We will create more than just the new Malaysian administrative, English-speaking elites of the Eton mould and gung-ho multicultural corporate raiders and robber barons of the Wall Street ethos, but also a new breed of English speaking and geek-talking cybernetic beings that are technologically-savvy and ready to collaborate with foreign capitalists to plunder our nation’s economy, displacing local cultures and creating linguistically-deranged citizens.
What is happening to the Multimedia Super Corridor and the future of Biotechnology Malaysia project is a good example of the impact of our obsession with the lingua franca. We fear that we may not be able to “compete” in the “world market” that speaks English to global power. But are we gearing up our education system to merely meet the ideology of globalisation? We are chasing “progress” but sacrificing “human development”, making 60,000 graduates unemployed and unemployable?
Even worse, the children of the multicultural poor will continue to struggle with the complexity of the bilingualism in the educational conveyor belt of a win-loose Malaysian education that filters human beings into class stratification so that the winners will become successful technocrats and cybernetic Malaysians whose allegiance is to globally-linked English-speaking corporate elites.
"Children left behind?"
The children of the multicultural poor will continue to be left behind year after year in the hands of teachers who not all of them are proficient in English. These teachers will be handing them watered down concepts of these two subject areas and hence unable to bring the students to the commanding heights of the study of Mathematics and Science. A teacher affects the lives of hundreds and thousands of students in his/her lifetime.
How might we create a good scientific and technologically-based middle-class when there are still problems with the teaching language itself, especially when it is taught to children in their formative years? This is what we are confronting as the fundamental issue of language, national and technological development. We are caught in a debate on language. We must understand how it colonises our physical and psychological consciousness turning nations into beings and nothingness in the matrix of the evolving empire.
The debate over language rages on - whether Mathematics and Science need to be taught in English. Language, from the time of independence continues to become a contested terrain in education and social development. What more if we are talking about the language of technological progress – of Science and Technology.
What is the real issue here? Where will the English language bring any nation if we are to adopt it into building our ideological-technological landscape? Is the English language neutral? Or is it imperialistic, carrying with it the lifeline of the Anglo-American Empire, in an age of globalisation that is creating dire human consequences and threatening our fragile environment?
Circumstances in the birth of linguistic nationalism and 'natio' below, circa late-1700s France
... and of Japanese nationalism.
in Yukio Mishima...