Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua

anakpakross left me a comment in my previous post, asking me if I would support THIS. It is an initiative by Demi Negara (or one of the readers of the blog), sending a memorandum to the Education Minister, suggesting that vernacular schools be scrapped, and that ALL Malaysians should be going to National Schools, with lessons conducted in Bahasa Malaysia.


Do I think that vernacular schools are the main reason why our society is so broken up, and so racially segregated? No, I don’t think so. It is definitely ONE of the many reasons, but I wouldn’t call it “satu-satunya punca utama”.

But do I think that all Malaysian students should be learning in one language, namely Bahasa Malaysia? Yes I do.


I believe that I have written about this before, but I guess it doesn’t do any harm in repeating this. I don’t see it as a “right” for the Chinese and Indians to have schools  that teach in the respective languages. I see it as a “privilege” that these schools exist.

So sometimes it frustrates me very much, because some people tend to equate “Chinese schools” to “Chinese rights”. I see them as separate entities. (And besides, there is NO such thing as “Chinese rights”. It’s all about human rights. But then again, that’s just me)

My belief is that schools teaching in languages other than the national language should not be included in the national budget. I don’t know if the existance of such schools can be totally scrapped, and maybe they don’t have to be. But I do think that funding for vernacular schools should not be coming from the national budget.


Perhaps I shouldn’t write too much here, as I think most of the issues have been covered by the memorandum on Demi Negara’s blog.

I may not agree with everything that is written there, but for what it’s worth, I agree with the idea of having one school for all (so, yes, I support the initiative). If for no other reason than my belief that language forms the first bonds of unity between people.

23 Comments on “Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua”

  1. Yes, one type of school for all is good for Malaysia.

  2. melayu boleh says:

    ermmm… i just read your blog.. nice info and good tips..

  3. walski69 says:

    In principle, yes, I do support it, but with some mods.

    For starters, I would make Bahasa Malaysia, English, and a minimum of one other language (either Mandarin, Tamil, Arabic, French, German, etc.) compulsory subjects. In addition, English would remain as the medium of instruction for Maths and the sciences.

    As for vernacular schools being “punca utama“, like you I agree that it is one of the factors, but not the only factor. As it is, the national schools are, too, polarized, to varying degrees.

    It is a good initiative whose idea needs to be successfully sold – putting blame entirely on the vernacular schools just ain’t gonna do it…

    • Michelle says:

      I think the education system needs to be looked into all over again, starting from how we’re teaching our students, what subjects they are taking, our exam systems, the languages, etc.

      We probably need to relook at our very biased viewpoint that the sciences are for smart kids and the arts are for students who don’t study well.

      And a whole host of other things that are keeping our students behind in terms of critical thinking, and the ability to move ahead.

      Our education is somewhat in a tangled mess, with some good policies that have bad implementation, and bad policies that are badly implemented too.

  4. anakpakross says:

    well said.

  5. Saint says:

    Does that include scrapping Muslim schools?

    • 007zain says:


      FYI, the so-called “Muslim” schools actually has for centuries, been the ONLY type of school of the States within Tanah Melayu here on the MALAY Peninsula.

      Back then, circa 1700+ (18th century) when the Dutch slowly concentrated more in East Hindia (Indonesia now – as they don’t know what to call those islands situated far-east of India yet!..), before they split States North of Selat Melaka to be “managed” by the British & South of Selat Melaka to be “managed” by the Dutch in 1824; the Malay States started to stabilize & shools which were known as “Madrasah” (Arabic word for “school”) were built.

      FYA — since the people of the Malay Peninsula embraced Islam (officially declared during Sultan Muhammad Shah’s reign 1424-1444, of the Melaka Sultanate Empayar), the lingua franca in this region, as we all know, is Malay & the “writing” of the Malays are based on the Arabic scriptures, is called JAWI.

