of producing excellent academic results to meet the expectations of misguided principals and parents.

So what is it exactly that is making our Ministry of Education so terribly uninspired?

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15 Comments:

Anonymous vovo said...

The education system which has become more communal despite its supposed non-ethnic and non-religious status is the main reason for the growing division between the races.

Communal ties are at their most delicate in nearly four decades. It is terrifying to realise how easily racial and religious sentiments can be aroused by the powers-that-be for political advantage.

Initially, we had all races studying together in one class but then they were segregated by race for the purpose of religious and moral classes resulting in students of same race grouping together, but under the same roof. Today we have taken another backward step with each race studying in their own vernacular schools under separate roofs and rarely do they ever come together.

We need to revamp the education system to return it to its original status and aspiration of unifying the races through the national schools. Pupils of all races must be placed in one class so that they can interact freely with one another. Emphasis on their common identities rather than their differences should be encouraged.

There should also be a racially balanced mix of teachers as well in all our national schools. It is common knowledge that if there is diversity in the same environment then there will be more tolerance and goodwill.

We need politicians who are true national leaders and not ethnic champions. In the 1960s, every citizen looked up to politicians as Malaysian leaders but now we consider them as leaders of either the Malays, Indians or Chinese. Even the prime minister, who should be the leader of all races, is now seen as the leader of the malays only.

If we want to survive in this globalised world, we Malaysians - regardless of race - must unite and pool our resources and expertise so as to remain competitive.

We yearn for the day when Malaysians will share a single identity, but gauging by present developments in the country, this is fast eluding us. Our aspiration for a united Malaysia is not being appreciated by the present generation of leaders who are taking over the reins of power.

Any attempt by non-malays to even start anything to rectify the major flaws in the nation (such as the NEP or the current over-zealous Islamisation) would immediately be transformed by the powers-that-be into a racial issue and no one wants that.

If you want to exercise your voting rights to throw out the corrupt and unscrupulous government, the alternative is either a weak choice (DAP or Keadilan) or something even worse which could lead Malaysia to join the fundamentalist Islamic league.

Courage needs to be tempered with pragmatism for survival. Those who have emigrated have demonstrated that.

27/2/06 16:26  
Anonymous samp said...

Talking about the international competitiveness, in the first place we can't even compete to have our own talents back. It is now an impossible dream to try to get back that international competitiveness unless there is a miracle.

Human resources, the most important and invaluable asset a country would like to have, and yet our government does not seem to give a damn because of the racial prejudice and narrow mindedness.

Each year millions of ringgit are spent by private overseas students who are deprived of opportunities in their own land and upon graduation the host countries could just easily absorb them and forever we are the losers, and our government is impotent to do anything about it. Even the government scholarship holders in terms of many hundreds also refuse to come back.

Today, we can't afford to hire back our good people, instead they are happily employed by our competitors, the host countries and they give their best years to whoever could afford to employ them.

You do not have the good people; as a result, you don't have the top grade of management system, top grade of quality, top grade of R&D and the top grade of products. Certainly you lose out in the global competitiveness in all fields. The 60 thousands unemployable graduates are of the inferior quality otherwise, they could have crossed the blue ocean to seek greener pastures.

This is a vicious cycle, we can't attract good people to our side in the first place because our salary scheme is no longer attractive and our ringgit is weak. And our good people because of attractive pay outside tend to go over the other side.

The top grade people go out and the second grade people stay behind. In the long run, we are getting weaker and weaker, and our competitors are getting better and better. You pay what you get as the saying goes, "If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys."

Without good qualified people, how are you going to compete? What we could attract now are only those low-grade Indonesian labours.

It looks like we are following the footsteps of Indonesia and getting closer as years go by, after all one said: "Since we come from the same race and the same blood flows in our veins, it is imperative for us to find common ground to resolve all our differences."

Look at Indonesia's policy for the 1960s against its own ethnic Chinese populace. Typically abang-adik with Indonesia, Malaysia already has a model to follow.

It is time we separate administration and politics. The mentality, that we fought and won elections, so we must enjoy the spoils, must go.

