THREE WORLDS IN ONE COUNTRY

Every country in the world adopts a suitable philosophy in its educational system. This is the result of centuries reflecting the said people’s experiences and knowledge gained through trial and error. The compilation of these reflections is preserved for the coming generations to ponder and perpetuate their relevance for the future.

What happens when there are three different philosophies germinating in the educational systems of three different races of people residing in one country? “Each to his own” is a saying very applicable in this context. Ultimately, the three divergent philosophies in three different educational systems produce three different ways of thinking, outlook and reflection practised by three different races of people.

Is there a common ground for these three different educational philosophies to meet apart from their origins in the East? Can there be a common ground for these three different educational philosophies to converge and melt into one in the coming future?

In the field of Malaysian education, the three different philosophies representing three different civilisations of Malaysia’s three races – the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians – are regressive. It is very telling in its economic sector. Malaysia’s economic sector is an extension of its regressive educational system.

Most university graduates are unemployable. Mediocrity at all levels of Malaysian society has deprived its real talent to contribute effectively to Malaysia’s economic development. When mediocrity is rewarded handsomely, it spells disaster along Malaysia’s ever-closing narrow path of economic development.

A global world needs people with a global outlook. And in this global world, only those who are qualified with an education delivered in the global language called English stand a better chance economically. But that better chance does not necessarily equate to a definite place in the world’s economy as other contributory factors such as one’s attitude as well as subtlety of thought in surmising events and articulating them confidently play a crucial role too. In short, intelligence to wade through life’s many perplexities and difficulties is sorely needed by an individual if he is to progress unhindered in his occupation.

Many Malaysians fear the worst. English is viewed with hostility as it will erode both the local languages and the respective educational philosophies of the three vernacular schools, gradually. Hence, the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians in Malaysia will fight tooth and nail to preserve their respective vernacular schools at all costs even though Malaysia loses its economic competitiveness globally. It also reveals how contented most of these Malaysians are when it comes to the education of their young. They are trapped in a self-delusional syndrome of things being economically rosy forever. They don’t see a connection between the country’s educational system and its continued economic performance globally in the future. All they see is the maintenance of their respective mother-tongues as mediums of instruction in their respective vernacular schools.

Educationally, Malaysia is divided. It is reflected economically, politically and socially in its very fabric.

Clinging on vehemently to the relevance of the three vernacular schools in Malaysia, the proponents fail to observe the bigger picture of Malaysia’s continued economic survival globally. As more and more neighbours in the ASEAN region embrace globalisation with its accompanying changes, Malaysia’s economic competitiveness begins to slide. What about the other regions in the world?

“Economic growth means growth in the amount of goods and services produced.” What about the distribution of those goods and services? Who will be responsible for their distribution in international markets – TOM and JERRY? the government of the day? bodybuilders? hospital staff? the fire brigade? the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO)? Baba Ali? It must be the manufacturers and the providers themselves. The sooner the goods and services are distributed, the sooner the Malaysian manufacturers and providers make money and capture new markets.

Most Malaysian business entities have been very comfortable in the local market alone. When the domestic consumption of their goods and services reduce, they will be forced to export. Naturally, their sales, marketing and promotional efforts will be done in the English language.

Besides, they will have to contend with many issues on the global stage. One of them is the quality of their goods and services offered. As a result, they may end up “dumping” their goods and services into countries lesser developed than Malaysia. What about exporting them to developed nations? Any chance of most Malaysian-made goods and services making an impact in the developed countries in the long-run? Are most Malaysian-made products and services able to compete or on par with those found in developed countries? Otherwise, Malaysians should just resign their fate to that of village champions.

The real test for Malaysian business players comes when the world’s economy moves at a snail’s pace. Businesses will compete ruthlessly for their share in the global market. And in that coming ruthless economic environment across many countries, business players don’t speak and write in Punjabi. They speak and write in English.

