Sunday, May 20, 2012


By Mansor Puteh

The salvation of the Chinese and Tamils in Malaysia is not in the vernacular Mandarin or Tamil schools, but in the ‘sekolah kebangsaan’ where they are taught to become better Malaysians and humans.

Studying in the vernacular schools for them only encourage them to live in a fantasy of living in the China and India of their minds.

Even the Melayu who fail in life must also blame the vernacular Mandarin schools where their parents thought they were smart enough to send them, for which they are now stuck with no future.

So few of these Mandarin-educated Melayu are prominent. Fewer still did not get to study in the universities.

The history of Chinese immigration to Tanah Melayu and Nusantara Melayu or Southeast Asia is interesting. But how many of the Chinese and also Indians dare to relate it.

The Chinese came with the clothes they wore on their backs. They pleaded with the Melayu to allow them to stay in Tanah Melayu, even if they had to slave for them working as coolies.

Later, under the British, many of the Chinese worked as night-soil careers with some Indians who joined them.

There were no Melayu doing this menial task of carrying human waste every night other than the Chinese or Tamils.

Some of them had become so adept in the job that they were able to scoop human waste with their bare hands.

They were so good with it that they also did not have to wear any face mask, because they were so used to the smell of human waste.

The Chinese and Indian night-soil careers stopped working in this profession when the bucket system was abolished in the late 1970s with the introduction of the flush system.

But this does not mean that we can flush out this bit of Malaysian immigrant history.

Many Chinese and Indians of today are not aware that their great-grandfathers or grandfathers were once night-soil careers, with some others who were Communists.

Today, they may be CEOs of their own companies. But many are in the illegal trading business.

The problem with them is because their parents had made a big mistake by sending them to the vernacular schools.

And because of that many of them did not have proper education or who knew where they are. Many still think they are still in China.

Even if they are in Tanah Melayu, they think they can get by doing their own things, which mostly involve working in illegal and small trading.

And the irony is that they do not realize how they got to be what they are now doing illegal businesses.

The answer is that they had all failed early in their schools so they are not able to find employment in the public and private sectors.

In the end, they had to create their own employment opportunities by doing illegal businesses.

All the illegal businesses in Malaysia are being conducted by the Chinese and some Tamils all of whom had failed early in their respective vernacular Mandarin or Tamil schools.

Some Chinese and Tamils are smarter, so they are able to pursue their education in the ‘sekolah kebangsaan’ with some of them failing early with the rest going on to tertiary education, where they still find difficulty speaking in Melayu.

Those who managed to get places in the state universities are happy, especially if they also get scholarships.

However, those who did not manage to get places in the universities will complaint.

Why must they complaint that they were not able to secure places in the state universities?

Why didn’t they all choose to go elsewhere to study in the vernacular universities in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China?

They are not interested. The reason is because they know schooling at the universities in Mandarin or Tamil does not guarantee them any future. The degrees they could get from these universities are useless, especially if they only speak in Mandarin or Tamil and no English or Melayu.

Therefore, the Chinese and Tamils today who fail in life and who are forced to work in illegal and small businesses including driving taxis must not blame the government and other Melayu; they must blame their parents for sending them to the Mandarin or Tamil schools.

But they are not about to do that. The reason being they are not aware of what are the real reasons for their malaise.

Yet, at the same time, they insist on sending their own children to the same type of schools which had failed them.

The future of the Mandarin and Tamil schools is bleak the more the economy of the country becomes Melayu-dominant.

Even now the Chinese and Tamils who are not conversant in Melayu are being sidelined. They cannot go about freely and are stuck in their own small communities living in a fantasy by watching films and television programs from Hong Kong and China as well as from India.

Even the Melayu who have Mandarin-education do not excel in their studies. So few of them had gone on to study in the universities, much less to become prominent in the sciences.

None of them is an expert in early Melayu-Chinese history who had conducted research at any university in China on the ancient manuscripts that were written by early Chinese scribes to know their perspective on the history of the Melaka Sultanate, for instance.

So where is the advantage that the Melayu and also Indians have for studying in the Mandarin schools anyway? None. They only know how to speak and write in Mandarin. But how much have they spoken and written in this language?

There is no Melayu with Mandarin-education who has gone on to become singers, entertainers and actors in Mandarin television dramas and films, in the country or elsewhere. 

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