Monday, September 28, 2009

DANGERS AND DISADVANTAGES OF VERNACULAR MANDARIN AND TAMIL EDUCATION.

…CHANGING POPULATION SIZE AND INCREASING MALAY ECONOMIC DOMINACE WILL DETERMINE THE REAL IMPORTANCE OF SUCH SCHOOLS IN THE FUTURE.
By Mansor Puteh





The truth of the matter is that there won’t be any clamoring for the establishment of universities or colleges that offer courses in Mandarin or Tamil only. The reasons are obvious.

Can we see universities with these names in the near future: Universiti Mandarin Malaysia (UMM) or Universiti Tamil Malaysia (UTM)? No way.

Yet, all the non-Malay students clamor to enter the national schooling system at the university level with many complaining about not being able to secure places in them.

If the national schooling system is not good, why then bother to study in the universities?

The truth is that the vernacular schools are only good as prep schools. This is what many Chinese parents have admitted, so that their children are conversant in Mandarin and be able to write in it, while maintaining their identity and culture.
But alas, many Chinese children and adults have all ‘rejected’ their Chinese identity by assuming totally different personalities with many even ‘rejecting’ their own Chinese names that their parents had given them. They are happy also to change the color of their hair and trying to look western.

A Mandarin radio station has the announcers or ‘DJs’ who use English names.

But whatever assertions that the non-Malays have of the national schools and their own vernacular schools will dissipate once the Malays have passed beyond the 30% national equity and when the population of the Malays has reached 80% of the total population of the country.

Even now Mandarin or Tamil is not relevant in the public sector. So no wonder not many non-Malays can enter it because they are not proficient in the language despite many of them who have university education, yet their Malay is passable for social communication but not for official communication.

Malaysia can then become more like Siam, the Philippines, America, and United Kingdom which have a small Chinese or Indian population who could not insist on having their way all the time and who have been ‘sucked’ into the mainstream of society, by them even accepting the majority religion which is Thai Buddhism or Catholicism and Christianity.
For the moment, the necessity of the vernacular schools in Malaysia may have some validity. But their standing or relevance may not be so in the future.

I predict such schools to be assimilated into the national schooling system much like many of the former Catholic and Christian missionary schools which could not exist if not for the support from the Malay students who now make the majority student population. These schools cannot exist anymore if Malay students refuse to study in them anymore.

The non-Malays, particularly the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia must be thankful that they are not like their brethren in Thailand, the Philippines which had decided to do away with the vernacular schools long ago, so that today, their non-native populations have become fully assimilated with them, so much so that their prime ministers and presidents can come from their own kind.

Many of those in Malaysia who had studied in the vernacular schools feel increasingly isolated. They can blame their parents for their failure to fully integrate with the national crowd and aspiration, and will forever be ‘condemned’ by scholars of race issues as being stuck in Hong Kong and Chennai, as can be seen by their penchant for things Hong Kong and Chennai.

You can see small groups of Chinese and Indians who are mostly in their own little worlds of fantasy, thinking and feeling how they are in Hong Kong and Chennai. They hardly have Malay as friends.
Even the non-Malay politicians are not known to have their children and grandchildren who are involved in the arts with their Malay friends.

I can tell it if they do not have Malay friends or have seen a Malay program on television and gone to the cinema to see a Malay film. The Mandarin and Tamil media discourage them from doing that.

In Malaysia, different groups of people can have their own schools. The vernacular Mandarin and Tamil schools were described as ‘Independent schools’, so they could insist that they were so. But not anymore.

Times have changed; the so-called ‘independent schools’ are not so independent anymore. They want to be ‘parasitic’.
They have realized that they could not become independent anymore and have started or even begged and worse, started to threaten the government to offer them ‘grants’ and other ‘incentives’ so that their schools which face fledging student populations from breaking down and collapsing on their own weight.

In the past their communities were able to sustain these schools, but not anymore and getting aid from the government was repulsive to their nature.

This must surely mean that their economic standing of the Chinese community is now not as strong and solid like it was before, as the standing of the Malays become more stable and increasing.

The students know this and this are affecting their ego and that of the teachers and administrators of such schools.

The latest statistics on the student population of the Mandarin schools and the national schools show that the student population for Mandarin schools rose by 80% since Merdeka, while the national school population rose to more than 400%.

However, an English language daily controlled by the Chinese quickly tried to confuse their readers by saying how much the enrolment in the Mandarin schools had increased tremendously while neglecting to highlight the enrolment for the national schools which is even more stunning than that.
The truth of the matter is that the vernacular schools are practicing discrimination by neglecting the other dialects, and concentrating on Mandarin and Tamil, whereas the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia comprise of people from various other communities such as those speaking in Hokkien, Cantonese and Indians who are Sikhs, Malayalees, Chingalas, Telugus, etc, all of whom do not have schools of their own.

And these Indians do not send their children even to the Tamil schools but the national schools. So no wonder, most of their children were able to get better quality education and rose up in the social ladder compared to the Tamil students who dropped out of school at a young age.

Not many non-Tamil Indians are known to be involved in petty criminal activities like stealing metal and electric cables.
Herein lies the danger and disadvantages of such schools, in that they do not offer much promise to the students who stop schooling after Standard Six or even Form Three, as most of them would do.

This caused the relevant political party leaders in MCA and MIC to become alarmed.

But none of them dares to admit that their vernacular schools which are off-tangent with the national aspirations have caused many young Chinese and Indians or Tamils to also fail in life, with no proper education. They can’t speak Malay or English and a smattering of street Mandarin and Tamil that they cannot use anywhere outside of their own small communities and limited confines.

The vernacular schools in Malaysia are only good for the parents of the Chinese and Indian students, but not their children whose future is not bright. They will grow up not being able to mix freely with the Malays and whose views on life is often limited.

Ironically, the only language of communication for them is still BAHASA MELAYU, although it is ‘bazaar Melayu’ which they use in their own special way with bad pronunciation and limited vocabulary, when they communicate with the REAL WORLD OF MALAYSIA which is dominated by the dominant Malay race, which prefers to speak in Malay, despite many of them who are conversant in English with some of them having studied abroad.

Only those small groups of Chinese and Indians who have managed to continue their studies at a higher level and sometimes at universities abroad are the ones who are enamored with the English language and use it mostly for social communication.
Many of them had studied in the vernacular schools, but who could go on with their studies at the NATIONAL SCHOOLS where they study in MELAYU, and who also managed to study at universities abroad, and they are the ones who are insisting on speaking in English.
And they are also the ones who thought that the education they managed to get from studying in the respective vernacular schools had made them who they are now.

They had totally neglected to admit that the reason why they are ‘educated’ is because they had managed to enroll at the NATIONAL SCHOOLS where they were also able to get some measure of self-respect and feeling good with themselves.
Whereas, those who did not manage to study in the national schools often become lost in the crowd; especially if they fail at the end of the primary school or drop out in the middle of secondary school with no real academic qualification to talk about. They are the people who are now feeling jaded and useless with themselves. Worse, they do not know what had hit them.

