Update 2: 3/12/08 Storm over vernacular school statement
Update 1: 2/12/08 Dato' Mukhriz proposing a streamlined education
I've always been a strong advocate of a streamlined education system. We indirectly promote segregation by sending our kids to vernacular schools. The Chinese has always been protective of their school systems, refusing to assimilate with the others, yet at the same time demand equal rights as Malaysians.
Tun Dr Mahathir mentioned this yesterday at a seminar at the Perdana Leadership Foundation. Judging from the consistent size of audience he normally attracts, it is obvious that people still seek judgment and wisdom from the Grandmaster.
For OP President and the OPA, this is the best time to promote the Royal Military College which emphasizes co-operation and unity. All are treated equal and trained as one unit. If one makes a mistake, it will be a price everyone pays. There is a lot of respect for each other, regardless of race or religion or family background (sometimes sons of General's get away with things). National service is not too bad but if racial polarization has been indirectly nurtured in our fragmented education system, teaching these kids about unity and racial tolerance at age 17 won't undo the damage. I strongly support a one-education system. Of course, a sudden change in the education system would invite huge protests. It has to be done in stages.
This would also augur more competition at schools. The average Malay students could emulate the bright Chinese students and study together. The english language could be practiced more by the Malays who are not so fluent in it and practice with their chinese and indian friends. There should be an english-speaking day at school. PPSMI (Pengajaran Dan Pembelajaran Sains Dan Matematik) can be better implemented if the students get to practice more with their chinese and indian friends. I think the Malays speak more Malay when they are in the company of other Malays. It is the same with the Chinese. Somehow, we automatically tune ourselves to the English language when talking to our chinese or indian brethrens. At the very least, we change our tune to 'Mangelish'.
Of course, by merging all the schools, there would no longer be additional funds for the chinese and the indian community. Their community and political leaders must accept this if they respect racial tolerance as a virtue.
See my earlier notes on streamlined-education system.
Extensive work ahead
Tolerance is the path to unity
Efficiency in allocating resources
Only UMNO has the weight to change