      Anyone & everyone (including the far-away European people) who’re doing business with the Sultans of the States in this Malay Archipelago region, simply had to learn the MALAY Language & also its Writings!…

      => If one is Humble Enough to realize, ALL of the agreements/treaties/etc. with the Malay Sultans & the heads of provinces, etc. were written in Malay’s jawi.

      When the British started to “govern” some States on this Malay Peninsula in mid-1800s, the schools were popularly known as sekolah pondok – don’t know why it’s called as such but maybe the British called it as such as the schools then were just like a big pondok/hut – ie. without proper walls.. (maybe like that P. Ramlee movie DoReMi if you watched it! 🙂 where, it is more like an informal setting for the kampung folks to gather & learn (& crowd together); & in a pretty hot & humid environment.

      Anyway, after Merdeka, the sekolah pondoks evolved into Sekolah Agama as we know them today. So, it is the Original Schooling system here, & is now known as religious Islamic school — which is, the nation’s Agama Rasmi (national religion), anyway!…

      I sincerely believe there’s Actually NO Issue here — ie. as what DAP was 24/7 trying hard to twist/spin FACTS. Sigh!

      So, hope you could please take note objectively.

      Najib’s “1Malaysia” should consist of Sincere, United & UNSELFISH kiasu Malaysians.

      Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu. Cheers!

    • mxg says:

      I don’t think so. Islamic religious school still use Malay language as the medium of instruction, with arabic as a second language (as opposed to chinese and indian vernacular schools where mandarin and tamil are the first language).

      • 007zain says:


        I believe you’re talking about language here, re: Islamic schools? Naturally & obviously they’d speak Malay in those schools as this Malaysia and not an Arab state.


  6. Paul Warren says:

    In the 1980 I remember visiting a Chinese School in Klang, Hin Hua, I thin, which was falling down at its seams, dilapidated and a falling enrollment. Not long after, by the mid-1980s I think it had swank new buildings a lot more classrooms and today not enough space to accommodate the increasing demands.

    Better still the “English” Mission school I attended was located within the same compound in which also stood a Chinese primary school as well as a Tamil school. We all entered through one main gate. (You see the so called “Vision School” existed from even before the second world war!! My school was flourishing and the other two were struggling with enrollment. There were most definitely more Indian and Chinese students enrolled in my school than in the Chinese or Tamil schools.

    Couple of months ago I had reason to go there once again. My sad looking school looks old and tattered. The Primary Classrooms in which my own primary classes from Standards 1-3 were located, still in the same wooden structure, is now closed with not enough enrollment. From about 20 Primary classroom it would seem like the Primary School now operates with just 8 classroom I think.

    Whereas, the Chinese School has prospered and it has double or three storey classrooms and a huge hall as well. Most shocking to me was teh Tamil school is now putting up what looks like a 3-4 storey building!!

    My take is simple. It is not so much about right to vernacular education. I would imagine given the opportunity and the ability all those who swear by mother tongue education will only be too pleased to be able to send off their kids to Singapore, England, America, Australia or NZ to be educated. Doesn’t matter if their kids spoke the mother tongue.

    What we see is basically a rejection of the education that happens in the National Schools. It is not a preference for vernacular education. Neither it is a rejection of being educated in Bahasa Malaysia. It is just a plain old rejection of the education that goes on in National Schools. A rejection of the teachers and the things they say in National Schools. I know I consciously decided that I will not subject my kids to the prejudice and discrimination they will soon face when they begin to get into Standards 2 or 3. I wouldn’t want my kids to have to confront a situation when one of their Malay friends comes up to say that, “I am not supposed to play with you anymore”. Even Marina Mahathir pulled her kids out of that environment!

    • Hi, I think what you said here is very true! I couldn’t agree more. Most of my relatives send their kids to Chinese schools because they reject the education that goes on in National Schools!

  7. Saint says:

    Know the difference between hard and soft power? Hard power is forcing Chinese schools to close because you feel like it. Soft power is attracting students away from Chinese schools because your school is better.

