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Sakmongkol ak 47

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Where have all the Chinese gone?

I was talking to a friend the other day. He lives very close to  a Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan. A national school, funded fully by the government. Education is free. His daughter once went to this school because the school is within walking distance from his house. The daughter is now in Form Four.

He volunteered a very telling observation- to me at least. He noticed this year, when registration for year one students took place, there were no Chinese students. No Chinese parents came to send their children to Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan. There were a few Malaysian Indians. The majority are Malays.

Possibly the scene is repeated across the whole country more or less in uniformity. To me, these are danger signs.

Where do the Chinese send their children to? To the Chinese Schools where they must pay some money and fees. Maybe pool resources to better the facilities at the Chinese schools. The medium of instruction is Chinese language. Will they suffer in future?

No is the answer. Last year in the 2009, Singapore GCE O Levels, the top scorer is a Malaysian girl with 10A1s. That's the GCE O levels, accredited by Cambridge Examinations Syndicate. This is the exam; you and I who are now in the early 50s took when we were in Form 5 in the English Medium Schools.

In Malaysia, she went to a Chinese school. Going though an SRJK.

One type of parent undertakes the task of educating his children as a personal responsibility; the other type transfers that responsibility to the state.

The Malaysian Chinese parents who elected to NOT Send their children to SRK instinctively knew because they chose to pay for their children's education, that education really begins at the home. They know that inculcation of values begin at home.

The other type who transfers the responsibility and transfers also the cost of educating to others, do so as the expense of leaving the inculcation of values at a later stage, though mass production.

Between a product that is mass produced and one that is specially made, which one is better, is easily identified.

What values are we talking about? That will be in another part.


Wenger J Khairy,  12 January 2010 at 07:20  

Dear Dato',
Interesting observation, and for that ties in with so many other macroeconomic data items, especially n terms of new net private investment into the country (controlled of course by the Chinese and a few GLCs).

My perception is that for some time now, the Chinese community have decided that the national school system is woefully inadequate to prepare their children to face the real world.

On the balance, I would agree. Given the choice between being stuck in a system which changes too often too quick and rather than focussing on what is best for the country, it had been used as a political football, starting from countless years ago.

Contrast this with the little red dot. There education is heavily invested and the education planners are on top of their game. New curriculum is constantly updated, heck, you could study French ,German or Japanese as a third language way back in 1990.

All of this fully funded by the Government.

I had once ran into a spat with the SSS crowd, which is yet the latest political footballing team to emerge.

As usual the question of the quality of education is the last on peoples mind. The first and the only question is politics, and whether or not via reprogramming the Chinese community can a certain political dogma be introduced.

And to achieve this reprogramming, necessitates the abolition of vernacular schools.

So see how rather than focus on quality of education, up today we still focus on politics. Comparatively, we are getting worse, as evidenced in comparative tests and the endless grouses against the local graduates.

All of this is not some far fetched left wing conspiracy to sow fear. Its real facts, the slow drivers that push a country either ahead or below its peers.

And to the SSS, the question is would you rather have a country that is backward ala Burma/North Korea but ascribes to your chosen political dogma, or a country that is forward but completely against your central political assumptions.

The SSS crowd will answer "Give me Burma anytime."

Yeah right!

Hypocrites to core.
I hope they aren't the Prada or Gucci totting lot, eh.
Cos if we end up like Burma, then only a select few can buy those accessories.

PS: I am 98% convinced that Tengku will be PM within the next year. A back of the envelope calculation more or less confirms it. The joker card is Anwar, but I think Anwarism Force is not that strong down the PKR MPs.

Anonymous,  12 January 2010 at 07:34  

Great observation! In my child's SRJK school in Kuching, there are quite a number of Malay/Bidayuh/Iban students and I salute the parents of these students for they know the values that you are talking about. Enough said of the sad standard of education in our country.

Disappointed Malaysian,  12 January 2010 at 07:59  

What have UMNO/BN done to our education system that such a large segment of the population has lost faith in the state schools? What can you, Datuk, being in UMNO, do about it?

Anonymous,  12 January 2010 at 10:29  

Because they have allowed SRJK schools and indirectly had allowed the differences that will prevail in few years from now.

Any solution guys?

Frank,  12 January 2010 at 10:42  

Datuk Sak

I do wish you pursue this issue further down the line. It cuts right through the future of our nation and our standing in the global economy.

Your intellect is best reserved in these type of national issues instead of the UMNO-biased polemics that somehow you got yourself entangled in recent months. The quality of a blog is much determined by who comes to write in to comment. You might notice the change in recent months as I do.

You have a very sharp mind which should be reserved to deliberate on issues that hold the country together, instead of opposition bashing or umno-bashing for that matter.

Issues of national governance are not only important to Malaysians to day, but more urgent.

Coming back to the education thing: I am surprised that you are only recently surprised. This has been the case eversince the Education Ministry virtually destroyed our education system, and condone the politicisation of our schools by politically over enthusiastic headmasters and teachers. The ones receiving the short end of the stick in this are the Chinese parents of the pupils.

Instead of making a fuss which nobody in Govt would listen, they just walk. After all, Singapore or Australia are waiting to catch our young brains to develop their country.

And as you said, the extended family system espoused by Confucius philosophy will always come to the call to help the next generation.

I leave what is not said to you to pursue further.

Richard Cranium 12 January 2010 at 11:01  

My son went to Form One this year. In a kebangsaan school.

He recounted some funny English pronunciations by his teachers. Made me laugh, too.

