Archive for December 3rd, 2009

Can Malaysia rise from the lost “decade of stagnation”?

Second Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah’s speech at Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) National Economic Outlook Conference 2010-2011 on Tuesday that Malaysia has lost ground to neighbours such as Indonesia in the race for foreign investment and the imperative need to rebuild confidence by building the highest standards of governance did not say anything new as they have been repeatedly raised by DAP and Pakatan Rakyat leaders inside and outside Parliament.

It is nonetheless unusually refreshing as it is the first admission by a top government leader of a lost decade of “stagnation” after the 1998 Asian financial crisis.

Just like the pledge by the former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to declare war on corruption when he came into office in six years ago and the pledge by the present Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak just eight months ago to lead a government committed to the concept of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” but which have not followed by action and the political will to “walk the talk”, will Husni’s remarkably frank speech end up as the latest addition to a mountainous pile of high-sounding speeches of government leaders never translated into deed and policy?
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Enhancing The Role of the Private Sector in Education

By M. Bakri Musa

[First of Six Parts]

Introductory Remarks

In the proposed Tenth Malaysia Plan scheduled to be unveiled next year (2010), the government will again re-commit to develop human resources through improving our education system. We have heard all these before, but the twist this time is that the government will actively engage the private sector.

I applaud this. There are many avenues for private sector involvement in education at all levels, either independently or in a variety of public-private partnerships (PPP).

Two points are worth noting as Malaysia embarks on this endeavor. The first is that there are already many models of private sector involvement in education throughout the developed and developing world. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. All we have to do is study these existing models, ascertain their strengths and weaknesses, and then adopt with suitable modifications the ones that would best suit our needs. Read the rest of this entry »


An alternative to BTN: cross-cultural understanding

By Azly Rahman

BTN is tsunamied. It’s demise might be inevitable. The writings are on the wall — and in cyberspace.

Malaysians wish to see the closing down of the operations of Biro Tata Negara – for good. I think it has done more harm than good. It is based on a flawed understanding of Malaysian history and promotes a communalistic and combative rather than cosmopolitan and collaborative Malaysia.

The danger is in hegemony; the fish does not know it is in the water and keeps on swimming round and round in the fish bowl.

Let us consider an alternative to teaching Malaysians how to become and behave like Malaysians. The root of this change must come from our reconceptualization of language and culture. Through education for critical consciousness, we can all begin the dismantling process of dismantling race-based institutions such as BTN.
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