    Most umno fellas don’t have a clue about soft power, competition nor education.

  8. 007zain says:

    Paul Warren’s right in saying that the vernacular schools were already dying in the ’80s. I think this created panic & suddenly in mid/late ’80s money were “injected” by hardcore Chinese (dap racist supporters/s’pore??).

    Again, my stance on DAP being the Root-cause of Malaysia’s Racial Segregation stands.

    If you’re in KL you’d notice that many urban Chinese (KLites – NOT those who came in later) don’t mind sending their kids to Sekolah Kebangsaan (esp. to downtown schools).

    And, with many Sekolah Kebangsaan students scoring very good results (even in kampungs & in different states), it just shows & PROVES that there’s nothing wrong with the syllabus/curriculum — which I understand, is the same one being carried out in those vernacular schools (it’s Only that their “medium” is of a different language).

    All these RACIAL hypes saying Sekolah Kebangsaan/National Schools are “not good”, “so Malay”, “racist” are just Exaggerated by IRRESPONSIBLE pro-opposition people who are Selfish and Desperate — & could simply mixed kids’ education WITH politics.

    As mentioned in your other article, our country Malaysia does not have good Opposition parties. They’re purely IMMATURE and are a very clear-cut IRRESPONSIBLE lot with Haprak/HP6 mentalities.

    To me, the BASIC needs of a citizen of any country in wanting peace, prosperity, healthy living, development/progress & moving forward; is KEY — irrespective of which “political party”/”group” one supports.

    That should be our focus, & NOT keep on harping on some sentimental/emotional issues 24/7 questioning sensitive issues which had already been understood & agreed upon when this nation Malaya was formed back in 1957, and later to Malaysia in 1963, when more states were added in. Everyone understood the rationale of the country’s constitution and respected it, & positively worked together as Proud Citizens of this new little country.

    And history (now) made us realized one thing — Singapore’s kiasuness in racial divide by showing her Unwillingness to adhere to & uphold the majority’s cooperation & to give-and-take (bertolak-ansur) in a mature & responsible unselfish manner. — Thus, Our Votes of 126-0 decision to expel them out of Malaysia.

    As a responsible & concerned citizen of Malaysia, I totally CANNOT accept DAP’s “ideology” as they are kiasu PAP’s “arm”. Period. Frankly, I truly believe, without them, Malaysia would be a VERY peaceful & harmonious multi-racial, multi-religious, country in the world.

    Coming back to this topic, Malaysia as a UNIT, like any other country on this planet, must Unite from young.

    Please do not mix “politics” with education. Young Malaysians must be taught to be Respectful & TRUST each other in order to progress fruitfully in this temporary life of ours on this world.

    I hope all Malaysians could just stop being childish & greedy and move forward positively atleast for our own individiual’s health!

    We have to accept that Malaysia managed to stand on its own & progressed forward quickly — particularly as seen & experienced during Tun Dr. Mahathir’s era; respected by friends & foes worldwide — as some Shallow racial “issues” were NOT being able to be “stirred up” by some IRRESPONSIBLE parties/groups as TDM was Smart, Strict &, Very Objective.

    Many 3rd world & developing countries wanted our advise & guidance as to how we managed to advance in a short period of time (as compared to other nations who gained independence around our time – plus, us having multi-multis!).

    Totally NOT like during Badawi’s era recently where just about any HP6 tom,dick&harry could simply “blow” us ALL out of proportion!!

    A good leader is one who can control a given situation Objectively; and yet continue his/her responsibilities in a POSITIVE manner.
    A good citizen is one who’s mature (able to see from many different perspectives), responsible, and can therefore, Understand & Accept “controlled” democracy, unselfishly.
    — for the benefit of all concerned.

    Cheers & God Speed.

