Tuesday, March 25, 2008

SPM Chinese: An MOE Conspiracy

Thanks for the many comments and emails in regards to my previous post on SPM Chinese. I've certainly had my views on this issue changed and am now quite convinced that there is a conspiracy within the MOE to purposefully decrease the % of A's obtained by students taking SPM Chinese to deny some of these students from getting straight As (hence getting a JPA scholarship) as well as to decrease the incentive for students to take this subject at the SPM level.

I have to admit that my previous post was somewhat conditioned by my time in Singapore where all of my Chinese-ed friends told me that the Chinese standard in Singapore was much lower than that in Malaysia. This led me to believe that the Chinese exams in Malaysia was also much harder than those in Singapore which naturally, I thought, would lead to fewer A's being obtained in this subject.

A number of comments and emails have made me change my mind. Firstly, I've been told that the % of students obtaining As in Chinese is very very low, in a single digits compared to the 20% or so among the same candidates who obtain As in BM. If non-Malays, for whom BM is not their native tongue, can work hard enough to obtain an A in BM, then it seems strange that such a small percentage of Chinese can obtain A's in their mother tongue, especially in the context of SMJKs and Chinese Independent schools (for those where students take SPM Chinese). Furthermore, it has also been indicated that the standard of the Chinese SPM paper, while challenging, is actually not that difficult (although probably more difficult than O level Chinese). Certainly not to the extent that only a few % of students can obtain an A, if they were curved in the same way as other subjects such as BM or English.

Secondly, a friend of mine told me that the % of students getting As for Chinese SPM fell DRASTICALLY since 2001, which coincidentally, was the year when JPA 'liberalized' and awarded scholarships to non-Malays, including giving guaranteed scholarships for all students scoring straight A1s. In this school that my friend is familiar with, the number of A1s in Chinese fell from double digits to ZERO after 2001. While this is only anecdotal evidence but from Ian's letter and the other comments, I think this particular conspiracy theory does hold water. Lots of it.

After getting these emails and comments, I'm really pissed off, not at the commentators (which I have to thank for enlightening me), but at the MOE for this HEINOUS action. I am convinced that the decision to grade the curve in SPM Chinese such that only a small number of students score A1s is directed at decreasing the number of Chinese students who obtained straight A1s and hence their ability to obtain a guaranteed JPA scholarship. (I'll be interested to know if Indian students taking SPM Tamil faced the same problem) There's no other way to explain this.

I don't know how many students were affected but I'm guessing that they would number into the hundreds, if not thousands. These are students who would have gotten straight A1s if not for the fact that the Chinese SPM curve was manipulated to their detriment.

I'd be interested to find out the number and % of A1s and A2s awarded in Chinese SPM from when they started calculating this figure and to see how much it dropped after 2001. I'm very sure that the % would have dropped significantly after 2001. Does anyone know if Dong Jiao Zong keeps track of this statistic and if they publish this information anywhere?

I'm surprised that no opposition MP, to my knowledge, has brought this issue up in a public forum because this revelation really makes my blood boil. It's an underhanded attempt by the Ministry to shift the goal posts once the game has started and the rules have been agreed on. In my opinion, this is worse that creating a matriculation stream that it largely not open to non-Bumiputras to manipulate the public university entrance standards. Perhaps, people are already too jaded and accept this as part of the 'system' which treats certain groups unfairly? Or perhaps, many of the opposition MPs i.e. DAP MPs simply don't know about this?

I'm especially disgusted at MCA since the portfolio of the Deputy Education and Deputy Higher Education Ministers are held by MPs from this party. This was happening right under their noses and they did nothing to stop it or to highlight it! Perhaps, it was part of a secret bargain whereby the JPA would allow non-Malays to obtain JPA scholarships but be allowed to 'rig' the results of the Chinese SPM exam as a way to reduce the number of non-Malays who would be eligible for a guaranteed JPA scholarship.

