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Yoursay: The problem is not just khat, it’s our abysmal education system

Yoursay

6 Ogs 2019, 10:41 malam

Updated a year ago

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YOURSAY | ‘Please do not experiment with millions of our Malaysian children.’

PM: Not right to object to 'khat', other written languages were never opposed

Caripasal: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is trying to justify the use of khat by saying that Malays allow other languages in vernacular schools in this country.

Vernacular schools are allowed in our constitution. We respect Bahasa Malaysia as our national language, but khat is not Bahasa Malaysia, at least not since our independence.

I dare to say I master BM (better than many Malays) but khat was never part of our BM. Why introduced khat now, 62 years after independence? To fulfil the racist agenda?

Salvage Malaysia: Mahathir, you missed the point. Are all students made compulsory to learn the written scripts of other respective communities? Are all students forced to learn Chinese calligraphy?

And this is your idea of New Malaysia?

SL Yeap: We have a broken education system which churns out students who can barely speak or write proper English, which is undeniably the language all should master if we are to progress in science and technology.

Mathematics, science and computer coding is what we should be training our kids to master if we want to be a country like Japan. Mahathir is losing the plot with this latest in a long line of stupid moves by the Education Ministry.

At this rate, we will end up like all these backward nations who spend all their time with their heads in the clouds producing nothing and dreaming of 77 virgins!

We might as well reinstate BN because there is no future for Malaysia if Harapan keeps this up.

Clearwater: Mahathir, it is not right objecting to the introduction of khat? There are so many other things not right in Malaysian education that needs urgent attention that your handpicked clueless education minister has completely failed to address.

Prioritising education needs to meet the demands of today's competitive world come foremost; that means maths, more maths and science.

The Wakandan: Please do not experiment with millions of our Malaysian children. They are not playthings or experiment specimens to be subjected to all kind of politicians’ whims and fancies.

They are human beings, our hope for the future and they are too precious to be pawns to be used in your political agenda.

Khat should not be made compulsory, it should not be shoved down their throats when they are young. If they are interested in calligraphy art, they can always take the option as they develop their direction in life.

Teach them the basic knowledge to allow their mind to develop healthily.

Multi Racial: Our education system was very good four to five decades ago. It was so good that most of the Chinese parents sent their children to missionary schools instead of Chinese schools.

Then came the Dr M era and everything started to deteriorate in his 22 years rule. He then handpicked Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Abdul Razak as his successors, and together both made things even worse.

So when Harapan won the GE14 and they chose Dr M, we were hoping Dr M has finally realised the damages he and his Umno colleagues had caused, and coupled with his age, perhaps he will right all the wrongs he did.

Now we can understand why people say the leopard never changes its spots. Dr M will never change. It is all about his own and party survival. Since day one, has he done anything to unite Malaysians?

Well, he has successful destabilised PKR and now he is targeting DAP. How can implementing khat be good for our education?

One of the bad things done during his, Badawi and Najib era was to introduce more Islamic studies in school.

Instead of reducing it in national-type schools, he is directing Education Minister Maszlee Malik to implement khat in vernacular schools.

Prudent: It is quite clear why Mahathir is raising such an unnecessary and unprofitable issue at this point.

Indeed, the country has more pressing problems to worry about than allowing Maszlee to create trouble in vernacular schools, especially Chinese schools.

This dastardly move reminds me of Mahathir's and Anwar's move in 1987 to send non-Mandarin educated teachers to be headmasters of Chinese vernacular schools. That was a very deliberate move to create trouble for the Chinese and the DAP.

The reason for this trouble-making is clear: to weaken Chinese support for DAP prior to calling a snap election with Bersatu aligned with Umno-BN, PAS and likely GPS on one side, and PKR, DAP and Amanah on the other.

Mahathir had been undermining the multiracial Harapan government from day one in order to re-install a Malay racist government based on Malay racist unity.

David Dass: We all have to accept that we are Malaysians. And we are governed by our Constitution. Under that Constitution, Malay is the national language. It is the language of administration and education. As the national language, it becomes our language.

So learning our language and acquiring proficiency in it should not be an issue. It is important because it sets the seal on us being Malaysians bound together by a common language.

But we continue having our vernacular schools and learning our vernacular languages. We continue speaking our vernacular languages, learning our culture and other traditions including Chinese calligraphy and painting.

We continue being Buddhist, Christian, Hindu. We continue being Chinese, Indian and Malay but we are Malaysian. This is about being Malaysian in a way contemplated by the Constitution.

Of course, English is an important language. It is hard to imagine higher education without English language proficiency. If the Education Ministry has not realised the importance of English then we are in la-la land.

And of course, Mandarin has economic value. But that is not the point here.

It is six pages out of 164 pages. It is a small part of the Bahasa Malaysia syllabus. It is only taught in Standard 4. Do not give the extremists another issue to label the DAP as a threat to Malays.

We should move on to other things. Concerns about this being the thin end of the wedge for Islamisation should be dealt with in a different way.

Proarte: Mahathir is showing his true colours now - duplicitous, scheming and racist. He is also a blatant liar.

The Chinese language is very definitely allowed in Indonesia. Indonesia ratified the 1965 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd) as far back as May 22, 1999.

In 2000, the newly elected President Abdurrahman Wahid abolished the ban on public displays of Chinese culture and allowed Chinese traditions to be practised freely, without the need of a permit.

The Indonesian legislature passed a new citizenship law in 2006 defining the word ‘asli’ (indigenous) in the Constitution as a natural-born person, allowing Chinese Indonesians to be regarded as bumiputera and eligible to run for president.

Mahathir is a liability for Malaysia and should be put out to pasture. His politics is passe and belongs to the Kleptocratic Suharto era of Indonesia which employed divide and rule and racism against the Chinese to hold on to power.

Mahathir must be aware that the Malays too were allowed to use their language, their borrowed scripts (Jawi and Rumi) and religion by the indigenous people of Malaysia, namely the Orang Asli whose land was usurped by the 'pendatang' Malays and which continues to this day.

The Perak menteri besar has recently allowed loggers to plunder the Orang Asli forests, even arrogantly stating that the state constitution does not recognise Orang Asli ancestral lands.

It is about time Mahathir stop his racist and bigoted politics because it is destroying this nation.

Fair Play: Ever wonder why the dominant community of the country make such slow progress, if there is real and tangible progress at all, to uplift the economic and educational standard of the majority community in the foreseeable future?

If a top and supposedly ‘visionary’ leader like Mahathir chose to join in the fray about the ‘beautiful’ Arabic alphabet and brow beat the other communities into submission instead of making it compulsory for his community to master STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and be proficient in the English language.

I suppose this is far easier than to change the mindset of his community. Has Mahathir also forgotten that Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Kebangsaan is officially written in the English alphabet? So, why is this compulsory need for vernacular schools to study khat just because it is beautiful?

Amateur: What a strong contrast for the two neighbours in 2020.

In Malaysia, upper primary pupils in Chinese and Tamil schools are required to learn Jawi. In Singapore, upper primary school pupils are required to learn computer codes.


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