Underlining its seriousness in wanting greater unity, the government yesterday ordered school administrators to speed-up integration-related programmes. [NST]

I doubt that the government is working on the right spot. You see, when I was in primary school, there are no racial issues in my thinking… Ali, Ah Kau and Mutu are all good friends. It applied in my real life; I made friends with all people regardless of races.

My thinking got a bit confused when I got into high school. We were required to study Tamadun Islam for one or two years. Fine, if it’s to learn other Malaysians’ culture and religion… but I always wondered why Muslims are not given the chance to learn other Malaysians’ origin as well?

If national unity comes from understanding… it should be understanding from both sides.

In more recent history, we read about James Wright, Stamford Raffles, Frank Swettenham and all those Sultans etc… but there were nothing about Yap Ah Loy or Yap Kwan Seng etc., people who largely contributed to the development of Kuala Lumpur.

If we are bold enough to recognize the significance of British colonial administration in our country history, why is the significance of other races not being emphasized? Malaysians need to know that all races have contributed in building the nation… not just in the 50 years of independence, but significantly from as early as 1800s.

Ok… these thinking were not actually made during my high school years; I was still naive back then, but the seeds of these thoughts had been planted.

The killer blow that raised the racial indifference in me happened when I got into university. I worked hard to get into a local university’s engineering faculty… many students with decent STPM results couldn’t get into engineering faculty because of the quota, but that was supposed to be a fact of life.

The defining moment came on my first day to class; our lecturer asked us why we wanted to enter the course… Chinese answered blah blah… and then a few Malays answered that they didn’t want to study at the course, but were ‘forced’ to study by the government.

That’s quite a blow really, Chinese worked hard and yet couldn’t get what they wanted… and those things that we fought hard were given to people that didn’t appreciate at all, basically for free. What an irony.

No, I am not a racist, but I know I am not a role model in practicing national unity. I still have a good bunch of Malay friends these days; the different is when I was younger, I have friends, Malaysian friends… but now, I have friends, Malay friends and non-Malay friends.

The failure wasn’t on the school administration, it’s on the whole education system, it’s on the government.



19 Responses to “National unity from school?”

  1. Monkey Junior Says:
    April 12th, 2007 at 12:27 am

    I aso wondering is government on the right spot??

    Government keep on emphasize on the national unity, but I wondering how much it can help. We have been taught all these since young, but looks like it just can’t help. For example, the fighting happen in UPM, I believe those students have been taught what is “NATIONAL UNITY”, why they still doing such a silly thing in IPTA…

    Yes, chinese really work hard to enter local universities. I must say that STPM is really a tough exam for me, and when I entered the UNI, i really feel dissapointed. Why we have to work so hard to enter UNI, but some other races just get it so easy. Quota is just unfair, but is true tat is just the fact of life….

  2. alice Says:
    April 12th, 2007 at 12:56 am

    hmmm… malays are being too protected by the government due to the quota system, they can get the UNI entries easily without work hard for it.
    Consequently, they wil just like the animals in zoos, lost their suvival skills day by day :p

  3. Jee Says:
    April 12th, 2007 at 1:38 am

    MJ… we have been taught about national unity on the basis only. We are asked to tolerate each other, and to understand each other… but the roots of indifference are never handled in a balance way.

    It’s not easy to see things change. Example the quota issue, it has become a fact of life… where should we start to change it, it’s going to offence people one way or the other.

    Damn if you do, damn if you don’t.

    alice… zoo? That’s harsh really… but I can see your point. I don’t want to point on everyone though, lots of the Malays did work hard to get what they want.

  4. Monkey Junior Says:
    April 12th, 2007 at 9:28 am

    No matter what it is, quota still the main factor…..
    I believe we all handling this issue well since I still able to live in harmony….

  5. Jee Says:
    April 12th, 2007 at 11:13 am

    Most Malaysians learnt to tolerate pretty well… tolerating on an uneven basis.

  6. alice Says:
    April 12th, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    yup,strongly agree…

  7. Anonymous Says:
    April 13th, 2007 at 10:59 am

    I can see that you are all frustrated with the system…. but as you all must realise, the bumiputras, must be assisted until the economy is well-balanced between the races, and that is part of the agreement in the constitution for independence. anyway, i thot that PTA entry is now based on meritocracy, no more quota system???? and they found out that more bumiputras are eligible for uni entry based on this meritocracy…..

