Archive for December 28th, 2010

Reconceptualising federalism

By Azly Rahman

β€œ… Democratic and aristocratic states are not in their own nature free. Political liberty is to be found only in moderate governments; and even in these it is not always found. It is there only when there is no abuse of power. But constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go. Is it not strange, though true, to say that virtue itself has need of limits? …

β€œTo prevent this abuse, it is necessary from the very nature of things that power should be a check to power. A government may be so constituted, as no man shall be compelled to do things to which the law does not oblige him, nor forced to abstain from things which the law permits … .” – Baron de Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws, Book XI
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Questionable measures taken to improve the standard of English amongst Malaysian schoolchildren

by Mrs. Sheela R

Dear Mr. Lim,

The government has promised concrete measures in improving the standard of English taught to Malaysian schoolchildren, with the demise of the PPSMI. (“Teaching of maths and science in English”) .

As a mother of three schoolgoing children, I have serious misgivings that the government is sincere in its endeavour.

To illustrate further, I would like to produce an extract from a Year 4 primary school English textbook used in Singapore (which incidentally was used by my son in his Malaysian school as a supplementary text, at the equivalent grade level): Read the rest of this entry »