Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Kula: Irresponsible to postpone compulsory English at SPM

Future generations will suffer if decline in English continues says Ipoh Barat MP

IPOH: The DAP has criticised the government’s indefinite postponement of a compulsory pass in English for the SPM, the fifth form public examination.

The decision is illogical and irresponsible, said DAP vice-chairman M Kula Segaran, who said it would hinder the progress of the English language in Malaysia and would benefit no one.

“Yes, many may have to slug it out to do well to pass the compulsory English paper but the benefits are enormous,” said Kula in an e-statement. He said a poor command of English had affected the well-being of Malaysians, and questioned if the federal government would ever find a permanent solution.

Future generations would suffer if the problem persisted, said Kula, who is MP for Ipoh Barat.

He said it was impossible to conduct diplomacy and commercial relations without a strong command of English. A survey in 2011 had revealed that more than 40,000 graduates from public universities could not get jobs in the private sector because they lacked proficiency in English.

Many of those were from rural areas, and Kula said their lack of proficiency in English would thwart the country’s economic growth.

He suggested that English be reintroduced as the medium of instruction and spoken language in all schools as before and called on the parents to support the call.

He said he had raised the matter in Parliament stating that the federal government must have the political will to make English compulsory in schools to improve standards. He urged the federal government to reverse the decline in English proficiency with urgency.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Kula: Protest Marks Clear Line of Demarcation

Ethnic evaluation of issues, the bane of Malaysian politics, will be more difficult to engage in following the success of the Bersih 4 gathering over the last weekend.

DAP national vice-chair M Kulasegaran, who travelled from Ipoh to take part in the march, said he felt exhilarated by the sight of Malaysians of different races and age groups congregating in Kuala Lumpur to project their hopes for the creation of more just order.

“Rarely before have I felt my identity as a Malaysian a strongly as I did while walking and mingling with the crowds that assembled around Dataran Merdeka last Saturday and Sunday,” recalled the MP for Ipoh Timor.

“I was born in the year of Merdeka (1957) and that would make me particularly sensitive to the similarity between my age and the span of our existence as an independent nation,” mused the lawyer-legislator.

“Frankly, it has been a struggle all these years trying to feel that this conjunction between my chronological age and the nation’s is something worth treasuring,” he continued.

“But walking with the crowds at the Bersih 4 gathering, most of whom were much younger than me, I felt a surge of pride at the similarity in mine and the country’s age as if that had placed a responsibility on me to ensure that the hopes that attended our country's birth must be fulfilled no matter the obstacles,” asserted Kulasegaran.

He said seldom in his four terms as a parliamentarian had he felt a comparable sense of optimism that those ‘hopes’ are attainable.

“Given the youth and vibrancy of the crowds with whom I marched and mingled with, I could not hep but feel that however formidable the obstacles to the fulfilment of the fond hopes that the country's founders had for it, the future will be won by the forces for progress rather than retrogression,” opined this father of two children, with another one on the way, which was partly indicative of his new-found optimism.

Kulasegaran said he felt that Bersih 4's biggest achievement would be that the reflexive evaluation of national issues using racial criteria is on the way to being a thing of the past.

“There are going to be more voices urging that national issues be evaluated by a Malaysian perspective rather than through an ethnic lens.

“I have a feeling that this is going to be the case. I may be wrong but virtually throughout the two-day gathering that adrenalin coursed through my veins making me feel that the future belongs to the forces for change rather than those for retrogression,” he commented.