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Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 26th April 2011: 

Why Muhyiddin’s education system sucks!

During the Sarawak state general election campaign, both the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin promised to consider the return of the teaching of science and mathematics in English (PPSMI) and that the government would study the possibility of using two mediums of instruction for teaching science and maths.

Has the Cabinet set in motion the return of PPSMI and the use of two mediums of instruction for teaching science and maths or is this just an empty campaign ploy for the Sarawak state elections?

Instead Muhyiddin as the Education Minister has brought forward the abolition of PPSMI by one year, from 2012 to 2011, catching parents and students by surprise.

Is he going to give the parents the option to decide whether to revert back to PPSMI for this year until a decision is taken whether the Cabinet is going to adopt two mediums of instruction for teaching science and maths?

The Barisan Nasional’s education system sucks basically for two reasons:

Firstly, failing to produce internationally-recognised a high-quality education system from primary to secondary and tertiary level which could meet the country’s aspirations to be a globally competitive nation with a creative workforce; and

Secondly, failing to be a major instrument of the Malaysian nation-building process.

I have just received a complaint that illustrates this outrageous aspect of the national education system – that although the Prime Minister is spending RM70 million to preach his 1Malaysia policy, the education system headed by the Deputy Prime Minister is already blatantly promoting the “1Melayu” call of Utusan Malaysia.

The latest April 2011 issue of Dewan Masyarakat with its feature article “Penghakisan Tanah Pusaka – Meruntuhkan Kuasa Politik Melayu (Bahagian Satu)” by Noor Azam which is compulsory reading material for all Form VI students for their General Paper is a case in point.

The article by Noor Azam, formerly political secretary to the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and ex-Chairman of TV3, quoting extensively from Mahathir’s “Malay Dilemma”, reeks of rabid Malay communalism studded with lies and falsehoods especially about the DAP, promoted Utusan Malaysia’s “1Melayu” slogan and the “Ketuanan Melayu” concept.

Clearly Noor Azam has either never heard or rejects Najib’s 1Malaysia objective to create “a more vibrant, more productive and more competitive” Malaysia where “every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second and where the principles of 1Malaysia are woven into the economic, political and social fabric of society”.

Noor Azam’s article in Dewan Masyarakat is excellent educational material to illustrate the outmoded thinking and communal poison which Malaysians must transcend if they are to move from the narrow and exclusive “1Melayu” call to the all-embracing, inclusive “1Malaysia” concept.

But this clearly is not the case for the reason why this Dewan Masyarakat article is made required reading for all Form VI students for their compulsory General Paper.

All Cabinet Ministers should immediately get a copy of the April 2011 issue of Dewan Masyarakat and read Noor Azam’s article and decide whether it is promoting Utusan’s “1Melayu” call or Najib’s “1Malaysia” concept.

Malaysians await as to whether the Cabinet would do what is right and expected of them tomorrow – to rescind the decision of the Education Ministry to make the article compulsory reading for General Paper for Form VI students and to express regret that the official organ of a government agency, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka is openly challenging Najib’s 1Malaysia concept by adopting Utusan Malaysia’s contradictory “1Melayu” call.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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