The world is gradually gravitating towards a knowledge-based economy. In the current age, most knowledge and information are obtained via the English language. No doubt there are other languages that can help one to gain knowledge and information but they may not be on par with or equal to such knowledge and information acquired from the English language. As long as an individual’s knowledge is subordinate to others in the same field, he cannot claim to be in the know of what is happening in his field with confidence. On a macro scale, people with lesser knowledge in a country will not deliver the necessary results in the form of economic power to that nation compared to people with more knowledge from other countries. The former nation’s economic power will be slowly eroded over a period of time, rendering the greater population the inability to earn decent wages for a decent living. The other option is for that said nation to cut itself off completely from the wave of economic globalisation altogether. There will be no need at all for the population to empower themselves in the English language which is the lingua franca of the world.

In the Malaysian context, English was the dominant language in the field of education before 1970. It was the medium of instruction in schools, colleges and the sole university – University Malaya – in that era. It played a major role in uniting the three races in those places of learning as there was only one educational philosophy – an educational philosophy based on the British way of thinking, outlook and reflection. Hence, the learners who acquired and savoured knowledge were trained in the best traditions of thinking and intellectual development based on the philosophies of English penetration and Scottish reflection that permeated the subject-matters in that era.

Most parents from the three races in the old Malaya – the Malay parents working mostly in agriculture, the Chinese parents working mostly in trade and the Indian parents working mostly in the rubber estates – sent their offspring to such places of learning where English was the medium of instruction despite the existence of the vernacular schools. Knowledge delivered in the English language guaranteed the future of young Malayans then.

Thus, for Malaysia to remain economically relevant in a globalised world in the coming future, it needs to re-introduce English as a medium of instruction in its public schools and public universities. It can achieve strong unity among its three races and empower its young intellectually for the constantly changing world.

So long as the policymakers involved in charting the educational needs of Malaysia’s population as a whole in the greater global economic community don’t see the need and the relevance of the English language as a medium of instruction in the public schools and the public universities, Malaysians can expect their coming generations to be a contented lot that will never aspire to the greater things in life. That inaction on the part of Malaysian policymakers will only serve to uplift the economic lot of Malaysia’s neighbours in the ASEAN region and the other parts of Asia, for these neighbours can use Malaysia’s regressive educational system as an ammunition to hit it further in the global economic arena, thereby diverting foreign investors to their shores.

When three races of people are running in three different directions in one country, how can they collectively unite as ONE COHESIVE UNIT to develop the country in all its spheres?

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SOUND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, ANYONE?

Garbage sells well these days.

Garbage is infectious and it can infect all pursuits.

The financial health of an economy is one of those pursuits.

Running a country is like running a household. To run a household continuously, its members must have income from various sources. But members of some households may experience a lot of hiccups to generate decent wages for a decent living. Their standard of living deteriorates. The income from other sources just helps them to tide over their pecuniary difficulties. Wastage is not a part of their lives as they are not in a position to squander their incomes freely. As such, the members of that household must be diligent and resilient to overcome any economic hardship that springs out of the blue.

A government is the administrative institution of the state. The government must ensure that the revenue collected from various sources is put to good use. This is to guarantee the continuous existence of the state. Therefore, it becomes incumbent upon that government to prepare a prudent budget that will help the diligent and resilient members of the state to prosper.

When a country’s annual budget looks more like a handout, the citizens begin to question about the economic status of their country.

Always look at the result of an enterprise. When the result of an enterprise shows nothing real for a long period of time, that enterprise is GARBAGE through and through. Those who promote, support and trumpet garbage are garbage too.

The decades of decadence, economic mismanagement and handouts must manifest somewhere and somehow.

Emerson reminds us that “Things refuse to be mismanaged long.”

WHEN A SUPERPOWER IS LED BY A SUPER NUT

Leaders make things happen. Leaders can be good or bad. Leaders can be intelligent or stupid.

A nation’s progress depends on its intelligent leadership. As such, a leader who leads a progressive nation must be intelligent in governing the affairs associated with the running of a nation.

