(Penang, Sunday): Last week, the police revealed that Chinese represented only one per cent of the latest batch of police trainees and a new police strategy to attract more Chinese teenagers to join the uniformed force by going directly to the schools nation-wide.
I doubt that the police is going to be more successful in this way to get more Chinese to join the police force, as the law-enforcement agency should be as multi-racial as possible reflecting Malaysia’s plural population.
At about the same time, the MCA leaders were promising to resolve the chronic shortage of Chinese school teachers in three years - which is again going to be another broken promise in a long catalogue of unkept MCA pledges.
The authorities must be prepared make bold decisions to resolve these chronic problems, as conventional solutions cannot apply any more.
One bold decision to resolve the problem of chronic shortage of Chinese school teachers as well as the low Chinese participation rate in the police force is for the government to recognise the Unified Examinations Certificate (UEC) of the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools for entry purposes.
In fact, this will have the third effect of checking the serious problem of brain-drain in Malaysia.
Early this year, Malaysia suffered a serious brain-drain when more than 500 of the "best and brightest" school-leavers from the 60 Chinese Independent Secondary Schools were directly recruited into Singapore universities - which must be regarded as a scandal for a country which wants to transform itself into a K-economy where knowledge, human ingenuity and skill have replaced labour and capital as the most important factor of production.
It is in the best national interests of the country that there must be a New Deal for Mother-Tongue Education in the Eighth Malaysia Plan, incorporating new strategies and targets like the government recognition of UEC.