Sunday, May 31, 2009

Deminegara's "Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua" - Tam Dalyell's Response & My Reply to Him

Tam Dalyell is one of the Deminegara bloggers who created the "Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua" project. Kijangmas describes him as "Pakcik Dal the urbane mountain man, resident sage and voice of reason at DN", who "almost single-handedly collated the relevant narratives from past comments at this blog" for the SSUS memorandum. Dal was good enough to reply to my comment on Rocky's post MCA Youth to lodge police report against 1Sekolah promoters". I post his reply here, and add my response to him below that.

Here is his reply in full:
Dal said...
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.
8:41 AM
My response to him is:
Dear Dal,

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...

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
(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.)

So, what was kijangmas' response to your suggestion?
KijangMas said...

Tam Dalyell,

....(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
(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.)

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.

Malaysian Heart

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


  1. Dear "Pak Cik Dal", Dear Malaysian Heart, Dear Readers,

    Although I can see many, many loopholes in the argument of Malaysian Heart above, (in fact so glaringly many it would be a feast for my appetite for prose), I wouldn't want to start and continue the tradition of answering people who comments at another place but lures readers and commenters into another lair to discuss it.

    What Malaysian Heart is doing is either cowardice of the umpteenth degree, or just another ploy of the DAP-PAP poltical gears (of course, camouflaged with captions of Malaysian Equality, Justice, etc etc) to perform a subtle divide-and-conquer ruse.

    Why do I say cowardice? Because you, Malaysian Heart, do not have the guts to confront the problem at its roots. If the problem is with Kijang Mas, then do your verbal crusades there. Unless, of course, you feel outgunned, outclassed and out-manouvered there. So what do you do? As I said before, you boldly emphasize the remarks out of context and thereafter disseminate to other blogs, clipping your agenda together with it.

    And here, your object of dispute is Pak Cik Dal. Why lure the exemplary Dal here, when he criticised you elsewhere? Because you KNOW you can control the flow of arguments as long as it is in your turf. Control is what you need when you dont have substance. Look at the previous comments. Rather than getting straight into rebutting what people wrote, you roundaboutly performed a veiled threat of knowing your commenters's nicks, IPs etc etc. What now, you will begin tracking my IP address and get your entire DAP-PAP machinery to go and check on me pulak? Go ahead laaa. Like I care!

    Again, when you dont have substance you resort to less-than-mediocre tactics.

    So Pak Cik Dal, and others FOR the cause of the SSS, I would advise that leave this Malaysian Heart and his almost-unvisited blogsite be. We wouldnt want to layan so much if people lacking in certain integrity lure you into their lair. And to make things easier for you and leave you a happier man, Malaysian Heart, this will be my last visit to your site, after which I would care no more whether it thrives on or whether it turns itself into a porno site to get more people to visit.

    With this I pen off.

    (p.s. Will also post this elsewhere in case PakCik Dal also do not come in here, or in case this doesnt get to be printed out here. And Oh yes anyone wanna bet that this Malaysian Heart is a regular visitor to Kijang Mas? No he doesnt link Deminegara at his blog but I bet he frequents more than the average visitor, has DN at the top of his bookmark and mentions KM in his sleep.)

  2. Anon June1,209 9:39 AM

    Before u jump up hoo-ha for a shiok-diri jerk, stop & think about kettle calling pot black!

    'What Malaysian Heart is doing is either cowardice of the umpteenth degree..'

    Don't that also reflect on yrself? Oh, u don't understand! Let me put it this way;

    Because you, anon9:39, do not have the guts to confront the problem at its roots. If the problem is with Malaysian Heart, then do your verbal crusades there. Unless, of course, you feel outgunned, outclassed and out-manouvered there.

    Because you KNOW the choir boys can control the flow of arguments as long as it is in their turf. Control is what you need when you don't have substance.

    See - how it feels?

    '..another ploy of the DAP_PAP political gears (of cource, camouflafed with captions of Malaysian Equality, Justice, etc etc) to perform a subtle divide-and-conduer ruse.'

    Hello, u choir boys r really good at this type of chorus - ad hominin argument. Oh! Attack the points not the presenter, ok?

    Anon9:39, we wouldnt want to layan so much if people lacking in certain integrity lure you into their lair. And to make things easier for you and leave you a happier man.

    Ouch, ouch!!

  3. I have guessed as much. Not only do you lack the intellectual craftiness to counter-argue people point-by-point, but you also lack the argumentative acumen as well as database of vocabularies so that you have to re-use my original quips for your own to sling back at me. In short: you want to criticize, you want to be dissentful, you want to hate, but you lack the gab and brainpower to be so.

    And oh yes why did you cut-and-paste my divide-and-conquer ruse as "divide-and-conduer ruse" and those other spelling mistakes? Were your hands shaking when you did that, or was it part of your pathetic ploy to infuse something original in an otherwise non-original quip?

    Whoops. I did say that that would be my last visit kan? Hehehe. I will leave now, but go ahead, hentam me just on that point alone - I wont leave this place making you feel less happy.



    Anon of 9:39


  4. Aiya, why bother la? their mind already fixed la. to them you n me are just pendatang who must shut up n folow what they say. let dem be lan-si laa. talk plan n hope big, but their silly petition in the end 'tak laku jual', how many ppl sign? how many signer is same person? padan mukaaa.


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