Monday, March 26, 2012

The Sunday rally at the New Era College in Kajang

The arrival of Wee Ka Siong

Concerned parents showing their presence

The Tamil educators were there to render support

The crowd by the thousands

PAS members were also there to render support

Wee Ka Siong starts his speech

The "thumbs down" and jeering start

Wee Ka Siong finally decides to leave the venue

The sending off with more thumbs down

Wee Ka Siong, crying again.  No, he is just showing the spot where he was almost hit by someone from the crowd.

This whole situation has been brought about by none other than UMNO itself.  MCA could have been forceful as a member of the BN group to rectify the matter, but it failed to do so.  So, the issues were left to fester till now, and it will get worse if nothing is being done.

Let's look at the issue in its right perspective.

Back in the 50s, 60s and early 70s, when English was the medium of instruction, many parents, Malay as well as non-Malay were too happy to have their kids taught in these schools.  The Chinese schools were left on their own and funded by private groups of trustees.  The moment UMNO decide to do away with the English schools and have the medium of instruction replaced with BM, the pressure begins.  As the years went by, slowly and gradually, more and more parents, Malay as well as non-Malay, decide to send their kids to be taught in Chinese schools. Compared with the national type schools, the Chinese teaching method and syllabus system are considered much better.  The situation is further aggravated by the restriction to build more Chinese schools and the limited space provided for in each school.  If this is not bad enough, the problem is further compounded with the growth in student population.  It is without a doubt it will reach critical mass, and hence, it exploded right in Wee Ka Siong's face on Sunday.

To ease the situation, UMNO may [I doubt they will even want to do it] decide to revert to the old system, using English as the medium of instruction.  I doubt at this point, parents would want to send their children to such schools since Mandarin is now a world wide language due to China's economic power.

In 1992, I was invited by the headmistress of a premier all girls school in Kuala Lumpur, to give a talk on banking as a career to their form five commerce students.  As I was early, the principal took me on a tour of the complex and to my pleasant surprise, as I was passing some of the class rooms, there were a good number of Malay girls (in tudung) writing and speaking in Mandarin, either with their peers or with their teachers. As the girls were streaming in for my talk, I was reminded by the principal that the talk was to be in English and in return, the students were to ask me questions likewise.  When the session was opened to the floor, they probed me in English effortlessly. I can't help but admire their proficiency in two languages which went a long way in confidence building.

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