Hornbill Unleashed

November 18, 2013

Dishonest politicians and gullible voters

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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CT Ali

If I had once allowed religion and race to colour my judgment of others, today education and the lessons learned in life no longer allow me to cling to those prejudices.

I have great admiration for boxers such as Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson but there must be other more civilised and less painful ways to earn a living.

Some years ago while on a trip to Penang I met a civil servant who trains athletes, including boxers. I asked him what he looked for in someone who wanted to be a boxer. (more…)

November 16, 2013

PPSMI good policy but riddled with implementation flaws

Sonia Ramachandran

The teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) was abolished in July 2009, six years after the policy was implemented.

The PPSMI was replaced by the “Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening English” (MBMMBI) policy that critics say was made to appease Malay conservatives and nationalists ahead of the general election.

Now, the very man behind the introduction of the PPSMI policy, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is appealing for the return of the policy.


DR M: The Malays lag in education due to your bad policies!

IT'S TOO LATE FOR REGRETS, DR M: The Malays lag in education due to your bad policies!Simon Neoh


Famous for his sarcasm and sharp wits, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad recently made another statement which tickled this little heart of mine.

“I am a Malay and I love the Malay language,” he was quoted saying. “But I also want the Malays to be educated. I beg that the subjects be taught in English again.”  

Don’t be mistaken — it wasn’t that Mahathir was ‘begging’ for Mathematics and Science to be taught in English that made me laugh; instead, I could hardly believe my eyes, when I read the claim to being ‘a Malay’ by this octogenarian, dubbed the Malaysian maverick.


August 31, 2013

Nurul Izzah and English

educationVisnu Natesan

Nurul Izzah Anwar made a statement criticizing Dr. Mahathir that he wasted RM 8 billion through the Teaching of Mathematics and Science in English (PPSMI) program. Nurul further added that a study conducted by UNESCO stated that technical subjects should be taught in students’ mother tongue. However, the writer strongly disagrees with Nurul’s view on the subject.

The Oxford English Dictionary lists over 250,000 different words not including technical and scientific terms. On a similar note, our Kamus Dewan Fourth Edition has over 49,000 words/entries. The Malay language has many loaned words from Sanskrit, Persian, Tamil, Telugu, Greek, Latin, Portuguese, Dutch and Chinese dialects. (more…)

June 4, 2013

Let young Malaysians learn and speak English well like we used to before

Education gap wideningHussaini Abdul Karim

Like some Malaysians, I had my education, right from primary school to pre-university between 1959 and 1970, in Singapore and I was taught in English all the way.

When I was in the last two years of secondary school and during the period I was at pre-university, my mother and sometimes, my aunt, took me to visit our relatives in Parit Jawa, Muar in Johor regularly and during every visit, I would meet with some of my cousins who were studying in secondary schools in Muar at that time.

There was a cousin, among the few that I have, who was in Form Four, who was in the science stream and who was very good in mathematics and science (physics and chemistry) and, since we were both taught in English, we would discuss those subjects and exchanged notes. I was then in Secondary Three, the equivalent of Form Four in Malaysian schools. I learned a lot from him and he also gave me some very useful tips on how to solve maths problems. Then, the only way to communicate with each other was through letters as telephones were too costly for us and at that time there was no Internet so, on some occasions we would correspond and exchange notes through letters. (more…)

December 15, 2012

Just teach them in English!

Azly Rahman

It is an attempt to self-fulfil a prophecy that the rural children, especially the Malays, cannot be challenged and must continue to be given easy passes through social promotion.The refusal to teach Mathematics and Science in English is not just an ideological position but an idiotic one as well.

The refusal to acknowledge that English is currently a language of scientific progress, more than Bahasa Melayu, is an example of hypocrisy in dealing with success on the part of our policymakers and Malay language nationalists.

Based on spurious research findings headed by a teacher training university, sanctioned by other public universities, the government has erred in its decision that will not only impact the future of Malaysian children in a continually globalised world, where English is the lingua franca. (more…)

August 14, 2012

Bahasa Malaysia under siege?

Patrick Lee

The English language, some local writers say, is not a threat to Bahasa Malaysia, but the lazy borrowing of words to replace others certainly is.

Sukses, transformasi, ekspektasi, uniti, efisyen, efektif, frustasi, rasis, kualiti, francais, respon.

Borrowed from the English language, some of these words have been absorbed into the Malay lexicon. Others have been merely embraced as street slang.

Their rapid usage in recent times, however, has left some local writers shaking their heads at what appears to be an easy way out in adding to the Malay vocabulary. (more…)

November 2, 2011

Muhyiddin confused about language

Joe Fernandez

He speaks about ‘Bahasa Melayu’ when he really means ‘Bahasa Malaysia’.

Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has finally bared his fangs and prematurely declared that the teaching of Maths and Science in schools will be in Bahasa Melayu and no longer in English, as it has been conducted for the past decade or so.

He definitely means Bahasa Malaysia, not Bahasa Melayu, which is in the dustbin of history.

Bahasa Malaysia, a work in progress, is Bahasa Melayu plus local dialects and languages plus English.

Bahasa Melayu is an old Khmer dialect plus Sanskrit plus Pali plus Arabic. The Bahasa Melayu used as the bahasa kebangsaan (national language) in Malaysia is the Johor-Riau-Lingga dialect. (more…)

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