(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): Barisan Nasional politics have recently
become the most strange and bizarre
in the 44-year political history since Independence, as illustrated
by the following three events:
The Cabinet had not yet taken a formal
decision to introduce the teaching of mathematics and science in English in
primary schools, but the Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad had announced
the implementation of the UMNO Supreme Council decision the following day.
The Cabinet seemed to have meekly
accepted the authority of the UMNO
Supreme Council on policy matters on education and nation-building and that the
UMNO Supreme Council is more powerful than the Cabinet and Parliament, as no
Cabinet Minister has to date protested that it is improper and subversive of the
doctrine of Cabinet government and the principles of parliamentary democracy for
the Education Minister to act solely on the directive of the UMNO Supreme
Council without any endorsement or approval by Cabinet or Parliament.
is even more shocking and unbelievable is that MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers
could allow the UMNO Supreme
Council, and not even UMNO Ministers, to decide whether science and mathematics
should be taught in English in Chinese primary schools!
Have the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP central committees absolutely no role
in deciding any government policy at all?
Gerakan and SUPP Ministers should insist at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday
that they, and not UMNO
Supreme Council, should decide
whether science and mathematics should be taught in English in Chinese primary
While supporting the urgent need for a
masterplan to quickly arrest the relentless decline of the standard of English
in the past three decades, educationists
and parents are legitimately concerned whether without major reforms in the
infrastructure of the education system for the teaching and learning of English,
the introduction of the teaching of
science and mathematics in English from Standard One would be a cure worse than
the disease resulting in further lowering of the standards of Mathematics and
Science without any significant increase in English fluency.
is time for greater diversity and flexibility in the national education system
of a plural society like Malaysia, and the proposal for the teaching of
mathematics and science in English should be treated differently for national
primary schools and Chinese primary schools.
MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers should
support the DAP call on the Education Ministry to make public all the studies
which the Education Ministry had carried out which positively demonstrated that
the immediate introduction of the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English
from Standard One is the best and most effective method to arrest the decline of
the English standard in the
schools in national primary schools.
The Education Ministry should also
disclose whether separate studies have been made on whether the introduction of
the teaching of mathematics and science in English in the Chinese primary
schools will lead to the all-round improvement in the standards of all three
subjects of mathematics, science and English and not
The least the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP
Ministers should ask the Cabinet to agree on Wednesday is to treat the problem
of the raising of English in Chinese primary schools separately from that of the
national primary schools, in view of the fact that three languages will be
involved in Chinese primary schools as compared to two languages in the national
The Cabinet should set up a sub-Cabinet
task force to consult with Dong Ziao Zhong, Chinese educationists, parents and
the Chinese community on how best to urgently raise the standard of English in
the Chinese primary schools and whether the teaching of mathematics and science
in English should be introduced for Chinese primary schools from Standard
One next year.