Chain Reactions of PPSMI

It has been made known to public the decision made by government last week to abolish PPSMI by stages until 2012. The decision seems final, and nearly nothing can be done about that for now. Following to such announcement, various reactions were given, be it in mass media and alternative media. Some agree, some don’t. In a way, of all agreement and disagreement shown us that we are living in democracy and having a controlled freedom of speech.

Controlled? Why not total freedom of speech?

Since we can read various reactions caused by the decision made, I believed that we can agree that some made good articulate arguments, and some failed to do so. Some are driven towards hate towards our previous Prime Minister, some driven to defend his thoughts. I supposed readers have read them by yourselves in blogs as such as JMD’s, BigDog’s, Nobisha’s, Nuraina Samad’s, Dato Ti’s, Wenger’s and of course non other than TDM himself with his pole of votes. It seems, the pole votes made done in TDM and Utusan by comparison should make the policy makers and Malaysians as a whole to think as rational as possible. By reading the articles and comments, I believe that a controlled freedom of speech is needed since some of us failed to use it responsibly and in a matured manner.

Before we go any further, let us refresh what are the follow up reactions and plans made by the government after the announcement of PPSMI. During the decision made itself, the report on July 8 stated as:

“Based on this observation, he said, the government was convinced that science and mathematics must be taught in the language that could be easily understood by the students, namely Bahasa Malaysia in the national schools, Chinese in the national-type Chinese schools and Tamil in the national-type Tamil schools

Subsequently, as a result of abolishing PPSMI, government decided to take follow up actions in a way of “compensating loss opportunity to increase English proficiency” by the followng statement on July 9:

“He said English proficiency was vital for the future of the country but the difference now would be the methods to be used to achieve this.

“We think that increasing the teaching hours for the subject and introducing English literature is a better way than teaching Science and Mathematics in English.

“That’s the only difference but the goal is the same, that is, mastering English as it is essential for the future of Malaysia. That need is recognised by the government,” he said.”

Surely, it looks like that the importance of English proficiency is not being neglected. At the very least, our kids are given fighting chance to master the language in order to learn at higher level and competing in job market.

The very next day, two interesting news report broken out. One calling for equel spending to raise Bahasa Malaysia’s status and news report stating that 80% voted “No” in TDM blog pole. Of course, one may dispute online pole done in TDM’s blog. However, the following reaction made by govenrment on July 11 showed how “serious” the pole has caused. It is stated in the news:

The time allotted to the teaching and learning of English in schools will be increased by 70 per cent starting 2012 in the efforts to strengthen the command of the language among students, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Saturday.”


“The ministry would also appoint more skilled teachers, review the types of textbooks used and set up English laboratories, he told a news conference after launching the ministry’s 1Malaysia programme at the Titiwangsa Lake Garden, here today.

We want to make English as a main subject along with the Malay language,” he said.

He also said that the government would task the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and the Malaysian National Institute of Translation to translate science, technology and mathematics terminologies into the Malay language.

From my point of view, the government is trying to take reasonable measures in supporting their decision in abolishing PPSMI. However, do you note the sentences I’ve highlighted in red?

BigDog has raised reasonable questions in regards with the red colored sentences – what happened to the very reason of effort against PPSMI? It seems that the statements made somehow not clicking. At one point, PPSMI is abolished and back to the previous method, but in just a few days, efforts to be taken to raise proficiency in English and Bahasa Malaysia is called. So what happened to SJKs?

By all means, I believe SJKs using their own language as MAIN medium of communication. In which I believe, in the event PPSMI not to be taught in English, the only time used for “Bahasa Malaysia” is during Bahasa Malaysia period and “English” for whatever planned in enhancing English proficiency.

Based on data provided in MoE, there are 1292 SJK(C) and 523 SJK(T). I wonder what are the action plans for these schools to raise Bahasa Malaysia proficiency considering they are also part of National Education policy.

Considering that the English proficiency effort will take place at all type of schools, here are some questions for this matter if the government plan to raise Bahasa Malaysia and English, why are not science and maths to be taught in Bahasa Malaysia? If they are exampted, what are the subsequent measures in making sure Bahasa Malaysia to be well taught in SJKs? Moreover, if they are exampted, why are they can be exampted?

With all due respect, I have no qualms if anyone wish to speak other than Bahasa Malaysia and English, but as a Malaysian, I believe that everyone of us should be able to speak fluent Bahasa Malaysia and able to master English.

Or is it the measures taken to increase English proficiency are just for Sekolah Kebangsaan?