These days, it is becoming very obvious that some nations are led by incompetent leaders. These incompetent leaders enlist the help of incapable subordinates to run a country. It is a classic case of like attracting like.

When the leader of a country is unfit to lead, he will naturally attract only unfitted individuals to work for him. In the end, the citizens of the said country will experience CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE INADEQUATE KIND pertaining to the leadership of the country.

The citizens will be flabbergasted at such kind of leadership as it will reflect their values to the whole world. In other words, the citizens will become the laughing stock of the whole world.

The leadership of a country is a reflection of its citizens. When the citizens practise and uphold cherished values in their lives, those values are mirrored in the leaders tasked to run the affairs of the country.

When a superpower is led by a super nut, how should one describe the leader of that superpower?

THE NUTTY PRESIDENT?

ARE TERRORISTS CONFINED TO DISCIPLES OF ONLY ONE RELIGION?

Does anyone, who is in a right state of mind, want to die a reckless death?

Terrorism is spreading in every nook and cranny of the earth. No one is safe. No country is safe. So long as an individual has an evil agenda and access to guns or other modes of killing, he will unleash a rage of terror on unsuspecting members of the public unnoticed. That individual becomes a terrorist.

These would be terrorists are disciples of many religions being practised by people around the world today. These would be terrorists don’t give a damn about anything. They just want to make a statement to the whole world.

In the past, perhaps, some of the terrorists were disgruntled souls who never achieved what they wanted in their lives. As such, they needed an outlet to vent their frustrations unto others in a violent manner. There were many other contributory factors that led to their violent actions.

Terrorist attacks are crimes and all crimes are terrifying be they a mass shooting perpetrated by a lone-wolf, a hate crime committed by an individual or groups of people, etc.

If people from one religion contend that no terrorists can be found among their followers, then the members of that religion really need to get their heads examined. It is tantamount to saying that no indiscipline exists at all among the students of a school. It is tantamount to saying that that school is filled with students who are flawless. If that were the case, parents from all backgrounds would definitely send their children to such a school. That is IDEALISM at its best.

When one member of the Christian flock commits an act of terror resulting in the deaths of many innocent people, how should people define such an act?

Is a school devoid of indiscipline among students from various races, colours and creeds?

Are Christians, from the various races and colours, devoid of terrorists in their midst?

The world has witnessed terrorists belonging to all religions from the past till the present.

Just because one member of religion A unleashes an act of deadly terror on innocent people, does that give the right for others to lump all members of religion A as terrorists? Where is the logic in such thinking?

Were there no terrorists from the Christian religion at all in the past?

Wait a minute! They were not practising Christians and they didn’t believe in Jesus Christ at all. Therefore, they were not Christian terrorists. Ignore the FACT that they were born under the banner of Christianity and that they were baptised according to the Christian religion.

Are there no terrorists from the Christian religion at all now?

Are the Christians one up on people from other faiths?

OF DISCIPLINE IN SCHOOLS AND THE RULE OF LAW IN A COUNTRY

Indiscipline among students in schools can lead to many problems later.

The school is a place of learning for students and of imparting knowledge for teachers. For teaching and learning to take place in an orderly manner in schools, discipline is paramount.

The discipline enforced in schools guarantees the safety of educators, students and administrators alike. Teaching and learning in school is taken to greater heights when educators and students are safe from bad elements within the school compound. Parents will be more confident to send their children to schools that enforce strict discipline in their day-to-day affairs.

What happens when there is no discipline in schools? Who bears the responsibility for indiscipline in schools – educators, students, administrators, parents or the state?

As I see it, the responsibility of ensuring strict discipline in schools lies with all the parties mentioned above – educators, students, administrators, parents and the state. The cooperation of all these parties is vital in making discipline work successfully in a school environment.

