Statement on the teaching of Science and Mathematics in Primary schools

Update: This is the statement I issued today on our party Stand on the teaching of Maths and Science in English at the primary school level.

Malaysiakini (english)carried this statement in this link.

MalaysianInsider carried this statement here.

Malaysiakini(Chinese) has carried the statement in this link.

Merdekareview carried the statement in this link.

The statements are self explanatory:

1.     I refer to the media reports on the 5th round table meeting to  discuss the teaching of Science and  mathematics in English which was organized by the Ministry of Education.


2.     Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Central Education and Knowledge Society Bureau would like to reiterate the stand of Parti Gerakan on this issue; We believe strongly that the teaching of Science and Mathematics at primary level should be conducted in mother tongue.  At the same time, the teaching of English as a subject at primary level should be improved.


3.     English, however, can be used in the teaching of Science and Mathematics at the secondary school and tertiary levels, provided there are sufficient qualified teaching staff to do so.


4.     Our position has been consistent since 2002. We have submitted a memorandum on our position in 2002, and again in 2005 to the present Education Minister. Since this issue is of utmost importance, we  shall submit once again another memorandum on this position of  ours.


5.     Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, as a people orientated party, has always viewed education as one of the most important elements in nation building, and would be happy to take part in any discussion on educational issues as well as any issue affecting the interest of Malaysian people.



6.     We therefore wish to express our regret that Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia did not receive any invitation to this 5th  round table meeting, although according to media reports, about 200 representatives from various political parties and NGOs were invited.


7.     While there was no official invitation extended to Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, we find it strange that according to feedback from other participants, there were seats reserved  for our party.


8.     We discovered that some BN component parties such as SUPP were also not invited despite having designated seats for the parties.


9.     We feel that this will create a negative perception for the parties affected. We would like to  strongly urge the Minister of Education  to carry out a thorough investigation and give us an answer on this matter, and we hope that the same thing would not happen again in future.


10. Notwithstanding this, we shall continue to voice our position directly to the Minister of Education as well as to the public.



1.    有關媒體報道, 由教育部所組辦的第5次英文教數理科政策圓桌會議,已于昨日舉行.  民政黨中央教育及知識社會局, 要在此重申民政黨對這項課題的立場.


2.    民政黨向來主張, 在小學階段, 應以母語教導數理科. 在此同時, 英語的教導和水平, 也需加強和提升.



3.    民政黨也認為, 在中學和大學階段, 如有足夠師資, 則可應用英語教導數理.


4.    民政黨立場, 一貫如此. 我黨曾在2002, 呈上一份備忘錄, 表明我黨的這一項立場. 也在2005, 再次的提呈同一備忘錄,給于現任教育部長. 基于這課題的重要性, 我黨將會再一次 , 提呈這備忘錄給有關當局.



5.    作為一個以民為本的政黨, 民政黨非常關注教育問題, 也非常樂意出席討論有關教育方面的會議.


6.    故此, 民政黨感到非常遺憾, 5次英文教數理科政策圓桌會議, 我黨并沒有接到邀請.



7.    更奇怪的是, 雖然民政黨并沒有被邀請, 在圓桌會議上, 卻有準備給民政黨代表的席位.

8.    一些國陣成員黨, SUPP, 也面對同樣的情形.



9.    我黨認為, 這種情形, 會給人民一種錯覺. 有基于此, 我黨希望我們尊敬的教育部長, 能徹底調查這宗事件, 給我們一項合理的交代. 我們也希望, 同樣事件, 不會再發生.


10.雖然如此, 我黨將繼續直接向我國教育部長和全國人民, 表明我黨對這課題的立場.













128 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Justin Choo
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 11:49:00

    “6. We therefore wish to express our regret that Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia did not receive any invitation to this 5th round table meeting, although according to media reports, about 200 representatives from various political parties and NGOs were invited.”

    There we go again. Not invited, and still want to talk as a member of BN. I feel very sorry for you,Doc.


    I know nuts about education system, but feel that it would be most practical to teach in English, and less stressful and less confusion for the children.


  2. monsterball
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 12:06:59

    I feel sorry for him too!!


  3. Dr Hsu
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 12:20:28

    Justin, experts have proved that for primary education, it is better for children to learn things in their native tongues.

    I refer to the average child, who makes up of 80%, not the brightest 10%. Even Unesco has realised this and has advocated teaching at primary level in mother tongue.

    But english level must be strengthened if the child is in a vernacular school. There must be proper teaching of English as a subject by qualified people, and with sufficient lessons too.

    This is to prepare him for learning science and maths in English at secondary level.

    Imagine a new village Chinese boy who knows nothing about ABCs, and before he can be taught the rudimantary of English like ABCs, he has to learn maths. He will be very confused. He must be taught to understand simple English first before he can understand what is addition and subtraction.

    In urban areas, this is not a problems as most children go through Tadika education.

    BUt at secondary level, Maths and Science should be taught in English since this is a global language and upward mobility depends very much on how a child learns this language.

    An English stream is a different story, In English medium schools, like some of the international schools, the students were exposed to whole day of speaking and talking english, and there are many English lessons, so that the fundamentals of the students in English will be much much stronger. So in this case, starting their maths and science lessons in English and maths after some time in school would be fine

    So I believe that ultimately, it all boils down to choice, the freedom to choose, as this is a different world altogether.


  4. klm
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 12:25:33

    See. Gerakan is even not relevant to the BN government. The message is clear. Why stay?

    This round table meeting is a slap to Koh Tsu Koon.


  5. monsterball
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 12:26:20

    UMNO can go to hell with their race and religion politics…ignoring…the simple basic needs for a small country…like Malaysia… to master the English get the whole world respect great people.
    It is always… giving false hope to Muslims….and 20 years from Muslim can compete with other Malaysians …on International trade….giving reasons …why NEP must continue to help Malays.
    Take out the oil and palm oil exports…almost all other exports furnitures…computers…air cond…are all done with people…with excellent command in English..or by International companies…be it German..British..Italian…or Dutch…….all excellent in English language.
    Look at Proton!! Talk big…invest the best auto making machines….and churned out junks..compared to real International safety standards.
    UMNO is always fooling less educated Malaysians with their unsafe.. sucide cars.
    UMNO leade5rs knows it….yet they close two eyes.
    So….what is English language so important to a government…going all close two eyes…to corruptions…to keep wanting their own race…stay happy ad lazy…not to be smart at all.
    Where does Doc Shu fits in?
    Wasting time….to keep telling him…while two right now…is urging continue be in Gerakan.
    These two ….Observer and JT…are the kind of Malaysian Chinese…that think of themselves..and not as Malaysians.


  6. klm
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 12:28:37

    My mother tongue is cantonese. Can maths and science be taught in cantonese like in HK.per item 2.

    For the Hindi, Telegu, Malayalee etc speakers, Item 2 also apply.

    This mother tongue argument is not so strong.


  7. monsterball
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 12:44:44

    I wanted to say…..all other exports are done by Malaysian Chinese…and not Muslims.
    Doc….said…everything boils down to each person’s choice.
    I am also sad for him…as majority Malaysians are given no choice…no freedom of speech and rights…yet..he is a different world now.
    He is right….one way…..but he forgot…..Malaysians have been guided to live in the UMNO world!……backward….be racialists.!
    Gerakan is supporting it!!!
    This is not about choice.
    This is about real FREEDOM…..almost all other races…never had it for 50 years.!!
    What few Malaysian Chinese….including Doc Shu…well educated…love to use their wits and smartness to survive……while in the land of plenty….like Australia and USA…hard work is enough…all can survive.
    Why do Chinese migrate…Doc..tell me??
    Here…hard work…no can do….must carry balls and that depends of the Lord of the Jungle…like you or not.
    Doc….should go out and SEE to shop keepers….food stalls …THINK why floods and houses falls……….like domino bricks. THINK!!
    Don’t talk….with no feelings for ALL Malaysians.
    This is not about politics.This is about each and everyone love for the country and young people…ALL…no exceptions…not just their relations.
    If Doc…cannot understand this..then there is something very wrong.
    And I fully agree with Justin…Doc is a big hindrance to so many Gerakan members….trying to resign.


  8. A true Malaysian
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 13:09:36

    For Chinese natives, Mandarin is regarded as mother tongue, irregardless whether one is Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka, Hailam, Heng Hua etc, etc. This is because these Chinese dialects have the same set of writing in Mandarin but pronounce in different sound. That’s all.

    I agree with the statement that Science and Maths should be taught in mother tongues at vernacular schools, while taught in English at secondary and tertiary levels.


  9. klm
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 13:56:13

    A true Malaysian.

    What about the Indian? They don’t have the same writing.

    We have to take care of our indian brothers. Gerakan is a multiracial party.


  10. AY
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 14:02:01

    I agree with KLM that mandarin is not a mother tongue . Mandarin, to me personally is a language used, so that all chinese of different dialects can communicate. Now, it’s a very useful language to do business with China. It is because of mandarin language other dialects are dying a SLOW death.
    Most chinese cannot speak their family dialect but speak fluent mandarin.
    “A true malaysian” speaks for himself. As a chinese native, I don’t regard mandarin as my mother tongue but Khek. So what if the chinese dialect has the same set of writing. A child wouldn’t know how to read or write until it’s taught in school. As KLM mention, if cantonese was taught in school, the child would know how to talk cantonese and not mandarin.A child that has not attended tadika or lives in the rural area would have difficulty learning maths and science in mandarin too. Perhaps, it’s the teachers in SRJK who have difficulty teaching these subjects in English. Weren’t these teachers taught English at secondary or Uni level ? Perhaps, they do not have enough opportunity to practice speaking in English ?
    Children attending SRJK would communicate in mandarin to friends and teachers inside and outside of school, infact they would also prefer to read mandarin written books. Teaching maths and science in English is to give these students (and teachers)more reasons to use the English language and to read up more English written books eg a science mags or a sci fi book.
    It’s the urban school children who will have NO DIFFICULTY picking English later in secondary level because they are more inclined to speaking and reading in English, but it is the RURAL SCHOOL children who will LOSE OUT in the long run, if they are not expose at an earlier age. So what if at primary school they are doing fine (mostly objective questions) , later at secondary level when the subjects are more complex and really needs more written answers and explanation(essays, thesis and subjective ) we expose them to writting it in English ?It’s suicidal especially to the rural school children. Bersusah-susah sekarang, senang kemudian.


  11. klm
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 14:16:24

    Just to split hair a little bit. According to experts, written Cantonese is not exactly the same as written Mandarin. It seemed that that are syllables that are not in Mandarin.

    This is to proof that the vernacular language argument is not a definitive one. Hence HK uses written Cantonese.


  12. A true Malaysian
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 14:27:25

    When I said Mandarin is the mother tongue of Chinese natives, I mean the ‘Chinese characters’ that Chinese dialects are based on. These ‘Chinese characters’ can be read in Hokkien, Hakka, Cantonese, Hailam, Heng Hua and so on. So when a child start schooling, it is easier from him or her to pick up Mandarin then any other languages which are so different from ‘Chinese characters’. There are many Chinese natives couldn’t even speak their own dialects, then of course they don’t regard Mandarin as their mother tongues. I wonder if China, a country that is much much bigger in size and population, can use Mandarin for all Chinese natives, why not Malaysia, which is much much smaller.

    As for Indian natives, they are very much in their languages and dialects where there is no standard set of characters that their dialects are based on, because Indian doesn’t has ‘Shi Huang Ti’ who unite China under one standard set of characters, i.e. Mandarin.

    For Indian natives, I guess Tamil is the biggest group among them, and it is for them to decide which language(s) suit them best. I am not able to comment further than that.

    Nevertheless, the government should liberalise our education system, by allowing all languages to prosper, be it BM, English, Mandarin, Tamil and so on. Let people decide which are the best for themselves. That is also the reason why English school should be allowed in our national education system, and let rakyat freedom to choose for their own.


  13. monsterball
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 14:34:37

    Mother tongue arugument…..T.Malaysia and AY are both right.
    AY is talking about his root…so he is right.
    T.Malaysia is talking about China’s government decision….so he is right.
    Just as in Malaysia…our identity should come from…speaking Bahasa…and not individual dialects.
    For ..unification reasons…every country have to have a National language.
    Stop and think…about India. What is their mother tongue…….meaning a language all Indians are united into one.
    It’s not Tamil…but Hindi….Hindustan language.


  14. klm
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 14:39:32

    Sorry monsterball. It is english – not Hindi.
    Did you notice than when Manmohan Singh speaks to all India, he uses English?


  15. klm
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 14:44:34

    In the final analysis, t Malaysian is correct. Liberalise education and let the people decide.

    Otherwise, we will still be arguing the same subject till the cow come home. We will never get to the next problem. And no progress for everybody.


  16. AY
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 15:24:37

    As True Malaysian has mentioned , children read the chinese characters and they understand better. That is provided they are taught to read the chinese character at a very young age. My next question is if they are taught to read chinese characters at a very young age, don’t you think their parents or kindie teachers would be teaching them ABCs too or at least basic english? If these kids attended tadika school they would be taught both. A good tadika school would know what the child requires to prepare the child when they attend primary one especially if it is compulsory. If the child’s parents don’t even have basic english, than all the more we should help alleviate this children’s situation. MCA or Gerakan can assist the rural folks by providing more resources for these children to be exposed to the English language at a very young age too. It’s a vicious cycle but we have adapted well when they made BM a compulsory subject. When there is a will, there is a way.


  17. A true Malaysian
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 15:26:12

    I always hold to the believe that Bahasa Melayu is the lingua franca of all Malaysians, ultimately. But, when can this be the case is up to anybody’s guesses. A time frame cannot and should not be set for this purpose, just like Wawasan 2020.

    I believe in the government should adopt the attitude and mentality in “doing things right and right things will come or realised ultimately”. For instance, I don’t think we can reach developed country status if rakyat don’t change their mentality. The same thing is also apply to Bahasa Melayu as lingua franca to all of us.

