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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Communalism not communism is the real threat in Malaya.


The Barnes Committee, a year later, recommended the integration of the education system. All government schools, as distinct from private schools, would use Malay and English as the main media of instruction but pupils could learn their own ethnic languages. Later, the Razak Report of 1956 stated categorically that “the main objective of Malaya’s educational policy is national unity.” Its recommendations were substantially similar to that of the Barnes Report.

But throughout the late “forties” and “fifties”, various efforts made to integrate the people proved futile. They preferred to remain separate. Hence, ethnic political parties were formed. Socialism and communism tried to use ideology to break down communalism; both failed. I remember a question set for my final year examination (in 1959) by Prof. K.G.Tregonning (an Australian): “Communalism not communism is the real threat in Malaya.” Most of the students who answered that question agreed with the statement.

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