Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Lulu's ex-HM Now A Datin Paduka

Fifteen people will receive the Darjah Kebesaran Datuk (DSIS) which carries the title Datuk or Datin Paduka for women.
Among them are president of the Pure Life Society orphanage Mother S. Mangalam, Irish nun Sister Ryan Ellen Philomena @ Sister Enda, who set up the Assunta School, and Journal Malaysian branch of the Royal Asiatic Society historian John Michael Gullick.
Lulu's an ex-Assuntarian, and is thrilled that Sister Enda is now Datin Paduka Sister Enda.

We read about these stupid, silly and narrow minded remarks made two MPs in Parliament
Tuan Syed Hood bin Syed Edros [Parit Sulong]: Not only statues, but fellow Yang Berhormat, go and see for yourselves, Christian crosses are displayed in front of schools. I do not understand the Ministry of Education, did the officers not see that, or is it our policy to allow such a thing? Nevertheless, I, as a responsible person to my religion, race, and country, I state my views that these statues need to be demolished, these crosses need to be destroyed and church influences in these schools need to be stopped. Also, the funds that are collected at these schools. Do we have a report? If possible, the ministry should reveal the funds for these schools. I was made to understand that these schools are also sponsored by the church.
source : Darn Malaysia

This was what was translated from the Hansard recordings of the Parliament sitting.

School Heads of mission schools face this kind of bigotry and stupid, silly & narrow minded thinking everytime they have to go to the ministry. This is an email to my Assunta alumni yahoogroup sent in Y2002 in the midst of a school segregation row.

When Mrs.George [our Senior Assistant] had to hold assemblies, she would say to us -"Sister has gone to the Ministry of Education".
If you happen to "stay back" that day, and see Sister drive back in her classic car - she would usually be looking quite annoyed.
I imagined that Sister has had another row at the ministry.
Recently, I read an article in the NST about the segregation of schools.
Sister was one of those interviewed in the article, and said Assunta had always been multi-cultural.
Nothing new to us but what Sister said next was interesting and possibly unknown to us, that is -if you went to the Ministry, you often deal with junior personnel who have no interest in moving your cause forward.
This made me wonder about the times Sister had "gone to the Ministry" to fight for, and protect the Assunta way of life.

And up to today, mission schools are still fighting to protect their way of life.

Junior officers all the way up to the ministers should open their eyes and see for themselves the product of mission schools. We are the testament of an education gone right.

Congratulations Datin Paduka Sister Enda!


denzook said...

you haven't congratulated yet to another ex assuntarian jeanne abdullah. she's in the list for the Darjah Kebesaran Seri Paduka Mahkota Selangor. i wonder what's her contribution other than being aab's wife (at least the late endon promoted batik).

actually i quite agree with that parit sulong mp. why must the school (and the hospital) has cross in the building ? smk schools should be secular and christian by the way is not the official religion for malaysia.

Anonymous said...

If the crosses has always been there, then why must it be removed? its part and parcel of the country's and the school heritage.

DarnMalaysia.com said...

The schools and hospitals have crosses on them because it was originally built by christian missionaries.
Should we then destroy these symbols just because a school should be secular?
If a school is secular, then should we then ban headscarves, bacaan doa, suraus, religious necklaces like buddha and crosses from schools? Do you want to go down the road of the French, or should we just learn to respect each other?

Shouldn't we just respect and honor the heritage of these schools and leave the symbols alone for what they used to represent, so that we do not erase and whitewash history?

And so what if Islam is the official religion of Malaysia. Does the constitution specifically say that Islam is the ONLY religion in Malaysia? Does the consitution call for the demolition of crosses?

Read the bloody constitution and self-educate.

thinking said...


As an ex-convent student, allow me to share my views on what the Parit Sulong MP said. To put every thing into context, you have to read the other comments he made during the same session. I am not going to repeat it here, but the link to darnmalaysia.com which Lulu has put in her post has an excellent post and rebuttal.

