Archive for category Education

Shocking that after four weeks of controversy, 95% of Chinese and Indian Malaysians not aware there is Jawi in Std. V Bahasa Malaysia textbook for years and that the revised curriculum to introduce Jawi in Std. IV was decided by MCA, Gerakan, MIC, SUPP and UMNO Ministers in Sept. 2015

It is indeed shocking that after four weeks of controversy over Jawi in Chinese and Primary schools, 95% of Chinese and Indian Malaysians are not aware that there is Jawi in Std. V Bahasa Malaysia textbook for years and that the revised curriculum to introduce Jawi in Std. IV was decided by MCA, Gerakan, MIC, SUPP and UMNO Ministers in Sept. 2015.

Now, MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP leaders are loudest in condemning the introduction of Jawi in Chinese and Tamil primary schools, although this decision was taken by their Ministers four years ago in 2015, to be implemented yearly in the revised textbooks from 2017 – 2022.

The Jawi subject controversy was a legacy of the former government, as the final decision on the new textbooks for Chinese/Tamil primary schools to introduce the Jawi subject for Std. 4 pupils in 2020 was made by Education Ministry Curriculum Committee chaired by the then Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and attended by the then two Deputy Education Ministers, Datuk Chong Sin Woon (MCA) and P. Kamalanathan (MIC) in a meeting of Sept. 21, 2015.

After that it became an administrative matter for the relevant Education Ministry divisions to implement the policy decision of Sept. 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia will fail as a New Malaysia which is a top world-class nation of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity if we replace a “win-win” formula of nation-building with a zero-sum mentality

With the Cabinet decision yesterday on the Jawi controversy, there are totally contradictory reactions.

One reaction at one end of the spectrum is best represented by the UMNO Vice President, Khaled Nordin who said that the latest Cabinet decision on the Jawi controversy shows that DAP is the true power behind the Pakatan Harapan government.

At the other end of the spectrum, the DAP is regarded as “having gone from hero to zero in the eyes of the Chinese base” and having betrayed the voters and I have become a “running dog” betraying the rights and future of Chinese Malaysians.

Which version is right?

It is not possible for both allegations to be right although both allegations could be wrong – and there is no doubt that in this case, both such allegations are wrong.

Malaysia will fail as a New Malaysia which is a top world-class nation of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity if we replace a “win-win” formula of nation-building with a zero-sum mentality. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mahathir wrong to brand Dong Zong as “racist” but Dong Zong was not right to claim that Jawi lesson for Chinese/Tamil primary school Std. 4 Bahasa Malaysia subject from 2020 was beginning of Islamisation

Perdana Menteri, Dr Mahathir Mohammad salah melabel Dong Zong sebagai “rasis”, tetapi Dong Zong juga tidak betul apabila mendakwa pembelajaran tulisan Jawi bagi mata pelajaran Bahasa Malaysia Tahun Empat di sekolah rendah Cina/Tamil bermula tahun 2020 sebagai permulaan Islamisasi

Perdana Menteri Dr Mahathir Mohammad salah melabel Dong Zong sebagai “rasis”, tetapi Dong Zong juga tidak betul apabila mendakwa pembelajaran tulisan Jawi bagi mata pelajaran Bahasa Malaysia Tahun Empat di sekolah rendah Cina/Tamil bermula tahun 2020 sebagai permulaan Islamisasi.

Kedua-dua insiden ini mengambarkan betapa berat salah faham yang timbul berkenaan tulisan Jawi di sekolah rendah Cina dan Tamil.

Saya berada di Chennai, Salem, Bangalore dan New Dehli ketika kontroversi subjek tulisan Jawi meledak dan taklimat oleh Timbalan Menteri Pendidikan, Teo Nie Ching dalam perjumpaan untuk ahli-ahli DAP Melaka semalam merupakan kali pertama saya mengetahui tentang punca sebenar kontroversi berkenaan.

Terdapat teori-teori konspirasi bahawa kontroversi tulisan Jawi ini didalangi oleh sama ada Menteri Pendidikan, Maszlee Malek atau Perdana Menteri Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad demi tujuan politik.

