Sunday, November 29, 2009

We will lose if continue accommodating

(Mingguan Malaysia, 29 November)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia

Many people asked how Lee Kuan Yew can be successful with the system of one school in Singapore using English as the main language. Lee Kuan Yew was highly praised because he was willing to sacrifice the mother tongue language for the national interest. Is it true? My answer is Lee Kuan Yew had no choice. Hence, he had to make a stand. If there are choices, I believe he would have acted otherwise. Remember! Mandarin is still an important subject over there compared to the Malay language, being the reason that they are the majority.

We need to understand the history of Singapore on why Lee Kuan Yew had to choose the English language? If Singapore did not originate from the system of the Malay country, I believe Lee Kuan Yew will not choose the English language. Lee Kuan Yew has long been able to read the psychological mindset of the Malays. His ability to read and write Jawi managed to melt the Malays. If the Chinese language was chosen, it will be certainly opposed by the Malays at that time.

Singapore can not be separated with the Malays. Even until to this day I would still say that Singapore is a country in the Malay Archipelago. Unless Singapore is in the archipelago such as Taiwan, then I would recognize it as a nation of its own. Lee Kuan Yew only sacrificed the Mandarin language only temporarily. Let us not make the assumption that Singapore is well developed for using the English language. It is actually closely related to the nature of ultra kiasu.

We should not be surprised that Singapore can be a developed nation within a short period. If Singapore is destined to be as big as Malaysia or Indonesia, I believe it would not be where it is now. Singapore is fortunate because of its location and size which were the many factors that help made it into the developed countries. Do not be too impressed with its leadership until we forget what it has done to our country before this. Do we still have the memory on the history and the dark events that lead to the separation of Malaysia-Singapore? Did the entry of Singapore into Malaysia truly sincere? Read the history. What is important today is how to overcome their ultra kiasu attitude which is highly dangerous to our country's politics. Remember, the followers of this ultra kiasu from Singapore are plenty in our country, thus they do not cease from requesting and demanding. Are we still not aware? In short, they are not alone.

Just look at how much strategic land has been mortgaged? Similarly, with the luxury houses that had been purchased? Do not discount the water agreement and water catchment's areas which are being protected by their armed forces even in Johor. Lee Kuan Yew rarely visits to Malaysia after the separation, but why was he willing to tour our country recently, particularly to Penang? Do you realize what were being discussed explicitly and implicitly? Think. Do not overlook on the fate of the Malays in Penang? Do not regret after being hit. Before you are hit you need to be careful. When rice has turned into porridge, it is already too late. The disunity among us is a clear indication of their success.

Wake up my dear friends, the Malay Muslims in Singapore have been successfully melted. Today a handful of the Malays are sweetened with power and are already not as Malay Muslims. They had not only been melted, but no longer concern about the Malay Muslims, except for those in the madrasahs. To what extent can the madrasahs with hold? It is still remains a big question today. The position of the madrasahs is decreasing. Similarly, their mosques are facing the same thing, too. Have we not realized? It is already enough that we lose Pulau Batu Putih. Don't just regret over it. Take it as a lesson before it is too late. Those who are strong with the Malay Muslims spirit will never be selected as leaders or ministers over there. Therefore, such person like Dr. Lily Zubaidah Rahim (2001) was thrown out from her own land. This is because for speaking to protect the interests of the Malay Muslims. Have we not learned from this?

Let us ponder why Singapore today spend almost USD11 billion a year on defense just to strengthen the country with a population of only 4.6 million and is ranked number 23 in the world? It is more than double the amount that Indonesia spends on defense (USD 4.7 billion). Their defense expenditure far exceeded our country which is not even listed in the world ranking. Have we realized that their close allies are the enemies of Islam such as Israel, America, Australia, Britain and others? Have we not thought on what were their actual agenda if it is not because of us? I am confident that we will not lose the island of Batu Putih if our strength exceeded theirs. Our threats and warnings would have shaken them. But why they are so bold and rude? Because they already knew their strength and is ever ready to face any consequences. Tendency for them to win big is in their favor.

