Thursday, April 5, 2012

A common language to success by By Farish A. Noor - NST online

It would be difficult not to draw an association between the proponents of vernacular schooling and the opposition parties what happened at the rally for Chinese schools that took place last week.

Once again vernacular education has become an issue in Malaysian politics, though with much speculation about the date of the election going around at the moment, one cannot help but feel that the issue has been raised by some parties for the sake of gaining the popular vote above all. It would be difficult not to draw an association between the proponents of vernacular schooling and the opposition parties after what happened at the rally for Chinese schools that took place last week.

But the question remains unanswered by all: 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 have written about this so many times that I am close to giving up altogether, for fear that any more articles would simply amount to a waste of paper.

But for the umpteenth time, let me repeat some of the things I have said before: If we were to look at the major developed countries of the world such as Britain, France and Germany, we will see that historically these countries used to be far more linguistically diverse than they are today. In France alone hundreds of dialects were spoken, as was the case in Germany, where each region had a dialect unique to itself.

As Robert Bartlett has argued in his work The Making Of Europe, the coming together of these small principalities and feudal states was only possible through the centralisation of power and the streamlining of language, giving birth to the national languages we know today: French, German and English. Bartlett notes, of course, that this did not happen without some degree of discomfort, but in the long run the sacrifices of the past seem to have paid off. Disparate communities (that may not

Read more: A common language to success - Columnist - New Straits Times

1 comment:

vinnan said...

In Germany, France and England there were no UMNOputras stomping on the nons in the name of Bangsa, Ugama and Negara. Do you see Norman or Aryan or Saxon special rights written into their constitutions? Except for a brief period of German history non of these nations ever had racial special rights provisions in their constitution. Remember you people are in control of Malaysia and it is you people who are responsible for making the country a success. You 'Ketuanan' heroes willingly gave up a chunk of land called Singapore simply because you refused to come to a compromise with the PAP. Palestinians are dying in hails of bullets and bombs on the Gaza strip fighting to call a piece of land smaller than Singapore their own. Are not their fight against Zionism similar to the fight of the nons against UMNO's special rights racism? What kind of people willingly sacrifice the territorial integrity of their nation? The answer is UMNOputras. People who are nothing but devious bastards who see race and religion as no more than just paths to sustain their power rather than the building of a nation. This is why the nons vote PAS for we see PAS as being genuinely fair in the name of nation building and not in the name of a 'Ketuanan' race. Shall I also mention how your 'Ketuanan' racism just had to bring the Pedra Branca dispute with Singapore to the ICJ when there was never any doubt an island 40km from Singapore but only 7km from Singapore is Malaysian territory. Did you follow the presentations from the lawyers in this dispute at the ICJ? Suffice to say your Malay heroes f''' it up properly with their bullshit 'Ketuanan' based arguments.

The nons were rushing to the English schools in the 1960s and early 1970s. It was the great Mamak hero who decided that the English schools must die so that the Malays can prosper. Should the nons be blamed for seeing the education system then and today as nothing but racist tools to suppress the nons? It was only inevitable that the nons would rush back to the vernacular schools. It was UMNO's racist greed for power which ensured the survival of the vernacular schools.
Do not for one second think we hate the Malay language for a language is just one of many tools we need to survive and be successful. You want the nons to accept Malay as our first language than stop treating us as third-class citizens. The Indon pendatangs has more rights than the nons who have contributed for more than half a century to Malaysia and yet the nons are the ones blamed for the failure of Malaysia as a successful nation.

Do not test our resolve to maintain our schools and culture for we have developed our schools without government help before and we are more than willing to go it alone if necessary. Treat us and our children as equals in the institutions of this nation to make our country a success. If not stop putting the blame on our schools and just leave us alone to run our lives. Keep your failure to yourself.