MALAY INFERIORITY COMPLEX & UMNO-BN’S ‘EVIL’ AGENDA: THE PERFECT COCKTAIL FOR POLITICAL & ECONOMIC DOOM
It’s not only really queer but becoming bizarre, the stance taken by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government of Malaysia over the use of the English language. What really is the motive and agenda over the dragging of feet in getting Malays to master English? While the whole wide world is fast tracking English language programs in their respective countries, Malaysia is lagging to keep up.
Perhaps the worldly wise counsel of an English language instructor is spot on. According to this maestro of the English language, Malays have an inferiority complex to shed before they are able to master the use of the English language. While Bahasa Malaysia is admittedly acknowledged to be the national language, English is of global importance.
For some time now and going into the future, English is going to be the mainstream language of the future and Malays have to fast recognize and get out of being ‘like a frog under the coconut shell’ (‘ saperti katak dibawah tempurung’) and broaden their world and horizon. But non-Malays and foreigners actually contend this is good as the Malays have only themselves to be blamed by being kept dumb by the government.
Delays and denials
Whenever confronted over the issue of mastering English, the BN government automatically goes into denial. No one is threatening or usurping the position of Bahasa Malaysia as the national language, all Malaysians are asking for is to recognize and acknowledge the growing importance in the world today of the English language in comparison with a domestic language like Malay.
Most Malaysians realize that in this world they can survive without Bahasa Malaysia but they cannot escape from the use of English. In every sphere of life, English is taking overwhelming control and the Malaysian government fears that this will eclipse the use of Bahasa Malaysia. But that is a forgone conclusion and the greater fear of the wider use of English by the BN government is that it will eventually lead to the erosion of Islam as the official religion of the country.
But these fears are misplaced and without basis. In the process, while Malaysian government officials send their children abroad for an education and to master the English language they keep the docile Malay masses on the use of Bahasa Malaysia. Those Malays with the use of English then become part of the elite in this country to control and hold sway over the rakyat.
BN’s evil agenda
Perhaps unknown to the BN government, its use of the English language is selective and this causes its use and agenda over the language to become evil. Malaysians are beginning to see the dichotomy between creed and deed when BN leaders put emphasis on the study and mastery of English over Malay for their children while stressing to Malaysians that they must use Bahasa Malaysia at all times everywhere.
This leaves the Malaysian masses no choice but to disregard the hypocritical policy of the BN government over the use of English and in the coming 14th general election it will play a key issue in determining who gets to have power and control over the nation from Putrajaya. Malaysians want the use of English to be taken in the proper light and not to be politicized just to gain votes to govern.
If BN hopes to stay in power they will have to fast track English language programs in pre-schools, schools, colleges and universities and within the civil service to ensure that Malaysia’s use of the English language is on part with other front running countries around the world. They should not play with fire and cause Malaysians to lose out by opting for a lower quality of life.
For decades or ever since the inception of this country through Independence from the British or “Merdeka” in 1957 there has been overt and covert battles by various political parties and groups with vested interests in this country to try and downplay the need to emphasize on the use of the English language and this has spelt disaster especially for most Malays who are unable now to compete globally.
The fact that most adult Malays are poor in the use of the English language is a major setback for this country, and there needs to be not only a revision of the government of Malaysia’s agenda on the English language, but there has to be new ways and mechanisms devised for Malaysians to have the opportunity to improve on their English language skills.
If there is no revision, if there are no changes to the existing framework being used to promote the wider use of English then Malaysia will not be able to gain the leverage they need to be able to rise up among the nations that are now ahead of us all because of the poor command of the English language by Malaysians especially the bulk of Malays in this country.