Perhaps the defense experts may not agree with me. But we must remember, today we are no longer using humans to fight but technological sophistications is the word. Make a comparison on our war defense technology with Singapore. The difference would be like the sky and the earth. We should spend more money on national defense. Unfortunately, more money was used for politics instead for defending the country. It's time we reduce slightly on politicizing for the sake of building our national defense strength.

To what extend do we want to continue to believe that the cold war has ended and that the world is safe? Enemies are no longer around and we do not need to be strong? Have we not realized that the enemy is growing stronger and is always discussing plans to destroy us?

Henceforth, I hereby appeal that we do not engage ourselves in politics too much. So much time and money were used up just to defeat among ourselves. Unfortunately, we are not only engaging ourselves politically in politics, but in other areas as well. Take for instance in seizing power in the office or public bodies, agencies, NGOs and others. These do not include the issues of corruption. In short, nearly in every areas the Muslims engaged themselves politically. Politics is actually a loss and weakening itself. Ultra kiasu will take advantage.

The enemy will continue planning to make the Muslims fight among themselves. Today we are being instigated with Indonesia. Who are the provocateurs? Let us think together. Simple logic, if the neighboring Islamic countries are fighting with each other, then it would be easier for the country and the ultra kiasu to organize their strategy. Let us not be too emotional among ourselves for I am afraid we will not benefit anything.

The West is making the Arab countries fighting among themselves. As a result, the illegalized Israel gained control of the Arab countries with a ratio of 1 Israeli to more than hundred Arabs. 100 Arabs could not defeat 1 Israeli. While in terms of logic, 1 person can be flooded by 100 people that teamed up to urinate on the Israeli. Instead the opposite resulted. The one successfully defeated the 100. Arab-Israeli scenario is similar to the Singapore-Malay archipelago. They are already prepared with all the power of technology. We continue to politicize with no end.

We are fortunate that today we have became consumers of technology and not the creator. The benefit is that we do not need to spend additional time to create the technology because it has been created. So much time developing these technologies have been saved. What is needed today is to fully utilize these technologies and capitalize them as what is being done by Iran. Instead, Iran is being victimized by the West.

The West and the ultra kiasu have successfully read the thoughts of the Muslims. They knew that their technology is used by the Muslims. The Muslims will become stronger if the technology is capitalized fully. Thus, before that to happen, they break and melt them for easy controlling. It appears that their strategy is successful. The Muslims were successfully controlled and broken up. It is not because they are not technological savvy. Actually they are clever. Instead they were being induced to fight and quarrel among themselves over petty issues such as the Bali pendet dance. Unfortunately, for those not fighting, the technology is not being capitalized but being used incorrectly instead. Eventually the spirit became empty and melted.

Therefore, I am appealing that we begin the first step by resolving the basic issues related to the education in our country. This is because education is very important as a defense mechanism stronghold. It should begin with one school system. The foundations of patriotism must be present. Do not gamble the future and the national security systems in order to maintain power today. If popularity is lost but the future of education is secured, it's only for a while not to be popular. What is the use of popularity if the education future and country eroding? Retreating does not mean we are defeated. Instead it is to recoup our strength, rather than we continue to lose and eventually be defeated. I still remember the words in Latin "si vis Pacem para bellum", which means that if you wish for peace, prepare for war. Are we ready in that direction when others had already prepared themselves long ago? If they are too ultra kiasu, are we too accommodating? We need to be firmed against them for the future interest. Remember! We will lose if we continue accommodating.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Do Not Politicize the Country's Education Future

(Mingguan Malaysia, 22 November)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia

I was hoping the government will not bow down to the pressure from the Chinese Federation of Associations of Malaysia (Hua Zong) to assist the 60 of the Chinese Independent Secondary School and to recognize the certificates issued (UEC). It is already enough with the existing of over 1300 SJKC and this will be increased from time to time. Separation in the primary school is already a burden for us to strengthen the future. Do we want to continue to divide them when they are in the secondary school? This does not include the IPTS which has a strong race based with a very significant number of enrolments, using the mother tongue as the main language especially in Kajang, Kuala Lumpur and others. I am able to name each one of them. However, I shall not reveal them for the time being. Is this the spirit of 1Malaysia?

