I found it necessary to reply to this anonymous commentator to this post
Mr Lee, the fact that you study in a vernacular school explains a lot. First and foremost your loyalty and whatever fond memories you have for the school long time ago, has lock your minda . You therefore bear some "favoritism and conservativeness" in your outlook.
Social inept is one thing, real disdain for the other race is a very different matter altogether. I don't even want to repeat some of the comments I have heard from this group of people (same race) but vernacular school background.
Thanks Anom, for the pre-fix "Mr".
I can see that you are running a diagnosis on me and speaking from a position that I am a man with close mind. Loyalty and fond memories itself is not a bad thing. Being passionate and willing to preserve institution which has been good to you is fine too. What is life without passion and a sense of devotion?
When you wrote “has lock your minda” (the correct word you are seeking is probably “mindset”), I can guess your background. All I have to say is that I respect the proverb “biar putih anak, jangan putih adab”.
Living in a democratic country means the citizens can choose the way of life they wish to live the extend that they do not harm others.
“I don't even want to repeat some of the comments I have heard from this group of people (same race) but vernacular school background” – sorry I do not wish to dwell on some invisible bogeymen created just to cause anxiety or blind fear, like PAS alone can create an Islamic nation or all Chinese are here to take wealth away from Malays. Such sweeping and without-substance-scare statements hold no currency.
A language to me is a means of communication, not a means to "show off" or to make the other person feel uncomfortable. I switch with ease when speaking to different language groups of people, when I sense they are uncomfortable although I am "NO Expert" in their language. This I believe is very important. Most cases, people in the position to do so, do not do so but insist that we speak their language, although they can actually speak more than one language. Not pointing any fingers at any particular group but all groups of people. It takes two hands to clap.
When we learn new languages, the simple notion of “practice makes perfect” applies. Learning from errors is a good way to get things right. So if you can speak different language, good for you. We can’t be an expert in many languages, as long as we can be understood; I do not see that as a problem so why would someone be uncomfortable?
For example, if I am trying to speak Somali to my new neighbour and struggling, I am sure Abdou would just chuckle and correct me and we can laugh it off, I do not see any problem at all. If we are deterred by mere mild discomfort in the course of learning, we won’t progress hence I really admire the pioneers in surgery.
Social ineptness is very common in vernacular schools, I noted. Don’t you agree? Perhaps, they should teach this social ques in vernacular schools.They don't teach that in my school but I sensed it, because people often do that to me to ( they don't know I understand what they're talking and I took pains to learn the language) Silly people who assume that just because not of same race, so don't understand ?) Wake up.
You also accused MCA, MIC and UMNO of race based politics and these are the very parties that are encouraging vernacular schools remain intact.That says a lot about you. You are blinded by your good old days vernacular school bygone days. Those day we are more trusting of our fellow Malaysians of all races. Now, when someone starts speaking in a language we don't understand in our presence, we DO GET SUSPICIOUS. Won't you ? The FACT remains, vernacular schools do not " CREATE More Understanding and Awareness among all race"
“Social ineptness is very common in vernacular schools, I noted.” – now, how do you conclude this I have absolutely no idea whatsoever. It’s another sweeping statement, another baseless accusation. Do you have statistic to support this? Many Malaysians from vernacular schools have become graduates, businessmen, professionals, entertainers etc in Malaysia as well as outside Malaysia so calling them socially inept is an indefensible argument. I am sorry, but if you can come up which such a conclusion from your own “locked minda” then perhaps you should evaluation your own social ineptness or otherwise.
I do not accuse, but attribute race-base politics to UMNO, MCA and MIC: look at their membership criteria for confirmation. If these political parties do find tactically useful to manoeuvre in education field, it is only normal. So what's your point here?
Also on 1 hand you wrote that Malaysians trust each other more now and in the next sweeping statement, you wrote that the moment someone speaks language which you do not understand then immediately you get suspicious. So what's your point here too?
If the conversation is not about you, why bother? If there are a few rude people, walk off or tell them off? Why tear down a school, and a school system for that?
Yes, vernacular schools are more "academically inclined" but it doesn't mean national schools cannot be more academically inclined when all our children study under the same school system.
Sharing resources is the way to go.Vernacular schools can learn a lot from national schools too. Gangsters are very rampant in vernacular schools too.What do you think ?
Do you have statistic to back up your claim that gangsterism is rampant in vernacular schools only? As far as I can recall, my school and the other vernacular schools in my home town did not have such issue. If there is gangsterism around, it affects all schools and should be dealt with as a disciplinary matter together with police support. That is why tax payers fund the police force, the parents have to chip in and provide good upbringing to their children.
Closing down schools does not address gangsterism issue. A high percentage of SRP, SPM and STPM top scorers are from vernacular schools so what do you have to say about that?
So what “same school system” are you speaking about? What is your formula that can preserve Malaysia’s international competitiveness of multi-lingual capacity?
I can see that you hold the notion that once vernacular school system is eliminated, then the holy grail to national unity is achieved. Ok, so what about the Matrikulasi and STPM divide? And when it was suggested that Mara University to raise the 10% non-bumi quota, there was organized and protected demonstration?
Mr Lee, a language is a language. It can be taught in any types of school( including a national school) , not necessary to set up a school specifically for that language only.The one school system is meant to create more understanding amongst all races. What better way to do it, when the eat, play and study together ? It's objective is not meant to abolish other languages. BM is already the national language (spoken in all government departments) and it's a compulsory pass subject in all school system presently.
So why be afraid that BM will take over other languages ? This is what happens when the OBJECTIVE for the one school system is "hijacked" and turned into a political or a race issue. Can we put language aside and put UNDERSTANDING and AWARENESS amongst all race as the MAIN OBJECTIVE here ?
Vernacular schools are not set up to teach language only. It teaches about philosophy, way of life in addition to designated curriculum. I have already stated my stand that in a democracy, people should have freedom of choice.
"So why be afraid that BM will take over other languages ?" – Most Malaysians now are comfortable in the national language so there is no fear about vernacular schools would undermine Bahasa Malaysia. The real threat to Bahasa Malaysia are those fellows who use “infomasi” instead of “maklumat”, “operasi” instead of “gerakan”, “komunikasi” instead of “perhubungan”, “aspirasi” instead of “cita-cita” or "tekad" etc.
If you stress, correctly, on understanding and awareness, then you should look at the cause of
2) The decription of St Valentine’s Day as a Christian thingy
3) Name calling like “si sepet” and “si botol”
4) The messages sent out by Utusan Malaysia nurturing the siege mentality
5) The contents of BTN indoctrination programmes
If our tourism flyer sells the country as multi-cultural, colourful and tolerant, our way of life and thinking should reflect that. We are living in a democratic country while freedom of choice is the greatest thing we should uphold. Our country will be a lot poorer without such diversity and togetherness.
I do not wish to convince the above commentator to change his/her mind too, for I agree to disagree.