Go ahead and demonstrate, Hisham tells Dong Jiao Zong
(The Star) It is up to the Dong Jiao Zong (United Chinese School Teachers Association) if they want to demonstrate should the Government decide to stick with the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the ministry had shown its seriousness in the issue by holding four roundtable discussions with interested stakeholders.
“If they want to demonstrate, it is up to them as we have explained the rationale of why we are holding the roundtable discussions as any decision for our children’s future must be based on facts, figures and mature discussions,” he told reporters after Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia launched a book, Old Treaties and Documents of Malaysia at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
The policy of teaching Science and Mathematics in English was implemented in phases, starting with Year One, Form One and Lower Six students in 2003.
It was reported that Dong Jiao Zong would launch a massive protest should the Government continue the teaching of both subjects in English.
Hishammuddin had said a fifth roundtable discussion would be held next week to discuss the analysis of the recent UPSR results, and that the Cabinet would decide on whether the policy continues or reverts back to Bahasa Malaysia.
Boy, oh boy...guess the Malay chauvinists had good grounds to be suspicious of Chinese chauvinism don't they? In these politically and racially sensitive times, we can always trust UMNO to stoke the communalist fires. But here comes Dong Jiao Zong (which represents ALL of Chinese vernacular education to boot) showing that they can be as racist as the best of them, making a big hoo-haa about language in education.
What the heck is wrong with these guys? Why do so many people keep missing the obvious points in this whole debate about education! Is it on purpose, so that by their pathetic beatings, they can gain political mileage?
Here is my EYES WIDE OPEN quckie-analysis on the possibilities why this is occuring now at such a critical juncture in Malaysia's modern history:
1) DJZ's threat comes from real racial chauvinism
If this is true, then DJZ is really myopic in their views to think that Chinese vernacular schools should only teach exclusively in Mandarin. When will our so-called leaders realise that the quality of education is not dependent on the language of delivery? It's about the quality of the syllabus and the teachers!
I also think it's mighty childish of DJZ to stamp their feet and throw tantrums when they can't get their way. It shows real selfishness and arrogance on their part to threaten to hold mass demonstrations on such flimsy grounds, instead of engaging the stakeholders in meaningful dialogue to identify and address the real malaise of Malaysian education.
Anyway, I don't believe that DJZ can find solid support to carry out their threat. Unlike Bersih, DJZ does not have an issue that is of national concern. And it does not carry the urgency or sense of despair that drove HINDRAF to stage mass protests. The BN govt were struggling to justify themselves to the rakyat in these two instances because BERSIH and HINDRAF held the moral high ground.
Compared to the issues highlighted by BERSIH & HINDRAF, DJZ's threat comes across as mere racial politicizing and opportunistic arrogance, even to the majority of Malaysian-Chinese. Such actions will not only alienate the Ministry officials, it will further divide the country as it will surely prove to be an unpopular move, even among the Malaysian-Chinese. Thus, I think DJZ will find very little real commitment or support from among the public for their cause.
So if there is so little impetus to drive the Malaysian-Chinese to stage mass demonstrations, where does the threat stem from? This leads me to my second theory.
2) DJZ is just putting on a sandiwara
Since Abdullah announced his transition plan, the racial posturings of various parties have taken on a more coordinated feel. Before it was random and uncontrolled. Now, racial issues seem to be brought up strategically and delivered in measured doses. Astute observers would have noticed this trend.
As DJZ is closely aligned to MCA, this could be one of a long series of sandiwara pushing the country to the edge of another May 13 or Operasi Lallang. This is a familiar tactic in BN's well-worn racial divide-and-rule playbook. One can safely assume that TDM is up to his old tricks again. What with his proxy Dream Team set to take over the leadership of UMNO and most likely the country in March (and without having to seek legitimacy from the rakyat to boot! But that's another story).
If this is so, the rakyat have to be careful not to react by supporting or opposing their stance based on racist assumptions. What our country needs now is intelligent engagement on how to solve our country's woes and not more racial blame games.
Instead, we should laugh DJZ off their platform – as they deserve to be! What a petty issue to be fighting over. It's like a spoilt little brat arguing over what brand of plaster to put over a broken arm! HELLO! Find the root cause of our education problems please! Fix the big problem of why our education system are not producing thinkers and innovators! And please, please, please leave race and politics out of it!
It's a massive disgrace that DJZ chose this stance, as they deem to represent all Malaysian-Chinese educationists! Their actions have cast all of Malaysian-Chinese education in a bad light and attracts even more animosity!
I said it before, and I'll say it again – quality of education is not about the language of delivery la! How I wish the people in charge can get it through their thick craniums.
The Germans study in German
The French study in French
The Japanese study in Japanese
The Mainland Chinese study in Mandarin
The Hongkies study in Cantonese
The Koreans study in Korean
The Russians study in Russian
They don't study any standard subjects in foreign languages. Yet these guys are in the forefront of various world industries. What difference does it make what language you study in? By all means, study in Malay, Chinese, Tamil, Mongolian or Swahili.
The real crux of the matter is - does the quality of the curriculum and the quality of the teachers produce intellectuals and innovators of our children? Why isn't anybody debating THAT. Why is so much energy and resources wasted on screaming for language rights? What the fish are language rights anyway?!
Yes DJZ, by all means go ahead and try...but I doubt you have the force of conviction to pull it off. So please stop acting and get some real work done!