The vernacular schools are only good for CHARACTER BUILDING, but only if one wants to know how to read and write in Mandarin or Tamil. It is not good if one wants to learn how to speak in the other Chinese and Indian dialects.

But this does not mean that those Chinese and Indians who did not study in the vernacular schools are not Chinese and Indians enough.

One of the worse reasons why the Chinese and Indian parents do not want to send their children to the national schools is because they feared their children to become Muslims.
This is too far away from the truth. Most of the Chinese and Indians who left the religions of their parents are those who converted to Christianity or Catholicism.
Those who convert to Islam only do it at a later stage in their lives, and they are mostly those who had studied in the vernacular schools.

Just look at the non-Malays who are registered with Perkim and one can see how their vernacular school background was the reason why they decided to convert. Some of them are now seen in Islamic religious programs speaking in Mandarin and Tamil.

The other unrealistic reason why the non-Malay parents do not want to send their children to the national schools is because they think that such schools are dominated by the Malays.

The whole country is dominated by the Malays. Everywhere we go, there are more Malays than the non-Malays.

The situation is made worse, when the non-Malay parents deliberately do not send their children to the national schools so that their population becomes smaller than the national percentage.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

TODAY’S CROOKS, TOMORROW’S HEROES?: AZAHARI AND NORDIN MAT TOP.

…IF INDONESIA BECOMES AN ISLAMIC REPUBLIC IN THE FUTURE, OUT OF DESPERATION.
By Mansor Puteh




One never knows what the future holds, unless if one is too short-sighted and only sees what’s standing before oneself and who doesn’t care what history had taught many others.

From past experiences, we have seen how murderers and criminals who led a small band of ‘terrorists’ could later become their country’s freedom fighters who are feted by the White House and most other countries in the west.

But don’t get me wrong; I am not siding with anyone here. I am explaining what lessons from history some people in authority had neglected to take into account when they take action on something.

They were once ‘wanted men and women’ who operated clandestinely attacking colonial powers until they finally won. Yet, at an earlier time, they were hounded by the colonist government.

Gandhi was one. There is Nelson Mandela. And there are countless others who may very well become the national heroes of the countries which they had during their short life wanted to free from foreign aggression.

Besides, who gets to define who is a crook and who is a hero anyway? It’s best to leave it to time and not to anyone else, for time is all inclusive.

In Malaysia, we have Maharaja Lela who killed James W Birch in Pasir Salak in Perak was a crook during his time, but now anymore after the British left Malaya to allow the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.
We also have another local ‘crook’ called Mat Kilau who later became a national hero by default when the country became independence.

Unfortunately, the list may very well also include Azhari and Nordin who were killed by the Indonesian authorities in Jawa Island this year who are buried in simple graves in their hometowns in Malaysia.

They were charged for trying to create an Islamic Republic in Indonesia with other Muslim countries in the region, an idea which may seem to be too far-fetched for anyone to believe. But could they be deemed to be a visionary in the near future, if what they had envisioned happens?

I dread it if it does happen, since we do not know what the future holds, like Saddam Hussein also did not know what his future held when he was in power and was in the good books of America and its then presidents.

Ghadaffy of Libya was smart enough not to have made the wrong turn, and from being one of the most dreaded persons in America, he is now one of its ‘allies’ and being feted in England.

Mugabe, too, can become America’s darling if he knows how to outwit them in their own game.
Who knows if Indonesia finally becomes an Islamic Republic by virtue of its sheer population size, these two men, could very well be acclaimed as the heroes of this new Islamic Republic with roads and airports, being named after them like what Indonesia had done to remember their national heroes such as Diponogoro, Sudirman, Sukarno and Hatta.

Who are we to say that such a possibility cannot become a reality in the near or even distant future?

Wasn’t Sukarno, too, considered to be a traitor of Indonesia and who was put under house arrest until he died? Many years later, he became acclaimed as a national hero, with the new airport outside of Jakarta originally known as the Cankareng Airport renamed as the Sukarno-Hatta Airport?

One cannot foresee what will happen in the distant or even near future concerning Indonesia, which seems to be led by mobs in the streets armed with bamboo spears, but not by those who were turned in to their parliament of Majlis Perwakilan Rakyat (MPR), whose members seem to be unaware of what its citizens want anymore.

So one is not surprised if in the near future, there are avenues in major Indonesian cities called Azhari Avenue and Nordin Highway to commemorate their success in turning the country into an Islamic Republic.

To many, killing them does not kill the cause. And the more Muslims are being turned into ‘militants’ or ‘terrorists’ many others will continue with their struggle which was originally created by foreigners anyway because they think it is their duty to defend their fellow brethren in other countries whom they think are being persecuted for no reason other than for being Muslims like them.

If left alone, Indonesia and Iran would have become more secular than they were. But if they are being put under intense scrutiny and pressure, they can react in ways that their enemies would not even dream of.

Now even Turkiye has become more Islamic than what Kamal Ataturk could ever imagine. More of their women are wearing the headscarves, as a sign of protest, although they cannot do it on campus and some other places, but they are wearing it everywhere, psychologically speaking that it.

Worse, even America and non-Muslim Europe and the west are starting to cover up and adopting more Islamic way of life although they may not want to admit it. After all, covering up was the way of life and dressing of their ancestors up to the Second World War and many Hollywood film stars had scarves over their heads which was such a trendy thing for the women of the period to do then.

Islamic Banking is also one of the most powerful ways Islam is being accepted even by those who claim secularism as their ideology.

It was once thought that the reign of the Shah of Iran was going to last for very long. Now many political analysts also think that the present democratic system in Indonesia will also last for a long while.

But do they know what is stirring in the hearts and minds of the Indonesians, most of whom are Muslims?

Their last general elections may not have turned in any Islamic-based political party to power, but the next one may very well do it.

If more secular Turkiye could experience such stirrings of Islamic revivalism, despite the Islamic-bent politicians experiencing hardship, yet, they still persist. Slowly, Turkiye, too, can become another Islamic Republic, if it is not one already in spirit.

Nobody knows what the future holds for both Turkiye and Indonesia… Only time will tell.
The same scenario can happen or be duplicated in Indonesia, which is less secular compared to Turkiye. And the hounding of ‘Muslim militants’ in the country and elsewhere particularly in the Philippines and other countries, can cause many more ordinary Muslims to think that the time has come for their country to become and Islamic Republic.

Muslim ‘militants’ were never there before; they were created by outside forces which were alien to them and the regions their countries were in, and which acted unilaterally against some Muslim countries that forced many to leave their hibernation and meditation and their caves where they had lived in contentment for centuries.

And thanks to western aggression which has caused them to feel pushed too much.

This, of course in a coarse way on how this issue can be looked at from the psychological perspective.