But when asked, he said the teachers were correct in the teaching of "facts". The delivery is just a little to be desired.

Its strange to have 13 year olds "correct" their teachers' English in class. I wonder how long this will go on before the teachers get upset and punish the "miscreants".

Now I am thinking seriously of pulling him out to a private school at considerable expense. Its either that, or my kids might grow up a little damaged through that school.

Tough choice.

Richard Cranium 12 January 2010 at 11:04  

And, to add, a significant numer of Chinese parents sending their kids to SJK(C) do not speak Mandarin.

On top of that, the teachers in these schools are know to be "brutal" task masters. For every little thing, kids will get punished.

The homework schedule is punishing.

Kids get sent to Bahasa tuition, because the coverage in school is half-arsed.

But, still, these schools are packed to the gills.

Anonymous,  12 January 2010 at 11:26  


What took you so long to notice this? Thanks to all the UMNO Education Ministers and NEP for such discrimination in NEGARA KU. I have been sending my children to private school since Std 1 and now she is in private university.

It's not that I am rich, but I choose to arm my children with better education despite having to work like crazy and taking away all the "latte" factors to finance them so that they will be competitive in the real world.

The fact remains that Discrimination strife in Malaysia and all I have to say from this policy is that it enabled the other races to be better prepared in the real world as opposed to those enjoying the short term benefit. Unless of course one is well connected and consistently "ada project".

wong 12 January 2010 at 11:33  

i send my 2 kids to a chinese school .it take me every day 45 mins to drive them , another 1 hour or more if there is a jam...but i know what my kids are getting...the quality and attention..the govt school is less then 10 walks across the roads..we went there observe some teaching in progress.the teachers cant even speak proper english. i am not taking any risks.

Jack Ng 12 January 2010 at 12:16  

Dear Dato',

The change in topic is much welcome by me, at least. I am a father of 2 young normal healthy daughters, 3 and 6 this year.

It is clear as a day as to why I will not send my daughters to Kebangsaan school. Make no mistake about it, it is always education quality that comes first to my mind. Affordability is 2nd. If affordability is an issue, then think of a way to find the funds.

Because I believe a good education will guarantee a person's, to a very least, survival-ability in the future. With education, there is promise of food and shelter. This is the most basic thing, without this, no need to talk about other things.

I, honestly, never thought of national integration as a priority here. And never thought of upholding my culture or learn our mother tongue as the greatest priority. My priority and a lot of other chinese friends are the same, quality of education is numero uno. This mentality I think is ingrain inside 99% of the Chinese. We shall send them to wherever that can give them a good education if affordability is not in question. Suffice to say, all of them (including me) opine that SRJK (C) yield better quality than SRK.

Where will it bring us? National intergration between races will be hard to achieve with fewer interaction between races. Obviously enrollment of Indian and Malay cohorts into SRJK (C) is not increasing at a tremendous rate. Even if it increase at a tremendouse rate, then the demand will outstrip supply, as the number SRJK (C) is limited. Very profound in Klang Valley, i.e. currently average student in class for any single year is about 35 to 45 person in SRJK (C) and average class per year is about 10 classes.

Having said that, I know a SRJK (C) in klang valley, that has about 8% non-chinese enrollement and it is growing. That's very encouraging.

I think our current SRK or SMK quality/standard is not good at all, I think it fail to keep up with our national aspiration as in wanting our country to achieve develop status. Our SRK and SMK are not adding great value to our children. I would even dare say our local universities too. Mind you, I have not even started comparing our standard and other countries standard like Thailand or Singapore, or Taiwan, or HK. SRJK (C) is the best bet for the Chinese parents and some non-chinese parents now.

For me and my wife, we are neither sending the girls to SRJK (C) or SRK or private, we are home-schooling them. Yes, we think this will take a lot of our time, but me thinks this is a better bet in comparison with what is out there. And I believe this segment is also growing.

I think the more pertinent question must be what happen to our schools? You answer that, you get the answer to your orignal question of where have all the Chinese gone.


Anonymous,  12 January 2010 at 12:55  


Why are you surprised ? My friend told me that he sends his son for tuition classes because they don't teach anything in government schools. Teachers are very often absent and there are no replacements.That's why the Chinese have to do things themselves because the government doesn't. What did Hishamuddin do when he was Education Minister ?

kassim.ahmad 12 January 2010 at 13:04  


the best remedy to the situation is to stop all aids to srjk since they are already too good and use the money to improve the srk. isn't that obvious?


Anonymous,  12 January 2010 at 13:54  


A breath of fresh air for writing this subject on education which is far more important but often derail from its objective. To Wenger J Khairy comment, you are spot on.

There are few short stories I would like to share based on my involvement with my children’s education.

Story 1
3 times a year we hear announcement that based on the examination results (regardless of UPSR, PMR,SPM) that students achievements are improving. Sometime I feel that either the students are smarter in tackling the examination or the examination papers have not keep-up with the progress. There is no way to know; as our examinations are not affiliated with any recognized examinations such as GCE. If any comparison can be made from my own experience, my son was able to obtained all A’s in his PMR examination though he had 4-5 months to prepare prior to the examination after we returned from my posting oversea. Yes, he did study at International school but he was not top student in his class then. He was not offered or accepted to boarding school in Malaysia with the result he achieved. Even we had to struggle and near begging to have him accepted to one of the cluster schools.