Pun begitu, hakikatnya, kontroversi subjek itu adalah warisan daripada kerajaan terdahulu kerana keputusan muktamad mengenai buku teks baru untuk sekolah rendah Cina dan Tamil untuk memperkenalkan subjek tulisan Jawi untuk murid-murid Tahun Empat pada tahun 2020 telah dibuat oleh Jawatankuasa Kurikulum Kementerian Pendidikan yang dipengerusikan oleh menteri pendidikan dan dua timbalan menteri pendidikan dalam satu mesyuarat pada 30 September 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why did MSC fail but Bangalore succeed in becoming a second Silicon Valley?

When I visited Bangalore or Bengaluru, the thought that struck me was: Why did Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) fail but Bangalore succeed in becoming a second Silicon Valley when both set out to be a second Silicon Valley over two decades ago?

This is a question Malaysians should focus on if we want to build a New Malaysia of a top world-class nation of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity which is respected and admired by the international community.

One explanation is that Bangalore became India’s Silicon Valley because of the following factors:

a) Large pool of techies. The city has the highest number of engineering colleges than any other city in the world.

Karnataka is a prime centre of learning, with 16 universities,133 medical training institutions, 134 engineering colleges, and 712 general colleges.

b) Research based platform: It is the ‘science centre’ of India with over 100 R&D centres. Read the rest of this entry »

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Youths must dare to have big dreams to achieve greatness for the country and to right the wrongs and injustices in society

The Pakatan Harapan Government achieved a great feat in the recent meeting of Parliament when it successful amended the Malaysian Constitution to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 years, and allowed the introduction of compulsory registration of voters.

There are those who think the Pakatan Harapan Government was committing political suicide and paving the way for its defeat in the next 15th General Election sometime in 2023, as youths tend to be anti-establishment and anti-government.

This is why in the past six decades, the previous government had not lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 years as is the practice in most countries of the world.

In fact, I had raised this proposal in Parliament as far back as in 1971 but we have to wait for 48 years before the Constitution is amended.

This is a case where the Pakatan Harapan government in Putrajaya is prepared to do what is right and good for the country, although there are people who say this may not be right and good for Pakatan Harapan.

But this should be taken as a challenge by Pakatan Harapan, for I do not think youths are so much anti-establishment and anti-government as they are more idealistic and visionary as they have not yet come into contact with the ups and downs of real life. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sinister conspirators and cybertroopers working overtime again, churning out lies and falsehoods including the perpetual “motion of no confidence” against Mahathir for the forthcoming July Parliament

Has there been any positive news in the past week?

It’s not all doom and gloom in undoubtedly the worst week of the Pakatan Harapan government since the historic decision of the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018.

One positive news in the past week was that Universiti Malaya (UM) has made a giant leap up the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2020, and is now ranked 70 in the latest edition of the international university rankings – an impressive 17 spot climb up from 87 last year.

This is the highest position the university has been at since the rankings began in 2004.

Of course I agree that university rankings are not the be-all and end-all for universities, as rankings should not be the sole focus of universities in pursuing excellence.

Universities should not be too obsessed with university rankings as there are legitimate criticisms about the assessment and glamorisation of university rankings.

There is no pride in being a highly-ranked university if the graduates lack integrity and integrity problems like plagiarism are rife and rampant. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia needs an educational overhaul as an education system which could produce a global kleptocracy in Malaysia cannot be a good and wholesome one

Malaysia needs an educational overhaul as an education system which could produce a global kleptocracy in Malaysia cannot be a good and wholesome one.

The last few days provided another example of why there is something basically wrong with the Malaysian education system which could produce generations of unthinking Malaysians who could easily fall victim to the toxic politics of lies, fake news, hate, race and religion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Documentary “Kleptocrats” about the 1MDB scandal making world premier in New York while the Supreme Kleptocrat in Malaysia continues in his bubble to deny existence of 1MDB scandal

Former UMNO Minister and UMNO Wanita leader, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz has asked a most important and pertinent question about education in Malaysia at the Nurture, Engage, eXchange Leadership Conference in Penang yesterday: “What are you bringing up? Kleptos (thieves) and bullies?”

She said Malaysia has no need to come up with reports on the education system, as by the time the reports are written, the rest of the world would have already moved ahead.

So many studies, so many reports, but nobody looks at them. So no need”, she said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why is Wee Ka Siong admitting he is part of the Najib propagandist and cybertrooper outfit to paint the Pakatan Harapan Ministers in the worst possible light?