    The government should not promote Bahasa Melayu as part of its ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ agenda but sincerely promote it as the common language for all. I read a lot of comments from our Malay brothers that show they regard cinapek as not ‘cinta negara’ because they speak ‘Bahasa Melayu Pasar’, and laugh at these cinapek. By all means, they should encourage them to speak, but not coaxing them to them that they should speak proper Bahasa Melayu. Sincerity is the most important for you to promote Bahasa Melayu.

    Ultimately, whether Bahasa Melayu can unify Malaysians is not based on the language itself, it all boils down to fair and transparent policies, certainly not ‘Ketuanan Melayu’.

    At the same time, we should not promote Bahasa Melayu at the expense of learning other languages. Liberalisation of education system should be the way to go.


  18. klm
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 15:52:37

    I like to ask people to refer to this book by M. Bakri Musa. An education system worthy of Malaysia.

    You can read the preview free in:,M1

    In reference to AY’s argument, I like to make reference to my granddaughter. She is barely 2.

    Most of her utterances are in Mandarin. But she knows all the alphabets, And she is beginning to read in English. Interestingly she can switch between Mandarin and English. She will say no in Mandarin and English. She know many words in both languages.

    This relate to the argument of learning languages in during the early formative years. Perhaps one of the solution to the language problem is in the pre-school (kindergarten).

    Pre-school is not part of the education system. Perhaps, we need to take a closer look.


  19. Dr Hsu
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 16:16:46

    Certainly, klm, the pre-school age is the most receptive period for learning how to speak…In fact, babies learn how to speak by listening and then imitating, and the first 18 months are the most crucial.

    I am speaking from my experience as a doctor who has seen many babies.

    I myself spoke Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien by the time I was school going age because My parents spoke Mandarin to me, but my nanny spoke Cantonese to me and my kintergarten friends spoke Hokkien to me.

    I think what you have suggested make a lot of sense.

    The only problem is that the fees charged by some kintergartens in Malaysia can be as expensive as local university tuition fees.

    And kintergarten is not so readily available in rural areas.


  20. Richard Loh
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 16:19:21

    Teaching in whatever language is secondary to me. It is the quality of the teachers that matter. Just take a peek at our school teachers, are they really in school to teach our children with commitments and impartial to everything else except with their thoughts only in bringing good education to our children.

    I am not saying all the teachers are poorly trained or qualified but a majority of them do not really have their hearts in teaching.


  21. klm
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 16:45:12

    Dr Hsu.

    Take a look at this document:

    The Universal vs. Targeted Debate:
    Should the United States Have Preschool for All?

    The reason why kindergarten is expensive because it is not mandated and not part of the school system.

    If we convert this from kindergarten (play and socialise) to pre-school (American concept) and focus on teaching languages and social skills such as making friends from other races etc, we may have something. This also means specially trained teachers rather than school leavers on temporary job.

    Also, I believe the primary will need some restructuring as kids are entering primary schools with better preparation.

    We can perhaps fund this by not giving not needed scholarships to the rich and doing away with NEP.


  22. monsterball
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 16:56:19

    klm….Go check with an Indian visitor.
    hindi is the National language……but nice to know…politicians encourages everyone o master English India.


  23. klm
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 17:15:35

    monsterball, – you are almost right but not totally right. . See below:

    Republic of India
    Main articles: Languages of India and Official languages of India

    Neither the Constitution of India nor Indian law specifies a National language. Article 343 of the constitution specifies that the official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script. Article 354 specifies that the legislature of a State may by law adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the State or Hindi as the Language or Languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes of that State.[5] Section 8 of The Official Languages Act of 1963 (as amended in 1967) empowers the Union Government to make rules regarding the languages which may be used for the official purposes of the Union, for transaction of business in Parliament, and for communication between the Union Government and the states.[6] Section 3 of G.S.R. 1053, titled “Rules, 1976 (As Amended, 1987)” specifies that communications from a Central (Union) Government office to a State or a Union Territory in shall, save in exceptional cases (Region “A”) or shall ordinarily (Region “B”), be in Hindi, and if any communication is issued to any of them in English it shall be accompanied by a Hindi translation thereof. Section 3 of G.S.R. 1053, titled “Rules, 1976 states Communications from a Central Government office to State or Union Territory in Region “C” or to any office (not being a Central Government office) or person in such State shall be in English. Region C covers Tamil Nadu, Kerala , Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh

    This reflect the issue with Indian vernacular school. If India itself has this problem, what about the Indian schools.


  24. klm
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 17:29:05

    United Kingdom, Foreign and Commonwealth Office: India—Country Profile. Quote: “The official language of India is Hindi written in the Devanagari script and spoken by some 30% of the population as a first language. Since 1965 English has been recognised as an ‘associated language’.”


  25. klm
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 17:31:05

    United Kingdom, Foreign and Commonwealth Office: India—Country Profile. Quote: “The official language of India is Hindi written in the Devanagari script and spoken by some 30% of the population as a first language. Since 1965 English has been recognised as an ‘associated language’.”


  26. CYC
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 17:33:40

    Language should be a matter of choice but not forced upon. The argument of which language is more appropriate in most case will depend on the environment you were brought up and the experience you attained throughout your adulthood. Hence, there is no single perfect answer. However, i must say one must recognize the limitation of our present education system and its set-up. The crux of the issue is we don’t qualified teachers to teach Maths and Science in English. So, why looking at the finger which points towards the moon instead of the moon that should be the subject matter.

    Politics is a tool for the betterment of peoples lives. Politician can only do so with power/authority, this is the basic rule of the game. So, if you resist power you better quit. Doc, you experience it now for not being invited because Gerakan is non-entity in the eyes of UMNO. The same goes to PPP.

    Be a social activist rather than a politician. It will bring more happiness to you and your supporters. Heed my 2 cents of wisdom.


  27. AY
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 17:56:05

    I can’t say a social activist would make a good politician but at least their ” heart would be in the right place “.
    A politician turned social activist must have “a lot of sins to wash” 🙂 Sorry, it may not be true.

    I think our politicians have to be social activist first before they can understand their rakyat and not after that. It feels more like a “gimmick” or a campaign.

    Yes, I do agree that pre school would help a lot. Pre school is expensive because it’s not government funded yet. If it’s compulsory, every child would be given an equal opportunity especially the rural areas.


  28. Rhan
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 17:57:31

    I agree that dialect is mother tongue, and Mandarin (Beijing Hua) is the dialect for Northern Chinese. There must be a reason why Mandarin is chosen as the National language for China under Sun YetSun KMT and there also must be a reason why Mandarin is chosen as Pu Tong Hua under Mao ZeDong CCP even though both of them is not a native Mandarin speaker. Languages have it own life which most of the time are beyond human control.

    Hong Kong formal language is Cantonese that are base on Chinese character but the island do have Cantonese hardcore who insist to write in Cantonese that are base on some very creative so called Cantonese character. This applied to the Taiwan native who speak Min Nan Yu and insist to write in so called Min Nan Yu character. Cantonese song written by Sam Hui and Min Nan Yu song written by Wu Yue Tian is a very good example of this.

    No one dare to tell which dialect would emerge as winner eventually but in order to facilitate communication, which dialect would you choose to be your common language? The Taiwanese author Long Yingtai put it correctly when she says, do you want your books to be written in a language that read by 1.3 billion Chinese or one that only read by 20 million Taiwanese?

    The Chinese need a common language and we decide to choose Mandarin. Malaysian need a common language and this is why we learn BM. The world need a common language and at this moment, English is the common language for the world.

    This doesn’t mean you have to give up your dialect, for me, I insist to speak Cantonese with my kids.

    You have a choice not to learn Mandarin, exactly like you can choose not to learn English.


  29. Richard Loh
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 18:04:34

    “umno is no bully” Badawi statement.

    Well bully or not, you can judge for yourself the way they treat component parties of bn. Either you are with umno or against umno. Since Gerakan is against umno policy of wanting the education to run the way umno wants it, hence no invitation.

    Since Dr Hsu you ask for an answer from them, we can somehow know how they are going to answer you. Either no answer at all or the answer will be, there is some miscommunication, blah blah blah.

    It is very obvious that Gerakan means nothing to them. You want in, you play by our rules if not, just like PPP you can leave. Simple as that.


  30. klm
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 18:38:15

    Rhan. Very enlightening piece. Thank You.

    From my perspective, Sun Yat Sen and chairman Mao really had no choice. They need to standardise the official language and they need a neutral dialect rather than Beijing Hua which is more imperial.

    The root of this goes back hundreds of years.

    I was told that the official language (Yayan) used in Confucius time sounded more like Khek than the mandarin dialects.

    So even in China the official language did changed over centuries.


  31. Frank
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 19:36:26

    Dr Hsu,

    I think it’s high time you use your intellectual cerebral faculty to ‘educate’ your readers and many other bananamen who are so much confused by the difference between – A dialect and a Language! There had been big scuffle in The Malaysian Insiders when that learned Prof. Khoo kay kim spew out his comments that minority should sacrifice for the majority and that vernacular schools should be abolished, according to his proponent, being a great Malaysian historian!

    My understanding is – Mandarin is an official vocal language (pronunciation) which reads from the Chinese scripts or wordings (vocabulary). So when we refer to a language, Chinese is the language and Mandarin is oral, verbally spoken as the official Chinese language. Others like Hokkien, Teochew, Hakka, Hainan etc. are all dialects of the natives’ mother-tongues, they are not the official language!

    When we who are Chinese educated talking so great about the few thousands years’ history and the beauty of the language, those bananamen are still blur blur, wondering why the old doyens Chinese educationists are so adamant and selfish not to give up our vernacular schools, a culture of few thousands years to be given up for the parish pump politicians, someone must be out of his mind and frantically foolish!!!

    It’s time Dr Hsu you refer to today’s Insiders but promise me, don’t take the comments there too seriously, they are all the silly fools who have their ancestors forgotten, their minds have been contaminated! Cheers!


  32. monsterball
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 20:18:26

    Malaysia is managed by racialist idiots …….keep the majority race…the Malays…programmed to be fanatics…lazy and corrupted…with their interpretations that corruptions is not sinful……if corruptions are done…to save one race…or enrich the party that is their Savior……UMNO.
    One must understand the mentalities of the talk about the power of English and Mandarin languages…to bring Malaysia forward.
    They programmed their own race to be stagnant…contented and depending on UMNO…making the Malays learn only Bahasa….others not important….thus forcing investors to read and write Bahasa…while those foreign investors can only understand Manadrin or English…receive replies only in Bahasa.
    They can never reply in Bahasa with the respective translations….to make investors happy and somewhat respecting the said investors.
    All government departments reply only in Bahasa…while receiving most letters in English.
    They are telling businessmen…write in Bahasa only…without realising….Bahasa is simply not good for business people…except dealing with the government.
    So….should the government change their attitudes or should businessmen…submit to their whims and fancies.
    The problem with UMNO…is not realising how small our country is.
    Their logic is…if France uses French…why can’t Malaysia uses Bahasa.
    Previously…one get a reply in perfect English by government dept….on a letter in English to them.
    Nowadays…expect no reply ..or one rarely do so..only in Bahasa.
    One who is an employee cannot appreciate what I write.
    Only businessmen…understands the sickening UMNO mentalities.
    So….if UMNO knows their own kind…..cannot speak good English or Mandarin…what do you you…UMNO will do?
    Encouraging to learn English as second language is another thing. Having real good teachers…is the main problem.
    Everyone talk alot…and pass the buck to another person….on and on..till next election….then decades of talk… actions.
    Yet these hypocrites are he people…sending their children overseas to master English educations…..coming back…speak like an American….Australian or a Britisher.
    That is why……you see so many children of ministers…taking up politics….with those local Malay simply do not understand…UMNO plan to keep them like so..fanatics..lazy and corrupted….depending on UMNO….forever and ever.
    Gerakan is contributing to UMNO’s plan……by always be the lap dog of UMNO.
    And to klm….please note…I am 100% right….that Hindi is official language to India…….period!


  33. AY
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 20:31:27

    they way you are going about it, all hot and bersemangat patriotik , I am surprise you didn’t use your chinese name instead of FRANK .
    You are definitely a “TRUE BLUE SJK CINA ” student.


  34. A true Malaysian
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 20:47:29


    Thanks for the prompt. Just wonder why they do not want to directly comment in Dr. Hsu’s blog. It cannot be they are naive of the existence of this blog, right?

    Nevertheless, those comments also reflect ‘really bad’ impression people had on Gerakan. Can Gerakan just ignore those comments?

    I equally had the same opinion that Gerakan is irrelevant.


  35. Frank
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 22:20:37

    Patriotic is the word used by those bustards who used to fool the nincompoop! Like Taiwan Chen Sieu-bian, he whacked the National coffer clean and strident cry that he is the one who is most patriotic and he is the one who only love Taiwan most, the rest are all traitors and pro-communists!…This is all shits from the scumbags! You still believe such hocus pocus, OMG!

    I paid my income tax in thousands of RM yearly, can I say that I am civic enough? Patriotic??? Go to hell!

    Those who are putting poisons in the roots of the National tree and if you still consider their words trustworthy, you must be still under weaning of the mother’s breasts and sorry for you, continue drifting and whine and pray for the great your Almighty to come for your rescue!

    Use your own brain, don’t stoop so low and change your specs if your eye sight has been short! If you happen to have opportunity, if you are capable, you will not only stoop here whining and talk great about what you know best….the small perimeter above the frog’s well!

    There is nothing so great about this corrupted land, at the pace it declines, we are not too far from being the next to doom! Not even God can help!


  36. Frank
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 23:20:33

    A true Malaysian,

    Whilst I agree that the present Gerakan leadership is to be blamed but the Party itself should be respected for its contributions to Penang’s development, when Tun Lim Chong Eu was at helm! No one can deny that Tun Lim was the one who brought Penang to prosperity as it is today!

