Monday, December 01, 2008

Mukhriz: Scrap vernacular schools, one system for all

Taken from The Star 

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth chief aspirant Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir has called on the Government to abolish the vernacular school system as a means to enhance unity among people of various races.

He said a single school system was the only way to check the racial polarisation that was getting out of control in the country.

“The government should consider introducing only one school system with Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction, except for Science and Mathematics which are already being taught in English.

“Of course, pupils should then be given the option to study their mother tongues. Under this system, the Malays will also have the option of studying other languages like Mandarin and Tamil and this will further boost unity among them,” he told reporters at Parliament House on Monday.

The Umno Youth exco member said it was time for Malaysia to do away with the dual school system, which was practised by only a handful of countries in the world, as it had contributed to the problem of disunity in the country.

He said over 99% of countries in the world practised a single school system.

He expressed hope that leaders of Barisan Nasional component parties would not take his suggestion in a negative light as it was only meant as a suggestion to resolve, once and for all, the problem of racial polarisation affecting the citizenry.

“If they reject this suggestion, then they should explain why they are against it. How is it possible for them on one hand to talk about unity and question Malay rights, while on the other hand still insist on having a different school system for their race?

“If you want equal rights then you cannot have a different school system. You cannot have your cake and eat it too,” he added.

He also urged all parties to stop harping on issues that could create tension among Barisancomponent parties, including on the issue of  Malay supremacy.

Lately, he said, there were many statements made by leaders of component parties that had the potential to create anger among the Malays and Umno members.

“If they insist on making statements on that issue, then do not be surprised if the Malays start talking about the economic supremacy of the non-Malays.

“Despite all that has been said on the issue of Malay supremacy, the Malays do not feel in any way superior or the master when it comes to the country’s economy,” he said.

Mlle Monster says:  I do see the logic behind Mukhriz's argument on a single education system. 

I am all for such a system provided it has proved itself beyond any doubt that it is a superior one that places education for all as its prime objective.  

Coming from a non-vernacular school myself I am immediately reminded of a time when I was in form five and the school organised a hushed motivation and study seminar for Malay students only. When I was in form 6 and had to study in another sekolah kebangsaan, we were told that within the tenets of religion, women are inherently not as capable to lead as men, and hence the position of head prefect is reserved for males only.  If there is institutionalised discrimination within school itself be it on racial or religious lines, I do not have faith that by doing away with vernacular schools, anything will be solved. 

If we can keep religion and race out of schools, with the necessary checks and balances, with the necessary watchdogs that can actually do something other than being tong kosongs, then yes, lets adopt a single education system. 

However until that happens I am not willing to let go of my right to have options.  

Perhaps the Ministry should study why do people want to send their kids to vernacular schools in the first place. Most times it is more expensive and inconvenient. So is it a higher standard of academic excellence? It is language? Its is discrimination?   And what has happened to the much touted smart schools anyway? Is anyone keeping tabs? 

And if one open education system is what Mukhriz is advocating, is UMNO willing to dismatle the MRSMs, MCKK and other exclusively Malay boarding schools? 

And who exactly are going on and on with the ketuanan melayu issue, but not these mileage hungry politicians themselves. And how come only the UMNO  leaders are capable of being angry at careless statements? BN component party leaders have been sucking it up all this while.  

I do wish he would make the distinction between Malay and UMNO. My Malay brethren in PRK and PAS relax only because they know it for what it is - an UMNO manufactured bogeyman.  


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