I wonder why the MCA Deputy President, Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong is so impatient as to admit that he is part of the Najib Razak propaganda and cybertrooper outfit to paint Pakatan Harapan Ministers in the worst possible light to bring about the downfall of the Pakatan Harapan Federal Government before the 15th General Election in 2023?

Two days ago on Tuesday, 16th October 2018, I issued a statement advising the Education Minister, Maszlee Malik to stop talking about socks and shoes so as not to fall into the trap of former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and UMNO propagandists and cybertroopers to project the image that he is a very mediocre Minister who has very limited vision and objectives in the transformation of education in the country and instead prove that he is a better Education Minister than Najib himself.

The first to respond to my statement was not Najib or any of his UMNO propagandists, but Wee Ka Siong, when I had not even thought of him or referred to the MCA!

What could make Wee “confessing without being beaten”? Clearly, he is suffering from a “guilty conscience” of being part of Najib propagandist and cybertrooper outfit although it is over five months since the 14th General Election where UMNO/BN was toppled from Putrajaya. Read the rest of this entry »

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Advice to Maszlee to stop talking about socks and shoes so as not to fall into the trap of Najib and UMNO propagandists and cybertroopers but to prove that he is a better Education Minister than Najib

I advise the Education Minister Maszlee Malik to stop talking about socks and shoes so as not to fall into the trap of former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and UMNO propagandists and cyber-troopers to project the image that he is a very mediocre Minister who has very limited vision and objectives in the transformation of education in the country.

The latest example is the former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak staging a “cat crying over a dead mouse” act to humiliate Mazslee, pretending to laud Maszlee for his “farsightedness” in looking to change the colour of school students shoes and socks and suggesting that Maszlee should look into the colour of school children’s uniforms and school buildings.

Najib even feigned outrage at the criticisms directed against Maszlee over the issue of shoes and socks, and said it was a pity that BN Ministers had not realised the importance of the colour of shoes and socks to “the wholesome development of a student”.

This is a very low blow by Najib and Malaysians cannot but ask how much lower Najib would descend in order to distract attention from his world infamy of a global kleptocracy – the international 1MDB corruption and money-laundering scandal.

Today, Maszlee lamented that his “trivial” comments about the colour of students’ socks and school was highlighted by Utusan Malaysia, while his more important point about university hospitals was ignored. Read the rest of this entry »

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Great news and fantastic breakthrough, Nie Ching!

Its great news and fantastic breakthrough, the announcement by the Deputy Education Minister, Teo Nie Ching in Kuching that stateless children in the country can now enroll in government schools beginning next year by merely producing their birth certificate.

Nie Ching said undocumented children still enroll themselves but they have two years to produce the necessary documents.

Apart from birth certificates, these children could produce either their adoption certificate if they are adopted or any court order.

It is estimated that there are about 300,000 stateless children under the age of 18 in the country.

The Education Minister, Maszlee Malik and the Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching must be commended for resolving this very nettlesome problem, as in the past, it’s quite troublesome for them to enroll in government schools.

Teo’s announcement that the new policy also applies to them continuing their studies in secondary schools, allowing them to take public exams like the PT3, SPM, STPM is also be be applauded.

The great news and fantastic breakthrough announced by Nie Ching is the New Malaysia we want to build – a New Malaysia with greater compassion and more emphasis on human rights – after the historic decision of the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018.

(Media Statement (2) by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018)

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The “black shoes” furore, where Mazlee spoke more than 99% of two hours on education reforms and less than 1% on black shoes but public discussion focused 99% on black shoes and 1% on education reforms, should be a lesson to all on the pitfalls of modern communications

From the mass media including social media most of the past week, it would appear that Malaysia has got one of the worst, most stupid and unthinking Education Ministers in the nation’s history, with all focus on the Education Minister’s announcement that all school children would be allowed to wear black shoes to school from next year.

It became an issue in the Sungai Kandis by-election in Selangor, with the Barisan Nasional deputy chairman Mohamad Hatta citing the decision as an example of how the Pakatan Harapan government still “does not know what it is doing”.

Mohamad Hatta, who is the Barisan Nasional Sungai Kandis by-election director, said in the by-election:

“I think Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik changes the national education policy through the feet, not through the head.