    I can feel the dilemma that Dr Hsu is in but somehow I should praise his character to be one of the rare ‘conscience’ in Gerakan suchlike Dr Toh Kin Voon had portrayed! He’s only a grassroot leader and by putting all the blames on him, for the Party top leadership’s fault is something I consider not relevant and unfair for him! Give him some time, only after he proves his leadership and he comes up to be the upper crust, will he has the status to speak for the Party, do whatever necessary to revamp and repaint it to revert to the previous luster, if he has the will!

    The struggle is long term, to rehabilitate the decayed Party needs the equal amount of time for it to rot! May be he’s super fast, he can expedite the process with God’s willing and with our blessings, if we truly trust that he’s the man, endure with him!

    By not giving him chance to try and simply stone killed him with all the uncouth vulgarity, if Dr Hsu gives up cuz he doesn’t owe any damned fool any living, can the armchair critics do anything else… yeas, only craps and nuisance they are the masters!


  37. langchiapek
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 00:38:20

    Dr Hsu,

    The party you are in, is by all means no relevant in the eyes of UMNO.

    you can stop whining here and move on.

    The message is pretty clear …

    Party Gerakan is doomed in the eyes of your own coalition.

    wake up, move out, get a new life.



  38. jason
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 01:13:15

    native tongues is most important for human being when start learning, that is why we call it native tongues. If the math is teaching in other language i scared that it may not that effective.

    For me i start in chinese primarily school and learn math and science in mandarin, even though we may face some problem when we go further study but the foundation of logic is build , hardly facing serious problem.

    I believed most malaysian have proven this result, i just dun know why , the kerajaan out of sudden changed .


  39. monsterball
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 01:15:24

    Frank obviously love to see Doc stay in Gerakan and his reasonings are master strokes of a cunning nuisance crabby person.
    Most of us are not faceless and nameless..especially me…photo and all details known to everyone.
    Crabs are like him….trying to carry Doc’s balls….or saying things…with personal ulterior motives.
    Can Frank declare he is not a Gerakan member….and exposed himself.
    If he dare not…than as a stay as a crab and don’t judge others.


  40. soohuey
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 08:39:47

    Forgive my following comment:

    You know, it would be more useful to discuss how to go forth from here.

    There are now 39 comments and yet no constructive discussion, both on the topic of Gerakan and English in Malaysia.

    All I see is name calling and bickering about things that are unimportant and off-topic. No intelligent discussion. This is exactly how Malaysian politics and their resulting policies have become, and I’m sad to see it here as well… Sorry.


  41. Rhan
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 08:57:07

    We shouldn’t use the phrase officer language or national language too often, it would become a very sensitive issue, and this is the reason CCP adopt the term common language (Pu Tung Hua). I remember when I was young, Mandarin is called the national language (Guo Yu) because we tend to follow Taiwan (KMT) description. Sun YetSun did propose to make Cantonese the national language and he even try to exclude other races as part of China citizen, meaning to says China is belong to the Han ethnic. But all this happens during revolution period. Hence I shall conclude that Malaysian mindset is 100 years behind and still going through a revolution because we allowed our leader to keep on shouting officer religion, national language and privilege race even though knowing that the ultimate aim is to continue stealing from us.

    I find it very offensive when people use the term banana as I believe this is totally against our wish to go for a diversity system. To be fair to the English educated Chinese, their mother tongue is actually English. But I also notice that some English educated Chinese have a very bias view toward us from the Chinese educated stream. To me, their mindset is no difference from the gangster in UMNO but with a more pleasant packaging.

    Gerakan should stay in BN. In Malaysia, the political scenario requires balance or we call it the middle way.

    Yes klm, the mother tongue and even the cultural preservation argument is not strong but this are the best reason we could find for the sake of our next generation education. Anything the devil touch will turn into shit, shall it take us another 50 years to learn this simple lesson?


  42. A true Malaysian
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 09:24:25

    It is sad to see that our government do thing on ‘ad-hoc’ basis. They are still discussing which language to use to teach Science and Maths in vernacular schools even though the new school session will start very soon.

    Let us not be so emotional here, we should ask what intention does the government has on its decision to teach Science and Maths in English. Is it to improve the command of English or to help students understand well the syllabus of both subjects.

    If the intention is to improve command of English, then by all means, we can do that by putting more efforts in promoting English speaking in the vernacular schools and train up more English teachers for that purpose.

    So, the one that introduce this is Mahathir, and he said this very clearly, government’s intention is to improve command in English among Malaysians.

    But, the vernacular educationists, easpecially the Malay and Chinese groups, have voiced out their concerns that such policy has resulted in poor understanding of these 2 subjects. Should the government accepts in good faith the findings of these education groups instead of playing politics here, especially by inviting political parties to the round table discussions.

    So, the government is playing politics all these while, instead of looking at education point of view. Very said indeed, right?

    As for my case personally, I have no problem in this as my kids can speak English well and can adapt the environment, but we should seriously look at a wider anger of those students that are not expose to English since young. I believe, this group of kids is the majority, especially the Malays.

    Umno does not encourage Malays to learn English, this is what my impression on this. Why? For very apparent reason.


  43. A true Malaysian
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 09:30:53

    My comments above are for primary school level. I agree teaching Science and Maths in English at secondary and tertiary level.

    These huh hah are the results of abolishing of English schools by the government. As a result, Malaysia is lacking far far behind. I am sorry for this.


  44. A true Malaysian
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 11:14:37

    “Teaching Science and Maths in English was the brainchild of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to improve students’ proficiency in the language.” …….Malaysiakini

    “Critics have claimed that the policy was introduced as part of the government’s plan to phase out vernacular schools.”…….Malaysiakini

    Are both paragraphs above indicate our government is playing politics in education? If yes, should they continue playing politics?

    Come on lah, our children are the victims of these. Those can afford private education couldn’t care less on this as their children are not victims.

    Just tell me, what is the reason why you do not want to emphasise on the importance of English in our education by having a more serious efforts in promoting it, instead of using Science & Maths. Are the teachers involved proficient in English to teach effectively?

    I have seen comments that a Malay lady teacher taught her students ‘tolak’ means ‘push’ instead of ‘minus’.

    Please save our children instead of your political interests.


  45. AY
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 11:40:29

    Rhan, I agree about some english educated chinese being bias against Chinese educated, however it is also true that some chinese educated are also bias against the english educated. I have seen both sides. To me it’s a normal human behaviour and it’s an ugly human behaviour. Who do you thinking created the word “bananamen” and uses it in an insulting manner ?
    If Frank doesn’t agree with the term “patriotic” used, he could explain in a civil manner . As far as I am concern, there is such a term as patriotism. If what he has been ranting about is not patrioitism, please do enlighten me .
    Also Frank, I do agree to disagree. What about you ?

    It’s also a fact, a lot of English educated chinese send their children to Chinese vernacular schools to learn mandarin, so obviously this logic about bananamen being blur- blur about the role of mandarin language is not true and is insulting .

    Another matter is, I don’t understand what’s all the ho hah about.
    Most of us here , chinese native, did not say to abolish mandarin language but asked that science and maths be taught in English for more English exposure for those who SELDOM have the opportunity to do so.
    Don’t talk about the HIGHER EDUCATED chinese that has the opportunity to go overseas or university only. Check out those LOWER and MIDDLE class chinese studing in vernacular school that left school early, after SRP, SPM, UPSR or PMR.They really have difficulty communicating in English.
    Just an example, most SPM holders studying in chinese school (especially those in rural areas or small towns ) couldn’t apply for call center jobs because they can’t speak a decent English although they were looking for those who could speak english and mandarin too.
    Those working in the supermarkets and shopping centers (not the upper end ones) also have difficulty and they speak bahasa pasar. So these are the ones that are neither here nor there.

    Last of all, has anybody actually seen the maths and science taught in primary levels starting with primary 1 ?
    I suggest you go see the books before commenting
    It’s so basic and kids do not need to have fantastic english to do well in these subjects.
    It’s like kindergarten level for primary one .
    It’s like teaching the english subject but with some science information. It would definitely increase the child’s vocalbulary if not the grammar etc.Science subjects are also taught better with more hands on than theory.

    p/s When the previous government abolish English medum, it’s not only the Malays that lose out, the chinese and the indians too.
    Think about it, who was way ahead in front, excelling back then in the English language. it was said that the vernacular schools nearly died a natural death back then. They than introduce BM for a more level playing ground. But I guess they never foreseed that English would have deterioted so much and both ends, especially those who do not have the privillege to go further than form 5, for whatever reasons , lose out in the long run.


  46. klm
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 11:43:41

    We have serious problems with the education system. But none so serious that we cannot solve with trusts between all parties. Until and unless the govt can restore the trusts, not a single suggestion will work.

    The first party that need to work on the trust is the BN govt, the minister of education and officials of the ministry. A keris waving minister of education do not create trust.
    Then DJZ and other political parties must do their part.

    At the end of the days we need strong and sincere
    political leaderships.

    Unfortunately, I dont see these. The only solution, let each schools and parents choose which language to teach these subjects – at for the primary schools.

    That way almost everybody is happy. We have a slight screwed school system, but workable.


  47. AY
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 12:12:23

    A true malaysian, you are more politically incline when discussing these subject matter, whether you are consciously aware or not. Some of us here are debating about Maths and Science in English because we genuinely feel it would improve these students chances in mastering the english language while being fluent in mandarin. But there are others who questioning what is the government’s motive ?Who cares what is their motive ? The question is would these children really stand to lose if they learned Maths and Science in English ? Would it be an advantage ? Yes or no ? That’s it. No need to dissect further.
    I am speaking as an ordinary citizen who is not registered to any party.

    Logically, what you mentioned that English language should stick to being taught during English lessons.
    My question is, how many hours are put into the English language in school. Secondly, would you agree that to at least speak and write a decent English would require plenty of practise ?Even in the case of maths subject, vernacular school practises a lot to be skilled at it. Go ahead and do the chinese method of counting or calculating but ensure these kids understand the question.
    That’s it. Why have to think so far like the government’s ulterior motive. As far as I am aware it also has an imapct on the national schools too.


  48. AY
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 12:15:21

    A true malaysian, you are more politically incline when discussing these subject matter, whether you are consciously aware or not. Some of us here are debating about Maths and Science in English because we genuinely feel it would improve these students chances in mastering the english language while being fluent in mandarin. But there are others who questioning what is the government’s motive ?Who cares what is their motive ? The question is would these children really stand to lose if they learned Maths and Science in English ? Would it be an advantage ? Yes or no ? That’s it. No need to dissect further.
    I am speaking as an ordinary citizen who is not registered to any party.

    Logically, what you mentioned that English language should stick to being taught during English lessons.
    My question is, how many hours are put into the English language in school. Secondly, would you agree that to at least speak and write a decent English would require plenty of practise ?Even in the case of maths subject, vernacular school practises a lot to be skilled at it. Go ahead and do the chinese method of counting or calculating but ensure these kids understand the question.
    That’s it. Why have to think so far like the government’s ulterior motive. As far as I am aware it also has an impact on the national schools too.


  49. klm
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 14:22:23

    Dr. Hsu

    This is a question I did not want to ask but am very curious to know.

    What is Gerakan leadership’s response to this snub by the Ministry fo Education, by not inviting the party to the round table?


  50. Rhan
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 14:55:31

    1) Is the 40th comment a constructive one?

    2) Gerakan Statement is good enough and in line with the wish of the Chinese Community.

    3) If we will to put Hsu under Koh position, I will not see much difference. Don’t we forget that Koh is one of the four gentlemen and I believe his conscience level should be above if compared to most of us here. But conscience was never the requirement for Malaysia politician unless the voters are willing to tell the politician that we want conscience, through votes of course.

    4) I know everyone could offer their ideal solution on education system but must take into consideration of the Malaysia political reality. I think it is not sensible to mention English education system especially the one implemented in Singapore. That small dot is one obvious indication that shows the failure of the Malaysia majority race. Whether you like it or not, Malaysia education is a politic issue, therefore there is nothing wrong to be political incline when discussion is done on this topic. Are we not commenting now on one statement issued by a political party?

    5) We might get the chance to enjoy the English education if we are fortunate enough to get one open minded leader but it may not last long. No one could answer back this simple question “if you have no objection to learn all the subject in English, why can’t you learn it in BM?” Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa is still an acceptable reason and furthermore our constitution guarantees our rights on mother tongue. The moment you forgo this right, it lost forever. Mahathir all this years never tell us the importance of English until his retirement. I am sure the future power crazy politician is no different from Mahathir in his earlier year.

    6) Chinese may not be inferior as compare to English. The Han character is a unique writing system which are totally difference from the Romanise system. Some research did tell that probably the Han Yu writing system improve our usage of right brain and this is the reason why Asian that are with the same writing system would perform better in mathematics. 数风流人物,还看今朝.

    7) My son gets A for both math and science in UPSR, in Chinese language of course. For a kid who doesn’t have a grasp of English language without tuition and smart brain, learning maths and science in English in primary school is a waste of time.

    8) Zhou EnLai use the word bananaman on LKY. Zhou EnLai seldom use harsh language unless the other party acts in a disgusting and arrogant way. LKY deserve it. And maybe some of the English educated here in this blog deserve it? Btw, bias view is not a good description, a better one is look down.

    9) Study mathematics and science in English would improve the English communication skill? Hmmm….I don’t know. Our concern is not only the average kid can’t speak proper English, and if furthermore need to take more than a minute to total up a two meat one vege mixed rice, then we really could remove the quota system or other discrimination policy, we are all now have equal brain.


  51. A true Malaysian
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 14:57:06


    I think you are not even clear of my stand on this issue, please take time to read all my comments.

    But to summarise for you, my stand is :-

    (1) Science and Maths in vernacular school should be taught solely in mother tongues, i.e. Chinese & Tamil for reasons that I already explained. Please read through.

