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Unity Towards Prosperity

Malaysia legislation has stated that Malay is the national language and must be used for all occasion throughout Malaysia. Furthermore, since we gained our independence, all Malaysian, including Chinese and Indian had realized that without knowing Malay, all their daily business could not proceed smoothly. But nowadays, how true is that.

Even though, now, Malay has been widely used, among non-Malay, the language is losing its popularity. To make it worse, some of them do not know how to speak Malay. The funny thing is that, those people that could not speak Malay are the younger generations whom were borned after Malay has achieved its sovereignty. For them, their mother tongue like Mandarin and Tamil is much more important and English come after. So, is it fair to be a Malaysia citizenship without accepting Malay as their first language? If they could not accept this fact, then it is better to have a China or India citizenship where Mandarin and Tamil is their national language respectively.

Why this matter arise comparing to the fact that those non-Malay who were here before them, more fluent in Malay than them? What went wrong in the attempt to sovereign Malay?

Someone might ask, why Malay is so much important? Well, the true is, as a nation of multiracial and religions, it is really important to have a very good relationship with each other, and this could only be achieved without unity. One way to unite is by using a common language, which is Malay. Through legislation, it is clear that Malay is the national language and it is the responsibility of all Malaysian to know and use Malay thoroughly. But what about the reinforcement to make sure this is implemented. Is Malay really a national language while at the same time younger generations do not consider  Malay as something to be proud of as a Malaysian. Nowadays, it is apparent that all of us, regardless of different in race and religion, are living in a harmony society, however, will this situation be the same in the future if nothing is done to unite all of us which are multiracial and religions. If nothing is done, we could not take for granted that this harmony community will remain so in the near future.

Let us consider United Kingdom for an example. The majority living there is English, but still there are great numbers of people who were origin from Pakistan, India and China that live there and became the citizen of United Kingdom. If we look closer, we could see that they all live together happily and even taking great care of each other, between English and non-English. For them, the difference in skin colour does not keep them apart. Even, their children play with each other and consider them as their true best friends regardless of their race and religion. This close relationship results in unity amongst multiracial in the United Kingdom. One of the factors, which bring them together under one nation, is the using of one language throughout their daily activities. Their education system which making sure that all school will only use English as their medium language, is the tools to promote cooperation and unity amongst students of different race and religion. This is actually the core for the society of multiracial to live together in the United Kingdom.

Let us go back to the situation in Malaysia. Since years ago, many methods has been implemented by government in order to create and maintain the unity among multiracial society. Better still, the government, and each of those who consider themselves as Malaysian could do more to make this situation even better.

One way, is by changing the education system. I do not mean the syllables. Currently, government school consists of national school (attended mostly by Malay) and national type (Chinese / India) school which is attended mostly by non-Malay. In my opinion, it is necessary to combine these schools in order to generate the spirit of unity among students from different backgrounds, this is to say that the will be no more national type school. Students of all races will go to this national school. By doing this, Malay, Chinese and Indian students will have the opportunity to get to know each other thoroughly and better understanding will be achieved at this early stage.  Otherwise, Malay have no friends other than Malay, Chinese with Chinese and the same thing goes to Indian students. If at school stage, students has been separated according to their race, how unification amongst races to be achieved. We must understand that school is the starting point for students to develop their character and sense of belonging to others. I think, now is the best time to make the amendment to our school system as all Malaysian now has realized that unification is compulsory for achieving all of our visions in the future.  

I myself convince that the whole Malaysian, Malay, Chinese, Indian and others, will agree with me. In fact, now we can see that a large numbers of Chinese and Indian students are studying in national school, which usually attended majority by Malay students. This happened even though national type school just nearby. This indicates that people are seeing the school as the tool to develop the spirit of unity and by sending to the common school, instead of national type school, this would be achieved. Further more, the subjects taught in those schools are the same, just the language is different.

In addition, education ministry is going to include Mandarin, Arabic and maybe Tamil, as the additional subjects to be taught at school. This is a good step to result in unification. However, if education ministry still maintain double school system, which is national school and national type school, the ambition to develop even more integration among races maybe hard to achieved. Is by achieving the so-called Sekolah Wawasan (which still Malay will not be the main language to all pupils, only for Malays) will solve this matter? 

Therefore, education ministry should take this matter seriously and only one national school should exist in the near future. Students will attend the same school, regardless of race and religion, which resulting in more cooperation and unity. Hence, the stability of our nation. By taking this step, government is indeed, the prior and will be seeing as the role model for others to follow.

Malaysian student: October 2000


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