Hopes on the street: The PPSMI issue initially has been resolved. It is time for the government to execute necessary measures, teachers to teach our kids, and our kids to learn and master science and maths. 🙂


8 thoughts on “Chain Reactions of PPSMI

  1. Hello Brother ODS,

    Gua manyak suka itu main kuda. Mau buka itu bisnes jual tiket lawan kuda ka? Let’s open kaunter tiket sini! Lu untung, gua pun untung. Tengok lawan kuda free!

    Ini lua lapat olang lain sutah manyak cepat mikin bisnes ma!!! (Lua culi lali Hucin Poyang pula blog ma):-

    Salam Sejahtera Tuan Husin,

    Saya nak sampaikan mesej kepada Abang Semerah Padi dan juga pengunjung-pengunjung di sini.

    Saudara-saudara semua dan Abe Padi Meghoh!

    BIGDOG telah buka kaunter baru untuk jual tiket lumba kuda in case tiket gelanggang lumba Abang Husin dah habis dijual.

    Pertandingan Lumba Kuda antara :-

    (i) Gabungan Pejuang Bahasa dan Pejuang PPSMI


    (ii) Kerajaan diwakili oleh Kementerian Pelajaran.

    Satu lagi kaunter tiket dibuka, sila klik “BIGDOG” di atas.

    (Maklumat Risikan – Kuda Kerajaan akan ditunggang oleh Jockey T. S. Muhyiddin Y.)

    Sila klik logo SSS di Kaunter Husin Lempoyang Dulu (ataupun link Semerah Padi di atas) untuk pastikan tiket gelanggang masih ada!

    Terima Kasih!



    ODS: Thank you for your commeny Kenneth. Readers also can directly go to the petition page by clicking the SSUS logo on this blog. 🙂

  2. Nuraina Its too late. for the neo colonialist like mahathir and you its the malays who are in power. To create a nation you must have a single language. If maths and science are important then its the all more important that malay be used for science and maths so that they are not carried away by the myth of arabs etc.

    To promote science as only suitable for western people hence english, is dishonest and a cop out. Neo colonialist is the only word to describe people like you and mahathir. Just like the negros who became slaves cling to english so are people like you.

    Too bad we malays have a culture and life. for someone who speaks a lot of english but know no science this is a sign of neo colonisation!

    The fact is that you hate malay is ashamed of malays and think you are superior because you speak english. Far from it. All the maids from Phillipines speak english. So do Indians labourers in the estates or taxi drivers in england.

    Hahaha that should put paid to your air and arrogance. You are pitiful and ugly whatever language you speak…I think that make it clear hahaha.

    ODS: Er..are you referring “you” to me or Nuraina?

    Anyway, I do not see language (or in this case English) as another neo colonsiation. As I can recall, during the days Rome, Mesopotamia, Islam etc, their language is used as lingua franca in communicating with the world. If by “language” can be considered as “colonisation”, I supposed that Malaysia (by your definition and understanding) already conquered by various countries that have their language being spoken here. Singapore also being conquered as they speak mainly in English. But do they?

    One more sir, if you feel that English is another neo colonisation, I supposed you are already being “neo colonised” as what have you written are in English.

    With all due respect, I do feel there’s a need to devise a way of trasferring those knowledge in English to Bahasa (as I believe that translation from mandarin, cantonese, urdu, tamil has been done from the likes of people from China and India). If National Institute of Translation being able to do so, it will be great.

    Bahasa Malaysia is part of our identity, and should be a pride being able to master your own national tongue. As for English, it is a lingua franca for now. It is a need to master it also.

    However sir, to feel ashamed or arrogant of what language you speak of, I don’t feel it is right. Why? You cannot say who/what is superior as it is unfair to any other race, language or culture. Each have their own unique values that cannot be bargained.

    Analogically, it is like saying if you are a man, your wife is has no difference in all angle with other woman and same goes if you are woman, saying your man is no difference than any other man.

    Thank you for your comment. 🙂

  3. for me, it doesn’t matter whether can speak BM fluently or not as long as we have no problem communicating with one another.