27/2/06 16:28  
Anonymous ming pan bee said...

List of racial discriminations in Malaysia, practiced by government as well as government agencies. This list is an open secret. Best verified by government itself because it got the statistics.

This list is not in the order of importance, that means the first one on the list is not the most important and the last one on the list does not mean least important.

This list is a common knowledge to a lot of Malaysians, especially those non-malays (Chinese, Ibans, Kadazans, Orang Asli, Tamils, etc) who were being racially discriminated.

Figures in this list are estimates only and please take it as a guide only. Government of Malaysia has the most correct figures. Is government of Malaysia too ashamed to publish their racist acts by publishing racial statistics?

This list cover a period of about 48 years since independence (1957).

List of racial discriminations (Malaysia):

(1) Out of all the 5 major banks, only one bank is multi-racial, the rest are controlled by malays

(2) 99% of Petronas directors are malays

(3) 3% of Petronas employees are Chinese

(4) 99% of 2000 Petronas gasoline stations are owned by malays

(5) 100% all contractors working under Petronas projects must be bumis status

(6) 0% of non-malay staffs is legally required in malay companies. But there must be 30% malay staffs in Chinese companies.

(7) 5% of all new intake for government police, nurses, army, is non-malays.

(8) 2% is the present Chinese staff in Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), drop from 40% in 1960

(9) 2% is the percentage of non-malay government servants in Putrajaya. But malays make up 98%

(10) 7% is the percentage of Chinese government servants in the whole government (in 2004), drop from 30% in 1960

(11) 95% of government contracts are given to malays

(12) 100% all business licensees are controlled by malay government e.g. Taxi permits, Approved permits, etc

(13) 80% of the Chinese rice millers in Kedah had to be sold to malay controlled Bernas in 1980s. Otherwise, life is make difficult for Chinese rice millers

(14) 100 big companies set up, owned and managed by Chinese Malaysians were taken over by government, and later managed by malays since 1970s e.g. UTC, UMBC, MISC, etc

(15) At least 10 Chinese owned bus companies (throughout Malaysia, throughout 40 years) had to be sold to MARA or other malay transport companies due to rejection by malay authority to Chinese application for bus routes and rejection for their application for new buses

(16) 2 Chinese taxi drivers were barred from driving in Johor Larkin bus station. There are about 30 taxi drivers and 3 are Chinese in October 2004. Spoiling taxi club properties was the reason given

(17) 0 non-malays are allowed to get shop lots in the new Muar bus station (November 2004)

(18) 8000 billions ringgit is the total amount the government channeled to malay pockets through ASB, ASN, MARA, privatisation of government agencies, Tabung Haji etc, through NEP over 34 years period

(19) 48 Chinese primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

(20) 144 Indian primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

(21) 2637 malay primary schools built since 1968 - 2000

(22) 2.5% is government budget for Chinese primary schools. Indian schools got only 1%, malay schools got 96.5%

(23) While a Chinese parent with RM1000 salary (monthly) cannot get school-text-book-loan, a malay parent with RM2000 salary is eligible

(24) 10 all public universities vice chancellors are malays

(25) 5% - the government universities lecturers of non-malay origins had been reduced from about 70% in 1965 to only 5% in 2004

(26) Only 5% is given to non-malays for government scholarships over 40 years

(27) 0 Chinese or Indians were sent to Japan and Korea under "Look East Policy"

(28) 128 STPM Chinese top students could not get into the course that they aspired i.e. Medicine (in 2004)

(29) 10% place for non-bumi students for MARA science schools beginning from year 2003, but only 7% are filled. Before that it was 100% malays

(30) 50 cases whereby Chinese and Indian Malaysians, are beaten up in the National Service program in 2003

(31) 25% is Malaysian Chinese population in 2004, drop from 45% in 1957

(32) 7% is the present Malaysian Indians population (2004), a drop from 12% in 1957

(33) 2 millions Chinese Malaysians had emigrated to overseas since 40 years ago

(34) 0.5 million Indian Malaysians had emigrated to overseas

(35) 3 millions Indonesians had migrated into Malaysia and became Malaysian citizens with bumis status.

