Friday, October 31, 2008

Introduce Mandarin/Tamil at primary levels

Good thing that Razak Baginda is a free man now. As I know him quite well, let him take sometimes to recover... and let other bloggers write about this Altantuya's episode.

I just want to comment on what Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein said Thursday, that students should be given sufficient guide towards enhancing national unity. It was a good point, indeed.

However, my point of contention is that, after 51 years of Independence and after so much talks about racial harmony, we may have overlooked at one important issue - language.

The government has all this while made it compulsary for all students, irrespective of their race and religion, to master Bahasa Malaysia and ensure that they score in this language as a ticket to higher education.

Also yesterday, Shahidan Kassim, in commenting MCA calls for the abolishment of the New Economic Policy, suggested all non-Bumi companies to employ at least 30 per cent Bumiputera staffs into their respective entities.

Well. My personal view is that, why cant the government consider introducing Bahasa Mandarin or Tamil as another compulsary subject at primary levels? I believe when more Malays are conversant in either languages, their chances to serve the non-Bumi companies will increase.

Language plays an important role in bringing closer all Malaysians. If any of you want to deny this, you may pen your views.

Understanding each others' mother tounge, too will develop our society into a more harmonious lots who will live without prejudice. Language barrier is a factor we should solve. Dont you remember what happened to the Malay students when the government abolished all English-medium schools in late 70s?

The Malays and the Bumis found it difficult to enrol into most higher learning institutions locally and abroad and was a killing factor for them to get good jobs. Only after years later, our government realised the blunder, hence placed a strong emphasis for them to concentrate more in mastering English.

Languages can unite the world, too...

35 comments:

cikgu yus, tampin said...

bujai,
idea kau memang bagus tapi kerajaan kita takkan terima idea bagus kau ni sebab siapalah kau dan aku dan kita.

kalau idea yang sama dibuat oleh menteri, ahli politik dan kawan2 diorang, dah sure dia beri perhatian.

kita cuma boleh nampak benda yang baik tetapi susah untuk melaksanakannya

DR POYO said...

bro,
our education system is full of politics.

i believe the government realises the importance of uniting malaysians via languages but such suggestions always fall on deaf ears.

during my early days as an academician in penang, we sent our kids to hokkien kindergartens. some did well, some not. however, relations among malays and the penang chinese then were very good.

i believe we can do something about this language issue. if hishamuddin reads your blog, he too will agree.

ZULAIKHA said...

bang bujai,

saya dan ramai rakan lain adalah mangsa perbuatan kerajaan memansuhkan sekolah aliran inggeris pada 1979. saya masuk sekolah tahun 80 dan sejak itulah saya lihat pencapaian anak melayu merosot dengan teruknya, terutama yang membabitkan pengajian dan pekerjaan yang memerlukan penguasaan bahasa inggeris.

saya sokong pendapat abang bujai bahawa sudah sampai masanya kerajaan mewajibkan pelajar melayu mengambil subjek bahasa pilihan sama ada mandarin atau tamil di peringkat sekolah rendah lagi.

saya juga setuju bahawa menghapuskan jurang bahasa ini dapat merapatkan lagi semangat setiakawan rakyat malaysia yang berbilang kaum ini. Ia juga dapat menyemai rasa persahabatan yang lebih mendalam di kalangan mereka kerana tidak lagi hidup dalam keadaan saling mencurigai.

saya benar-benar berharap agar seseorang di peringkat atasan membaca blog abang dan mengetengahkannya kepada jemaah menteri.

LYNN NA, subang said...

BRO. THE PEOPLE UP THERE ARE TOO BUSY TO READ YOUR BLOG OR TO LISTEN TO SUCH SUGGESTIONS.

SOME UNIVERSITIES DO INTRODUCE OTHER LANGUAGES AS AN ELECTIVE SUBJECTS, WHICH BRING ABOUT MANY POSITIVE RESULTS TO THE STUDENTS.