    (2) Science and Maths in secondary & tertiary level should be taught solely in English

    (3) All type of schools in our education system should emphasis in improving the standard of English

    As to your ‘more political incline’ comment, it is up to everyone interpretation. The fact is, can you rebut what I commented were not true? If not true, which part and why?

    Dr. Hsu’s Form is a socio political site and I can tell you I and Dr. Hsu can be true of friends even though he is in Gerakan, while I am not in any of these political parties.

    Please chew my comments all over please.


  52. Frank
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 15:54:17

    A true Malaysian and klm have touched on the point of politics having roiled up with education. That’s to say that the racist power that be, the wily kris brandish- er Hisupmuddin is on the verge of wining with his ‘divide and rule’ repertoire, a salvo which he plunged into the Chinese community and blasted all the remnant unity that had remained into fragments! Sadly, amongst the diverse mentalities that all along even the so-called Chinese community leaders have got such a wide split and fission, even in the round table conference, discording ideas prevail and unresolvable! This is exactly what happening now!

    Be it Chinese educated or English educated, we are all Chinese! The only difference is our mindset mentalities and the experience in lives that we have gone through. I agree with AY, when the chips are running low, we are faced with the politicians with racist agenda, we must be enduring with each other, to agree to disagree and find a pivot of balance, for the facts of life is, the more splintered we are, the more we all will be incarcerated in the evil plot of the racists, Umno in particular! They are the politicians whom they learned from their forefather British mentor to harp on the archaic policies, to divide and rule, the minority could easily be suppressed and controlled which is also concurs to Mao Tze-tung’s ideology, Umno have learned it practicing it!

    Klm spoke it all! The concerns of the old doyen Chinese educationists, their reputation has been smeared so thick blue and had been tagged ‘chauvinist’, stubborn and recalcitrant, by the racist politicians who are no better than the real chauvinists themselves! They are so-called the parish pump politicians, much more parochial in mindsets and bigoted! The old doyens are in defense of the cultures of the old grandfathers, which they have believes and loves as though which are heir looms as precious as the Chinese blood! They have had their points to be steadfast and behave intransigent for as long as survival is concerned! They are protecting it as if they are protecting their own lives in perpetual to their next next future generations, and this is enshrined in the Fed Constitutions! Their struggle is not baseless, for they have seen the needs of the same creed and that results have been proven, the education system they are professing works and worked out many meritocrats, whom today benefit, with the globalized trend, China has become one of the economic giant in the planet, Chinese language to become influential as the world’s second language is something near to be seen and looming!

    They see the advantage for Malaysian children, we have English educated Chinese and if both can be entwined into a fabric of better resilient and value, why should it be destroyed by the autarchic power that be, which ultimately will foredoom our children into isolation and get lost in the turbulent red ocean competition! Aren’t we talk about the blue ocean ideology and concept now amongst the global citizenry?!

    AY may have a misconception and ill-perception over the Chinese educated brethren, hereof I apologize if my use of ‘bananamen’ was felt to be insulting and offensive; i have no whatsoever intention to be biased and I respect those with their choice of rights to education, the important thing is, be whatever differences we have in religion and education and even lifestyle, we are all homogeneous, we are all flown with Chinese blood. Do you and our Malay brethrens agree, assimilation of different genes into unification of character or demeanor is totally out of issue and granted impossible! Apartheid is out of place in this globe!

    Respect begets more respects, we must admit the fact that we are multi-racial and multiculturalism in reality and in decree, to live in harmony we ought to encompass and embrace all differences, tolerance is the key word!

    The issue of unity via education sounds noble but it’s a sheer political histrionic, more so it’s a tool tainted with ‘Mahathirism’ venom! Think sensibly, who was the culprit he intended to synchronize us with one single language when he and the cohorts were sending their children to Japan, Germany and London to be ‘westernized’ and study multi-lingual languages? After the standard of English was found to be deteriorating, whereby it was their plan initially as an creation of mediocracy policy and more mediocrity would enhance their supremacy which they in their whims and fancies, is an elixir to their power grips, in perpetuity – he/they are now strident-cry, English is as important as was his PM post! What a freak!

    We should not engage amongst ourselves unduly in all these rant and rave and befallen into the political conspiracy of kill in carnage by using the Chinese chopper, the yielder will be Umno! When Umno successfully politicize the issue for the ulterior motive to regain the defected dissidents into fold, that is the time we will lose bad in chips!…What benefit we will then have for your children, the next generation?!


  53. A true Malaysian
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 16:27:55


    Exactly, our children are the ones affected. Make sure they are protected from all these unnecessary politics.


  54. AY
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 23:15:31

    congratulations your son gets A in UPSR for Maths and Science studying it in mandarin. What is the reason for emphasing that he scores A learning these subjects in mandarin other than sharing the good news with us ?
    Was there any question that these subjects cannot be effectively taught in mandarin as well in English ?
    I reiterate, I suggested that these subjects be taught in English for the exposure purpose.
    You expect me to believe that an educated person like yourself that writes a pretty decent English, your son doesn’t have a grasp of English language ? Okey, let’s say I believe you, in truth, I am not worried that YOUR SON would have difficulty grasping the English language later on. As Doc Hsu and I have mentioned it’s the rural folks. To add, kids whose whose parents who are not so highly educated and the early school drop outs. Do you agree that there a lot of poor uneducated chinese .
    I can understand CHANGE can be rather intimidating especially if it affects us.

    Another matter, the term “bananamen ” is pretty harmless but it’s pretty insulting if you label them as blur-blur and gangster. I do believe we can take offense.
    Like you RHAN, I just think those who are arrogant and disgusting on both sides (eng n Chinese educated) are just too much. But you won’t hear me calling them names and labelling them in an insulting manner ?

    True Malaysian, I was very specific. I am only talking about your “politically incline ” comments. The rest of your comments, some I agree to a certain extent but most of it no. I do agree that logically English language should be taught as a subject by itself especially Literature, composition, grammer….. however I also explain the logic for it to be taught in maths n science taking into account of our local situation. I am sorry if you felt insulted when I pointed out that you were “politically incline “, although I can’t understand why ?
    Okey, I better stop here because this discussion cannot get any more constructive if people chose not to focus on the subject matter at hand. It’s not about english educated versus the chinese educated. It’s about teaching maths and science in english at primary level.


  55. A true Malaysian
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 00:16:01


    Frankly, I still can’t understand you, but since you said you are ‘specific’, then just let it be.


  56. klm
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 08:33:20

    Here in Malaysia, we are still arguing what language to teach maths and science. Like Deng Xiao Peng famously said, it does not matter whether it is a white cat or black cat. It is a good cat if it catch mice.

    I like to post the first page of a report called

    Capturing the Potential of Science
    and Engineering
    Submission to the Shadow Cabinet
    Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)
    Task Force
    Chairman, Ian Taylor MP
    Autumn 2007

    I believe the remarks capture the essence of economic and social well being of a nation in the 21st century economy.

    Malaysia is in a perilous condition. It is positioned not at the low end of industry due to it cost and not at the high end of industry due to lack of knowledge workers.

    Our vision2020 will not be achieved. I believe this is due , not to the financial crisis as stated by Mahatir, but by govt policies and incompetent implementation.

    Vision2020 is replaced by corridors.

    Enjoy. But note it talk of UK situation.

    Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics are crucial
    Our country’s competitiveness, creation of wealth, quality of life and sustainability all depend on science,
    technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).1 The critical importance of STEM to our economy and to
    our society means that the improvement of our national performance in STEM must be at the centre of the next
    Conservative government’s policies.

    Science and scientific research are worthy of support in their own right in any advanced society. Yet more and
    more, the ability to capture ideas and discoveries that flow from research will be the test of whether we can
    sustain growth and prosperity. Current levels of UK innovation are insufficient to drive productivity growth,
    and to close the productivity gap versus key competitors.2
    In this context, we consider that there are two major reasons why STEM is crucial.

    First, science and engineering are critical to UK competitiveness and thus to the creation of wealth.3 We do not
    believe that because there has been economic growth in recent years, all is well; we cannot be complacent, as
    the UK could do much better We believe also that the role of STEM in improving competitiveness is

    As basic manufacturing dwindles in the developed world and moves increasingly to seek lower cost bases, it
    will be our ability as a nation to work in and with the latest knowledge and technologies that will determine our
    economic performance. The demand for highly skilled, knowledge-intensive employees grows every year;
    without these skills being available, the economic well-being of this country will suffer. The Leitch Review of
    Skills suggested that the demand for science and technology professionals and associated staff would rise by
    between 18 per cent and 30 per cent between 2004 and 2014 compared to 4 per cent for all other occupations.4
    Increasingly, we rely on talented people who come here from overseas – not a secure situation in a competitive
    world market. Too often, overseas students educated in Britain return to their home country after completing
    their postgraduate studies, taking their skills with them.

    A modern business is not tied to physical assets or raw materials, and can locate its operations anywhere in the
    world. This means that countries offering the most advantageous infrastructure and fiscal, regulatory, and
    cultural environment will attract these businesses; and will therefore benefit from the job creation, tax revenues,
    spin-offs and supply chains that they generate. Keeping and attracting entrepreneurs and STEM-based
    businesses are critical to maintaining a growing economy. Developing appropriate STEM skills in our
    workforce is key – and this benefits all sectors, including the vitally important financial, creative and service
    industries upon which we depend.

    Second, STEM is crucial because the big political decisions facing the UK over the next twenty years are
    STEM-related. How governments deal with these issues has an impact not only on public opinion of the science
    involved, but also on business’s judgment of the UK as an attractive place to conduct research. Simply to list the
    challenges facing today’s politicians is to demonstrate the importance of science. Energy, biofuels, security,
    space and earth observation, climate change, genetic modification, mapping the human genome, dealing with
    pandemics, health science, communications and IT are just some of the more obvious areas that are crucial for
    the UK.
    Having a more scientifically literate population will not just be an advantage but a requirement. It would be
    assisted if we could inspire young people to appreciate that if they want to do something positive to improve the
    quality of life in the world, studying science is a tremendous advantage.
    STEM is the centre of a network, connected to so many things around it that it influences, often without us
    realising it, the making of policy in a vast number of areas.


  57. Rhan
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 09:05:46


    I believe most of us who are against the teaching of maths and science in English talks about this issue from the political point of view. No one could guarantee the existing policy would be sustain, those who go through the flip flop of our government policy have the same impression that this is a political issue. You insist it is an education issue? Fine with me.

    The bananaman is not an issue at all simply because in the next 10 or 20 years, I believe most Malaysia Chinese would have a good grasp of our Mandarin language. This term is often used to label on those Chinese who impose their Westernise value on us.

    From an education point of view, my major concern is as what told by you, the kid from rural area with an average mind. We do not want to have a generation who can’t speak English and at the same time can’t do simple arithmetic. I respect how my form three dropout classmate explain to me his business project in detail figure form without a calculator, of course not using English, we spoke Hakka.

    Dropout is an education issue, not a language issue. I am from a small village whereby 30% of my classmate stop schooling after form three and 90% didn’t further their education after SPM. Do you mean we could solve this issue through the teaching of maths and science in English? What is so great about getting a job in a call center or a English speaking sales job? Do you really believe the teaching of maths and science in English will turn them into a English speaking workforce? I have many female friends who can’t speak a decent English is now teaching maths or science in Chinese Primary school, we always joke about the whole issue but deep into our heart, we know the kid suffer.

    Btw, I am very happy with my son result, I told him my expectation is A in maths and science, the rest is not my concern. And he get an additional A on Chinese language. Many will see three A as below average by today standard but I know if he could do well in math and science, he should have no problem to survive well in future.



  58. Dr Hsu
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 11:16:38

    I am still of the view that to learn English, give more English lessons. The crux of the problem is we have lost a generation of good english teachers.

    The so-called english teachers in some of the schools cannot even speak coherent English, and it is really a case of the blind leading the blind.

    We need to source good english teachers, from Singapore perhaps, from Indians perhaps. Education , like healthcare, is an area where prudent spending is justified.

    If we do nothave good teachers, merely reading from books would not do much to improve English.

    We must establish an English speaking milieu in order for students to learn fast.

    Ultimately, It is still choice and quality . Let the parents have choice and let them choose what is best for the children, because each family may have different outlook and different levels of language skills.

    To limit all population with just one stream would do more harm, just like converting english schools had done to our english speaking skills.


  59. A true Malaysian
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 11:45:35

    Good one Dr. Hsu. I always having the same view as yours. The only is that you can write better.

    Just curious, why your views are so persuasive to me (I do not know about others) and yet not so persuasive to Umno, Gerakan and other BN parties.

    Or are they too proud to acknowledge your persuasiveness, i.e by brushing aside?



  60. Frank
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 11:47:16


    Congratulation to your son’s good results scored in Maths and Science, being a Chinese educated!

    Children nowadays have many choices to choose their courses on the tertiary level. Maths is of paramount importance when they cannot enroll into science stream, they can still go for IT, economics, accounting, business admin. etc., without being able to go for courses that required distinction for science subject!

    Like my daughter, she did not opt for science stream in her SPM but scored 10As, she was from Penang Chinese Girl’s School (SJK). I helped her to apply for Matriculation College and lucky enough with her good results of 10As, she got it and during the entire 1 year college life, she has no problem with her maths and other subjects! She completed the MC with 4A flat, which allowed her to choose freely either to enroll UM or USM with priority to those sixth form students! Now she is in USM taking up Accounting course. Recently, she just rounded up her 1st semester exam and the results revealed two days ago, she got 5A&2B+! A result I consider happy enough albeit she’s not so satisfied!

    Based on my personal experience, I have seen all my children, all from SJK schools, they have particular flair in Maths, my son is a M&E Engineer graduated from Singapore U is very good in Maths and now he is working as the Fund Manager in Sing. using a lot of maths in doing research and juggle with the figures. Perhaps, this is due to only those Chinese educated students who had chance to learn maths through the theory of ‘abacus’ which only our forefathers passed down from the ancient China?

