I truly don't understand what the fuss is all about. Does teaching Maths and Science in English really deprives those in the rural areas from mastering the two subjects? Has any studies been done to back this claim?
To make such claim based on students performance in central examinations alone is not sufficient. Students performance in examinations are determined by many other factors. Those who are against PPSMI shouldn't be making such simplistic assumptions.
I very much agree to what Jebat Must Die has to say on the matter.
I am a Malay who learned Maths and Science in English. My late father was a clerk at the local council. He's fluent in English, but I don't recall ever getting any coaching from him.
My late mother was a housewife. Her education was only from a "Sekolah Rakyat" at primary level. She could read and write. She liked to read the newspaper and was versed on current issues. She didn't really like to write. I used to do that for her.
What I'm trying to put forward here is that family background does not determine ones ability to gain knowledge.
I received my primary and secondary education in a rural school. My siblings and I were not eligible for 'SPBT'. We were not eligible for the federal scholarship either. We never go for tuition classes since we couldn't afford it.
Anyway, I achieved excellence in Maths and Science because I wanted to excel and I worked very hard for it, and not because my parents were English teachers (which they were not), or my family speaks in English (which we did not).
I received my tertiary education in England. I am very much a Malay now as I have always been. I teach English Language at school, but I still lead the life of a Malay.
Being competent in a second language is undoubtedly very beneficial. It does not mean that I have undermined the Malay language. I do believe that Malaysians should master both languages for reasons given by Royal Professor Ungku Aziz.