And what will happen to today’s ‘heroes’ in the near future, if things change dramatically in the world, especially if the Muslim World finally manages to find a way to create their own international media organizations and reshape the thinking of the Muslims and non-Muslims so that they are not influenced by the traditional media in the west anymore?

Lastly, it was certainly a grave mistake made by those who had said how Azahari and Nordin had wanted to create an Islamic Republic, when it was not known if this was their cause in the first place. They could very well have other lesser lofty ambitions.

But now some know.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

AMBALAT AND PENDET ISSUES: DEFAMING MALAYSIA OKAY…COUNTRIES DEFAMING INDIVIDUALS NOT OKAY.

By Mansor Puteh




Some Indonesians seem to think that they can make wild charges against Malaysia and get away with it, like charging Malaysia for ‘stealing’ their culture, etc.

Whereas, we have seen how some individuals habitually file law suits against the Malaysian governments on a host of things, yet, it is okay. It is okay. But how come it is not okay for Malaysia, then, to file law suits for defamation against the certain individuals for defaming Malaysia so openly?

Maybe this is what Malaysia ought to do, so that other individuals won’t resort to unreasonable methods to express their concerns for their own culture?

In this regard, I feel sorry for the well-meaning Malaysian lawyers specializing in human rights and the Bar, whose members have been known to immediately file suits against the government and also the papers in the country for charging that they had defamed them.

In the ‘Ambalat’ and ‘Pendet’ issue, it is clearly, these individuals and groups in Malaysia had neglected in their duty, which is to uphold the integrity of the country, when faced by a small group of individuals and also their media for having defamed the country.

The charges of stealing their culture, or in this case the ‘pendet’ dance of Bali is almost a gone case. The Indonesians who felt that their culture had been ‘stolen’ must ensure that it is so – meaning that it is no more in Bali!

If it is still is, and the same groups of Indonesians are still performing it in their temples and sometimes in Gedung Wuntilan in Ubud and elsewhere, then they cannot say that it had been ‘stolen’.

Even if there are some Malaysians who have been fascinated with this dance, it is still not a crime to perform it in public even in Malaysia or elsewhere for the same reason Indonesians are happy to perform jazz, rap and other sorts of American and western music.

I have heard a group from Indonesia happily singing America’s country-and-western music without shame or admitting where it had come from.

Yet, when there is a mere clip showing an Indonesian woman performing the ‘pendet’ dance in a documentary made by a Malaysian production company which was shown on the Discovery Channel, some Indonesians are angry.
Their anger is not limited to voicing their concerns in the blog or papers and on television, but is taken to the streets where they happily and proudly parade their home-made bamboo spears, stopping vehicles driving through Jalan Diponogoro in Jakarta, and wanting to arrest Malaysian so that they are deported.
And shockingly, the Malaysian government and their ministers concerned are taken by such a threat.

As a regular visitor to Indonesia and one who had traveled by land from Aceh to Bali, I can say for certain that the actions of the few Indonesians do not reflect the many others in the country, some two million are happily living and working in Malaysia, a country that had not managed to find them jobs that give them a better future.

These people have not been known to be supportive of the actions taken by their counterparts in Indonesia or more specifically in Jakarta, who might not have come to Malaysia to work.

So no wonder, they get agitated and angry at the slightest provocation. The reason why this happens is because the can see how their relatives and friends who are working in Malaysia are better off than they are, yet, they are not able to come to Malaysia to work, either legally or illegally, for some reasons or so.

This is how I want to look at it from the psychologist point of view, in the absence or interest of the other ‘qualified’ psychologists that we have in the country who seem to be looking elsewhere. Many of them are, I’m afraid, arm-chair experts, whose views on psychology can be found in many text-books, dealing with issues that are discussed in America mostly. They are narrow-minded psychologists.

And why must Malaysians feel guilty, just because of the criminal actions of a small group of rowdy and media-crazy Indonesians?

It is not a blow to Malaysia-Indonesia relations. And the Malaysian government should not feel sorry for anything.
If there is anyone who should feel sorry, they are the Indonesian president, their police, politicians and the whole country.
Where in the world can any groups of people carry potentially dangerous and life-threatening home-made weapons, such as the bamboo spears or ‘buluh rencong’ and parading in public? Only Indonesia! It is Indonesia Boleh?

Yes, it is.
And where are the Indonesian intellectuals and cultural experts? Why are they not explaining this matter that their culture cannot be ‘stolen’ but can be shared with those who are interested in it?
I have seen an Italian woman living for many years in Bali learning their dance and performing in public. Yet, the Balinese, especially, are very happy with that. They did not charge the woman for having ‘stolen’ their culture.

The other thing that the Indonesians ought to remember is that the ‘pendet’ dance is typically Balinese-Hindu or Hindu-Bali, and it is performed in their ‘pura’ or temples, with their women dancers performing with their bare shoulders.
So no wonder when they get to perform in Malaysia, they have to cover their body, or else they won’t be welcome.

What this means is that there is no way for Malay and Muslim dance groups to be attracted to this sort of dance, simply because it is a grave sin for them to do so; just like to perform yoga, which has been determined by the Islamic authorities to be against the teaching of Islam.

I wonder if the Indonesians had only wanted to highlight their culture and the ‘pendet’ dance and by creating an unnecessary controversy so they can get cheap or even free publicity in the international media.

I know some Balinese very well over the years, and I know for sure that they do not have any issue regarding then ‘pendet’ dance clip; it’s just some of the Jawa (not Javanese!) who seemed to be inflamed by what they thought they had seen – the theft of their ‘pendet’ by Malaysia.
First they had failed to go to Bali or to check with their friends, if they had stopped performing the dance. It is still there.

Secondly, the Indonesian authorities should be blamed for ‘allowing’ their ‘wayang kulit’ to be performed in the streets of Jakarta.

In other countries, they would have been arrested and cordially charged, so no others would want to follow in their footsteps.

I put my blame on the Indonesian authorities and government for not putting in place the relevant laws of defamation and the other civil laws which could define the conduct of their citizens. They have put Indonesia to shame for their misconduct.

Malaysia has nothing to do with them, and Malaysians do not need to be apologetically. It’s all between them.

Most of the culture in Bali is derived from other countries as can be seen with their ‘Barong’, which can be said to have been copied or influenced from the Chinese dragon dance. And their religion which they call ‘Hindu-Bali’ came from India. And being a former Hindu and Buddhist country in ancient times, Indonesians still carry on with their old cultures and traditions despite them having left these religions to embrace Islam which came from Arabia.

And lastly and most importantly, what is happening between Malaysia and Indonesia is due to the poor performances of our leaders, who won elections, but who do not have the real interests of the country and its people.

They are being guided blindly by the poorly-trained economists, who look at mega projects but frown down upon those daily activities of the ordinary folks in the two countries, who are passionately interested in the arts.

No wonder, they had all failed to see how the creation of the New Malay Cinema and New Islamic Cinema can be useful to forge greater ties between the peoples of our two countries.