In the vernacular schools, the Malay language is taught three times a week. Can they actually master the national language? Do make a research. Just look at only the UPSR results of these students in the Malay language and the transition classes. That is already enough to provide an overview. Then conduct a census in the new villages. Rate the level of the mastery of the national language. I'm not anti-Chinese. I love my race for Allah also created them, too. If I reject them, it also means that I reject Allah that created me as a Chinese. Am I anti-Chinese when I bring up this issue?

Let's debate today for the sake of our future. Hopefully our children and grandchildren will have a better life after this. Their interests must be prioritized against our own interests. In fact, the Minister of Education has full authority to reject all these vernacular schools. However, the power vested was not enforced. Just consider if such tolerance was absent.

Before 1996, we have the Education Act 1961 Section 21 (1B), which empowers the Minister of Education to close or abolish the SJKC / T. This Act made the Chinese associations fearful. They have appealed and urged the government to repeal this act. On the basis of compromising, and in 1995, the education minister made a bold decision by agreeing with the Chinese request to withdraw the power vested or in other words the provision in the act by presenting a new Education Act in 1996 which was more acceptable.

The Education Act 1996 introduced was still not agreeable by a handful of the ultra kiasu. The ultra kiasu considered the amendment of Education Act 1961 to 1996 had actually solved one problem with the repeal of Section 21 (1) (b), but had also created new problems with the addition of Section 17 (1). According to them, Section 17 (1) provides new powers to the Minister of Education to enforce the vernacular schools to use the Malay language as the main medium.

The ultra kiasu argued that the previous act context was within the primary school but the new act allows the ministry to have a wider scope of context from pre-school education to post secondary level education. According to Section 28 of the act, only vernacular schools owned by the state government are granted 'special permission' by the Minister of Education, which may be exempted from the provisions under Section 17 (1).

In fact, the Education Act 1996 also known as Act 550 'is softer' compared to the Education Act 1961 which was repealed. Is this tolerance? The vested power was sacrificed for the sake to accommodate others. For those ultra kiasu who are always opposing with me, please read this act and make a comparison with the previous act. Whoever enacted this act, if it is not for our Prime Minister today which was the then Minister of Education? The Minister of Education before him could not compromise on this at all. Who was that? Just ask the party affiliated with this ultra kiasu. I do not actually understand why they are so good today while before that, the Act 1961 was the most feared by this ultra kiasu.

However, a group of the ultra kiasu is never grateful, let alone appreciative. I do not see any differences in the SJKC with the Chinese schools in China in terms of language, except with the additional Malay subject being taught 3 hours a week. I remembered the words of Khoo Kay Kim that the education system today must meet the requirements to establish the idea of 1Malaysia. The multiple educations system will not help the people to understand the establishment of this great idea. Children are separated from young. When they have grown up, it would be difficult for them to cooperate with each other. The vernacular school was originally established to enable the Chinese and Indian people to learn about the country they originated from. But today they have became the people of Malaysia, thus such situation should not exist anymore. Kay Kim is frustrated with those groups who are defending schools which are race-based.

I am full of anticipation on those who talk a lot about maintaining the vernacular schools would make a complete study on this. Do not always blame the government only. What is really their agenda? If only to defend the heritage of ancestors, please bear in mind on the culture and way of life of others, too. Do not just blame on the language as an issue, because the language issue is a national problem. I hereby ask them to do a research on the performance of the Malay language (BM) in the vernacular schools. First, is the ability and capacity to understand and converse in BM? Second, is the percentage of BM failure? Third, on the problem arises from the transition classes and problems of communication among students in BM. Fourth, on the interactions among students from the transition classes with the Malay students. Fifth, is the failure and low passing rate in BM in the PMR and SPM levels? Sixth, is the understanding and ability on BM after finishing high school? Seventh, is the ability to speak BM among the non-Malays? If it is still not feasible to make a study, then take a sample of several political leaders and NGOs which are vocal, including lecturers from the Chinese institutions and test their ability on BM?

