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By Lok Wing Kong

Blueprint should consider English and Chinese, too

Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yaasin recently responded to the Chinese reaction to the 2013-2025 Education Blueprint. He said that the Chinese are too sensitive and not receptive of the “well-thought-out” blueprint.

The blueprint in fact is exclusive and not good for the Chinese community in that it wants to insidiously wipe out the Chinese and Indian vernacular schools.

The powers-that-be should explicitly recognise the good points of the country’s diversity and financially support the development of Chinese schools both national-type and independent ones.

The Chinese language will become widely used by western countries due to the rise of China. The economic epicentre has already moved to the western Pacific - that’s China. The force of this undercurrent is so strong no one can resist it.  

Malaysia has been blessed with a fairly well-developed Chinese education system, it will be bad to destroy it. The Education Ministry had already made a huge mistake by eliminating the well-established English-medium schools. Had it been maintained, our English language standard would be at par with native English-speaking countries. Malaysians would be able to compete globally as some of us are bilingual and trilingual.

The quality of education in Malaysia is shamefully low.

Until today, the powers-that-be are still in a denial mode in that “ours are the best and others are worst” is the mentality of many mediocre quality teachers, lecturers and professors with regard to the Malay language. They have the wishful dream that Malay language will one day become a world class language at par with or better than English. Can this happen?

Don’t be naive. It is better for us to be trilingual and bilingual to survive well. Our diversity is our strength.

My fervent hope is that if the powers-that-be are not willing to assist in the development of Chinese education in this country, don’t harbour any subtle and ill-hearted agenda to kill it. Therefore it is necessary to quickly amend the 2013-2025 Education Blueprint to meet the requests made by the Chinese community.

I wish to quote Tunku Munawirah Putra, honorary secretary for the Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (Page). In her recent article she said: “To conquer knowledge, we must first conquer the English language.” This is extremely well said. With this, we shall not argue on the importance of the English language any more.

Therefore the natural logic is that take action to reintroduce English medium schools as soon as possible, preferably effective 2014. Simply put, no mistake will be made for sure.

English is no longer a colonial master’s language. It is the world language and therefore we direly need to master it in order to compete for survival in the globalised world. In addition, we must also master the Chinese language as it is getting more popular and important by the day. It may one day be at par with the English language.

If you’re not willing to help develop Chinese education, don’t kill it please!