  9. wong says:

    All our teachers need to go back to school. Hardly you can find a good teacher among the existing rotten batch. PERIOD

    • Jarod says:

      There are still a lot of GOOD teachers around. Just that they are low profile and bombard with so many workload that they are not able to perform well to parents expectation. Of course, I would not reject the rotten teachers that still linger around for survivor and ignore the students progress.

      • Michelle says:

        I agree. There are definitely a lot of good teachers around. And they tend to be low profile because they do their jobs well.

  10. AL Ho says:


    Will feature your post on our website and link back to your blog.

    All the best!

  11. clearwater says:

    Vernacular schools are not the cause of disunity. Blatant discrimination and unfairness in a poor education system with appalling school standards cause more damage to unity. Vernacular schools thrive only because the so called national schools have failed in their objective providing a good decent education to the young. Reform national schools, make them world class and competitive with an excellent curriculum ( and de-politicised ) and parents will send their kids to national schools again.

  12. BrightEyes says:

    Paul, you must be La Salle-ian. Lux Luceat Vobis?

    As for this campaign, I’ve read through the fine print & I won’t sign it. This doesn’t aim to create a Bangsa Malaysia that allows fair opportunity for all, and an end to racism.

    Rather, the end goal is to make the “troublesome” Non’s accept their lot & not question authority & the status quo. Nothing is mentioned on the Religious Schools & racial quotas in education. Its basically an extreme right-wing pro-BN/UMNO policy disguised with Bangsa Malaysia & neutrality.

    While I support a single school system, it has to be done by improving the present learning environment & the educational quality in our National Schools. Which isn’t anything to be overly proud of, going by my experience. Like Saint said… soft power.

    BTW 007Zain, what Warren said is correct. In the 60s-80s, vernac’s were on the verge of extinction. NonMalay parents were more keen on sending their kids to the national schools.

    But it was saved, not by DAP or Kiasuland money, unlike what you think. But… ironically, by BN messing with the education system back in the mid-70s.

    Yes, your UMNO friends screwed up the edu system (especially when the Education Minister post is seen as more of a stepping stone to PMship, than to serve the nation) and things went downhill from there… the education system we inherited from the Brits, University Malaya, tertiary education, etc. That gave the breath of life back into the vernacs… nonMalay parents decided to pull their kids out of the National Schools.

    And of course, parents, being parents… will want the best environment, staff, & facilities for their kids, so they chipped in with what they had in their pockets. The richer ones gave more… and that’s how schools like Hin Hwa are now more advanced than my alma mater next door.

    Its funny you are asking people not to politicize education, when this whole call to abolish vernacular education is one big politically motivated plan.

    And BTW, your leader Najib has refused to face the not-good & ‘haprak’ Opposition at Penanti.

    • mxg says:

      BrightEyes, yes, the idea was first mooted by mukhriz mahathir but then it died down. On the other hand, this “satu sekolah untuk semua” movement is launched by band of bloggers, headed by I don’t think that the campaign is one big politically motivated plan lar. stop being paranoid and stop blaming the malays for whatever that goes wrong in this country. yes, i know that you mean “malays” when you said ‘umno” you racist insignificant moron

      • 007zain says:

        Dear mxg,

        The idea was recently mooted Back by Mukhriz. Actually the one school for all Malaysians had already been planned & laid-out in Razak Plan which was put together towards Merdeka Malaya back in 1956.

        The idea is to have the very Logical & very Obvious requirement/NEED of a single schooling system for our “new” country.
        Where, all Malaysian citizens can learn together from young, as a unit; & with our country’s national language, Malay, as the medium of instruction.

        But, as language was an “issue” back then for the British’s Chinese labourers and Indian coolies before Merdeka, Tunku/Umno had agreed to give them time & allowed Chinese/Tamil medium classes be used – with the sincere thought so that All Malaysians could be educated.

