Archive for January 24th, 2008

BU4 school controversy resolved

by Angelia Ong

Just to let you know:

1. SMK BU4

Hip hip hoorah! You will all be glad that the fiasco at the BU4 school has been resolved. The Headmistress has now conceded to bring back the lion dance, cheerleading squad and other ‘banned activities’. Power to the parents! Fortunately some members of MI4, together with other PIBG members rallied together in a show of force. This new headmistress thought she could push her way around…. not knowing that she is dealing with the super heroes of BU4..

My residents association is very vocal thankfully and now we are continuing our fight to gain our playground/field (which I believe they have been fighting for the last 12 years) and I think a compromise can hopefully be reached.

It’s very sad to see green lungs (seeing the letters in of bukit kiara, kota damansara and Sg Buloh being ravaged in the name of development. Parks and playgrounds being shrunk or built on.


Suharto’s Exit: The End of the Era of Asia’s Strongmen?

By Farish A. Noor

There are strongmen, and then again there are really strong strongmen. Indonesia’s former President Suharto falls into the latter category and though the man was finally deposed after waves of student demonstrations that rocked Indonesia in May 1998, he remains – despite his ailing health – firmly planted on the map of Indonesian and Southeast Asia’s regional politics til now.

Observers of Indonesian politics have already put their pens to paper and have begun to write the obituary to what has to be one of the most important (if not notorious) and enigmatic of Asia’s leaders of the 20th century. Indeed, so long and extensive was Suharto’s period of rule in Indonesia that the man has been elevated to the level of a national icon, seen as a hero for some and as one of the most brutal dictators the world has ever seen by others. Suharto’s imminent passing marks the end of an era, a period that spanned the second half of the 20th century in the wake of the Second World War and the Cold War the quickly followed suit.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that with the passing of Suharto the age of strongmen-politics will come to an end. Suharto’s own record and personal life story reads as an epic tale of the small man made good, of the poor peasant boy who was at the right place at the right time and consequently was picked by History to play a crucial part in the drama of nations. Read the rest of this entry »


Another example of Malaysian university mediocrity

Educational and in particular university quality and excellence has increasingly become an important indicator not only of a nation’s international competitiveness but its capacity for development as a world-class developed nation.

A recent news report in the world of higher education is a sobre and sombre reminder as to how far we have lagged behind in the international stakes for university excellence and development of quality human resources.

Earlier this month, it was announced that the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia’s much anticipated US$10 billion university, has appointed Shih Choon Fong, a Singaporean as its first president.

Shih, who is president of the National University of Singapore, will assume the task of creating from scratch what Saudi Arabia hopes will become one of the world’s leading research institutions.
Ali Al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s minister of petroleum and mineral resources, who is chairman of the university’s governing board, said that Shih was “the right person” to fulfill the vision for the new institution. The university, known as Kaust, is scheduled to open in September 2009.

Was any Malaysian from the 20-odd public universities in serious running of being scouted in the extensive global search among top academic research leaders for the top job for the world’s sixth richest university even before it opens, as King Abdullah provided US$10 billion of his own money to start the new institution? Read the rest of this entry »


Hindu festival marked by protest in Malaysia

By Thomas Bell in Kuala Lumpur
Telegraph, UK
Last Updated: 5:13pm GMT 23/01/2008

Hindus in Malaysia mortified their flesh with hooks and spears as they delivered a protest against the government which has imprisoned their popular leaders without charge.

With elections in the multi-racial country expected within weeks, ethnic grievances pose a mounting threat to the party that has governed for all of the 50 years since independence.

The annual festival of Thaipusam is big event for Malaysia’s two million ethnic Indians, who make up 7 per cent of the population.

Devotees hang limes and pots of milk from hooks in the flesh of their backs, and pierce their faces with spears, to thank the god Murugan for good fortune or ask him to grant their wishes.

This year the festival was marked by boycotts and hunger strikes. Read the rest of this entry »