Archive for October 1st, 2012

The ‘Biggest Bribe Budget’?

By Kee Thuan Chye
Malaysian Digest
01 October 2012

I don’t know about you but I got practically nothing from the 2013 Budget. I don’t qualify for the BR1M payout of RM500 for households with a monthly income of not more than RM3,000. I also don’t qualify for the 50% discount on passports for senior citizens.

But that’s all right. I don’t want anything from the Budget. It comes from the people’s money and should be spent wisely on developing the country. I should not expect to get something directly from it.

The way it looks, though, Prime Minister Najib Razak doesn’t seem to think the same way. His 2013 Budget is a lot about giving money away to people. It seems this is to make them happy, and perhaps this feeling of happiness could translate into votes for his Barisan Nasional (BN) government at the upcoming general election.

What worries me is that Najib is spending money like there is no tomorrow. That seems the right way to put it because his Budget does not address the future. Maybe except for education, especially in boosting vocational training and encouraging small entrepreneurs.

There’s hardly anything about enhancing the country’s economic growth, spending prudently or reducing the national debt. Read the rest of this entry »


Borneanisation in Sabah 20-Pt Agreement – “Janji Ditepati”?

Point 8 of Sabah’s 20-Point Agreement 1963 leading to the formation of Malaysia states:

“8. Borneanisation: of the public services should proceed as quickly as possible.”

Recently, the favourite slogan on the lips of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is “Janji Ditepati”.

Has Point 8 of Sabah’s 20-Pt Agreement on Borneanisation been honoured?

In reply to my question in Parliament, the Prime Minister has disclosed that out of 133 Federal Departments (including Federal statutory bodies) in Sabah, 61 (45.9%) agencies are headed by Sabahans while 72 (54.1%) are headed by non-Sabahans.

Is this “Janji Ditepati”?


Budget 2013: Tussle of the titans

— Kim Quek
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 30, 2012

SEPT 30 — Barisan Nasional’s election-orientated budget 2013 is disappointing because it concentrates on raining one-off cash on the electorate to ease their pain, while forgetting to address the ills that necessitate such profuse dosage of pain-relievers in the first place.

If the people are affluent and contended, do they need to be showered with such pacifiers; or alternatively, would the feeding of such sweeteners sway their decision on whom they are going to vote for?

Obviously there are vast masses of disgruntled electorate who are not happy with the current living conditions. They are unhappy because they find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet; and they are also worried about the worsening safety of their environment.

The common people are simply overwhelmed by a cost of living that forever is speeding far ahead of their slow moving income increment. Needless to say, our economy is in trouble. What’s wrong with our economy? Read the rest of this entry »


The Havoc Education Reform Inflicts: Education Blueprint 2013-2025 (Part 3 of 5)

by M. Bakri Musa

Third of Five Parts: Quality, Efficiency, Efficacy, And Trimming of Fat

[Part One discusses the Blueprint’s failure to recognize the diversity within our school system, and with that the need for specific solutions targeted to particular groups. Part Two discusses the particular challenge of having competent teachers especially in science, English, and mathematics, a critical problem not adequately addressed by the Blueprint. In this third part I discuss the inextricable link between quality, efficiency, and efficacy, points not fully appreciated in the Blueprint.]

The one diagram in the Blueprint that best captures what’s wrong with the Malaysian education system is Exhibit 6-4, the ministry’s organizational staff structure. The diagram is described as rectangular; it’s more fat Grecian column. Incidentally, that diagram is the best graphic representation of data in the entire document; it captures and demonstrates well two salient points. One, there are as many Indians as there are chiefs in the organization, and two, the overwhelming burden of administrative staff at all levels.

“Malaysia arguably has one of the largest central (federal) administrations in the world, relative to the number of schools,” says the Blueprint, quoting a UNESCO report.

We do not need those highly-paid international consultants to remind us of the bloat. The gleaming tower that is the Ministry of Higher Education in Putrajaya is emblematic of that. It reveals the government’s perverted priorities. That edifice shames that of the Department of Education of the US, or any First World country.

By any measure, relative to the economy, population, or total budget, Malaysia funds its education system generously, much more so than countries like Finland and South Korea. Yet our students and schools lag far behind. The answer lies in Exhibit 6-4. The bulk of the resources expended do not end up in the classrooms. Read the rest of this entry »