Here is his reply in full:
Dal said...My response to him is:
Dear Malaysian Heart;
Today, 1Sekolah is the best idea yet coming out of the 'tiny' heads of tiny peoples of Malaysia who look forward positively towards Malaysia that belongs to everybody dead or alive, just born or yet to be born. All we need to do is to give it a chance. In the past many tiny heads shot down such move initiated by big minds. The Sekolah Wawasan is an example.
Today 'big heads' have started their moves in shooting down this 'tiny ideas by tiny heads' which is only repeating the same ideas mooted 50 years ago by 'big people' who cared a lot.
No one is out to subjugate anyone in this national effort to give our children a better chance fora better future in a better Malaysia. How better it is going to be is up to us and our leaders.
Let's not look at who is initiating this move. We Malaysians should give this idea a good look, improve on it, fine tune it, give it a proper honing, and then hand it over to those big wigs to push it down the throat of our elected leaders who have no taste for comradeship and goodwill for us tiny rakyat.
It may take a long time to realize this. It may take two or more generations to work this out; but at least we parents can be satisfied that we have handed down to our children something positive to work for together instead or a legacy of childish bickerrings that we seem to relish so much.
We should be ashamed of ourselves that we should be quarreling in front of our children, purportedly for their good, while we know that all the time we are actually indulging to satisfy our selfish greed all for ourselves.
The measure of how good any idea is, is not the sizes of the heads involved or who tried to shoot down what. To evaluate the idea and determine how good or bad it is, we need to look thoroughly at its intent, proposals & probable consequences, then compare that with what all Malaysians aspire to. That is the least that we owe to our future generations.
To properly evaluate an idea of such import, there needs to be space for discussion & debate; as you yourself have said, "Malaysians should give this idea a good look". What I observe in this memorandum is this: while it claims to promote unity & integration, it does more than just propose a single school stream. It contains some very disturbing premises & key elements, just 2 of which are:
a) that it seeks to institutionalize intolerance against the so-called "foreign" cultures & languages of some Malaysians, by proposing that these be ghettoized, i.e. set apart from & denied its role in the public life of Malaysia, and
b) that it espouses assimilation rather than integration.
Neither of the 2 elements above is in any way necessary for true integration & unity. On the contrary, they will work against "comradeship and goodwill for us tiny rakyat". Elements like these (as well as the intolerant language used in the memorandum) hardly make for a "struggle of all Malaysians irrespective of their colour, origin, creed or breed".
Added to that is the attitude of some promoters of SSUS. While they are quite happy to repeat over and over again the professed objectives of the project and the fact that 1 school for all will promote integration, they seem to want to ignore the fact that Malaysians have concerns & reservations over some elements & aspects of the SSUS. There seems to be an effort to deem people with such concerns as unpatriotic or even racist; and to paint anyone who tries to delve below the surface of SSUS & its promoters (& tries to share it with others), as, in your words, a "provocateur with malice and hidden vicious agenda”. Why this unwillingness to address those concerns? Why this hurry to railroad the SSUS without due diligence & deliberation? If this idea is as good as you say it is, won't it sail through scrutiny & criticism with colours flying?
You wrote, "No one is out to subjugate anyone in this national effort to give our children a better chance for a better future in a better Malaysia". I sincerely welcome your statement; indeed Malaysia cannot be united or strong as long as we seek to subjugate one another.
However, let's look at something else also written by you, in response to this comment of kijangmas, in which he refers to Field Marshal Phibun Songkhram's Thai Ratthaniyom policy, describing it as one "where all Chinese schools, newspapers, culture and names were banned under penalty of imprisonment. Within one generation, the 30% ethnic-Chinese population became fully Thaicized". (Bold emphasis is mine)
Your response to that was:
Tam Dalyell said...(Again, bold emphasis is mine. For the benefit of other readers, Phibun Songkhram a.k.a Plaek Khittasangkha was the Prime Minister and military dictator of Thailand from 1938 to 1944 and 1948 to 1957. Phibun was the person who decreed the Thai "Ratthaniyom", which was a program of forced assimilation of minorities in Thailand, done in the name of "social cohesion" & "unity". The Malay & Chinese minorities in Thailand were amongst those affected by it. You can read more about Phibun Songkhram & his Ratthaniyom policies here and here. Please also look at Kijangmas' description of the negative effects that phibun and his policies had on the Patani Malay population, in his other blog, Patani: Behind The Accidental Border, in the post entitled "Thai Ratthaniyom: Erasure of the Patani Malay Race". Please do read it for yourself.)
Quote "When the Duli-Duli Yang Maha Mulia Raja-Raja Melayu agreed to the wholesale dishing out of Malayan citizenships --even inexplicably waiving Bahasa Melayu proficiency tests -- to a million and a half unwanted, abandoned stateless Chinese (and Indians) in 1957 ..."unquote
Hmmm ... what would happen if The Duli-Duli Raja-Raja Melayu did not agree, and Malaya had its own Phibun Songkhram or Plaek Khittasangkha with a Malayan version of "Ratthaniyom" back then?
But may be, today's individual parts of "Ratthaniyom" can be build up and put into action ... no?
October 27, 2008 9:56 AM
So, what was kijangmas' response to your suggestion?
KijangMas said...(Bold emphasis is mine. Here I have just quoted 3 paragraphs from an 8 paragraph comment. Please read the whole post & all the comments for yourself as it will give you an insight into the mindset of those behind this particular SSUS project.)
....(5 paragraphs removed for brevity)....
Yeah, potential early Malay Phibun Songkhrams were branded Leftists and Anarchists by the British Colonial Admin. and hence were supressed into oblivion. In the modern era, perhaps Tun Razak was the closest possible incarnation. But his life was short. Hussein Onn was "softer" on the non-Malays. Dr. M was tough, though nowhere near Tun Razak, because Dr. M needed the non-Malays to cooperate in his grandiose economic initiatives. If Tun Razak had survived, say, up to 1985, I'm sure Malaysia would be different today, with a more cohesive social order based on Satu Bahasa,Satu Bangsa, Satu Negara.
Looking ahead, we'll see. Najib is, of course, Tun Razak's son. We shall see to what extent he may want to apply a Malaysian rendition of the Thai Ratthaniyom policy.
Whatever it is, I'm convinced that there are some elements of the Ratthaniyom that would be applicable, in fact, urgently necessary for Malaysia. The incredibly racially devisive Vernacular schooling is perhaps the most pressing ailment that must be solved. I will have a post on these issues soon. Stay tuned ...
October 27, 2008 12:42 PM
In the light of the above, surely you can see why your suggestion, that we "not look at who is initiating this move" seems somewhat disingenuous?
I am doing my best to share my legitimate concerns about SSUS its objectives & promoters. Unlike some others, I (try to) do so objectively, without spinning my words to incite racial sentiments & prejudices. Therefore I am not ashamed of it. However, one thing that I would be truly ashamed of doing, is using the names of our children, their future & Malaysian unity to push a supremacist agenda, a Ratthaniyom by another name.
Update 1/6/09 21:39 hrs
Just managed to post this reply on Rocky's & Dal's blogs. Please do visit the discussion there if you can. - mh