(36) 600000 are the Chinese and Indian Malaysians with red IC and were rejected repeatedly when applying for citizenship for 40 years. Perhaps 60% of them had already passed away due to old age. This shows racism of how easily Indonesians got their citizenships compare with the Chinese and Indians

(37) 5% - 15% discount for a malay to buy a house, regardless whether the malay is rich or poor

(38) 2% is what Chinese new villages get compare with 98% of what malay villages got for rural development budget

(39) 50 road names (at least) had been changed from Chinese names to other names

(40) 1 Dewan Gan Boon Leong (in Malacca) was altered to other name (e.g. Dewan Serbaguna or sort) when it was being officially used for a few days. Government try to shun Chinese names. This racism happened in around year 2000 or sort

(41) 0 temples/churches were built for each housing estate. But every housing estate got at least one mosque/surau built

(42) 3000 mosques/surau were built in all housing estates throughout Malaysia since 1970. No temples, no churches are required to be built in housing estates

(43) 1 Catholic church in Shah Alam took 20 years to apply to be constructed. But told by malay authority that it must look like a factory and not look like a church. Still not yet approved in 2004

(44) 1 publishing of Bible in Iban language banned (in 2002)

(45) 0 of the government TV stations (RTM1, RTM2, TV3) are directors of non-malay origins

(46) 30 government produced TV dramas and films always showed that the bad guys had Chinese face, and the good guys had malay face. You can check it out since 1970s. Recent years, this tendency becomes less

(47) 10 times, at least, malays (especially Umno) had threatened to massacre the Chinese Malaysians using May 13 since 1969

(48) 20 constituencies won by DAP would not get funds from the government to develop. Or these Chinese majority constituencies would be the last to be developed

(49) 100 constituencies (parliaments and states) had been racistly re-delineated so Chinese voters were diluted that Chinese candidates, particularly DAP candidates lost in election since 1970s

(50) Only 3 out of 12 human rights items are ratified by Malaysia government since 1960

(51) 0 - elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (UN Human Rights) is not ratified by Malaysia government since 1960s

(52) 20 reported cases whereby malay ambulance attendances treated Chinese patients inhumanely, and malay government hospital staffs purposely delay attending to Chinese patients in 2003. Unreported cases may be 200

(53) 50 cases each year whereby Chinese, especially Chinese youths being beaten up by malay youths in public places. We may check at police reports provided the police took the report, otherwise there will be no record

(54) 20 cases every year whereby Chinese drivers who accidentally knocked down malays were seriously assaulted or killed by malays

(55) 12% is what ASB/ASN got per annum while banks fixed deposit is only about 3.5% per annum

There are hundreds more racial discriminations in Malaysia to add to this list of "colossal" racism. It is hope that the victims of racism will write in to expose racism.

Malaysia government should publish statistics showing how much malays had benefited from the "special rights" of malays and at the same time tell the statistics of how much other minority races are being discriminated.

Hence, the responsibility lies in the Malaysia government itself to publish unadulterated statistics of racial discrimination.

If the Malaysia government hides the statistics above, then there must be some evil doings, immoral doings, shameful doings and sinful doings, like the Nazi, going on onto the non-malays of Malaysia.

Civilized nation, unlike evil Nazi, must publish statistics to show its treatment on its minority races. This is what Malaysia must publish……….

We are asking for the publication of the statistics showing how "implementation of special rights of malays" had inflicted colossal racial discrimination onto non-malays.

27/2/06 16:30  
Anonymous aston said...

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27/2/06 16:31  
Anonymous British man said...

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27/2/06 16:33  
Anonymous tim said...

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27/2/06 16:35  
Anonymous pang said...

Malaysia is now regarded as the sick man of South-East Asia. Even foreign direct investment has deserted us for China, India, Thailand and even Vietnam. Eventually, Indonesia will also surpass us.

Then maybe we have to send our people to work there as maids or in the Indonesian plantation. It seems the role will be reverse and those working in Indonesia may have to remit money for our folks in Malaysia.

