This is from Surind, a proactive citizen from PJ:
“At this point (in my opinion), I would also like to say that Bahasa “Malaysia & English” is our “Anak Bangsa Malaysia” language! Every other language should take a back seat in this country & highly specialised & globalising learning world / economy that we live in! There is simply not enough time & the ethnic Chinese, Indians, DLL should not be wasting time fighting for Tamil & Chinese schools! We should be working towards (transition stage), only 1 type of school system where these languages & more, should be offered as a full examinable subject. Practice is important & for a child, it is the parents responsibility to use these languages at home. Do not underestimate the importance of this & working towards it!”
Surind, in your excitement to promote Barisan Rakyat, please care to take some time to read the People’s Declaration. In its page 2, it upholds as a principle in Malaysia’s constitution “Bahasa Melayu as the national language but safeguarding the unfettered right to use and learn other language”.
See more of its detailed programmes related to mother tongue education in page 13.
You may of course argue that your proposed solution (unifying all schools into one single stream but having the minority languages as full subjects) is already “safeguarding the unfettered right to use and learn other language”.
And it is perfectly fine for anyone to propose the abolition of minority language education. It is your freedom of speech, just like anyone who wants to advocate for an Islamic state or Christian state or Hindu state.
But do not take your position as that of Barisan Rakyat, and certainly not as the mandate from the election results.
I believe at least half of the voters casting their votes for the opposition believing that the opposition will respect the parents’ right to decide what schools – SK, SKC, SKT or SR – to enroll their children.
If pushing for a single stream of school is what Barisan Rakyat is all about or what its supporters believe to be, communicate it clearly to the electorate during the campaign. Don’t try to push any agenda through back-door after elections.
For your information, eight parliamentarians and eight state assembly persons elected in this election (including DAP’s four from PJ) have committed themselves to a more consultative town planning process which will respect demographic pattern and cultural preference with regards to land use for educational and religious purposes.
As for your “simply not enough time” argument, is it not up to everyone to decide how to use his or her time?
I have been learning one line or two of Hungarian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Slovak, Greek, Arab, Turki and many other languages that many Malaysians and perhaps most people in the world do not speak. I plan to pick up my abandoned broken Tamil and Punjabi again.
I am happily wasting my insufficient time that should be better used for preparing myself for globalization, if you like.
Is it the business of the state to tell me how to manage my time or my life?
I advocate for welfare state as a replacement for NEP, but never a nanny state – whether theocratic or secular!
In fact, that’s my very reason to oppose an Islamic state despite my respect for the religion. I believe it’s the same for most liberals.