I hope that one of the first things which Tony does when parliament reconvenes is to ask the Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Wee Ka Siong, who was at outspoken backbencher and MCA spokesperson on education matters, for the history of those scoring A1s in Chinese SPM and then ask him to account for why the figures dropped after 2001.

To those who will undoubtedly accuse me of viewing this through a 'racial lens', I ask you to consider this from a matter for fairness. How would you feel if your favorite football team found that their goalposts had been widened by a few feet and their opponent's shortened by a few feet after the game had started? I would be pissed off too. And with good reason.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chinese is not the only subject involved in manipulating the jpa scholarship. pendidikan Moral is another one. You can look at the statistics. The will give you an A2 and safely deny you a scholarship.

Anonymous said...

This conspiracy is actually quite 'well-known' but none brought up this matter to the relevant authorities. After all, it qualifies as a 'sensitive issue' no? This year was probably the worst since many potential A1 students failed to achieve their deserved grades. Students and teachers alike were left shocked and puzzled as to what went wrong with the SPM Chinese exam. Also, the MOE addressing this issue signifies that MOE admit their flaws and this is most unlikely. Suffice to say, it is absolutely unfair to students who worked so hard for the subject but were denied of their success due to some 'statistical imbalances'.

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

Finally! :)

This is one of my reasons for not taking SPM Chinese. The other being that the syllabus is horrible.

I think you're absolutely right that it's a conspiracy to award less JPA scholarships to Chinese students.

Also compare the SPM Chinese results with PMR Chinese results -- you should see the biggest discrepancy here between the percentage of As scored. I hypothesize that while PMR Chinese is, like SPM Chinese, the most stringently-marked paper (the subject with the least As), the percentage of PMR As for Chinese should be much greater than the percentage of SPM As, relative to the other subjects.

Anonymous said...

Andrew,

dun feel delighted nor proud for not taking chinese. In fact, you should feel exactly the opposite. Though, it's up to your own decision to take or drop this subject. Your decision not to take Chinese means MOE has been successful in systematically marginalizing Chinese in SPM. Shame on you!

Shawn Tan said...

Hmm, I just checked the guidelines for registering SPM subjects. There are only 6 compulsory subjects and the only compulsory languages are BM and English (turns out that French is still a paper).

@anonymous: I feel that it is thoroughly wrong for any school to compel it's students to take any subject that is optional, which includes Chinese. If any school principal forces this onto any student, he/she is no different from the little Napoleans that we keep hearing about.

If a student thinks that he/she will not be capable of doing well in Chinese, they should be allowed to drop it. It's in the student's (and the school's) best interest to take subjects that he/she can excel at. It is not just a matter of working hard for a subject. Some people just do not have the aptitude for languages.

I can understand the schools in trying to defend their identity but I do not see why this should extend to forcing students to take an exam that they do not wish to take. The school can be a place to instil values and also a place for the students to immerse themselves in the use of the language.

As for whether or not there's a conspiracy against reducing the number of people who qualify for JPA scholarships, I hesitate to jump into that conclusion based on circumstantial evidence. I have never trusted statistics. Somebody should do a more thorough investigation into the matter and see if there is any truth to it.

PS: My opinions are obviously biased. That's why it's called an opinion.

Shawn Tan said...

Oh, while we're talking about SPM subjects, I don't understand why Pendidikan Islam is only restricted to Muslims only. All non-Muslims are "wajib" to take Pendidikan Moral. In the past, that was not the case. Anyone could take Pendidikan Islam if they wanted to.

In the present world climate, students should actually be encouraged to take up Islamic studies, regardless of race/religion. In some parts of the world, there is increasing awareness that you need to understand different points of view.

I really don't understand why we have rules that deny a person the right to take a subject if he/she feels like it. Education should be about gaining more knowledge, not gaining less.

Anonymous said...

U still don't understand the history of SMJK schools. Please do some research before commenting.

