Monday, September 26, 2011

Let's take up Mandarin

In Georgetown yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak praised the role and contribution of the Chinese in improving education in Malaysia (here). Their attribution in enhancing the standard of knowledge to all quarters of the community is not to be disputed.

Agree. In fact, the Prophet Muhammad had said, "Tuntutlah ilmu walaupun sampai ke negeri China". It was a testament that the quest for knowledge should not be confined to one's race, religion and culture.

In this world without border, knowledge comes in many forms and from many directions, and is easily accessed. Those without sufficient knowledge in various disciplines will find themselves clad in a corner with the non-achievers.

In this context, language is also part of knowledge. Malaysians are blessed with racial and culture assimilation that offer them a great opportunity to explore and acquire each others' language without any fee. However, while the Chinese and Indians are able to converse in Bahasa Malaysia - including 'bahasa pasar' - the Malays are not keen to learn Mandarin or Tamil.

During a dinner talk with some senior journalists and a Tan Sri MP (from MCA) about three months ago, I did raise the issue. The notion was well-seconded. I was serious about it and even told the MP to get his party recommend it to the Cabinet.

The proposal was to introduce Mandarin subject in all Sekolah Kebangsaan. It is to encourage non-Chinese students to take it up. The Malays, especially, must start to learn and understand the language from its basic.

Perhaps for a start, there is no need to make it compulsory, not to be included in examination. Just an elective for the co-curriculum.

I believe many Malay educationists are against this idea. The chauvinistic Malays may find it awkward and will do anything to oppose it. And I believe it will trigger anti-government sentiment as well.

However, I personally believe it will augur well in the 1Malaysia context. The Tan Sri and a Dato Seri who was also there agreed that it will eventually bring the Malaysians together. As language barrier could be brought down (give it 5 to 10 years from its implementation), Malaysia will be more united and integrated.

Why not? While the government made it compulsory for the non-Malays to pass the Bahasa Malaysia subject - and Bahasa is taught in SRJK(C) and SRJK(T) - the Malays should at least learn their languages.

The country has achieved Independence for 54 years now. Like it or not, Malaysians are still divided. I believe the Chinese, Indians and other races do understand the Malay community very well because they understand the language. And I do not think the Chinese and Indians harbor any ill-feeling towards the Malays, unlike the askance and prejudice the Malays have about other races.

I am not a realist but I am a Malaysian who have grown up with the Chinese and Indians in my kampung. We grew up and mingled together, went to the same school, shared the same 'padang' for football and other events and in fact celebrated Hari Raya, Chinese New Year and Deepavali together. Just like the Malays, they too want to live in harmony alongside the Malays and share everything in common.

However, it is sad to note that the Malays' inability to understand Mandarin and Tamil has thickened their prejudice against the Chinese and Indians. Whenever some Chinese sit at a table next to them in a coffee shop (for instance), they Malays can't help but thinking the Chinese are talking bad about them.

Just imagine Malaysians who understand each others' language. It doesn't matter if they don't master it; understand and able to speak a broken language will be good enough. And as Mandarin is among the world's major languages, it is also a lingua franca of business and higher studies.

A big step has to be charted from now. The Education Ministry should look into it and discuss it in depth with educationists while we have the political power to introduce and implement it. The 1Malaysia slogan will remain meaningless should we fail to unite the rakyat via language.

While Bahasa Malaysia will forever be the official language, others must be considered. The Malay-Chinese ratio is almost equal. While the Chinese find it comfortable to live with the Malays and other races, the Malays would still find problems to accommodate themselves into a multi-racial society.

34 comments:

tinta emas said...

salam sdr bujai,

saya setuju dengan tulisan dan saranan sdr.

sememangnya kejahilan terhadap bahasa orang lain menjadi salah satu sebab orang melayu masih hidup dalam prejudis di negara sendiri, walhal bangsa lain tidak menyimpan perasaan begitu terhadap mereka.

tidak ada salahnya kita belajar bahasa cina atau bahasa lain kerana ia adalah satu kelebihan yang akan menguntungkan kita sendiri.

walaupun pengenalannya di sekolah rendah akan mendapat bantahan sesetengah pihak, kerajaan perlu memikirkan masa depan rakyat dan negara suatu hari nanti, jika orang melayunya masih ketinggalan, terutama dalam memperbaiki diri. untuk bergerak dengan bangsa lain, kita juga perlu belajar memahami bahasa mereka.

jika orang cina dan india boleh bercakap bahasa melayu, alangkah malangnya bagi orang melayu sendiri tidak mahu mempelajari bahasa mereka sedangkan bahasa itu sudah lebih 100 tahun bertapak di negara ini.

fikirkanlah.

pembaca banyak blog said...

jai,

good idea.

perhaps nstp and siang pau dan collaborate to introduce free classes for those interested to learn mandarin.

do it online or pick a suitable place.

i think journalists should take up the lessons first!

kelkatu said...

siapa kata orang melayu tak boleh cakap cina!

yang diorang mencarut dalam bahasa cina dan tamil tu, apakebendanya?

senang je belajar, kan?

hehehe!

