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Pupils must be free to pick up third language

India and Pakistan have abandoned mother tougue schools for English school. All races or ethnics in these two countries are willing to accept English only, not other language from any races.
Malaysia shall emulate India and Pakistan, every race has to sacrifile their own mother tongue as a teaching medium in any school. Use English only since English is a neutral language politically and culturally for rakyat Malaysia.

Prof Khoo Kay Kim,

SINCE your paper has given me some attention in the last few days, I hope you can spare some space for me to correct and to clarify.

Malaysia is a plural society, more complex than many other plural societies in the world and we have branded ourselves as “truly Asia”.

Ever since the initial attempts made to turn the country into a nation-state way back in the late 40s, it was thought urgent that the country ought to have a single system of education to integrate the people.

The importance of integration via education was also stated in the Razak Report of 1956.

Singapore does not have vernacular schools.

But while the medium of instruction in all its schools is English, every pupil must also study his/her own ethnic language.

In Malaysia’s case, since the time the British planned the establishment of a nation-state, it was recommended that, given the country’s unique society, the young generation should be made to acquire three languages: a national language, an international language and the pupil’s own ethnic language.

When interviewed, I had voiced my support for what was recommended more than 50 years ago, and I specifically said that “Singapore’s model should be adopted” but allowing more flexibility.

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