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Let's ponder together

Unity in Local Universities

Lately, we heard about some USM students that didn't agree to share their room with student of different race and religion. USM has outlined that all students that live in the campus will be sharing their room with student from different race and religion. This is to say that, Malay will be sharing their room with Chinese, Chinese with Indian and Indian with Chinese. In my opinion, this is good and should gain support from all student as this will lead to better understanding amongst student from different race and religion, and thus united will be achieved.

But otherwise happened. This action was heavily protested by students, some university representatives and a few societies established in the university. Nevertheless, the majority of the students agree this sharing program and have the view that this action will be continued in the future. The question is, why, this action is protested by the so-called highly educated students. Here, students could not be blamed totally as since in the primary school, they have no idea about the important of unity and cooperation amongst people of different race and religion. Actually, they just been taught in theory about the important of unity but they never come across to apply and practice the theory in real life. Lets have a look, since in primary school, students have been separated by their race, with Malay studying in national school, Chinese studying in national type (Chinese) school and Indian in national type (Tamil). There exist where some Chinese and Indian students who are sent to study in national school, but only in small proportion.      

If, since at children level, they only get to know they friends who were also the same race, Malay with Malay, Chinese with Chinese and Indian with Indian, thus definitely, they would not agree to share their room with student from different race. Maybe, among them, there are some who never have friends from different race background. Thus, they tend to feel safe only when they are with those who come from the same race and religion background. So, it is a bit weird for them when they were forced to share their room with others who is different in race and religion. Actually, they afraid if they could not get accustomed with the "new" roommate.

This matter should be the indicator which showed that our education system needs an improvement so that national school system and national type (Chinese/Indian) school are combined resulting in only one national school system. This national school system will have student from all background of races and religions, Malay, Chinese and Indian.

When students of different background, like Malay, Chinese and Indian, go to the same primary and secondary school, they will have a greater chance to mix around and get to know each other better. They will have a better  understanding about other races and thus will get accustomed easily in the community which has a variation of races when they grow up. By going to the same school, they are in fact, practising of what we call united and togetherness among races and this experience is vital for them to survive in variety of community.  They will realize that a good relationship among others of different race is vital in maintaining the stability and harmonies of Malaysia.

If, since in the school, students were exposed and get used to live together with those from different race and religion,  I  believe, the sharing room program taken by USM will not be protested but in fact, will be the role model for other universities and high education institutes.     

I hope that, education ministry, will take this matter seriously, and will try their best to combine the national school and national type (Chinese/Indian) for the best interest of all Malaysian regardless of races and religions.

Thank you

May 2000

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