My view is that destroying the crosses, statues and colonial architecture which make up the convent schools would be removing the large part of history that was there before Malaysia even began. This is the heritage of the schools, no matter how hard some parties want to deny or erase it. The schools were founded by missionaries, convent nuns and brothers who left their homes and came to these distant shores to help its people. You cannot deny that their religious beliefs and values were major motivators for them to come here. But as any ex-convent student will tell you,the missionaries, teachers, nuns and brothers respected the local communities they lived in and never tried to convert anyone or force their religious beliefs on them. Look at Datin Paduka Sister Enda Ryan. (btw, Lulu, I must say I am absolutely delighted that she has been conferred this recognition by the goverment and I can imagine Assuntarians everywhere must be cheering themselves hoarse and toasting the health of the good Sister. My heartfelt congratulations to Datin Paduka Sister Enda and to all Assuntarians, past and present).

Calling for the demolition of crosses, statues as well as any thing that even suggests a Christian influence in these schools, is akin to denying the heritage and contributions convent schools have made in helping to lay the groundwork for what we know as Malaysia today. To me, it is an attempt to deny and play down the sacrifices the missionaries, nuns, brothers, and teachers made for their students and for this country.

I see the MP's comments and his subsequent explanation carried as a thinly veiled attempt to stir up negative racial and religious sentiments among and between Muslims and non-Muslims. I strongly suspect his main motivation was not to highlight the concerns of the rakyat despite his claims otherwise. His allegations were very serious indeed but he obviously did not make any attempt to investigate the allegations or to engaged in meaningful discussion with the parties concerned before bringing up such a sensitive topic in parliament. Otherwise he would have known that the allegations were false. He claims that he is not racist and that his children has studied in a convent school - in which case, he has no excuse not to be ignorant of the untruth behind the claims he made in parliament. If he knows the truth, one has to question why he didn't bother explaining it to the rakyat who came forward with their concerns about convents schools, assuming these ppl exist and the MP wasn't trying to 'jual nama orang lain' (using the names of other people to forward his personal interests).

At best, his actions and intentions were sincere but based on poor judgment and research. At worst, he thought he could score cheap political mileage by purposely making misleading, inaccurate and ill-intentioned accusations at the expense of groups which are not really in a position to fight back.

I don't claim to speak for everyone, but I do believe a large number of Malaysians who have studied in convent schools share my views.

Anonymous said...

There are no shortages of such politicians in the BN.
The only effective way to shut them up is to bring them down to earth at the next GE.
Show them that they are not invincible and they will shrivel!

Anonymous said...

Jeanne Abdullah does not deserve the award. This is the problem with the awards..it goes around amongst the 'family'. Like patting each other on the back.

In my opinion, Jeanne only deserves this award if she is able to get her husband to stop acting silly and wake up to reality.

Hamzah said...

dear lulu - the mentality is this; it is unislamic (bordering on haram) for any muslim to forward the cause of any mission school.

after all, Malaysia is an "islamic" country right?

Hamzah said...

denzook, I'm all for secular school, in fact we should just have sekolah kebangsaan and nothing else - no chinese, tamil, mission,and no sekolah agama.

mix all malaysia into the same environment - everyone take the same exam!

is Malaysia ready?

Anonymous said...

wah, can we form an Assuntarian (ex and current) blogger (and reader) club?.. lol! Nurul izzah is one, bkworm another... lulu... me (reader)... who else??

Pat Lu said...

Hmmmm... sounds like a good idea :) I can create a link at Assunta Alumni website leading to all blogs by Assuntarians... wan or not? Work with me.. give me the list of links.

Meantime, help to spread the Christmas message of love and peace. Listen to the beautiful song A Change of Heart and help Assunta Alumni raise funds to support under-privileged children same time.

Assunta Spirit Alive! :)

Pat Lu said...

NVM, I’ve just created ASSUNTARIANS ON THE NET board at our front page http://www.assuntaalumni.com

Strictly for Assuntarians only to add links to their blogs or websites.

Disclaimer: While we support Freedom of Speech, Assunta Alumni disclaim any responsibility for any content or links at the blogs or websites listed there.

Assunta Spirit Alive!