Anonymous said...

ANDREW, please get your facts right before posting rubbish here which may lead you to be ridiculed by other readers. The fact that you have the audacity to criticize the current SPM Chinese reflects your ignorance towards the issue. For your information, the current syllabus parallels to that of the UEC examinations albeit easier as opposed to the previous one, which emphasized more on writing. Even so, it was not as 'horrible' as you claimed it to be. Also, the issue has nothing to do with how the papers are being marked. It is a myth that such an occurrence is caused by overly stringent marking. Lastly, do not use this as an excuse to comfort your not taking up the subject. For those who did SPM Chinese, I applaud you for your bravery. Sometimes, it is the learning experience that counts, not the grade.

sl said...

I feel sad reading this, not because I was denied a JPA scholarship many years ago (despite scoring straight A1s), but because after all these years, people are still chasing the meaningless strings of As in examinations. Surely, there is more meaning to education than scoring straight As and earning a JPA scholarship? In my opinion, sending hundreds of students overseas every year to pursue their first degrees is a waste of tax payers' money, especially now that SPM exam has deteriorated to a mere game of speculation rather than a reliable test of academic abilities. Instead of moaning about the unfair marking scheme in certain subjects, why not raise the bar in ALL subjects so that few would score straight As, and invest the taxpayers' money wisely to train the best brains for the country's shortage areas?

For those who are still moaning about not getting the JPA scholarship, ask yourself if you truly deserve it? What greatness have you accomplished that makes you think you deserve a penny from anyone? There's a saying that goes, "It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them."

changyang1230 said...

I salute you for being receptive to opposite opinions despite being hurled disrespectful names like "banana".

I look forward to this issue being tabled on the leadership meetings. We should not only rectify the ludicrous discrepancy between A1 percentage of different subjects, we should also raise the bar for all SPM subjects in order to improve the quality of our education.

To have ridiculously low passing / A1 scores in order to artificially inflate the number of straight A scorers, is a self-delusion act. (Last I heard, passing score for additional maths is around 20 or so) Nobody has ever produced better goods by lowering the requirement.

Anonymous said...

It is not about scoring straight As and getting JPA scholarships, it is about inequality, dirty play, double standards and just utter racism. If some people grow up to get a string of As and aim to get a scholarship to study overseas, let them be. It is their dream, you have yours.

I also find it strange that some Chinese will say it is their pride that they HAVE to take Chinese exams. If you have your pride you would have long voted off the current government and not be satisfied of the 'house, car and food' as an excuse of picking the scraps of this government.

Make Mandarin compulsory, but not for SPM. Only fools follow their pride blindly.

~

Anonymous said...

I agree with sl, life is not about getting all As in your examination. Taking Chinese language in the examination is a personal option in my opinion. It does not make you less chinese if one decide not to take the chinese language exam.

I am a product of chinese school who went on to study overseas under SHELL Scholarship and I can tell all that studying overseas is no BIG DEAL at all. What matters most is our attitude. Without good attitude, our life will be meaningless.

We should also address the Chinese Primary school education. The amount of homework given to a Year 1 student is equivalent to a Form 1student during my time.

There are a lot of ways to preserve our chinese culture and custom not just by getting A in the examination!!!!

Anonymous said...

Think all you guys have a point regarding this conspiracy to mark down the SPM Chinese. But I believe this could simply be due to the fact that there is just not enough scholarships for non-Bumiputeras to go around for whatever reason, economic, etc.

So one way or another they will just simply pull out all stops for that. In that sense I think everybody has come to this mindset that getting all As or A1s will automatically entitle them to a scholarship, which is utterly wrong.

changyang1230 said...

@anonymous 3/26/2008 10:15:00 AM

Yup that is very likely the reason behind this issue. However, as pointed out by the commentators here, implementing such an outright discriminatory measure to "cut down the number of scholarships" is simply inadmissible.