Resources of various kinds are being invested into the education sector of a country. Will all the resources pumped into the education sector of a country yield any benefit if indiscipline spreads like wildfire in schools? When some sections of the student population behave and act like “arsonists” in the school environment, imagine what they can do in their adult lives. Are they being groomed to become future terrorists in society? As these “arsonists” have no respect for disciplinary rules imposed by the school authorities, what respect will they have for the rule of law imposed by the respective authorities of a country?

Consider the crucial roles of discipline in schools and the rule of law in a country. Do you see the bigger and real picture?

Would anyone want to live in a society that has no rule of law? The discipline in schools is a precursor to the rule of law in a country. With the rule of law, society is run in an orderly manner. Every citizen plays his part, knowing very well that the rule of law permits him to carry out his activities legally. If a citizen breaks the rules of a country or participates in any illegal activities wilfully, then he knows the penalties that will ensue.

To conclude, without discipline in a school environment and the rule of law in a country, a society ends up with law-breaking citizens who will have no respect for people and property.

ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE

Hurricanes are bad. The devastation unleashed by hurricanes on the economic and the financial fronts can linger for some time. In short, the state and the federal governments of countries experiencing terrible hurricanes need to plan their budgets prudently every year. This planning helps them to expect the worst and prepares them to disburse vital aid of various kinds to the people affected by hurricanes quickly.

There have been many hurricanes that have been affecting man on all sides lately – Hurricane Crude Oil Price, Hurricane Political Economy, Hurricane Refugee Crisis, Hurricane Religious Fanaticism, Hurricane Terrorism, etc. How have the state and the federal governments of countries throughout the world been dealing with these “hurricanes”?

The havoc caused by these “hurricanes” on the economic and the financial sides still linger till today without any respite. In fact, things are getting worse economically and financially throughout the world. There seem to be no long-lasting solutions provided by the powers that be to all the above-mentioned “hurricanes”. Thus far, the various remedies for man’s ills created by these “hurricanes” have brought nothing.

Cornered on every side, economists, policymakers and the powers that be are forced to provide real and tangible solutions afflicting the people of many countries at the moment. If they fail to give any concrete solutions, then HURRICANE REVOLUTION will be unleashed.

Here I am,

ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE…

Here I am,

ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE…

RULES

When the very rules of English grammar and composition are broken, we should not expect good speakers and writers of the English language.

The study of grammar is the backbone of English teaching and learning. When the very backbone of English teaching and learning is missing, don’t expect anyone to speak and write English correctly, coherently and effectively.

The study of English grammar and composition should begin in Primary 1. After all the 10 or 11 years spent in learning grammar and composition in school, most students will be able to speak and write English well while in college or university.

When we know the rules of a game, we play to win.

When we know the rules of English grammar and composition, we speak and write English with confidence.

FAKE LEADERS

Have you ever wondered why some people are suited for certain occupations? It is as though they are meant to do those occupations.

Some people are good at what they do but some people just mess things up or they just pretend that they know what they are doing. There are many pretenders, who are unintelligent and who are real copycats, in the world today.

They copy the way of their predecessors or superiors who have contributed much to the respective professions. These copycats are in every vocation and they don’t possess much intelligence as well as common sense to solve issues related to their work quickly and successfully. Instead, they rely very much on others’ thinking to extricate themselves out of terrible blunders or they have many earlier role models to guide them. Nothing is theirs. Everything is borrowed from others. In short, they lack originality of thought.

Many copycats can be found in positions of leadership. For instance, some leaders of countries don’t possess any leadership qualities but they run countries. They are not even supposed to be leaders of countries, and yet somehow they managed to land the coveted posts of political leadership through trickery and deceit.

When they become leaders, they don’t introduce fresh and new thoughts pertaining to economic issues plaguing their respective countries. They don’t seem to be doing anything different from their predecessors. In fact, they are bankrupt of ideas.

As they don’t show anything new and refreshing for their citizens to emulate, these “leaders” become boring and stale. When these “leaders” open their mouths, it is only BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. There is nothing new, original and refreshing really. They just rant and rave.

