Saturday 14 February 2015

Defending Chinese schools on Valentine's Day

There's this comment at my post,

What some Chinese youths think of Bahasa Malaysia

(Note: Not all the Chinese youths interviewed were educated in Chinese schools)

Remember this from yr friend Annie?

Yes, I remember that post which was published more than three years ago by my friend Aisya (better known as Ai), who was then the administrator of the blog

It was in defense of the Chinese schools.

Ai is a strong supporter of PM DS Najib Razak and she was then trying her best to make members of the Chinese community understand that the BN government has no ill intents towards them.

Ai was also trying to tell the Chinese community that they have true friends among the Malays such as herself who was against any attempt to dismantle the Chinese schools system.
She was trying to convince the Chinese that the best for them is to continue with the moderate inter-racial relation approach as promoted by Najib and other moderate Malay leaders.

She tried very hard.

Unfortunately, the Chinese community broke her heart when they almost as a whole supported the aggressive confrontational inter-racial methods of DAP during the 13th general election in 2013.

Ai, who had to give up managing her blog due to other commitments but still occasionally wrote in my blog after that, totally quit writing after GE13.

It was another case of a Malay moderate being defeated by the Chinese tsunami of GE13.

Ai actually loved the Chinese culture more than myself, who has Chinese blood.

It was just too bad.

Since today is Valentine's day and I am now in the Chinese New Year mood, I decided to reproduce that post by Ai which defended the Chinese schools.

You can also read it at its original link

A message from a Chinese school graduate

whereby you can also read the comments.

Here is the post by Ai in full as it appeared on Friday, 25 November 2011:

The following is an e-mail I received this morning. I post it here for those who do not have the privilege of knowing anyone who had studied in a Chinese school to understand why those schools are close to the Chinese community's heart.

I'm a chinese school graduate all the way from primary school to uni in taiwan. I'm now working for the gomen. Hopefully my experience can help to clear some misconceptions about chinese schools and their graduates.

1. Chinese school graduates are all chinese chauvinists or communists 

saying that is just like saying that all muslims are terrorists. Not true and not fair. 

2. Chinese schools (I'm talking about secondary education here, not primary) are rich

 - Not all chinese schools are rich just like not all chinese are rich and not all malays are poor.

And those rich schools are rich, not because the money falls from the sky or they inherit pots of gold from their ancestors. 

Do you know that chinese high schools are registered as non-profit organisations instead of schools? Meaning to say we have to find money to pay for all the opex and capex. The ministry of education doesn't pay for the opex of chinese schools, like how they take care of the national schools. See it this way - chinese schools are NGOs, fund raising is a all year round exercise, just like any other NGOs.  

When I was a student many many years ago, we had to help the school to raise funds to pay for the electricity bills, salary of the teachers etc. As students, we would usually go in groups and knock on every single door in town (sometime we will also go outstation), trying to sell the so call "golden brick", which was in fact just a gold colour wooden block, in order to raise some funds to sustain our schools.

The significance of the brick is that every household contributed to the building of the schools, so every brick used in the school actually represents the hard earned money of the contributors - who come from all walk of lives. 

If I remember correctly, each brick represents probably an amount of only RM1 to RM5. So if you contribute enough, you probably can have a classroom, a library or a building named after you. That's why you will always see names around in almost every corners of the chinese schools, for these people contributed to building the schools. 

This was how, brick by brick, chinese schools were built.

Let me present my mother as a typical example of such contributors. They are not hardcore chauvinist or fervent communist. They are just normal people who feel that chinese school are doing good for the community, so ought to be supported. 

My mom was not rich, just like most of the other contributors, most was not rich at all. She was a hawker selling Char Kuey Teow in a small municipal market in a small town in southern johor. The stall had been around for generations. She had on the wall full of thank-you plates from the chinese school because every year, without fail since my grandfather set up the stall decades ago, there would be a day when all business proceeds go to the school. In fact, you will find such thank-you plates all over the hawker centre because almost every stall would do the same, every year. Mind you, these are all small stalls and these people are definitely not rich. Yet they did it happily - I've never heard anyone ever complaint about having to donate money to the chinese schools.

