Monday, 13 July 2009

PPSMI- A Pro Choice Argument.

The people, in whom the supreme power resides,
ought to have the management of everything within their reach:
that which exceeds their abilities must be conducted by their ministers.

-Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws, bk. 2, CH. 2
(Of the Republican Government, and the Laws in relation to Democracy)

The Govt has once again flip-flopped, so "suffer the children" now. Muhyiddin was conveniently made to be the fall-guy for this predetermined decision to bring about this populist decision - while Mr. PM's cousin, Mr. Chris, sits pretty with the HM and his "reformist" rhetoric.

What I don't understand is why we need to be so rigid in our ways - every aspect of our life seems to be decided by the Govt who insists on a "Nanny State". Why can't they provide us with an option? What have they got against dual streaming in National schools? Is it the same rhetoric that they used against the noble La Salle teaching tradition/schools?
They appear not to recognize the need for the freedom to choose as individuals, and we are dictated to on every matter. They people are regarded as incapable of making decisions for themselves, and treated as such. This allows them to control the masses with great ease, and indoctrinate the masses to their liking. It is this creeping paralysis of thought that the Govt desires, so that they can impose their will upon the people through a dictatorship that masquerades as a democracy.

The Govt conveniently absolves itself of the duty to provide for the quality education for the general public - as that which was accorded to them in their (the politicians) days as students. It in turn transfers that role to the mushrooming private sector, who now cater to only those who can pay premium fees for quality, world-class education (read "International Schools").

What could go so terribly wrong if we had an English-medium as a safety-net, to ascertain that we aren't left behind, together with Malay-medium for those who intend to protect the viability and progress of BM as a language for communication, science and technology? Just as they intend to enhance the teaching of English in the currently Malay-medium schools, they could do the same with the English-medium which we could have.
Nobody loses, and everybody is happy - and market forces will determine that the less competitive schools become less popular, while those obsessed with their cultural heritage have that option to indulge themselves.

The freedom to shoose is an essential component of a democracy.
"Choice", however is a word alien to the ruling powers in Malaysia. They appear to believe that statecraft entails the removal of this element of choice from the books - in all facets of life .... from the area of expression, to clothing, gathering, to entertainment. From religion, to politics, to business, to jobs, to education - the people are denied this element of "Choice" in one way or other. This has led to the malaise that afflicts the nation.

To this demand for "Choice" in the matter of PPSMI - they have my vote. The people have a right to Choice, in deciding their future.
This element of choice is essential if we want to create a progressive civil society.

How about you?

If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual,
it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master.
The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects
a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual.

- Frank Herbert