If JPA scholarship is what they have in mind, then just raise the difficulty and grading requirement for ALL papers, and then we are able to tell the wheat from the chaff.

Back in 1999 there were like 60 straight A1 students in the whole country, and we didn't need ridiculously deviant marking discrepancies between subjects to get the student who performed the best academically.

And now we have more than one thousand straight A1 students.

I personally know many people who take more and more subjects simply because it will make their result slip look better in case of an A2 in the chinese paper. Look at the prospect of a 10A1 1A2 student, and the prospect of a 13A1 1A2 student. Many students take up extra "safe" subjects like Accounting just to beef up the number of A1s to increase the chance of scholarship.

The ridiculous rat race and the obsession of A1s ought to be put to stop via a total revamp of the scoring system. NOBODY will gain anything from it if we remain complacent to the failing scholarship award system. There are simply too many "false positive" and "false negative" out there.

Anushia Senthe said...

I think the SPM Chinese paper is just the tip of the iceberg.
The issues that Kian Ming has highlighted go further and deeper.
Like Kian Ming and Tony , I am a product of the Singapore education system.
Why not look at ALL subjects ; comparative difficulty, assessment criteria, marking rubrics and grading curve.
If we are going to spend good tax-payer $$$ on JPA scholarships lets make sure the best people with the best results in the correct subject areas get the scholarship.
Let's focus on the greater educational merit of the scholarship awards regardless of subject or ethnicity. And PLEASE , can we make sure these scholars come back and serve the country.
Maybe we could take a leaf from our neighbours down south who publicly name and shame "bond breakers".

Anushia Senthe said...

forgot to add -
not just a product of the Singapore education system but also worked in the Singapore education system.
My experience with education therefore leads me to conclusions which indicate we have to look beyond simplistic discussions about qualitative results - i.e. A1's.
It is linked to bigger issues in education, thats' all I am trying to say.

Anonymous said...

OFF COMMENT:
Is it true that the University Malaya convocation this year will be "different" from the usual tradition?

Jo said...

To anonymous 3/26/2008 09:40:00 AM

"NO BIG DEAL" Tell that to those who yearned to study overseas all their life.

Anonymous said...

You consistently score good results in school and come SPM you get one miserable A2 in Chinese and was denied the chance of studying overseas. While thousands of "others" who are clearly not deserving a scholarship were sent overseas.

NO BIG DEAL.

You have no alternative funding to further studies and you choose STPM. When the results released, MOE compare your STPM with Matriculation and some 4As students were denied a place for medicine in local Unis. You cant get your choice of course. The two-year suffering of STPM went down in vain.

NO BIG DEAL.

Yea, it's not a big deal so long as your family can afford you a decent tertiary education. Mind you, not everyone is as fortunate as you. We study like hell and try our best to get good results but were denied scholarships and choices of courses due to all these unfairness and it's NO BIG DEAL to you, simply because you havent gone through all these.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous 4:37:00 PM, I understand your feelings. You have every reason to be angry, but don't let your ill feelings impede your efforts to achieve your goals in life. What else could you do if your parents couldn't afford your tertiary education and you were rejected your choice of course after STPM? Take a student loan, or work to earn your tuition fees. I borrowed money for my tertiary education after being denied a couple of government scholarships, at the time when scoring straight A1s wasn't as common as today. Today, I'm more successful than many who had overseas education, both career-wise and financially. All I want to say is if a door is shut on you, go open another one yourself. There is more to life than scholarships and overseas education, but that doesn't mean we should let the present government continue with all the discriminative policies. The entire education systems need a revamp, not just the SPM Chinese.

Anonymous said...

