Anywhere I go , I have new sets of friends. Sometimes I got Bangladeshi friends. Sometime Myangmar muslims .. i got them from the nearby mosque. Surprisingly, their faces are quite identical to mine. Why?
There are many reasons to this but one of the closest reasons is .. may be my great great grand father came from Indo Pak continent too. I don't think I came from Africa. Syukur else .. my bedding must be big and long which could extend beyond the malaysian room in my kampung. (laugh).
Other than the mosque, I got some friends from the nearby schools, polytechnics, universities, bus stands etc etc. Nice weather, isn't it mate?
One of them is a chinese graduate teacher who is teaching Mathematics in a famous secondary school. Sometimes she visit me and we talk a lot about maths teaching and learning. While we talk, we laugh. I think laughing is good for the hearts and brains too.
During one of her visits, she asked me one simple question. Why you write a lot in English and not in BM (malaysian language)?
Umphhmhhhh ..why? I told her I will give her 2 now. The rest I will give later since she is always rushing with time.
(i) I learnt during the 1960s - 1970s in English as the medium of instruction. Most of my books in the house are in English. I have few maths books in Malaysian Language and .. the number is not impressive enough as compared to the English stuff. One day I talked with a Prof (an electronic engineering expert) .. he told me he would take 3 times the time to understand any academic views if it is put in BM because of the jargon.
I think I follow his view too. Pity. I think if we were in Hitler's time, we would be the ones to be killed because .. he might think we were not patriotic enough. Even though we talked in BM but the books , journals we are holding are all in English.
(ii) I went many times to KL Book Fair 2000 - 2015. If I went there and tried to find new maths books ... most of the books are in English from Singapore , India and America. I meant beyond K12 maths books.
I felt quite sad, there were not enough books in BM except if they were just exam practice books ranging from UPSR ( Year 6) to SPM (Year 10).
Many professors in this country blamed that they are not so motivated to write books in BM/ English. The reason is because the population here always think that our books are very much inferior to the imported ones. One more point, Malaysia performance in PISA and TIMSS could reflect this too. My experience writing a book in English .. many of my Kelantanese friends got surprise ..what is this for? He..he..he..
More over, the profs were also occupied with many important meetings all over the country. So we better not disturb them too much. If they say ABC .. we just say ABC (apa b*doh cheq) writing many things in a non-mother tongue language.
I think that is all for the discussion with the lady teacher that day. O yes, she is doing her Ph.D in the second year.
Before she left, I asked her .. what language she is using in her thesis?
She answered BM. I commended her all the way to the car. She told me she came from Kedah kampung and all her families talked 'pure Kedahan' dialect. Oh I see.
A Chinese is going to write her thesis in BM while the malay man whose face look very much identical to the ones from Indian sub-continent has written his in English.
Very strange right?
Well what to do .. nothing sinful about that right? IGP won't catch me, will he? I think. He..he..he.. it is all depending on what medium of instruction you had been taught in your whole life. That's it mates! The arabs have to spend so much money learning this Tom Sawyer language in order to build the Times Square directly opposite the big Mosque in Mecca. So did the train system there. They sent their young ones from the arab continents to many countries in USA and Europe just to learn the communication English. David Bowie is dead, did you know that Aladdin? [laugh]
p/s: as long as a man has a mouth, he will say any thing. What matter most is ..your name is there in the ISBN cataloging if you publish a book. Amal jariah, you say?