PUTRAJAYA: Stick to Mathematics and Science in English, revert to Bahasa Malaysia, let the primary schools teach in mother tongue and secondary in English, or let the primary schools decide for themselves – these are among seven proposals that have arisen from the formal discussions on the medium of instruction for the two subjects.
The other three proposals are that Mathematics and Science be taught in Bahasa Malaysia and mother tongue for Years One to Three and in English from Year Four onwards, or a combination of mother tongue in the first three years and a choice of that (mother tongue) and English, or that the two subjects would not be taught in the Years One to Three and instead be integrated into other subjects.
These proposals were summarised from four roundtables organised by the Education Ministry to gather feedback from a spectrum of stakeholders since July.
However, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Wee Ka Siong, who chaired the fifth and final roundtable discussion on Tuesday, cautioned that the purpose of the open and frank dialogues was to gather feedback from all parties and no decision on the issue would be made at this juncture.
“We will put together a report for Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein who will then study it and submit the ministry’s findings to the Cabinet for a decision,” he told a press conference after the roundtable.
What was disclosed for the first time and of great interest to the 180 participants present was the analysis of the recent Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR) based on the performance of the first cohort of Year Six pupils who have gone through six years of Maths and Science in English.
“Overall, the trend has been positive. Pupils have actually done marginally better in many instances. More pupils in both urban and rural schools scored A, B and Cs in the two subjects.
“Even their performance in the English language has shown a rather big improvement of 4.4% while the performance in Bahasa remained stable,” said director-general of education Datuk Alimuddin Mohd Dom who presented the analysis.
Another encouraging sign was that the number of pupils opting to answer the two subjects in English had increased significantly, reflecting greater confidence in using the language.
In Tamil vernacular schools (SJKT), 62.76% of pupils answered in English for Science and 89.11% for Science.
The scenario was completely different in Chinese national-type schools (SJKC) though. Only 2.86% answered in English for Science and 1.29% for Maths.
One of the bungalows hit by the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide.
KUALA LUMPUR: A massive landslide occurred in Bukit Antarabangsa at about 3.30am Saturday.
One resident is still missing while four have been found dead, said Selangor Chief Police Officer Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar.
However, police have not ruled out the possibility that passers-by may also be trapped.
"We are confident (the last resident) is still alive. We are expecting to save someone.
"Only one resident is unaccounted for but we are not ruling out the possibility that passers-by may be affected.
"The operations will continue until we are sure that no one is trapped under the rubble," said Khalid.
The four others who had previously thought to be missing had escaped the landslide and have contacted the police.
Three of the dead have been identified as veterinarian Dr N. Yogeswari, 40, accountant Ng Yee Ping, 30, and Shaiful Khas Shaharuddin, 20.
The body of Indonesian maid Surina was removed from the rubble at around 7.40pm Saturday.
A total of 93 people have been rescued.
At a 9pm press conference at the site, Khalid assured evacuated residents that their homes will be kept safe by patrolling officers.
The Pasukan Gerak Am will watch over the houses including those at the top to ensure there are no intruders, he added.
Khalid said a bridge was also being built across a monsoon drain near the operations centre to enable residents living at Taman Bukit Mewah to have easy access out and to remove their vehicles.
The residential area is located a short distance from the landslide scene but residents were told to evacuate for safety reasons.
Residents were currently walking on a tiny plank over a small drain with their suitcases and baby prams.
Khalid said the search and rescue operation will continue for 24 hours a day.
Those who have been evacuated were sent to Sekolah Kebangsaan Ulu Klang. Food and shelter will be provided there.
Khalid said as of now, there are 14 teams with dogs and electronic equipment trying to locate the last missing victim. “After 5pm, it will be 12 hours (since the incident happened early Saturday morning). We will start using heavy machinery to find those still stuck in the rubble.
“We’ll take careful measures when looking for the victim,” he said.
When asked if the rain would make it more dangerous, he said: “I don’t know. I hope there are no more landslides but I cannot be sure.”
The landslide cut off access by the main road to the residential areas at Bukit Antarabangsa, trapping hundreds of residents.
As of 2.20pm Saturday, more than 2,000 residents have been evacuated, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan.
As of 6pm Saturday the police had airlifted 13 people who needed immediate medical attention including two pregnant women, two elderly women with weak hearts, a man who is a stroke patient and another man who needed haemodialysis treatment.
The last man is said to have made it to the hospital just in time for his treatment.
Also affected are 14 houses in Jalan Bukit Mewah and Jalan Mewah Utama.
The 15 injured people and the remains of the dead were rushed to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
There are more than 600 people involved in the search and rescue operations from the military, Civil Defence Department, Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue (Smart) team, Fire & Rescue department, Red Crescent, hospitals and the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council.
According to BERNAMA, the injured were given first aid at the Addinniah surau before being sent to hospital. At least 12 ambulances were spotted at the scene on Saturday morning.
Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman Azmin Ali said at the scene that earth movement continued to take place and that electricity supply to several housing estates in Bukit Antarabangsa was disrupted.
The site of Saturday's landslide is believed to be 1.5km from the Highland Towers apartment building which collapsed on Dec 11, 1993, killing 48 people.