Story 2
Last year our Education Minister made announcement that all UPSR students to sit examination to test their level of competencies and results will be attached together with their results. Great, though many of us thought it was done hastily as exam was 5 months away. But at least we know something related to our children competencies after 6 years in primary school. November came, UPSR result announced with improve results then the last year BUT minus the competency results. Not even summary or findings being shared with the public. Makes me wonder whether the reverse decision was to cover our own weaknesses or what.

Story 3
You probably have heard schools fond of showing videos which I think Censor Board will never approved for public showing not to mentioned showing it to school children as early as primary schoolers. Videos in questions are women giving birth (is it to instill love to parent or sex education class?) and Muslim burial possession (not sure what is the objective). We might ask did the schools obtained approval from Jabatan/Kementerian Pelajaran before showing? Will never know the answer but showing these videos are quite common among schools.

Don’t we have better videos to show that will encourage creativity, innovative, instill entrepreneurship to these young minds instead the 2 videos that I have mentioned above? Does it make us wonder why it was not done?

Last Story… a story I just heard
From what I hear from the grapevine, government will introduce a new subject synonymous with 1 Malaysia concept. As early as last week Government announced that it will strengthen 3M subjects to students. However based on what I hear that 1 hour/week will be taken away from Mathematic subject hour to accommodate new syllabus on 1 Malaysia. If this is true, this is a contradiction unless other subject to give away or add 1 hour of schooling to do this. BTW, don't we already have civic class?

I believe there are many stories that others can share. I think what is important for all of us that education system should be place primary focus on educating the young mind plus unifying factor regardless of political, race, ethnicity and religious believe if we want to see that new generation progress to compete in new world. We shouldn’t deprive them this opportunity and let them suffer because the nation will certainly suffer because lack of action or misguided intention.

Lastly Dato, I commanded your effort for writing this piece and I hope other bloggers will join effort that will lift our education system to higher and better standard for our children and our children’s children. They certainly need our action now.


Anonymous,  12 January 2010 at 14:12  

Dato, I guess it must be me whom you are referring to, but for the time being i choose to remain anonymous to our fellow readers.
We met at restaurant zam2 just before noon, and yes I conveyed my observation on the enrollment of non malays in the national schools, it's not a new phenomenon in malaysia, it actually started more than a decade ago,the Hon MOE should take notice of this trend and try to have a racially balanced composition in all schools not only the students but the teachings staff too.

Paranoid Android 12 January 2010 at 14:41  

Dear Datuk,

Kudos for stirring a hornet's nest. Just my 2 cents worth on this issue. As you rightly pointed out, it is the question of attitude of the parents to education that matters. We are focusing on the top 10% achievers of the SRJK(C), who will do well, even if the medium instruction is in Swahili and fail to observe what happens to the bottom segment. Schooled in a high pressured trilingual system, often xenophobic and stuck with a vocabulary of a twelve year old if the parents are unable to afford to send them to CIS, they are hardly functional in a multi racial Malaysian environment.

A thorough revamp of the education system is imperative for it to be attractive enough to attract students from all races to go through an integrated education system. Sacrifices must be made from all races must be made if we are serious about making strides at combating racism and xenophobia.

Chinese in Britain go through the British education system without demanding that all the subjects to be taught in Mandarin. The notion that Malay Language is a useless language must be discarded if we want to be a true and proud citizen of Malaysia. I cannot deny this, as I am a Chinese and have heard it so many times because my parents got into a lot of flak from my relatives for sending all of us to "Malay Schools". If we demand to be treated as equals, we also have to treat everybody as equal and not inferior.

But of course the onus lies not only among the Chinese, but the whole BN machinery. Are they brave enough to face up to the petty bickering of their own community to revamp the education system? Eg. serious POL classes or to admit that the Chinese school maths system is better and use it in the SRKs?

The question here is not which system is better. But facing up to the facts of life. Integration begins in school. Are we up to the challenge?

Donplaypuks® 12 January 2010 at 14:58  

I'm amazed you have only now spotted what's been a trend for over 20 years in the SRJK's and SMK's.

The chief beneficiaries of our botched up education system are S'pore and the numerous private and international schools that have mushroomed across the country, especially in KL and Selangor, charging anywhere from $7,000 - $40,000 per year in fees!!

We have got the mix - headmasters, teachers (male:female ratios as well), students, subjects, language and extra-curricular activities/sports (practically absent) - ALL WRONG!

The nation is bound to lose its international competitiveness in the long term unless drastic steps are taken by the govt to reverse the dangerous decline in standards!

We are all of 1 race, the Human Race

Mael Hashim 12 January 2010 at 15:09  

In a SRJK(C) in Muar (Batu 8), parents took pain to send their children to this school though this school is 8 km away from where they stay and there are other SRJK(C) in Muar town which is very near to their house. Initially, the school is in an rubber estate but now the estate is gone, so are the students. For a few years the number of student is only one or two. But, in order to defend the school from being closed, MCA deliberately select certain parents and provide assistance to send their children to this school.

My points :

1. SRJK is still good in quality, otherwise the students would not be sent to this school.

2. Likely, the chinese does not like the malay. When Chinese see that there are more Malay coming into SRJK(C), the chinese will withdraw and go somewhere else. This is possibly the reason for what happen in the case mentioned by the blogger in that particular SRJK(C). It is not because the quality of SRJK(C).

Anonymous,  12 January 2010 at 16:42  

It is just a reaction that took years to come about.

Many issues... they acted, acting and will act with their feet. They fought not .. they just quietly acted with their feet.

You care not and they care not.

You deny them ... they deny you.

Very simple. For every action there is an equal reaction. It is just a matter of form.

