Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Anwar Ibrahim: "All Men Are Brothers"

Malaysiakini | 24 February 2009

The history of Chinese education for the past centuries in the country is a synonymous tale of untold toil, struggle and hardship by little known individuals within the Chinese educationist movement who have been carrying their Chinese education in their minds and Chinese blood in their veins.

Chinese educationist Sim Mow Yu was an outstanding role model for his contribution towards Chinese education. Parliamentary Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim paid tribute to Sim at last Sunday’s fund-raising launching event at SJK Sin Ming in Puchong, Selangor.

Anwar Ibrahim, Khalid Ibrahim & members of the Selangor state government at Sin Ming Primary School in Puchong

“Our dear friend, Sim Mow Yu is a man who shared the same commitment and dedication to children’s education. His work is an example for all Malaysians. His spirit and legacy of his great service to his people and to the nation echoes around us today; and we mark his contribution with a moment of silence,” Anwar said at the school gathering.

Referring to the former headmaster and chairman of the school board, the late Goh Cheng Chew, Anwar said: “There is a mark of heroism in his sacrifice, and yet a certain sadness comes with it as well.

Anwar tries his hand at calligraphy

“In a country as rich as ours, why do we leave people to fend for themselves in providing what is, I believe, the birthright of every child.

“The young children we see today are our hope for tomorrow. The values of racial tolerance, unity and fraternity must be inculcated early in life.

"I have been fortunate to have been taught by good teachers, guided by great writers, among them Han Yu San, whose words I remember well: ‘Within the four seas, all men are brothers’.

“For all these reasons, the Selangor state government under Pakatan has declared that education shall be the pillar of its state government development policy,” Anwar said.


Part 1

Part 2

In his speech, Anwar paid tribute to renowned Chinese educationist Sim Mow Yu, who passed away recently, and the late Goh Cheng Chew, a coffee stall owner and key figure in resuscitating the school in 1986.

Anwar said Sim was his friend during his activist days with the Malaysian Muslim Youth Movement (Abim) in the 1970s and had once shared the same stage during a ceramah in Klang over language issues.

Though occasionally venturing into highly political topics, Anwar ended his speech calling for racial unity by quoting the famous Chinese proverb: si hai ji nei chie xiong di ("Within the four seas all men are brothers").

Later, Anwar was asked to write the proverb in Chinese calligraphy which was auctioned off for RM150,000 to school board advisor Yan Khoon Yin, after some fierce bidding opening at RM18,000.