Former students of St Xavier’s Institution (SXI) should be able to tell us if there has been any attempt at ‘Christianisation’ in the oldest mission school in the region, said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
“I am confident that former students like (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Deparment) Nor Mohamed Yakcop and (former finance minister) Daim Zainuddin can testify that there has been no attempt at ‘Christianisation’ in SXI over the years,” said Guan Eng, the guest of honour at the 160th anniversary celebration of the arrival of the La Salle Brothers in Penang in 1852.
According to Wikipedia, Nor Mohamed was a prefect in SXI. Daim Zainuddin, for his part, studied at SXI in 1954 and sat for the Senior Cambridge the following year, according to a press report. He also worked as a temporary teacher in SXI for two years after that.
Among the former SXI students present at the celebration in the school hall were MP Karpal Singh and academics Dr Johan Saravanamuttu, Dr Francis Loh and Dr Cecilia Ng.
Guan Eng himself studied in the La Salle Primary School in Petaling Jaya for three years. He recalled that Brother Anthony Rogers was his cellmate in Kamunting when he was detained under the ISA during Operasi Lalang in 1987. Rogers is now the Superior of the La Salle Brothers in Malaysia.
During the dinner performances, a band leader crooning Elvis’ hits surprised those present when he announced that he was expelled from school in 1972 and was now back in his school after 40 years!
A diner at a table in front hollered, “Why were you expelled?”
“I will tell you later,” replied the band leader.
Back in 1852, when the La Salle Brothers arrived on these shores, they took over the management of an existing mission school known as the St Francis Xavier’s Free School run by French Catholic priests. The school had begun operations in the Church Street/Bishop Street area in 1787, a year after Francis Light took possession of Penang Island for the East India Company.
The SXI celebrations tonight were also to mark the launch of the La Salle East Asian District (Lead), a new governance structure of the De La Salle Brothers in Hong Kong/China, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Representatives of the La Salle Brothers from these countries graced the dinner. Among the Brothers from Malaysia who were present included former SXI directors Bro Charles Levin and Bro Paul Ho; and from Perak, Bro Vincent Corkery, Bro John de Cruz and Bro Mathew; and Bro Augustine Julian.
It was no coincidence that Penang was chosen as the venue for the launch of Lead. SXI is the oldest school run by the La Salle Brothers in the Far East. The Brothers commenced their management of SXI 12 days before their counterparts in Singapore started St Joseph’s Institution, it was revealed.
Guan Eng left early to attend a Penang Free School anniversary celebration at the E & O Hotel nearby. Although the PFS bicentennial is only in 2016, celebrations have already begun.
The Brothers in their speeches stressed that the mission schools, far from promoting ‘Christianisation’, aimed to reach out in inclusiveness to “the least, the lost and the last” and to provide pupils with holistic education for the all-round human development of the individual. They said their schools try to inculcate values such as integrity, social justice and compassion, apart from promoting academic excellence.
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we were always humanisied and taught to treat all relgion the same. post 80’s educators and education ministers since mahatir / anwar /etc era should have gone to st xaviers or PFS. Children studied in this kind of school balances their wrongs doings. strange daim’s from sxi. If only SXI & PFS could go back to its glories olden days by throwing out guru besars and bringing back brothers..a muslim would be a better educated muslim, a toaist will be a better educated toaist, a hindu will be a better educated hindu and a christian would have been a better… Read more »
Come on! The title of this blog is: “No attempt at ‘Christianisation’ in SXI”. So if you have not studied at SXI, please refrain from making all these allegations. I was at SXI from Primary 1 up to Form 4 and not once did a Christian student or staff ever attempted to convert me. For us, SXI boys, it does not matter one iota whether you are a Buddhist, Christian (RC & Protestant), Tamil, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist, or what-not – we are all Saints. Ask any PFS boy (old & present), he will confirm this for you, especially if he… Read more »
A good reading while we are on this subject.
Is Christianity what threatens Malaysia? http://hornbillunleashed.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/29288/
only one who is insecure of his faith is afraid of others’ beliefs.
In other words, the insecurity is caused by delusion as other faiths have appeared to be more superior.
There is always a frustration for those who are held in ransom by religion because of human legistlation, but not by faith.