We were extremely disappointed when recently, as reported in the Chinese newspapers that a few Chinese organizations such as Dong Zong, Hua Zong, the Association of Heads of Chinese Schools, Chinese Schools Alumni Association and other Chinese associations were strongly against the proposal by the Ministry of Education to standardize the BM syllabus in SK and SJKC. For your information, the BM syllabus in SJKC is very much easier than SK. That was how united they are. When studying BM, they want it to be simple & easy (cincai). Instead, in studying own language, it must be in detail. Are we seriously strengthening the country? Isn't this ultra kiasu? Are we still blind and unconscious? Simple reasoning; the students of SJKC must not be burdened with BM which is relatively difficult because they had to learn three languages, namely Mandarin as a major, BM as a second language and English as a third language. This is the fate of the Malay language in the Malay land. Have we realized that BM is the easiest language in the world? Obviously BM is difficult if only taught three times a week at the SJKC. Are we serious?

I do not deny there are some Chinese students who managed to get excellent results in the Malay language, but the number is very small. That is also because it is a compulsory subject to pass. Imagine if it is not a compulsory subject. Is the learning of the Malay language is because of being forced or for loving the language as spirit of national identity? Please consider. There is no need to uphold a wet strand of thread for our children will face a greater loss later and we will not be there. Do not let our ego today destroy our future interests.

To the ultra kiasu I would like to ask them to give me an example of a country in the world that practices such a system as ours? If there is I will yield. I will not touch the issue on vernacular educations. Is this not heaven for us in here? Do not always use diversity as strength of argument or unity within diversity. Too much diversity will also not benefit. We need to find more similarities to meet the goal of establishing the idea of 1Malaysia. The similarities can only be achieved with a shared goal of the national vision. It starts with sharing the one school system, without denying the rights of everyone respectively. If issues such as the basic language we cannot agree on, what else can we agree on? In short, the one school system is only a fantasy if we continue to be soft. Kiasu is permissible. It is not wrong to be kiasu. In fact, Islam permits it also. But just do not be ultra kiasu. We are Chinese but don't be too ultra Chinese, ultra Malay, ultra India and other ultra races in Sabah and Sarawak. That is already extreme and excessive.

I am also not denying the fact that the vernacular school teachers are hardworking and dedicated. But that does not mean that we can make a generalization that the national school teachers are not of the same standards as with the SJKC. Remember! It is not all teachers in SJKC are good. I had my experienced. I'm neither a Chinese converted to Malay nor a Chinese apostate. I am only defending the interests of the future of our children and our great-great-grandchildren. Do not politicize the education because it is extremely dangerous for the future of the country. Do not deny the role of the government on capital assistance schools such as SJKC. Please be reminded that more than 400 SJKC is aided and built by the government in every Malaysia plan.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

When Own Strength is Dismissed

(Mingguan Malaysia, 15 November)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia

As expected it is a taboo to question the vernacular education as this has made some of the ultra kiasu jumped. They claimed that it is their rights. Ethnic interests must be preserved. It cannot be interfered. What I had written was about nation building and empowering the national interest future without denying the rights of the other races to learn their own languages. Are we still confused? The irony part is that if they are agreeable on the one school system, then English should be the main medium and not the Malay language. It is obvious that they are excluding altogether and reduce the position of Malay language as the national language. When the language is not respected, will the race of the language be affected, too?

Therefore it is not a surprise that today they are very proud and boast with the additional names such as Joe, Michael, Nicol, Matthew, Martin and etc. Sometimes it becomes so nauseated by just hearing and calling these names. They have a sense of pride by associating with the Christianity and the West, and not associating at all with Islam and Malay. Is it not that the east is much closer to us than the west? Some are willing to change into new identity cards merely because they are obsessed with the west. Why are the names like Muhammad, Mahmood, Aziz, Ridhuan and other Islamic names are not favorable, but viewed instead with hatred? Are the Islamic and Malay names so disgusting? Are the usages of Islamic names considered to have neither standard nor glamorous? Is it not that the names from the east actually featured more towards 1Malaysia? I do not have to open a can of worms here. Let me save them temporarily for the next time.

It is not my intention to instill the fire of hatred among the races. However, the various comments have forced me to reveal the truth about some of them which are never grateful. They preferred to be assimilated and acculturated with the west instead of with the Malays and Islam.

