Friday, January 8, 2010


Good news for retirees and pensioners. The first two of the 50 1Malaysia clinics were opened yesterday at Lembah Pantai and Lembah Subang. Access to the healthcare services at these clinics starts at a very affordable RM1 (30 cents in US currency). These 1Malaysia clinics, as the name implies, offer general health services to all citizens regardless of race.

Why not extend the same concept to our schools? Any school which reflects a healthy racial mix in their student and teacher population should be recognized as a 1Malaysia school. We already have Sekolah Bestari (Smart Schools) and Sekolah Kluster (Cluster Schools), so why not Sekolah 1Malaysia?

The racial imbalance in our schools is getting more pronounced each year. When the new school year began last Monday, anyone passing by a national school would have noticed that parents and guardians accompanying the Year One pupils were predominantly Malay, whereas at the vernacular schools they were mostly Chinese and Indian.

Our young should be taught to mingle freely irrespective of race, colour or creed. Only then will they grow up to have friends of all races. We may be of different colours , have different beliefs and customs, but we all belong to the same human race.

Why are national schools shunned by non-Malay parents? And why are vernacular schools so popular that they had to turn away thousands of applicants (in total) due to limited places?

I remember attending school back in the 1950s and 60s with schoolmates of all races. It was the same during my undergrad years at the University of Malaya. Race was a non-issue. But by the time my children started secondary school in the 1980s, the racial divide had already reared its ugly head.

To ensure a better racial mix in our schools, the onus is on the government to provide quality education for all. Standards should not be lowered. Instead pupils should be given every help and support to meet the standards set. After all, parents want the best for their children.

For 1Malaysia schools to be a reality, the key words are QUALITY and EQUALITY.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, how about ONE-malaysia temple ?