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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Still not satisfied???

There is still dissatisfaction among the anti-PPSMI group? Come on... You people are really living in the dark caves.. Never want to improve yourselves. We are talking facts here, not sentiments..., and our future generation is at stake here...
I'll let Mr. Hussaini Abdul Karim of Shah Alam do the reasoning....

2011/04/20
HUSSAINI ABDUL KARIM, Shah Alam, Selangor
letters@nst.com.my

English: They do us a disservice

I REFER to the letter from Prof Dr Norhashimah Jalaluddin, the Malaysian Linguistic Society president (Coordinator for 48 non-governmental organisations against PPSMI and Page), "BM is soul of the nation" (NST, April 19).
First, let me say that I am not a spokesperson for the supporters of PPSMI nor Page but I support the use of English.

When I discussed her letter with some of my friends at our surau, many were shocked at the "mood" of the letter. All of us do not agree with her.

Her letter raises some pertinent questions:
Do the "Pejuang Bahasa" (language nationalists) need to resort to extreme measures, as shown in her letter, in trying to ensure the survival of Bahasa Malaysia?

Are all Malay-speaking people naturally patriotic?

Is the Malay language under threat?

My answers are: no, to all the questions.

The professor suggested that those who ask for English to be the medium of instruction for Science and Mathematics were being unpatriotic.

Many countries use two or more languages; one, their own national language, and two, a working language that can be used commercially and internationally for business and international relations, and which is more often than not, the English language.

China, India, Pakistan, Singapore, many countries in Europe and Africa, for instance, use at least two languages and one of them is the English language. Is the professor suggesting that the citizens of these countries are also unpatriotic?

Patriotism is not just about the national language. Fighting corruption, eliminating wastage of public funds, calling for good governance, integrity, etc, are just some acts of patriotism.

The writer stated that "we wish to state again that PLM does not object to the teaching of the English language". But earlier in her letter, she had said, "PLM and its affiliates strongly condemn any suggestion to revive and re-implement the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI), be it fully or partially". Her statements are contradictory.

Historically, the English language may at one time have been considered a denigrated language, inferior to other languages of knowledge such as Arabic, Greek and Latin.

That was a very long time ago but English is now recognised as one of only very few world languages the language of international relationship, international commerce and the Internet.

And as the writer correctly stated, English has become a "dynamic" language today.

To wait for Bahasa Malaysia to be on a par with the English language will take a very long time, a hundred years perhaps as that was the period the English language took to become what it is today. In a hundred years from today, when Bahasa Malaysia attains the level where English is now, the English language would still be a hundred years ahead of our national language. We will never be able to catch up.

We have gone quite far in our efforts to get our people proficient in English, without neglecting Bahasa Malaysia, as the introduction of PPSMI since 2002 has shown. So don't stop now; let the momentum continue.

My friends and I are not against Bahasa Malaysia and we support and laud the government's efforts in promoting the language.

Those who want English to be used are only asking something that can and will make our country better and not something that will make the country go backwards.

We are definitely not glorifying the English language as mocked by the writer, but we are just being practical and realistic and for very good reasons.

We certainly are not "colonised" in our thinking and outlook. That allegation is a bit far-fetched.

Being proficient in both English and Bahasa Malaysia will not make our values as Asians and Malaysians any different from the practices, customs, cultures and beliefs of the "Pejuang Bahasa". We are all Malaysians and we are one. So, let's not go against each other.

Claiming that a press conference last year was joined by 48 Malay NGOs that represented more than 30,000 members and over 100,000 people took part in a peaceful rally to submit a memorandum to Istana Negara on March 7, 2009 against PPSMI does not mean that the majority of Malaysians support their cause.

And to say that only a small number of people support the agenda of Parent Action Group for Education (Page) is incorrect.

Many reasons have been given by many people from all walks of life, including very young schoolchildren, for the past several years in letters to the media, meetings, seminars, discussions, etc, on why we still need English.

