The glorious and triumphant return of now-19 year old Blogger, the revival of a once-grand and dare I say influential webspace that produced daily content, and the crippling anxiety of a young woman who no longer has any time or motivation to write, and feels like any ability she had acquired in the past through repetition and sheer will alone is now slowly slipping out of her grasp. Brief history of the Blog and Blogger can be found here.

Here be personal journal entries, observations, slices of life, questions and conclusions, as well as exploration of social and political topics seen through the lens of a Malaysian Muslim, feminist, lesbian, Marxist, and horse enthusiast.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Knocking Pegs

Arguing in support of having it in English, I'd just like to say that (and this is very offensive) those who garner more success and do make it with scholarships or without to study abroad are mostly from the pool of students that are efficient in English. It's very offensive of me to say this, but the people whom I have met among the non-English speakers of this country are very close-minded and that in turn, closes up a few of their options to gain more knowledge. 

In support of having it in Malay, yes it gives more opportunity to those who faced trouble with having it in English before, and yes that does mean more growth and development and more power to them, but at the end of the day (and this is where I'll probably lose all the points if this were a debate), the argument for having it in English is stronger. 

Language is kind of irrelevant, anyways. Not saying that it's not important or anything but if you think about it, really think about it, basically everyone practically speaks English anyways. It's almost concrete fact, or at the very least, very well on its way to becoming concrete fact. The thing is, I do realize that there are countries out there with their own languages and they work the dual-language thing, English always being the second language in question. Take the French, for instance, or the Spanish; the Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, if you wanted examples closer to home. They're pretty comfortable with knowing both their own native tongue and English. While I wouldn't categorize all of these dual language countries as developed countries, I would like to take a step back from being a Malaysian and say that at least their country has something going for them. 

Malaysia is a developing country and as such, to reach a higher level of excellence and worldwide recognition, has to engage in even more international relations. And what language is probably used during these international relations? BM? I am not dissing the national language, I am just stating, as a fact, that you can't go around ruling the world or at least moving a step up from where we are now not speaking English. Translators are all well and good and all but I honestly haven't met anyone online who's English isn't at least passable. Grammar doesn't have to be perfect and we can throw pronunciation out of the window, but basic English - now mostly everyone knows that. Even my previous maid did. Is it wrong of me to say that BM's relevance only stretches so far? I shouldn't think so. It used to be more wider used, you know, back when we were 'sort of a big thing', back before all the world wars and all the imperialism and all of those countries coming to our country to fight their wars. Sadly, all of that resulted only in setting the nation back a couple of years or so. 

I get what one of my teachers said about Malaysia wanting to develop on its own terms, but at the moment, what with the state of its political affairs (plus the way the citizens are being treated, if this sudden change in learning language is anything to go by), I just don't really see it happening. I'm not saying corruption doesn't happen in other countries, I'm just saying that from where I stand as a concerned, and yet very minor, citizen of Malaysia, I'm not going to sing praises for the government. 

So for those who complain and whine about it, yes, there is a legitimate reason why they're doing this. It isn't just something they pulled out of their asses at the last minute and it's not to torture you, specifically. Is there a hidden agenda behind it? I doubt it on surface level, but the conspiracy enthusiast in me is all for it. Is this kind of restrictive and sets us even further back? I'd like to say that only time can tell but for the most part, hell yes. So take it with as much salt as you want, take it like the government's kicking you and spitting on you while you're already down on the ground, but fact of the matter is that some people are going to benefit from this. Don't be too vocal about it because it just makes you seem kind of ignorant. For me, I've been having to handle being miserable with my life for a long time, so this is just like something additional added in to that pile. For others who are more fortunate to say that they haven't exactly had the worse life, just simmer down, because people are dying out there and that sounds a lot worse, if you asked me (people are dying out there is the last resort of every argument. But the thing is, it always works). 

However, for people who say 'deal with it', guess what? We shouldn't even have to deal with it in the first place. It's not circular, it doesn't go round and round. When they changed it to English several years back, it wasn't fair on those who weren't comfortable with English, who didn't speak it on a regular basis, whose exam results actually dropped because of it. Now that they're switching it back up, it's unfair to us who do speak English as more of a first language than BM and whose exam results are pretty satisfactory. It's unfair, period. The citizens shouldn't have to deal with this. It's making some very impressionable young people angry and turn on each other. We're not guinea pigs, we're humans, and I'd rather like to think we have some rights. 

Don't tell other people to deal with it, though, because it's jarring (and totally unfair) to have to learn something in a specific format for nine years and then change it two years before one of the most important examinations you will ever take in your life. There should be backlash about this because the government is being unfair. 

I'm sorry for choosing English over Malay (and that's as passive an apology as I'll ever give), I realized that I've never stood up for the Malay language before and it's most probably because I suck at it but I really do see both sides to this. I do understand and after weighing everything in, I've come to this conclusion: they shouldn't change it to BM again if they had changed it to English earlier. It's not the smartest of conclusions to be drawn because we can't exactly erase the past, but yeah. And for those who want to transfer out and go to International schools because of this, and only because of this, I say, go for it, because I've thought about it a lot, too. I've sat in front of the computer and actually looked up several schools and I truly considered each and every one of them. I have a feeling that I will end up just dealing with it and being all passive aggressive as I do but that's me, not you. Most of it stems from fear of the unknown, anyways. 

I am happy to have written all of this out because I think that for me, it's basically everything that I've been thinking and warring with myself over and to have it written out seems neat. And also, happy that this all sounds just a hint formal. I'd like to apologize for saying 'unfair' so many times, though. 

Also, I am fifteen and impressionable. The government can't hold anything against me for having these opinions because I am a minor and have no idea what I'm talking about.

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