For the past 35 years Amma has dedicated her life to the uplifting of suffering humanity through the simplest of gestures – an embrace. In this intimate manner Amma had blessed and consoled more than 25 million people throughout the world. When someone asked Amma why she receives every person who comes to her in a loving embrace Amma replied, “ If you ask the river,’ why do you flow?’ what can it say?” Amma spends most of her waking hours receiving the distressed and all who come to her for comfort, day after day without a break. Once a… Read more »
Amma was in PISA last Saturday.
She preaches Love. Love is the answer. Love is the way.
May tunglang and Gopal Raj Kumar love each others like humatarian brothers.
Tunglung your personalization and racist rants on this blog confirm my assertions the Christian schools were racist, for the privileged supported by the poor and a tool for proselytization and bullying. They had the willing Chinese as their acolytes in advancing their causes. I do not need an interpreter from India. Judging by your grammar and your skills in the use of the English language ( margin for error where it counts) perhaps one from SXI or Penang to assist with your rants and raves is whats needed. Incidentally and just in case the Missionaries and their Good Christian teachings… Read more »
Don’t sell Indian flavor to me. As if most things including culture & religion come from ‘Little’ India! Oh, BTW English in Malaya & early post independent Malaysia was taught in Queen’s English, not India’s Kolkatta Ind-glish. As I advised your kindly Sir Indian, do read what was written in plain simple English before you open your orifice of spicy rebuke. Yeah, do spare a thought for Mother Teresa for her good works for the countless poor & hungry Indians, most of who were victims of India’s ‘famed’ caste system. A thousand apologies if I hurt your ‘Little’ India. Time… Read more »
Tunglang has all the right to express his devotion to his religion, the way he is so passionate about the Penang food. Unfortunately, Gopal Raj Kumar seems to have a different agenda. His writings smells frustration as if he is missing out something in life. He may not see the light in Christianity but he should not run down other devotees with baseless allegations. Gopal must have faith, at least in positive mental attitude to attract good vibes as per The Law of Attraction. I have an Indian friend who was ‘lost’ until he summoned hiscourage to walk up the… Read more »
embrace each other lah otherwise how to break barang naik regime ?
suggest tunglang being a gentleman give raj a vitual world hug and raj does likewise; ok ?
I used to go crawling for my favorite Hokkien Mee at this kopitiam in Carnarvon Street. Being quite hot and spicy a cuisine, I had to down this Tek Chia International, a cooling drink religiously sold by the proprietor.
Gopal Raj Kumar, let’s drink Tek Chia Intl. to cool things down in hot & heaty anilnetto.com!
Oh, I forgot to mention my “Good Morning” mini China towel as good as kopitiam ceiling fans!
Gopal Raj Kumar
tunglang has extended his warmth and for pakatan sake do embrace him.
Amma tells us to care for each other as a force to conquer the evils like the barang naik hypocrites and bandits !
make love no war !!!!
I remember my Indian colleague who found spiritual solace at Batu Caves after the nightmare of Maika Holdings. Non-spiritual-wise, Gopal can share a teh tarik (virtually online or physically at Carnavon St with Tunglang to promote inter-faith dialogue. Perhaps Anil can make this an event to gather all Anil faithfuls for pre-election sembang as well? Or Tunglang can organise such event?
looks like Gopal Raj Kumar’s silence means he has embraced tunglang’s hospitality.
i suggest they both can make peace having “Line Clear” Nasi Kandar ???
I m a Muslim, my landlady is a Protestant Christian. There is a crucifix in this house without the “jesus-figure”, i did not remove it, its on the wall in living room. In this house i solat and fast and put of Dvd Quran recitation everyday. Landlady occasionally talk of her religion, i know she is doing “dakwah”. Its ok, i respect her ways. I had two years of Christian Kindergarten by a Dutch Sister she wore black robe she never once attempt to convert me and 11 years convent school and two years in USA living with a Protestant… Read more »
Malaysia Boleh, tapi Ballet tak boleh!