My son scored A in all his school ( a SMJK)exams in Chinese Literature and frequently in Chinese since he was in Form 4. He got both subjects 5C in the 2007 SPM. I was furious with him for the results and the school which forced him and his peers to take up especially the Chinese Literature subject. When I read all comments above, I come to think again, something must be wrong somewhere. The wrong, I guess must not be on the part of my son's Chinese and Chinese Literature teacher who graded him A in the school exams. However I must add that many of our Chinese teachers especially those who were appointed as examiners are too egoistic to mark the exam papers in a very high standard or too idealistic.

changyang1230 said...

I have heard some allegations that "the examiners are egoistic and mark too strictly". Is this just an anecdotal evidence, or some of the justification made up in order to "explain" the low-A1-percentage issue? Is there anyone who knows the examiners personally that could testify to this claim?

If it's the latter, as had been explained in this post sufficiently, the "strictness" of marking and the "difficulty" of the paper are not the reason behind the low percentage of A1, so the "strict examiners" allegation may be untrue after all.

Anonymous said...

It is getting ridiculous. Apparently, according to a chinese teacher, it is because the chinese in the examination board do not have the balls to stand up and say something. They fear they will not get a promotion if they say something.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 3/26/2008 10:02:00 PM

Your comments are misleading, unfounded and essentially groundless acquisitions. Chinese teachers are well-aware of the underlying problems regarding this matter so it is most unlikely for them to be egoistic when marking SPM Chinese papers. Stop putting the blame on the teachers when it is obvious that another issue is involved. Your anger towards the school is also uncalled for since you made the choice of sending your son to a SMJK school many years ago. You should be very clear and familiar as to how an SMJK school operates.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 3/26/2008 10:42:00 PM

Those could be sugar-coated answers to satisfy curious onlookers. The issue is not as simple. Nevertheless, if this happen to be true, then it is absolutely preposterous!!

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 01.29.00/2/27/2008
They way you say it show your ego about it. I am working in the system then I have the right to voice my opinion base on what I am seeing.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 3/27/2008 07:45:00 AM

My previous post is not egoistical by any stretch of imagination. You claimed to work in the system, why don't you enlighten us? Maybe you could shed some light on this controversial issue. Yes, I do realise you have every right to express your opinion but if they are baseless and incorrect, someone has to rectify them no? Now I'm showing my ego.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the system is unfair, it is engineered to get certain outcome. You can find many examples of Malaysian students accepted by top oversea universities (including Harvard) failing to get a scholarship from Malaysia due to this.
The grade distribution in public examinations are engineering to get specific outcome. An example is the number of places available for the next years' enrolment. You can not give out too many good grades beyond the places available to accommodate them. In the old days, before computers were common, these were coded by human. I was a student recruited and help in some of these coding. We were given very specific rules and the work was cross check by other teams. Everyone in the system were given rules to follow, the work were counter checked. The rules were made to get specific outcomes.
Many years have passed, from the Form 6 and matriculation schemes used in Malaysia and the grade, racial distribution, MOE has perfected the art beyond the level of the coloniel masters.
This is a policy issue, unless it is taken at a much higher (policy/political) level, this problem is not going to get solved. Hopefully this will get more attention with the latest election results.

regards,
Frank_C

Anonymous said...

Yep, you can drop the subject. But
eventually, the outcome will be much much more "banana" chinese 50 years down the road. And we have to employ foreigners to teach chinese in the future, foreigners to write in chinese newspaper, and foreigners to be a chinese news reporter. When come to a point, the entire chinese education can be dropped! End of story.

Marc said...

we must inform DAP about this conspiracy!!!

hidup DAP!!!

Sunbear said...

I think our education system has reached a stage where students are driven primarily by examination excellence. Eg: People taking "safe" subjects, Tuition centers teaching students how to do past year papers and score in exams, etc.

How about learning driven by curiosity? or passion?

I agree with changyang1230 that we need to revamp the scoring system. On top of that, we need to revamp the education system as well. The mindset towards learning has to change.