“I don’t know what he was thinking to start making changes to the education policy with shoe colours. Maybe he has no other work.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Netizens advised to check veracity of messages and video clips before they circulate them on the social media – as the video clip of a “fanatic” making the rounds of social media was definitely not that of Maszlee Malik

Since yesterday, a video clip of a “fanatic” had been circulated on the social media with the suggestion that receipients should forward it to as many as possible so as “to reach Tun before he became the education minister”.

The “he” was meant to be Maszlee Malik, the Education Minister-designate except that the person in the video clip was not Maszlee at all.

The person in the video clip was definitely making extremist and fanatical attacks on the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia, and about the marginalistion of the Malays in Malaysia – a theme which was false, divisive and dangerous but so ubiquitous in the last general election campaign, which could only disunite and polarize Malaysia further, when we should all be doing our utmost to put the politics of race, hate and fear behind us to usher in a New Malaysia where all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or political affiliation, are united and can feel proud of be a Malaysian – both inside and outside the country.

We are in the information age, but we should be aware of its promises and perils. Read the rest of this entry »

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Another sign of Malaysia becoming a failed state – Razaleigh says “our civil servants can’t even write a simple letter”

Yesterday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that a former UMNO leader who claimed Malaysians are embarrassed by their nationality should be cast into the ocean.

Najib cannot be more wrong.

Is Najib saying that Malaysians should preen with pride when they are overseas and berated for being Malaysians as the country has ascended the stratospheric but exclusive club of “global kleptocracy” –castigated by the US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions at a recent international conference as practising “kleptocracy at its worst” in the case of the international multi-billion 1MDB money-laundering scandal? Read the rest of this entry »

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The Trap of Monolingualism

M. Bakri Musa
27th Nov 2017

Language is not only a means of communication but also an instrument through which we look at the world. Fluency in a foreign language gives us another instrument to view reality, the equivalent of shining the light from a different angle and giving us a fresh perspective. While we have come a long way from the earlier brash assertion of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis that language controls our thoughts, nonetheless the way we look at reality is conditioned by the habits and attributes of our mother tongue.

When hunting with an Australian aborigine, telling him that there is a kangaroo on the left would not be terribly helpful as he would first have to figure out whether you are referring to his or your left, a critical differentiation. It would be more meaningful and less chance of your being struck by a stray bullet if you were to say that the critter is to the west or east. Those Australian natives are more adept with cardinal signs. Out in the arid barren plains of the continent’s interior, there are few terrestrial landmarks to make meaningful references to left or right.

In their book In Other Words: The Science and Psychology of Second-Language Acquisition, Ellen Bialystok and Kenji Hakuta suggest that the benefits of being bilingual go beyond knowing two languages. As the structures and ideas of languages are different, a child has to think in more complex ways than if he were to know only one language. That increases “meta-linguistic awareness,” a greater sensitivity to language in general and awareness of its meaning and structure. Read the rest of this entry »

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Liberation Through Education

M. Bakri Musa
10th October 2017

Sajak Palsu (Fake Poem)

Selamat pagi Pak, selamat pagi Bu,
Ucap anak sekolah dengan sapa’an palsu.
Lalu merekapun belajar Sejarah palsu dari buku-buku palsu! (1-3)

Argus R. Sarjono, 1998

My translation:

Fake Poem

Good morning, Sir! Good morning, Ma’am!
Greeted the schoolchildren with fake enthusiasm
Then they pretended to study/Their fantasies as history/And other made-up stories!

The crucial role of education in liberating citizens is encapsulated in the wisdom of the Greek philosopher Epictetus (Discourses): “Only the educated are free!” Having been born a slave, he knew a thing or two about freedom.

Teachers are liberators! No surprise that I have a high regard for them, quite apart from the fact that both my parents were teachers. Consider that as a physician, the best that I could do is to return my patients to their pre-illness state. With a good teacher, there would be no limit to the achievements of her students.

Munshi Abdullah wrote, “Antara mereka yang berguru dan mereka yang meniru, jauh beza-nya!” (Between those who are taught and those who parrot, is a vast difference!) Those who parrot could only repeat after you; those who are taught, and taught well, pave their own path. Others can then follow in their path.