Whatever that is pertaining to the assimilation and acculturated with the Malay Muslims is lowly perceived and will not be practiced at all. Meanwhile, the western way of life is accepted wholeheartedly. Just take for instances on the lifestyles such as wearing the Malay dress, using songkok, eating with the hands and listening to Malay music. Have we seen the non-Malays at least acculturated such manners? If there are, they can be countable with our fingers.

In the context of 1Malaysia, it is more appropriate that we assimilated and acculturated with the Malay Muslim's way of life, because it will benefit the country's future. The Muslims are easily impressed and 'melt' with the non-Malays who are trying to borrow their way of life. Instead, we are more western than the west. This included the Malays. Sometimes to the extent of forgetting that they are Malays because of being too western.

Being a Chinese Muslim, my race does not want to be associated directly with the Malays, especially on the lifestyle. If there is any friendliness with the Malays, it is for favors and advantages. Only a minority of the Malays actually worked in the non-Malay companies. Conditions such as the ability to communicate in Mandarin are an excuse to reject the Malay workers. In comparison with the Malay companies that took non-Malays workers, on the grounds that the non-Malays are more diligent than the Malays. In fact, sometimes the non-Malays are also appointed to higher positions. Who is actually more willing to give and receive in this case?

Even though if the Malays (including Indonesians) are employed, they are only for the purpose to popularize the sale of the food and services. The Malays are being used. The Malay name will be used to popularize the food sales such as using the Malay and Muslim as the brand names. However, the actual basic right remains unfulfilled. The Malays continue to give in for it is their iron rice bowl. How many Malay Muslim employees have complained to me that they are unable to perform the Friday prayers and the obligatory prayers? I can actually provide a list of the companies. The prayer time is considered a waste of time and reduces quality and productivity. However, we know that the fear of a person has with Allah, the stronger he will work for the people, whether the employer is a Muslim or not. The nature of fearing Allah will make the person perform their work with care. I do not deny the fact that there are people pious in praying but are also lazy and deceitful.

Is there already a plan to separate the Malays from its God in order to 'melt' them? When their bond with Allah has been 'melted', then they are able to break the spirit of jihad in them, thus easier to secularize and empowered them. We must be aware of these cunning actions of theirs. I do not mean jihad with war but just enough jihads to request that changes for us to be better and closer to the Almighty Creator.

Sometimes I do not blame them. They search and took advantage. It is only that we became complacent and relax. We do not appreciate what we have nor even to enforce what we have. We willingly sacrificed what has been provided to us for the sake our country can progress forward, even to the extent of sacrificing the dignity of the religion and race. Take for an instance on the position of the language and education policies.

Why we did not study the strength we had before studying the strength of others? Sometimes, I am puzzled on our enthusiastic to study others until forgetting our own selves. This will eventually lead us to neglect our own strength because for being too obsessed with others. Is this secularism?

In the context of teaching and learning at the higher learning institutions, students are compulsory to learn and understand the various theories that derived from the west (specifically) and east from prominent individuals. These theories were not only told to be memorized, instead those succeeded explained in details that they were considered best student and were given higher marks. Take for example on the theory of strategy and war by Tsun Tzu. The students are forced to memorize these theories externally and internally, cover to cover, to the extent that at times they forgot their responsibility towards the al-Quran and Sunnah. Tsun Tzu strategies are not only applied in war but also in business. Meanwhile, Tsun Tzu had never got himself into any university, let alone taking up PMR and SPM.

What surprised me the most is we have forgotten that in our religion we have great experts and thinkers in war strategies such as Muhammad SAW, Khalid Ibn Walid, Omar Al-Khattab, Salahuddin al-Ayubi and others. These prominent figures are rarely in the centre of discussions. Let alone to memorize their theories. What are not so prominent of them compared with Tsun Tzu, Kautilya (India), Clausewitz, Duhe and others? I am not rejecting these figures, but let us balance the figures with ours who are equally impressive.

Did Tsun Tzu ever graduated from any university or obtained a PhD? Obviously, he did not. Why are the university students today studying the various stages of the war strategies from a person who had never had a degree nor entered the university? Muhammad SAW also did not enter into university. However, he is the Prophet chosen by Allah. Therefore, he deserved to be highly acclaimed. So, it's not surprising for Michael Hart (2006) to rank the Prophet Muhammad SAW as the most supreme and powerful person among the top 100 most influential people in the world leaving behind Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Aristotle, Tsun Tzu and many more powerful figures. Unfortunately, many did not make a study on this.

