When you know you can do it

Salam readers!

As you knew, oh have I told you that last year I entered ITBM Book Review competition and I was selected as consolation winner. That is really shocking and now I realized my only talent is to write article review. 

Which I can comfortably say, I can write a book review. 

Recently I gain more confident in writing reviews. Thanks to my lecturer in IIUM who gave us the assignment to write critical review. Do you know how much marks she gave me?


and that assignment is in English! 

Of course with minor edits on the grammar. But hell, yeah! I am more than happy to get such recognition from the Dean of Kulliyah of Education in IIUM.

So now, I share to you this review, and tell me what do you guys think? Do you think I can write a good review?

A review of an article by Wong Chun Wai with the title; ‘Barking up the wrong tree’. The article was published on 23rd November 2014 in The Star Newspaper.  Purpose of the article is to oppose a proposal to revoke citizenship of Malaysian who fails to master national language and highlights a more important matter that is English proficiency among Malaysian. Instead, the nuance of the article shows more argument on the latter.
            It all started with a suggestion from Johor state assemblymen, Datuk Dr Shahruddin Salleh to withdraw citizenship of students who fail to master the national language. This remark is due to his personal observation towards students whom attended international school whose prefer to use English as their preferred language rather than Malay Language. Salleh also mention about vernacular school system in Malaysia that is not supporting the effort to encourage use of Malay language among the students.
Wong criticized Salleh for making a weak, non evidence-based statement and not giving further clarification. From this point, Wong started building his argument towards poor proficiency of English among Malaysian. Readers were presented with solid evidence i.e. surveys and response from people of industry to support his statement. The industry seems to agree with his concern whereby 60% from young recruits have been identified low English proficiency and two thirds from candidates didn’t get through to the second round of interview.
This phenomenon has been identified due to the school system in Malaysia whereby according to Second Education Minister, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, about two-thirds of English Language teachers in the country are incapable to teach in English and 70% from 60,000 of them performed poorly in English Language Cambridge Placement Test. Things worsened when government decide to cancel Mathematics and Science in English (PPSMI) which many hope could bring light to this matter.
Wong also propose that, by abandoning PPSMI in Malaysia school system, the rural students will get the worse effect by not getting the chances to be well educated in English language and broaden the gap between the rural and urban students. This, echo the statement from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad whom mentions the practices of rich parents sending their children to private schools that widen gap between the rich and the poor.
The article is concluded with the stigma against politician whom always presenting public with unnecessary statement that degrading the public intellectual and to gain popular interest. Wong again shows strong negative sentiment towards politician by being personal with his comment and not being objective.
Suggestion made by Salleh is clear that is “Not fluent in Malay Language thus revoke citizenship”. But it is not about giving citizenship to those fluent in Malay. Wong admits about his extreme example when he mention about “foreign worker who might be fluent in national language in only few months, therefore should be accorded citizenship”. Because he already knows his statement is not the extension from what Salleh mention earlier. The two cases are extremely on different arc.
By reading the whole article, it is pretty obvious that Wong feels that mastering national language is less important issue when he himself neglects to include strong evidence to support his claim that “Granted that there are students who fare badly in Bahasa Malaysia, but we do not think the numbers are big”. This is coming from Wong who earlier gives loud criticism to Salleh whom unable to provide substantial findings and figures.  Wong should be more objective in rebutting Salleh proposal by giving verified data on the proficiency of Bahasa Malaysia among students.
In a nutshell, the effort made by Wong will mislead the readers on choosing sides because the sides is not been made clear by Wong himself. Ideally, a good argument against Salleh statement is to prove Salleh wrong with solid evidence that Malaysian are still good in Bahasa Malaysia regardless their education or family background. Wong has loses his chances to convince reader and Salleh himself. Instead, he uses this platform to propose the more important problem in the nation that rest assured his own agenda towards popularity.

 p/s: FH is overdosed with Keropok Lekor in Kuantan. ^__^


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