KUCHING: Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian is very encouraged by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s statement that Mathematics and Science should be taught in English.
Baru, who is state PKR chairman, said he supported Adenan’s statement as he believed that globally, the sources of reference and materials for both subjects were mostly available in English.
“I think we would gain much if the subjects are taught in English,” he said, adding that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was correct to implement the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English.
“We are not saying that Bahasa Malaysia should be abandoned. We should maintain Bahasa Malaysia as a national language but the emphasis (of teaching in English) is in Science and Mathematics as well as communication.”
Adenan had at the opening ceremony of the 16th International Organisation of Science and Technology Edcuation (IOSTE) Symposium Borneo 2014, said he supported the use of English in Science and Mathematics because of the dominance and overwhelming presence of the language in the world’s scientific community.
However, he added that the low levels of proficiency among teachers and students, particularly those from the rural or disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, caused the Education Ministry to reverse the teaching of both subjects in English.
On another matter, Baru questioned the accuracy of the Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s statement at the opening of the new Sibu Islamic Complex recently that Sarawak was now the third most developed state after Penang and Selangor.
He said Taib’s statement was inconsistent with a report presented by Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah that Sarawak had the largest number of poor people registered with the e-Kasih programme.
Fatimah was quoted as saying that a total of 102,549 people had registered for the e-Kasih programme, adding that 26,335 people from the number earned less than RM600 a month, putting them in the ‘absolutely poor’ category, while 31,441 earned RM920 or less and 9,633 earned RM1,500 or less.
Baru said it did not make sense that the state was claimed to be the third most developed and yet its people were the poorest.
“If we are the most developed, in what sense are we talking about? Something must be wrong somewhere because it is not logical.
“So we would like to ask the government, why is there an inconsistency?”
He said physical development without benefiting the people was unworthy, adding that the government should focus on enriching the people rather than having physical development.
Present at the press conference were Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How, state PKR assistant secretary Lynette Tan and PKR Mas Gading branch chairman Boniface Willy Tumek.