    So, I see no point that we should harp on the issues of whether which media is good for teaching science and maths. The results speak and it’s up to individual to have his right and choice of media schools, each has its advantage! For Chinese vernacular schools, I still feel that it’s only fair to leave it to the autonomous school boards or trustee of the schools to decide based on the status quo, afterall, they merely received less than half the subsidy from the Ministry and they have been used to the syllabus and teaching methodology all those while, let alone the outstanding performance of the students! In Penang, BM Jit Sin, Chung Ling and PCGS, all these SJK schools, haven’t they proven that their students score topnotch results in all the exams -SRP, SPM,STPM ?! Only our sub-standard power that be keeps flip-flop, trial and error, hit and run with all these, drifting principles! Just like the Bolehwood celebrities’ marriage, sleep together for less than months, changed their minds within days and divorce to pursue somebody who is more handsome or sexy! Is this the type of freaky education system that they are vaunting for?! I am sick with the mediocre bunch of nerds who claimed to be our leaders!!!


  61. klm
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 12:10:10

    Who care if you learn maths and science with a white cat or if you learn maths and science with a black cat. The only important thing is that your learn maths and science.


    BTW. This financial crisis is caused by the exotic maths that is used in the financial instruments that were sold by the fund managers.

    Without this maths, there will be less of these funds.


  62. A true Malaysian
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 12:16:45

    Frank and all,

    I am pouring cold water here. We need to check the ‘quality’ of As that our children scored.

    I did not score many As, but my Bs or C3 may be equivalent to the As now, if not better.


  63. A true Malaysian
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 12:45:10

    sorry, I am not pouring cold water…


  64. Frank
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 12:46:16

    A true Malaysian,

    You are probably right! And for your infos, truly there are two types of marking standards in the MC, A’s have two different weightage too! The A’s now in academical standard may have dropped drastically compared to min.10 years ago that’s inevitable! Thanks to the Big Mouths Leaders they implemented policies in a manner like kris brandishing! Neither here nor there – the blind leading the blinds!


  65. monsterball
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 14:30:08

    Not one talking here realized…that’s exactly what UMNO love to read….Malaysian Chinese …fighting to preserved their mother tongue…their cultures…thus behaving more like a Chinese than a Malaysian.
    Yes…UMNO is dam smart and did succeed with the help of MCA and Gerakan
    While all here are against MCA and Gerakan…they are playing to the hands of race and religion politics.
    However….at the back of their minds…they will vote for change in government…as the sixth sense tells them…something is wrong to talk like that….disuniting Malaysians….yet it is right.
    Well guys…you need to become wiser and have more practical experiences.
    That means more sufferings and sacrifices.
    Unfortunately…some will find ways…. not to fight….but play agree to disagree….to nature their natural selfishness…becoming…to each his own…yet urged others to sort of die for them.
    If this message sounds Greek to many…I am not surprised….as people like Rhan…I knew long ago…is a typical Chinese racialists….that contribute nothing to unity.
    Don’t hero worship your race..which infact…..not your race at all!!
    You are ALL Malaysians!!
    Your ROOTS is Chinese. Why talk so much of your roots….when unity have not been strengthened??
    Expose MCA and Gerakan.
    Ah..but then….some are actually supporting MCA and Gerakan….especially guy like Rhan…..typical MCA supporter.
    Until and unless…everyone think.speak and behave like Malaysians…there will be no unity…and impossible to have…under UMNO.
    Hold your horses tongues..don’t fall into UMNO’s traps…battliung race issues. That’s what theyb love..each talk big about their races.
    Did you read Indians ever fight for their great cultures?
    They went to jail….for the sake of Malaysians!!
    Just look at how they fought for their temples and schools….talk less…take to the streets!
    Most Chinese are selfish gas bags….with big mouths…busy bodies….but will not die for the country….talk and plan migrations.if everything fails….that’s how selfish and cowards they are.
    Dr. Hsu knows what I am talking about….since he did identify the 3 kinds of people in Malaysia.


  66. monsterball
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 14:31:47

    to nurture….not nature..on above message.


  67. A true Malaysian
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 14:42:16

    Dr. Hsu and all,

    A MUST READ comment that I come across in The Malaysian Insider in response to an article titled “Sistem Pendidikan Kita Hilang Arah”, happy reading

    “Sistem Sekolah Kebangsaan Merosot
    written by Tembok UMNO Johor Akan Pecah, December 18, 2008
    Rakyat bukan Melayu tidak hantar anak-anak mereka ke SK sebab sistemnya yang merosot. Pergilah tengok SK tanpa lawatan rasmi. Kamu akan nampak ada guru yang duduk dekat kantin merokok dan minum. Kerja sekolah tak ada. Murid-murid lari berkeliaran.

    Yang lebih menyedih ialah 30% anak-anak di SK ialah anak-anak Indon. Kita impot Indon berjutaan. Kepintaran mereka lebih jauh di belakang dari anak-anak Melayu. Kita pula kena bagi subsidi pelajaran mereka. Anak-anak Melayu pun dah tak sempat jaga.

    Jadi, silap siapa ? Silap apa ? Yang hilang arah bukan sistem pendidikan. Yang silap ialah polisi-polisi UMNO. Guru-guru Bukan Melayu terpinggir. Yang boleh mengajar dan mentadbir dipinggirkan sebab warna kulit. SK diIslamkan. Bukan kita tidak sanjung Islam. Tapi mesti ada tempatnya. Pergilah tengok SK dalam kawasan YB. Ada tulisan jawi dan Arab. Kita sepatutnya agongkan Bahasa Kebangsaan. Kalau YB seorang Bukan Melayu, mahukah YB hantar anak-anak YB ke sekolah SK ?

    Tahu tak YB, untuk lulus Matematik Tambahan SPM, hanya 13 markah. Inilah sistem UMNO.

    Sistem SK sudah rosak dan busuk sampai nampak tulang. ”

    As indicated, this was written by Tembok UMNO Johor Akan Pecah

    It is really nice to know got such Umno member.


  68. klm
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 17:25:54

    Time to migrate ?


  69. petestop
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 18:40:50

    A True Malaysian,

    Interesting article, at least there are some in UMNO who open their eyes.

    It is true, it happened to my former primary school, once carrying the name of Methodist English School.

    It is anything but English nowadays, neither is it a Methodist School.

    I for one would send my children to vernacular school as the standards and the competition level there is still maintained, teachers are motivated and the headmaster result oriented.

    In an increasingly competitive world, I want to ensure that my children is progressing, instead of further sliding down the slope.

    You can call it “kiasu”, I would call it striving to be better. Like Andy Grove (former Intel head) says “Only the Paranoid Survive”

    Without a bit of kiasuism, you are but subscribing to tidakapaism.

    It is this tidakapaism pervasiveness in SKs that turns off most parents.

    Being from SKs myself, I can give one example of a Maths teacher who incorrectly draw a Sinusoidal Curve (she drew a Cosine instead), that a student have to point out her mistake.

    And she is a graduate from our local University.

    Need I say enough.


  70. A true Malaysian
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 19:35:07


    Pak Lah said Malays have changed. Malays even want to carry DAP flag.

    But, Pak Lah only correct partly, Umno grassroot Malays also changed.

    KT ‘bye’-election, Umno sure koyak like that.

    Wait and see….


  71. irika
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 20:39:31

    some one mentioned in hk, they use written cantonese, pls be aware that written cantonese is only for “pasar use”, official document still hv to use english or standard mandarin chinese.
    Science n maths can be learn in any language if we hv enough good teachers to teach these in the desired languages.
    Average Sek Keb Ren, hv very low standard now!


  72. klm
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 20:41:22

    If you think you have seen a bad teacher, look at this.

    (The Malaysian Insider) Singapore – Most of the documents used by Malaysia to make its case on Pulau Batu Putih at the International Court of Justice were produced by Singapore.

    We have stupid, lazy and incompetent govt servants and minister in the foreign ministry,too.

    It is all over the place, not just education. Best is not to know. Rot in peace.


  73. klm
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 20:50:50

    From Sin Chew

    KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi emphasised that the New Economic Policy is no longer in existence today ……

    How come UiTM cannot admit non-bumi?????

    Wonder what is Gerakan’s response.


  74. klm
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 20:56:48

    irika. you are nearly right about hk. but not fully right. see below official position of HK govt. Official language are Chinese (not mandarin/putonghua) and English. Chinese seem to mean Cantonese and Putonghua.


    (22/F and 23/F, High Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong)

    Chinese and English are the official languages of Hong Kong. Committed to openness and accountability, the Government produces important documents in both English and Chinese. Correspondence with individual members of the public is always in the language appropriate to the recipients. Simultaneous interpretation in English / Cantonese / Putonghua is made available to meetings of the Legislative Council and Government boards and committees as needed


  75. Frank
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 00:45:22

    irika, klm,

    Yeas, prior to HK was taken back by China in 1996, I remember, I was making a police report in Kowloon Police station and it was made in Cantonese and written in Cantonese also. Luckily I know Chinese language, I was able to read and understand most of the contents. After 1997, when China took over HK, I believe they have changed their official (written) language to universal Chinese language and their official oral language is still remained as Cantonese. They call Mandarin as Putonghua 普通话。Correct me if I’m wrong………


  76. AY
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 00:57:45

    True Malaysian, I am sorry if I cannot get any clearer but if you read Rhan’s reply to me (1st pharagraph which pretty much cover’s the gist of it. I do understand you stand on the matter.

    Rhan, I agree drop out cases is another problem altogether but the number of dropouts will increase if Maths and Science are taught in English at SECONDARY LEVEL ONLY . I will explain further at the last Pharagraph.

    Next question, do you agree that this SRP and SPM holders did not benefit much from learning English during English class at primary and secondary level? Do you agree that, if the could speak and write a decent English they would have more job options ?

    Rhan, I am just using the call center and the supermarket sales promoter jobs as an example only because I have personally encounter such situations. I am not giving examples from a book.
    So pardon me for my limited scope or poor examples.
    These applicants met most of the crtiterias, results weren’t bad especially maths, pro active, pleasant courteous and excellent mandarin but they could not answer well in english and couldn’t understand most of the questions asked . We just couldn’t take in these applicants although the call center were specifically looking for mandarin and english speakers. You would think that only those SPM holders have a problem ? Would you believe it , that a US graduate also had difficulty speaking English although she wrote fine. Apparently when she was in USA, she only mixed with her own fellow malaysians. I guess she didn’t get enough practise conversing in English and there wasn’t a need too when she kept to her own group.

    During the school hols I worked in a departmental store for extra money. I knew this chinese educated girl, SPM holder, who was very pleasant and helpful. Back then, I couldn’t speak fluently in mandarin but I could understand okey because no practise to speak mandarin.
    She helped me with the mandarin speaking customers. In return, I helped her with those english speaking customers . She was hardworking and always asked me to teach her english . She also insisted I speak with her in english and she would attempt to reply in english. She was never embarassed, if she made a mistake . She was adamant to learn english. Perhaps, to improve her chance to get a better paying job ? Should we deny her that, just because she didn’t get a chance to go for higher studies ?

    Rhan , thank you for your honesty about those primary teachers that can’t speak decent English . This confirms what I feared most. Could it be this very reason, they resist the change or perhaps just one of the reasons.So we protect the system and the cycle continues. We will continue to have the next generation of chinese educated teachers teaching in the primary vernaculars schools who can’t speak decent english ?

    Some people said that the change proposed by the goverment is politically motivated. It maybe true and it also may not be true. Did it occur to you, the same can be said for all those who are against the change. It brings to mind that they are resisting the change for their own political reasons too. Their survival depends a lot on their relevance to the chinese . This again maybe true or it may not be true. That is why I try not to bring in politics, because I am no mind reader .

    Again, I reiterate, there was never a question that science and maths could be effectively taught in Mandarin as well as in English . Also there was never any question that vernacular schools have excellent results. Perhaps, someone can assure me that these students are doing fine in written and oral english too, at least SRP or SPM level ?
    I would really appreacite this.

    Last but not least, why I support that Maths and Science be taught in English from primary level. Maths and Science subjects itself, at primary level is very simple. Maths and Science at secondary level is more complex, more complicated and more sylllabus to cover. The exams at secondary level would require a lot more in depth reading and more worded answers eg Science .
    Again citing examples, a secondary school teacher is very frustrated teaching students these subject in English because although he is tri lingual his students were pretty much mono or dual lingual and almost all can’t speak decent english. Do you recall those THICK BIOLOGY books. You think these students can cope ? If they can’t cope at secondary level they will be another statistic in the drop out list .

    So for those who wants these changes done at secondary levels only means less practise , less exposure , less time to use the English language and to incalculate the habit of reading useful english materials .


  77. Gary Yeoh
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 01:23:54

    The arguments raging on this topic are all evidence of how successful the racialist policies of BN parties have been.

    I am ethnically Chinese, was sent to an English school whilst the rest of my siblings went to vernacular Chinese. This happened largely due to circumstances not of my parents choosing. Growing up, I had to faced taunts from many of my own ethnic group. Even now, I see this between “English” and “Chinese” educated chinese. Why is there a need to continue an education system that breeds such chauvinistic attitudes? It seems to me if we wish to claim this land of ours, we must learn to develop an “Anak Malaysia” system.

    As much as the claim that learning in primary is best taught in native tongue goes, there is a flaw. For most Chinese children, native is our dialect. Chinese (Mandarin/Putonghua) is as much a foreign language as English, Malay or Tamil. I hope the Chinese will at least accept this fact. As a Hokkien, Cantonese may just as well have been “French” to me when I was a child.