GKT, singapore said...

sir,

this is a noble idea and will help boost 1malaysia.

pm must consider this.

thank u

keturunan kemboja said...

kenapa anjing dan kucing suka bergaduh?

sebab yang sekor tak boleh mengiaw dan sekor lagi tak boleh menyalak.

anjing tak makan kucing, kucing pun bukan membahayakan anjing.

so, isu bahasa ni wajib dipertimbangkan

pro-unity said...

i second the notion, sir. its a positive vision towards national unification.

i hope datuk seri najib, tan sri muhyiddin and the cabinet give it a serious thought.

of course there will be parties opposing it but we should consider it in the context of 1malaysia and racial integration.

keep on championing the issue, mr bujai!

pisang keling said...

mandarin?

bagus tu.

ada limau mandarin, hotel mandarin oriental, mandarin massage, macam2 lagi.

bahasa mandarin memang la bagus. cuma melayu ni rasa bahasa dia dah cukup kuat dah!

omputeh, jepun, china dan korea pun belajar bahasa melayu, tau! takkan kita taknak belajar bahasa lain!

adik, UM said...

saya sokong, bang.

di universiti malaya pun digalakkan agar pelajar melayu belajar bahasa asing, termasuk mandarin.

ia akan jadi satu kelebihan kepada sesiapa yang dapat menguasainya...

teruskan bang

ragunath kasibantai said...

salam bro jai. this is a good idea. no doubt about it. it will nurture more understanding among our multi-racial society, if not now, in the near future.

prof said...

it should be introduced many years ago.

however, so many malay chauvinism is spoiling this noble idea.

hope the malays are more open-minded about it.

its a great idea, mr blogger

Anonymous said...

saya rasa sukar nak dibuat. orang melayu masih berfikiran konservatif dan akan menolaknya. pada melayu, setiap hal mengenai pendidikan bahasa mandarin akan membawa maksud mengikis fungsi bahasa melayu dan ciri-cirinya.

kalau pemikiran begini terus diperap, nescaya orang melayu sendiri tidak akan dapat menghadapi cabaran dunia tanpa sempadan suatu hari kelak.

Anonymous said...

i dare muhyidin to introduce it at primary schools.

he wont!

no guuts!

yau lin na said...

cadangan yang baik. cuma aku risaukan penerimaan orang melayu sendiri, jai.

bangsa kita ni bangsa yang ego dan angkuh jugak bila masuk bab2 bahasa ni. pada mereka, bahasa melayu sudah cukup kuat untuk menakluk dunia globalisasi ni, so mereka tak perlu belajar bahasa asing.

amatlah menyedihkan jika kita terus berpegang kepada fahaman kolot ni.

kalau bangsa lain berebut-rebut menimba ilmu dengan mempelbagaikan kebolehan bahasa masing-masing, bangsa kita sendiri akan terus ketinggalan.

banyak ilmu boleh diperolehi daripada bahasa mandarin, tamil inggeris dan bahasa lain di dunia. jadi, apa salahnya kita perkenalkan pembelajaran bahasa mandarin di sekolah sebagai subjek elektik?

bagi tempoh percubaan selama 3 atau 5 tahun, kita tengok hasilnya...

kalau kerajaan asyik melaungkan slogan 1malaysia pun tak guna jugak kalau tak boleh fikir benda2 macam ni. alangkah baik, tentera, dan indahnya malaysia kalau semua rakyatnya boleh bertutur dalam pelbagai bahasa kaum yang ada?

continental said...

we have prof khoo kay khim and a few others who are masters in bahasa. melayu ada pakar bahasa tamil atau mandarin ke?

takkan tercakap 1malaysia kalau najib tak bagi pertimbangan.

in the end, the malays will be the ones being left behind!

Anonymous said...

kalaulah ada ahli akademik atau wakil kerajaan yang benar2 mengambil berat mengenai apa yang sdr tulis ni, saya yakin ia tidak akan memberi masalah apabila dilaksanakan. bagaimanapun, kerajaan yang ada sekarang hanya pandai buat slogan....

char kuey teow said...

pls dont la.

no need for the malays to learn mandarin. if the do, they will know a lot of chinese secrets and they will become more successful than the chinese.

no need lor...

Anonymous said...

forget it.

the malays wont change their mind and position... that bahasa melayu is the best in the world!

stupid

Anonymous said...

lu cakap ape ni bro. wa cakap samalu lu ni pun dah campur bahasa cina dgn bahasa org puteh. lu gua cukup le bro. PSSMI pun takleh selesai, lu nak tambah pening org melayu buat ape. cukuplah org melayu antar anak dia sekolah cina.

lim brady said...

the malays should take it positively. your proposal will not only boost national unity but ensure the malays that the chinese are just like everyone else - to live in harmony and share everything with others in this beautiful nation.

bravo bro

Anonymous said...

satu gagasan yang berani, tuan.

saya sokong

penghulu said...

memahami bahasa lain adalah satu aset kepada sesiapa pun.

jika orang melayu dapat memahami bahasa mandarin, ia bukan saja akan melupuskan rasa prejudis terhadap orang cina malah membolehkan semua kaum bekerjasama dengan lebih, seperti yang sdr sebut dalam kisah pergaulan sdr dengan mereka sejak kecil.

ini sungguh diidamkan!

lesong said...

tak setuju.

buat hapa belajar bahasa mandarin. lebih baik belajar bahasa arab!

hj sadikon said...

kepada kelkatu,

kalau kita boleh belajar bahasa lain bermula dengan istilah lucahnya, maka itu permulaan yang baik. ia menunjukkan mudahnya orang melayu belajar bahasa asing

Anonymous said...

takkan berjaya.

orang melayu akan mempolitikkan isu ni.

