Thursday, March 29, 2007

Education System Blamed

This is gonna be a very frank discussion over matters which are close to my heart. So, bigots, stay out.

It's funny how on the 26 May 2004, i've written about this issue of Racial Intergration before...looks and feel like dejavu...

That is an easy way for the DG of National Unity and Intergration Department to say, as i qoute from the newspaper:

"Most "probable" reason some teenagers did not have friends of different races because of the "enviroment they are in, especially in schools".

he also said:

" He said parents’ tendency to send their children to vernacular schools instead of national schools meant students lacked the opportunity to mingle and interact with their peers from other races. "

Now, look. There is only so many vernacular school compared to national school. Infact, there are more malay boarding school(i've counted at least 3) compared to racially balanced boarding school (only one to me and that is RMC).

If we turn the table the other way, the other races could say that the National School aren't doing enough to ensure the balance of races in the school. Back in the 1980's, i clearly remember that there are as many non bumis as there are bumis. A class of 40 would consist of almost a 50-50 split between the Malays and non-Malays. Funny how i just found my primary school album the other day, i shall take pictures all my primary school classmates and post it up here.

Now, if we look at how the DG wanted to view it, Chinese parents send their kids to chinese school because they believe the education system that goes in tandem with the national education system will bring out the best in them. Well, to me, this is a case of ultra kiasu-ism. Infact, it's a norm nowadays for other races to send their kids to chinese school.

And these kids were at advantage as they would learn anohter language which will benefit them. Lets face it, the next super power (and always has been) is China. Most MNC places importance and gave advantages to employees which could at least converse in mandarin.

My parents went to chinese school. Me and my sisters all went to national school. We have more friends from other races compared to friends from the same races. Me and my friends are proud product and testament of Schools such as SRK Taman Melawati, SM Lembah Keramat, SM Taman Melawati, Royal Military College, Victoria Institution just to name a few. We did not chide each other just because some of us pray to deities or even when some of us had to sit in the Agama class as the replacement teacher for Moral class wasn't available.

I remembered in Standard One when most of us had to sit in the Jawi class and learn the basic of Jawi (Alif-Ba-Ta la, what else), or how some of my Malay friends took our POL (People Own Language) Classes book and Hanyu-Pinyin with us to learn some chinese.

So, now, why is this whole issue of racial intergration surface, now, in the 21st Century? Aren't we, human supposed to be more liberal, and with almost any Ahmad, Muthu, Ah Beng, Aminah, Kumari and Ah Lian has basic education and at least with a degree to show on the wall could comprehend and know better than to stir up these issues?

I guess not.

I am just too ideal i guessed. Too protected because i've never had any problem with my other friends from other races. Infact, i treat them as my siblings; my brothers, and my sisters.

The real reason over the failure of National Intergration (and we don't need a Government Department to tell us this) is actually ourselves, ie Adults.

Kids are only as innocent as we want them to be. They learn from adults. The refused to intergrate because the adults refused to intergrate. Agree?

Only 52% of the teenagers said they had a friend of a different race. In fact, mixing with other races was not something that concerned many of the respondents. Only 12.8% felt that it was an issue, while 63.9% were more worried about contracting a disease.

I'm not sure if i should laugh at the above survey results by one Newspaper.Really. Now, why should the teens worry about contracting diseases from other races??? It's the adults.

Doesn't help with some adults looking upon each other as if we are each mortal enemy. Social status and a feeling of empathy for themselves, added with jealousy and low self esteem, causes these so called matured adults to resort to name calling (Melayu bodoh, Cina Babi, Ah Neh Jahat). If i may relate my own personal experience, I was an outcast in TAR College just because i don't write nor read chinese, by my own so called race. So, if i'm being frown upon by my own race, how is intergration supposed to start anyway???

Infact there is even a joke about this, where the Malays will get the contract from Government, The chinese will be given the work to be done, and the indians will be the one executing it.

Or how about the joke that we wanted to send one astronut to space to save mankind. The indian asked for RM1 million, the Malay Asked for RM2 million and the chinese asked for RM4 Million.

Why 4 Million? Well, 1 Million is his profit, 2 Million to pay of the Malay and the last 1 million is to send the Indian to space!

Some will take offence on these jokes, but the ability to laugh at ourselves and poke fun at our ownselves is actually a first step to acheive national intergration.

How many time has we stereotype races? VCD seller? Ah Beng la! Kidnappers and murderers? Who else but those red eyed drunk indians? Lazy buggers waiting to be spoonfed with government projects? Aiyah...Melayu la...

How about the failure to understand the most basic of what a multicutural soceity is all about? I'm talking about the most sensitive area here where anyone on the street without even any Law Degree would tell you what Article 11 of the Constitution is all about.

Non Muslim form us 40% of Malaysia's strong 26 million citizen (and these are just reported numbers, lets not forget immigrants, legal or illegal). But how many of the 40% or the 60% majority that truly understand what the other races is all about?

Are our malays brothers Sunni or Shia's follower?

Are all Buddhist the same as Taoist?

Why is there a differences between the Catholic church and other denomination?

Why does the Indian don't eat beef and pray to some circus like deity with an Elephant face?

I bet not any Malaysian could answer that, because as multiracially intergrated as i am, i still have to ask my fellow brothers and sisters to understand better.

It's those that is totally reluctant to see with their eyes and hear with their ears are the one creating all the unnessasary misunderstanding.

if you truly believe that the 3 months long National Service will do any good to national intergration, or the failed move back many years ago in our Universities to place at least one each of the major race/religion in the same dorm room to achieve that, then i guess you've been fooled.

National intergration was working fine from the 1980's till the early 90's. Then it took a sharp turn down to the dump because of race and religious bigots.

Tearing down of temples and places of worships of the non-muslim by the local councils are truly not showing any respect. There are land aquired and given to build mosque in every single housing development, but not of churches and temples. Infact, the Church in Shah Alam took 14 years to materialise. Remember the Kampung Medan incident?

Or how about how some non-bumi will chide the muslim for parking their cars all over the road near the mosque every friday afternoon? Or how everyone would curse at the traffic caused by the Thaipusam celebration in Batu Caves? Or even get upset when cars are parked on the road side during Sunday Mass?

It's not the school education system my dearest Director General of National Unity and Intergration Department, the answer, my brother, is ourselves.

Look into the mirror and make that change.

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