Anonymous,  12 January 2010 at 17:20  

The national school system must be reformed. A comprehensive review must be done to analyse the core INCOMPETENCIES of the current sekolah kebangsaan.

We then choose a model which has sustainable growth and greater achievement of high excellence among the students.

I think SSS did recommend complete review of the system and the overhauling of the education system which separates the kids into different style of education and also different DELIVERY OF COMPETENCIES of education.

No politics about it. Politicking 24/7 makes you paranoid and unobjective. Criticising something without giving a wholly beneficial solution to the whole nation, socially, educationally and economically will make you a bore.

If there is a complete overhaul of the education system which takes into account unity and ALSO high achievement, we will never be like Burma.

Only a sadistic person would wish that.

And one more thing, the SSS encourage third language studies in classrooms as optional subject.

What is there to criticise?


Anonymous,  12 January 2010 at 18:26  

There is no hidden agenda.
The only reason why Chinese parents send their children to Chinese schools is that the academic standard of these schools far exceed that of national schools.

Anonymous,  12 January 2010 at 19:16  

My 2 nephews entered chinese pre-school and they performed very well but they went to SRK and SMK where one went to private uni and another one still at form 1 SMK

My niece also entered her chinese pre-school followed the foot steps of her brothers but this year her parents after observing the outcome of the 2 brothers decided to continue her education 1st year at a Chinese school. At year 1 her schedule is really tight where her classes will only finish at 3-4pm only 1 or 2 days she will finish at 2pm

I'm glad that her parents sent her to that school even though they have to fork out extra money to pay for all the class room activities

Its too early to tell with her chinese education process whether she will outperform her brothers in academic but personally looking at the arrangements and attention the school provide to her i think she will

Anonymous,  12 January 2010 at 20:00  

I'm a member of the SSS group. I have long ceased to comment in this blog but friends suggested that I reply to the Wenger J Khairy fellow. I'll do so on a one-comment basis.

He talks about "a (Malaysian) system which changes too often too quick" in one breath and, in the next, about "the little red dot's" system where "New curriculum is constantly updated, heck, you could study French ,German or Japanese as a third language way back in 1990."

Did he not read about the "Little Emperor" admitting his mistake about making the pupils learn two or more languages and mastering none? And changing his system as a result? Oh yes, he'll say the changes are for the better. All in the south are better, except here. But then, very few believe him. I notice that many people laugh at what he says in many places. The last time I heard he ran a blog which he deleted because of being laughed at and the current one is hardly visited. So he goes commenting here and there.

And he bad-mouths people - "the SSS crowd" he says, "the latest political footballing team to emerge", he calls us. What a loud-mouthed, demented, sore loser whose hero KJ (if he is not the chappie himself) has not been given any post despite winning 304 Youth votes on a money-politic corruption image.

We at SSS recognise that there are deficiencies in the existing education system. That was why we spoke for an in-depth study to be carried out to include the strengths and weaknesses of the national schools system.

But this man is being seditious by talking about "the abolition of vernacular schools". SSS never does that. We talk about the vernacular schools using BM as the medium of instruction, Mandarin and Tamil studied as elective subjects, the same curriculum and syllabus as the national schools. We talk about "the absorption of the vernacular schools into the nationnal schools system", which is quite different from "abolition of vernacular schools".

And he talks about a "left wing conspiracy to sow fear'. Yes, he or his mentor KJ once brandished the keris and talked about 70% corporate wealth for Malays. Scared the shit out of the non-Malays. This loose gun is among "the slow drivers that push a country either ahead or below its peers" - to use his own words.

He is the kind of stuff that Malay apologists are made of. In complete awe of the Red Dot and saying sorry for the Malay-led Government in his own country. Sad specimen of the Malay race.

And so he pokes fun at our SSS group suggesting our preference for Burma/North Korea and accuses us of being hypocrites. Of course he would mention Prada or Gucci and laugh at our inability to flaunt accessories that "only a select few can buy". He and/or his mentor has tons of them acquired with ill-gotten gains amassed during the sorry and very regretful pa-in-law's reign.

But the strangest of all in this episode is his Post Script - saying "Anwarism Force is not that strong down the PKR MPs". Of course, if it was strong, he would not have said it such and would be planning to sit in the front row every day, all day long during the coming Anwarul sodomy trial. After all, he/his mentor had rushed a passport to Anwar the moment the father-in-law cleared the man's overseas visit after release from Sg Buluh Priosn last time. Yet the highly unprincipled loose gun accuses simple concerned citizens in the SSS group as hypocrites. What a world. What a bloke.

I hope this comment is published. I have saved it for distribution to my SSS and other friends, anyway.

Frank,  12 January 2010 at 20:02  

Datuk Sak

To answer your question in the title of your posting:

Here it is:

Singapore has become a magnet for students from neighboring countries especially Malaysia where its ethnic Chinese have been flocking to Singapore to further their studies over the years due to Malaysia’s discriminatory racial policies.

The top “O” level student this year is Ms Lai Kai Rou from Saint Nicholas Girls School who scored 10 A1s.

She hails from the Malaysian state of Selangor and was persuaded to come to study in Singapore after hearing from last year top student Haw Sue Hern, also a Malaysian.

When Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Najib Tun Razak visited Singapore last year during the APEC Summit, he was astonished that more than half the medical specialists in Mount Elizabeth hospital are Malaysians.

In Malaysia, one can be a top student in the SPM examinations (equivalent of Singapore’s ‘A’ levels) and that may still not guarantee a place in a respected university in the country such as University of Malaya.