In his Bumi Manusia (This Earth of Mankind) Pramoedya wrote, “Seorang terpelajar harus sudah berbuat adil sejak dalam fikiran apalagi dalam perbuatan.” (An educated person must be just, first in his thoughts and then in his deeds.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Further proof that the rot has set in and only a government and political change in Putrajaya can bring a new hope to Malaysians with a new sense of responsibility by the nation’s leaders

When the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, is not prepared to take a stand on the controversy surrounding the violation of the Education Ministry’s own guidelines against turning schools into playgrounds of party politics which happened at SK Putrajaya Presint 14(1) on Tuesday, with the flying of Umno flags in the school compound and pupils singing the UMNO song, it is further proof that the rot has set in and only a government and political change in Putrajaya can bring a new hope to Malaysians with a new sense of responsibility by the nation’s leaders.

It is confirmation that the nation’s leaders – both political and civil service in government – have lost the ability to differentiate between right and wrong.

I cannot think of a time in the 60-year history of the nation when the government has completely lost its political rectitude and moral moorings. Read the rest of this entry »

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Were there “fireworks” in the Cabinet this morning with Education Minister Mahdzir demanding public apology from Adnan for leading students astray or was there Ministerial camaraderie laughing at the “great fun” at the Putrajaya school?

Were there “fireworks” in the Cabinet this morning as a result of the outrageous episode at SK Putrajaya Presint 14 (1) yesterday, where in honour of the visit by the Federal Territories Minister, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, hundreds of pupils and teachers were required to participate in a “class decoration and performance” competition with the theme “Umno and Independence”, where Umno flags were draped all over the primary school’s compound and the pupils brandished Umno flags and crooned the party’s anthem.

At one point, a banner with the words “Hidup Umno, Hidup Melayu. Dulu, Kini dan Selamanya” (Long Live Umno, Long Live Malays. Before, Now and Forever) appeared on stage.

There would be “fireworks” in the Cabinet this morning if we have an upright, honest and dedicated Education Minister who take his education portfolio seriously, and who will not brook any Minister trespassing into his portfolio to corrupt the minds of young Malaysians, and a Cabinet of Ministers who have not lost the basic value of being able to distinguish between right and wrong – and what Tengku Adnan did yesterday were positively wrong, no question about it.

Such an Education Minister and Cabinet of Ministers would have “fried” Tunku Adnan for his gross misdemeanours at the SK Putrajaya Presint 14 (1) requiring the student and teachers to stage such a vaudeville and even worse, his open begging of teachers to join UMNO! Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Zahid to immediately head a task force to prevent any more tahfiz school fires and present a White Paper to Parliament when it meets on Oct. 23 on the result of checks on all tahfiz schools in the country

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi should not just chair the task force on the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz schools fire which resulted in the death of 24 people yesterday, his task force should be expanded in scope and terms of reference to ensure that there will be no more tahfiz school fires in the country.

Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has expressed his upset that no lessons had been learnt from a tahfiz school fire in Kedah in 1989, which killed 27 people.

He recalled that in the fire at a tahfiz school dormitory in 1989, 27 female students died. The fire also totally gutted the school and eight wooden hostels.

Zahid’s task force on tahfiz fire should also probe into why no lesson had been learnt from the fire in Kedah in 1989, which claimed 27 lives, as well as other tahfiz fires. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet meeting tomorrow should send all Cabinet Ministers for re-education as Salleh’s blog is a shocking revelation of the abysmal educational standards of Malaysian Ministers

The Cabinet meeting tomorrow should send all Cabinet Ministers for re-education as the blog of the Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak on Sunday entitled “What a dictatorship really means” is a shocking revelation of the abysmal educational standards of Malaysian Ministers.

How many of the 36 Ministers would be shocked by Salleh’s blog because it would reveal not only the abysmal educational standards of the blogger Minster but the other Ministers as well?

I believe that the majority of the 36 Ministers would not be shocked at all or see no reason why anybody should be shocked. This is the very reason why all the Cabinet Ministers needs to undergo a “re-education” programme.

There have often been complaints of declining educational standards today as compared to yesteryears, and Salleh’s blog provides the strongest proof of such inexorable decline of educational standards in Malaysia over the decades.

Salleh’s three-paragraph blog on “What a dictatorship really means” is full of fake and false history in every paragraph, which may be the proper background and credentials for one who is to preside over a massive black-ops propaganda campaign of lies, fake news and false information against political opponents. Read the rest of this entry »

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