What amazed me most is that some of the stall owners do not have children studying in chinese schools. Most of them sent their children to the so-called gomen schools because chinese schools are deemed as expensive elite education in the community. 

To go to chinese high school, parents had to pay about RM20 per month which was considered quite a big sum many years ago. I still remembered when I told my mom that I want to study in Chinese highschool instead of going to gomen secondary school, she just plainly reject me because our family just can't afford it (yet she donated to the school every year!!!). Eventually she let me go because I sat for the entrance examination and won a scholarship to study there - I didn't need to pay school fees for the next six years. 

If I may add, my mother didn't just donate to the chinese school, she also pay taxes , all the required bills and also donated to other NGOs including muslim orphanages. 

3. Chinese school graduates have poor command of bahasa / english

Not true, as not all chinese school graduates have poor command of language - just like not all malays are bad in maths.

I don't speak perfect english with an british accent and people always laugh at my bahasa and say that I'm cina bukit. But I never regret going to chinese school - I'm proud of being one actually - because of the education I received, I am able to have multiple language skills that allows me to communicate with different spectrum of communities in malaysia and of course, I always believe that being exposed in a variety of cultures and traditions make me see things in a more balanced and objective manner, which is a definitely a big plus.

4. Chinese schools destablelise the country and create fractions by segregating the children from young age

Selfish politicians are the main cause of all the above. Pls don't use chinese schools as scapegoat. One school system can't solve the problem if we don't fix the system to provide better quality education - then things will only be worse.

Ok, let's say you put in a one school system and eliminated the chinese school - but the quality of education still as bad, what will happen? Parents will send their kids to private or internationals schools, which is already happening now. So, fix the school system, good quality education will automatically attract the mass. If you were a parent, would you want to spend thousands sending your kids to private schools if the gomen education is just as good, and free! No you won't - only stupid chinese parents will do that to support their beloved chinese schools...



  1. First off, I am national school-educated, from Standard 1 right through to Form 6. And damn proud of it.

    Might I suggest that if you want your dauugther to be fluent in English and be better imbued with the Bangsa Malaysia spirit, you should send her to a good national primary school with a big English-speaking/professional parents base.

    This schools, in my experience, tend to gravitate towards old Christian missionary schools such as Convent, Penang Free School, St Xavier's Institutions, Methodist Boys, English College, etc.

    For instance, when I was in Penang, I was sent to SRK Stowell, in Bukit Mertajam. There are, of course, exceptions to this. When I was in Standard 5, I was then transferred to SK Sri Tebrau, in Taman Sentosa, Johor Bahru. I was very fortunate in that both of these schools have a very good mix of students from different races and religions. I felt that its these now rare schools that's on the right path towards true racial integration and national identity-building in Malaysia.
    When I then attended secondary school in a very working-class Chinese suburb near my new home in JB, I personally saw the side-effects of being educated in a Chinese-school. These new classmates of mine generally have trouble conversing in any other language besides Mandarin. They also tend to be quite xenophobic, and hold appallingly bigoted views on people of different race or religion to them. Racial integration was almost non-existant in that school, contrasting greatly with my previous primary schools.

    I also feel that those good nationaly type schools tend to be concentrated in urban areas, and in states such as Penang and KL, as evident from my secondary schooling experience in JB.

    1. i am also from stowell school...and i dont know why but somehow i feel happy knowing someone from bm are also a reader of this blog and are in here...hehehe

      and so true what you have said that people that comes out from school like stowell tend to mix and welcome others better....

