Archive for June 9th, 2011

Vernacular Education In Malaysia

By Zhi Wei Lee
31 May, 2011 |

A consideration of the debate on vernacular schools, and the important roles that both national and vernacular schools have to play in Malaysia.

The debate on vernacular schools in Malaysia is often misleading, unconstructive and damaging. I say this because much discourse and opinions about vernacular schools have a dangerous tendency to suffer from oversimplification; you are either for the vernacular school, or you are for its abolition. This is little more than politicised banter — on one hand, it preaches to the choir; but on the other, it unnecessarily stirs up divisive communal frustrations. We must acknowledge that this recurring controversy is deeply-rooted in the convoluted web that is the fabric of Malaysian society — some of which our own doing, others an indirect result of British colonialism. Either way, its complexity demands greater attention and certainly, deeper analysis. Read the rest of this entry »


Sexual harassment, so what?

By Jeswan Kaur
June 9, 2011 | Free Malaysia Today

Comment Seventeen years ago, the country was dumbfounded when a rising female athlete committed suicide. The youngster, Rabia Abdul Salam, apparently had been sexually harassed by her coach.

What drove Rabia to end her life? The shame of being a victim of sexual harassment, of not being able to face life as a result of that?

Unfortunately, the Rabia episode failed to move the government to put into place legislation to safeguard women from vile acts of sexual harassment. Women continue to face sexual distress, be it at the workplace or in public spaces, but the government is least bothered about providing a helping hand.

In April 2008, the then minister Jamaluddin Jarjis was said to have sexually harassed a female worker of a restaurant at a five-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Read the rest of this entry »


Poor command of English affects job chances

By Teoh El Sen
June 9, 2011 | Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians will be at a “slight disadvantage” in the competive global environment because of their poor command of English, said

The online recruitment company recently placed Malaysia, behind Singapore and the Philippines in an English Language assessment test conducted in Asian countries.

“We are not that far off in the ranking but the third place does mean that we do have a slight disadvantage when we compete globally for businesses,” said country manager Chook Yuh Yng.

Chook said there was a need to appreciate the importance of English proficiency as English is recognised as the international business language. Read the rest of this entry »


If history was written by Interlok author Abdullah Hussain

By Centre for Policy Initiatives
June 09, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 9 — The Malaysian Insider yesterday (June 8) carried the rather arresting headline “Use Interlok as model for history textbooks, says historian”. The article reported a suggestion by Prof Anthony Milner for “Interlok” to be used as a model for history textbooks. The reasons given are that the novel is “wonderfully inclusive” and “sympathetic” in its narrative and depiction of non-Malays.

Milner, who is with UKM’s International Studies department, categorises “Interlok” as being “a bit of a historical novel” that provides an insight into the lives of the Chinese and Indian communities and their relationship with the Malay community.

The Australian academic is likely unaware that his proposal is every bit as controversial as Abdullah Hussain’s contentious novel. “Interlok” elicited the firestorm it has precisely because its sympathy quotient is no more than if a third-rate author were to attempt to copy Alex Haley’s acclaimed “Roots” (about the origins of the African-Americans) but narrating from a white slave owner’s supremacist point of view. Read the rest of this entry »


Showing we really ‘boleh’

By Chris Yip
June 09, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 9 — I’m an automotive engineering student currently studying in England. I was born and raised in Selangor for a solid 20 years before leaving Malaysia to study abroad.

Many would say only the rich are able to afford an education in the UK, but I would tell you otherwise, or maybe in this case I’m the odd one out.

I come from a family of six whose sole breadwinner is my father, and he doesn’t earn a five-figure salary and has been retrenched more times than I can remember. I have a diploma from a technical college that does one too many advertisements around the country (NOT cheap to study there at all) but I managed to score a scholarship from them.

Since my parents know very well that education is the base of a person’s career, they made sure I was going to continue studying for a degree even if they had to survive on bread and water. Seeing that my interest and brains were victims to the automotive industry, and there was nowhere I could go to further my studies in Malaysia, it left me no choice but to study abroad. Read the rest of this entry »


MCMC: Forced to play bad cop in censorship game?

By Erna Mahyuni
June 09, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 9 — Tech blog Wirawan Web lived up to its “Internet hero” moniker by turning up evidence of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) directing local ISPs to ban certain sites.

In what looks like a circular sent out by the MCMC to ISPs, a list of file-sharing sites have been targetted including the controversial, warez forum Warez-BB as well as file-sharing site Megaupload.

What I found interesting was the reaction of Malaysians I know on Twitter and other social networking sites; most said they had already known about censorship attempts and/or were unsurprised at MCMC’s actions.

