Too much of the “kita orang Melayu” stuff

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School unity programme: We must teach teachers first
By A.A., Johor Baru

17 April, 2007

I REFER to Deputy Education Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kin’s order to school administrators to speed up programmes to promote racial harmony in schools (NST, April 11). He said the government wanted to create an environment where students could mix and learn about each other’s cultures and customs.

However, I wonder how this programme can achieve its goals when there are no role models whom students can look up to in schools.

The adults around them are the teachers and administrators who do not practise what is being preached.

Most teachers prefer to sit among their own ethnic groups in school staff rooms, just like the students who seat themselves according to their racial groups in class.

As a class teacher, I make sure that my students do not sit with classmates of the same race. But once I leave the class, they regroup themselves according to their own race.

When I go for outdoor activities with students and fellow teachers, I often see teachers grouping themselves in chalets or tents with people of their own race.

Once, I was asked to occupy the next chalet as several teachers of the same race wanted to be together in the chalet I had picked.

Once, I attended a course and was required to stay in a hotel room with a coursemate. However, that particular person did not turn up in my room. I realised the next day that she was sharing a room with two other coursemates of the same race.

She was willing to share a single bed with another teacher whom she didn’t know rather than stay with me because, according to her, it was “easier”. I didn’t know what she meant by that.

On another occasion, on our school sports day, I assembled a team of athletes for the relay event. They were of different races.

One of the athletes asked me: “Teacher, how can I run with this boy of another race? Please change.” This is the situation in many schools.

There are few occasions for students to witness racial harmony and integration among teachers in schools.

How can we as teachers convince our students to integrate when there are no role models for them?

The ministry faces an uphill task in this matter.

Before implementing programmes for students, we need to change the mindset of educators and administrators in schools first.

In this issue, I must stand behind our beloved Chief Minister, Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud, on his ability to unite the more than 30 different ethnic groups in Sarawak (the East Malaysian state located in Borneo Island). Seldom do we hear our CM uses the phrase “kita orang Melayu” which literally means “we, the Malay race” in his public speeches.

5 thoughts on “Too much of the “kita orang Melayu” stuff”

  1. We thought that Sarawak and Sabah,EAST MALAYSIA,are TRULY MALAYSIAN among the other states in country Malaysia.And both of us salute to our beloved CM on his ability to unite multiracial peoples in Sarawak.Anak Kenyalang boleh!!!

  2. to me as the teenagers today i didnt know much bout the politics and agenda or any propaganda *if they had* going on this country especially in sarawak..there’s only this things that i know, the dayaks land taken over by the gov..which is do they have rights to take or do whatever they one to our land, who is we are the indegenous people of sarawak…??

    thought i really hope there is some kind of association for dayaks to fight the rights of we are the indegenous peoples…!!

  3. dear benjaminujang,
    “..more than 30 different ethnic groups in Sarawak..”.If we study from Anthropology research,the dayak are immigranted from another land and so the Orang Ulu,Penan,Punan and others.We can concluded that we all in Sarawak are from others land in South east Asia region or farer than that.About our rights as a “pribumi”,this task should be done by our leaders.But we thinked that “Hak-hak Istimewa Orang Melayu” should be study by our leaders because Malaysia is a MULTIRACIAL country.Then this “Hak-hak Istimewa Orang Melayu” are not just to other races especially minority ethnics.How could “Bangsa Malaysia” be exist in year 2020?

  4. “Hak-hak Istimewa Orang Melayu” is applicable to ‘bumiputra’ in Sarawak, used to be in Sabah – should still be. So, that is why UiTM accept ‘bumiputra’ without questions. Keep it at that or you will stand to lose much. Our forefathers has better foresightedness than us today. ‘Bumiputra’ exclude inter-marriage with chinese or indians or foreigners where you insist on stating their race as Chinese or Indian or British etc. So tell your sisters or daughters or mothers (in the event they decided to remarry) to not let go of their ‘race’ just because the men is as good looking as Uchu Keling. hehe

    BUT I would like to know, what do you mean Benjaminujang about Dayaks land taken over by the government? An example, please. If you are talking about land acquisition, there should be some form of compensation or you can ask for another piece of land for exchange. Provided of cause you have the legal TOL (documents) or at least the ‘words’ by the Penghulu (so you have to keep your Penghulu happy). If your Penghulu or Tuai rumah or setaraf dengannya, decided to not be on your side, don’t blame the government, please.

    In the event that you have proof of ownership (jangan tembak sebab tanah ada pokok engkabang sedang berbuah) of the land, you can go to the Land Customary Court for advise and to state your claim. BUT make sure that none of your fathers or siblings has claimed the right and you are actually making a double or triple claim. (Duit bah .. memang macam-macam boleh berlaku.) Lot of cases where the uncles had actually received the compensations without telling the children. Children pun marah-marah but uncles kenyang-happy sebab perut sudah gendut. (Not a joke.)

    Sorry Uchu for my mixed language comments and thanks for the space.

  5. UiTM?although as you said but we don’t know how many others special rights do they have.isn’t it?we just ‘apply’ their ‘hak-hak istimewa’ but we don’t have our own ‘hak-hak istimewa’ as ‘bumiputra’ sarawak n sabah.HOW about the indigenous people in peninsula?do they have?maybe just because their population are minor.nowadays,inter-marriage are very broadly known in ouir country.maybe the ‘application’ should be adjust?

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