MANDARIN HAS BECOMING AN INTERNATIONAL LINGUA, AND SO IS TAMIL. IF WE CAN INTRODUCE THEM AT PRIMARY LEVELS, SOONER OR LATER THE COUNTRY WILL BE MORE HARMONIOUS.

I AGREE THAT LANGUAGES CAN UNITE THE WORLD

bujai said...

cikgu yus,
ini cuma cadangan. baik atau buruk adalah hak kerajaan. kalau ada yang setuju, terima kasih je lah. kalau tak setuju, itu hak peribadi

bujai said...

dr poyo.

there are many chinese dialects, mandarin being the domain.

it is an added advantage for anybody who is conversant in more languages

bujai said...

zulaikha,
abang tak tau sampai sekarang apa puncanya sekolah aliran inggeris dimansuhkan.

kesian awak, yer!

bujai said...

lynn la,
thank you for supporting. hope more malaysians like you can come forward so that we can take it up to the respective authority.

am i being too optimistic?

KACANG HANTU said...

BAHASA MELAMBANGKAN BANGSA, BRO. TAPI DALAM KONTEKS MALAYSIA YANG RAKYATNYA BERBILANG BANGSA NI, MEMANG ELOK KITA MAMPU BERTUTUR DALAM BAHASA YANG ADA.

INI BUKAN SETAKAT MANDARIN DAN TAMIL JE.... IA BOLEH MENJANGKAU KEPADA IBAN, MURUT, DAYAK DAN SEBAGAINYA.

adamharris said...

Jai,

Very interesting idea. Well, when I was in UITM, I did take up Mandarin as an elective subject but it is not easy to grapple the language in merely 2 semesters. However, when I started work in the Bank (partly owned by OCBC), I realized that knowing the language did help in communicating with Chinese educated customers.

As such, I totally agreed with you that, the Government should imposed Mandarin or Tamil at primary level to enable the Malays, Chinese and Indian mingle nicely like we do in SMSJ-no problem.

Well, only politician, do not wish to see Malaysians live in harmony.

Aiyah... just get rid off people like The MCA Vice President, Wong Chun Wai of Star and Khairy, sure settled problem....,what say you?

Nasariyev Usovich said...

We need a strong political will to make any headway towards national integration through a common lingua franca. I envy our Indonesian, Filipina and Thai friends who communicate in their own national language irrespective of their ethic origins anywhere they are, even outside their own countries.
For me, there should only be one standardised NATIONAL SCHOOL system ( no national-types anymore)wherein every mother tongue is made compulsory for each student beside Malay being the official medium of instructions. Malay students must learn either Mandarin or Tamil as a compulsory subject.
I have seen my own kids befriending non-Malay former classmates even after school as a result of schooling under one and the same roofs.

ketam said...

Hello BAHASA MELAYU PUN ORG CINA dan INDIA SAMAPI SEKARANG DOK TERGAGAP LAGI..
tak kan kalau tak faham bahasa cina dgn tamil tak boleh bekerja dgn syarikat org bukan melayu? diorang tak faham dan tak boleh bercakap bahasa melayu ke??

INi menunjukkan mereka lah yg tidak menghormati bahasa melayu sebagai bahasa kebangsaaan

BlueMoon said...

Utterly absurd. The only language that the students need to master beside BM is English. They can learn other languages on optional basis. If mandarin is introduce then why not thai, iban, kadazan, murut, melanau, jawa, etc..

balan said...

I have suggested way back in 2000 to close down all Tamil schools and was lambasted by many including the now so called multiracial deputy Chief minister of penang.

We just need one type of school and get them to teach Tamil and Mandarin.

Do away with pendidikan moral, geography and other irrelevant subjects and replace it with these subjects while continuing English for science and maths.

Educationist groups esp chinese schools harp on the need to retain mother tongue language while deliberately forgetting that Mandarin is not the mother tongue of many malaysian chinese.