Today, what is happening is the opposite; the west is so interested in studying the east individual personality. Instead, the east is busy studying the west and end up neglecting its own. Therefore, I am not surprised when non-Muslims do not want to be assimilated nor acculturated because we do not acknowledge our own prominent figures or ourselves.

I do not believe we can rise up with other people's molding. History has shown that all nations rise up with their own strength and effort. The Japanese rose up because of the spirit of being Japanese, the Chinese with the spirit of being Chinese. Do we want to rise up with the spirit of being western? Of course, the Muslims must rise up with the Islamic spirit. Then only we will get the blessings from Allah SWT.

Recently I attended an important meeting in the ministry office. In the meeting there was an American entrepreneur who can speak Malay but not fluently. All because of one foreigner, the chairman of the meeting did not use the Malay language but instead conducted it in English language. I am very confident that even the president of Iran will not be prompted to do so, despite being fluent in English. If we are unsure on ourselves with our own language, who else can we hope to ensure a noble language? Language is the soul of a nation.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fantasy to create a One School System

(Mingguan Malaysia, 8 November)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia

The issue on one school, an education system is not a new thing. It has been debated since before. I have spoken and written a lot about this. The situation remains and has not changed much. The answer is simple; the education has been politicized. If the Malay language as the national language cannot be uphold, how far can we proceed from there? We have provisions in the constitution, but they are not being used nor enforced. We are busy attending to the pressure from the ultra kiasu political groups. Finally, the language and education system cannot be strengthened in its own land. This country seems to have no identity as compared to other countries.

When there is news to create one school system, the ultra kiasu will rise against it. As for them, their ancestral heritage must be preserved. They will do anything, including demanding and threatening the government. Demanding and threatening have great influences with the political elections. Finally, the government relented. The one school system had to be shelved for a while.

Recently it had been voiced again, but with a different tone. The one school system is only for the secondary schools. Indeed, the secondary system flow has been standardized. There are not many vernacular schools for the secondary compared to the primary (1300 SJKC + 530 SJKT). It can be said that most of the non-Malays send their children to the national secondary schools due to the limited places in the vernacular secondary schools (5%). Therefore, there is no issues arises on the one school system for the secondary schools.

The main issues that should be seriously debated are how to create an education system that can integrate the children in the primary school level. Children should not be separated from young. Studies and time have shown that due to the separation among them from young has created difficulty to unite them again in the secondary school. The existence of the transition classes and the mastery of the Malay language among vernacular primary school students have created interactions problems between non-Malays and Malay students. In the end, they became awkward, shy and will not mix easily. They will hide in their own cocoon. This situation will make them become more kiasu.

As the head of the Parents and Teachers Association of the school where the majority were non-Malay students for the past 6 years until now, I can understand that race relations are at an alarming level. These students are not able to mix after being separated for 6 years in the primary school. Thus, it is continued to the secondary level and higher education. Look at what happened in the public and the private institutions. I do not need to speak further. It has been clearly shown. How long do we need to discuss this issue? As long as we bow to their demands and threats, it is kind of waiting for a cat to grow its horn; this deadlock will never be solved. It is to our utmost disappointment that we are only thinking for the current interests rather than on the future. We prioritized politically and thus ignoring the importance of education. Perhaps we would not be able to feel the effects today, but are we willing to leave all this to our children and great grandchildren? I am worried for by then it will be too late to be corrected.

I have repeatedly stated that as a result of this racist school system, our race relationship in this country is like a fire that cannot be put out completely. We have successfully extinguished the fire, but the amber from the fire is still there. This amber is most detrimental if left unchecked in the long run.

Recently, the National Defense University of Malaysia has organized a conference pertaining on higher education and race development. The same anxiety was heavily debated on the one school education system in our current main education system as recommended by Prof Khoo Kay Kim.

