Archive for April 1st, 2011

Interlok issue is not resolved

By Dr Lim Teck Ghee

Civil society groups and other concerned individuals should not be taken in by Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement that the Interlok issue has been resolved. In fact, not only is it not resolved but compliance will mean that Interlok could well be extended from its present Zone 2 (Klang Valley) coverage thereafter to Zone 1, Zone 3 and Zone 4 in the rest of the country.

Interlok is a beach head for the Little Napoleons and other Ketuanan bureaucrats to impose their agenda of educational and cultural seppuku on a young captive audience.

Success in imposing Interlok will only encourage these ideologues to move further upstream and inject their indoctrination into the syllabus for the younger forms, and eventually in the primary school curriculum. The History and Moral subjects have already been tampered with. Currently the focus is on language and literature. What will be next?

Muhyiddin’s statement that nobody should politicize or exploit the issue by using NGOs is made in wilful ignorance. The fact is these organizations have been in the forefront of the campaign from the outset. It is not difficult for the Minister to determine the chronology of events with regard to the emergence and growth of public (but hardly any political) consciousness, concern and agitation on the book.

A quick glance at news and reports from the websites will show that civil society organizations such as NIAT, Hartal MSM, and the Centre for Policy Initiatives have provided analysis and public feedback for several months now on the unsuitability of Interlok. Read the rest of this entry »


A hornbill joins battle for change

Regina Lee | Apr 1, 11

Never before has political campaigning in Malaysia become this cute.

Arguably one of the most adorable (and probably the only) mascot used by any political party in the country, DAP has deployed Ubah (Malay word for change), a hornbill, in the coming Sarawak state election.

Since then, the mascot has appeared to have taken a life of its own. Ubah merchandise, ranging from plush toys to buttons, are flying off the shelves while stiff party leaders turn giggly at press conferences when asked to pose with the mascot.

On the cyber front, Ubah even has its own Facebook page and Twitter account, often posting photos of itself at DAP functions in Sarawak.

While the mascot clearly has to put up with the numerous “Angry Bird” puns – a popular game first available on the iPhone – Malaysiakini too could not resist and called out the bird in an email interview.

Below are the excerpts. The responses have been edited for language and brevity. Read the rest of this entry »


Now every crook can fight corruption

by Tunku Aziz
The Malaysian Insider
1st April 2011

April 01, 2011APRIL 1 — In late 2006 as I was completing my term of office as a Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in New York, I received an unexpected invitation to deliver a speech at an anti-corruption conference in Jerusalem, Israel. It was an important gathering of academics, senior government officials and NGO luminaries.

The president of Israel, Moshe Katsav, the guest of honour, made a stirring speech about the evils of corruption, enjoining us all to fight it in our society.

Even as he was extolling the virtues of integrity in personal and public life, the police were crawling all over the presidential mansion rummaging through documents as part of an investigation into multiple allegations of rape and sexual harassment by several members of his female staff, over an extended period of time going back to when he was the tourism minister. He was finally sentenced to seven years in prison last week by a Tel Aviv District Court.

I mention all this for two reasons. The first is that I have never known any president, prime minister, chief minister or even a garden variety politician, however corrupt he is known to be, opposing measures to fight corruption. Many are so sincere and convincing that you think a new corruption-free dawn is about to break.

In our case, we have political leaders swearing blind that corruption is evil. They, by any standard, even if you want to be charitable, cannot in all honesty be described as morally upright where corruption is concerned. Read the rest of this entry »