Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS IN MALAY


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on August 14, 2009 4:01 PM

1. The Government has decided that the teaching of science and mathematics would revert to Malay in the Government school, with Chinese in Chinese schools and Tamil in Tamil schools. How this is going to help integrate Malaysians I do not know.

2. Since then I had conducted a poll on my blog. The result is 84 per cent want to retain English as the language medium for these subjects.

3. Admittedly the poll was conducted in the English language and English language speakers might be biased in favour of English.

4. But some parents and teachers had also conducted a survey and the majority are again in favour of English. A petition to the Prime Minister by parents and teachers was copied to me and they were in favour of retaining English. At least one senior non-Malay politician had left a Barisan Nasional component party and joined the opposition because of the switch back to Malay, Tamil and Chinese. He claimed that he could not afford to send his grandchildren abroad as some who advocate Malay as the medium had been doing.

5. I meet a lot of people at the various forums I am invited to speak. During the usual post-meeting tea most of the participants who got to talk with me, mostly Malays regretted the Government's decision to use Malay for Science and Mathematics.

6. The reason that has been given is that Malays, particularly kampung Malays just could not do well when the two subjects were taught in English. If we follow this kind of argument we should also stop trying to get Malays to do business because they really cannot do well in that field. They are best at working as wage-earners, particularly in Government service. We should encourage them not to try to go into business.

7. If we do this then the current anger over the New Economic Policy on the part of the non-Malays would be reduced.

8. Similarly with learning English. Malays just cannot learn and speak English. We should stop teaching it so that the language would not drag down the Malays in their exams. We should see better results.

9. Malays do best at paddy planting and fishing with rods and net. They should be taught to do this, probably with new technology.

10. By switching back to Malay, we can expect them to vote for the Government party at the next election. Similarly we can expect at least some who believe their children's future has been blighted by this decision to think again about voting for the BN.

11. I cannot read Chinese but Utusan Malaysia kindly translated the editorial in the Sin Chew Jit Poh. The editorial basically said that giving "Ang Pow" would not win over the voters.