After months of weighing the idea in their grubby hands amidst support and protests, they have finally decided to revert to the usage of Bahasa Malaysia (from now henceforth to be known as BM in this post) in the teaching of science and maths to school students after an experimental period of about 6 years of teaching those subjects in English. Apparently the experiment failed big time.
One of the issues highlighted was a difficulty for the students to move effortlessly from basic science and maths in BM to English when they go to varsity which was one of the reasons why English in science and maths was introduced in the first place. That and also a plan for making us more competitive outside Malaysia, especially in English speaking nations.
Now, national type school students in Malaysia have been learning science and maths (and a whole lot of other subjects except English) in BM (Although I must admit that there have been strange rumours of English being taught in BM circulating around!) since 19xx right until 2002 (I can't seem to find the information to this anywhere online at the moment) I was a part of this mass group of students who made a transition from BM in school to English in varsity using the help of technical dictionaries (when available, which wasn't often :( ) and some extra effort. Of course it was not easy, because text books were in English, lecture notes and some exams were in BM (in my case), but we managed just fine. I don't ever remember tearing my hair out over terminology.
For this very reason, I don't see why people are making so much noise about using BM again, if kids from before 2003 had to adjust, so why can't the kids these days do the same?
On another note, one of the things I regret about not using English for science and maths in school was when trying to prove/derive an equation - usually depends on what the question wants, though. I used to watch my sister write Q.E.D. (aka quod erat demonstrandum) with a flourish after deriving an equation, whereas when we did it, we only used the words "terbukti" (translated as proven)
To be honest, the issue is a big one... too many people with too many opinions. Plus there is also a bunch of people who are under the impression that we are taking a step backward by using BM again and so on, which I shall not comment on. For a better understanding of the whole issue, please click this link. And for further details, there are links in the link itself.