In contrast, intelligent leaders are brimming with ideas or they work with intelligent and like-minded individuals as they are to contribute fresh insights concerning various challenges facing a country and its citizens. It all boils down to intelligence. Intelligence is quickness of understanding and it is not acquired through an education alone. Leaders with less intelligence just berate others for their glaring failures. Such leaders will never admit that they are wrong.

Have you also wondered why the leaders of some countries lack the oomph to lead? The answer is very simple. They are the “MADE LEADERS” who don’t possess any leadership qualities and skills at all. For that reason, they don’t make any impact on those who are led. These “made leaders” lack inspiration and they don’t inspire others to think and do differently. These “made leaders” lack the bearing and the commanding appearance of real leaders. These “made leaders” are copycats who copy the leadership qualities of real leaders. To sum it all up, these “made leaders” can never equal the true leaders who are born and not made in terms of intelligence and real leadership qualities.

From their mannerisms and actions, one can safely conclude that the fake leaders who are the “made leaders” have a very limited outlook on the real life experienced daily by the layman as they are totally indifferent to the plight of ordinary people. These fake leaders just float aimlessly in mid-air.

The fake leaders don’t understand what the ordinary citizens go through in their daily lives. The fake leaders live in ivory towers in moated castles away from the citizens who toil for their living in the villages and the cities day and night. From time to time, the fake leaders along with their “court jesters” will make their appearances to the masses and articulate soundly about their relevance to lead the ordinary people in times good and bad. But in their heart of hearts, the fake leaders, who are just play-acting, don’t give two hoots about their citizens’ well-being.

Where does that leave the ordinary citizens when such fake leaders helm their nations?

THE RESULTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

Dancing is a good form of recreation. In some cultures, dancing is a way to express joy when celebrating certain occasions.

Not everyone can imitate dancers and their capabilities. Nobody can masquerade as a dancer because his true dancing capabilities can be assessed by everyone immediately. The results are there for everyone to see and judge.

The majority of people in many other occupations, however, can masquerade their false capabilities in front of the layman. These false talents can pretend to be what they are not. It is just play-acting. They just play-act their designated roles in the respective vocations without raising suspicions in others. They are some of the incompetent doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, lecturers, engineers, politicians, etc. in our midst today. Their play-acting has brought them very far in the professions. They are the real masqueraders.

The masqueraders need to show results too. It is through the results of the efforts put in by people that determine their true worth.

For example, after 48 years of teaching and learning English using the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) Approach yielding nothing but FAILURES UPON FAILURES for the majority of Malaysians, don’t the results show clearly the failure of the CLT Approach practitioners, Malaysians and native speakers alike? That is nearly half-a-century. Do they need another half-a-century to improve the standard of English among Malaysians? How else would one describe the achievements of the CLT Approach practitioners, Malaysians as well as foreigners? A successful failure?

Let’s take another glaring example in another field for everyone to see and judge. When leaders of some countries don’t lead their citizens to better economic and financial prospects, don’t the results show clearly that these leaders have failed in their political leadership roles? Don’t the results matter? When the results in the economic field show that the citizens in one country are dying of hunger and malnourishment, shouldn’t the leader be blamed for leading that country to such a state? How else would one put it? Good and caring statesmanship? Tell it to the hungry and malnourished citizens of that country.

When a business entity keeps making losses for decades, thereby prompting financial bailouts by a government to keep that business afloat, don’t the results show clearly that the concern has been badly run for decades? How else would one put it? Profitable losses?

Do the majority of people work for free? Don’t they get paid for work done after a certain period of time? Aren’t the RESULTS of their efforts at the workplace in the form of wages or salaries?

One must open his eyes to observe REALITY through the RESULTS of an attempt achieved by an individual or a group of people.

The GOOD RESULTS show that they are the right people in the respective occupations.

The BAD RESULTS show that they are the wrong people in the respective occupations.

The RESULTS speak for themselves and they speak VOLUMES.