Our country is the only one in the world that adopts a multi-stream school system. There is only one school system in other countries. Even if there are more than one, it has long been abolished, thus to achieve the future and national interest. Therefore, we could see that Thailand has abolished since the beginning by destroying the Chinese school in the 1930s (Ye Lin-Sheng, 2003). In fact, Malaysia is heaven to the non-Malays for they get what they actually are not entitled. They are no different from what they were in the first place. Whatever benefits them will not be voiced out. Instead, the ultra kiasu group will continue to demand that the vernacular schools be increased in every Malaysia plan.

My question is whether we are serious on this matter. I have repeatedly stated that the national interests or the country must be put forward rather than the ethnicity interest. National schools must be given priority over the ethnic schools. National agenda will strengthen the future. Meanwhile, the ethnic agenda serves only a few specific groups only. This is the amber that is affecting the political racism in our country. I have raised this issue a long time ago but was opposed heavily by the ultra kiasu group. Refer to my previous article in the Utusan Malaysia.

The Government must take a firm stand like what have been done by other countries such as Thailand and other countries in the world. The Government must not bow down nor compromise in strengthening the future. I do not mean that we eliminate the non-Malay rights to learn their mother tongue language. They can still learn their mother tongue language. However, these students must not be separated from young.

The world civilization has proven that when people are separated from young, we are actually inviting danger in. It is already enough with the political and economic system which are racist. Do not add it to the education system which is the pillar to the development of a nation.

It is true we need to discuss. But have they ever agreed? The answer is never. In fact, they are demanding that the vernacular schools be increased from time to time. So, what is the delay? Are we expecting another recurrence of May 13 for us to review our education system? By then, it's too late. How long does it take to rise again after that? 20 years? 30 years? The effect of May 13 is still being felt to this day on how difficult it is to rise up after a fall.

The reasoning that the national schools are more Malay and Islamic (morning prayers) is not strong grounds for rejecting the one school system. What other identities that can be highlighted in a country that reflected its nation's roots? If these also are being withdrawn, then what else will remain that can reflect the identity to the Malays and Islam? Have we not realized that this position is guaranteed in the constitution? Are we still unable to comprehend this basis after living in this blessed land all this while?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Rocket Destination is not to the Moon

(Mingguan Malaysia, 1 November)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia

Being Muslims we must believe and obey whatever came from Allah, because we are his invented creatures. However, at the same time we also need to know the real politics of our country and our society. Can Islamic country be established implementing the Islamic law when the country's population is neither solid nor near to one hundred percent Muslims? How do we force the non-Muslims which are almost 50 percent to accept the Islamic law? Perhaps we would argue that the law of Islam is for the Muslims only and the non-Muslims according to the teachings of their religions. The question is, has the party or those ultra kiasu ever agreed with these ideas? I do not have to repeat what were their answers.

I am very much surprised on why we were so anxious to follow the rocket to the moon? Eventually, we knew that the rocket destination is not to the moon. I am worried on those with the rocket already equip themselves with parachutes when they knew that the rocket will not be allowed to reach the moon. If that's the case, why we are willing to take the rocket with them? Why we can't just switch the rocket with another aircraft which already has its destination but approaching it differently?

Are we not able to sit together discussing the destination? Even we are not traveling together, the least we should do is to initiate the first move by sitting and facing each other to discuss on the best methods to arrive at the destination. Do not continue having negative presumptions. Why able to have good presumptions with the enemy who is already clearly known with its bad intentions?

We need to figure out together on how to implement the Islamic values in our country rather than addressing the difficult question on implementing the law because our country majority-minority is not large. Perhaps Brunei, Pakistan and other Arab countries have no difficulty to implement the Islamic law. However, in Malaysia our geographical population is different.

It is better to first strengthen the Islamic values because I believe the Islamic values are also shared by all religions. I have not seen any single good values of Islam rejected by other religions. What is forbidden by Islam also forbids other religions such as adultery, gambling, drinking, and etc. Whoever rejects the values of religion today is among those who are too enthusiastic with the western way of life glorifying the human rights. Today it appears that the human rights extremism have destroyed the west. The west began to realize the importance of religious life (Ziglar, 2000).