Thus, the country will lose out in the entire field in 10 or 20 years time. Then we have only African countries to compare. Even the African countries will overtake us and we are left alone with all the white elephant buildings. Be proud of the form and structure only.

The mistakes of BN policies were that, they did not invest in people. In order to compete, investing in people is the most important competitive advantage a nation could have. When talking about investing in people, it tends to focus to one race only due to the affirmative policy. The outcome from this race is not favourable also.

When we ask monkeys to lead our country. Look at the number of failed projects. If you examine the management system carefully, they are usually led by people who do not have the expertise in the said fields.

Take education for example. It is Umno who decides the policy. The saddest part is those involved are not academicians. They themselves are under achiever academically. Similarly the other fields are managed by blokes.

It won't stop there if the government still wants to protect malays interest only. Policy such as NEP will only bring us trouble. Instead of moving forward, the government chooses to stop just to wait for one race.

Abolish the stupid NEP. They are not producing malay elites, contrary they are enriching a few idiots and depriving a whole lot of malays.

Even if these malays can get entry into University Malaya, so what? The quality of education is so bad, public and private sectors shun them. Their professional degrees are useless as the global market doesn't even recognize our medical and engineering degrees.

Look at Singapore, they have malays too, but do they suffer? Not only they did not suffer but they able to stand on their own and compete against other races. Sadly, it won't happen in Malaysia.

We had a lot of capable brains but it is the government who do not hang on to them. Programs to bring back the professionals abroad won't succeed because they do not look at the money offered but fairness, opportunities and the government policies is what they concern the most.

The above are actually a sampling of the negative perceptions the business community have of this country. One need not be a futurologist to see this "downfall" coming.

Our government does not value brains. It looks at the skin. Look at the cabinet, civil service, GLCs, police, universities, and everywhere. It is race that determines who hold what position. Coupled with our corruption, emasculation of the judiciary, Islamization policies, and suppressing of press freedom - our future is indeed bleak!

Those who want to see this, continue to support the Gerakan, MCA, Umno and the BN.

27/2/06 16:37  
Anonymous fargowin said...

I am a New Zealander. My ancestors came to New Zealand less than 100 hundred years ago from Britain, Germany, Holland and the Middle East. But I don't identify with any of those places - I am a New Zealander, it says so on my passport.

Most Malaysian Chinese and Indians have a connection to Malaysia that far outdates my connection to New Zealand……….so I can't imagine how one could say that Chinese Malaysians should identify with China and not with Malaysia, or Indian Malaysians should identify more closely with India.

If it was natural to go to such extremes then why not just make us all citizens of Africa and be done with it?

Let me tell you, who are malays? Can't they just be some people that came from Indonesia long time ago? Or some Arabs came from Middle East centuries ago?

They do not necessary originate from Malaysia! Malaysia could be part of Indonesia or Thailand! What that in the history book does not necessary be the whole truth!

One friend said: "I am malay. My father was raised in a rural village outside of Kuching. He made it through without any of the bumi-biased aids in question and at one point worked for a multi-national organization. I have never requested for or used any educational aids. It is foolish of me to speak out against a system that would benefit me - but I still choose to do so. Truthfully, I dare go as far as to say, I am harshest against my own race."

My agree point being is that malays can make a difference if they are willing to work hard. Remember, there hardly is any substitute to success. Mahathir himself spoke out against the malays and said that they were lazy and laidback.

If you imply that May 13 will occur all over again just because the malays can't earn their way through things - this will show who the real gangsters are.

To stop whining when things are obviously biased will serve to make the government less accountable to the public. Remember, bumis policy has been around for decades, not days. The "backward" malays should have been already on their feet by now - if not highfliers themselves.

Moreover, about the quota system - if malay entrants are not qualified to enter the university but students of other races are, don't let them enter! That will force them to study harder to earn their way in.

If tertiary institutions compromise as quota system for university, what we would have are mediocre tertiary institutions that may go as far as lowering the passing mark so that more of these non-deserving students may pass. This will only degrade the Malaysian education system further.

