Archive for May 21st, 2007

ASEAN MPs back Po Kuan – censure Mohd Said/Bung Mokhtar

ASEAN Members of Parliament attending the International Conference of Japanese Diet Members and ASEAN Parliamentarians on “The International Symposium of the Way to Democratise Burma” in Tokyo today agreed at the sidelines that sexism in Parliament by two Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs, Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (Jasin) and Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan) are an affront and outrage to all ASEAN MPs and ASEAN women and deserve fullest condemnation by all ASEAN Parliamentarians and ASEAN civil society

ASEAN MPs are very distressed by the rank sexism in the Malaysian Parliament on May 9 when Mohd Said and Bung Mokhtar made crude vulgar, derogatory, sexist and gender-offensive remarks at the woman MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan.

This was more than a shame and dishonour to Po Kuan, Malaysian Parliament, Malaysian women and Malaysia’s international reputation.

It was also an affront and outrage to all ASEAN MPs and ASEAN women and deserves the fullest condemnation by all ASEAN Parliamentarians and ASEAN civil society as sexism has no place in a progressive ASEAN.

This was why there was also global affront and outrage, with MPs and State Legislators attending the GlobalPOWER (Partnership of Women Elected/Appointed Representatives) 2007 Conference in Washington May 7 — 11, 2007 being the first global response to the “sexist and demeaning statements that male Members of Parliament in Malaysia made to their women colleagues”. Read the rest of this entry »


Of Repentance and Penitence

Of Repentance and Penitence

by Dr. Oh Ei Sun
Sabah Times

These few weeks were indeed packed with events and commemorative days. Last week we celebrated, among other’s, Teacher’s Day, which has become a national occasion when we pay tribute to not only teachers, but indeed all those who undertake the tough and often thankless job of educating the precious minds of the country.

As the son of a teacher (my mom was a school teacher for 34 years), and as a teacher myself, Teacher’s Day is for me a day of reflection on the state and future of education, not so much for the much-vaunted national development effort, but in developing wholesome characters in millions of precious young minds. And perhaps a brief lesson in history from another part of the world could help.

In 1957, just a few weeks after Malaya attained its independence, another smaller-scale, but no less momentous event took place in the provincial town of Little Rock, the capital of the state of Arkansas in the United States. Nine young black men and women were escorted by US Army personnel to attend Little Rock Central High, a hitherto all-white school.

The past entrenched racism of the American South would be a subject for future writing. It suffices to mention here that for almost a century after the liberation of black slaves in the US, officially sanctioned racist treatments abounded primarily in the American South. The images of separate toilets for “White” and “Colored” still haunt us today. Most schools there were either exclusively white or black, with far superior teaching resources reserved for the former. Read the rest of this entry »