Archive for December 30th, 2010

Struggle to stem ‘brain drain’ as talent departs

Dec 30, 10

(AFP) When computer engineer Wan Jon Yew left Malaysia in 2005 for a job in Singapore, all he wanted was to work in the city state for a few years before going home. Now, he says, he will never return.

With a family, a home and a car, he now plans to settle in Singapore for good – just one of the many Malaysians stampeding abroad every year in a worrying ‘brain drain’ the government is trying to reverse.

“I wouldn’t consider going back to Malaysia, I won’t look back. If I were ever going to leave Singapore, I would migrate to Australia,” said the 28-year-old, who now has permanent resident status.

“It’s not about the money. I could have a better quality of life in Malaysia with my pay. I could have a semi-detached bungalow and have a maid there, but I would rather live in a government flat in Singapore.”

Wan, who is ethnically Chinese, is one of some 700,000 Malaysians – most of them highly educated – who are currently working abroad in an exodus that Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government is struggling to reverse. Read the rest of this entry »


Chief Secretary’s appointment of Selangor State Secretary without consultation with Mentri Besar violation of both the spirit and letter of Selangor Constitution

The appointment of Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the new Selangor State Secretary by the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan on behalf of the Public Service Commission, without consultation with the Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, violates both the spirit and letter of the Selangor Constitution.

It has been argued that there is no mention in the state constitution that the Mentri Besar must first be informed of the appointment nor that his consent was needed.

This is a flimsy and unacceptable argument, for going by this literal interpretation, Putrajaya should not have involved the Sultan in the appointment of the state secretary as there is equally no mention in the state constitution that the Sultan must first be informed of the appointment nor that any royal consent is needed.

What is pertinent is that constitutional conventions like meaningful consultation with the Mentri Besar and the Sultan on the appointment of the top state civil servant are carried out to uphold the integrity of the state constitution and to fulfill the mandate given by the people of Selangor when they voted for the government of their choice in the last general elections.

Although the Selangor State Constitution is silent on the role of the Mentri Besar on the appointment of the state secretary, just as it is silent on the role of the Sultan on the same matter, the Chief Secretary who has been delegated the constitutional task to make the appointment, should be mindful of the different political coalitions running the Federal and Selangor state governments and the importance of ensuring an appointee who could work as a bridge-builder or at least not seen as inimical to the Selangor state government interests vis-à-vis the Federal government. Read the rest of this entry »


Softening up students to Islam with History syllabus

Written by Centre for Policy Initiatives
Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Whose history is the government pushing on our students and to what effect?

On Oct 23, Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that History will be made a must-pass subject for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia beginning 2013. This puts the subject on par with Bahasa Malaysia in its degree of importance.

The ministry will introduce a revised SPM History curriculum in 2017 as in that year the cohort which started Form One in 2013 would have reached Form Five. Fresh elements to be incorporated when the History syllabus begins its new cycle are ‘patriotism’, ‘citizenship’ and ‘the constitution’, which by extension implicates the so-called social contract.

Muhyiddin said the reason for the move to expand the History syllabus is so that patriotism can be instilled in Malaysian youths.

On Dec 16 – responding to objections raised by some quarters on his proposal – Muhyiddin guaranteed that the government does not have any “ulterior motives” and reiterated that the government in its decision “only want to introduce a history education to appreciate [patriotism] to help them [the Fifth Formers] become more patriotic”.

Is this the real agenda of Umno and the Ministry of Education bureaucrats and their support group of academics or is this another Umno political lie? Read the rest of this entry »