Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ilmu menentukan keselamatan dan maruah bangsa


Saya mengaku bertanggungjawab berkenaan mengajar Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris. Kerana itu ramai yang menuduh saya tidak bersemangat kebangsaan Melayu, tidak utamakan bahasa saya.

Pendapat saya ialah mereka yang bersemangat kebangsaan Melayu tidak harus utamakan hanya penguasaan bahasa ibunda sahaja tetapi juga melihat bangsanya bediri sama tinggi, duduk sama rendah dengan bangsa-bangsa yang maju di dunia. Hanya dengan fasih bertutur kata dalam bahasa sendiri dengan ilmu pengetahuan yang cetek tidak akan menjadi bangsa kita mulia dan mampu bersaing dengan jayanya dengan bangsa-bangsa maju dan dianggap setaraf dengan mereka.

Kita diberitahu Nabi bersabda "Tuntutlah ilmu hingga ke negeri China". Apakah dapat orang Arab tuntut ilmu orang Cina tanpa mempelajari bahasa Cina, lisan dan tulisan, terlebih dahulu?

Yang jelas daripada sejarah ialah penguasaan ilmu yang ada pada bangsa lain bermula dengan penguasaan bahasa bangsa-bangsa ini.

Sebaliknya jika kita belajar Sains dan Matematik dalam bahasa Inggeris kita akan dapat akses secara langsung sendiri semua ilmu yang diterokai dan dibukukan dalam bahasa Inggeris tanpa menunggu pengalih bahasa kita. Tiap-tiap tajuk yang terkini dan yang lama terbuka untuk kita menguasainya. Dengan itu kita tidak akan ketinggalan daripada segi ilmu pengetahuan berbanding dengan bangsa yang maju.

Bagi saya pejuang bangsa yang betul-betul bersemangat perlu bermatlamat untuk menjadikan bangsanya bermaruah, dihormati oleh semua bangsa lain dan berkebolehan bersaing dalam apa juga bidang dengan kemungkinan berjaya.

Pemimpin dan pejuang yang hanya ingin disukai ramai dan kerana itu sanggup membiar bangsanya menjadi kolot dan hina, bukanlah pemimpin yang sayang bangsanya. Mereka hanyalah oportunis yang sanggup gadai bangsa sendiri asalkan mereka dapat kekalkan kedudukan mereka. Mereka ini bukan nasionalis dalam erti kata sebenar.

Bahasa jiwa bangsa. Tetapi ilmu menentukan keselamatan dan maruah bangsa.


The above is an excerpt statement by Tun Dr Mahathir regarding the learning of Science and Mathematics in English.

Read his entire article here



moo_t said...

Honestly, everytime T.Mahathir write something, it only remind me about stubborn old man refuse to admit his mistake.

Come on, until today, majority of Malay teacher are not train in conducting English in math and science. More important, the intentions are SNAFU. To Mahathir, education,governance are like snap of finger, just do it, then everything will be in place like magic. Sustainability, maintenance, continuity plan are RARELY appear in his plan.

So Malaysia pour at least RM10 billions in Proton, and there is no polytechnic train student to make automobile. Having EPU to push stuff like IPP, without bother alternate energy or conservation. Having cyberjaya, but no properly policies to help the SME IT firm. He rather opts for fast get rich quick VC scheme method to "help" the SME IT. Spending billions enacting universities, but still falls behind yesteryear poor country, etc.

So the math and science in English suffer the same fate : "I am right". Mahathir refuse to talk about the most effective way on educating English language : extend the teaching period. He refuse to mentioned the budget spend on training. He refuse to point out, Malaysia government has failed and slow on technical books translation, despite hundred millions spent. In addition, he refuse to tell everyone, Malaysia spending on education and literacy are below many country.

Anonymous said...

He is neither a Malay or an Indian, he has lost his identity and sense of belonging. He has never fight and sacrifice for this country. What did he do to the power of Malay Ruler? wtf


Anonymous said...

Many rural students today can't string together a simple sentence in English. How on Earth or in Hell can they understand scientific terms in textbooks such as "seismical" when their proficiency in English is near sub-zero? Even the university English courses is based on elementary concepts of grammar

Anonymous said...