However, these bright Malaysian students are able to obtain a Singapore government scholarship easily to pursue their tertiary education in Singapore.

sang kancil 12 January 2010 at 21:29  


This has been going on for the past 2 decades, at least. The authority in Malaysia only look after the interest of the MUSLIM in expense of the others. Prove me wrong!

antuschool,  12 January 2010 at 21:52  

Dato Sak,

The Malaysian Chinese parents who elected to NOT Send their children to SRK instinctively knew because they chose to pay for their children's education, that education really begins at the home. They know that inculcation of values begin at home.

So, it is about money? What about those chinese who could not afford to pay for education like most of the Malay? Is everything boils down to money?

The other type who transfers the responsibility and transfers also the cost of educating to others, do so as the expense of leaving the inculcation of values at a later stage, though mass production.

Again, this is about money? Because these people could not afford extra cost than that being provided by the National schools, it means that they transfer the responsibilty & cost of education to others? They are not responsible parents when it comes to providing education?

Between food on the table for the family, and education, what would be the first choice if they can afford only one, not both? Did you ever put yourself into their shoes when you wrote this, Dato Sak?

Has there been a study conducted on the apparent "no quality" of the national schools? How many are there in the country compared to SRJKs, private schools etc where the rich & famous send their kids (including top government officials and mentyeris too!).

If the leaders and Malaysians do not work to improve the national schools, who will?

Anonymous,  13 January 2010 at 03:59  

Dear Dato',

This story was shared with me from a man I respected of the Tun Ghaffar Baba era. He passed away in 1992.

"Orang Cina di Malaysia telah sekian lama menguasai ekonomi di Tanah Melayu sejak sebelum merdeka lagi.

Bayangkan lah di tahun 1920an', jangan lah banding kan dengan keluarga-keluarga bangsawan Melayu; secara purata satu keluarga Cina mempunyai "Kekuatan Ekonomi" RM100-00 sebulan dan keluarga Melayu "Kekuatan Ekonomi" RM10-00 sebulan. Keluarga cina dapat mengasingkan sejumlah RM10-00 sebulan untuk pelajaran anak-anak nya yang akan dapat ilmu yang lebih baik daripada keluarga melayu itu. Mereka masih ada RM90-00 untuk pakai minum keluarga mereka. Lanjut kan pada 1940an, anak-anak keluarga Cina sudah berumur 20 tahun dan mempunyai ilmu yang lebih baik dan pekerjaan yang lebih baik dan berkahwin dan akan dapat mengasingkan jumlah kewangan yang lebih besar untuk pelajaran anak-anak mereka.

Majoriti kaum Cina ini ini tinggal di bandar dan kemudahan bersekolah adalah lebih baik dari kampung di mana majoriti kaum Melayu tinggal.

Ingat! Ilmu itu penting, tapi bukanlah segala-galanya. Jangan lah bila dah berilmu dan mempunyai duit yang lebih, hendak berkawan dengan orang-orang kaya saja dan lupakan orang-orang kampung. "Ikut resmi padi, makin berisi makin tunduk ke bumi"!

Sebab itulah Tun Abdul Razak membuat Dasar Ekonomi Baru kerana dia sedar majoriti kaum melayu di kampung amat ketinggalan dan untuk mencapai kesamaan dari segi ekonomi tak tahu lah bila.

Dalam mencari duit itu, ingat kita ini orang Islam; jangan mengikut adat orang cina semuanya halal asal kan duit."

That is his exact words that I still remember until now. His sentences are not structured because he is un-educated malay kampung boy who came to KL as one of many of the urban immigrant (Sekarang ini digelar setinggan bergantung kepada kenyataan parti politik yang kita dengar).

The vicious cycle continues until 2010, the way I see it. The Malaysian chinese are always 2 steps ahead in terms of economic.

I would like to understand better your thought processes with regards to these questions:

1. Dato', what is the statistic "Purchasing Power" of the Malays in Pahang vs the Chinese in Pahang right now?

2. Dato', from pekan Kuala Lipis to Bandar Kuantan, what is the statistic of ownership of office lots and shop houses of Malays vs Chinese.

3. Dato', in your O&G industry (Excluding Petronas; i.e. Exxon-Mobil; Slumber-J etc.), what is the statistic percentage of Malay employee vs Chinese employee" Total Yearly Package? i.e. 100 Malay employees, total pay out package is RM100 mill. 50 Chinese employees, total payout package is RM50 million. Or is it the other way around?

4. Dato', what are the statistic of "Educated, Economically Sound, Professional Malays with Dato'ship to Boot" vs "En-educated (No-University Degree or Diploma sorts of thing), Economically Un-Stable (Kadang-kadang cukup makan dan kadang-kadang tak) and no Dato' ship title" percentage in Pahang.

5. Dato', is there any country on earth that practice vernacular school education along side their federal government education system in Malaysia?

I haven't touch yet on the challenges face by Malays in cultural term of employment, career opportunity advancement and package in the private industry that I had experienced myself.

Is it money, cultural or combination of both or it is just stereotyping the Malay or it is just the individual?

It is really hard to be Malay & Islam in Malaysia right now.


Wenger J Khairy,  13 January 2010 at 05:29  

The depth of thinking behind the SSS crowd is reflective in the comment posted.

Not once did he or she address the issue of competitiveness or the discuss the statistics such as TIMS, nor the frequent change in national school policy. And there was no mention on the quality of graduates that are being produced thru are degree mill. Or a comment on the lack of private investment, which I noted was in keeping with the general pessimism surrounding the future outlook in Malaysia.

