Malaysia: repeal the one-language policy

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Mar 5 14:27:43 UTC 2007

Friday, March 02, 2007

Amend Education Act, repeal one-language policy, 2.3.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw proposes
that the Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin table an Education
(Amendment) Bill, to explain that the Final Solution of having only one
language is no longer useful in the present circumstance in Malaysia. Dr
Tan refers to Hisham's statement in his interview with Sin Chew Jit Poh on
2 March, 2007, that the Chinese society should no longer be worried about
the Razak Report (1956). Yesterday, the Education Minister told Sin Chew
that it was impossible for the Government to implement Razak Report that
stressed 'one stream of (school education)' and the 'National Language
becoming the main medium of teaching' in the 'Final Solution'. This was
because this concept was no longer suitable for use in the present
circumstance in the country.

He added that building more Chinese schools was no longer a sensitive
matter, that Chinese society needn't worry about it and that time would
prove his sincerity. The public pay attention to his statement, wanting to
know whether Hisham is as good as his words. Realising the
impracticability of the Final Solution is a start. The systematic
eradication of English in schools from 1970 was part of the Final
Solution. By the early 80s last century, English in schools is history.

On the other hand, the standard of the National Language has not risen as
expected. The quality of all 62,000 teachers of BM must be raised. The
Final Solution of the 1956 Razak Report has serious consequences.
Besides doing away with English in the policy, Clause 21(2) of the
Education Act, 1961, gives the rights to the Education Minister to convert
National-type Chinese or Tamil schools to National schools. The Education
Act, 1996, emphasizes the target of creating a world-class education
without mentioning the unsuitability of the Final Solution in this
country.The Education Development Blue Print (2006--2010) overlaps with
Tan Sri Musa's Education Development Plan (2001--2010). This puzzles
Malaysians. It does not say that the Final Solution is out of date.

Now, the media carry mainly good news, creating a conducive atmostphere.
The people deserve to know truly good news, but not the false ones. We
hope that Hisham's encouraging words are not only meant for people to feel
good. If the Education Act is not amended to repeal the Final Solution,
then the Government will be able to continue to take drastic action
against people who believe in multilingual education and multi-streamed
schools. For example, in 1987, the Government used the Internal Security
Act to detain 107 people, including Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Karpal
Singh, Lau Dak Kee, the late P. Patto and I.

The Home Ministry prepared eight trumped-up charges against me. Two of the
charges concerned the Final Solution. One charge was: On March 6,1983,
while delivering a speech at a function in the vicinity of a temple at
Jalan 6, Kampong Valdor, Sungai Bakap, Penang, you accused the present
Government of practising a one-language, one-culture policy that could
lead to Islamic rule in the future. The allegation was groundless. I did
mention the 'One Language, One Culture' policy that was in the 1982 Royal
Address in parliament.

The other charge was: On October, 11, 1987, at a gathering of Thean Hou
Temple, Kuala Lumpur, you used the issue of promotions of headmasters and
senior assistant teachers without Mandarin qualifications to national-type
primary Chinese schools to provoke the racial feelings of the Chinese.
This was a completely false allegation. I did go to Then Hou Temple, but I
did not use the issue at the said venue to fan racial feeling among the

Dr Tan Seng Giaw


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