The world Chinese and Indians are being united by their cinemas which are based in Hong Kong and India, respectively; while the Americans are being united by Hollywood.

Yet, our stupid politicians, think-tankers and economists have all failed to look at this.

Do expect more petty controversies to erupt now and then by the Indonesians. And again the respective ministers will issue the same statements. They get all the publicity. But life will go on as usual after that until the next silly issue erupts.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

TARIAN PENDET: RAKYAT MELAYU-ISLAM TIDAK MUNGKIN AKAN TERTARIK DENGAN TARIAN INI.

…IA TARIAN PURA HINDU-BALI YANG MENDEDAHKAN AURAT WANITA.
Oleh Mansor Puteh



(This is my first essay in Bahasa Melayu.)

Perbalahan seperti ini ini sudah pasti menguntungkan pihak yang mahu orang Melayu dan Islam berbalah. Atau apakah ini yang mereka merancangkan dari belakang?

Tidak banyak orang di Malaysia yang pernah dengar dengan nama tarian ini. Pendet. Ia tidak mungkin akan dapat dilakukan oleh orang bukan Indonesia, sekarang ini dengan sikap kedekut sebilangan mereka yang sudah pasti akan membuat orang lain rasa jemu dengan kebudayaan dan kesenian Indonesia, dan tidak akan tertarik dengannya dan untuk tidak melawat ke Pulau Bali lagi.

Sekumpulan kecil masyarakat di Jakarta yang menempek dan mengugut mahu mencederakan rakyat Malaysia di Jakarta yang mereka mahu ganyang, sudah pasti member tamparan kepada kepimpinan politik, intelektual dan ugama di Indonesia yang langsung tidak menyanggah tindakan dan kenyataan anak buah mereka yang rata-rata mempunyai rasa perasaan amat benci dan keliru dengan perbalahan yang dicetus mereka yang tidak ada asas langsung.
Jadi tidak salah kalau ada orang lain atau pihak ketiga yang fikir seperti kepimpinan Indonesia seperti setuju dengan tindakan puak kecil ini.

Sebab masakan mereka yang membawa buluh rencong di khalayak ramai tidak diberkas oleh polis sebelum mereka mencederakan sesiapa?

Undang-undang di Indonesia juga boleh dipersalahkan sebab tidak mempunyai peruntukan untuk mengawal perasaan yang sedemikian rupa.

Jadi, tidak hairanlah pengeboman berlaku di hotel terkemuka di Jakarta dan di kelab hiburan di Kuta, Bali.

Perlu diingat, tarian seperti ini tidak pernah dilakukan oleh mana-mana kumpulan tari di Malaysia. Ia nyata sekali khusus dari Bali dan hanya dilakukan oleh kumpulan kesenian di sana, dan tidak lain.
Malah apabila kumpulan tarian dari Bali datang ke Malaysia untuk membuat persembahan ini, mereka selalunya akan menukar jenis pakaian mereka supaya ia tidak mendedahkan tubuh badan penari wanita yang sering mendedahkan bahu dan lengan.

Jadi mustahil untuk mana-mana kumpulan tarian di Malaysia yang akan tertarik dengan persembahan ini yang hanya biasa dilakukan sebagai acara keugamaan Hindu-Bali dan di Bali sahaja.

Oleh sebab itu, kenapa agaknya ada sekumpulan kecil rakyat di Indonesia yang berang dan anggap Malaysia mahu curi jenis kesenian mereka.

Tindakan ini langsung tidak masuk akal, walhal, tidak ada mana-mana kumpulan tarian di Malaysia yang membuat persembahan ini secara terbuka dan tidak pula sesiapa di Malaysia yang pernah mengaku ia adalah tarian Malaysia.

Jadi apa yang berlaku di Jakarta bila ada sekumpulan rakyat Indonesia yang menjadi marah dan mahu cederakan rakyat Malaysia di sana, ia amat menggelikan hati. Ya, ia menggelikan hati, sebab ternyata tangapan dan pandangan orang di Indonesia sebenarnya tidak berasaskan akal dan fikiran yang waras, dari kumpulan pemikir dan cendiakawan mereka, tetapi dari sekumpulan kecil anak-anak yang mahu berpesta di jalan dengan membawa tombak dalam bentuk buluh rencong.

Mereka kononnya mahu jaga kesenian mereka supaya ia tidak dicuri. Siapa yang mahu mencurinya? Malaysia ada kebudayaan dan keseniannya yang tersendiri.

Ia tidak perlu mencuri bahan kesenian dari negara asing.

Malah Indonesia yang telah sering mencuri bahan kesenian dan kebudayaan dari negara lain.

Contohnya ialah lagu dangdut, nyata bukan berasal dari Indonesia; ia adalah dari India!
Dan ugama Hindu-Bali berasal dari India juga.

Malay ugama Islam yang dianuti oleh ramai orang di Indonesia juga tidak berasal dari Indonesia tetapi dari negara Arab.

Malah pakaian yang diguna oleh penunjuk perasaan di Jakarta adalah pakaian barat. Mereka tidak memakai kain batik dan blakon.

Mereka guna perkataan Inggeris, ‘Sweeping’ dan bukan ‘menyapu’.

Dan mereka tidak cuba untuk menahan pelancong ke Bali dan seluruh Indonesia dari membeli baju batik dan barang-barang pertukangan yang dijual di kedai cenderamata di Kuta dan seluruh Indonesia.

Mereka rasa bangga orang asing memakai baju batik. Mereka juga rasa bangga mahu ajar mereka membuat lukisan batik.

Jadi kenapa mesti rasa berang kalaupun ada orang bukan Indonesia yang berminat untuk membuat tarian ‘pendet’?

Sepatutnya Indonesia rasa bangga ada orang bukan Indonesia yang berminat dengan kebudayaan dan kesenian mereka?

Orang Jepun tidak melarang orang lain bermain judo, karate dan membuat origami dan bermain sudoko.

Orang barat tidak marah dan berang kalau ada orang lain memain lagu rentak jazz dan rock.

Orang di Jerman tidak marah orang di Amerika mengambil makanan berger mereka dan jadikan makanan harian orang Amerika sehinggakan mereka dapat membuka serangkaian restoran di seluruh dunia yang menjual makanan ini yang ternyata sekali berasal dari Hamburg.

Masyarakat Cina dan India di Malaysia mengadakan persembahan kesenian mereka, dan Negara Cina dan India tidak melarangnya.

Sepatutnya, rakyat Malaysia yang berasal dari Indonesia juga masih boleh membuat persembahan tarian Jawa sebab mereka boleh melakukannya dimana-mana mereka berada.
Tidakkah bagus kalau tarian pendet itu, sebagai contoh menjadi sebuah tarian yang diamal oleh orang yang bukan dari Indonesia juga supaya ia menjadi sebuah jenis kesenian sejagat atau unviersal?

Dan ini akan bererti bahawa kesenian dan kebudayaan Indonesia juga sejagat dan tidak terpencil.

