The other day, I was sitting on the couch at home, and browsing through some magazines, when suddenly my niece came over to me. She asked some Maths question. She is 11, and Maths and Science are taught in English at her school. For her, and many other students from rural areas where their first language is Malay, and almost 99% of their daily conversation being in the mother tongue, it was really a miserably sad thing to look at them suffering this way.
She couldn't answer the questions, not because she didn't understand the mathematical concepts, but merely because she couldn't comprehend the language. When I explained the questions in Malay, she clearly understood them very well.
The policy to teach Science and Maths in English, is clearly a great failure, at least in the rural areas.