Archive for February 27th, 2007

Let’s de-segregate our schools

Let’s de-segregate our schools
Azly Rahman

“School is not preparation for life, but school is life,” wrote American pragmatist philosopher John Dewey.

We need to begin a national project of desegregating schools. I propose that all schools and educational institutions now catering to one particular race – be they Malay, Chinese, Tamil, Kadazan or Iban – must be integrated systematically and reorganised along the principles of multi-cultural education.

We must create a new breed of bumiputera – the neo-bumiputera class.

I do not see any other way we can become a truly multi-cultural nation and create an egalitarian society based on the way we currently organise our educational institutions. We may have a grand design that will take to the year 3000, but without a conscious effort to educate students to become critical, creative, ethical and futuristic radical human beings, we will drown in the wave of globalisation.

We may have a hardware worth RM23 billion and a software plan in hand, but without a mind-ware powerful enough to help develop governors of a future republic of virtue and social justice, our schools will continue to be better camps for totalitarianism.

However, as the great Brazilian educator Paulo Freire might say, there is a philosophy of hope, we can all explore.

I want to share the beauty of an effective philosophy of education that ought to now be experimented at a different level – true to our nation’s commitment to create a Bangsa Malaysia.

It is a system that has benefitted many and produced excellent individuals that are now the movers and shakers of our economy. We have great professors, politicians, scientists, lawyers, corporate figures, surgeons, entertainment gurus, and even rocket scientists from a system that has helped the poorest of the poor ‘bumiputeras’. I am talking about the Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) system. Read the rest of this entry »


ACA Zulkipli must establish his integrity or be removed immediately

The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general, Datuk Zulkipli Mat Noor should appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity to clear all doubts that he is qualified to continue to helm the anti-corruption agency.

I will propose at today’s meeting of the Parliamentary Select Committee that Zulkipli be summoned to appear at an emergency meeting to respond to various serious allegations which had been made against him, ranging from corruption to sexual crimes, which must not remain unrebutted so as to salvage the credibility, legitimacy and authority of the ACA.

If Zulkipli is not prepared to appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee to establish his integrity in an emergency meeting, he must be removed as the ACA head. The Cabinet should put this item on the top of its agenda at its meeting tomorrow.

Malaysiakini yesterday reported these allegations which were filed last year by former ACA officer Mohamad Ramli Manan to the then inspector-general of police Mohd Bakri Omar.

In the July 4, 2006 report, Ramli named the ACA chief – who is a former top cop – and referred to him as ‘B1’.

“As you are aware, B1 was a member of your police force and his last appointment there was as Sarawak chief police officer. It has come to the knowledge of the ACA that B1 was a very corrupt senior police officer and had amassed substantial property and assets through corrupt practices,” he told Mohd Bakri in his report.

Ramli claimed that in 1997 – when Zulkipli was Johor police chief – the ACA had then learnt that he was “in possession of properties disproportionate to his known source of income” and had indulged in “immoral and criminal” activities.

Apart from this, Ramli also disclosed that the police had allegedly investigated Zulkipli in connection with a sexual crime following a report filed by a housewife with the Dang Wangi police station in Kuala Lumpur. Read the rest of this entry »


Judicial accountability – will the Altantuny murder trial be brought forward from March 2008?

Last week, when making his controversial, ill-advised and ill-considered comment likening the proposal for an independent judicial commission on appointment and promotion of judges as akin to nudity rather than transparency, the Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim claimed that he was both an advocate and practitioner of judicial accountability and transparency.

Ahmad Fairuz said: “I started (as the Chief Justice) in 2003 with accountability and integrity. We have been transparent.”

I have three questions for Ahmad Fairuz concerning accountability and integrity of the Chief Justice.

Firstly, will the Altantunya Shaariibuu murder trial set for hearing in March 2008 be brought forward in line with the maxim that “justice delayed is justice denied” as well as his earlier statement that the March 2008 trial date is “too far off”?

The Star in a front-page headline of 6th January 2007 “March 7, 2008: Altantunya murder trial — TOO LONG A WAIT” quoted the Chief Justice:

“The date is too far off. But we are appointing 16 new judges. Hopefully the trial can be brought forward.”

Secondly, what has happened to his public undertaking on his appointment as Chief Justice some four years ago in 2003 to recast the Judges’ Code of Ethics to restore public confidence in judicial independence, impartiality and integrity. Read the rest of this entry »