by Mariam Mokhtar
Oct 1, 2012
After the furore concerning the leaked question on Bersih 3.0 in the mock SPM test papers, a more serious problem has emerged; the Moral Studies paper for the upcoming examination has been stolen.
Originally, the trial papers had prompted concerns that young minds were being indoctrinated – a charge denied by deputy ministers Puad Zarkashi and Wee Ka Siong.
Puad said: “As long as it does not affect the racial or religious sensitivities or malign any individual, I feel (the question) is not a problem… It’s up to the rakyat to decide.”
Wee also disagreed that education was being politicised and refuted calls for an investigation: “I cannot act based on any Tom, Dick or Harry’s allegations….”
With weeks to go before the examination, all police leave has been cancelled and an investigation into the theft ordered. A spokesperson said the probe would include everyone who had access to the test paper before publication, the printers and the people who set the questions.
Like many other parents and children who want an advantage in the forthcoming exams, this correspondent managed to secure a copy of the Moral Studies paper, for RM100, in the backstreets of Kepong.
The Moral Studies core syllabus is divided into seven fields; self-development, family, environment, patriotism, human rights, democracy, peace and harmony. They are designed to test one’s understanding of moral values (nilai), definitions and reasoning.
To make this test fair for everyone, I have included some of the harder questions.
1. How would you show patriotism?
(a) Fly the Malaysian flag and report your neighbour who doesn’t.
(b) Buy only ‘Made in Malaysia’ goods.
(c) Be a responsible citizen and speak out if you disagree with the laws of the country.
2. You would like to help your community and take advantage of the government projects available but lack knowledge and experience. Would you:
(a) Seek your uncle (the one with Year Five education but who drives a Ferrari) who is the division head of the local Umno?
(b) Seek employment in a firm which offers the necessary training or bribe them to accept you?
(c) Enrol in vocational school and sign up for an apprenticeship to get the required skills?
3. You hear about the calls for democracy and are curious. Would you:
NONE(a) Scrutinise both mainstream and alternative papers, and talk to a variety of people?
(b) Join the butt dance led by the army veterans because you like dancing and as the Poco-poco is banned, you might as well do the state-sanctioned butt dance?
(c) Ignore all the printed media but focus on TV3, RTM and Astro because you never liked reading?
4. Your moral studies teacher asks a rhetorical question. “If you are a cabinet minister, how would you deal with the misappropriation of public funds by your family?” What is your response?
(a) Send your children to New York to lie low, and close down all downstream activities.
(b) Feign ignorance about your spouse’s dealings, and warn your leader that you, too, have detrimental information on him and other party members.
(c) You would never allow such things to happen in the first place – rights come with responsibilities and accountability.
5. Your national newspaper has called for the alternative media to apologise to Malaysians for being a ‘tool for foreigners’. Would you:
(a) Write to the editor of the national paper and ask for his views on the allegations that the authorities are ‘allowing foreigners into the country in exchange for votes’?
(b) Contact one of the right-wing extremist groups and volunteer to wazz on photos of the alternative editors, during one of their protests?
(c) Disagree because you believe we need maids, petrol pump attendants and market stall traders?
6. A fishing village has organised a demonstration because of concerns that a new chemical plant will pollute the environment and affect the livelihood of the villagers and fishermen. Would you:
(a) Say ‘I’ve seen the water and it looks good and clear. What is the fuss?’, then hope and pray that no interfering Malaysiakini journalist asks you to drink the water?
(b) Contact the local thugs to throw bags of acid on the organiser’s cars to scare the demonstrators?
(c) Join the protesters in a march of solidarity?
7. A VVIP is on your flight from London to KLIA. You have been asked to vacate your first class seat for his extended entourage. Would you:
(a) Ask for a datukship in exchange for that inconvenience?
(b) Willingly do so to show your allegiance to King and country?
(c) Don your eyemask and ear plugs, feign sleep, and put a ‘Do not disturb’ sign on your bed?
8. What is the correct procedure for the police to respond to peaceful demonstrators?
riot police fru bersih tear gas(a) Use the element of surprise and wait for Muslims in the crowd to observe the call to prayer; when they are praying on the streets, roll in the trucks and detain the rioters.
(b) Provided there is no violence, marchers should be allowed to exercise their democratic right.
(c) Use a combination of razor wire, tear gas and chemically laced water.
9. How should the judiciary deal with child rapists?
(a) Find some reason to convince the judge that the child forced him to impregnate her and also inspire the judge of his bright future.
(b) Child rape is statutory rape and there are laws to deal with this, if only judges could be bothered to learn the law.
(c) A Muslim can marry his victim and escape imprisonment. If he is not a Muslim, he can convert, then marry his victim and be received with open arms and also be showered with the benefits of being a bumiputera. The rapist can always divorce his child bride so she can resume her schooling or look after the child, whichever suits her.
10. The PM is suffering a drop in his popularity. Would you:
(a) Start a Facebook page with ‘I love the PM’ and write to food and beverage companies to put the PM’s face on their cans of drink?
(b) Tell the PM that he deserves to know what the rakyat feel about him – ‘Serves him right’?
(c) Join the call by the Minister of Misinformation to support the PM’s endeavours in cyberspace – send newspapers doctored photos of people swarming around the PM?
11. If you are elected chief minister of a state, how would you show how much you care for the people?
(a) When your child marries, invite as many people as possible to the wedding. This will save on buying presents, and gets you into the record books.
(b) Attract foreign investment by doing whatever is morally right, environmentally safe, economically viable and of use to the local inhabitants.
(c) Woo big corporations which have problems setting up their businesses elsewhere in the world. Just sign on the dotted line, and ensure that they pay their gratuities to the key people. The rakyat should be thankful for the development and jobs provided. Some scientist is bound to have discovered how to neutralise any toxic or radioactive products.
12. You are asked to be in charge of a think tank to boost the image of the ruling party. Would you:
(a) Organise raids to disrupt any of the opposition’s talks and gatherings, and distribute sex videos, because Malaysians love porn?
(b) Give film companies fiscal incentives and tax breaks to produce films which will plant the seeds of fear in the rakyat?
(c) Gather a team of experts to advise you of the situation on the ground, then systematically tackle each problem with sound reliable policies?
13. You are asked what criterion you would use to call an election.
(a) Consult numerology experts and the tea leaves in your daily cuppa.
(b) Individuals and companies are adversely affected by the uncertainty surrounding the election date, so you will make sure that a firm date is set for future elections.
(c) Ask someone in Sarawak to recommend a reliable shaman. You are a firm believer in alternative methods. Best of all, you like to keep the rakyat in the dark.
MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.