Basically ther is weakness in our goverment. When they want to introduce something new, they did not condut case study or consult with some expertise. Thye did it based on cabinet decison or just yes boss. If we compare to our neighbour country S'pore thir education syatem are tremendously good. Why .... bcz thir EPU really fit for the work. In Malaysai not

Look at what happen to meja projcet which was intriduce by Tun !
Example MEC ,,, already face off and next is proton city , can our citizen able to design proto engine w/o gudance form foreign expertise !
Is is not the matter nmastering the langguage but how we wnat to master it . Why Japanese who did not speak or write fluent English, can be the leader in some of the technologies. They know if they wnat to master the skill they must use thier langguage instead learning english which will take more times. They did not look at thier weakness but their strength.
In Malaysia , Tun always undergade our strength. He want to be the leader of power.

denzook said...

funny, at that time of nabi, china is not centre of the world, not the most glorious nation yet (that's end of han and before tang period)....

HuntressMoon said...

i've read that post yesterday at his site and have been a follower of his entry since then.

But what I don't get it is that, he needn't explain himself on the topic: teaching in mathematics and science in english. It is pure common sense and some people should not be against it. Ironic, in schools they have a hard time teaching english but soon, the students goes to college, everthing is in english. is it because of the betterment of perserving the future of Malaysia's national language or the incompentencies of the govermental teachers?

denzook said...

"But what I don't get it is that, he needn't explain himself on the topic: teaching in mathematics and science in english. It is pure common sense and some people should not be against it."

lks used to against teaching math and sains in anglais, saying japan, russia too advance with their mother tongue.... in fact, lks and dap like to against every call from gov......

Maverick SM said...


We cannot be cognitively dysfunctional. Credit must be given where credit is due.

Polytechnic Ungku Omar do generate automobil engineering graduates.


You are using a racist point to tarnish someone; that's not right. I'm sure we can show respect to each other while differeing in opinions.

Anon 8:59am,

We should be able to observe empirically the standards of the English of our students and the paranoia they are suffering; and of course the dilemma they are facing. You have given us much to observed.

Moo.. said...

The old man is only trying to protect his arse.

He is the one changing the medium of instruction from English to Bahasa Melayu snd he is also the one changing the teaching of Science/Maths back to English.

The old man talk cock. "Bahasa jiwa bangsa. Tetapi ilmu menentukan keselamatan dan maruah bangsa."

If it it true about his statement than what about countries like South Korea, China, Japan, India and even Thailand. These countries do not have 'ilmu, keselamatan and maruah".

We have Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and millions have been poured in and still there is no result. Whose fault is it?

denzook said...

"Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka" every year changing bahasa malaysia format, like imbuhan, structure, whatever s*it. bahasa malaysia in 1960s no longer same with bahasa malayhsia 1990s because of dbp....

facultymind said...

Wow moo, nice phrase. Ha ha. Yup i agree that he is trying to protect his arse, also meant his contibutions and legacies in the country which now onwards starts to get cranky in the public's eye.

But in a sense of way what TDM says has its own right. If not many students wont be able to compete with todays job requirements which essentially needs english communication. The practice may not be that effectively approach towards the public, but it is therefore continuing to open mind of all young students to learn english necessarily.

In a nut shell, the more language you master, the more knowledge you gain. language and knowledge are connective to each other, and its application implicates a society or a culture. And yeah, I agree with the phrase "Ilmu pengetahuan menetukan keselamatan maruah dan bangsa".

Maverick SM said...


I don't agree with your first line of argument; that is an unfair statement. Dr Mahathir had been consistent in his stand pertaining to converting back of Maths and Science back to English.


That is because the Language itself is inadequate and not comprehensive.


Your first line of argument is unfair.