And Malaysians sighed with relief when the prime minister and the deputy prime minister recently said that the government was taking another look at the issue. If a decision is made to retain PPSMI, then we would have continuity, which is good for all.

We, who are asking for greater use of English, are concerned about nation building, development of the country, and to ensure that the country achieves its aim to be a First World nation, a developed country and a high-income economy by 2020.

A good working knowledge of the English language will help us achieve those aims more easily.

However, we have never at any time hinted or suggested that the use of Bahasa Malaysia in national schools be curtailed.

We do not believe that being proficient in both Bahasa Malaysia and English will create different classes of people, and there's no guarantee that using just one language will not create divisions among the people.

As it is, if one observes carefully, people who only use Bahasa Malaysia are themselves already divided into classes. Greater wealth for all, eradication of poverty, increased employment opportunities, providing a better life and being bilingual are better causes in uniting our people.

The writer also said the "effort to educate the people via English is unpatriotic". Calling people who want to help young fellow citizens and future Malaysians to be better and to make sure that their needs, welfare and their future are taken care of as unpatriotic is bizarre and unfriendly.

I am one of those who fought for our country when it was threatened by communist insurgents in the 1970s, and I will not hesitate to do the same again and take up arms and fight to defend our country if it ever comes under threat again.

I am sure most Malaysians who support the use of both Bahasa Malaysia and English would do the same.

So, by going against the obvious, the writer, the Malaysian Linguistic Society (PLM) and the 48 NGOs she represents are doing a disservice to the country, especially to the young people and students throughout the country and the generations of Malaysians to come.

Satisfied?? Grow up !!!
Here's another one:

The need for PPSMI

I HAVE long resisted the urge to jump into the fray because all my kids have left secondary school and it is no longer a concern of mine. But I’ve decided to write now because I feel guilty about not making a stand and also because I do strongly believe our young people will be better off if we choose to continue with the PPSMI.
Firstly, I do not think one can dim one’s patriotism by learning Mathematics and Science in English.
In fact, the Malaysian flag can only fly higher when we can compete globally.
To retain the PPSMI will not threaten the status of Bahasa Malaysia as being the soul of the nation. I do not see how the two can be connected.
Even my mum who is uneducated speaks good Bahasa Malaysia and she can communicate with anyone.
However, because her English is only passable or “broken”, she may be passed over for a job in an MNC (a multinational company).
My husband works in one.
He and many others have come to this real and practical conclusion: The candidate who can write and speak better English will be preferred for a position in his company.
Believe me, academic qualifications rank second to the ability to speak and write in English in an MNC.
How many people can be absorbed in the civil service?
Who would choose to work in the civil service?
Only those who aren’t conversant in English and thus cannot compete globally?
If I had remained a teacher in the civil service, believe me, my pay would only be a fraction of my husband’s and that, too, when I have better academic qualifications.
Not that money is everything but some of us as parents want to give our children the best we can.
In my humble opinion, it is fear that puts us in shackles.
Returning to the past will only impede our liberation and civilisation as a people and it’s a call that is opposed to wisdom.
We need to have faith in our ability to compete and this cannot come overnight or without hard work and sacrifice.
Experience will tell you that to save one’s neighbour, neither material help nor political change nor prayer is sufficient.
One has to rise to a new life; one must confront and solve common problems, whether material, educational or political, starting with a more lucid vision of reality.
We cannot allow others who are afraid to compete to force us to remain in the deserts of our lives.
We must take destiny in our own hands and reclaim our ability to discern what is better for ourselves.
Parents who only have their children’s best interests at heart and perhaps the nation’s, must be allowed to choose the way their children ought to be educated in.
A path to liberation requires time, responsibility and sacrifice. We are already on this path.
Why allow irresponsible people who use hollow arguments that can only attract the mediocre to determine our fate?
We have come a long way; we have to persevere and work harder.
MAY CHEE CHOOK YING,
Malacca.
 
Have a nice day....

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