Thursday, November 10, 2011


By Mansor Puteh

(Note: This was written before deputy prime minister and minister of education poured water to soil PAGE’s ludicrous campaign to push for their personal agenda for which they had all failed to show why and how the use of English for the teaching of science and mathematic could help improve a student’s command and use of English.

So no wonder not many people are truly convinced by their argument which seems to be too far-fetched and outlandish.

The truth is that there are some who want to disparage Bahasa Melayu as a language which is becoming more and more important and relevant in the daily lives of most Malaysians.

It is especially so when the population of the Melayu in Malaysia is fast increasing so that by 2050 they comprise of 80% of the total population of the country.

At the same more and more Melayu and non-Melayu are also using the language, so this has caused some to fear how in the future, English will be displaced in the daily lives of the Malaysians.

But why is PAGE so worried about? They are not English. All of them are Melayu and non-Melayu.

Ironically, there is not one member of this group or their supporters who is English, even if he or she is married to a Malaysian.) 

I feel sorry for Noor Azimah who created the small organization calling itself PAGE. It looked like it is out of place in modern Malaysia, being an entity which should have been created by the British.

Now the pursuit of excellence and of acceptance of English as a medium of instruction for the teaching of science and mathematics in secondary schools is taken over by neo-colonists.

There is nothing wrong for anyone to seek to uplift his grasp of English by Malaysians, but the sad truth is that the country has its own national agenda.

Unfortunately, Noor Azimah and her supporters have not given anyone anything worthwhile to believe that learning science and mathematics can ensure the students to better understand English.

There is no proof to show that this can happen.

Take a look at the scientists, doctors and engineers that we have in Malaysia today and one can see that they are mostly Melayu, who did not care to debate on such issues, as they are trivial.

PAGE should bring out some of them to see if they can be used to support the use of English for the teaching of science and mathematics.

I noticed how Noor Azimah and her supporters have become desperate the more they try to push their personal agenda that the more there is retaliation from the other side, those who insist on using Melayu for the teaching of science and mathematics.

She is getting worse and worse and out of control when she started to issue threats to the government by saying that those who support PPSMI would not vote for it in the next general election.

This sort of statement makes her look like a pseudo-politician.

She should offer good ideas on why and how English should be used for the teaching of science and mathematics in secondary schools which can convince even her critics.

She has not done this, so no wonder those who oppose PPSMI which include many non-Melayu, continue to belittle her and her PAGE.

In any democracy, she and PAGE Jaringan Melayu Malaysia or JMM which supports them have the right to voice their opinions, but in the end, they should allow themselves to be at the mercy of the process.

This is something which they do not seem to agree as they continue to find ways to promote their cause, however futile it has been.

They are still undeterred and insist on being right.

Unfortunately and ironically, by insisting on being right, they are slowly and surely moving on into the warm embrace of the opposition which has already voiced their support for them.

The DAP like the vultures that they are can find some common grounds with the self-disenfranchised from amongst PAGE and its founder, Noor Azimah who many believe were all created by the English language media.

I got a BIG FAT ZERO once for mathematics at Form Five and was given three 'rotan' in front of the class at the St. Francis' Institution in Melaka by the headmaster the then Brother Daly who is Elaine Daly's father now.

But this did not mean I could not write or speak well in English.

In fact, I even went on to study in Form Six and then ITM in Shahalam and got a place in an Ivy League university in New York City.

On the contrary many of the students who excelled in science and mathematics do not write or speak much in English as I do having gone to many countries speaking in film forums, seminars and conference in the language.

There I would like to urge Noor Azimah and PAGE to turn to a new page and give up as their 'struggle' is a futile one, unless of course, if she wants to get a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth for championing the cause of the English.

She should also take note that the population of the Melayu in Malaysia is set to rise to 80% by 2050 from 65% it is now.

And I notice more and more Melayu are not interested to use English in their everyday communication especially from amongst those who had earlier studied in English language schools in Malaysia and who had also gone to work on their masters and doctorates in England or America.

The only persons in Malaysia who want to speak in English are those who had never been abroad to study. They are the ones who are fascinated with British football and all things America including their films and television programs and music.

Therefore, it is a psychological issue more than a linguistic one that Noor Azimah and PAGE may be dealing with and not with English per se. 

No comments: