September 26th, 2012

Melayu sudah tak ambil peduli!

Pada 23 September lalu, saya terbaca satu artikel yang bertajuk Suara Hati Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad di Mingguan Malaysia. Ketika saya membacanya, remang bulu roma saya mendengar cerita yang dilalui sendiri oleh Dr. Mahathir.

Waktu saya kecil, cerita seperti ini sering diceritakan oleh opah saya yang melalui penjajahan British, Jepun dan Bintang Tiga. Cerita yang sama juga diceritakan oleh ayahanda saya yang juga Ketua Penerangan UMNO di waktu zaman Tuanku Abdul Rahman dan Tun Abdul Razak.

Saya bertanya dengan opah mengapa menceritakan ini semua kepada saya. Opah saya menjawab bahawa cerita ini hendaklah diketahui oleh orang muda seperti saya yang lahir di zaman pasca kemerdekaan. Cerita ini adalah pengajaran buat saya dan saya harus menceritakan kepada anak-anak saya nanti.

"Peristiwa penjajahan ini harus difahami oleh kamu supaya kamu tidak lupa bahawa orang sebangsa dengan kamu iaitu orang Melayu pernah dijajah dan orang Melayu begitu hina sekali dibuat oleh penjajah ini," kata opah.

Saya bertanya kepada opah: "Apakah kaum lain seperti Cina dan India tidak dihina oleh penjajah ini?" Opah menjawab: "Kamu mesti faham bahawa orang Cina pedagang dan pekerja lombong-lombong besar. Mereka berniaga dengan siapa sahaja yang boleh memberikan keuntungan kepada mereka. Sesiapa sahaja yang tidak menguntungkan, mereka tidak akan mengendahkan, ini termasuklah orang Melayu."

Opah memberitahu saya lagi: "Orang India adalah pekerja di estet-estet getah kepunyaan orang Putih." Mereka ini bekerja dan bila ada duit banyak, mereka hantar ke negara ibunda mereka. Ada juga yang bawa keluarga mereka ke Tanah Melayu untuk bersama-sama bekerja dengan mereka." Daripada apa yang diceritakan oleh opah saya, maka saya melihat bahawa mereka ini adalah survival society manakala orang Melayu adalah deprived society.

Kebanyakan orang muda tidak suka mendengar cerita yang dianggap sudahoutdated atau too nostalgic. Orang muda yang lahir pada tahun 1970-an, 1980-an dan 1990-an tidak merasa penting mengetahui perkara-perkara ini.

Ibu bapa yang sibuk mencari kemewahan dunia juga tidak peduli sama ada anak mereka ini tahu sejarah asal usul negara atau keturunan bangsa sendiri. Ibu bapa Melayu lebih pentingkan anak dapat berapa A dalam SPM, dapat masuk atau tidak ke universiti dan sebagainya.

Akhirnya, kelompok generasi Y ini mengetepikan soal bangsa Melayu, bangsa mereka sendiri yang pernah ditindas, ditendang, disepak terajang, dimaki, diusir keluar, dan ada nada kurang ajar menyuruh agar bangsa ini dihancurkan.

Orang Melayu muda tidak peduli. Orang Melayu tua sudah tidak ambil peduli. Orang Melayu profesional sudah berani mendabik dada mengatakan bahawa semua kejayaan mereka adalah atas usaha mereka sendiri dan bukan datang daripada mana-mana dasar atau usaha kerajaan atau parti politik yang membantu mereka.

Kata mereka: "I am here as a CEO because I deserve it and I am good and I am here is not because of DEB or any effort from the government." Inilah golongan orang Melayu yang sudah lupa.

Ini bukan hanya berlaku dalam kalangan orang muda profesional tetapi ia menular kepada pemimpin-pemimpin Melayu. Tidak kisahlah dari parti mana dia datang tetapi semuanya bongkak dan sombong apabila kuasa politik dikuasai mereka.

Ada yang sanggup mengangkat pengkhianat negara sebagai pejuang kemerdekaan; ada yang sanggup menggadai agama demi mahu memperolehi kuasa. Ada yang sanggup mengaut segala projek yang ada demi kemewahan diri sendiri.

Bagi sesetengah daripada mereka, melaungkan perpaduan Melayu adalah satu slogan bodoh atau usaha parti-parti yang desperado. Mereka sudah tidak melihat lagi bahawa the survival of the Malays di Tanah Melayu ini sebagai elemen penting. Mereka mahukan kuasa dan kuasa menjadi matlamat utama mereka.

Dalam al-Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah ayat 7, Allah berfirman dan maksudnya: "Allah telah mengunci hati dan pendengaran mereka, penglihatan mereka tertutup, dan mereka akan mendapat azab yang berat."

Dalam ayat ini, asbabunnuzulnya menerangkan bahawa ia ditujukan kepada orang Yahudi di Madinah ketika itu, tetapi jika kita perhatikan ayat ini, ia sedang berlaku dalam kalangan bangsa Melayu.

Sifat Yahudi Madinah itu ada dalam kalangan kita. Apa yang mencemaskan apabila Allah telah menutup segala pancaindera serta hati, maka akan ada azab yang berat diturunkan oleh Allah kepada kita kelak. Apakah azab yang bakal kita hadapi?

Adakah penjajahan semula terhadap orang Melayu? Adakah orang Melayu akan menjadi bangsa kelas kedua di bumi sendiri; menjadi kaum terhina yang mudah disepak terajang oleh orang yang membenci bangsa Melayu?

Apakah ada pula azab 'misteri' yang bakal dihadapi oleh bangsa Melayu akibat daripada kelalaian, ketamakan, kerakusan dan kepentingan diri sendiri?

Benar kata-kata Dr. Mahathir bahawa semua ini berlaku adalah kerana bangsa Melayu itu sendiri sudah tidak bangga menjadi bangsa Melayu; sudah tidak lagi mahu tahu atau ambil peduli ke atas sejarah bangsa sendiri. Sudah menjadi sebuah bangsa yang 'tidak kisah' dan sekarang memperjuangkan hak asasi manusia (HAM).

Tidak salah untuk kita mengetengahkan hak dan menuntut hak kita sebagai warganegara Malaysia. Tetapi setiap hak ada peruntukan undang-undang dan setiap hak yang ada bukan bersifat mutlak. Setiap hak yang ada mesti berlandaskan kepada perundangan tertinggi negara iaitu Perlembagaan kerana dari situ bermulanya negara bangsa.

Ada orang Melayu sendiri mempersoalkan Perlembagaan negara. Orang ini adalah bangsa Melayu yang sudah tersedia pinggan mangkuk emas di atas meja; sudah terhidang makanan yang lazat-lazat untuk mereka makan.

Tetapi mereka lupa bahawa makanan yang dihidangkan itu bukan datang bergolek begitu saja. Ia datang daripada jerih- perih pejuang-pejuang kemerdekaan yang lampau.

Keamanan dan kemakmuran yang dikecapi kini bukan atas belas ihsan penjajah tetapi ia datang daripada usaha dan kebijakan orang Melayu sehingga negara ditadbir mengikut acuan yang berasas nilai-nilai agama dan adat budaya warisan bangsa negara ini.

Bila kita jumpa orang profesional Melayu atau pun orang muda Melayu, cuba kita tanya siapakah Megat Iskandar Shah? Sudah pasti hampir 90 peratus tidak tahu menjawabnya? Jika ditanya apakah yang mahu dilakukan oleh Malayan Union ke atas Tanah Melayu? Sudah tentu juga lebih 90 peratus tidak boleh menjawabnya. Kerana apa? Kerana hati mereka, penglihatan mereka dan pendengaran mereka telah tertutup dan dikunci mati.

Apakah akibatnya. Akibatnya nanti bangsa Melayu yang hebat seantero dunia ini akan menjadi bangsa yang akan dipijak oleh kaum lain dan akan dimanipulasikan oleh mereka demi kuasa dan pangkat dalam semua sektor dan bidang.

Kita hendaklah tahu bahawa bangsa Melayu adalah bangsa yang hebat. Kalau tidak mana mungkin bangsa Melayu di bawah Kesultanan Melayu Melaka mempunyai empayar yang cukup luar biasa.

Mana mungkin orang dari Portugal dan Belanda mahu datang ke Melaka jika tidak mendapat khabar berita bahawa terdapat bangsa Melayu yang hebat. Mana mungkin kerajaan China menghantar kumpulan eksplorasi dan panglimanya ke Tanah Melayu untuk bersahabat dengan Kesultanan Melayu Melaka. Ini adalah kehebatan Melayu.

Tetapi dalam kehebatan ini, ada juak-juak yang dengki sebab tidak dapat apa-apa daripada yang memerintah. Ada yang sudah ada jawatan dalam pemerintahan mahu lebih banyak kuasa sehingga ada yang sanggup menjual maruah dan negara demi kepentingan diri yang dia sendiri belum tahu mampu bertahan lama. Akhirnya bangsa yang gah di mata dunia, dijajah dan dipijak-pijak.

Untuk peringatan kita bersama, marilah kita menghayati dan memahami setiap bait ayat yang dinukilkan oleh Dr. Mahathir tentang 'suara hatinya'. Benar bukan simpati yang diminta oleh Dr. Mahathir tetapi beliau mahu kita mengimbau kembali kepayahan dan kesusahan lampau dijadikan pedoman untuk terus maju ke hadapan.

Untuk bangsa Melayu Muda, selamilah kata-kata Dr. Mahathir supaya ia menjadi azimat untuk menentukan untung nasib bangsa Melayu di bumi Tanah Melayu ini.

Untuk pemimpin Melayu, cukup-cukuplah perbalahan sesama sendiri, marilah kita kembali bertaut untuk Islam, Melayu dan Tanah Air tercinta ini. Buang yang keruh ambil yang jernih, baru teguh peribadi.

Untuk bangsa Melayu yang tidak ambil peduli, marilah kita bersama membina sebuah bangsa yang disegani dan dihormati. Jaga akidah kita sebagai umat Islam, dan jaga bangsa kita sebagai bangsa yang terhebat di Tanah Melayu ini.

Bak kata bait lagu lama: "Nenek moyang kaya raya, Tergadai seluruh harta benda, Akibat sengketa sesama kita, Cita lenyap di arus masa."




PROF. DR. MOHD. ZAINUL FITHRI DATUK OTHMAN  Naib Presiden Perhubungan Industri dan Pengarah Institut Kepimpinan dan Keusahawanan Management & Science University (MSU). Sumber: Utusan Malaysia Online Rencana 25/09/2012

Monitor new system closely

WITH the completion of the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR), many parents are having a difficult time deciding whether to enrol their children into private or government schools due to the newly introduced school-based assessments in the latter.

The Malaysian education system was previously criticised for its heavy examination-based nature.

This was believed to have failed to provide a holistic education for the young.

Instead, the exam-driven education system produced many superior fact-memorising and regurgitating machines which scored plentiful A’s in important examinations such as the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).

Most often, such students neglected the true meaning of education which involves personal development while acquiring important academic and subject-specific knowledge.

Hence, they lacked many of the important soft skills required later in their career life, such as critical thinking, communication and working in groups.

As such, some families prefer sending their children to private schools or to Singapore – where education quality is believed to be better.

In order to provide a better education system, the Education Ministry has decided to abolish important examinations such as PMR and implement school-based assessments.

However, many parents and teachers seem to have limited faith and confidence in this new system.

Most of these guardians are not highly educated. Even if they are, they were exposed to the old exam-driven system. Hence, it is understandable that they prefer the former system.

They believe that examinations are the best in motivating and driving the students to excel in their studies. Without the examinations, parents worry that the students might slack in terms of competitiveness in the academic field.

However, parents and teachers should understand that school-based assessments are not novel in our country.

They have been used in schools, but are not taken seriously into account in the students’ final exam grades.

Most students will most probably progress to obtain tertiary education qualifications.

As university students, most of us will also understand that paper examinations are not the sole ass-essment utilised in the universities.

Other criteria are taken into account and contribute towards our final grades. These include attendance, class participation, tutorial questions, assignments, reports and quizzes.

Therefore, the implementation of the school-based assessments should not be a problem as it exposes the students to the education structure at tertiary institutions while inculcating other essential non-academic-related skills.

However, it is true that this new system should be closely monitored and standardised at the national level to ensure it is at the highest quality throughout the nation.

Schools should also ensure the academic aspects of the system are delivered in a more attractive and interactive manner.

This ensures that the students are well-equipped with the subject-specific knowledge as it is a common complaint that subjects such as Geography, History, Moral Studies and Science are boring and involve heavy memorising.

UNIVERSITY STUDENT  Birmingham, England Source: The STAR Online Opinion Tuesday September 25, 2012

Majority of teachers not proficient in English

GEORGE TOWN: It has been revealed that two-thirds of 70,000 English teachers in the country failed to reach a proficient English level.

Education Ministry deputy director-general Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said it was one of the two major findings of a survey which required the teachers to sit for the Cambridge Placement Test.

“When we did the initial profiling of the English teachers in Malaysia, we found that two-thirds of the teachers did not meet the proficiency level,” said Dr Khair, who was one of the speakers at a forum held at the G Hotel here on Monday.

The forum titled “English Proficiency: Does the Education System Support the Needs of the Workplace?” was held in conjunction with The Star's English For More Opportunities initiative.


Lively discussion: Participants listening to speakers at the ‘English Proficiency:
Does the Education System Support the Needs of the Workplace?’ 
forum organised at G Hotel, Penang.

Dr Khair was one of the four panellists at the forum, which was moderated by former Education Ministry deputy director-general Datuk Noor Rezan Bapoo Hashim.

Dr Khair added that the other major finding of the survey was that two in three students failed to meet the basics in English proficiency.

“This was based on the comparison of the students' results in SPM English and Cambridge 1119 standards,” he said, adding that the survey was conducted among 13,000 students.

Dr Khair said the survey was an initial review done prior to the Preliminary Report Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Sept 11.

In relation to the curriculum and teaching in line with the strengthening of the English language, he said there were various initiatives with various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Malaysia.

“We also have English Teaching Assistant programmes as well as contract teachers employed to teach the language.”

National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) Penang branch chairman Ng Weng Tutt said the union lauded the proposal in the blueprint for the upskilling of teachers.

“The upskilling of teachers is in the right direction. After five years, teachers need to be sent for courses.

“We want the Government to upgrade all teachers, and not only from a certain group, from time to time, and also to send them for training.

“The NUTP wants the Government to have more well-trained teachers to teach English and English literature in schools,” he said.

Ng also said the union urges all parties, especially NGOs, to place equal emphasis on all languages.

“We support what the Government has proposed in the blueprint but there is still room for improvement.

“We are getting feedback from teachers before they are brought up to the Education Ministry,” he said.


> See StarEducate this Sunday for more reports.

By JOSEPHINE JALLEH josephine@thestar.com.my Source: The STAR Online Home News Nation Wednesday September 26, 2012

Education: English is at heart of problem

IT is good that the government welcomes feedback on the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 unveiled recently.

Many feel that the core issue of attaining English fluency and other shortcomings have not been addressed effectively, and that changes will be made based on further inputs from the stakeholders and public.

It will be better if the country opts for a dual-language medium of instruction, whereby, at least one more subject is taught in English. Subjects like History, Commerce, Geography, Economics and Moral Studies can be selected to give students exposure to the language.

Studying English as a subject is not enough and students will go through an arithmetic progression rather than a geometric one if more subjects are taught in English.

Science and Mathematics do not have much language content and are tough to teach in English. This is the reason for the purported poor performance of rural pupils, which led to the abolition of the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English Policy (PPSMI).

PPSMI benefited science stream students more than those in the arts stream. It is generally agreed that arts students who take up law, economics, mass communications or management need a better command of English than science students who pursue medicine, engineering or information technology.

A good choice for a second subject to be taught in English is Moral Studies (compulsory) or History (soon to be made compulsory), as both have a large language and linguistic content.

Once pupils are proficient in English, any subject, including Science and Maths, will become easier to handle.

The blueprint needs to address the core issue that has brought down the entire education system, and that is acquiring English proficiency. All others are side issues.

It is also time to de-couple English from Bahasa Malaysia as whenever the issue of English props up, there is an instant and controversial reaction about the national language.

English must be regarded as a separate issue from Bahasa Malaysia and only if we realise this can English be emphasised in the education system. It is a fallacy to perceive that the greater importance attached to English will be detrimental to Bahasa Malaysia.

The only reason Malaysia needs English is economic because it is the world's 16th largest trading nation. Thousands of Malaysians are involved in commercial transactions in a competitive environment.

It is no point saying that the Germans, Japanese or Koreans do not attach great importance to English. If they do not learn English, it is their problem.

Malaysia had a head start at progress and development after Merdeka because of an English background and good governance.

In an increasingly globalised and commercialised world, even the Europeans, Japanese, Korean and Chinese are becoming proficient in English. Look at the programmes in the Chinese television network CTVN, and witness how much China has caught up in a short time.

Many advantages that Malaysia enjoyed are whittling away and the nation's loss is others' gain.

In the future, there will be big opportunities for English-proficient graduates in multinational companies, Islamic financial institutions and others.

It must also be noted by parties which oppose the use of English that the best intellectual and well-researched books on Islam worldwide are in English, not Arabic, Urdu, Bengali, Turkish or Parsi.

It is time to stop depriving students of the vast reservoir of knowledge and opportunities that come with English proficiency.

The blueprint, which will later become policy, should predominantly focus on the issue of English in the education system, and not on the other easily attainable peripheral objectives, which only serve to distract attention and action on the real need at hand.

The blueprint offers a good chance for a paradigm shift that will benefit the younger generation by giving them the competency and capability to manage the country in a fast-changing world.

M.V. Thomas, Sungai Buloh, Selangor  Source: New Straits Times Online Letters to the Editors 26 September 2012