Thursday, January 27, 2011


Hi all,

Wishing you all a Happy Chinese New Year 2011. It is the year of the rabbit. It is a prosperous and good year.
All the best wishes and good health to you and all your family.
Take care

Allen Lai

Monday, January 24, 2011

Perils of an English Language Handicap

"MOHD Solihan Badri, Head, Corporate Communications Unit of the Education Ministry, in his replies to many of my letters published in the mainstream English newspapers last year, spoke passionately of our education policy and how amendments and improvements since the introduction of the KBSR/KBSM syllabus in the seventies had benefited our students and people. It has now been perfected even more with the introduction of the "Memartabatkan Bahasa Mal-aysia dan Memperkukuhkan Bahasa Inggeris" (Upholding the Malay Language, Strengthening Command of English – MBMMBI) syllabus which will be implemented in the 2012 school term.

According to him, the original Razak Report on education that formed the basis of our present education policy – which was followed by two amendments over a period of thirty years, culminating in the introduction of the MBMMBI syllabus – has resulted in a vast improvement in the use of our national language, and in an almost total loss of interest in other languages such as English, Mandarin, other local dialects and foreign languages, which meets the aim of the education policy squarely. The popular Teaching of Mathematics and Science in English (PPSMI) syllabus was also found to be unsuitable after being used successfully for almost eight years and has since been scrapped. The use of only one language by all, regardless of race or religion, is also designed to be the catalyst to make the 1Malaysia concept fully acceptable to all.
I agree with him on all counts.
However, considering the handicap of our people being proficient in only one language, our ability to communicate with people outside the country will be affected and perhaps even rendered impossible. If the situation is not checked, in future, many of us may not be as equipped as our hearing and speech impaired citizens. We will only be able to speak and write in Bahasa Malaysia, a language which only Malaysians will use; but the hearing and speech impaired would at least still be able communicate with their counterparts worldwide as many people use sign language. Therefore, it can be easily translated into various world languages for use by people who are not hearing or speech impaired.
Since the government is stubbornly adamant about putting aside English Language in order to make our national primary and secondary school students and our people proficient in only one language, and relegating all other languages to an abyss, I urge my fellow Malaysians to learn sign language to remain in communication with people outside the country. When the need arises, I bel-ieve we shall have more than enough people to teach us.
There are many interpreters who can comfortably translate sign lang-uage into various world languages, but few who can do the same for Bahasa Malaysia. In order to do business globally and to enable our diplomats, trade representatives and company representatives, communications remain extremely important.
Our country has vast economic potential, and with our abundant natural resources and having more and more talented people in future, we cannot allow our limitations (inability to communicate normally) to thwart the country’s development; and with sign language, albeit a little slower, will allow us to communicate in order to continue and increase the sales of our products and services overseas. It will also enable us to continue our diplomatic ties and do business as usual.
Our country can also be the world’s future hub and leader in the use of sign language."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Yes, I have been away for quite awhile. Really off the road to recuperate my injured knees. I had been a good boy and waited. But I could not wait any more. Standard Chartered KL had just opened for registration. Kiasu me. I'm an early bird I am.
Ready or not I'll take part in the half marathon.
Signing off now. Got to start my training this evening. 158 days left. Ayoh !

Join me. Don't be left out. Register TODAy.

Take care

Allen Lai

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


MALAYSIA has a relatively short history compared with the United States, Russia, China, India, Britain and Egypt. Many of our history makers or those who contributed to our history are still alive They were around before the formation of the Federation of Malaysia; before, during and immediately after the Second World War including the British occupation of Malaya; the Japanese occupation; the Malayan Emergency; the formation of the Federation of Malaysia and events such as the May 13 tragedy.
These may be ordinary people who served as civil servants, ministers, politicians, worked in the private sector, the military and the police, universities, teachers, writers, journalists, community leaders or members of royalty.They may also have been witnesses to events and incidents which were part of our history. We have people who are going to, or have already hit, the century mark who were either history-makers or who had contributed to our history.If there are doubts about the correctness and accuracy of our recorded history, consult them.I believe they can verify the facts about the events that took place.Perhaps some are direct descendants, relatives or close associates of history makers or people who contributed to our history.
Being privy to such events and incidents, these people definitely know our history.Some of these families, I believe, also have historical records which are now family heirlooms. It is quite unfortunate that the historical records of one of our better known families have been sent to Singapore for safekeeping because the descendants felt keeping them here was not the best option.
Members of the Historical Society of Malaysia and History teachers can also be roped in to help check and verify the accuracy of our recorded history.
So let’s get cracking and start calling up all these people and put our history right once and for all. Stop arguing and start working on other more important things.