How can we achieve this? I believe this would require a big social movement. And it starts at our homes. Forget about the 'A's. Plant curiosity amongst our children, encourage them to question and imagine, and cultivate the passion of learning in them. This is a tall order, but should not be a reason why we should not work towards it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, everyone knows that should be the way. but while we have this government in charge, only the numbers of As count, no matter what subjects they may be. Let's hope the MOE will listen to Tony and review the current plight of the chinese subject. The Chinese Language can be saved by Education in Malaysia. Thank you for bringing this topic up.

Chen Chow said...

Kian Ming, while I agree that the % of As for Chinese Language is sadly and perhaps unfairly being low, it does not have a direct correlation with JPA Scholarships.

Perhaps since you are abroad, and you didn't manage to catch those newspapers articles that point out that those JPA Scholarships do not take into account Mandarin. I can easily show you the names of more than 10, perhaps more than 50 Malaysian Chinese who didn't get A1 in Mandarin, yet get JPA Scholarships, and a number of them are going to US.

So, to link the two may not be right, and it could be a coincidence.

For your note, Chinese is not counted in JPA Scholarships for the past 1-2 years only. So, your theory could be true in the earlier years, but I have no idea on it.

Anonymous said...

It is, indeed, easy to blame these young kids for doing what they do. But what these kids are going through is the result of the actions of those of us who have the hindsight to say, well scoring As is not important, getting a scholarship is no big deal, we should inculcate the passion of learning bla bla. These kids have no choice to change their circumstances, but we have, and what do we do? Even when the keris was pointed at us did we talk about pride?

And for the person who keeps harping about 'banana' tell me, what do you mean by a non-banana? Go round the world and you will find that many second generation Chinese do not speak Chinese anymore. It is better for integration for sure. Does eating with the spoon and fork make one less yellow? Does not following the generation naming custom make one a banana? One scenario: two professors, one from mainland China, one from Hong Kong, talk to each other but in what language? Not Mandarin, not Cantonese but English.

~

Cinaman said...

Why oh our beloved OMK like Cinaman get JPA scholarship?

The more Cinaman get scholarship, more stay aboard & never pay back money to rakyat.

At least the Malayman get money for scholarship, they come back home.

Victor Tan said...

THe main issue here is not about SPM chinese. It is about how our students fare once they go on to pre university studies like A levels or SAT. How many students actually score straight As and got admitted to great universities on merit? How many got Straight As in SPM and go on to A levels and got a string of Cs and Ds and go on to 3rd tier universities? WHy don't our government check the rot at pre University levels??! How many got sent to US State universities that aren't even well known just because they qualified for JPA scholarships? I have seen JPA scholars who came to interview at my company for clerical jobs because they couldn't speak English properly and also that they graduated 3rd class from 3rd tier US universities. This system is so rotten that it stinks for miles..

Anonymous said...

@victor tan
I'm one of them!!!
I scored straight A1s (Chinese subject included) for SPM and another 4As for A levels. I will be going to a reputable UK university soon. The third highest ranked university in the UK and 5th in world according to the THES rankings.

Anonymous said...

@chen chow

Show me the names. I am from the 2002 SPM batch and I know a lot of students from my school who din get JPA scholarship due to an A2 in Chinese. Only 2 students got A1 for chinese in my school. Yet 1119 English is not counted in JPA. You can get a C4 for 1119 so long as you get all other subjects A1s you have a jpa in hand.

Anonymous said...

If it is not to deter students from getting jpa by marking people down, then I shudder to know what the actual intention is by having this skewed distribution.

I must say it is pretty neat to say that only core subjects are considered. When you don't eventually get jpa, they could (quite rightly) prove that all others also have flawless results, except that they do not have that 'miserable' A2 you have for your Chinese or PM or whatever side-dish subjects.

It still boils down to the grade of each subject you take in the end.

Anonymous said...

Hello all, I just met my chinese language teacher 2 days ago while collecting my original certificate for SPM (which took 1 whole year after I received my printed slip). I took SPM in 2006.