Was Bible study made compulsory subject in SXI? Was any student asked to read the Bible in class? Was Amazing Grace sang in the school hall? Was bowing before any Christian statue a religious comply? SXI students and teachers know the truth better than wildfire rumors. God in His time will choose the right circumstance, the right reason, the right place, the timely season to speak to a person’s heart. For He already knew each and every individual before anyone is born. He created you & me. And He gives everyone a free will – to accept or reject Him.… Read more »
Yes for those of us from Christian families who did not believe and who were baptized when we had no ability to give consent to that baptism, we were made to read the bible and attend church. Amazing Grace is a Protestant Anglican song stolen from a Black writer composer in the southern states who was never give proper credit or paid for his works. So it is unlikely it would have been sing in the halls of SXI. In its place was an Irish folk song converted to the school anthem which reflected the Irish drinking traditions. Different words.… Read more »
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7 We Christians are taught to accept (without discrimination) believers and unbelievers. For we all are still sinners from birth, capable of sinning any moment. Capable of falling back to sins. We are all the same, not perfect yet. The only difference among us is who knows the Truth, who receives Salvation not by pious works but thro’ sincere repentance and acceptance of the Lord Jesus as Saviour. It’s that simple, no pretension or peer pressure or forced act of conversion. For He… Read more »
Would you love Jesus if he were a homosexual like the Catholic brothers and priests? Lets be open in our arguments ion this sensitive topic you so aggressively defend. Lets be democratic and respect and share every possible point of view even if that hurts.
A fallible man’s action not reflecting Christ is not of Christ. The same with a drunkard Hindu not reflecting his deity. How can we sinners equate our status, thinking, action, values and behavior with God’s? God is blameless for the follies of man’s action since Adam & Eve, a rebellious nature brought on by the serpent, who before mankind in the same nature thought he was god but no at all. Lucifer’s fallible action of equating to god status was not acceptable and this brought his eternal downfall. So how can we fallible still equate a fallible priest’s sinful action… Read more »
Dear Mr. Tunglang Your parroting quotes and phrases is not Christianity. Long before Christ came to this earth and the fables of Christianity were spread by marauding European armies the Hindu civilization discovered god. The Europeans inability to understand the concept of God has led him to create the perversions imposed on vulnerable semi educated people like yourself. The question remains. Would you love Christ if he were a homosexual? The answer cannot from one side of your mouth be “Drunk Hindu” deities, and “Love and forgiveness and kindness” as manifested in god giving his only son on the cross… Read more »
You don’t understand simple English. Get yourself a translator from India, please.
Hot heads never reason well!
Brother Gopal, you are right. Amazing Grace is a Black slave song of the poor American South. A soulful melody yet full of feeling and understanding – of the Love of God. It often takes a materially poor soul to fully appreciated a rich spiritual experience of God’s Grace.
With color-blindness, tears of joy & open heart, here’s Amazing Grace:
Gopal & Tunglang should settles their differences by enjoying this classic song with meaningful words:
Bow Down Mister
Raise your head and lift your hands to the lord
Hare Rama Hare Krishna
Soong, there are bound to be differences of opinions, beliefs, allegiances, etc among men when it comes to spiritual matters. For me, I prefer to follow my heart, telling me what’s to believe & reassuring my true life experiences of God. He has shown me miracles of healing, signs of confirming & acts of Grace & protection. I Worship & Believe Only In Him. Not holy chanting men, not fortune tellers, not Chi force, not numerologists, not Feng Shui, not lifeless statues, not superstitions, not animals, not ancestors, not astrological planets and not ant hills or trees. Why put ourselves… Read more »
Only the Scripturally unverified will create fear factor which leads to the unnecessary abominations of man’s original status.
We have the image of God (in which we are created) to take care.
Mr tunglang. I study in Mission school. I understand how you feel and how you profess your love the The One. There are different paths leading to the same The One, in order to cater to the needs of different hearts.
McDonald’s offering different types of menu, but you still get the same type of cholesterol regardless of what Value Meal you choose.
Each one of us is entitled to free will. Personal opinion & experiences of religion for sharing (here) do not mean to force a change of mind & perception in others.
Much less being ultra-racist or champion of one’s ancestral homeland – if it were so, the Nazis would have ruled the world!
Your opinion is highly respected, Jeremy Soong.