Your second and third para is intellectually sound and good.

suealeen said...

i don't blame anyone in this but i don't think it's necessary to use another language to teach sc & m3.

i was a sc stream student myself. that time the teaching language was malay. eventhough i'm a kg girl, still got credits for my sc & m3 subjects and A1 for my English. i dun have problem to catch up later in the U time and working world. in fact, i worked with a big company. at U, the passing mark for english placement test was 80%, which is very high!

saya rasa seseorang itu perlu memahami terma sains & matematik dalam bahasa yang paling mudah dia fahami. pengajian dalam bahasa Inggeris hanya akan menyukarkan sebahagian besar masyarakat Malaysia terutamanya di pedalaman/kampung². sudahlah tertinggal dari segi pembangunan, tertinggal pula dari segi pendidikan.

spitalfield said...

actually,learning Math and Science is good.i've seen the book that primary school use for Math and Science in english.the only hard part about this is that for pupils to understand all the english phrase that are being used in math and science.

Tun Dr. Mahathir cause is decent to make Malaysian "berdiri sama tinggi" with other countries.but he did it in a sudden and in time that teachers and pupils arent ready fot that kind of changes.

EdiÁ•ě said...

He should just sit back and enjoy his retirement but since siti hasmah still around. He cant go foya2!

Maverick SM said...


You have been strong in English and Bahasa and therefore have no problem with both language. At the end of the day, you still can do well and communicate in English competently.


I like your statement.


Why should he lie idle? He can still contribute to the nation.

moo_t said...

facultymind say :
the more language you master, the more knowledge you gain.

Allow me to give a different point of view. Taoism philosopher Zhuangzi(370 to 301 BCE) say :
Human life are finite, but learning are infinite. Use the finite life after the infinite knowledge, are wasting your life.

Bare in mind that, mastering a language is one thing. Gather knowledge from the language is another story. There is no logical link between the language and knowledge.

For example, learning Malay language allow you to access the Malay modern literature world, but if you are a English educated, Malay language give you little knowledge on scientific breakthrough.


On the Science and mathematics part, again, I love to say, it is the culture and value that determine the society. 1st world understand this, Japanese know this long time ago.

For example, to promote science and math, the 1st world will spend time to plan before execute. Aassessment are in place to fine tune the program from time to time. A series of program and policies are created, for all the student of all age, instead of making a few "star" student. So when come to national level school level science competition, you will see even remote school are able to join, so science are not "luxury item" for urban school.

But in Bolehland, it seems we are so Boleh, things that 1st world take years to build, we want to make it happens in months. Perhaps the China "Great leap forward" syndrome caught Mahathir. ;)

Maverick SM said...


Your quote of Zhuangzi is profound; but Zhuangzi is propagating a philosophical discourse.

In learning, we have to begin with the basics: acquire language and then use it as a tool to gather knowledge and information; then learn and impart the knowledge to enable ourselves to acquire competency and profundity.

Before all else, language must be acquired before knowledge in that language can be acquired.

Purple Haze said...

Wasn't Tun Dr M the Education Minister (before being PM) ? I believe that the push to convert the total education system from English to Malay was initiated in the early 70s, so how does he expect to reverse 30 yrs of structural change in a short time frame ?

The standards of English was so high in Malaya and then Malaysia (for a while). I relished conversations with uncles who would expound new words and phrases in English with words such as Barmecide feast, causing me to research the dictionaries to find its meaning. One does not hear of these colourful phrases these days as communication English is the norm.

I will have to agree with moo_t that this man is trying hard to protect his legacy. A couple of years ago, I would have given Tun Dr M a balanced scorecard - there were good things and there were bad things. But the truth has been revealing with selective memory lapses.

Maverick SM said...

Purple Haze,

When Dr M first became Education Minister he has his idealistic ideology and Ketuanan was deeply ingrained inside his cognitive faculty.

Over 30 years he discovered that his people has been lowered into the abyss and could not communicate efficiently with the global economies.

Thus, the decision was necessary and imminent.

There are some students who puts in a lot of effort to master English and Bahasa; and for these students, Maths and Science can be in either language and they still excel. But in general, most of the students had become the new pariahs in the corporate world. The lucky ones are those who are civil servants and politicians who could continue to use BM as the communication language, as long as they need not communicate with the global economies.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone of his chidren excel in maths and science? His children despite of all available oppurtunites failed miserably in math and science! wtf


Maverick SM said...


Dr M's children are intelligent and smart; have respect for others so that the virtue reflects on yourself.