Social commentary magazine on Malaysia.
The world pays little attention to Malaysia. But on May 5, it should. That is the day that Malaysia’s 13 million voters, of whom 20% are casting ballots for the first time, will choose a new parliament and decide their nation’s future. Without question, these will be the most important elections in Malaysia’s history, as well as the closest and most hard-fought. For the first time, there is a strong and united opposition, and Malaysia’s voters have a genuine choice. Voter enthusiasm is high, and both government and especially opposition rallies are attracting people in the tens of thousands.
As every Malaysian would have known by now, the Prime Minister announced the dissolution of Parliament and hence paved the way for the nation’s thirteenth general elections. With that in mind, it is hoped that both the major political coalitions (Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat) as well as regional parties will engage their opponents in a constructive and meaningful manner, instead of the dirty tactics that we have seen — most especially during the Mahathir era.
We read with interest the article entitled “Abolishing PPSMI is not the answer” by Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim (September 10, 2012), in particular, the fallacious arguments made in the name of science policy.
Before going into the details of the argument, it is best to remind oneself what the term “PPSMI” means Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam bahasa Inggeris or “The Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English”. What this obviously implies is that everyone, regardless of background or first language, is, have been and will always be obligated to learn the two subjects, science and mathematics, in English.
NOW In the name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful, I TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN PUTRA ibni AL-MARHUM SULTAN ABDUL HAMID HALIMSHAH, PRIME MINISTER OF THE PERSEKUTUAN TANAH MELAYU, with the concurrence and approval of Their Highnesses the Rulers of the Malay States do hereby proclaim and declare on behalf of the people of the Persekutuan Tanah Melayu that as from the thirty first day of August, nineteen hundred and fifty seven, the Persekutuan Tanah Melayu comprising the States of Johore, Pahang, Negri Semblian, Selangor, Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, Trengganu, Perak, Malacca and Penang is and with God’s blessing shall be for ever a sovereign democratic and independent State founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations.
If the father of the nation was alive today, one wonders what he would make over the present tug-of-war over the “naming rights” of our 55 th Merdeka Day celebration. What would the late Tunku Abdul Rahman say of the words and actions of some so–called leaders who have soiled Merdeka Day and the memory of his legacy and our nationhood? Never has Merdeka Day — a unifying factor for all Malaysians — if only for a day — been relegated to a source of divide and a pawn in the political one-upmanship of those to whom we have entrusted this country to. From slogans, songs, themes and logos, who has the right to claim exclusivity in naming our National Day festivities?