Rokok kretek berasal dari Indonesia. Dan ia dieksport ke seluruh dunia. Kenapa tidak sekat penjualannya di negara luar?

Pendatang tanpa izin dari Indonesia yang dengan rela datang ke Malaysia dan kebanyakannya secara seludup, juga perlu disekat untuk menjaga mereka dari membawa kebudayaan dari Indonesia ke Malaysia.Sebab kalau sebilangan kecil mereka mendapat kerakyatan Malaysia dimasa akan datang, sudah pasti mereka juga ada hak untuk mempamir dan mengamalkan kebudayaan dan kesenian mereka.

Malah, kalau ada puak dari Bali yang menetap di Malaysia juga boleh mengadakan persembahan pendet, dan akhirnya ia akan diserapkan ke dalam kebudayaan umum Malaysia juga.
Sama seperti tarian naga yang diamalkan oleh kaum Cina di Malaysia yang didatangkan dari negara asal.
Dan orang India di Malaysia juga mengamal kebudayaan dan kesenian mereka, tanpa kedua buah negara asal mereka menempek.

Malah, negara asal mereka harus rasa bangga kebudayaan dan kesenian mereka disebarkan ke seluruh dunia.
Sama juga orang Indonesia harus rasa bangga kalau ada orang asing yang mahu memakai baju batik mereka dan menubuhan kumpulan untuk membuat persembahan tarian pendet, kecak dan lain-lain.

Dan tarian ini akan senantiasa dianggap sebagai warisan dunia yang berasal dari Indonesia. Ia tidak dianggap seperti dicuri. Ini perkataan kasar dan kesat – maling – dalam bahasa Jawa yang seharusnya tidak diguna oleh mereka yang berfikiran waras; ia hanya diguna dijalan dan tidak di dalam kabinet atau dewan perundangan.

Indonesia, seperti semua negara lain ‘maling’ bahan kebudayaan dan kesenian dari Barat seperti senilukisnya; seperti tarian moden, muzik rock atau batu dan lain-lain, tanpa segan-silu.

Malah banyak perkataan Belanda dan Inggeris diserap ke dalam bahasa Indonesia, termasuk ‘sweeping’ yang diguna oleh puak jalan itu.

Akhir sekali saya fikir dan agak bahawa mereka yang menepek di hadapan Kedutaan Besar Malaysia di Jakarta itu kemungkinan terdiri dari mereka yang tidak pernah datang ke Malaysia sebagai pelancong atau pekerja, secara sah maupun haram.
Dan kemungkinan besar juga, mereka rasa iri hati dengan rakan dan saudara mereka yang pernah dan sedang berada di Malaysia yang berjaya menikmati kehidupan yang mewah berbanding dengan mereka.

Ini adalah perspektif psikologi yang ada asas, sebab tidak mungkin mereka yang pernah bekerja di Malaysia mahu menempek di hadapan Kedutaan Besar Malaysia di Jakarta, kalau mereka pernah mendapat faedah dari Malaysia.
Dan masalah ini juga bertolak dari pihak Kedutaan Besar Malaysia di Jakarta yang tidak berbuat sebarang apa untuk mencari jalan bagi merapatkan perhubungan diantara rakyat Malaysia dan Indonesia.

Masalah yang sama juga harus disalahkan kepada pihak Kedutaan Besar Indonesia di Kuala Lumpur yang turut tidak mengambil sebarang tindakan untuk berbuat demikian.

Kedutaan Besar Malaysia dan Indonesia di Jakarta dan Kuala Lumpur, gagal menjalankan tanggung jawab mereka.
Dan walaupun Duta Besar Indonesia di Malaysia diberi anugerah ‘Tan Sri’, apa sangat jasanya kepada usaha merapatkan perhubungan diantara dua negara?

Akhir sekali, perbalahan kecil ini telah sudah pasti berjaya memberi kesenangan kepada pihak Cina dan Barat di Indonesia yang sebelum ini menjadi tumpuan puak kecil jalanan ini.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

WAS MALAYSIAN AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE TO AMERICA GOING TO HORSE AROUND?

…HE SHOULD DEAL MORE WITH HOLLYWOOD THAN THE WHITE HOUSE OR CAPITOL HILL.
By Mansor Puteh.




It was such a horrible sight indeed, of the new Malaysian ambassador-designate to America, Jamaluddin Jarjis, to be seen riding a horse, playing polo and portraying himself as a happy-go-lucky person, when it is his duty to represent the country than be seen to be engaging in his personal hobby.

It portrays him not as a serious person who should have been appointed the new Malaysian ambassador to Washington, DC. Don’t they have other persons to choose from who is not an engineer by training? How many engineers are ambassadors and high commissioners?

It makes him look like he is interested to ‘horse around’.

His remarks that I had read a local English language newspaper make him look even worse.

So he thinks he is smart for being able to say he ‘knows the American thinking’ and how they care more about their ‘strategic interests’.

I hate it if someone says he ‘knows the American thinking’ and ‘their strategic interests’. It does not sound original or smart anymore these days after what happened in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Iraq and now Iran.

Does this means he also approves of ‘the American thinking’ and ‘their strategic interests’, so we must approve of what they have done in those countries and region and will do whatever they want in the future?

Are these comments his original ones or did he repeat what the many others had said before? Can’t he say something else which is more intelligent and original, for heaven’s sake?!
Does this mean we can only expect nothing original and interesting from this person, whom his small group of friends call, JJ?
I doubt it if he is able to come up with anything original or interesting through his tenure as the new ambassador; he will end up horsing around, literarily as well as figuratively speaking.
The general perception of many Malaysians is that most Malaysian ambassadors are known not to have done much for the country where they are supposed to represent the country at, which is to shape the thinking of the leaders and citizens of the countries they are posted at, so that their strategic interests do not hurt others.

This is the general perception that many Malaysians have. And they cannot be wrong.

No wonder, there is no ambassador in the past and the ones we have now who can be said to be so outstanding that they have been invited to speak in international conferences to explain international as well as domestic issues of the day.

At the most they will issue press statements when there is a need for that to happen, in cases where there are some controversies which are often handled better by the prime minister of government in Malaysia.

I wonder what the Malaysian ambassadors or the ambassadors and diplomats of the other countries do on their posting. They do not seem to be doing much for their own countries.

Take a good look at the Malaysian ambassador in Indonesia for instance. A lot of unpleasant things had happened outside of the embassy building in Jakarta which are very repetitive in nature, yet, he doesn’t seem to be interested to find out why they happen so they are not repeated in the near or distant future, but they still do.

If he is indeed a smart diplomat, he could have taken immediate actions and get the right persons in Malaysia and Indonesia to try and solve the problem before the second one erupted.

