This is very typical phenomena, when a teacher asks in the class, all students remain silent. Some even hide their faces to avoid being pointed.
I think, they are afraid of making mistake. Yes, many of our people dont dare enough to try just because afraid of facing failure. We must start educate our students to try, make mistakes, and correct the mistakes. Afterall, making mistakes, learn from mistakes and continuous try is the best recipi to be a great person. This is a part of experience building which contributes to skills, where skills are built by continuous experiments and seeing consequences of different inputs.
Some of us are afraid to speak, or write out opinion because afraid of being judged and punished. Yes, a lot of us like to judge, and punish. Few we can find people who appreciate other opinions though the opinion maybe opposing their belief. But we must remember, without opposing opinions, our own opinion wont be mature enough. It's like a new car on pilot test.
But, to speak out and write out opinion, we also must not go over the limit. Dont humiliate people. If talking about opinions, then left alone the opinions being discussed. Not the one who gave the opinion.
Lihat apa yg dicakap, bukan siapa yang bercakap.