        I honestly believe Tunku or Tun Razak or even the MCA & MIC leaders back then didn’t expect/anticipate that the “hardcore Chinese” people want to Take Advantage of that “time allowed”… &,

        twisted & spinned it until it is as such NOW, by DAP (who’re so Desperate in Wanting Sympathy VOTES by their “Chinese” community.) where, even after MORE THAN 50 Years of Merdeka/INDEPENDENCE, they’re still “depending” (because they still INSIST!!..) on their Grand-fathers/mothers’ “national language”…?

        Logically, if not objectively speaking; ANYONE & ANY Country in this tiny world of ours would SURELY want its Rakyats/CITIZENS to learn Together & Be United from very young.

        It simply is AMAZINGLY SELFISH to me, as a normal citizen of this country; to see this UNACCEPTABLE “behaviour” &/or MENTALITY of my “fellow”-citizens to even got the “stomach” to Continue “Demanding” & Opposing this Call of the VERY BASIC UNITY of their “country”…

        => FUNNILY sad.

        To give people like “BrightEyes” something that he/she can comprehend:

        IMAGINE you’re in multi-racial China where 35% is not-Chinese. After more than 50 years of independence, won’t those non-Chinese people who call themselves Chinese Citizens, “proud” to be Chinese & will naturally be able to speak and live “Chinese”, and be good law abiding Chinese citizens by Obeying the country’s laws, constitutions, etc.??

        IF you’re still adamant that it’s NOT a good example:

        IMAGINE you’re in multi-racial France where 35% is NOT Native French. After more than 50 years or 2-3 generations Living in France, won’t those Non-native French people who call themselves French Citizens, “proud” to be French & will naturally be able to speak and live “French”, and be good law abiding French citizens by Obeying the country’s laws, constitutions, etc.??

        Enough said.
        Arrogance & Selfishness would slowly but Surely “kills” (spirits, unity, respect, ETC.!..).

        Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu. Thank you.

      • BrightEyes says:


        You must have missed Paragraph 2 & 3 in my comment.

        Nice to see that you equate criticizing UMNO as criticizing Malays. Do you not know that while UMNO is a Malay party, not all Malays party with UMNO?

        No further comment needed…

    • 007zain says:


      I beg to differ re: your comment on BN as, in the ’80s; NOT Only the vernacular schools were dying, DAP was ALSO dying!

      Dap had Desperately Used the “RACIAL” cards, where in this case, taking/using the dying state of those Jenis2 school & turned it around saying somethin’ like: “our chinese roots are dying, this shouldn’t happen, we must not let our language be forgotten, we don’t want young children lose their chinese heritage, blah, blah, blah”.
      – these were facts & those the SCRIPT/”lines” USED by dap during the 1986 election if I’m not mistaken, ie. Desperately Seeking for SYMPATHY VOTES!!…

      In the ’90s, BN namely MCA merely followed that “RACIST strategy” of dap’s just to get the support of the Chinese community.

      But, HECK! Again, it’s Very CLEAR that the ROOT CAUSE of Racial Segregation = DAP.

      Well, it is REALLY AMUSING to see that those hardcore chinese who “migrated” to other Matsalleh-Lands DID NOT EVEN CARE that their “young Chinese children” DON’T know how to speak Chinese.

      &, they’re old parents (the hardcore ones) HERE are even “proud” that their kids are ‘modern’ (ie. NO chinese heritage whatsoever..) & ‘speak’ with some foreign accent (not some Mandarin/Hokkien/Hakka/Cantonese)..

      But, the fact of the matter is that, back “Home(?)” here in Malaysia I suppose, to speak the “home country’s” national language pun, tergagap-gagap… WHY laa this double standard, encik & cik DAP “sympathisers”??

      I find it really AMAZING & kinda “proud” to see that Banglas who only been here for 6 months (NOT even born here.) can speak fluent Malay. Also, those that are pretty new that have reached our shores from Myanmar & Nepal.

      God Bless ALL Sincere Humble Malaysians… Cheers.

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