Instead there were some pointed remarks surrounding my previous blogs.

I rest my case. If these are the guys who are charting the direction of the national school type education sector, well, then vernacular schools will continue to be appealing to many

Anonymous,  13 January 2010 at 07:32  

Dear Dato,
You hit the nail on the head! Education is much valued in the Chinese community. However poor the family they save and plan for their children education.This is the reason why the Malays can never catch up.
The Chinese community knows the national school system is below par and full of discrimination; like 40% pass mark for Malays and 50% for others.
At the last count you have at least 1.2M Malaysian in Singapore either working or studying. And Singapore would like more. The present population of Singapore is about 5.2m. The target is 6.7m by 2020.
Malaysia has been damaged by the 22year rule of Dr.M; both in economic and education. The most he could come up with is the "Ketuanan Melayu" just to increase the UMNO Malay votes. Recently he wrote in his blog asking Professor Xu Si Zhong to help in the teaching of mathematics in schools. Bloody thick skin! Why ask a Chinaman if you are ketuanan? He should come up with your own or at least seek help from the top UiTM. So what is this ketuanan bullshit then?
He destroyed the education system by shift completely to Bahasa Malaysia.
Tengku Abdul Rahman made a serious mistake in 1969 when he expelled Dr.M from Unmo; instead you should had locked him up under ISA and Malaysia today would be a better country.
Bye Bye Ketuanan Melayu


Anonymous,  13 January 2010 at 10:13  

This year they cut most of the budget for sports for SK and SMK throughout the country.

Anonymous,  13 January 2010 at 13:39  

Malaysia as a multiracial nation is polarised. All because of many imcompetent leaders and UMNO/BN culture that breeds mediority.

Take education as an example.

1. At school level, majority non Malays attend SRJK schools with majority Malays attending SRK. Non-Malays chose not to send their children to SRK as i)the standards has dropped particularly the English language and ii)SRK has become more like religious in nature like endless doa's during assembly, separate staircase for male/female students etc

2. At pre-U level, non Malays go through A-levels program or foundation program of private U (most children of UMNO/BN leaders' and those whose parents can afford the fees are in this category) while majority "pariah" Malays will take up govt matriculation or attend diploma program at'Malay' public colleges with money loaned by PTPTN.

3. At Uni level, most non-Malays went to local Private or overseas Uni. (most children of UMNO/BN leaders and those with parents who can afford the fees are also in this category) while majority Malays attend one of the 22 public U's that are now producing majority of "unemployable" Malay graduates.

Hooray and syabas to Malaysia, a country that will soon be sending maids/cheap labourers to foreign land. What a pity. With abundant natural resources and the good system left by the British we should have been better than Spore. Abuse and corruption over the past 2 decades have ruined this country. And to this very moment we are still breeding mediocrity. Sad but true.

Fair,  13 January 2010 at 13:48  

Just a point of clarification on the results of GCE'O' level in Singapore, the top schools in Singapore are not having this road through the 'O' levels. They do it through the integrated programme where students go through 6 years of education, at the end which they take the 'A' levels or International Baccalaureate. I congrats the malaysians who did well in the GCE'O' levels and most of them are highlym motivated. A true reflection on how well the Malaysians students did is to compare with other cohorts in the 'A' levels. Nowadays we are beginning to see the Chinese from China topping the Primary School Leaving Examination in Primary schools !
We also have Malay students topping the class in PSLE. Education is Singapore is still evolving and teachers and schools are evaluated for their performance very throughly. We also a mentality that we have to compete and be the best or else we will be left behind.

kuldeep 13 January 2010 at 14:34  

My kids attends govt school..a very normal run of the mill neighborhood school.
They got reasonable grades..and more As then I ever had in my own school days (in a premier boarding school,mind you)..
My kids certainly do more complicated maths and science than I ever did at their fact their Form 3 syllabus is more akin to my so called "superior era" Form 5 syllabus.
Their English may not be as good..but its pretty passable.Lots of Koreans,Taiwanese,Japanese,
French Senior Execs that I work with frequently..are even less conversant in English.

Yet the common wisdom is that they are "unemployable"..they need finishing schools to get them up to the mark..and if something is not done,it will just get worse and worse...

I wonder whose benchmark we have to live up to?

kuldeep 13 January 2010 at 14:50  

Current common wisdom..we got to have international standards..we got to hv global benchmarks.

We applaud and measure growth on how closely we can imitate the "developed" i.e create visionary Boards populated by high profile individuals (like the LV boss)..they only need to lend their names not their ideas.

We announce and is not ashamed that we have grown from 5 to 33 i.e from RM 1 million overheads to RM 60 million overheads...with nothing done except imaginary pipelines.

1MDB vs Khazanah

We replicate organisations..the old ones continue ones are created to do the job the old one is supposed to do BUT do it in a new new way.

Its the "New,new and pipedreams "...and if all fails blame it on the Education System.

No,Dato...everything that has gone wrong is because the politicians who are good politicians becomes Ministers who are not good at managing (and with very limited attention spans,never read and prone to being sold the proverbial snake oil).They are the believers of the New New..witness TPM's seeing the light on E Learning recently.They only see the light when shown by foreigners eh...where was he when Tun Mahathir launched CyberJaya?

2 mil pounds Malaysian Cuisine all started with Sate?

Solution:Ministers pls accept that ur not the smartest and are only good at politicking.Leave the nuts and bolts to real professionals...Yes Minister.

