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Friday, May 7, 2010

The Importance of the ENGLISH Language...

 ENGLISH MEDIUM, PLEASE...
How important is the National Language - the Bahasa Malaysia @ Bahasa Melayu ? Without doubt, it is the  language used to unite the multi-racial Malaysians.... Without Bahasa Malaysia/Bahasa Melayu, Malaysia will not be as it is now.....
Is Malaysia still an undeveloped country? Don't think so.... Much have been developed...
Is Malaysia a developing country?.... Maybe..., maybe not....
Is Malaysia a developed nation?  Aa, hah...... Good Question !!!

To be a developed nation, Malaysians must develop their thinking... You must go global.. You must promote yourselves to the world so that you will be recognized as a developed nation...
One man who could see this is none other than our former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. Before he became Prime Minister, he was all out for Bahasa Melayu. He was a true Malay warrior who wants the Bahasa Melayu to be recognized by the whole world. He hates the British for bringing up Malaysia as it was before... When he was the Minister of Education, he introduced the "Malay Medium"..That was in 1970s.. When he became Prime Minister, the English Medium was abolished. All schools were in the Malay Medium...

As years go by, Malaysia began to develop into a developing nation. In fact, Dr. Mahathir targeted the year 2020 when Malaysia will be a fully developed nation.. But, something came out !!  Graduates from Malaysian Universities could not get jobs in the private sector due to the lack of the English language. On seeing this, Dr. Mahathir introduced the PPSMI (Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English). Subjects like Mathematics, Additional Mathematics, General Science, Physics, Chemistry and Biology are taught in English. This programme was to cater the students of Malaysia to be equipped with the English terms and technologies. In this way, Malaysians will be well-versed with the English language as a whole.... That was the brilliant idea....
Subjects like History, Geography, Living Skills, Islamic Studies were still taught in Bahasa Melayu. There was no complain because the idea was brilliant...
But when Dr. Mahathir stepped down, some wise guy began the next episode of abolishing the PPSMI and introducing the MBMMBI... So, no more teaching of Science and Mathematics in English. In other words, it's back to the Malay Medium.. It's back to 1980s.....What a waste !!!

I have my backings. Someone "big" wrote this in the papers today... See it for yourself...

The Star, 7th May, 2010.

Stick with English

OUR children are at the crossroads when dealing with language in Malaysia. They lament that the moment they are out of school, they discover that they need English in almost every aspect of their daily and academic life, especially if they live in cities. Only when they go to the wet market do they converse in Bahasa Malaysia. Even then, it is pasar Malay or the dialects of the vendors.
They say that firstly, when they surf the Internet, the majority of the sites they visit are in English. The only sites in Bahasa Malaysia are those of government agencies and ministries, but they do not surf government sites every day. For all we know, some ministries have also put up English sites to help their international counterparts.
Secondly, all brochures of goods, hotels, shops and organisations are in English, except for those of the Government. Employers want workers who can converse and write in English. Those poor in English lose out.
Thirdly, certain careers require the absolute use of English. One such example is the aviation industry. A pilot trainee said nothing whatsoever in his training is conducted in Bahasa Malaysia. He finds his friends poor in English face difficulty studying and communicating. Not being able to decipher the English instruction may cause mishaps on runaways. So do his friends who do medicine and law in India.
To apply for jobs, our children need to write letters and resumes in English. Their friends who are in colleges and universities also need to write assignments in English.
Similarly, in entertainment, especially music and songs, they listen to the English ones. The Astro guide and TV schedules are in English. Informative and academic channels on Astro like National Geographic, History, Discovery and Science are in English. So is the news over CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera. Their favourite shows of sports, cars and entertainments are all in English.
The language used in the brochures of imported goods is none other than English, even if they are produced in China or the Middle East. Books sold on the Amazon.net are almost all written in English.
Likewise, signboards and notices, apart from the Government ones, are almost all in English. Instructions on vitamin and pharmaceutical bottles are all in English and so are the manuals of scientific and engineering gadgets and equipment. Even when we go to Mecca to perform Umrah and Haj, the signs are in English, French and Arabic, not Bahasa Malaysia.
Thus, why do we want to switch back to Bahasa Malaysia in teaching important subjects at schools? Lengthening the hours to teach English during English lessons will be less effective compared to doing the content subjects in English.
Learning content subjects in English is killing two birds with one stone. One will acquire the language and learn the subject, and the language learnt in this manner will be more authentic.
Let the generation who began their Mathematics and Science in English at schools in 2005 finish their education in Englsih. Let them be the generation to revive the good English we once had. Let them help us be more competitive in the global market, and let them teach the generation after theirs this language of academic and this language of the world.
DR ABU BAKAR ABDUL MAJEED,
DR MEGAWATI OMAR,
Research Management Institute
UITM, Shah Alam.

p/s:
Do you know that students who apply for scholarships and entry into foreign universities have their essays written by some English teachers and not by themselves... It is disgusting!!!
When my son applied for scholarships last year, I made him write the essays by himself... I told him, people will know that he is just a 17 year old.... He later got the Petronas scholarship....
Thank you Kolej Yayasan Saad (KYS) for bringing up my son in the English Medium.... 

Have a nice day.....

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