Friday, April 20, 2012


By Mansor Puteh

Your coverage of the 'usefulness' of the vernacular Mandarin schools is one-sided; therefore it is propaganda with nonsensical ideas and views by some Chinese.

I am forwarding my views on the real usefulness of such schools and hope it can be published.

Rita Sim's column lauding the 'successes' of the vernacular Chinese or Mandarin schools and David TH's agreeing with her needs to be studied intelligently.

Vernacular Mandarin and Tamil schools are only useful for the Chinese and Tamils to be able to learn Mandarin and Tamil; they are not so good for them to allow them to pursue their education at the tertiary levels.

No non-Chinese with Mandarin school background has become prominent in any field.

So where is the claim that such schooling benefits the non-Chinese in Malaysia when they could not even qualify to read the news on television, and none of them had conducted researches on early Melayu-Chinese relations vis-à-vis the Melaka Sultanate Years so they could go to China and study the ancient manuscripts which are in Mandarin?

So few or none of them have been given top posts in Chinese companies in Malaysia that these companies could highlight to the public.

In fact, there is no Mandarin-speaking Melayu who is in the board of a major Chinese company.

The main cause of the failure of the majority of the Chinese in Malaysia is due to their total dependence on the Mandarin schools.

Most of the 'products' of such schools are those who had gone to study in these schools.

The salvation for the Chinese and also Tamils in Malaysia is the national schools.

So no wonder till today there is no Chinese political or educational leader who has demanded from the government to allow their community to allow them to establish a university which offers Mandarin as the medium of instruction.

And the number of students from such school who pursue their education in universities in China, Taiwan or Hong Kong which offer education in Mandarin is almost negligible.

Even Singapore which is a Chinese majority country does not have a university which offers education in Mandarin only.

The effectiveness and usefulness of Mandarin education in Malaysia has never been thoroughly discussed, researched or debated.

If this is done, one can see how such schools have failed the majority of the Chinese as much as the Tamil schools have failed this community, compared to the Indians who are not Tamils who are better off since most of them did not study in Tamil schools, but the 'sekolah kebangsaan'.

What Rita and David allege or claim can be clearly debunked when they have chosen to have 'English' names. They do not seem to be proud of their Chinese identity.

And they also do not realize how many students from the Mandarin and Tamil vernacular schools who drop out early at the end of their primary or early school education.

Most or all of them could not be absorbed into the workforce working in the government or private sectors. Therefore, they have to make do with whatever jobs they could secure, and most of them end up finding employment in illegal businesses.

Many go into small trading in the 'pasar malam' and driving taxis.

How on earth could these taxi-drivers get their driving licenses, if hard to decipher as they are not conversant in Melayu which is used for the written driving tests.

There are also so many young Chinese who operate stalls selling telecommunication equipments and gadgets, and who started to speak in Melayu better since most of their customers are Melayu and non-Chinese.

However, their control of the small trading businesses are slowly being encroached by the Melayu so much so they now have to seek employment elsewhere, mostly in the shady types of activities.

So no wonder, most of the crimes which are committed in Malaysia are committed by those with vernacular school backgrounds and those who also drop out of the national schools early, especially if they are Melayu.

Vernacular education in Malaysia maybe enshrined in the Constitution but it did not say how it must be in the form of the establishment of the schools. It was meant to allow the non-Melayu students to study their mother tongue languages as a separate subject and not in special schools which their communities were proud to claim to be 'independent'.

Yet, few decades later, this terminology or description was erased as more and more Mandarin and Tamil schools become 'dependent' of the government for their subsistence, without whose support they would fail.

In fact, the Mandarin and Tamil schools would have closed down long ago since there are not many Chinese or Tamils who are interested to teach in them anymore.

The future demography of the country will ultimately determine the usefulness of such vernacular schools, especially when the population of the Melayu becomes 80% and their economy rises even further, with the establishment and introduction of new economic models and systems which could reduce the dependence of the Melayu on the Chinese establishments.

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