Archive for September 17th, 2012
Free Malaysia Today
September 17, 2012
The prime minister is holding back on the election date to shore up flagging support and give his reforms more time to work.
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak could call national elections anytime between now and April 2013, but he may wait to announce a generous budget on Sept 28 as he plays a risky waiting game.
The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition is widely expected to win the election but further gains by the opposition after its strong performance in 2008 could undermine Najib’s standing.
Holding back until after September would give Najib more time to shore up flagging support among ethnic Chinese voters, and to convince Malaysians that his reform efforts are working as he tries to reverse the ruling coalition’s worst election showing in 2008.
It would also make him vulnerable to any worsening of the global economy or the emergence of fresh corruption scandals that could push swing voters over to the three-party opposition. Read the rest of this entry »
THE KUCHING DECLARATION
(adopted by Pakatan Rakyat in Kuching at Pakatan Rakyat Malaysia Day Celebrations at Chonglin Park, Kuching on September 16, 2012)
LEST WE FORGET, AND LEST ALL THE PEOPLES OF OUR GREAT NATION OF MALAYSIA FORGET, WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, DO ONCE AGAIN FIRMLY, RESOLUTELY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY PLEDGE AND PROMISE BEFORE THE WHOLE NATION OF MALAYSIA AS OUR WITNESSES, ON THIS HISTORIC DAY THE 16TH OF SEPTEMBER, 2012, IN THE CITY OF KUCHING, AND ON BEHALF OF OUR RESPECTIVE PARTIES AND PAKATAN RAKYAT AS A WHOLE, THAT WHEN WE FORM THE NEXT GOVERNMENT OF MALAYSIA, PAKATAN RAKYAT WILL HONOUR ALL ITS PLEDGES AND PROMISES TO THE PEOPLES OF MALAYSIA.
WE WILL HONOURABLY EXECUTE ALL THE POLICIES SET FORTH IN THE BUKU JINGGA SO THAT MALAYSIA WILL ONCE AGAIN BE A GREAT NATION, HER PEOPLES PROSPEROUS, HER FUTURE SECURE AND PEACEFUL, AND HER NAME CELEBRATED BY ALL THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD.
WE WILL HONOUR THE SPIRIT OF THE MALAYSIA AGREEMENT OF 1963 WHICH OUR FOUNDING FATHERS PUT THEIR HANDS TO, AND AS A SIGN OF OUR DEEP COMMITMENT TO THE PEOPLES OF SARAWAK AND SABAH, CONSISTENT WITH DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES AND JUSTICE FOR ALL MALAYSIANS, IN PARTICULAR:
ARTICLE ONE: EQUAL PARTNERS
We will restore the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement and the position of Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners within Malaysia by restoring autonomy to Sarawak and Sabah within the framework of the Federal Constitution. Read the rest of this entry »
by Bakri Musa
17th September 2012
First of Five Parts: Education Blueprint – Transparent, But Not Bold Or Comprehensive
Education reform is inflicted upon Malaysians with the regularity of the monsoon. Like the storm, the havoc these “reforms” create lingers long after they have passed through.
In this five-part commentary I will critique the latest reform effort contained in Preliminary Report: Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 released on September 11, 2012. The first three essays will address the Blueprint’s findings and recommendations; the fourth, its omissions, and the last, the flaws in the process with this particular reform effort.
The Blueprint clearly identifies the main problems and challenges at both the system and individual levels, but fails to analyze why or how they came about and why they have been let to fester. Consequently the recommendations are based more on conjecture rather than solid data; more towards generalities and the stating of goals rather than on specifics and how to achieve those goals. On the positive side, the goals and milestones (at least some of them) are clearly stated in quantifiable terms, so we would know whether they have been achieved going forward.
Despite extensive public participation and the inclusion of many luminaries (including foreign ones) on the panel, the report has many glaring omissions. It fails to address the particular challenges facing Islamic and rural national schools. This is surprising considering that the constituents in both streams are Malays, a politically powerful group. Even more pertinent, those schools regularly perform at the bottom quartile; they drag down the whole system. Improving them would go a long way in enhancing the entire system. Yet another omission is the failure to analyze and thus learn from earlier reform efforts.
This Blueprint does not live up to Najib Razak’s assertion of being “bold, comprehensive and transparent.” Transparent perhaps, but not bold or comprehensive! That is not surprising as the panel is dominated by civil servants. They have been part of the problem for so long that it would be too much to expect them now to magically be part of the solution. Read the rest of this entry »