3 pressing situations where the MADani government has failed to strike the right tone

THERE are three issues of which our Madani society should be concerned about and which require a deeper and more thorough conversation with responsible leaders and authorities.

Firstly, the announcement by Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that official letters to government departments must be in Malay or that if written otherwise, will be returned to the sender.

This announcement had prompted the Sarawak state government to respond defiantly that they will maintain English as one of their official government communication languages and that the PM’s directive does not apply in Sarawak.

This is also contrary to DAP’s consistent support for the use of the English language. In fact, DAP – the biggest party in the unity government – had promised to return English as the “official language” and to allow Tamil and Mandarin to be used in state assembly and parliament proceedings.

These undertakings were published on their party official website whereby they had in the past even advocated an “English Day” where English will be allowed to be used freely to highlight the national seriousness to restore mastery and proficiency of the international language in Malaysia.

Below is an example of DAP’s official statement:

“DAP fully supports government efforts to raise English proficiency – not only in schools and universities –but in the country generally because of its importance as a global language in the era of globalisation and information and communications technology. English is the dominant language of commerce, of science, of the skies, of the internet and of opportunity.”

In case I am misunderstood, I must state that I am all for the usage of Bahasa Malaysia as the lingua franca and national language for the sake of our national unity. I am proud that I have mastered the usage of Bahasa Malaysia by having represented my schools as well as participated in inter-varsity debates using our official language.

My point is, why was this announcement not thoroughly discussed before it was announced?

Indeed, Bahasa Malaysia is our official language but English is the language of the world, and we are desperately trying to attract more FDI (foreign direct investment) from foreign nations now. By announcing that correspondence in English will be rejected, the wrong tone has definitely been set for potential investors.

Decision made in a vacuum

Was such an important decision discussed with DAP leaders or was there no prior consultation with other leaders – especially those from East Malaysia – where the English language is still used and recognised officially?

The next jarring tone was the announcement by the Education Ministry for all schools to demonstrate and observe a solidarity week in support of the Palestinians’ cause.

Again, I must make it clear that I am all for the Palestinian cause but to introduce or involve school pupils in a complicated international conflict in which many adults are also lost and confused is a sure NO!

This conflict is a serious and complicated affair. We have in the past forbidden university students to indulge in politics for fear that they would be distracted. How then can the Madani government introduce an activity that will have a tendency to sow hatred in young and impressionable minds?

Have we forgotten that we want our students to focus on their education? We have already “screwed our education” system with too much politics and political overtones. Are the destructions not bad enough?

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