Archive for January 19th, 2011

DAP ropes in prominent Malays

Latest entrant’s father had served in Cabinet of first three PMs
By Carolyn Hong, Malaysia Bureau Chief
Singapore Straits Times

Zairil Khir Johari
Mr Zairil Khir Johari, seen here at a Pakatan Rakyat convention, is the son of the late Tan Sri Khir Johari, an illustrious Umno politician. –PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR: The short-sleeved white shirt was a dead giveaway. It’s marked out Mr Zairil Khir Johari as an active member of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), as it is the attire favoured by this Chinese-based party.

‘I’m just an ordinary member,’ he said.

But he already devotes a substantial amount of time to party work. The 28-year-old businessman had made his maiden political appearance last month when he gave a well-received speech at the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) convention in Penang. The DAP is one of the parties making up the opposition PR alliance.
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Najib cannot be more wrong. Tenang is about future of Malaysia – no more TBH Kugan Aminurasyid Krishnan & unaccounted deaths

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in Tenang yesterday that he also want to know the real truth of Teoh Beng Hock’s death.

If so, it is not too late for him to meet the demands of Teoh Beng Hock’s family and the overwhelming majority of Malaysians who want to see that justice is not only done but seen to be done by setting up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to probe further into the Coroner’s finding of Teoh Beng Hock’s prefall neck injury.

The Teoh Beng Hock RCI should be a meaningful and high-powered one comprising independent and credible members with the widest terms of reference to ferret out the truth of Teoh’s death and a commitment that the government will accept and implement its findings unlike the Lingam Videotape RCI.

Although Najib pledged his commitment “to unravel the mystery” behind Teoh’s death in Tenang yesterday, and that “we have ways to find out the truth”, government actions in the past 18 months since Teoh’s tragic and outrageous death at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009, where he had gone voluntarily to give his co-operation to the MACC as a witness and not as a suspect, had not inspired confidence that the Prime Minister would “leave no stone unturned” to uncover the whole truth about Teoh’s death.
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Poor English skills bad for economy

by Stephanie Sta Maria
Free Malaysia Today
January 18, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: A nation’s economy is only as good as its education system. So powerful is education that even the subtlest tweak has the propensity to either elevate or relegate a nation on the global stage.

Policy-makers therefore tread with great care when proposing policy amendments, acutely aware of the staggering impact their decisions would have on the country’s future.

Malaysia’s policy-makers, however, appeared to have lacked this attention to detail when deciding to reverse the teaching and learning of Science and Maths in English (PPSMI). And that move has placed Malaysia’s economy on shaky ground.

Cheong Kee Cheok, a Senior Research Fellow with the Faculty of Economics in Universiti Malaya, expressed grave concern over the system’s failure to produce the human resources needed to propel the country forward. And this, he warned, would severely cripple the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Malaysia.

“One of the benefits a country reaps from FDI is the acquisition of technology,” he said. “But we can only acquire it if we speak the language of technology, which is English. Unfortunately, we are losing out to the Thais, Vietnamese and Chinese in our ability to communicate in English.”

“We have enjoyed FDI for 30 years but what technology have we acquired? To a certain extent, piracy is a key indicator of a country’s technological prowess. China is able to pirate almost anything whereas our piracy is limited to DVDs.”

The inability of a nation to acquire a certain strength leaves it no choice but to be dependent on other nations. This stagnancy will gradually reduce its competitiveness and eventually ease it out of the economic supply chain altogether.

“Our lack of technological expertise will dissuade technologically capable industries from investing in Malaysia,” Cheong said. “Right now we are still locked in a supply chain but our position will shift as other nations become better.” Read the rest of this entry »