I have a daughter who is in Year 1 and she’s learning Mathematics and Science in English. Thing is, she goes to a village school where 99% of the population don’t speak English. My cousins are falling for the same fate as well because they go to the same school. My mother and my aunty have done their bit to help in every way they can. It may be odd, but they try to speak and use the English language as much as they can so that my daughter and her second cousins won’t fall out just because they can’t master the English language. And we are not being less Malay by not speaking Malay. It is weird to be surrounded by all those chickens and cows and plantation and not speaking Malay. English is considered such a ‘posh’ language that most villagers look at them as if they are forgetting our roots. But the fact is we are trying not to forget our roots. We are trying to make it better. Until a group of Malaysians are bright enough to come up with a way to rapidly translate all the valuable knowledge to Bahasa for our new generations to acquire, I would rather that my daughter knows English so that she can get it first hand. One of the reasons that hinders us from getting better at the language is because books in English are just too expensive and not a lot of second hand books are around. My mother has dedicated her life in buying all the books she can, new and second hand to compile them into a mini library at home. We are the only home in that village that has ASTRO (cable) and internet access. At first I did not agree for them to move back to the village my father was born but my mother said it was time to give back to society what society has given to her. Once being a poor girl in a village my mother struggled to excel in her studies. The key to her success, she loves to read and would read anything she could get her hands on. Even with the internet, just like me, my mother would go back to books. Books to her a far more better.
I think people should read more that’s all. Ours is not a reading culture and to improve your language you need to read and speak more. And language is about conveying your thoughts so if you mind isn’t developed, you wont be able to write well anyway. But having said that, books are expensive.. Anonymous – commented on Education Malaysia
But in other parts of the world, books are so cheap that nobody wants them anymore. People could buy them just for a mere USD$1 (that’s about RM3.50). Imagine that. A second hand book in stores here would still cost about RM15 at least.
“During these ten years we have seen reading decline dramatically. The National endowment of for Arts study on literary literacy in America which painfully highlighted the rapid decline of reading in
America. In our own community, we’ve watched as bookstore after bookstore has folded. Yesterday, we performed an act of art – a wakeup call to all who value books and ideas. Over the last 10 years, Prospero’s Books has 20,000 books we’ve collected that people simply will not read. We receive hundreds more each week. “ Prospero’s Bookstore Will Leathem & Tom Wayne
And because people dont want to buy them and libraries dont want to take them, they are doing and act of art – by burning them. Just as quoted by Joseph Brodskey – There are worse crimes than burning books, one is not reading them..I know there are Malaysian out there that can afford this. If you are a book lover, would love to save those books or donate them, please do so by contacting
Prospero’s Books — —
1800 West 39th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64111
To view my poems & fiction – http://faythepoet.wordpress.com