Anonymous,  13 January 2010 at 17:29  

Dear Dato,
Could you kindly explain what is SSS stands for?

This is being used several times in the comments.

Anonymous,  13 January 2010 at 19:01  

dear dato,

i think u made some interesting observations.

in my opinion there's a myth about the chinamen that need to be busted:

myth: chinamen send their kids to srjks because they don't want their kids to mix with people of other races and want their kids to know mandarin.
truth: in my father's generation many chinamen send their kids to english schools, in my generation about half of us chinamen went to srks, including is only in the recent decade that we see most chinamen send their kids to srjks. the reason is simple, its the quality of education and how it prepares their children to face the job market. put it this way, many chinamen has migrated or has chosen to live and and work in a foreign country. not many of them seem to worry about their children growing up in a matsalleh society not able to speak a word in mandarin.

i must admit SSS is a noble idea with the most wonderful intentions. the problem with it is it was proposed by a blogger which has posted many radical and racist post. the supporters and comments in this blogs seem to blame almost every single problem in this country at the srjks...a simple example is at fellow commentator kassim's comment: the best remedy to the situation is to stop all aids to srjk since they are already too good and use the money to improve the srk. isn't that obvious?dear kassim, yes, the most obvious and easiest way to overcome your shortcomings is to blame and punish others for being better than u and shamelessly admit it..but don't u worry cos its an attribute uniquely bestowed to many malaysians..

anyway chinamen wont take this as an acceptable reason to close down srjks and turn to sss..furthermore u can't sss when there's no sus(satu universiti untuk semua) or sometimes even sms(satu malaysia untuk semua).

but srjks are not without fault. parents are spending unnecessary money to make their kid's schoolbag heavier. furthermore not many srjks will disclose their accounts to the pibg. some parents have wondered where have their good money gone..long school hours have depleted the important time that kids should spend behaving like a normal kid and unfortunately some chinamen rejoice to that.. and lets admit that too much memorizing and schooling is only going to make your kid a better student, not necessary a better person..and it worries me a great deal that all public education in malaysia is only concerned about the former, not the latter..i think dato u'll agree with me on this.

in short srjk is not the best out there, sadly its only the better of what we have..

have a good day

Anonymous,  13 January 2010 at 20:47  

I am Chinese, my dad sent me to a national school he attended chinese medium school himself. I remember asking him once why he choose to send me to a national school instead of a chinese medium one. He recounted to me the difficulties he faced as a chinese school graduate and how sorely prepared he was for an employment market that requires a good command of English.

So there goes, Chinese do not send their kids to Chinese schools because they reject the concept of Malaysia. We send our kids to schools we think best prepares them for the future. It does not matter the medium, its the quality that counts.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in my SRK, we had a mixed crowd and those were some of the best times of my life and we had our Ali, Ah Chong and Samy moments.

But sadly, as a parent I will never send my kids to a SRK. Like all parents we want the best for our kids, we can't help it.

Anonymous,  13 January 2010 at 22:45  

anon 20.47

u must be in your late forties or older.

i am in the same boat. I cant speak or write mandarin. but my kids will go to chinese primary school and after that to private school

gotta tighten my belts just to see my two kids thru education. lucky if theris anything left after they graduate.

Mahatir never understand, does he?

Anonymous,  14 January 2010 at 10:55  

It is human nature to take the easy way out. If SRKs are no good but SRJKs are good, close down the SRJKs. Problem solved, no more comparison.

Who in their right mind would prefer to pay more to educate their children ? During my time in the 70s & 80s, we did not hear of private schools. Now it seems to be the norm. If there is demand, the supply will automatically appear.

There is this tendency of pulling back the others if we cannot achieve the same. Its a dog-eat-dog world and only the fittest will survive. Continue with this attitude and deny all the signs and symptoms and we will be another Zimbabwe soon enough.

Anonymous,  14 January 2010 at 12:12  


I don't support sss and I'm not even chinese or indian. the people pushing for this are racists and i was surprised at the narrow minded, insular and insulting comments posted in their blogs and by their commentators when i read some of the articles. so nowadays i just don't bother to read what they say. i always wonder how such people hope to convince others of their ideas (which may in principle be good) when all they do is make negative comments and insult others whom their perceive as different from them. there are 2 ways to get a point accepted - either by showing others the good of what we are proposing or by just insulting others. wonder why they don't choose the better way?

Anonymous,  14 January 2010 at 13:26  

wow AA, you are racis man. And full of hatred and suspicious to the Malays.

Why we should have you in the country, To make another chaos?

Anonymous,  14 January 2010 at 13:36  

Sekarang ni tak ramai chinese jadi cikgu sekolah pun.

Mungkin jugak satu faktor. Saya setuju SRJK bukanlah yg terbaik, setakat lebih sedikit dari SRK yg ada.

Tapi nak katakan, mereka nak anak mereka berdaya saing pun tak juga, sekolah china lebih fasih china dari bahasa inggeris, bahasa melayu langsung takda.

Cuma tak faham apa yg ada disanubari hati saudara senegara kita berketurunan cina.

Di satu pihak lagi, selagi disebut cina, india dan melayu, secara terusan mmg ada semacam gap sedikit, kemudian ditambah dengan beza agama.

Sebagai contoh melayu dengan jawa, pun setengahnya dulu ada pandangan tertentu.

Pada saya, beginilah, walaupun sama Melayu pun ada berbeza juga pendapat.