    To communicate fluently in English is of utmost importance. And whether can communicate fluently in mandarin or tamil, let it be the people’s choice. if you do understand the “chinese” heritage, there are so many dialects (at least 6 i could think of now) that one can learn, in which i could only speak 1 type.

    since now i am beginning to see that SSUS is really not to unite malaysians (but it is made to look like it is) but to raise BM proficiency at the expense of English, maybe better just let it be status quo. Look at what our govt can do with PPSMI, if i support SSUS, i am afraid that one day, many children in time to come, can’t even speak normal english.

    the world has moved on, and we should move along instead of resisting more usage of english.

    i am still holding on to level of priority:

    1. english (for survival)
    2. BM (national language)
    3. dan lain-lain (to preserve the rich culture and heritage of various ethnics

    since our govt is not sincere at all in uniting the rakyat, then there is no point talking about SSUS. Just make do with the good things and continue to move forward………….

    ODS: True enough that language is part of communication. However, I believe that even if two person able to speak in English, but the level is different, I would say that miscommunication may occur. Same goes to any other language in the world. And that has been transpired in your commment too. Suffice to say too, if two person speaks in different languages, it will be harder for messages to be delivered.

    That is why, when I see SSUS proposed One language to be main medium of communication, I see it as uniting factor. SSUS proposes Bahasa Malaysia as a common language to be used, which also is the national language. At least, the kids can have common understanding and develop better unity that what are we having right now.

    I guess readers have known my stand in regards with PPSMI, but since government has announced that English proficiency is to be raise, I think it is ok. At least our kids have been given other measures to strenghten their english proficiency.

    And my friend, SSUS is not proposed by government. It is proposed by some Malaysians who are not politicians by nature. It started in this virtual world, by our own bloggers circle, not by government. If it is, I would say that SSUS has already taken into place and it would be TS Muhyiddin the one who have announced it first.

    Thank you for your comment, jebat’s fren. 🙂

  4. PPSMI is not about English language proficiency. That’s the job of the English language teachers.

    By all means increase the facilities for increasing the proficiency of the English language. But the fact remains that PPSMI enables the pupils to think and communicate in the English language as far as those subjects are concerned. Being able to do so would make them automatically understand and become able to apply new knowledge in science and technology, which is often made available in the English language. Most new discoveries in science and technology are communicated in the English language.

    Being able to think and communicate automatically in Bahasa Malaysia for science and maths subjects means that people have to take time to translate, to undergo a thought process, when they come across English language news on the latest developments in science and technology. Hoever little time and energy is involved for that thought process, it means time and energy wasted. Over a period of time, the total is big and could well have been spent on, for example, thinking and planning for the low-tech or local input for the nuclear power station that the country is reported to be interested in, and that the French is promoting to us.

    We must have a pool of citizens with the ability to grasp, impart and apply the ever changing knowledge in science and technology if we are to advance fairly rapidly in that field. We have to. All the industrialised nations of the world became advanced thru science and technology. We may not send men to outer space in our own rockets but we must learn to build some so that if Singapore, thru the Zionist Jews advising their military, send a few to KL, we can at least send a few of our own in return. We can’t just be lobbing hand grenades across the causeway!

    ODS: Thank you for your comment, Dot. 🙂

  5. onda

    how about writing an article about MACC? remember last time we debate over how honorable or respected all these govt agencies?

    what do you think? MACC is superb intelligent and just agency and Teoh jumped down by himself.

    i hate to point the fact that but almost all death (not 100%) involved non-malays. it does raise an alarm that whether these agencies officers after going through BTN hate the non-malays and for them to torture the non-malays is ok.

    do you think the MACC and PDRM by and large are not racists?

    ODS: MACC? Considering the latest news, I would say that it will be interesting indeed to write on it.

    However, the fact of the case is quite brief. We only know little from the huge gap of time between the deceased last meeting with MACC. For me, it is too early to jump the gun. I do not want to make such conclusion with little info to look at.

    Let the authorities do their job, and believe me, with this high profile case, with the crime scene is at one of the government agencies, the next few days going to be interesting.

    By the way, one case should not be a conclusion the whole agency. Secondly my friend, kindly not make as if the case is driven by racist motives. As far as I am told, DAP is a poltical party claimed to be Malaysian, membership by various ethnicity. Why should be this one a racial issue?

    On the other hand, what do you think of this news: a police found dead in his own car?

    Berita Harian: Mayat polis bantuan ditembak, ditemui dalam kereta

    SEPANG: Seorang anggota polis bantuan yang dilaporkan hilang sejak dua hari lalu, ditemui mati dengan kesan tembakan di dada kanan dan kirinya, di tempat letak kereta berhampiran pintu masuk Litar Sepang awal pagi tadi.

    Mayat mangsa yang hanya dikenali sebagai Tahir, 39, ditemui dalam keadaan berlumuran darah di tempat duduk pemandu kereta Proton Iswara miliknya kira-kira jam 1 pagi oleh polis peronda Ibu Pejabat Polis Sepang.