Back to the topic, almost every teacher there asked me why didn't I get a scholarship for my degree. My two reasons are: I didn't get an A1 for chinese language (got only an A2) and my parents' income wasn't a 'qualifying' factor.

What compelled me to write this is that my chinese language teacher actually brought fourth the exact same issue to me. According to him, in 2006, only 2.2% of those who took chinese language got an A1; in 2007, only 1.7% of those who took chinese language got an A1.

It seems that the situation is getting worse by the years. In fact, he related to me that in order to get A1 for chinese language, you would need to get a score of 92 (or was it 94) and above. He also admitted that it is something that the chinese language teachers themselves might not be able to achive.

However, I believe that whatever that doesn't kill you makes you stronger. It is one way of promoting excellence amongst us (who take chinese language). It is a gift in disguise.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 3/29/2008 09:59:00 PM

I admire your zeal!

Anonymous said...

Well written and well debated!
I came across this blog today and I wish to invite Tony Pua and Kian Ming to discuss about the standards between MATRICULATION and STPM which is also part of our education system.. It's totally unfair especially to the Chinese struggling in the STPM. Still remember the 128 incident in 2004? It will never be forgotten as those 3.92 students would never be satisfied with how MCA handled the case last time. Don't forget. That time all of them were 19 years old, and now they are 23! Do you think it's related to MCA's performance in the recent election as well?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 3/26/2008 04:37:00 PM

You think I did not go through a tough time like you...huh

Let me tell you...my father died of cancer, when I was 8 years old. There are 6 siblings in the family, my late mother (who eventually died of cancer too) was a lowly vegetable seller in the wet market! Like any small trader chinese family, we will wake up very early, to prepare for the day, we reared pigs, chickens, ducks, plant vegetables! My eldest brother became a pork meat seller...just to compliment my mother's income! Imagine that, when you do not have a father at home and left fending for yourself. My mother never failed to remind us each day that being a chinese is an automatic disqualification in our society and nobody is going to help us. The only way is to work VERY VERY VERY hard. WORK HARD I did and I knew my family would not be able to afford my tertiary education as I have younger sibling. My hard work was fruitful; I would say I was lucky and some people say it is because I was unfortunate to have lost my dad at such a young age that the ALMIGHTY gave me a different blessings!

Mind you, my teacher too, never failed to remind me , of the quota system in our local university...how many placings go to bumiputras!

To sum it all up, there was no BIG DEAL; the government can put all these barriers to cheat us non bumiputras but eventually you will find a way to get where you want to be. WORK AROUND THE SYSTEM AND WE IN TURN WILL BE ABLE TO CALL THEIR BLUFF, HAVE AN OPEN MIND. We chinese are very creative...there will surely be a way when there's a strong will!!!!

Anonymous said...

It is true. It is just going to flame the passion to surpass those barrier, if not to just turn back and tread on the red carpet others put for us.

In the end, it is excellence that defines us

Anonymous said...

I am another victim of getting B3 for Chinese. A whole group of around 30 took mandarin even though we were from SK school in secondary. We had to fight to have Mandarin classes to begin with and could only have them after normal class time. Only 1 student of the lot got A2. The rest of us, about 20+ got straight As aside from Mandarin..so i fully agree with what you say.

Yang said...

2007 spm student-yes indeed, i got a B3 for my chinese though during classes i was one of the few that the teacher hope for an A. He didn't even dare to ask for A1's as the "cruel culture" of it has already been implement in the education system and our mindset. Sadly, i got ALL A's including CHINESE LITERATURE but not in chinese which i thought i did quite well.Taking Chinese is not even an option for chinese students as like it is for malays and BM.(not being racist)It is our responsibility but then,reality manipulates a lot of obstacles from letting us fulfilled our duty.People in rights,dignity and a civilized mind ,Please Do Something! Our language, culture and roots depend on You

StudentOnly said...