Telah sekian lama, manusia2 di Malaysia ni dah hilang rasa "respect" to each other. Patut kita kembali cara dan moral yg baik dalam anak2 kita dan minimumkan perasaan2 curiga.

Anonymous,  14 January 2010 at 13:51  

Semasa saya bersekolah rendah dulu, saya bergaul dengan kawan2 cina sekolah saya.

Disebabkan akrab, satu hari rakan cina bertanya, adakah mak saya marah saya berkawan dengan nya.

Sebenarnya mak ayah saya tidak marah, cuma menegur dan menasihatkan supaya saya juga perlu berkawan dengan bangsa Melayu.

Rakan cina saya bertanya kerana menurutnya, mak nya marah beliau berkawan dengan saya.

Saya agak terkilan dan hairan mengapa maknya marah. Sy rasa agak sedih mengapa agaknya maknya melarang beliau berkawan dengan saya hanya kerana saya seorang melayu.

Akhirnya kawan cina saya membuat keputusan, katanya saya hormat agama awak dan awak hormat agama saya. Kalau kita pikir semua perbezaan itu mmg kita tak boleh kawan. Jangan jadikan perbezaan itu utk jadi sebab hilang kawan.

Sehingga hari ini, saya masih terkenangkan kawan cina saya itu. Soalan saya, adakah beliau telah berubah pandangan dan masih berasa seperti apa yg saya rasa sekarang.

MalayMind 14 January 2010 at 16:06  

Well, it's up to us on how we want to perceive it but for me, I don't think that this is all about quality education.

Something must had happen that made the chinese community tried to distance themselves from SRK. Of course there are some good SRKs everywhere as much as some good SRJKs if you asked me.

Furthermore, primary education is not as important as secondary education and above. They're just be there for the 3M, remember?

I need to understand why they have closed the door for MCA (politic) and now closing the door for 1Malaysia (social).

I also need to understand why it is racist for Malays to do the same?

Anonymous,  14 January 2010 at 19:32  

Dear Dato

Reading the comments here, I am afraid there will need to be a lot of work (and many more years to mature) to repair the stereotyping, fear, mistrust and blame culture among the Malays and the chinese community. we tend to veer of to communal problems even when talking about education. Education was never meant to be politicised and I personally feel the current crop of leaders will never have the gumption or political will to do just that - To Educate. And Dato may I also add that it was a pleasure reading your articles which are always well reasoned. Thankyou

~CovertOperations78~ 14 January 2010 at 22:45  

Dato' Sak,

IMHO, formal schooling is a waste of time. If I had a choice, I would have gone straight from kindergarten (British Montessori, of course!) to law school. Although I do regret not having been more diligent in my study of Mandarin (I read at Primary 2 level), I am glad my parents made the decision not to send me to vernacular school after hearing stories of how pupils were punished and humiliated daily for low scores and incomplete/imperfect homework.

Yes, the quality of education there is higher, but at what price? Kids who cry and get psychosomatic stomach pains every Monday morning?

Still, I must admit that Chinese vernacular education prepares one for a life of toil and backbreaking work. Many of my friends from vernacular school entered the legal profession with the same quality of spoken BM as your average char kway teow hawker. E.g. "Yang Arif, dalam you punya file takde copy meh?"

Within 2 years, their command of English and BM improved by leaps and bounds and their research skills far surpassed mine (because I kuat lepak, lah). All because Chinese vernacular education ingrained a strong work ethic in them. Therefore, they remain marketable despite all else. After all, what employer doesn't want an employee who finds working 12 hours a day to be a doddle and is willing to come back to work on Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas, annual leave day, the second day of Chinese New Year, whatever?

TheChink 15 January 2010 at 01:00  

I am a proud chinese and can safely say the chinese population in malaysia is dwindling. why? cause we are sending all our kids out of the country. we dont need these anymore. give a few more years, the bumiputras can have all the land to themselves. all the best.

Anonymous,  15 January 2010 at 04:40  

The reason is simple:

There is no TOP-100 higher institution of learning ranking in Asia.

Yes - we are talking about Top-500 & not even one.

Singapore & Thailand has but not Malaysia.

Is that surprising. ? We have tallest building, fastest F1 team, longest shopping mall, bestest satay (?) but not quality education.

We are truly shafted as a nation. as a people.


Wenger J Khairy,  15 January 2010 at 05:17  

On another unrelated matter,

I frequently check out the following

Could somebody plz tell the Asia's No 1 Central Banker to update all the data items and not have some updated for 08, others on 07 and the like.

Maybe thats why FDI is dropping - a tidak apa attitude where we glorify all those in power for sheer incompetence

CYC,  15 January 2010 at 10:53  

Anon 13.36,

Bukan semua dari SRJK tak fasih BM. Cuma kau kurang bergaul dengan mereka. Pada tahun 1980 pun saya pernah mencapai keputusan yang lebih cemerlang dalam sabjek BM peringkat SPM daripada rakan Melayu.

Jangan baca media BM tempatan seperti Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian kerana terbitan seumpama ini hanya merosakkan keindahan bahasa dengan menggunakan bahasa yang entah dipetik dari mana. Macam mana bahasa itu dapat dipertingkatkan jika ia dicemarkan secara beterusan dan DBP pula dikemudi oleh orang orang yang berpandangan sempit.

Anonymous,  15 January 2010 at 13:22  


Bila angka bagi 2008, tak senonoh, biarkan angka 2007 di terbit. Bila angka 2009 tak senonoh, biarkan angka 2008 di terbit. Semuanya OK, no problem.

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