    Mangsa yang bertugas sebagai polis bantuan di Bank Simpanan Nasional cawangan Seremban, dilaporkan hilang bersama senjata api jenis Smith & Wesson .38 oleh pihak pengurusan bank tersebut pada Rabu lalu.

    Timbalan Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Selangor, Asisten Komisioner Khaw Kok Chin, berkata mangsa dipercayai ditembak dari jarak dekat dalam insiden yang berlaku kurang daripada 24 jam sebelum mayat mangsa ditemui.

    “Turut ditemui di tempat kejadian ialah dua kelongsong peluru yang dipercayai sudah digunakan untuk menembak mangsa dan sepucuk Smith & Wesson .38 milik mangsa yang di dalamnya terdapat tiga peluru yang belum digunakan,” katanya.

    Khaw berkata, siasatan awal menunjukkan mangsa tidak disamun memandangkan barang milik mangsa seperti beg duit dan telefon bimbit masih berada pada mangsa.

    Mayat mangsa sudah dihantar ke Hospital Serdang.

    Ketua Polis Selangor, Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar, yang dihubungi mengklasifikasikan kematian lelaki itu sebagai kes bunuh. – Bernama

    Thank you for your comment, jebat’s fren. 🙂

  6. it’s very sad and things really start to boil. I don’t know how much power vested into PDRM and MACC.

    Kugan’s death, subsequently another malay chap died in lock-up and a few more cases which i couldn’t remember.

    do you know that so many people are so pissed (i am refraining to use all words that come to my mind now) with the MACC and police?

    i like i mention, people are trying very hard to move away from racial line thinking including myself ….. want to start a new chapter with all malaysians. but things happening right infront of you, another municipal councillor was asked to go back to China by MACC officer just because he couldn’t speak BM well, don’ t you think that action itself, is RACIST?

    i for one also can’t speak BM well neither Mandarin. Does that mean i should be treated like some China chinese?

    you may not agree with me no matter how i wanted explain to you that MACC and police are racists, but they are indeed portraying such actions. you may say i am misled by opposition or whatsoever, but i have concluded that many in MACC or police are racists.

    correct me if i am wrong, with fairness, i have not yet come across any news about a “Chinese” or “Indian” association/agency that treated other race with such degoratory remark in carrying out official duty.

    coffee shop chatting, everyone is racist and it’s up to them to behave themselves but not with an institution as a govt officer.

    Why many malays just can’t accept other race as it is? is that something that we have done?

    ODS: Thank you for your comment, jebat’s fren.

    I supposed that right now, it seems easy to get some frustrated. The first thing every time people say our police and authorities not acting as they supposed to be is – is it really by ALL, or just few that also ot frustrated by act of some of people who like to provoke.

    For late Teoh’s case, I do agree his death is tragic, but I am really suprised with reaction made stating his death is caused by racial motive. The investigation is still going on, yet I just don’t get why some suddenly more expert than the one who are trained to such things? Why should it being related to racial issue? For me, what DAP has done is provoking the authority. Why should DAP jump the gun using racist motives? I can’t recall any campaign on racial or any act of kiss keris in months since DS Najib be the PM and 1Malaysia being introduced. Why suddenly say such things?

    For any cases similar to what happened to Kugan and other Malaysians, why should it be racial issue? I know someone is held responsible, but I believe such cause should not be driven by racial motive.

    As for what you’ve mentioned on inability to speak Bahasa by some Malaysian. I’m wondering, since most of Malaysians are born in Malaysia, should not one being able to speak in Bahasa? If not, why? If any ethnic in Indonesia being able to speak Indonesia as Indonesian, why not ethnics in Malaysia? Ashamed of speaking Bahasa?

    I also recall that Bahasa Malaysia is the national language. Should we, as Malaysian, uphold our own NATIONAL LANGUAGE?

    Maybe this is one of the issues that lingers around us that makes as if it is “racial issue”, whereby it is not. It is more like upholding one of integrity criterias of being Malaysian.

    Malaysians, but not able to speak in Bahasa Malaysia..something wrong somewhere..

    Try to imagine Americans and English cannot speak English, or China chinese cannot speak any mandarin, cantonese or hokkien, India Indian cannot speak Tamil or Urdu, or French cannot speak French. Can these kind be tolerated in their respective country? I don’t think so…

    Please try find the obvious in any other country..please… 🙂

    And jebat’s fren, the bumis do accept others as Malaysians..the question is, do the non-bumis really upholding the criteria of being a good Malaysian?