The same applies to champions of Tamil schools,HINDRAF included. They do not realise that at approximately 40% of Malaysian Indians are not Tamils. Who fights for their (Malayalees, Telugu, Punjabi etc) rights to retain their language. No one, why? because Malaysian Indian politics are dominated by Tamils.

On the other hand we hav varous ethnic groups in Sabah & Sarawak, who will protect their language?.

Bahasa Malaysia is not really the mother tongue of many malays by the way, I do not understand Malays from Kelantan and other nothern states for example.

This is the result if people are racist and can't think rationally.

I however, appreciate your article. Good one.

http://balankumarpremakumaran.blogspot.com/

aryan said...

kenapa bahasa tamil dan mandarin saja? taruk la semua bahasa yg ada kat malaysia ni baru adil.

dasar pandang ke timur.. tak pernah terfikir ke kenapa jepun tu buleh hidup dalam pulau diorang tu je? berapa kerat yg pandai bahasa inggeris?

namun gitu, cadangan ni mmg baguih.. nabi kata, belajarlah sampai ke negeri China.. hmmm.. apa agaknya maksud dia yg sebenarnya ek?

Anonymous said...

Saya Indian. Suami Cina. Emak Filipino dan bapa pula ornag Ceylon. Agama keluarga kita ada yang Hindu, Kristian dan Buddha. Boy friend anak saya Melayu. Tentu nanti ada Islam dalam keluarga kita. Kami sekeluarga bertutur dalam Bahasa Malaysia. Satu bahasa menyatukan bangsa bangsa keluarga kita.

Kita lihat sekarang ini rakyat Malaysia berkecai-kecai kerana penggunaan berbagai bahasa.

Kata orang Bahasa Malaysia adalah Bahasa Kebangsaan iaitu bahasa resmi. Langkah logik kehadapan untuk lebih menyatukan Bangsa Malaysia ialah mewujudkan satu bahasa sahaja -- Bahasa Malaysia. Bila lagi hendak betul-betul memartabatkan bahasa kita?

Maka amat perlulah dibasmi sahaja semua sekolah-sekolah jenis kebangsaan yang ada, tinggal satu sahaja iaitu Sekolah Kebangsaan.

Saya pasti dua generasi kemudian hanya wujud satu bangsa satu bahasa.

Catalina Devakumari Thaver.

Anonymous said...

bujai, I studied in an english medium school. I am what people would call a "banana man" yellow outside but white inside. Orang cina tak tau cakap bahasa cina.But I remember one time, my primary school days, we were actually taught mandarin and jawi in school.Imagine an english medium mission schoool can incalculate racial harmony and understanding. These schools had foreign brothers and sisters as school heads.Today sadly, Malaysians themselves want to rule and divide.This language subjects does not need to be compulsory but optional should a student be interested to learn. Sooner or later, we may find that we don't need venacular schools.

no to babi and lembu said...

idea tolak ansur ... asytik kita di tolak dan kita beransur.

Do read back the history of the reluctance of these pendatang to accept melayu as national language.

How much one give in they continue towant and want till these land is no more land of malay and pribumi but extended cina and india!

dannalli said...

Jai,

Sekolah beraliran Inggeris di tamatkan kerana hasrat yang menggunung untuk mempertabatkan Bahasa Melayu. Hasrat sahaja yang menggunung.

Anak Den, 'mother tonque'nya Inggeris, Bahasa Melayu 2nd language. Sobab dok kat KL ni, dah lamo pick up Cantonese dan sedikit Tamil. Kini sodang belajar Mandarin. Kok boleh bekerja dgn Khazanah Nasional di China. Tentu mereka perlukan yang fasih berbahasa Mandarin. Saya harap mantan pengerusi back bencher , mantan MB Perlis faham. Ianya keperluan, bukannya 'racist'.

Anonymous said...

Jai,

Selamat Menyambut Hari Halloween.