Obviously he has not done that, and chances are he does not know how it started. So the same problem is repeated. It will never end, even after he leaves his posting in Jakarta to take up another posting elsewhere.
The world does not move because of what they do. It goes around on its own axis and even when it goes off-axis, these diplomats do not seem to care. They will spend a lot more time socializing and in the case of Malaysia, they will welcome important dignitaries from Malaysia who are visiting the countries where they are posted at. At such times, they will look unusually busy. But most of the time, they are basically on their own.
And one is not surprised if they and their staff don’t even read the emails that are sent to the addresses that are posted in the official websites, treating enquires with contempt.

There are some embassies and high commissions that answer them. But they do not go beyond their way to accommodate requests for information, etc, as what I had experienced over the years.
Coming back to JJ, I doubt it if he will be remembered as the Malaysian ambassador of America who can do wonders. He will be remembered as someone who has a fascination for horse-riding. I am sure they have better turfs and fields in America or horse-riding clubs in Washington DC where he can be a member of and ride all day.

The truth of the matter is, if JJ thinks he knows the ‘American thinking’ he would immediately say, they (the Americans) love making films and seeing them. And they also enjoy producing theater and watching them, too, so much so that the country is more famous for their actors and filmmakers than their presidents who are mostly known as of late, to be war-mongers.

I spare my thought for the current President Barack Hussein Obama who has not yet been pushed around by the American media and other American war-mongers to pursue the same part as his predecessors did. Maybe America had already been trapped in Afghanistan and Iraq, and not counting the Middle East that they are not able or capable to get another country which has a non-English sounding name to go to war with.

Or, are they saying, America’s enemies must only be Arabs and Afghans, and not the North Koreans or Orientals, especially China?

As someone who can also claim to know the ‘American thinking’ and am aware of the ‘strategic importance’ that America places in their moves, military, and so on, I can offer JJ some advice.

First, he should stop horsing around and ride above almost everybody else, and get his feet on the ground, and
touch base with the ordinary folks in America, who may not agree with what their ‘leaders’ in the White House and on Capitol Hill do, because first of all, Americans do not have leaders the same way other countries have, and they care more of their own personal well-being than that of the others, to worry about.
What this means in simple English, JJ, is he should focus his attention not on the goings-on in Washington DC, but on Hollywood.

If he can relate to the people there and get them to believe that the world out there is larger than America itself, and there are a lot more countries than all the 50 states in the American Union or Fortress America, it will be good for them.
The end result which I want to see if for Hollywood to morph into the New Hollywood where they can start to produce feature films to reflect the new reality. Some of them are heading in that direction already, but they need prodding to come up with better films if they want to maintain their hold on the international market, and not be rejected by the viewers in the other countries who may soon learn how they have been made fools of by the Old Hollywood which did not care for them.

If JJ can do this, I am sure he can be remembered as a Malaysian ambassador with class and who really knows the ‘American thinking’, and is fully aware that the country cares more for their ‘strategic interests’, one of which is how they want Hollywood films to be shown all over the world.
Remember how their commerce secretary had warned Indonesia to allow the screening of Hollywood films in the country, or else, America would not import cloth and other cheap goods from their factories, despite the fact that these goods were made for American companies anyway?

How many countries in the world which does this, by forcing other countries to accept their films other than America?

You can never expect our relevant ministers to force other countries or festivals to accept our films.
Russia, England, Japan as well as the other developed countries do not do that. And JJ surely does not know this, as most of the others unless if they read this blog to find out about it.

Hong Kong and China were better off, and they could show their films in most countries in the world because they have a small community of Chinese who accept them.

This is the truth, and JJ ought to realize this soon before he packs up his back to fly to Washington DC to become the new Malaysian ambassador to the country, that he should get an office in Hollywood and be with the people who influence American foreign as well as domestic policies. They are not the electorate, who generally depend on Hollywood.

And if JJ can initiate films productions by Hollywood studios that include Malaysia and other Muslim countries, it would be even better, since it will be of their ‘strategic interests’, too, to have these in order for them to remain where they are in World Cinema.

This is something which the think-tankers in Malaysia and elsewhere do not prescribe. But what have they prescribed that has worked for Malaysia and the world? They get better recognition and recognized for saying something ordinary most of the time.

The problem with most of the diplomats, think-tankers and politicians is that they think so lowly of the cinema and what it can do without realizing that America is nothing without Hollywood and their entertainers. They are their propagandists.

If he can do this, he can be described as the ambassador who changed the face of world politics and diplomacy?

If he doesn’t do something outrageous and original, then he will be condemned to be described as the ambassador who goes to Washington DC to ride horses which in itself is not a bad thing to do especially if he can win some awards in horse-riding there.

But then again, this achievement is only for his personal entertainment and benefit, which will see him riding to oblivion and the diplomatic and Hollywood sunset.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

INDONESIA-MALAYSIA PETTY DISPUTES: A CRY FOR UNITY AND GREATER UNDERSTANDING.

…CREATING THE NEW MALAY AND NEW ISLAMIC CINEMA CAN SOLVE ALL PROBLEMS.
By Mansor Puteh




The problems which Indonesia has with Malaysia are mostly of the same type starting with some demonstrations by a small group of Indonesians outside of the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta and going into their newspapers and ending later on in the blogs where there is a free for all.

They are petty issues that had been turned into unnecessary controversies by the media in Indonesia, for nothing other than to flame up some people in Indonesia, hoping that these could rally them to become better Indonesians who are seen to be more patriotic and nationalistic.

Alas, what they can only manage to do is to burn the flags of a country that had provided jobs to millions of their countrymen who willingly come to Malaysia to pursue their dream with many willing to pay scores of thousands of ringgit in order that they can be smuggled into the country.

Unfortunately, the leaders of the two countries are still not able to accept these petty controversies for what they are and find solutions that are long-lasting which can ultimately ensure that the same controversies are not repeated.

How many Malaysian flags had been burnt or stepped upon outside of the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta? Were they done by the same small crowd of Indonesians, or different ones?
Chances are, all those who had done that and will do something like that are those who had not come to work in Malaysia, either legally or illegally.
While those who had come here to work here for many years, and returned to Indonesia, would not dare do something like that, or else they could be seen to be ungrateful to Malaysia that had provided them with jobs that paid them a lot more than what they could get in Indonesia, for which they are now able to enjoy a better life in their own country with some having their own shops and houses and other properties.

Strangely, those who are better qualified are not known to have done the same, by going to the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta other than to conduct official business and not to burn the Malaysian flag or to step on it.

And how many Indonesians in Malaysia would want to do that outside of Wisma Putra in Putrajaya to support the actions of their counterparts in Jakarta?

You can never find Malaysians who had studied and lived in America to go to the American embassy in Jalan Tun Razak to demonstrate. You only find those who did not make it there.

On the other hand, one can never find those Malaysians who had studied and lived in England to demonstrate outside of the British high commission in Jalan Ampang to do the same. Yet, they are willing to go to the American embassy to voice their displeasure against the American government.

