Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Quora Why have Malays constantly dominated the bottom streams of Singapore's education system?

Muhd Syahir, lives in Singapore replied.

You know…when I was about 15 years old, I was actually wondering why are the Malays seem so dumb compared to other races in Singapore. I just turned 20 yesterday, so it has been about five years since I pondered about this question.
I’m not a sociologist or a psychologist so you can disagree with me. I’m also interested what other Malays or Chinese have to say about this.
Let’s start off with the fact that I have Malay friends from all educational background-ITE/POLY/JC/UNI. I have seen some of the brightest Malays that I have met and cannot even comprehend what they do during their free time and at the same time, I have friends that lepak 24/7. Nothing productive. Absolute zero. I do know one thing for sure, things will change for the better.
Based on personal observations in real life as well as online on social media and various online forums, many Malay families in the past do not have the mentality AND wealth to pursue higher education compared to today’s Malay families. Life doesn’t need you to be a degree holder back then to survive. My mom is the sole breadwinner of the house. She failed O levels. My family members and I are still alive and well.(Amin)The mentality that finishing ITE or POLY being enough is still there in 2020. I can still feel it. It’s this Malay culture that I do not know how to express on why we are not hungry for higher achievements in life such as getting a degree or becoming the boss. (Okay I’ve answered it after some thought. Look under Calvin Kong’s comment.)
Money may not be the main determinant why we are so bad in education but it is a major contributor. Let’s face it. Malays are much more poor compared to the Chinese. If you are a wealthy Malay, you’re not part of the majority that live in 3/4/5-room HDB flats. It is really hard if you’re bad at math(I am terrible at math) and you don’t have tuition to catch up with your classmates. My mom had to struggle putting me for math tuition since primary 2 till secondary 3 because I just could not grasp the concepts. At this point, maybe it’s just because I’m a Malay and most Malays suck at Math. Like I said, it’s always the blame-Malay-community-attitude problem.*Literally LOL-ed while typing this*
Anyways, the tides have changed. Malays in Singapore are catching up with other Singaporeans in terms of education and social standards(slowly). I can see more Malays entering universities, both local and private. Malays venturing overseas and doing well in their career. It is really up to one’s mindset to achieve whatever he wants to achieve in life. I would just like to remind my fellow Malay Singaporeans that just because we see the statistics of Malays being in normal technical and academic streams, pathetic number of Malays in JC and in universities doesn’t mean that we should have this low self-esteem that we are retarded and stupid. It just means that we have to work more on improving the foundations for our future Malay generations to prosper in life.
Hopefully my generation will break that Malay excuse mentality and get out of that cycle to pursue further studies.
Before I die, I have a few wishes that I hope would be fulfilled. One of them would be to see the Malay community in Singapore to thrive in most aspects especially in education. It would be a dream come true honestly.
-Your friendly Police-NSF officer


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