Mus BT.

bujai said...

sdr adamharris,
getting rid of chun wai? and Khairy? hehehe... tell me how laaa.

pros and cons comments from readers. thank u so much. it was just a suggestion which i think will benefit the whole country and malaysians in the long run.

we may not see the result in the near term but obviously when we understand each other better, there will me more rooms toward social integration.

bujai said...

nasariyev.
not necessary to make it compulsary. we can make it an elective subject for a start. let's see how our present and next generations blend into each others.

thank you

bujai said...

ketam,
that's the whole idea. if we keep on harboring prejudice against each other, nothing will come easy.

i agree with you that many non-malays are still not very much conversant in bahasa malaysia but they DO UNDERSTAND it.

what about us?

bujai said...

bluemoon,
malays, chinese and indians make up the majority of us.

as for other remote languages, we can always take it up socially, i mean by mingling around with them. there are so many iban, dayak and kadazan students or workers in semenanjung now. if we are close to them, they will be more than willing to share it with us

bujai said...

thank you for that comment, balan. a good input.

remote dialects are for those residing in their respective states or regions. however, bahasa malaysia and english are still dominating their language subjects at school.

your idea to abolish non-sekolah kebangsaan is good except that it has became a political tool sometimes ago.

it may takes some times and a bunch of level-headed politicians to see the potential of such ideas.

bujai said...

Mus BT,

halloween? lambat lagi la. let's meet up for 147 with fadil and kit and loko... kalau berani laaa!

bujai said...

dear catalina,
i am envious of you family. surely, you people are the ones who really appreciate national integrity with no prejudice towards each other, having mixed and inter-race/religious marriages.

i remember john lennon's 'IMAGINE'

bujai said...

anon,
yeap. those were the days when jawi was taught.

do you that datuk lee kim sai is so good at it?

i salute him

bujai said...

dannali,
again... the issue here is prejudice. our politicians should understand one thing - not easy to manage a multi-racial and multi-religious country like malaysia. any small issue may be blown out of proportion, anytime, anywhere.

we need to be careful in addressing issues pertaining to national unity and integration.

language plays a vital role everywhere. in this Internet world where information can be easily accessed on the computer, dont you think it will useful to learn other languages like mandarin, tamil, japan, korean, french etc?

adik, UM said...

bang bujai,
saya suka tulisan ni. saya di universiti malaya sudah dua tahun mengikut kursus jepun dan mandarin.

u know what?my mandarin makes me more confident in everyting, terutama dalam pergaulan seharian dan dalam perbincangan dengan rakan-rakan berbangsa cina.

mereka pun amat menghargai saya di atas kebolehan ini.

loganathan, shah alam said...

bujai,
good idea but will there be response from the govt, esp hishamuddin?

good ideas always go down the drain...

sorry bro

yes for chinese and tamil said...

languages can unite the world but which language.language is an integral part of a culture and hence a race. championing ones language is almost innate as much as racism is.

I am certainly not against the introduction of mandarin or tamil at primary level. The introduction should be carefully studied and implemented in a way that does not bring repercussions in other forms. Its aim should be clear and not forcefully implemented.

In the 90s, when I was schooling, non-vernacular schools did have extra chinese and tamil classes on saturdays. why not expend this policy for those interested.

As far as I see it, unity cant be forced but can be fostered

artchan said...

don't bother about convincing your malay brethren...if you feel so strongly..send your children to chinese schools..they will surely benefit.

I have an indian colleague..he sends all his three children to chinese schools..now they can speak and write an additional language..why not.

The only problem in this country is the govt continually feeds (brainwash) the bumi community..so much so that if you practise yoga...you are a deviant, step into a church, and you become a christian. Learn mandarin, you lose the malayness. Learn English is equivalent to worshipping the colonialists. Are the malays so weak in spirit that the govt fears them losing the identity?

i join my friend in churches during christmas...and i am still what i am..not a christian.

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