Saturday, July 11, 2009

PKR MP Zulkifli Nordin: English-speaking Filipinos become maids

You got to hand it to Kulim Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Nordin. We may not agree with his warped views but this PKR lawmaker has never been afraid to speak up. It's his right as much as we disagree with him. By the way, he sits in the Pakatan Rakyat's Higher Education Committee, the shadow Cabinet of the coalition. That's frightening, isn't it?

He has not just applauded the move to stop the use of English to teach Maths and Science, the official stand of the BN and PR, but he has asked for Jawi to be reintroduced as the foundation for Bahasa Melayu. Zulkifili has defended his stand, saying there was no reason to be apologetic as Malay was the national language. In any case, what good are the English-speaking Filipinos who are merely exporting maids - that's his own words in his blog - and he has also called for the political will to close down all non-national schools.

With views like Zul Nordin, no wonder both sides of the political divide are adopting a similar stand in this issue. The reality is that on the ground, continuing the use of English to teach the two subjects would mean more failures. To fail in English and to fail further in Maths and Science was not acceptable. That's the logic. Those who push for the use of English are in the minority, let's face it.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad's blog may have garnered much support for English but if Utusan Malaysia and the Chinese newspapers were to carry out their own surveys, they too, would have overwhelming support for the use of Bahasa and Chinese. The only difference is that MCA politicians and the educationists prefer English to be used at the secondary level. Not all the way, as some other politicians prefer, to appease their voters.

So in Malaysia, you have a situation where you study almost everything in BM, Chinese or Tamil at the primary level, then study in BM for most subjects at the secondary level. At the local universities, the lectures are in BM but most of the books are in English. No wonder, we have half-baked graduates from local universities. When I was studying in UKM, I had friends who were required to attend English proficiency classes asking me to help draft out their essays - so they could memorise it line for line for their exams. I never heard of such a thing until I entered the university. I am told that's pretty normal in all local universities.

So, in the name of nationalism and realpolitik, we are prepared to forego our competitive edge. If we are not proficient in English, we will go nowhere. That's a fact. Except for Indonesia, the minute we fly out of Malaysia via KLIA or LCCT, we have to start using other languages. In Hong Kong, they have gone back to using English to teach Maths and Science. The fact that HK is under Chinese rule has not affected their decision. Yet, the ever practical HK people understand the economic-political value of Chinese.

Enough has been said by all sides. The fact is that a decision has been made and we have to get used to the idea that those who wanted to keep English has failed. It's better that the focus of their energy is engaged towards ensuring more teaching hours in English and training proper English teachers for our schools. Read Patrick Teoh on Zul in


telur dua said...

Similarly, there are murderers (convicted or not) who speak Chinese, Russian or Bahasa Melayu. So, what does it proof? Nothing.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of Malays, Chinese, and Indians, who speak in all their individual mother tongues, who are labourers, road sweepers, toilet cleaners, office boys etc. So what does that prove?? You know that if Zul Nordin support something, it must be the wrong thing. That is the only thing that is consistent. We should all remember the name of Zul Nordin, Ahmad Ismail, etc, and remember to toss them out in the next election. Maybe MCABN can compile a list of notorious PR fellas, and PR can compile a list of notorious BN fellas. And we the voters toss all these ultras out.

Anonymous said...

Filipinas have to be maids all over the world because of corrupt leaders who milked the country. It seems that Malaysia is heading that way very quickly unless something is done about the rampant corruption.

Michael Gaw said...

Dear Wong,

I agree with your view.

The education standards here have gone down the gutters.

We have politicians who know what is wrong with the education in Malaysia but dare not put the system right due to politics. Plain and simple.

And why should they bother about the deteriorating standard of education in this country when they have sent their own children abroad for studies.

At the same time, they sing praises to the education standards here. What nonsense!!!

These politicians are hypocrites of hypocrites.!!! They are messing up the future of our children and the rakyat ought to kick these scums out of office!!!!

Anonymous said...

The rich don't care two hoots, they send their children abroad even for primery education. Hope someone will do a survey on this to confirm if it is a reality or just a perception.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what AI has to say about this fella. There are many good people in the Pakatan Rakyat who must surely be able to speak out against him. Why the silence?

Anonymous said...

I could not agreed with a suggestion that English for S & M for the secondary school - the decision made by BN is the right move to ensure a level playing field for all, be they from rural or urban areas. Dont be selfish folks - do you care & has ability to provide a good & expert english teachers for the rural folks as we used to have in the semi-urban & urban areas ???

The best option is to give & 'create a gap year' before our young people to join pre-U courses to learn english - just like to join NS for those selected students? This step surely will boost / upgrade the student proficency in English. If the private collage can do it in 3 - 6 months, why not the BN govn do it for the whole generation - without punishing the whole under 18 yrs to learn S & M in by the non-english speaking and untrained teachers ??

No wonder they've failed to produce the expected outcome !!

We have been unfair to these young people for the last 6 yrs !!

Jackie said...

It's smart move of BN government to scrap the PPSMI at primary AND secondary level, which should have been maintained, because Indonesian economy is flying and will become the fifth country of BRIC soon.

Having good grasp of Malay language will prepare our future generation to be maids and construction workers/factory operators/estate workers in Indonesia.

reading said...

i think "ENGLISH" is only the language that we can use to progress very fast then other language . .
educationists telling hardly about this . .
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