  8. khairul Says:
    April 13th, 2007 at 11:06 am

    to promote racial unity.. how if we repeal the vernacular schools so that all Malaysians will send their child to national schools?

    anyway, as far as the quota system is concerned, the system is not as unfair as before. because the government said that the system that is used today is meritocracy system. is it? ;p

  9. Jee Says:
    April 13th, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    #7… I am not sure how the uni intake works these days; I believe there are still quotas in some sense, but it’s good if it has been greatly improved.

    I never objected to the idea of helping the bumis to achieve enonomic balance; what I always stressed is that the implementation is poorly done. Only very few Bumis benefited from the policies and getting rich; while most of the Bumis are still living in poor after 30+ years of NEP.

    Another thing I always stressed is that all the poor should be helped regardless of races. Chinese are doing better than other races, basically true; but they are large numbers of poor Chinese too… and they don’t have the luck to be protected by the government. I actually feel the worse of Indians, some estate workers for example are living in really bad conditions.

    khairul… I don’t totally object the idea of scrapping the vernacular schools and standardize all national schools… one condition must apply though, that all students will have fair and square opportunities in future.

    I don’t mind giving up some of my Chinese identity to become more MALAYsianize, problem is… am I given the fair opportunity to become a real Malaysian just like EVERYONE else?

  10. khairul Says:
    April 13th, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    i am pretty agree..only small numbers of bumis are gaining from the NEP as well as other policies that is meant to ‘help ALL bumis and other races’. just look at how rich Tan Sri S.M Nasimuddin is with the AP’s. Not to be forgotten, the ministers and MPs who gained A LOT of money but rarely help their rakyats.

    Maybe it’s a problem of ‘unfair implementation’ of the policies perhaps?

  11. Jee Says:
    April 13th, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    I can’t be sure what went wrong with the policies… but it’s obvious that something does went wrong.

  12. RM Says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    Hi Guys,

    “until the economy is well-balanced between the races”, & “meritocracy system” are just excuses. After 30 of NEP still need balancing, It’s a JOKE. The gap between the RICH Malays and the poor is too wide. What a shame to keep using the poor malays as an excuse to balance of the races economical status. it’s a lot of bull.

    IF you are a CEO/Chairman of a company after a few years of no results or slow results, “some heads will roll”. guess it can’t happen with this govt.

    That’s Malaysia for you…stay on and tolerate OR get out!!!. of course no everyone can just pack and go.

    so guys..tahan lah…”Malaysian [Non Malays] BOLEH!!!”.

  13. Anonymous Says:
    April 17th, 2007 at 12:24 am

    Some Malays are good at studies…in fact very good. Most at good at sports & arts like music. Develop them accordingly lah!. Don’t force these poor guys to do university courses that they don’t even know how to pronounce.

  14. Jee Says:
    April 17th, 2007 at 1:11 am

    Good point.

  15. RM Says:
    April 19th, 2007 at 8:06 am

    Agreed some are good at studies, which applies to all races. Not all Chinese are smart not Indian are railway workers. why not go the population ratio. 40malays 25 chinese 20 indian 5 others.

  16. RM Says:
    April 19th, 2007 at 8:13 am

    opps bad maths 45/30/20/5 +100%.

  17. Jee Says:
    April 19th, 2007 at 9:25 am

    Ratio? I think now should be 65/20/8/7…

  18. Unkown Says:
    January 23rd, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    I was writing an essay on this “National Unity” and I read roughly through all the replies. Yes I guess the quota is still on. That annoynomous guy said it right. Quota is use to balance up the economical status of each race. No doubt, the chinese are richer previously in the history, but it seems that 50 years of independace makes no different, there is still poor people around us, I mean Malaysia is quite a rich country but WHERE DO THE MONEY GONE???? Sorry to say that I’m very suspecious about what is our government doing huh? How much more time the government to settle the eco balance between races??? One main problem is RASUAH!!!! this is the main treat of all issue that are bias.

  19. SMAB stpm Student(malay) Says:
    July 16th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    halo,ey i really hope other race know,not all malay have a same mind.i mean their mind r different,belive me have a many good malay stpm student to do very well.u has to know not one suggestion can make over the human unity.we must couple understanding between other culture…..please respect the some special concern to the malay…


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