A Task for National Unity: Challenges of Malaysian Educational Politics
Author(s)Ang, Ming Chee
Malaysian Chinese Mother Tongue Education.
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractEducation is one of the tools used by the Malaysian policy makers to foster unity and solidarity among people. A well-planned education system can be a useful medium in creating high moral and ethical values, to inculcate spirituality in society as well as to unite racial diversity. Nevertheless, under the complicated multicultural and ethnicity composition of Malaysian society, mother tongue language and communal based educational system is a very sensitive issue, and it can trigger a communal tension explosion easily. Political attention given to the education issue in Malaysia was fundamentally cultural, but often it is revealed as political due to the struggle of ethnic-based political parties. Are education systems a basis to promote national unity or vice versa? Who are responsible to guarantee the minorities mother tongue education are able to coexist in the mainstream competition? What about the quality and quantity of the minority education comparing to the national education system? The argument in this paper takes into account the asymmetrical power between the policy makers and the (minority) people. This paper will also analyse the roles played by local NGOs, academics, and media in intervening this issue and the limitations faced by them.