    If I am not mistaken, the most receptive and formative period in a child’s life is up to ages of 10 or so. Perhaps more so for linguistic skills. Are we not shackling our children with our lack of imagination with misplaced arguments and implanting seeds for future racism between ethnic groups?

    It seems to me that what is more crucial is that schools must be competent and have good teachers. If vernacular schools are better, is it language or more simply because they are better staffed? I doubt it’s because of Chinese being used.

    I was educated in English school, and I don’t regret having gone there despite being called “banana”. The joke to me is on those that used that phrase against me. After all, at least I am “white inside” as in “pure at heart” and not “yellow” all the way through. Sorry, bad joke, but can’t resist the racist punt.

    Preservation of our right to learn our ethnic language (note, I don’t mean dialects) can be achieved within an education system that is based on Bahasa Malaysian as the primary language of instruction, with enhanced English as well as other ethnic languages taught by trained language teachers at primary. This will provide the basis of all ethnic groups to learn together, fostering an environment less likely to be exploited by the bigots and chauvinists.

    Allow greater scope from secondary upwards for schools to develop stronger emphasis for ethnic language studies to be taught. Let parents and society have greater choice then that enhances the richness of diversity without the dangers of predisposing the young when they are most vulnerable to being implanted (intentionally or otherwise) with the racist and chauvinistic tendencies.

    Isn’t a Malaysian that has strong and true bilingual, or even trilingual skills be a better cause to champion for? Do we have the political and intellectual courage for this? When will we leave behind our “siege mentality” and champion for a future that our children will not continue to fight battles that have been going on since Merdeka?

    The real fight if for an education system for all Malaysians, stripped of all the nonsense that have been allowed to prey on our children since the mid 70s. I have given up on MCA, and if Gerakan’s statement is anything to go by, then they are no different.


  78. Rhan
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 10:14:57


    Haha! Everyone ignore your pointless provocation and now you pick fight on me…..again? Ok lah, we Chinese still adhere to the tradition of paying respect to old, I try to do my best to make you feel not that lonely.

    My understanding of being Malaysian should include my rights to preserve our culture, language and religion, if you disagree, that is your problem. If today my wish to learn my native language would become a issue, tomorrow makan babi also would become a issue, and in future to practice Buddhism would also become a issue. I know many loves to talk about the Singapore model but did we ever consider our Malay friends feeling towards Singapore? Go and talk to Singapore Malay and find out what they think and how many of them migrate back to here? Many of them would tell you TAR made a silly mistake. Unless we are willing to be treated like the Indonesia minority to give up their language and culture, otherwise our chances to continue learning English might be vanish as well. My opinion is a straightforward one, preserve our stand on diversity and probably English will stay. You don’t have to agree with me, as I said, it is not my problem at all.


    Maths is not the culprit, the one who create this financial turmoil is the blood sucker who wear an expansive designer suit, speaking the would most admired language and sweet talk the poor into believing that they are the savior of the world in the name of democracy and capitalism. Nowadays they don’t use gun and battleship, instead they make us into believing that their values is the best which of course include their language. My European boss put it best when we decide to transfer our insurance coverage under AIA, you trust the American? He asked.


  79. Rhan
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 10:56:35


    Good to hear that there are still many Malaysian like you who understand where we stand, and great to have scholar like Kua Kia Soong who may not know how to write his name in Chinese language, but willing to stand up for our rights.

    Hong Kong is very unique, most of them from this place act and speak in a arrogant way but we must respect their spirit and determination. They have the willpower to go against the very powerful Communist on many issues and insist to continue with the Cantonese language. Even though they made a mistake to change their language system to Chinese after their return in 1997 but immediately revised the policy after they realise that there are still huge demand from parents to preserve the English language. If I am not mistaken, they allow the parents to choose either to go for Chinese or English stream and Cantonese is still the main language for communication purpose include subject like maths and science.

    You have to agree with me on one simple point, no one here tell English is not important. Our difference is what are the best way to achieve our objectives without let go of what we are strong at.


  80. klm
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 12:10:15


    The PhDs in maths and engineering are the technicians who created the toxic financial papers.
    The blood suckers who wear an expensive designer suit sold them. The stupids who wear equally expensive suits bought them.

    Without the maths, there will be less of this mess.
    The blood suckers have less products to sell.


  81. Frank
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 13:40:30


    Last night, i brought my family to a show titled – 叶问 (Ipman) which is a movie which depicted a Chinese kungfu master who had gone through the Japanese occupation and carnage in China, for 8 years how the Chinese was tortured, down trodden and they turned to retaliate and fought back to defense their prides as the patriotic Chinamen, with the Chinese spirit until the surrender of Japan in year 1945-08-15, war ended!

    I can see the same spirit here in the ideology of the Chinese Educationists, they hold on proud to their cultures, Chinese education is part of the great cultures, for thousands of years still in prevail, uprisen in the current trend to become one of the worldwide recognition in terms of its cultural value and usage by billions of population in the global village! It’s of proven value socio-economically, it’s not for me Frank alone who can propagate the ‘greatness’ of Chinese culture, for being a minute sand in the deep blue sea!

    Many buddies out there may wish to tag me ‘chauvinist, racist or even unpatriotic’, even our beloved Umno MPs whom they are the real racists would have wanted to chase me back to ‘tiongsan’ and fangs at me like I am a leftist, since communist is no longer relevant!….But, why I care, as Rhan has told off that Monsterboy, it’s not my problem, it’s yours myopia that you have to look out to!

    Who else in this Country of mine who befits to judge me unpatriotic when I do everything to prove my patriotism, I pay my taxes, I obey the laws here like any other law abiding citizens, I respect our National Language, I respect our King, Raja Nazrin is my idol, Raja Petra is even more iconic to me!…I portray as a civilized and an abiding citizen of Malaysia when working as an expat in foreign land, felt proud of being a Malaysian Chinese gaining more respects for the Nation when my foreign subordinates have such a high yield respect altogether admiring the demeanor as a helpful, knowledgeable and magnanimous Malaysian I was in their perception! Sorry if you consider me boasting but that was the fact, when I was in Vietnam! Who else in this Land got the right to question my right as a Malaysian with my birth certificate to prove my birthright as anak Malaysia?! Probably our future PM was also born in the same Maternity Hospital but on a different bed! We are all the same, only those Umno bigots who might have said – “Look, to be a Bangsa Malaysia, you must only speak one language, eat without babi or lard cooked rice or dishes, wear sarong and songkok, paint your yellow into brown, must always bow to us whenever see the crests or ‘paku’ and address us Tuan!”

    Is this the way I can only prove my patriotism to the Country, or rather it’s only a paranoia, an evil megalomaniac mindsets that ever have persisted, caused to be the so-called ‘supremacy’ cerebral thinking, an idiocy of the highest order?! I will say NO, I do not address to ‘Tuan’ to anybody else except voluntarily to those I respect from my heart, those who are benevolent to the peoples, RPK is one of such virtue, and to none other than my King!

    I am a Chinese, typically racist and imperishable unless my Chinese blood is all being siphoned and transfused with the gene of pig, I will then still be racist, I will still call myself pig, for having the gene of pig! Is this my fault, or the great Creator’s fault?!…

    That’s what in Malaysia, an irrevocable fact prevails, we are multi-ethnics and we are multiculturalism, respect begets more respects, agree to disagree, tolerance is all we need to ensure we stay all in together in this gifted Land peacefully and in unique harmony! Forget about assimilation or apartheid, it won’t work! If the most fiendish and barbaric Japanese those days couldn’t conquer and annihilate our forefathers, no one in this planet can ever think of depriving our rights to live as a Chinese, be it we are Vietnam Chinese, Indon Chinese, Malaysian Chinese or Thai Chinese…….! So Chinese treasure Chinese cultures, Chinese education, Chinese religion etc down the list, what’s wrong with us?! Have they not enshrined in the Fed Constitutions as well??!

    For those who wish to be subservient and give up their Chinese dignities, you are most welcome as it’s your exclusive rights but don’t ever behave like that Monsterboy, challenge the Chinese for a dual, thinking that we are soft, we are cowards and only you are strong but you are very wrong! Have you ever heard of an adage – ‘Even the worms will turn, the rabbits can bite’! Watch out your language!


  82. klm
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 13:42:27

    This is an intro to HK education from a govt web site:

    Dont you think we need to reform chinese education system in Malaysia. Our chinese education is stuck in the old Koumintang period.

    Hong Kong’s Education System
    When you think of education in China, do you imagine groups of glasses-clad youngsters copying thousands of characters, learning by rote?

    That’s ancient China! We’re in Hong Kong, remember? While rote learning was popular in the past, modern Hong Kong has embraced critical thinking and creativity in education. Recent reforms have brought Hong Kong’s curriculum into line with international standards to turn out well-rounded, capable students. From 2000 to 2006, Hong Kong’s schools underwent a major overhaul in curriculum, methods of assessment, and language instruction. Student-focused changes moved away from exam-centered study toward whole-person development, namely Moral and Civil Education, Intellectual Development, Community Service, Physical and Aesthetic Development, and Career-Related Experience. …….


  83. A true Malaysian
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 15:46:27


    You are right. Each of us does not need to subscribe to the other people’s definition of ‘patriotism’ or ‘cinta negara’.

    Just choose, a ‘Mat Rempit’ or ‘Cina Pek’. Who is more ‘cinta negara’?

    You are always a ‘Anak Malaysia’, no one can deny that.


  84. Gary Yeoh
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 18:11:55


    Just wonder how you can on one hand acknowledge the right for people to defer from you views and on the other imply that you if you are ethnically chinese and don’t agree with your arguments, then one is being subservient and giving up Chinese dignities? The strength of Chinese culture rests on it not ramming it down others throat. It’s in the quiet display of dignity. I for one do not deny my Chinese ancestry nor it’s culture. I am just concern at how Chinese in Malaysia are going about promoting it and alienating others within their ethnicity and wider.

    To the rest against Frank, True Malaysian etc, playing with words and attacks that provoke is hardly a fruitful way to engage debate.

    Alas, the racist policies we have all being brought up under will continue unless we can find away to establish a level playing field for all children. AY presented a view that is worth thinking about.

    I hope our pride for Chinese Culture and “dignities” can be exercised with the deep wisdom and patience of the sages that we all know about.


  85. A true Malaysian
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 20:34:29

    Gary Yeoh,

    I do admit I provoke sometime. But my so-called provocation is for the purpose of opening up people’s mindset. Some people’s mindset have been ‘indoctrincated’ for far too long where illogical can become logical.

    You don’t want to see ‘stale’ mindset, don’t you?


  86. klm
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 21:57:53

    Like George W. Bush, Badawi is spinning his successes to have legacy.

    One of the latest spin “NEP no longer exist”.

    What is Gerakan’s response to this?


  87. Gary Yeoh
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 23:11:49

    Well True Malaysian,

    Accept your point on provocation to open up mindset. Certainly stale mindsets should be exposed to air for regeneration.

    So, what’s wrong with fighting for a competent primary education system that provide for Bahasa Malaysia medium of instruction as well as giving emphasis for teaching of the major languages lessons as core subjects?

    Before Rhan and Frank jumps, I am also suggesting the secondary schools be liberate to allow widening of curriculum to provide for those parents that wants their children to have more of their preferred “cultural” heritage taught. Would this give the choice that we all should have?

    Still maintain that as a Hokkien, Mandarin would have been “Greek” to me. Writing in pictorial characters or roman alphabet makes no difference to a child and if I can recall, me when little. What matters would be the parents at home. Do they accept or reject what the child learns.

    I recall having more fun than my bro, trying to copy pictorial characters and having knuckles rapped of sloppy writing. But really, it didn’t matter we both became educated.


  88. A true Malaysian
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 23:38:37

    Gary Yeoh,

    Nothing wrong. Bravo. That is what I want.

    By the way, I am not sure how you look at Ong Tee Keat. His press conference on PKFZ has let me down. I thought he is the only ‘righteous’ man left in MCA.

    All because of root cause. Get rid of root cause is the key to a prosperous Malaysia.


  89. monsterball
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 03:59:03

    Wow…..Subject of education and mother tongue are so dear to the Malaysian Chinese…that got most of MCA and Gerakan members using this every successful try and lure voters to support MCA and Gerakan again.
    UMNO uses race and religion.
    MCA…defends the rights of the Chinese.
    Rhan …..that MCA man..sure love this post!
    People ignore me…Rhan? OK la…you plenty influencial man…….one who never walk the talks at all. I know Rhan for ages.
    Silence for years…now back?
    Come election time..lets see…who is ignoring whose advises…..and who love race politics anymore.


  90. monsterball
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 07:32:58

    So simple…clans like hakka….hokkien…their hakka and hokkien dialects…are their mother tongue languages.
    Mandarin is the country’s chosen unification official language..for China.
    Yet some of you guys….taking advantages…promoting the race identities and make sure Malaysia is what UMNO and BN wants.
    Such are the kind of sick ..cunning…selfish so cal…Malaysian Chinese….that makes us…never be united as Malaysians…..falling into the traps of UMNO..MCA and MIC race politics.
    Worst of all….toothless Gerakan…the biggest hypocrites joined the BN…for total selfish personal benefits…..never for Malaysians…..acting and boastful talking…with no actions at all.
    Dr. Hsu’s blog is now…dominated by MCA and Gerakan commentators….attracting people like Rhan…whom I recalled has migrated??
    He loves to talk Chinese culture with one overseas Malaysian at Malaysia-Today blog…….some years ago.
    Both exposed…both no more… one is back here.
    Don’t be fooled by anyone…who lead Malaysian Chinese to be more Chinese than being Malaysian.
    Malaysian Chinese will die for our roots and identity…….but we will not fall into the traps of UMNO and BN…race and religion politics.
    Rhan is starting it again.
    What do you think we are walking all the talks now for??
    But we don’t walk to say..we are protecting the Chinese and Indians. We walk to say…we are protecting Malaysians…thus a free Malaysia.
    Sickening to read people like Rhan…hero worship one race…one culture.
    Such are the kind of people…Malaysian is not united at all.
    Reasons are said over and over again…no need to repeat.
    To sum up….it is Justin Choo who said…why talk so much at Dr.Hsu’s blog….same subjects ……over and over again.
    And may I remind Dr.Hsu…..I put out insults and facts..all lumped into one…to expose UMNO balls carriers..particularly…MCA…..Gerakan.
    Most responded to me,,,.were asking me take medicine…saying I am synile old man…idiot I am…not them.
    Not one….responded with a rebuttal to what I have written…and he should direct his warning to apply..”I MAY” .to these guys clearly.
    If I am part of the “I MAY”..treatment….then go to hell with his blog!
    I am sure…the last sentence……please Rhan..most of all.
    Freedom fighters are not hypocrites!!
    We walk the talks….and you got a better democratic county right now.
    Be grateful and shut up!!
    Lets battle how to unite everyone as Malaysians and free Malaysia from the evils…that MCA and Gerakan have contributed.
    Or put out post..”Are MCA and Gerakan contributing to a disunited Malaysia?”


