Has Populist Democracy made cowards of us all when it comes to speaking about what ails our education system, wonders Farish Noor.
LLG Cultural Development Centre views with grave concern the recent statement made by the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of Education, that the government is mulling the possibility of allowing schools to decide on their own whether to continue using English as the medium of instruction for the teaching of science and mathematics.
Dealing with the bugbear of our colonial past, our cultural-linguistic anxieties of the present and the challenges of the future will be a task that no nation can avoid. But dealing with the thorny question of language and the politics of language policies will require more than the emotional humbug and patriotic essentialism that we have come to expect from some of our politicians, writes Farish Noor.
Like many autonomy movements, the insurgency in Southern Thailand is fuelled by a combination of nostalgia for the past, anger over the present and the deep-rooted desire for recognition and respect. But how do you show respect to a villager when you stare at his face through the scope of a machine gun on top of an armoured car? And that, in a nutshell, is the problem, says Farish Noor in this despatch from Southern Thailand.