3:11 pm - Friday November 23, 3827

LANGUAGE: BAHASA KEBANGSAAN SHOULD NOT BE CHALLENGE

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Mandarin and Tamil will be taught in national schools as the third language.

National language in Malaysia, of course, Bahasa Kebangsan, not  Tamil, Mandarin and Cantonese Iban and Dusunic. Even though Malaysia constitutes Malays, Chinese and Indians and others, the means to unite these races is through one language.  Because the Malays are the early settler and had first established the Kingdom in the Malay Archipelago, justifiable, the Malay language must be the national language in Malaysia. It constitutes in the constitution’s artical.152 (1) The national language shall be the Malay language and shall be in such script as Parliament may by law provide: Provided that:(a)  no person shall be prohibited or prevented from using (otherwise than for official purpose), or from teaching or learning any other languages;(b)  nothing in the clause shall prejudice the right of the Federal Government or of any State Government to preserve and sustain the use and study of the language of any community in the Federation. The Malay power subscribes to the Federal Constitution, the Chinese and Indians are allow using their own language and even to establish their own schools. The vernacular school system of education in Malaysia manifests the Malay democratic mind.

 Because the constitution says so the government continued on promoting the national language, Bahasa Melayu as an official language of the country and also uses as a vehicle of uniting people of different religion and race. The government had in a consistence manner, establishing the national schools in the rural and urban as well as  opened up enrolment for other non bumiputra  students without stopping the desires of the Chinese and Indian to keep their ethnic schools alive, using their own ethnic language and enhance or preserve their own culture.

Not only the economics perk were being shared by these trees races, but other intangible benefits that manifests racial integration such as culture, language and sport were also reflects the “spirit of oneness in Malaysian society. Obviously, the integration was accentuated. The majority of Malaysian had gradually accepted the way the government runs the country by which in gradual; the remnants of colonial influence had been slowly eroded.

But there are some non-bumiputra (Chinese and Indian), most of them from the opposition parties, perhaps historically blind, belittled the Federal Constitution regarding the use of Bahasa Melayu as an official language in this country. As to be able to be called a county, therefore, is to be able to have a national language for the whole people. Malaysia has chosen Bahasa Melayu as a home language because Malay people are the earliest settlers of the country and it was expressed in the Federal constitution that Bahasa Melayu is the official nomenclature of the state. Those who voice the racial overtone should bear in mind that in any country in the world, there must be only “one” language of the official language of a country.

The city manager of London Boris Johnson said, people of different races and religious beliefs can only be united through using the same terminology or language. For example, as a citizen of the Great Britain must always  bear  the fundamental law and respect the country where they live. As a mayor he takes a simple approach, whoever dwells in London must be able to speak English and importantly, those outsiders who desire to obtain citizenship of the country, first and foremost must respect the fundamental law of the Great Britain.

Recently, the Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin cum the Education Minister of Malaysia announced in the UMNO General Assembly Mandarin and Tamil to be compulsory subjects to be taught in national schools and this the country requires about 30,000 language teachers to fill the vacuum.

Prior to this, The Prime Minister, Najib Razak had already announced  during his 2015 Budget speech that Chinese and Indian vernacular school have been allocated RM 50 billion each as to keep the constitution’s promise to ensure that  the government not  to curtail or prevent other languages than Bahasa Kebangsaan to be taught  in the schools. On October 12, Najib also told MCA members at its 61st AGM that his government will continue to uphold the right to mother tongue education, saying that Chinese vernacular schools or SJK (C) are “already enshrined in the Constitution and the law” and part of the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025.

Although the announcement seems favourable to the Chinese and Indian community, the oppositions’ funding-fault attitude prevails. The DAP’s member of Parliament from Kulai, Teo Ni Ching said, the government is too hasty without considering the nationwide impact on the cost. The importing teachers from China and India to teach mandarin and Tamil would cost problems to the local students to understand another culture and values. Difficult in communicating causes the failure in teaching. So it is wise if the government tap the local talent.

Whether the prime minister is hasty in drawing conclusions or otherwise, one should look at the long- standing requirement of the Chinese community. Too often, the issue of the Chinese language was brought  to public debate by some group of Chinese and making a bad remark in the media and social media as if the government is depriving their rights to teach and learn mandarin in schools.  However, It is sufficed to say that the effort of the government preserving the spirit of oneness by promoting  Mandarin as a third language of the country is more than praiseworthy. The government is taking the proper move, not just helping the Chinese and Indian Vernacular school, but also implementing what is enshrined in the article 152 of the federal Constitution that the ruler should not prohibit her people to learn  and teach other languages besides Bahasa Melayu. And, obviously the article 152 did not specifically say who the teacher is who supposed to teach Mandarin. Thus, importing Mandarin teachers from overseas is indisputable.  No question of race, prejudices and bias perception of the majority of Chinese and Indian towards the government concerning the rights of other races to use their own language.