Good song choice to bridge all religions.
who believe? its every christians responsibility isn’t it?!
Christians hold the believe of sharing the Good News, which they themselves have experienced ‘individually’ in their own personal ways. To withhold is socially selfish. Nevertheless, the choice of free will (of religion or no religion) is everyone’s right and responsibility. Christians are not responsible for a person’s salvation or successful conversion, a misconception of many. It is a person’s responsibility at a given opportunity, a free will to choose God or reject God, the final choice of which has no responsible bearing on a sharing Christian. My own unforgettable experience of A Living God’s mercy – the immediate recovery… Read more »
It is a person’s responsibility at a given opportunity to exercise his free will to choose God or reject God, the final choice of which has no responsible bearing on a sharing Christian.
Unfortunately such freedom of choice is not available to the privileged group of the country.
All mission schools will subject you with Christian values and teachings. I study in a mission school. My teachers and classmates tried to convince me to convert. I see no wrong as I have also grown up listening to Azan on local TV daily. But ultimately nobody can force a faith onto you. I still remain an atheist as the doctrines of Richard Dawkins makes more sense to me, but I respect all religions.
Only in Malaysia where a someone like Hasan Ali who is in the same group as a Chow Kit Road fake… is given serious reply and attention by respected, powerful and intelligent people. …if our law enforcement system were of same standard as developed countries, he (probably) would be (in trouble).
Why most who complain of the incompetence of the Malaysian la enforcement apparatus do not complain about its counterparts in the US or in Britain where much of the destabilsation of Malaysia originates from. In then UK we are now witness to Rupert Murdoch and his henchmen bribing policemen and even the Royal Household security detail in order to tap into their private lives and communications and pass it on to his dirty little tabloids. Why does Malaysia want to be like them? Or in the case of the US who wants to be as competent as the Los Angeles… Read more »
Reputations are often about the ‘good’ side of things, never the bad. For instance the London School of Economics boasts amongst others several world leaders in their alumni. Like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale you never hear of their failures, their loosers, the butchers who graduated from their institutions or those despots who they let through their ranks for a little donation. (Certain colleges) in the old English Oxford and Cambridge traditions accepted “donations’ from life and hereditary peers to let their children slip through the academic hurdles as the LSE did for Colonel Gadaffi’s son Seif Islam as the… Read more »
You are right to a certain extent. If a student goes into such an environment, I don’t think he or she will be completely free from proselytisation. Even if the institution itself does not formally attempt to christianise students, I’m sure there will be some over-zealous peers and staff who would do that. But you must bear in mind that they wanted an education there. Nobody put a gun on their head and forced them into SXI. In those days choices were limited, unlike the case now. Either u want an education or not. Which would u choose? If you… Read more »
Correction my friend, there is no right to proselytize by Christians in a country as Malaysia is. To proselytize is a privilege because these are in the end (or at least were for over a century) foreign missions acting in the service of a foreign state. The issues here is the Christianization of people (young and impressionable people without legal capacity) using education and all o the other tactics which go with it. Bullying, exclusion, propaganda and vilification of their own indigenous and native faiths when compared to Christianity. The fact is one need not put a gun proverbial or… Read more »
Hi, am also an ex-Xaverian, I’ve been an atheist all my life, and no, there weren’t any attempts to convert me whatsoever. IIRC you could sign up for religious classes, but those were strictly voluntary and took place after-school hours.
I was a Buddhist when I went to SXI at the age of 7. I left at the age of 17 still a Buddhist. What I learnt from my school days is to ‘Respect All Religion’. I am 50 no.w and still a Buddhist
Religious is between you and what you believe, it is a torch, that shine you the right path; it is about love and compassion on what you choose to believe. It should not be cane, to burden what should you choose to believe; without choice, without love.
Penang Voter has the religious confidence it takes, for that, he enjoys peace in him.
When you walk into the mass of other religions and you felt threatened, religiously. Trust me, you felt more threatened, if you left alone in an empty room facing only what-you-believe.
When feel threatened or down, sing this song:
When The Saints Go Marching In
You can dance too! And the Devil will flee!
Not to worry, Jesus will not take the wheel of those driving Proton, or the followers of Mufti Johor:
good song by a good AI contestant.