  91. Rhan
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 08:23:11

    Frank / A true Malaysian

    Yes, we are all Malaysian, our way.

    Regardless if Chinese have a great or doom culture, long or a short one, as long as we wish to preserve it, the government has a duty to do so. If the East Malaysian aborigine have similar wish, and again, it is the government responsibility to help preserve their culture and language.

    Talking about movie, did you notice that no matter how successful the Chinese actor be it Michelle Yeoh (杨紫琼), Chow Yun Fatt (周润发), Donnie Yen (甄子丹)and Jet Lee (李连杰), they will be forever a Chinese Kungfu master, a Communist spy, a investigator send by the China government and very sure a Chinese in a Western movie? Stephanie Sun (孙燕姿)have to sing in Mandarin no matter how fluent is her English, her fan is definitely Chinese from greater China or South East Asia, I believe all this has to do with culture.

    We can’t expect the Malay to have the same unforgettable and bitter experience towards what the Japanese did to us, and we may not fully understand the Malay hatred toward the Communist and Bintang Tiga. Therefore as written by Frank, tolerance and agree to disagree is still the way moving forward.


    Are you sure DAP and PKR have a different stand on this matter? I think the only party you can join to help achieve your version of Bangsa Malaysia is through UMNO. But first of all, find ways to become a Bumiputra, there are many easy route to do this, go ahead to do us the non-UMNO Malaysian this favor, please.


  92. Rhan
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 10:14:26


    Did Frank and me say it is wrong to fight for a competent primary school system? But first of all, don’t you think our government with all the resources should first indicate to us the expected level of competency through the national school? The Chinese school may not be perfect but we still have sufficient dedicated teachers to cope with our present requirement. What make you think the existing quality is maintained after the changes? You must remember there are many unemployed graduate out there, this graduate can’t speak a single Chinese word but have no problem to spew out a sentence of one or two in English. All of them could be our future mathematics and science teacher. Base on what we experience in the past, don’t you think we should play safe and be prudence?

    You don’t see a difference of pictorial character and Roman alphabet? I respect your choice, can you respect my?

    I agree when you write “our pride for Chinese Culture and “dignities” can be exercised with the deep wisdom and patience of the sages that we all know about.”, I seldom see Malaysian Chinese “boost” our culture or civilisation except at a time when we need to elaborate for enhancement in inter-race understanding purpose. I believe what Frank did here is to educate some Chinese our pride, and it is solely for Chinese.


  93. klm
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 10:34:25

    There has been a vigorous debate on being Chinese and Chinese culture. I would like to provoke some self examination on these matter.

    1. Did you realise that “China” as a country do not even have a name until the 20th century. Zhongguo as a term was never properly defined till the republic.

    2. What is a Chinese? Han, Manchu, Mongols, or one of 56 different ethnic groups.

    3. Technically, we are Huaren. Not Zhongguoren.
    So we most of us are Hua or Han people. Our culture is Han culture.

    4. What we hold dear as chinese culture is what our parents brought from China when they migrated to Nanyang. For the bapa, chinese culture was Ming culture. For most of us, it was the Qing or Koumintang depending when they arrived here.

    I may be wrong. But it is my 2 sen worth.

    BTW. I am a beginner in ancient chinese history pre-historic to the Han. So, I interested in any lecture.


  94. monsterball
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 12:36:20

    Rhan…..You have revealed yourself pro UMNO…and obviously MCA member.
    You are blind and cannot see the 12th election…so may millions Malaysians gave you a chance to live in a more democratic Malaysia.
    Reveal yourself more.
    Are you living abroad?
    I am an English educated man and have studied the history of China…..through dozens of historical and classic books.
    If one wants to know more about any Chinese subjects…just read more and nothing is impossible.
    Don’t be spoon fed always.


  95. klm
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 15:10:18

    Chinese educationalist Loot Ting Yee, 80, announced his resignation from all posts effective Sunday (21 Dec). (including DJZ)

    Maybe that why DJZ is hard to change.


  96. AY
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 15:44:24

    Here we go again delving into politics again.
    First of all, I am all for protecting our chinese culture ( but Buddhism is not synonymous to chinese people only, the same can be said for Islam is not practised by the Malays only.
    China has plenty of muslim chinese too)
    However being english educated does give me some “westernised” ideas. Back in my school days, I was quite a rebel and blind obedience to my parents just doesn’t make sense, although I do love them.
    Filial piety and obedience to our parents are said to be chinese culture too but I do believe a lot of chinese (both english and chinese educated) are not practising such culture these days. To say that these culture belongs to the chinese only , is also untrue. The malays practise it too, however the number of chinese that put their parents into the old folks home are also mostly chinese ? But of course, putting them into the old folks home is not cheap and it doesn’t necessarily mean chinese are not filial.
    Chinese are too busy working and we do not have the means to take care of them ..etc..etc…..
    Whatheverlah the reasons…let’s just say times have changed… Even in China, the chinese have open their doors to the westerners and they are also influnce by western culture.
    Would you say a culture would not evolve as time goes or due to local conditions. A good example would be intermarriages between 2 people with different culture. A muslim chinese in China practices what culture ? Pardon my ignorance.
    Resistance to changes is futile. If we think by isolating our community in the name of protecting what is “rightfully ours ” ,when we should be sharing it with the rest, we are wrong. It’s like eradicating the plaque by quarantine, which is not a long term solution.We should be finding a cure for it. I say, we educate the rest of our culture instead of “monopolising” or keeping it within the community.What say you ?


  97. klm
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 16:14:53

    AY. You asked a very penetrating question.

    “A muslim chinese in China practices what culture ?”

    I don’t think you are as ignorant as you claim.

    My 2 sens worth.

    Beside the Islam practices, a Muslim Chinese would practiced the tradition of the ethnic group he or she belonged to. A fast summary:

    1. Chinese refer Islam as Hui’s religion. Coastal Hui people are desendents of Arab traders. Norther Hui people are mongols, turks etc

    2. Uyghur in XinjKiang

    3. Some coastal muslim has cantonese culture

    Even chinese culture is not same for all chinese.


  98. Dr Hsu
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 16:22:50

    klm, NEP was ‘renamed’ National Deelopemnt policy but the same policy remains.

    NEP is supposed to be for restructring society at the same time eradicate poverty IRRESPECTIVE OF RACE..

    The policy was hijacked and becomes a policy to enrich certain people.

    I am all for affirmative action to help the poor, but it must be based on social strata. By all means give help to those living near poverty line. By all means lift the standard of livings of rural people, but please do not in the name of NEP , gives contract to cronies, give scholaship to millionaires, give discount for housing costing few millions…. That is not in the spirits of the original NEP.

    This is my stand and in fact Gerakan has resolutions calling for review of NEP. The grassroots , as far as I know, are mostly for abolishing the NEP, and replace it with a need based policy.


  99. Rhan
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 16:24:14

    klm, I think you shouldn’t have problem to google for a better answer. Anyway, my view.

    1. China does have a name, Zhongguo or Hua Xia. I think you are right to say Zhongguo was never properly defined, I think at that time, most country is without a proper official name, and nationalism is a twentieth century ideology.

    2. Honestly I don’t know. I am confused toward the term Chinese as well, does it mean language or native in China? All the 56 ethnic is Chinese but this definition will change from time to time. As I said, Dr Sun tried to exclude other ethnic as Chinese and found out later that this is not sensible to his revolution struggle.

    3. We are Huaren of Han ethnic, and of course not Zhongguoren. Most Huaren is culturally bond to China, nothing to do with race and patriotism. I believe Han is also mixture of difference race if you care to read the China history. The Tang emperor was never a pure Han Chinese, apart from this, we must not forget China was once under the Mongolian and Manchu.

    4. Ming / Qing / KMT is still an extension of the ancient Hua Xia culture. Emperor might be different but people and life remain alike. I think Malaysian Chinese preserve much cultural practice that is lost in China under CCP, which are slowly revives today in the mainland.

    If you are referring to Chinese school education system, I agree that DJZ is hard to change, but this also applied to DAP, MCA and Gerakan. All of them must accede to the wish of Malaysian Chinese community. Look Ting Yee is a well-respected educationist but sorry to say, he is just another human being like you and me, Chinese have the habit of over glorified leader.

    Btw, the Malaysian Chinese culture is very diverse from China, our thought process is totally difference. We do not practice isolating at all. Maybe our problem is we do not have a clear understanding of what construe a Malaysia culture and what is mean by Bangsa Malaysia.


  100. AY
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 16:44:44

    Rhan your reply to me :

    You have to agree with me on one simple point, no one here tell English is not important. Our difference is what are the best way to achieve our objectives without let go of what we are strong at.

    My reply to Rhan :

    Rhan, can you elaborate on what “we let go”
    Your concerns are, we will have to sacrifice something which we are strong at, if Maths and Science were taught in English .


  101. Rhan
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 17:11:08


    I overlook. For science, my objection on English language is mild as compare to maths. I don’t know about you, but until today when I do arithmetic in my mind, the language is definitely Chinese.

    I believe language does play a role here, i can’t prove it, merely my feeling.


  102. klm
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 17:21:50


    On your last point that we may not have a clear understanding of a Malaysian culture, maybe the cantonese had the same problem with chinese culture. Guangdong was only absorbed by the Han culture relatively late. The cantonese (including me) still call them self Tang people and not Han people as in Mandarin. And we dont call China Zhongguo. It is Tong San.

    Once we get under the term chinese culture, there are so many differences.

    So what is Malaysian culture. It is difficult to define. But when we see we know it.


  103. AY
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 17:37:00

    Malaysian culture to me is rich and diverse due to variety of races. We should be proud of it. To be able to continue to practise our diverse cultures are everybodys’ right. Our culture will slowly evolve if we let it take it’s natural course, no forcing and bullying tactics. That is why our children should all be studying under one roof, allowing them to assimilate all the different cultures. To respect and to understand other cultures and not ridicule or feel uncomfortable in the presence of other races..
    Bangsa Malaysia comes into mind when we THINK as one. In short, when we asked for any changes or improvements, we asked for the benefit of all races. We represent all children of all races. We help the poor of all races. We want only the best for all Malaysians. Also the ability to switch from one language to another effortlessly and use the language everyone is comfortable with in the presence of people of diverse race

    So far a lot of politicians always fight for a specific race only.
    This is my simplistic view and understanding of Malaysian culture and Bangsa Malaysia


  104. AY
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 17:49:25

    Rhan, I know quite a number of national school students who are learning mental maths from tuition centers . I think this originated from chinese school system, however they are taught in English. As I have mentioned before calculation or method is still very “chinese” based, however language medium in English. I tell you it’s possible, it’s a proven fact because these kids studying this method are doing very well in maths at national schools too. In your case, it’s the calculating method and an additional advantage of answering in mandarin and english version of the questions..


  105. cilipadi
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 17:56:27

    Hi guys,

    Still remember me, the infamous cilipadi. I shouldn’t self-praise myself here, hehe, but self-praise is better than no praise.

    I have been in self-exiled for quite sometime in blogosphere, but definitely not being kicked out ‘may I’ basis as someone here.

    Anyway, this ‘someone’ here has toned down quite a bit of his words. I am happy for him.

    Malaysian political climate is getting hotter and hotter now. No wonder we see all kind of people in this forum these days.

    Siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas.


  106. Rhan
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 18:39:55


    I don’t fully agree. There are always differences between Chinese who are from different region that with their own dialect. This is why we use term such as Northern and Southern Chinese to differentiate the two. But the core belief systems remain same. Not sure if you hear of the description 天地君亲师, be it Cantonese, Hokkian or Beijing, Shanghai, they subscribe to the same belief system. We all deem we are the descendants of Huang Ti. Another example is, Northern Chinese and Southern Chinese who read Hung Lou Meng should moved and touched by the same story line but I don’t think the same would happen to a Uyghur or Hui.

    Do you agree if the Chinese Han impose their values on Hui?


    Ideally your comment make sense, practically I don’t know. I don’t trust our present government.


  107. monsterball
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 19:19:38

    You can stuff your opinion about me in your arse…cilipadi.
    I do not need you to monitor my character…like a school teacher progress sheet.
    But then..with your pea brain…that’s all you are good at.


  108. klm
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 19:33:59

    Rhan. Just to split hair a bit. The core culture is the same for the Han. BTW, the Han culture is based on Zhongyuan or the northern central plain. May not have exact meaning to the southerners.

    But stories about bad and corrupt government touch the same nerve everywhere.

    Hui culture or the Uyghur culture is not the same as the Han. But it does not make them any less Chinese.

    The matter here is that learning chinese allow us to relate to, understand and keep our roots. Not to preserve our culture. As noted, the chinese culture as practiced here is different from that in china today.


  109. klm
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 19:49:56

    AY. Is what you described – chinese maths method in english – known as Singapore maths.