Meanwhile the leaders from Malaysia try to diffuse the problem and hope it will end and new disputes will not erupt in the near future. They do not know what to do besides doing that.
And the comments I have heard from the commentators from both sides are not apt either; they do not deal with the real issue which they thought are major ones when they are in fact, petty ones.
There is a more pressing concern on this matter and it is one which cries for unity and greater understanding.

Unfortunately, the psychologists, sociologists and historians are not able to see the problems from this perspective as they deal mostly with those problems which are sexual in nature.

So this is where I come in.
The demonstrations in front of the Malaysian embassy are really about the cry for this and nothing more.
And that the authorities in Malaysia and Indonesia have not done much or anything at all to promote greater unity and understanding between our two peoples, especially amongst fellow Malays and Muslims.

Diplomatic initiatives alone are not sufficient, because they are purely for media satisfaction and do not solve the core problem as stated immediately above.

There is a greater need for both countries to look at the whole issue in the most simplified way, and that it can be solved permanently by engaging the peoples of the two countries in all areas.

One of which is to encourage the development of the Sinema Nusantara or New Malay Cinema.

In the international context, Muslim countries must introduce and encourage the development of the New Islamic Cinema, without which there can never be Malay and Muslim unity.

I may be biased in this matter, simply because I am trained as a filmmaker. But this proposal is based on the finding I have managed to get from my travels to 33 countries and how Hollywood had indeed united the Americans who are from diverse backgrounds, with many who were from Communist countries.

Yet, they have become true Americans in the shortest period of time, speaking in English only and not in their native languages.

The Malay World is fractured despite it is in the same small region. And the Muslim World, too, is fractured because we do not have any single cinema, where we can share our vision and expand it.

It may sound trite, but the powers of the cinema, is not purely to entertain the viewers, as what the film critics say all the time but more than that, it is an important and interesting medium to promote peace and unity and greater understanding amongst the Malays and Muslims.

I presented a paper, ‘Muslim Cinema as an antithesis to Hollywood’ in the First International Muslim Filmmakers Conference in Tehran, in February, 1994, and this paper can be the basis for the development of the New Malay Cinema and the New Islamic Cinema, and that these two mediums can be used to promote Malay as well as Muslim unity.

I feel sorry for our ‘experts’ who have given their personal and professional views on why the relationship between Indonesia and Malaysia is shaky and that there is no Malay and Muslim unity. Their comments are not intelligent or interesting but predictable and stereotype.
We must go beyond these and come up with something original for a change, because the problems faced by Indonesia and Malaysia and amongst fellow Muslims worldwide, petty as they are, require original thoughts and ideas.

I am afraid the group of 14 from Malaysia and Indonesia that had been assembled by the governments of the two countries, with each supplying seven members each, had failed to do their job which is to find ways on how to promote understanding between our two countries.
This group had met at five-star hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, flying first class each time they travel to each other’s capitals, has taken their own sweet time to deliberate on the issue.

In the meantime, petty issues and controversies had erupted, while they were doing what they are supposed to do; yet no one of them had dared or made any attempt to study the matter, on how they first erupted and how the demonstrations came about and who were their leaders.

If they cannot do this, what else can they do? NOTHING!

In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of ringgit have been spent on this hapless group of 14 who cannot ensure us that they could come up with intelligent proposals that can be implemented. I expect them to say something unintelligent and highly predictable.
They will not propose the creation of the New Malay Cinema and the New Islamic Cinema.
The problem with them is that they are old; they represent an earlier generation. And they are not sincere to admit that they are not capable to find ways to promote greater unity and understanding between our two countries.

If they are, then we could have seen what they had initiated when they were younger and while they were in office.

Some of them held high positions in their respective governments, yet, they had not done anything other than to do what was expected.

None of them has been known to have traveled through the length and breadth of the two countries, including their own, to try and touch base with the ordinary folks.
Now it is already too late for them to do so on their own.

I have traveled by land and experienced untold hardship travelling from Banda Aceh in the northernmost part of Sumatera Island all the way across the island, through Jawa Island and arriving on Bali Island.

I can admit that it was not a comfortable experience traveling around Indonesia by land. One needs to have a lot of patience and luck to survive the arduous journey. But it was enjoyable because I wanted to experience it.

Most of the people I met or bumped into along the way gave me a good glimpse of what the whole country wants, although this may not necessarily be what their government in Jakarta wanted, or cared about. They have other plans.
They, like their counterparts in Malaysia as well as in most countries only cared for their personal well-being which centered on the media exposure they can get from their personal initiatives. If they are happy, they think the whole country is happy. How simplistic.

So my suggestion to the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia is for them to dump the hapless group of 14, and get another group of men and women who represent the New Malaysia and New Indonesia, who know what the ground wants, and not what their political leaders want or care for.

The English and Dutch had caused the people of Malaysia and Indonesia to be so divided since 1824 when they, on their own volition, signed the Anglo-Dutch Treaty and grab whatever country and lands they wanted for themselves, like the Malays did not matter.

And in the process they introduced new values and thinking, which are still effective till today, so much so that the Malays in both countries had looked and appeared totally different than each other, other than the same Islamic faith they share together, without which, the peoples of the two countries might as well not call themselves Malays. Our common religion is what still binds us together.

But the political leaders from both countries are still oblivious to the fact and how the two countries and its peoples have been so divided.
All it takes now is for some petty issue related mostly to cultural matters and traditional cultural heritage to erupt before some people in Jakarta get flared up.

Malaysia and Indonesia must encourage its top filmmakers, authors and journalists and others to continue forming alliances through their everyday practice, in order not to allow those who are not qualified to take the same route to the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta to express their thoughts and ideas.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

FIRST THEY SAID YOU ARE MALAY, SO YOU CAN’T BE A CLERK.

…NOW SOME SAY, YOUR LANGUAGE IS A DISADVANTAGE TO YOUR PROGRESS.
By Mansor Puteh



It was not too long ago when some people said just because we were Malays, we were not able to even be clerks. But over time, our ancestors had proven that this is not so.

Now, there are some who said the Malay language is a disadvantage for us to progress. And shockingly, there are even some Malaysians who think so.

Yet, they are the ones who seem not to be able to progress even if they speak in English only. They end up being journalists for some of the local English language newspapers and can never be somebody better than that.

How wrong they can be. They may not be able to progress using Malay, but the many other Malays can, using our language.

The main language of communication for the Malays must be Malays and the main language of communication for Muslims must be Arab. But this has not happened.

It is due to the failure of our past leaders who had not made that happen. The leaders of Saudi Arabia has not seen it fit for them to become the champion of Arabic and because of that they did not set up schools for the learning of this language in all Muslim countries.

The Malay and Muslim Worlds can be better united if we are to speak and communicate in our own languages, so those who want to communicate with us will have to learn our languages and not the other way around.The colonists studied the native languages where they wanted to colonize. And only after they had managed to wrest control of the countries, they started to force the natives to learn their English language so much so that they are now many of the natives who think it is their sacred duty to use the language and also to force it to the others or else, they will charge them for not wanting progress.

