Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Schools, sex and race politics

Found this article in TheMalaysianInsider by Hafidz Baharom. It's a good read.

NOV 11 — I went to primary school at the dawn of the 90s. In fact, it was 1990. I went to school wearing shorts while others were already wearing slacks. Girls wore pinafores, regardless of their race or religious views.

The wearing of a headscarf, or the absence of one, was not an issue.

Corporal punishment in classes was still there. Teachers had that 1m-long ruler they’d use to smack a hand or a knuckle to instil discipline, with the parents’ blessings.

And yet, everyone got along well enough regardless of their race or religious beliefs, or even their levels.

But now is a different time, for both students and teachers.

Let’s review some recent pieces about how teachers and students are being treated in this day and age in Malaysia.

We have Bumiputera students denied a place a Matriculation colleges because, apparently, she wasn’t Bumiputera enough.

We have a teacher slapping a student, and now facing a lawsuit.

We have a student hospitalised after a teacher caught him smoking and told him to smoke an entire pack in one go.

We have teachers saying that students no longer respect them, while students are stating that teachers need to earn that respect. We have headmasters that are promoted not because of merit, but merely due to years of service.


A decade ago, in 1999, one in three female students in secondary school were sexually active. Any wonder what that figure is now?

Judging by how a girl can give birth in a school toilet and shove her baby in a schoolbag as if nothing happened in a state like Terengganu, my guess is the figure’s gone up.

How many school girls are on the “morning after” pill? How many students are indulging in anal sex to still be considered “virgins” for their weddings?

I may be old fashioned in my preference for people 21 years old or above. That’s just me. While I don’t actually have a care about students having sex at any age (that’s their choice), there are things that worry me.

That would include contraception, emotional and physical damage, abortions and STDs.

How much do they know? How much DON’T they know? How much do they get from schools?

While schools, along with religious and political leaders, continually preach abstinence, it’s obviously not working.

In fact, I think most students would learn more about sex from a porn film, though most of them would probably download something from the West, which would make the women somehow seem to sound in extreme pain. And if you’ve watched the Japanese porn, it constantly sounds as if the woman’s being murdered or abused to the point that someone could refer it to a human rights group as a hate crime.

Oh, and this goes double for gay porn.


While partisan politics may not be in schools, race politics is sufficiently present as to beg to question whether explaining the term “Bumiputera” in the Pendidikan Moral books is damaging towards the issue of unity. I find it damaging for the simple fact that it basically tells non-Bumiputeras that preferential treatment is given not due to logic, but due to luck.

Basically teachers would have to tell the non-Bumiputeras that somehow the Bumiputeras won a genetic lottery, because “the Bumiputeras were here first”.

Kind of like how a bully at a playground monopolises the swing.

I have a personal agenda against government schools. I admit it. My grouse is that schools have remotely promoted racism for years under the education ministers’ noses and I’ve experienced it firsthand.

When I was in Form Three, two classes were reserved for Malays only, assigned with supposedly the best teachers in the school. This was apparently a prolonged policy. I was assigned to one of these classes and took it lying down.

My elder brother did no such thing. He was assigned to an all-Malay class and demanded to be transferred to a mixed class. He was shown to the vice principal’s office and was told off. The phrase used by the teacher, that irks him to this day, was that he shouldn’t “look down on his own race”.

Personally contemplating, who’s looking down on our race? The student who wishes for equal treatment or the enforcer who insists on preferential treatment for a specific race?


I have answers to these issues, but modern day Malaysian society seems to think that such answers would be deemed anti-religion and anti-Malaysian values, which I personally deem ridiculous.

Is it in Malaysian or religious values to encourage ignorance and superstition in this modern day?

It may be of religious value to be ignorant, but it certainly isn’t a Malaysian one. Particularly the Malaysia I want.

Feel free to comment.

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