After the 325 Chinese School rally “325华教救亡抗议大会”, there are on-line debates on the multi-linguistic school issues.
Most of the liberal supporters have the opinion that “government should not ban / obstruct the Chinese, Tamil or mother tongue school, but government have no obligation to support the development and resources of these schools”
There are also single stream school supporters like Faris Noor who wrote :
“Can we seriously expect there to be some semblance of a Malaysian nation as long as young Malaysian children are taught separately, in different language streams? And are we naïve enough to think that nations invent themselves, without there having to be some form of intervention and direction by the state?”
I’m not an expert in education nor a full supporter of liberalism, but I can’t agree with Faris Noor statement.
I studied in Chinese school for my first 14 years of education, other than mother tongue, we learnt Bahasa Malaysia and the Malay-Indian-orang asal’s history & cultures. The Chinese fundamental education don’t make me a chauvinist nor a Chinese maniac.
To me, language, other than used in communication, is also the root of a culture and shaping the thinking of an individual. And I’m glad we learned honesty, honour, respect, moderation and etc (禮義廉恥，中庸之道) that shaped who I am today. And I don’t denial growing up in a plural society and multi-linguistic speaking families did help me to understand and respect others cultural and needs better, where we can always debate and engage critics with a wider perspective. We shall not restricted the communication and understand each other culture merely due to language
I don’t see any harm to have multicultural-linguistic schools and I’m confident we can shape a better and open Malaysia nation with a fair and efficient educational and political system.
As one said “We’re all played by the government through their unfair allocation of funds that we forgot the basis of schools and education.”
To read more on Faris A Noor article: http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/a-common-language-to-success-1.68172, also read 超越抗议——325及其外(庄华兴) http://www.merdekareview.com/news_v2.php?n=23737 who rebut Faris’s view.