Archive for August 15th, 2011

History or Soviet-style propaganda? That is the question

by Andrew Aeria
The Malaysian Insider
Aug 15, 2011

AUG 15 — If anyone from the Ministry of Education held an honest, open and non-patronising discussion with our secondary schoolchildren on the subject of history as it is presently taught in school, they would discover that a huge majority of students view it as a painfully boring and utterly worthless subject.

They would also discover that students learn practically nothing from the subject. Instead, students only force themselves to memorise vacuous facts about people and events merely to pass their exams; an indoctrination exercise that defeats the whole purpose of why we educate our children in the first place.

I should know. I taught an introductory-level university course, “Malaysian Social History” to undergraduates for a few years. And to my astonishment, I discovered how intellectually and emotionally impoverished my undergraduates were about history. Not that they had not studied and even passed the subject with flying colours in their SPM/STPM exams, but because what they had previously memorised in school was simply not worth remembering! Stunned by their lack of interest in the subject, I examined the current school history syllabus and its teaching methods. I discovered to my horror and dismay that it is presently more predisposed to Soviet-style propaganda instead of being a subject that nurtures a passionate appreciation of our rich heritage and common humanity. Read the rest of this entry »


Question of DAP joining BN to replace MCA does not arise at all

The media has been abuzz following the Sin Chew Daily interview with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and his notion that DAP should join the Barisan Nasional.

The question of DAP joining the Barisan Nasional to replace MCA does not arise at all.

DAP is not a Chinese party fighting for Chinese rights but a Malaysian party fighting for the rights of all Malaysians whether Chinese, Malays, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans or Orang Asli as common Malaysian citizens who are entitled to an equal place under the Malaysian sun.

DAP leaders have toiled and sacrificed for their political beliefs in the past 45 years, persecuted and prosecuted in court, detained under the Internal Security Act for as long as four year and nine months, jailed and disqualified as MP and barred from elective office for five years for standing firm and steadfast on a matter of principle to fight for the rights of all Malaysians transcending race and religion – all these sacrifices not just for the DAP to replace MCA in the Barisan Nasional. Read the rest of this entry »


There are options available to save Chinatown

By Moaz Yusuf Ahmad | August 15, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

The members of The Association for the Improvement of Mass-Transit (Transit) have been following the MRT proposal since it was mooted (in fact even earlier than that).

One of our biggest complaints about public transport projects is that we have public displays, not public consultation.

In the case of the MRT project (or any other railway) must follow certain “fixed points” (many of which are also put in place without public consultation) and the operator is only required to share the “optimal” alignment with the public.

This was the way that the LRT and KL monorail were designed, according to the Railways Act.
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Lest we forget

By Masterwordsmith |August 14, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

AUG 14 — While Malaysians express outrage about the RM8-RM9 billion MAS scandal and the ‘reverse takeover’ of the national airline company through Air Asia — which is another multi-billion ‘backdoor asset stripping’ exercise — lets us not forget the RM6-RM7 billion patrol boat fiasco. As Dr Mahathir said: Melayu mudah lupa. Well, let us not lupa this.

In February ‘11, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced via a Bernama statement that the government has agreed to allocate RM6bil to build six second generation patrol vessels for the Royal Malaysian Navy. The rationale given for the expenditure was to “boost the economy while benefiting 632 vendor companies”. The Defence Minister clarified that they would ensure that “at least RM2bil of the allocation will benefit these vendor companies which are strategic partners of Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd”. Then, many Malaysians were up in arms after that disclosure.

In October last year, The Star reported that the construction of six patrol vessels by Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (BHIC), a maritime engineering and defence-related services provider, may only begin as early as the fourth quarter of this year. Analysts estimated it would take another year before BHIC’s letter of intent (LOI) is firmed up and construction of the patrol vessels begin.
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Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #78

By M. Bakri Musa

Chapter 9: Islam in Malay Life

Reform in Islam

Islamic Economics

The success and vitality of the modern economy is based on the availability of credit. It is credit that makes the economic world spin smoothly. “Credit is the vital air of the system of modern commerce,” observed Daniel Webster. “It has done more, a thousand times, to enrich nations, than all the mines of all the world.” A plaque on Wall Street, the heart of American capitalism, declares, “Credit: Man’s Faith in Man.” Credit is predicated on the promise that it will be repaid.

Shakespeare’s words in Hamlet, “Neither a borrower, nor a lender be: For loan oft loses both itself and friend….” is only true if we do not repay our loans and the gratitude that goes with them. Indeed not repaying our debts can give rise to even worse consequences, as victims of the mafia and triads will testify. Even threats of defaulting can be devastating, as Argentina is now discovering.
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Through my aging eyes – Our Children face a tough future

By Edwin Bosi

On 1st May this year the Tamanza clan celebrated the “refurbishment” of our forefather’s shelter at the Tuavon Katagazan cemetery. Years ago their graveyards were dug their bones brushed clean and relocated to Katagazan with full traditional rituals. There was no official or designated graveyard then so the dead were buried in the private plot of land. My grandfather Kandavu Tamanza was laid to rest in a 5-acre land in Kg Kibabaig Penampang. My grandmother Lokuja Buko was buried in another piece of land nearby while our great grandfather Tamanza was buried in Kosigui. The relocation involved all three graves. For the Kadazan, relocation of remains involves the high priestesses or Bobohizans and is steep with ancient rituals.

I remember the high priestess and her assistant going though the process of opening a communicating channel between the living and the death. A white cockerel was sacrificed. It was here that I saw the arts of negotiation been applied to the utmost. It appeared that the “bobohizans” were in a trance as they “talked” with the spirits of those who had long departed. My late dad vouched that the voices of his father were actually recognisable through and from the “murmurs” of the main Bobohizan. The deal was sealed fairly quickly with one condition for a sacrificial pig and no substitute. The priestess conceded that our grandfather and his mother were very understanding unlike some of the cases she had dealt with before.
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