Infernal Ramblings
A Malaysian Perspective on Politics, Society and Economics

Malaysian Public Schools: Go To Hell

Written by johnleemk on 1:08:02 pm Mar 31, 2007.
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I haven't had many comments on Ivy League, Here I Come yet. I have, however, had an earful from my parents. So, it's time for damage control.

I'm not going to take back anything I said. I mean exactly what I said. Our public schools aren't worth the contents of my bowels, and those stuck-up pricks who think their schools are like the typical Malaysian school — and thus think there is absolutely no need to change anything about our school system — aren't good for anything other than fellatio. (Okay, that's not strictly true — but it accurately represents how I feel about these fools.)

The damage control part is, of course, that these views are solely my own, and have nothing to do with anyone else. My family is on the verge of disowning me for my free expression (okay, that's hyperbole — they're actually just really ticked off, because that's not the sort of thing they expect their eldest son to do).

The other aspect of damage control is that I want to avoid people taking the wrong message away from what I write — which happens far more often than I'd like. I sometimes wish I had 1 sen for every time someone's accused me of saying something I haven't — I'm quite confident I wouldn't need to advertise on this site if there was any such justice in this world.

But, of course, there isn't any such justice. Life's a bitch. Life's not fair. Life likes to kick you in the balls right after you've keeled over with diarrhea in the middle of an examination paper you're sure to fail because you spent the night before grieving over your dog which your neighbour killed.

Actually, my personal motto is "Life's not fair — get used to it". (If life was fair, I'd also get 1 sen for every time I've told one of my friends to stop complaining through this motto.) I'm not bitter that some people have had better opportunities than me. I'm not angry with them. I certainly don't subscribe to the thinking of some leftists that they should be deprived of their opportunities for the sake of losers like me.

And the other thing, of course, is that I'm not even that huge a loser. In primary school, I had classmates who lived in real squatter villages. I had classmates who had to borrow their textbooks through the Skim Pinjaman Buku Teks — and many bright ones, too. Possibly they could even have been Ivy League material.

Where have all these people ended up? They don't have a family who can afford to send them for private examinations, or a family who can let them waste their time writing a website or editing an encyclopaedia. They have far less opportunities than I ever had. (Except for those who got into the MARA junior science colleges or other prestigious Bumiputra boarding schools.)

There's no point second-guessing how things would have worked out for us if life were fair. That's not why I'm so emo (as those of my generation would say) about my education. No, the reason I'm emo is that such wastage of talent and brilliance is utterly unnecessary.

Look at our government's priorities. It gives all-but-free shares to Bumiputras. It subsidises new mansions for Bumiputra millionaires. It gives closed tenders to Bumiputra contractors. And yet it can't even afford to hire enough teachers and staff to teach the average Bumiputra student properly. Seriously, what kind of "Malay agenda" is this?

There are a billion and one things our government could be doing with its funds than gallivanting and sending illegal racers to the North Pole or sending students to subpar foreign universities on public scholarships. It could train teachers the right way. Hell, it could hire the right teachers. We could probably import a few thousand English-educated Indians (as in people from India) to teach science and mathematics properly in English, and the bill still wouldn't come up to the cost of building the phallic Petronas Twin Towers.

Some of these things wouldn't even cost money. All they require is a changing of the system. What good is an education system where the vast majority of students don't have a single extracurricular activity that can interest them? How much does it cost to set up a debating club? All it needs is teachers and administrators who aren't dumb enough to mess up the club or ban it altogether.

The stupid curriculum can also be cleaned up at relatively little cost. How much would it cost to have a moral education or history syllabus that forces you to think and analyse, rather than memorise? The only cost would probably be firing the idiots who insist on memorisation and hiring new teachers and examiners to replace them.

All the moronic government has to do is change these few things. It won't cost more than those twin penises they erected in the middle of Kuala Lumpur. There is absolutely no reason not to reform our public education system that turns people like me into bitter assholes.

Oh, wait, there is one reason: people who are bigger assholes than me and think they know it all. The ignorant idiots who think because their schools and teachers were good enough for them to get into the Ivy League, everyone else's schools and teachers are good enough for everyone else to get into the Ivy League. The same idiots who spent over eight pages complaining about someone who points out the flaws in our fucked up school system.

I'm not going to mince my words here, although I know that this means losing the respect of some people, and also further pissing off my parents. I don't care if you think I'm an immature bigot — what matters to me is making it absolutely crystal clear that our public schools can and should burn in the fiery flames of hell, because they aren't worth a smelly squat toilet.

Even more important is that it is totally clear that there is no need for our schools to be in such a state, because it is far from impossible or impractical to clean them up and make them worthy of the epithet "school". It's so easy and achievable that if you aren't angry about the kind of education the typical public school dishes out, you're probably one of those elitist morons who actually believes that missionary schools are typical public schools. (Another thing to be angry about is that the numbers of such people are quite high — and since these same people become the technocrats of our society, they are the ones driving our education policies.)

To sum up, the targets of my hate are not teachers or students who are victims of the system. Neither do I hold anything against those who have benefited from the system. My grudge is against the system itself — the system which all but guarantees that unless you're a member of the elite, you can kiss a good education goodbye.

Secondarily, I have no regard at all for those totally ignorant self-righteous pricks who believe that our education system is fine because they were the lucky few who attended a proper school. If you attend an elite public school but are aware that all schools are not like yours, or aren't aware because you've never been informed, that's all right.

But if you are informed, and continue to live in denial, and thus deny the right to have a decent education to the rest of the country, really, feel free to give me oral sex. Better yet, fellate the people who never had the chance to complain about your ilk — the guy living in the squatter kampung who may never escape the life of poverty he was born into because of your refusal to accept that he deserves the same opportunities you had. Because you spread the lie that he already has the same opportunities you did.

I of course apologise if I have hurt anyone's feelings. I'm certainly aware that the language I've used is excessively strong. But the target of my language is not my parents, not my teachers, not my friends, not my circumstances. The target is the system that has unnecessarily condemned the >90% of this country who aren't the elite, and nearly consigned me to a similar fate, if not for the opportunities my parents gave me. This system, and the people who support it, really can go to hell.

(If you missed it, here's a handy example of elitists who seek to deny the typical Malaysian student the same opportunities they had through their own denial that anything is wrong with our education system.)


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Infernal Ramblings is a Malaysian website focusing on current events and sociopolitical issues. Its articles run the gamut from economics to society to education.

Infernal Ramblings is run by John Lee. For more, see the About section. If you have any questions or comments, do drop him a line.


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