Whereas the west have begun approaching religion, do we want to inculcate the devastation they have experienced into our lives. Actually there are many similarities in the values shared by all religions that we have not implemented. This is what I have learned as a Buddhist and a Christian before. We need to find the similarities and resolve to implement them, rather than wasting time discussing something that is far away from the real politics and very difficult to implement. In the end, money is wasted, because of discussing things that cannot be implemented for not understanding the real politics and being divided for no apparent reasons. Who actually are at lost?

I'm not rejecting an Islamic country or the Islamic law, but as a political researcher, I studied the Malaysian real politics. I am sad and very concerned to see the Muslims divided. We have lost Singapore and do we want to see a second Singapore after this? Are we unable to anticipate the thoughts of these ultra kiasu? They viciously attacked us with courage. Do we want to continue surrendering?

Just look at the fate of the Member of Parliament for Bandar Baru Kulim, Zulkifli Nordin. I sympathized so much with him. His intentions are good; do not want the condoms and liquor to be sold openly in the convenience stores. But his views were heavily attacked by the ultra kiasu group, particularly by the non-Muslim women who do not use condoms. Actually, the men should be the one to object because condoms are used by them, but unfortunately those who do not use condoms are more vocal instead, insisting that condoms to be sold in the public and to be used during sexual intercourse as 'safe sex'. What was more pathetic was that some Muslims also object. Do we actually have 'safe sex' by just using condoms? We should instead question the reasons for using the condoms in the first instance. Are those using condoms already married?

I am confident that most of them who use condoms are practicing sex freely. For married couples, they rarely use them for Allah has provided the best that required no further modifications. However, for those who do not believe in God, having sex freely is their choice, henceforth condoms are strewn everywhere. Those who violated God's commands should not be defended compared to those who want to follow God's commands. I am sure for married couples, if they ever use condoms, they understand the meaning of embarrassment, thus the condoms will be purchased 'secretly' and will be kept in its respective places.

Anyway for those who are not easily embarrass, they would openly and proudly purchase condoms and alcohol in public. Are those using condoms actually felt that sex is safer, while their actions are questionable? If only married couples using condoms for safer sex, I would feel much relieved. Instead, the overall condom's customers consist of those who only want safe sex, although this method may not be actually safe.

If condoms and alcohol are conceived as freedom and human rights, I would suggest that those who oppose them of being sold in private to place the condoms and alcohol at the front door in order to facilitate their children to have safe sex. Just purchase a dozen and put them at the front door or near the dining table. Why should condoms be kept in the house after they had been purchased? If they are suitable for sale openly, then it is also good to place them in strategic places in the house for the children usage. Say to them that 'if you want safe sex, use condoms'. I am sure that those who like condoms will not agree to put the condoms openly. The question is if condoms are not suitable to be placed in the house openly, then why should they to be sold openly in the stores?

It is common sense that the implementation of this matter does not need to be discussed. Perhaps it is well practiced in the west, but not in Malaysia for the community in the east is well known of its ethics and politeness. I'm neither against condoms nor the usage of alcohol, but please have some tactfulness when addressing something that is contrary to the human norms and ethics, although it is never an offence to be used by those who are husband and wife.

I am confident that those who like condoms and alcohol are among the types of people who do not fear God. Husband and wife rarely use condoms because it is not that exciting in a sexual relationship that is 'halal'. Do we after this will support the idea of having condom vending machines and alcohol vending machines outside the building just like the water vending machines on the basis of human rights? Today, why we are not discussing the exploitations brought by the usage of condom and alcohol? Have we actually study on how many innocent people died due to the abuse usage of alcohol that will lead to the failure in car drivers which caused road accidents?

Therefore, I would support if condoms and liquor are sold in private. This is the eastern ethics set forth in the pillars of our country's constitution. Let us be ashamed to do anything that is damaging including having sex freely . Just by quoting only condoms, we should feel ashamed, even though it may be necessary.

Actually, condoms and liquor will destroy the Muslims. When the Muslims are weak and corrupt, then the ultra kiasu group will dominate the minds of the Muslims. Thus, they are against any attempts to hide the condoms and alcohol from the public, for the damage will not be them but the Muslims. I am so worried that we will not be able to rise again after falling. By then, we will be empowered by them.

For those going to the moon, are you sure the rocket will actually lead us there?