Archive for November 6th, 2011

Tunisia’s Islamist-led government rejects laws to enforce religion

Al Arabiya News
Saturday, 05 November 2011

Tom Heneghan

Tunisia’s Islamist-led government will focus on democracy, human rights and a free-market economy in planned changes to the constitution, effectively leaving religion out of the text it will draw up, party leaders said.

The government, due to be announced next week, will not introduce sharia or other Islamic concepts to alter the secular nature of the constitution in force when Tunisia’s Arab Spring revolution ousted autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January.

“We are against trying to impose a particular way of life,” Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi, 70, a lifelong Islamist activist jailed and exiled under previous regimes, told Reuters.

Tunisian and foreign critics of Ennahda, the moderate Islamist party that won 41.7 percent of Tunisia’s first free election on Oct. 23, have voiced fears it would try to impose religious principles on this relatively secular Muslim country. Read the rest of this entry »


When will four MCA Ministers make the formal proposal in Cabinet to make English a compulsory pass subject for SPM?

I welcome the proposal by the MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek to make English a compulsory pass subject for SPM, although it was a decade after I had made such a proposal.

On 18th May 2002, in expressing the DAP’s full support for the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s call to Malaysian students to master English as “necessary for communications essential to keep abreast of developments in the technical fields such as engineering and science”, I had gone one step further in proposing making pass in English compulsory in SPM, STPM and matriculation.

This is what I said some 10 years ago:

“The government has been talking about the decline of the standard of English language in the past two decades and the urgent need to arrest it, but it had nothing to show for the results. Read the rest of this entry »