In the paragraph mention racial harmony. In fact, the projected image of harmony is not entirely an honest one. There won't be true harmony as long as politicians take advantage by playing the race card. And many Malaysians living in Malaysia know that every dimension of life here is racially politicised.

My point was it is no longer a race issue. It is a class issue. While it is still important to realise that the "crime" of Umno was to make it all seem as if only the malays are at the worst end of development.

In other words, not only do the rural malays suffer……….the rural Indians etc, are denied the opportunities too. Poverty is race-blind.

One cannot possibly aid a group at the expense of those who are affected by discrimination. While discrimination is present in the US, it is still very much a recipient of brain gain, Malaysia on the other hand is a victim of brain drain.

27/2/06 16:39  
Anonymous kentanjim said...

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27/2/06 16:42  
Anonymous yuking said...

Open communication or not does not make sense anymore - and we have to live in this Bolehland unless we got a chance and money to emigrate.

This is how they want the country to be rule and rot. Malaysians have given many comments on all this crap, but all remain unheard.

Sometimes I just felt that we are wasting our time putting up comments for a better Malaysia where the government is not prepared for and yet still dwell in denial.

In this Bolehland of denial, any effort to improve the country is considered insult and unpatriotic. There is no way it can change and that is the fact.

We only can change our own destiny and not this country by emigrating.

No wonder there are so many government-sponsored students (malays and non-malays) choose to remain overseas to work and live - to stay away from this Bolehland……….

You need globalisation to teach them a lesson - it won't be long and soon you will see the effect - in fact the rot has already started.

What you and Malaysians want is just a transparent, fair and accountable government to equip the country to face the globalisation challenge, and yet the government take it as a plot to discredit the country.

Whatever good deeds you fight for, they label you as unpatriotic, traitor, party agenda, nonsense and communist.

Hearing all this really break my heart and many Malaysians hearts.

Those contributing from their hearts are true, proud and courageous Malaysians - they are very concerned for the future of their motherland and the welfare of her ordinary people.

27/2/06 16:44  
Anonymous yoy said...

I seriously think malays should learn how to stand on their own feet instead of blaming non-malays for their own failure. Without the hardworking non-malays, Malaysia government won't have money to subsidy the hardly work malays.

NEP and institutional discrimination have brought negative effect to malays mindset and competitiveness.

I need to remind you; don't fool by this protectionism. Like APs, government contract, government land, government loan, government subsidy.

Tell me how many poor malays able to access to these goodies or did you get something from the list above! The grass-root malays have being cheated by the rich malays for supporting the NEP.

Only those rich malays have connection for these programs. Malaysia automobile policy has only created four APs king vs. thousand poor malays. Wake up, your own people has cheated you not the non-malays.

Here is the following list of near bankrupt GLCs:

(They are direct GLCs or indirect GLCs via EPF, Tabung Haji or other government agency.)

(1) Bank Bumi (no longer exist)
(2) Bank Islam (looking for capital injection)
(3) IntraKota
(4) MAS
(5) ParkMay
(6) Perwaja
(7) Proton
(8) Putra LRT
(9) Renong
(10) Star LRT

It is about the wake up call for the malays. NEP will make malays as good as a 'Katak dalam tempurung'.

Whatever you think may not be whatever it is. Non-malays never forbid malays to open their own business. Non-malays never ask malays to be not hardworking. I only hear non-malays complaint malays not work hard enough.

When malays choose not to work hard, please do not stop other to work hard by imposed regulation and rule such as permit or quota to stop someone to excel.

Why can't malays look beyond what is the protection? I never suggest take away all the protection; I know malays did not ready for that. But malays like you so scare to dare not even try for partial of the protection.

If this situation prolong, malays forever will live inside the protective area just like Red Indians live in their conservation.

I live in USA before, I used to work as an IT consultant. My pay was similar to the local white guys. They never treat me as a foreigner. I easily get a place for my MBA with a state scholarship. I never get discriminated even I have different skin color as them.

