Meanwhile, 90 percentMalaysian Chinese parents choose to send their children to Chinese medium-schools. This “nine-out-of-ten” statistic is, however, close to a decade old. The figure would be even higher today.
How divisive is this choice by Malaysian Chinese to marginalize themselves from the mainstream?
The commentary below by one YS Chan in FMT misinforms from the article headline onwards.
Satu Sekolah proponents are not pushing for Malaysia to be monolingual as depicted through the misleading label of “one-language champions”.
What the 1Sekolah voices are rightly advocating is a unified – onesingle medium of instruction – education stream so that we can achieve the elusive national unity.
So enough lah from the SJK(C)s apologists. Tanjak responds to YS Chan who provides the most spurious excuses for the continuance of the vernacular education stream that segregates our children.
Below is a list of the most common rhetorical devices employed by these Chinese language chauvinists. We provide the suitable rebuttals.
1. Why is Switzerland so united when it speaks so many languages?
ANSWER: Switzerland has arguably the strictest requirements in the world to qualify for citizenship. An immigrant aspiring to be a Swiss through the process of naturalization has to pass the most stringent of citizenship tests.
(a) For one, you would have had to live in Switzerland for at least 12 years before you can apply for citizenship. You need to be well integrated into Swiss society, and of course, be able to speak the language(s) and adhere to the native customs.
(b) Authorization for granting Swiss citizenship must not only be obtained at federal level but also from the canton and municipality.
In some very strict cantons, the immigrant i.e. wannabe new Swiss national is required to be vetted by his neighbours (townsfolk) in the municipality who will then vote on whether they agree to the new citizenship application being approved.
Conclusion: Although it is difficult to strip MyKad holders of Chinese descent of their Malaysian citizenship acquired automatically through birth, nonetheless, going by Swiss standards of naturalization, these Chinese language chauvinists would not be able to qualify should they apply for Malaysian citizenship due to lack of integration into our national culture.
(c) Compare apple to apple please; different languages are used in Switzerland without discounting their collective national identity.
“It’s the same as going to expensive international schools, right? Does that mean that international schools do not promote unity by segregating the rich from the poor?
“And what proof do we have that national schools really promote unity among the races?
ANSWER: No, not the same.
(a) Expensive international schools do not ask the Malaysian government for money or land; our Ministry of Education does not pay the salaries of international schoolteachers nor bear the operational cost of the schools.
(b) What proof do you have that Chinese vernacular schools really promote unity among the races, aside from your own singular and personal experience, Farah? Are you speaking on behalf of anybody else except yourself?
4. Isn’t it true is that countries sharing one language are not necessarily united?
ANSWER: Oh, do you mean the Divided States of America?
What to do. The name-calling Democrats, like Dapsters, are darn divisive.
One striking example of a country divided by language is Belgium. Belgians living in Flanders in the north speak Dutch whereas Belgians living in Wallonia in the south speak French.
In 2007, Belgium was without a government for six months due to the enmity between its Dutch and French speakers. In 2010-11, Belgium went nineteen months without a government.
Another country with two rival languages is Canada where there has been a long-standing secessionist movement in French-speaking Quebec that seeks to separate from the rest of the English speaking country.
In Korea, Japan and Thailand for example, their people identify themselves as Koreans, Japanese and Thais.
Here in Malaysia, the Dapsters – just like the Democrats in California and New York – are enamoured of inserting hyphens into their identity marker.
If the hyphenated Malaysians truly want to be Bangsa Malaysia, then they should stop sending their children to ‘Chinese’ school which belong in China.
5. YS Chan: Don’t we still have two Koreas (despite that the two countries share one language)?
Unfortunately the north of the Korean peninsula has the tyrannical Kim dynasty, just like a small northern state in peninsular Malaysia has its own Lim dynasty.
History has however shown us that ethno-nationalism always prevails. North and South Vietnam have reunited. East and West Germany have reunified.
6. YS Chan needs a mirror
“I salute the French for promoting their language and culture by setting up 1,106 Alliance Francaise centres in 135 countries around the globe.
“We may not have the budget to go abroad, but surely it is not too difficult to open up just one centre to cater to some foreign workers and their children.”
ANSWER: Alliance Francaise teaches French to foreigners. Goethe Institute teaches German to foreigners.
Such a Malay institute to teach bahasa Melayu is not at all necessary “to cater to some foreign workers and their children” as our Bangladeshi, Nepali, Cambodian and Burmese guest workers are learning BM fine.
Such Malay language centres would best serve the DAP-MCA Malaysian Chinese.