To take in foreign teachers teaching mandarin is more dependable than the local teachers teaching the topic. The vernacular schools, for illustration, as it looks today, emphasizing more on the dignity of race and culture. Teachers sometime unconsciously persuade student of the same believe to hate other student of different opinions. Therefore, the strength of local teachers in inculcating the spirit of oneness through the teaching of Mandarin and Tamil language is seen ineffective and questionable.

Language is persuading and appealing rather than that of educating and informing. Foreign teachers don’t have anything regarding race and religion to persuade the students, foreigners don’t have the notion of hatred to be embedded in the students’ mind. They don’t deliver the history here, they don’t cause any interest here except the monthly pay, their pursuit is only teaching language, how they act and think  extremely disassociate with the local students thus teaching language took the genuine sense- educating and informing about the subject matter.

Recognizing that experience is a sort of bias, expressing our intentional world to others is tantamount to persuading other people to trust our bias. What more a communication between a teacher and a student who has the same values and background. The local teachers will make students think local.” And do as what the teacher told them of approval and disapproval.  Either he is Malay or a Chinese and Indian the above rational makes a lot of sense. The disparity, egregious, hatred and the impartiality will be taking place in the teaching proses.

The country progress all the way from nothing to a develop country due to the spirit of “togetherness” with the objective in mind to make the country a greater one. By the way, on the way to success, the question of survival of race transcending other importance. It begins at home and in our schools. The bigger the vernacular schools grow, the bigger the problem of race appears. Perhaps, without realizing, language has been used a tool of persuasion for the survival of the race. The Chinese and Indians are demanding to be cared for every bit as equal as other “Bumiputra”. The political leaders, the media either print or broadcast media and social media, play up racial sentiments using  language  as a vehicle to smash other people of different beliefs.

What this illustrates, of course, that the importance of language. The flavour of hate, love and all other human beliefs are shared through human words.  All basic agreements by means of which human beings learn to live together amicably and harmoniously have grown out of prolonged thoughts, discussion, argument and persuasion. Human institutions such as marriage, law, the government does not just happen somehow. They are a social conception. Devised and develop and respond to an urgent need for order in life. Language is one of them that able to influence and persuade people to act based on the agreement of others.

For this particular reason also, some Chinese disagree the solution of bringing foreign teachers to teach Mandarin. Without seeing, if the government uses the local instructors, the elements of bias might have slowly seeped into the  intellect of the students of the same values and belief system, to do and react the same way as what has been said from experience communicator, for example a teacher.

Today social discrimination in Malaysia escalates. The Chinese are forever not satisfy on how the government handle the issue of language in the country.Chinese criticizing the government’s step for the elaboration of national language fears that their mother tongue language and culture will be eaten away. In truth, we will check with someone who is having the same value and tone, we trusted most. If we are going to fight for survival, any kind of survival, one of the first things to do is to find the “commonness” in the group and find the difference of the other group. Does this kind of attitude and behaviour have taken place in our schools? If we are referring our topic of discussion pertaining to the human survival, particularly survival of a race and religion, the answer is yes.

 The bankruptcy of our teacher to be objective has resulted in racial discrimination and wider the gap between races in the nation.  Rarely have we discovered the Indian or the Chinese students in the local universities eating together with the Malays in the canteen. What more in the public places such as the supermarkets. Racial polarization taking root is not solely in national schools, but other Chinese and Indian Schools too. To blame the government causes racial polarization alone is unfair because we have vernacular schools that perusing their own targets and having instructors who are not impartial. Since teaching profession in Chinese schools has been protected by their organization,  We should ask the Dong Zong, since they are empowering the Mandarin language and acculturation in the state, what tone has the system  required to wipe out racial prejudices among mandarin teachers?  

It is smart, however, Muhyiddin and Najib to announce of importing foreign teachers to teach Mandarin and Tamil in national schools as the Third language of the country. The government’s move is demonstrated that the opposition is wrong..  The announcement by Teo Nie Ching, who is also the DAP representatives that foreign teachers were not fluent in Malay and would have trouble in communicating with our local pupils is wrong. Teo’s reason is too short-sighted, where the foreign teachers can learn Malay language easily, just in a few months they probably can master the Malay language better than the local citizenry.

According to Teo, 21 per cent of Malaysian primary school pupils study at SJKC schools. On top of that, there are currently around 80,000 students in Chinese Independent Schools which were all potential candidates for becoming future Mandarin teachers. Again, the logical thinking is too short-sighted, Language profession is full. Most all positions require people proficient in the linguistic process from the lowest position, a kindergarten teacher to the highest profession such as the diplomatic service.

By having foreign teachers to teach Mandarin at the primary and the secondary level, students are not bound to listen any bias stories. On the reverse, there are advantages to the government. Firstly, is to get the seed of integration among the younger generation without the deterrence of teachers’ personal pursuit. Secondly, by taking in foreign teachers taught Mandarin and Tamil the students will open up their eyes, not only they are getting opportunities, interacting with outsiders but also exposing themselves to the external world.  Thirdly, the carrying out of the Mandarin language in the national schools in Malaysia is part of the requirement in the federal constitution and the long- term need of the non-bumiputras regarding racial justice in Malaysia is rectified.

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