In other words, they placed little store in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s statement that the government was committed to not censoring the Internet.

Cakap tak serupa bikin (Words belying actions), as the saying goes in Bahasa Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP backs couple’s ‘Anak Malaysia’ bid

By Debra Chong
June 09, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — The DAP pledged today to back Hannah Yeoh and Ramachandran Muniandy all the way to court in their bid to register their newborn child as an “Anak Malaysia” for her official ethnicity.

In a statement today, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said he has directed the party’s legal adviser, Gobind Singh Deo, to represent the interracial couple in court should they decide to pursue the case.

“Forcing Hannah and Ramachandran to choose either Indian or Chinese is repugnant when they just want their child to be known as Malaysian,” Lim said.

“By deliberately forcing us into ethnic boxes BN is not celebrating diversity nor creating a common Malaysian identity, but opportunistically playing divide-and-rule politics,” the Penang chief minister added, criticising the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. Read the rest of this entry »


Kit Siang: Cops, MACC must answer RPK claims about dead Customs man

By Yow Hong Chieh
June 09, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — Both the police and the national anti-graft agency must respond to claims by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin that police found no proof of unusual wealth in the assets of deceased Customs officer Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed, Lim Kit Siang said today.

The DAP parliamentary leader said the authorities should not wait for an inquest or a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to confirm or deny the allegations, especially as this was the second mysterious death under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) watch.

Raja Petra, in a post on his Malaysia Today website yesterday, claimed the police had conducted a thorough check on Sarbaini’s assets and found no unusual or extraordinary wealth. Read the rest of this entry »


One single school system

By Kamal Amzan
June 09, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 9 — Why is it so hard to have a single education system?

With all the talk about unity, certain sacrifices must be made. If a unified Malaysia cannot be fostered in this generation, we shouldn’t miss the bandwagon for the next generation.

I’ve said this before, and let me say it again. Let’s start with our divisive schools.

In order to make a single school system successful, the government must build more schools. When we have enough schools to cater for a single session, we can then begin to teach extra languages and cultural studies in the afternoon. Those who claim that the vernacular schools are built as a mean to propagate and preserve their cultures can then be permanently silenced. Read the rest of this entry »


13th GE: Your choice ‘Original Malaysia’ or ‘Fake 1Malaysia’

By Richard Loh

We are warned and reminded about fake goods that look like it, feel like it but it is not the original branded goods. Many have been conned into believing that at a cheaper price you can still get the same original products that you wanted.

Being cheated of buying fake products may not cause us any harm in anyway except burning a hole in the pocket. A lesson to learn and you will be more careful when offered any branded goods at great discount the next time.

But what happen when you are conned into believing in a fake product that can caused great harm to you, your family and future generation?
Read the rest of this entry »


Longing For A Free Mind (Concluding Piece)

By M. Bakri Musa

Q&A (Cont’d) Contemporary Leaders

Q13: We have leaders who surround themselves with opulence while millions of our citizens are mired in poverty. Should Nik Aziz (leader of the opposition PAS) who lives modestly be the more appropriate model? Further, should a leader sacrifice everything – his career, wealth and family life – for the sake of the nation?

A13: Although I do not care for opulence, I have no problem with those who do, including our leaders. In fact I prefer that our leaders be rich. In that way when they assume power they would not look upon that as an opportunity to enrich themselves. Also, the world being what it is, wealth is often a measure of your success and talent, and I want successful and talented leaders. I am here assuming that the wealth is not inherited or acquired though illicit means. I am only against leaders using the public treasury to enrich or indulge themselves. If it is their money I could not care less if they have gold toilet faucets or travel in luxury jets, as with California Governor Schwarzenegger.
Read the rest of this entry »


Reveal police probe into Sarbaini’s death at MACC before any inquest is decided upon

The Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail and the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar should accede to the most reasonable request of Sarbaini’s family that police reveal its probe into the senior custom officer Ahmad Sarbaini’s death at MACC premises at Jalan Cochrane on April 6 before any inquest is decided upon.

In this connection, both the police and the MACC owe the Sarbaini family and the Malaysian public a response and explanation on the revelation by blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin that the police had conducted a thorough check on Ahmad Sarbaini’s assets and found no “unusual or extraordinary” wealth.

Raja Petra blogged: “He (Ahmad Sarbaini) had only three modest cars — a Perodua Kancil, a second-hand Honda CRV and a Proton Persona — and a Modenas Kriss bike, which he rode to the MACC office on that unfortunate morning of 6th April, the day of his death. Read the rest of this entry »

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