      > james bond

  2. Benda ini subjektif, annie. Tiada yang peribadi, sepatut nya.

    Perlu di ingat :-

    1. Negara Malaysia berbilang kaum. Sejarah awal Tanah Melayu dan kepelbagaian penduduk kemudian nya menjadikan Malaysia satu negara unik dalam kepelbagaian berteraskan Melayu dan Islam. Budaya, fahaman dan agama lain boleh sahaja mengikut syarat-syarat Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

    2. Wujud nya pendidikan vernakular kerana itu lah pegangan Melayu mengamalkan Kesyumulan Islam (Sunnah wal Jamaah) bersikap universal (sejagat) syiar Islam yang menyatakan manusia itu wujud dari zuriat Nabi Adam dan semua nya itu menjadi berpuai-puak mengikut pengaruh dan cuaca keadaan setempat dan semua nya hamba Allah belaka termasuk apa saja yang wujud nyata dan yang ghaib.

    Kita berbeza kerana amalan, budaya dan fahaman dan jelas nya perbezaan dalam Islam mereka itu samaada berakidah, beriman, Nabi Muhammad SAW itu Rasul Nya dan Al Quran itu(tidak pernah berubah) pegangan nya.

    Jelas nya Islam itu tidak memilih warna kulit tetapi amat jelas dengan QALB(hati). Lantaran itu apa sahaja bangsa, bahasa dan agama di Malaysia, Melayu itu amat mudah menerima nya sebagai jiran tetangga dan bersikap bertoleransi. Melayu itu sendiri mesti memahami Bahasa Al Quran - Arab (nyata di firmankan dalam Al Quran) dan kemudian nya di wujudkan tulisan jawi agar semua Melayu itu memahami dan memeluk agama Islam dengan lebih erat.

    3. Realiti nya Melayu tiada masaalah dengan Cina, Tamil atau apa jua bentuk cara dan amalan mereka. Permasaalahan besar ialah sikap cauvinistik, melebih-lebih, menafikan kerjasama kerana sikap pentingkan diri sendiri, bersikap biadab dan kurang ajar, sehingga di waktu ini ada pihak ekstremis bukan Islam sudah berani mencampuri urusan Melayu dan Islam melampaui batas sehingga menafikan Bahasa Kebangsaan dan apa termaktu juga mencerca Hak Asasi Melayu yang NYATA nya, pihak Inggeris zaman menjajah juga menghormati dan tidak berani mencampuri adat dan budaya Melayu dan Islam.

    Kenapa sekarang begitu "besar kepala?"

    4. Itu saya kata, soal pendidikan itu subjektif. Jika dasar pendidikan itu membolehkan kita berpadu bawah satu bumbung, saling menghormati, berkerjasama bantu membantu, berpegang kuat kepada aspirasi negara berpaksikan satu bahasa komunikasi menyatu-padukan rakyat, kenapa ia tidak relevan ?

    Menterbalikkan bendera, menghina Islam dan Bangsa majoriti Melayu, bersikap tidak mesra kerajaan memerintah, melawan semua dasar-dasar nasional, menyebelahi kemungkaran dan penjenayah, menidakkan sistem demokrasi Raja Berparlimen, meremeh Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan berbagai lagi - sehingga generasi muda bukan melayu di didik menjadi lebih kronik dalam pergaulan kontrak sosial pelbagai ; nyata nya menjurus kepaksian kehebatan diri dan bangsa sendiri sahaja. Ada kah vernakular ini yang di semai, tidak tahu sejarah, tidak boleh berbahasa kebangsaan dan mencemar negara sendiri pada pihak asing ?

    Ia bukan masaalah pendidikan vernakular. Ia bukan lagi dilemma Melayu. Ia sudah menjadi dilemma Bukan Melayu Malaysia dengan strategi ingin memecah-belahkan dan mecampuri adat budaya dan akidah Melayu sehingga terang-terangan menceroboh tanpa segan silu dan rasa hormat lagi.

    Kerja siapa ?

    Saya juga tidak nafikan UMNO juga mesti bertanggung jawab di atas
    berlaku nya kekalutan ini kerana semakin gagal menjadi tulang belakang
    berwibawa akibat bawaan transformasi politik bebas, menjadi moderat
    dalam kancah liberalisma / sekularisma yang memang berlawanan wassatiyah(moderat) Islam.