    For all I know, I see lots of non-bumi upholding the criterias of good Malaysians and I’m ok with that. However, some failed and caused unrest to others.

    Have a nice weekend. 🙂

  7. “As for what you’ve mentioned on inability to speak Bahasa by some Malaysian. I’m wondering, since most of Malaysians are born in Malaysia, should not one being able to speak in Bahasa? If not, why? If any ethnic in Indonesia being able to speak Indonesia as Indonesian, why not ethnics in Malaysia? Ashamed of speaking Bahasa?”

    The guy could speak but not fluent. Isn’t that good enough? It’s not that we couldn’t speak, it’s just that we couldn’t speak as fluent as a malay. Since we left school, we studied in english and we converse in english 90% of the time when in work and in social life. We speak english with Malays and not in BM. We speak english and mother tongue with our family members. What do you expect us to do? To change our social life and start speaking more BM in work and with family members? But that does not justify a racist remark coming from a malay if we can’t speak as fluent. Definitely a Malay can speak better BM compared to us. Can I go around and tell the others if you can’t speak english properly, you are nothing (low class) in a globalised world since english is most widely used in global trade? You will and won’t understand because you have never learned mandarin. Be fair, give yourself a chance to learn mandarin and see whether you could speak mandarin as well as a chinese?

    “Try to imagine Americans and English cannot speak English, or China chinese cannot speak any mandarin, cantonese or hokkien, India Indian cannot speak Tamil or Urdu, or French cannot speak French. Can these kind be tolerated in their respective country? I don’t think so…”

    I know of Malays in malaysia can’t speak more than 10 words in BM. There are many in China who are not so fluent in mandarin if you CARE to find out more. Many of my friends can’t even speak proper dialect and no mandarin but could speak BM, second to english. Does that make my friends less “chinese” ethnic. Dialect and language is 2 different things and in China, there are more than 50 over different dialects. So, I am proving a point to you that the Malays don’t have to treat others with such derogatory remarks with those who can’t speak fluent BM. Perhaps, the way we think is different from how you think.

    To be a Malaysian, is not 100% about able to speak as fluent as a a Malay. And in the first place, did the Govt treat the other ethnics with respect as malaysians?

    ODS: Whoaa.. ok, my friend. Let me go bit by bit, so that we have a better understading with my statement.

    Yes, the guy might be not able to speak fluently in Bahasa Malaysia, but in my mind, he has been living here in Malaysia for years. Pardon me, what more if he is born here in Malaysia. He also has been communicating with other kind of languages in his life, but is that the reason for not able to speak Bahasa that other Malaysian hard to understand?

    My friend, I have friends from various ethnicity, and even though they are not Malay, they can speak good Bahasa Malaysia because they are born here, mixed around with Malaysians using Bahasa Malaysia. That is why you have never see me using such extreme examples using languages to resembles hatred. In one of my previous article, I wrote:

    “For such reasons of reluctance, they even argued that English is widely used rather than Bahasa. Which, due to the event causes some extremist (but not thinking logically), be it Malay, Chinese, Indians or any other race; regards as by using other than Bahasa Melayu, one should return to the origin country using that language. If so, whoever using English, go back to England; Chinese – go back to China; India – go back to India; Spainish – go back to Spain; French – go back to France; and the list will go on and on. Come on brothers and sisters, where your head’s at? If so, by writing this down, I should ‘return’ to England due to I’m using english as medium of communication for this write up.

    And do read the rest of the article to get what I really mean.

    As a Malaysian, I believe we should be able to converse well in Bahasa. It is our national language and it is tauht in school. The language has been taught since standard 1 (age of 7 years old) until form 5 (age of 17 years old).

    Do tell me, does it sound logic that something that is taught for 10 years (at least), every single day, every single week, every single month for 10 years, you cannot do well in it? It is sad to see such reason for saying that we have left the school for years, that even something is taught for 10 years cannot be digested.

    And this goes to ALL Malaysian, with no exception to any ethnicity in Malaysia. Equip ourselves well as Malaysians, and then do what we can for the country, not the other way around.

    And my friend, do read my thoughts on some Malays who claimed to be “Middle Class Malays”, which in a way, I’m criticizing such views that sounded so selfish and living in their own world. Whatmore towards malays who can’t even speak Bahasa Malaysia properly.

    Thank you for your comment jebat’s fren. 🙂

You are part of people on the street. My opinion might not as good as yours. Come, please share your thoughts with us!!!

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