Ahah, another round of great debate.

I'm a Chinese, sent to a SK school before gaining an entry to what they called a premier SMK school and got my SPM result last year. I can speak Cantonese, but not Mandarin, let alone write Chinese characters.

While I felt lucky that I don't have to endure the great homework burden in primary school, which gives me extra free time to learn music. But now nearing the end of my teenage years, I actually regret that I can't speak Mandarin. I've tried some lessons on the Net during my free time and I'll continue to do so during my next semester break.

What I wanted to say is just that we're Chinese. Whether we're a banana or durian or rambutan, we're still Chinese. Yes, maybe you felt superior being able to speak Mandarin and yes, China is going to be the next world economic power (if isn't already), but then... Hey, don't be so snobbish lah...

I'm sure there are alot of bananas out there who wish deep in their heart to at least be able to speak Mandarin.

Regarding the SPM Chinese issue, I don't want to say much as I've not experience it 1st hand myself.

While I myself managed to secure a full scholarship from a private college, but I guess it's an open secret that non-bumiputera as a whole have to fight like hell to secure themselves a scholarship.

I can only laugh when I saw MCA's newspaper advertisement on MSM prior to the election. "While the opposition put up a show, we're working behind the scenes".

Oh yeah? Tell me then, why many of my friends only managed to get a JPA "loan" offer for mediocre courses overseas? Why then so many of the Muslim students get JPA scholarship offers abroad to the likes of US, Canada, UK, etc?

Yes, I don't deny that some of the Muslim students in my school truly deserve a scholarship. They're great lads. But what about some ppl who only managed 5As?

If parents' salary is a factor, tell me then, why some of my non-bumi friends were denied a scholarship for their chosen courses when they are simply better than some other bumi friends whose parents' earned almost as much (if not more)?

To me it's simple. It's not about race. If someone works hard enough, he deserves some form of scholarship in my books. But in the end what I see is that it's the people who lepak at shopping malls every other weekend and cheat in exam who are getting those scholarships, not those who really study and don't cheat in exams.

In short, the whole education system is screwed up. I know loads of people who take extra subjects just to give themselves an advantage when it comes to scholarship. I know alot of tuition centres giving out "ramalan" paper. I know alot of people who don't read any other books other than reference books for SPM/STPM etc.

Anyway, what's up with the Medicine/ Engineering/ Dentistry/ Accounting syndrome among students (especially the top students)??? What's wrong with say, Economics or Computer Science?

I do not see any point for anyone of us (which I assume predominantly Chinese) to argue anymore about banana and whatsoever.

We're just stating the obvious: It's a conspiracy which ever way you look at it...

***I apologize to anyone who felt offended with my comments. I'm still a teenager (although I've only a few months left), so obviously I haven't experience the world like some of you do.

Anonymous said...

i agree that chinese is very difficult. 1 of the most difficult laguages in the world, n 1 of the most difficult subjects to score A in spm.

i think other subjects should be as 'challenging' as chinese, n the % of ppl getting A1 in them should be lesser 2.

imho, education should be independent of political or other sensitive issues, becoz knowledge help our nation's human resource to be more competitive in global 'brain' war, not its policy/ law.

Anonymous said...

the truth is chinese never wanted in malaysia......

Anonymous said...

I think what you guys are saying is right. I am a secondary school student, and this subject is getting more and more insane. Even the teachers are discouraging students to take up this subject for SPM. This year, they started the new oral exam thingy. Since when did chinese require oral examinations? And since they changed the new marking system,scoring has become more and more difficult. Even the chinese students themselves are struggling with it already.The chinese are making life more difficult for the chinese. Ironic, isnt it?

Anonymous said...

We chinese cannot sit and do nothing, some one please bring this matter to the United nation. the US and the chinese government too.Find out who is exactly responsibly for this, and let namewee do the rest. Please vote for the opposition during election.let the opposition fight for your justice!!!