Anonymous said...

Belajar bahasa mandarin memang bagus, tapi ia perlu dilakukan atas inisiatif sendiri, bukan diletakkan dalam sistem pendidikan negara. Kalau hendak diletakkan dalam pendidikan negara, bahasa arab lebih layak. Kita sebagai orang islam, majority Malaysia yang islam tetapi bila sembayang lima kali sehari, kita hanya menghafal sahaja tetapi tidak faham apa yang kita sebut. Tidak perlu fikir sangat pasal integrasi (orang Melayu je sibuk pasal integrasi), orang Cina tak kisah pun, malah selesa lagi hidup dalam "parallel". Kita risaukan saja masalah kita dan yang terdekat dengan kita adalah bahasa arab, alangkah pelik bila difikirkan kita sibuk membetulkan tajwid, tetapi tidak faham apa yang kita baca!!! Kalau kita faham apa yang kita baca, tajwid tidak menjadi masalah.

Anonymous said...

bujai

jangan mimpi laa dengan tau manderin cina2 ni nak buat bisness dgn melayu..?

ada dengak cina sub-con kat melayu..?

ekonomi dulu laa

lepaih tu mai sembang pasai culture dan nak pi tengok opera kaa

najib tu pun mimipi....naik beskal dengan cina2 bukan main canggeh siap topi macam2 di straits quay konon....tak sedak ka kampong melayu tanjong tokong yang dok zaman 70an lagi..?????

Anonymous said...

bawak mengucap panjang-panjang bro ...ko pegi afrika ko nak suruh org afrika faham bahasa ko? ko pegi sepanyol ko expect depa kena belajar & faham bahasa ko? banyak cantik bro. Kalau nak serlahkan kebijakan tu kena la pada tempat...

lilin seinci said...

kebolehan melayu bertutur dan memahami bahasa mandarin dan tamil sama juga dengan kebolehan yang ada pada orang cina dan india apabila menguasai bahasa melayu. banyak faedahnya.

saranan ini sudah pasti mendapat tentangan pejuang bahasa melayu. mereka akan menyifatkannya sebagai satu usaha untuk meruntuh dan menghina bahasa melayu tetapi mereka harus sedar bahawa kebolehan menguasai bahasa lain daripada bahasa ibunda sendiri banyak memberi manfaat kepada orang yang mempelajarinya.

saya setuju bahawa sudah tiba masanya kerajaan menerima kaedah ini di sekolah rendah. tidak perlu dijadikan mata pelajaran wajib tetapi sebagai subjek pilihan yang digalakkan.

malaysia bukan dikuasai satu kaum. bahasa cina juga sudah menjadi antara bahasa utama dunia, baik di timur mahupun di barat. janganlah kita menafikannya.

selain dapat menyatupadukan rakyat, kita akan mampu membentuk satu bangsa malaysia yang saling memahami, saling mengerti dan saling mempertahankan keunikan mereka sebagai satu masyarakat yang progresif kerana tidak lagi akan wujud sempadan bahasa yang selama ini memisahkan mereka.

saya juga berharap kerajaan pimpinan datuk seri mohd najib akan memberi pertimbangan terhadap gagasan ini.

syabas sdr jai

Anonymous said...

i dont agree. i object.

let mandarin remain as the chinese domain.

the malays may continue with their bahasa.

lampam jawa said...

kepada lesong,

tak ramai melayu boleh cakap arab. pada zaman sekarang ni, lebih ramai melayu boleh bercakap mandarin.

orang macam kau memang tak boleh maju!

Anonymous said...

rais yatim has been going around for us to 'memperkasa' bahasa melayu but look at the result.

pathetic!

as long as the malays dont change their mentality about taking up other languages, they will forever become losers!

khayyum said...

syor yang bagus, cuma akan dapat tentangan pendidik dan pejuang bahasa melayu...

Anonymous said...

Malays in general would rather take up Korean or Japanese rather than Chinese even with the apparent greater influence of Chinese language in international arena.

U see how Malay girls warm up to those Korean artists arriving in Sepang airport but they would never do so to any single Chinese artist even if he is Jacky Chan.

We all know the reason why?

Anonymous said...

be careful when your children has a different set of values from your generation

any language carries with it an inherent "culture" - the mandarin speaking singapore Malays are different from the others

and we must always avoid throwing the baby out with the bath water