Now the English colonizers can rest and allow the natives to do the bidding for them until the natives argue and even fight with each other, all for nothing.

Those who speak and write only in English in Malaysia, also do not have mobility; look at the professors and other professionals including the editors and journalists writing for the English language papers and publications in the country, none of them has been offered jobs to work for newspaper organizations in other countries.
It is therefore not the proficiency of the English language that matters but something else.

The late Lim Goh Tong could not speak English and only ‘market’ Malay, yet he became successful. Ghafar Baba did not study in the English language, yet, he could become the deputy prime minister of the country for some years.

If the United Nations (UN) still conducts business in many languages and not only in English, then it proves that English is not the only language of international communication.

In fact, Malay should have been accepted as an official language of the UN, if the Malay leaders are united and tell them how Malays in Malaysia and Indonesia and the other countries speak in one language which is Malays and not of the different languages which had been given the local description of Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia respectively that many think they are two different languages.

I often get foreigners amazed when I chose to speak in Malay with other Indonesians, because they did not know we were speaking in the same language, although we are from two different countries.

The Malay leaders have not done a good job at uniting the Malays so they can speak in the same language with the same linguistic description so that is why we still face such problems that even the UN acknowledges.
Strangely, Hollywood now considers only Malay as the language of Malaysia and Indonesia when they subtitle their films when they used to say Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia which they later referred to as Bahasa for their subtitles.

If we still can’t, it will be our duty to prove to the small number of Malays and other non-Malays that it is not so.

Besides, by studying science and mathematics in English, still cannot ensure that any race can progress. Or, by speaking and writing in English only, one can be better off than those who do not speak the language.

The Maoris of New Zealand, the Australian Aborigines, the African-Americans and Native Americans and even Canadians, all speak in English better than many so-called English-speaking Malaysians, yet, there are still where they are and not about to become prominent and important scientists and mathematicians.

Ironically, the many scientists and mathematicians that we have in the country most of whom are Malays, are those who still prefer to communicate in Malay, although they did acquire the knowledge and experience doing it in English.

And they are not exactly those who can’t speak in English or write in it, but they still chose to communication in Malay on an everyday basis.
In fact, most of the Malays who had studied and lived abroad for years still prefer to speak in Malay amongst ourselves. But this does not mean that they look down on English; they only use English sparingly to acquire knowledge and to read books that are written in it.

What many Malaysians have failed to realize is how some of them are using English mostly to show off, and for social communication. They can never acquire knowledge or even create new ones, using English.
And the worst part is that most of them can only express themselves in English only when they are in Malaysia, and not so much elsewhere. If they are in English, for instance, they will be lost.

In fact, not many Malaysians who have been invited to speak or present papers in international conferences, seminars or forums speaking in English.

The argument is not on why English is important, but why should it be used for social communication and not for the acquiring of knowledge. And why can’t we also ‘master’ other language, other than our own?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

SABOTAGING THE NATIONAL POLICY ON BAHASA MELAYU!

… TO SUPPORT THE EXISTENCE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PUBLICATIONS AND THOSE WHO CAN’T SPEAK THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE WELL!
By Mansor Puteh



Do we know what was happening with the Malay/English issue that had happened of late?It’s got nothing to do with what everybody was talking about, especially those who are bent on supporting the use of English for the study of science and mathematics.

It’s not that.

The truth of the matter is that the non-Malays, mostly, had managed to sabotage the national policy of the government which had wanted to encourage the use of Malay, the national language for everybody. And they were already encouraging the private sector to use Malay as the medium of communication.
Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) even refused to accept letters in English, and replying to them in Malay.

And the government had tried to train graduates who were proficient in Malay over English, thinking that the private sector would welcome them to offer jobs to them.

But it turned out that those who had excelled in Malay are the Malays and the non-Malay students or graduates were grappling with the language and could speak and write in it.So those people in the English language newspapers and other non-governmental organizations (NGO) and other individuals sprung into action to deny the use of Malay as the national language in the private sector, which is purely to ensure that the non-Malay graduates their standing.

And no wonder, even those in the government who had steadfastly tried to insist the use of Malay as the main medium of communication and education became guilty as such and began to jump about on the beat created by those who did not want to use Malay.

This is the truth of the matter.
And as a result, the scores of thousands of Malay university graduates who were said to be not bankable or suitable to work in any international companies were left without jobs, which were taken by the non-Malays who could speak better in English but not so in Malay.

It is also to deny the over-flooding of Malays in the organizations, where they were not welcome earlier, and till today so that the private sector can be seen to be non-Malay dominated as it is till now.
The private sector, as opposed to the government sector in Malaysia, is still dominated by the non-Malays, because they own most of these companies. So they seemed to have the right of way.
They had managed to fool even the government who began to accept their logic and thinking because they claimed those who are not proficient in English would not be marketable. Or, worse, the graduates who are Malays who do not speak and write well in English are said to be less intelligent or qualified. So the government had no choice but to ‘retrain’ them, so that they are marketable.
They think the top Malaysian graduates who are proficient in English are to be exported and not utilized in the country because they are marketable.
Don’t they realize that it is not our business to provide graduates and trained personnel to foreign countries and all the university graduates that we are capable of training should be for our own use?

And the English language papers also seized the opportunity to further drum up support by their editorial policies, by claiming that English is an international language and more suited for the new generation of Malaysians.

Okay, once and a while, the public comments and commentaries by those in Pena and Gapena and other individuals who support Malay. This is just to ensure that they are not seen to be biased to the core when they are so, since they are writing in English so they need to get those who are fascinated with this language for their business.

It is obvious that they are.

This stereotyped mentality does not bode well for their intelligence. Because those who claim that the mastery of English to be important, are still in the country and who are not about to go anywhere.

It is because they are not able to go anywhere in the world with their English that they are shouting on top of their voice to claim that the language is more important than Malay in Malaysia. How wrong. And how childish they are! Have they mastered the English language? Have they acquired any interesting knowledge using this language?

The ploy of these English language newspapers must be exposed. They also fear if the use of Malay become more widespread, chances are their papers will become obsolete, with fewer and fewer readers who will want to read them in the future.

There is no future for English language publications in Malaysia if less and less Malaysians are interested to use English, as can be seen now.

If the trend of using the national language was not thwarted, chances are some of the English language publications, especially the magazines would have suffered bad business and some of them might even have to seize publication altogether.

English is definitely not the language of unity in Malaysia; worse, it has become a convenient tool by some quarters to use it as a medium of discontent and to sow discord.

Ironically, those who are comfortable in the English language in Malaysia can never find any platform anywhere in the world where they can express themselves on anything in this language.

So few Malaysians who have made it abroad using this language. So they have to do it in the country, where they can show to the others who are not too fascinated with English how conversant and good they are in this language, especially in their social relationship with each other.

This is what English is good at in Malaysia, for social communication and not for the acquiring of knowledge.