    If so, it is being adopted by some US private schools.
    It is getting popular there. And of course Singapore uses it. And look at Singapore TIMMS ranking for maths – No.1 or No. 2. Malaysia is ranked no 20

    Perhaps, Malaysia should adopt Singapore Maths in National Type Schools. Dont have to re-invent the wheel and already proven. But have to pay Singapore.


  110. irika
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 21:46:07

    written cantonese hv limited vocab, n can only be used in simple everyday usage, when you need a contract document, legal document, it need to be written in formal written chinese (universal to all chinese dialects), though one can pronounce this formal written chinese in one’s prefered dialect (cantonese, minnan, mandarin, shanghainese, hakka, etc).
    The minority races in China are free to learn their mother tongues (Korean, Uighur, Chuang, Bai, Mongolian, Tibetian, Hui, etc).


  111. irika
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 22:12:10

    The topic is teaching science n maths in msia primary schools in which language my answer is simple, (pupils’ mother tongue).
    How come , we talked abt Chinese, culture language, etc?
    Written cantonese in hk, or written Minnan in Taiwan had limited usage, n no standard terms, words, or vocab, or grammar, Non Cantonese outside hk, or non Minnan (hokkien) outside Taiwan will likely to be very confuse when they see this so called, written cantonese or written hokkien.


  112. Gary Yeoh
    Dec 23, 2008 @ 01:45:47

    Mandarin, Han Yu or Putonghua, was a language imposed on all by Qin Shi Huang Ti. In it’s time it was a political move to consolidate power and enforced by the destruction of all other languages. Millions of books and unacceptable cultures of other states vanished. It’s a classic example of domination by the successful Qin over others. Case of being selective over historical events.

    As for some inherent superiority of “Chinese Language” in producing superior science and maths folks, where do the last hundred years of technological advancements came from?

    Education is about enabling the ability to learn and make choices that in the end enhances our lives, and in turn our community. Given the debate so far, preserving vernacular schools seems to have not educated enough of us. We still do not see the woods from the trees.

    We are not getting to the root cause of our sad state of education. BN has destroyed our national schools. Instead of challenging our leaders to fix that, we are still talking about self-preservation of our own Chinese culture etc. Gerakan and MCA seems to have been “fighting” like this for the last 30yrs?

    Actually, there were no fights. It is the same play repeated at regular intervals to help various BN component parties demonstrate how much they help their races etc.. In the mean time, the plunder continues. Bet you that UMNO will be quite happy to let you continue with vernacular schools.. you continue with your second tax.. Let BN rise again as a voice of reason.. all now be happy.

    True Malaysian: As for Ong Tee Keat and PKFZ, well, I didn’t think he could have called a spade a spade. No surprises, whitewash was needed. Regeneration? Nah, more like degeneration.


  113. Gary Yeoh
    Dec 23, 2008 @ 02:22:50

    AY and Rhan,

    My daughter and son did mental maths in their junior (primary) school in UK. Both could recite to 19 times table etc by 10yrs old. All English teaching.. was that good? Would you claim it to be Chinese based? Granted they were in private (called “public”) school. However, I am none too sure to call them better educated than state (we call “national) schools. I will say they are academically better because of the money I pay, smaller classes and different emphasis. I pray I had played my part in educating them to respect all races as God’s creation. That’s all.

    Education changes with society’s demands. When they were here for substantial time, they find it strange that there were so much racial remarks made by young people here. In UK, their school had different races, Europeans, Chinese, Africans and Indian sub-continent. It puzzled them that when a name is mention, why the need to ask what race? There are other derogatory remarks against other races that they find uncomfortable. These are from many “educated” Chinese they have met. Young and old. Aren’t there good and bad in all races? Why the obsession, they would asked of me.


  114. klm
    Dec 23, 2008 @ 08:12:22

    Good Point. Gary Yeoh.

    Taiwan teaches “chinese” maths in chinese. Singapore teaches “chinese” maths in English.

    Same with science.

    In the TIMMS ranking. Taiwan and Singapore rank either 1 or 2. Does language of teaching matters so much?

    It is the system and teachers that matters.

    Will teaching maths and science in national schools really improve the students. We have yet to see. But I dont think Malaysia will improve its TIMMS ranking.


  115. klm
    Dec 23, 2008 @ 08:15:08

    And Gary, you are right. All the positions taken by the political parties are just for political points – for election. (sorry doc)

    Nothing to do with the issue on hand.


  116. Rhan
    Dec 23, 2008 @ 08:31:56


    I never say mother-tongue education is better, Unesco said it.

    Just two simple question

    1.What is your son and daughter common speaking and written language?

    2. Would you send your son and daughter to learn mathematics in English from a teacher who fail his or her SPM English ?

    If you can conclude that BN destroyed the National School, what do you propose we should do to our Chinese school? Leave it to BN to do what they want?

    Priority is Malaysian must brave enough to go for changes. And the changes must start from politic.


  117. klm
    Dec 23, 2008 @ 09:33:45

    At the end of the day, the real answer is:

    BN, you screwed up the national schools. Leave the Chinese school alone. Dont mess it up.

    All, this talk of teaching maths and science in Chinese is nothing but bulls dropping.

    That is the stand we should take. Simple and direct.


  118. AY
    Dec 23, 2008 @ 10:15:38

    it depends a lot on the individual.
    How they view the changes would affect them or the chinese community on the whole.
    Several reasons to resist the change :
    a) The effectiveness of teaching these subjects in English .
    b) The benefits of learning English through these subjects.
    c) Politics
    d) Chinese culture will be affected.
    e) Mandarin language will be sidelined.
    f) Teachers inability to teach in English.
    g)The survival of the vernacular school system.
    h) Just uncomfortable with the change.

    These are some of the reasons I have collected from some of the comments made here.
    Please do feel free to corrct me if I am wrong or to add on to the list.

    Thank you Gary for pointing out to me that mental maths is not “chinese based” , however I note some centers teach mental maths using abacus.Perhaps there are a variety of mental maths method.
    I guess a lot of us need to “get out more “.


  119. AY
    Dec 23, 2008 @ 10:35:16

    I agree with you that political parties would be happy with the different school system. I agree because divided it’s easier to manipulate each race into believing they are a threat to each other and their survival depends on their political parties.That is why our young people are so easily influence by political propagandas.


  120. A true Malaysian
    Dec 23, 2008 @ 11:01:42

    Gary Yeoh said,

    “We are not getting to the root cause of our sad state of education. BN has destroyed our national schools. Instead of challenging our leaders to fix that, we are still talking about self-preservation of our own Chinese culture etc. Gerakan and MCA seems to have been “fighting” like this for the last 30yrs?”

    Come on Gary Yeoh, I am surprised you don’t know the ‘root cause’? All problems that Malaysia is facing are all due to the same root cause. I call it ‘macro root cause’.


  121. CYC
    Dec 23, 2008 @ 11:15:55

    Seems this is the hottest topic so far in Dr Hsu’s forum.

    I have no expertise in education or language. However, i do think one’s (especially Chinese) preference or inclination of certain language are basically based upon 2 factors:
    1. The economic value of the language
    2. Exposure or frequent use of the language.

    Next, back to the topic of teaching math and science in english. The questions here are :
    1. Is it better than the present system
    2. If yes, do we have the resources to implement it

    As i notice, most of the discussion appeared in this forum are “elitist centric”. What about the average or the below average students? Will there be marginalised just like that? Have we ever consider the them when we discuss this topic of paramount importance to those kids? Please, the majority of the student falls under this category and they should be the main subject matter as they often do not have the luxury of CHOICE.

    To the vernacular school supporters :Don’t fall into the trap of self glorification and always emphasis of how excellent are the “jing ying pan” student perform in UPSR. Think also about the last 2 classes student who are lagging behind.

    To the pro english medium supporter :English does not guarantee how a student fare in math and science. english alone is not a passport to excellency in your career although it may helps.


  122. Gary Yeoh
    Dec 24, 2008 @ 00:12:10


    My point is that whilst “mother tongue” teaching is a major consideration, for us here, it’s the sad state of national schools and education. The “macro root cause” as True Malaysian says. Your position seems to protecting ourselves and not working on fixing the major reason we all have to pay 2nd tax. We all know national schools really lacks the right teachers and in a sad state. I know a former headmaster in national school that had fought to improve things but limited by the powers that be.

    Anyway, you seem to ignore the fact that if I am hokkien, putonghua is dutch to me until I learned it. I could have just as well learned BM or English. Clearly my accent will be limited by my usage and prevailing social exposures.

    Ultimately, bad teachers produce poor students. Medium of instruction for as much as we might argue is less relevant than having trained teachers interested in teaching.

    Bad discipline in schools prevents teaching as well. Hence, we have a further hurdle to overcome in national schools. Our politicians and educationalist are not fixing the real problems. They are feathering their own nests. Frankly, few are working for our long term interest.

    CYC’s comments are very relevant to our discussion.


  123. klm
    Dec 24, 2008 @ 08:36:53

    I am trying to be provocative, to stimulate some critical thinking.

    Just like the teaching method used in the national schools, the chinese school teaching method is equally uninspiring, rigid and not conducive of creative thinking.

    Take Chung Ling High School for example. Many of you are Chung Ling graduate, including Dr. Hsu. There are many good scientists, engineers, doctors, ect. But there are very very few in the star rank. People who set new frontiers. I am not talking bad about Chung Ling. I have a friend from Chung Ling who is a recognised name in his field in US.

    A Mckinsey study in China concluded, there are very few people there who are capable of creative innovation. (This must be true because this study is quoted in official discussion). BTW. This study was in relation to issues of innovative society in China. So China is doing some soul searching.

    Curriculum and teaching need to be improved to meet the challenge of the 21st century.


  124. CYC
    Dec 24, 2008 @ 11:07:04


    Critical thinking cannot be teach. We can only formulate curriculum that inspire kids to think more freely and unrestricted by social norms or values.

    The usefulness of a person shall not be judged solely by being a star ranked personality. There are thousands of scientists or doctors who excel in their relevant field of research but they are only handful being awarded nobel prize. So, don’t fall into the “elitist centric” mindset trap again.

    A star material may just ended up as an ordinary person unless he is nurture in the correct manner and happened to be in the right environment. I m not talking about leave it to fate. What i m trying say is while there are millions of people trying or aspiring to be a STAR in whatever field, only some will be the STARS. Hence, instead of focusing on creating a STAR, why not just concentrate on nurturing the millions to become torch lights that could light up their own life and sharing a little with others.

    From my own experience, i do think that a child’s mind is very receptive to learn any language. So, the preferred language for one to start in kindergarten and primary school should be based upon his surrounding environment taking into consideration of his family background and the community he lives in. Of course, the education system also play an important part. I have seen kids who attended English medium school failed miserably and lost interest to continue studies due to lack of opportunity for him to even speak in English in the said environment which are predominantly Chinese speaking.

    My conclusion is : In a country with diverse culture and lingua, it is still premature for a single solution for our education system. Multi language and multi curriculum shall be catered to meet the different needs of different group of pupils.


  125. Rhan
    Dec 24, 2008 @ 15:34:31


    I subscribe to the belief of no one less out in education. And I understand it was never easy to master three languages no matter how some Chinese boost our capability in speaking all the three languages. For myself, I only start to read English newspaper and books after completed my form six, and I have to admit that I have problem to express in English on most field other than those related to my job. For an example, I can’t even write proper English in a blog on education or political issue. My Chinese is not good either as I can’t fully comprehend books written by author like 李泽厚 and 鲁迅. Meaning to say many of us can speak or write some language but not yet to achieve the so-call critical thinking level.

    My opinion is that unless we are above average or as what you mention those elite or jing ying, we cannot have everything, we have to make a choice to let go something in order to gain back what we deem as priority. My son school result is average, I decided to send him to CIS and concentrate on one language. I choose Chinese/Mandarin. My decision could be a not so smart choice in the eyes of many but at least I am given the rights to choose. This is what I say in the past and don’t mind says it again, let the parents choose what they believe is good for their kids.

    Does this mean I give up English and BM, I think my son have to find out himself whether he wish to continue pursue to improve this two language when he complete his Secondary level. I believe English is another good choice but I am not in that kind of environment where English is that common. And I do not want to speak a half baked English to my kids until I can’t even find the right word on how to express myself.

    I agree with your conclusion.


    My stand is clear. I don’t know how to solve the “macro root cause” and I have no intention to help producing more Chinese to engage in the competition to become majority. What I am trying to do is, base on the existing political reality and my financial capability, I do what I think is good for my kids.


    Singapore is one of the best in the world in term of education standard, but did they produce many star ranks? History, culture and environment did play a role here.


  126. klm
    Dec 24, 2008 @ 17:49:14


    That is precisely what I mean, though I would say it is culture and environment. I have an experience with Singapore.

    They have been trying to develop a piece of technology for 2 years, spending 40M SGD a year, 20 Ivy leagues PhDs and multimillion first rate equipment. End of 2 years. Zits. These PhDs were managed by some Presidential scholars appointed as technology bureaucrats.

    Not that they are not smart. Just no clue on what they are doing. Being smart does not mean you know what your doing.


  127. Rhan
    Dec 24, 2008 @ 18:31:27

    And of course politic and religion, but this two is too sensitive to mention.

    Among the Chinese, the speak very little English Taiwanese is good.


  128. klm
    Dec 24, 2008 @ 21:17:12

    Just a comparison between Spore Presidential scholars and PTD officers in Malaysia.

    Spore Presidential scholars are the cream of singapore. Sent to best universities. Join govt service upon graduation. But elite and out of touch with normal singaporean. However they are not racist or religion bigots.

    PTD officers are best scholars from local Join U – mostly from you what. Elite and out of touch with normal people. Difference, the racial tone and sometime religious bigotry.

    The Yes Minister TV program make a comedy out of the first two characteristics. The last two are more of a tragedy.


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