Yes, the income tax is high - 35%, sales tax is 7%; every time you buy anything you have to pay extra 7% for the goods; but when I call the city police regarding my car key being lock inside my car, they reach the site within 10 minutes. The best thing is the police never ask me for coffee money but some friendly advice for me to carry a spare key in my wallet.

I don't know where did you get the impression that USA is discriminate against foreigners. They know everyone in USA is foreigner. The black getting more scholarship than the white but the black don't like the book instead of drug/gun.

Protectionism will not able to broaden malays horizon. The best defend is reach out. Do not hide inside your protested area. It won't work. Learn how to reach out and proactive. Just like the fish in the river, either you being push down stream by the current or you constantly swim to stay ahead.

27/2/06 16:46  
Anonymous reek said...

As an ex-lecturer at one of the medical schools in Malaysia for 13 years, I taught medical students during their first year at the medical faculty.

We (the lecturers) began to notice the difference in the quality of the students - between those coming from the STPM (mainly non-bumis) and those coming from the matriculation system (the bumis).

Although the students from matriculation were also the cream of the bumi students, in general they could not fare as well as the non-bumis. No matter how hard the lecturers try to coax (sometime to the extent of spoon feeding) and motivate them, we could see the difference.

Even when answering essay questions in Bahasa Malaysia, the non-bumis fared better. I could tell the difference in the script.

Students coming after STPM are more confident, independent, mature, motivated, resilient, self-directed and with high self-esteem. The students from matriculation are hardworking and also motivated but something is amiss with their pre-university education i.e. during matriculation.

They seem to be not fully ready for university life and academic expectations. I am not saying that all matriculation students are like this. The majority of top 10 students are still bumi students but in general, perhaps the bottom 50 percent are also from matriculation.

Of course, when I was still employed there, we lecturers do give our input to the powers-that-be in the university. We even suggested doing away with the matriculation and have one university entry examination.

We were told it was not for us to decide, the politicians are the ones who make the decisions. Try talking to rational, farsighted malay educationists (not nationalists) and they will give you the same suggestion.

When I suggested to some post-SPM malay students (who excelled in the SPM) to choose STPM over matriculation, they refused to do so, citing teachers who said that the STPM was difficult and more so for malays because Form Six teachers were mainly Chinese and non-bumis!

Life in matriculation schools is about cramming information. Interaction is only amongst the bumis with a sprinkling of non-malays who perhaps will also keep to themselves. There is very minimal cross interaction and learning from students of other races.

It is not so bad for those who came from an urban background, but for the malays who are from rural schools, they will remain in their cocoon. Hence, when they enter university, it is an emotional and cultural shock.

You can't blame the students (both bumis and non-bumis) for only clicking with their own kind. They feel insecure with the other and they sometimes compete unhealthily. Knowledge is not shared and it is not unusual to hear that important reference materials only get passed from one person to another of the same race.

Study groups consist only of one group of students of the same race. Talk about polarisation. Who polarised them? Talk about unity and Bangsa Malaysia, who disunited them?

I do not understand why the government cannot see the 'loss' the bumi students are experiencing in the long run. Let's adopt one entry system. The setback will only be temporary to the bumis.

I can only say that the 'heroic' act by our prime minister in allowing the 128 non-bumi students to do medicine is a political ploy and the scripts have been acted out well.

27/2/06 16:50  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Dear all,

I welcome and thank you for taking the time to post your comments here. It has been an enlightening read for me.

At the same time, I also apologize to those whose comments I have taken off because I do not wish to get myself into trouble for some unacceptable utterings being made against the Malays.

I believe it is possible to get your message across without having to resort to name-calling. Let us not be racist for the sake of Malaysia and its people, no matter how much we resent some of the govt policies that have impacted our lives.

Lastly, I kindly request your kind co-operation in keeping the discussion here relevant to the topic and in a civilised manner.

Thank you.

Anakmerdeka

27/2/06 19:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, I think this is the same spammer that has been plaguing other Malaysian blogs lar. Just hit delete to be rid of such malicious comments.

28/2/06 10:54  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Gee ... thanks anonymous, for the tip-off. *Sigh*

28/2/06 15:03  

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