    Bayangkan - Jika Melayu itu bersikap cauvinistik, apa terjadi ? Mahfum nya
    segala akta, peraturan perundangan itu memang mendidik manusia. Islam itu sudah wujud SYARIAH nya sebelum manusia mencipta undang-undang demi kebaikan Islam itu sendiri dan yang berlawanan dengan nya.

    1. Higher Education for a Higher Purpose - Sheikh Hamza Yusuf in Malaysia

    2. Stupid idiot rambling out of context.

    3. After learning about how guru sekolah changed the religion of a school child to Islam, I better protect my child and sent her to an International school. Yes, I can afford it.

  3. They can always go to national school which is FREE. Help develop our society to become a unified one.

    1. National school for everyone is certainly the objective towards unity of Malaysian society, but i tend to agree with Bigcat in this instance that sekolah kebangsaan needs to undergo a major renovation of its buildings and facilities. Many of the present schools are crowded and do not even have a school hall for their events, fences are unrepaired and the grass fields are barren like desert sands. Yes, it's FREE but the QUALITY suffers.

    2. Contribute lah. It's your children's school.

  4. Other then the quality of education that is substandard in some of the government schools there is also the tendency of these schools now of becoming more and more religious with some of the teachers and administrators being racists and coming out with racist rules that really scares the non malay parents.
    As have been told many times before,if the government schools are great and offers quality education without racists teachers that look down on non malay students then more non malay parents will surely send their kids to government schools like those days before they change the system in the 70s.
    Who wanna pay when they can get good education for free.

    1. They may be outwardly religious but spiritually immature; otherwise why would they look down on other people as inferiopr - it's a sure sign of religious egotism! If Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. had made himself superior to the uncouth desert Arabs of his times then surely Allah's religion could never be taught to those who are in need of spiritual teachings.
      Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

    2. Brader,
      If 99% of those attending national school are Malay-muslims, how can it not acquire the muslim-malay attributes? National school is for everyone to come and get to know each other. Then you introduce mandarin and tamil as elective, that's how you give and take.

      They say Chinese education is better than Tamil and National mainstream, so that's why you have to come together under the same roof and teach others what you know best. That's the spirit of living in the same country.

      The way things are going, everyone just wants to do their own thing and expecting the nature to do it's thing. How is nature going to change, if you yourself refuse to do so?

    3. Never ever mistreat the innocent little ones . . .


      Call you up in the middle of the night
      like a firefly without a light
      you were there like a blowtorch burning
      i was a key that could use a little turning
      so tired that i couldn't even sleep
      so many secrets i couldn't keep
      promised myself i wouldn't weep
      one more promise i couldn't keep

      it seems no one can help me now
      i'm in too deep
      there's no way out
      this time i have really lead myself astray

      runaway train, never goin' back
      wrong way on a one-way track
      seems like i should be getting somewhere
      somehow i'm neither here nor there

      can you help me remember how to smile?
      make it somehow all seem worthwhile
      how on earth did i get so jaded?
      life's mysteries seem so faded
      i can go where noone else can go
      i know what no one else knows
      here i am just drownin' in the rain
      with a ticket for a runaway train

      and everything seems cut and dry
      day and night
      earth and sky
      somehow i just don't believe it

      bought a ticket for a runaway train
      like a madman laughing at the rain
      little out of touch, little insane
      it's just easier than dealing with the pain

  5. Billions of Ringits had been spends yearly ,to upgrade the education infrastructure and system , and many more billions are spends on giving aids to all the vernacular education.
    If all this billions are pulled together to one school system , I believe the result will be more better.
    The argument is always , quality education are poor in Sekolah Kebangsaan , but all could be proved are just either you want to be in the crowd or you prefer to be among you , Malaysian Malaysia ,a Chinese speaks Chinese , Indian speaks Indian , and Malays speaks Malay .
    Malaysia is truly Asia (borrowing lufang words) ,Malaysia is a country with many race and there no Malaysian .

    1. Yes, the government spend billions in upgrading education infrastructure but I doubt we get billions worth of infrastructure.

