Archive for April 2nd, 2012

Pakatan declares polls reform panel a failure

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 02, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) representatives in the government-mooted parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reforms complained today the panel had failed to meet its objectives, despite six months of heated discussions and at least six public hearings.

The members, Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak), Hatta Ramli (PAS-Kuala Krai) and Anthony Loke (DAP-Rasah), told a press conference here that the bipartisan panel had fallen short of expectations as it had completely neglected to address “fundamental issues” surrounding concerns over the country’s election system.

Key among these, said Azmin, was the call to clean up the current voter registry, which civil society groups and PR leaders have alleged are fraught with discrepancies.

The trio said today they have filed a motion notice with the Dewan Rakyat Speaker’s office under Standing Order 30(1) calling for amendments to be made to the PSC’s final report. Read the rest of this entry »


Reforming Education Part Two: Fixing Kampong Schools

M. Bakri Musa
Second of Six Parts: The Challenge of Providing Teachers

In Part One I discussed measures to increase the English fluency of kampong pupils, key to enhancing their employability and self-confidence. These include increasing the hours for English instruction, introducing immersion classes as with our earlier Special Malay and Remove Classes, and even bringing back colonial-era English schools to the kampongs. This section focuses on the special challenges of attracting teachers, specifically to teach English, and on improving kampong schools.

Attracting Teachers

Malaysia has a deep reservoir of English-speaking teachers trained under the old all-English system. They are now all retired, but given sufficient incentives they could be readily enticed to teach in our rural schools. Right now there are only half-hearted attempts at attracting them, with the efforts left to local headmasters. These headmasters, brought up under the existing system, are only too aware of their own limitations in English. They are not about to be welcoming of or risk having their own inadequacies exposed by these hitherto senior English-fluent teachers; hence the failure of the current policy.
Read the rest of this entry »