  6. Jika janji tidak ditepati, itulah akibatnya. Masa sebelum merdeka, selain Perlembagaan, sistem pelajaran turut dikaji dengan begitu teliti. Kajian tentang sistem pelajaran berterusan sehingga selepas merdeka. Laporan Barnes, Laporan Razak dan Laporan Rahman Talib adalah antara yang paling berpengaruh dalam hala tuju sistem pelajaran.

    Dahulu ada empat aliran bahasa pengantar iaitu Inggeris, Melayu, Cina dan Tamil. Janjinya, aliran Cina dan Tamil diteruskan sehingga 10 tahun selepas Merdeka sahaja. Bermula 1967 sepatutnya tidak wujud lagi sekolah aliran Cina dan Tamil di Malaya/Malaysia.

    Yang aliran Inggeris memang telah ditukar
    sepenuhnya ke aliran kebangsaan pada 1976 sepertimana yang dipersetujui. Atas sebab politik atau lain2, janji untuk menamatkan dua aliran yang itu tidak ditepati hingga sekarang. Bolehlah dikatakan bahawa kepentingan politik mengatasi kepentingan negara maka perkara ini terus menjadi bebanan.

  7. School Voucher System

    The school voucher system which allows parents to choose which school to send their kids to is the best way to ensure equal access to education, while making schools compete to maintain high standards, an advocate of the system said at a recent forum.

    Instead of the current system where the government funds schools, a voucher system would give that money to parents, said Wan Saiful Wan Jan of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas).

    Parents can then choose which school to spend that money on, whether it is vernacular, religious or international schools.

    Since schools would then have to compete for those funds, they would be forced to offer quality education.

    In theory, the voucher system would benefit poor households, since they would finally be able to afford quality, private education for their kids, Wan Saiful said at the forum “Should the government choose what is best for your child?" on Thursday night.

    See more at:

    1. I gave private tuition to some Malay kids years ago and asked them to revise their old school textbooks when they could not hanmdle the current year's curriculum. Alas, they told me they had returned all of last year's books to the school. I think this situation of loaning out textbooks for the school year only will not help to improve the student's learning habits and knowledge retention.
      Shouldn't all school children be made to purchase and own their schoolbooks at "giveaway prices" After 11 ywears of schooling at least they can have the pride and satisfaction of a mini library on which to build their understanding of the world. As things stand now, they finish their SPM and have only empty shelves to show for all their striving.

  8. Anon 19:02

    Cekap memang manyak senang lea aa , itu Wan saiful atak bagi cala apa macam mau buat eaa aa ?.

    Itu macam semua sekolah ,selupa lajdi plivet maa aa , itu ceku punya gaji itu mulid bayar maa aa ,itu Wan Saiful mau ajar itu tatak populer punya sekolah kahh ?.

    Sikalang manyak olang pandei maa aa , pandai cekap .

  9. Hei , thank you Annie , only now I know why this bigcat totally quit writing after GE 13 , because she cant stand in dealing with opportunies and society that easily absorb lies. oh dear.. sad to you.

  10. A Day Late, A Memory of Scotland


  11. The politicians killed parents initiatives for excellence, Sdr ANON 19: 02
    after many years some political party kept harping on free education. The government ministers unfortunately took the bait, and openly questioned why parents need to pay anything including PIBG donations, and schools even got circulars from the department not to collect until May when people and teachers already lost interest.

    PIBG funds:
    The worst hit were the kampung schools where parents already comfortable with many things UMNO subsidised, now only 20% pay PIBG fees for student excellence when schools reopen vs many years back 80- 90% do. So PIBG now depend mainly on Parenthon collection campaigns and kampung YBs annual handouts.

    School education will in-sya-Allah improve with PPPM 2013- 2015 national strategy including more HOTs in the curriculum and exams
    ( Higher Order Thinking skills, Chinese educaton ada? )
    but one of the strategic thrust being parents involvement will really take time to restore.

    Haji M Zin, 25-yr PIBG veteran
    Alor Gajah DPH