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Apa lagi Cina mahu? Cina mahu terima rasuah!

The headline above summarises the article which Raja Petra had wrote a couple of weeks earlier.

Only Malays are racists

Raja Petra Kamarudin

So now the Indians are at it again, talking about Indian rights and Indian interests and whatnot. And with P. Waytha Moorthy’s resignation from the government I can anticipate a tug-of-war between MIC and Hindraf as to who is more Indian than the other. Hence MIC and the opposition will be out-bidding each other to convince the Indians that they have more to offer the Indians if the Indians vote for them in the Kajang by-election on 23rd March 2014.

And this is currently going on in the Kajang by-election campaign although campaigning should not start until Nomination Day. MCA and DAP are out-shouting each other as to who is more Chinese and who can better serve Chinese interests and fight for Chinese rights. And the United Chinese Schools Committee Association of Malaysia or Dong Zong is playing one against the other to see who is able to offer the Chinese a better deal.

What I am not too clear about is, what ‘rights’ are they are talking about? The right to vote? The right to citizenship? The right to converse in your mother-tongue? The Chinese and Indians talk as if they have been denied certain rights. But they never really clarify what rights they have been denied. Hence it sounds like mere rhetoric without substance.

At this point, some of you are probably going to say: what about the right of Christians to use Allah in the Malay Bible? Okay, that is one matter, although we can always argue that since it is the law that forbids this are you then saying that the Christians are being denied their right to break the law? Is this not a silly right to fight for, the right to break the law?

The solution to this is not to demand the right to break the law but instead demand that this ‘bad’ law be repealed. And Pakatan Rakyat, with 44 seats in the Selangor State Assembly, has the legal power to repeal this law. Then Christians can legally use Allah in the Malay Bible and they no longer need to demand the right to break the law.

So do that! Repeal that ‘offensive’ law! And this is the job of Pakatan Rakyat, not the job of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak since this is a Selangor law and not a Federal law.

The Indians are asking for the sky and the moon for their votes (Indians make up 10% of the Kajang electorate). The Chinese, who make up 40% of the voters, are doing the same.

In fact, they have already started. The Dong Zong chairman, Yap Sin Tian, said he hopes that “as the by-election is looming”, Anwar and the Selangor state government could help to resolve the issue involving the donation of a 100-acre campus land in Sepang to New Era University College which has been delayed for 14-years.

Yap also hopes that Anwar would allocate at least five acres of Selangor state land for the reinstatement of the Yu Hua Chinese secondary school, and ensure that higher education institutions under the Selangor state government would recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) of Malaysian Independent Chinese secondary schools.

(READ HERE)

So it is going to be about how much you can give me. Pay me what I want and you get my vote. Don’t pay me what I want and I will vote for the other side — or if the other side can pay me more then they will get my vote.

If the Malays tell Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat the same thing, the non-Malays will say all sorts of nasty things about the Malays. The Malays are corrupted, the Malays are crooked, the Malays can be bought, and whatnot. But it is okay if the Chinese are Indians demand all sorts of goodies as gratuity to support those who are contesting the Kajang by-election.

The Chinese and Indians are not racists. The Chinese and Indians are just fighting for their rights and interests. Sure, and if the Malays also fight for their rights and interests, the Malays are racists. The Chinese and Indians can do this. The Malays cannot. I wonder if this has anything to do with the 10,000 years of Indian civilisation and the 5,000 years of Chinese civilisation?

In the effort to be truly Malaysian, the chinese must not resort in this kind of divisive and racist tactic as propagated by Dong Zong. Its intention to dangle their vote in return for the bribe Anwar Ibrahim should give them in Kajang is indeed unfortunate and devoid of any moral values. For a start, the 100 acre land they requested is not even in Kajang!

Can’t the average Malaysian see that this tactic of blackmailing politicians is just too atrocious and certainly, given that it is racist and divisive in nature, Dong Zong has certainly uncovered their wicked modus operandi.

Raja Petra is correct in reminding these racist chinese of what they have become. If Dong Zong has its way, Malaysia will be truly divided and very much impossible to stand united in harmony.

Although many of these group of chinese are shouting that they had been treated unfairly for the past 56 years, Raja Petra had put them in place and revealed their hypocrisy.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 3.14.12 PM

Playing the victim has always been the ammunition for DAP and Dong Zong and in recent years, this ammunition is sadly, being used by the chinese population at large. Perhaps as a perspective, we should ask these questions:

How many chinese got a place in public universities and received government scholarships since we achieved independence?

Zero? One hundred? Ten thousand? One million? Ten million? Where are they now? And why are they keeping quiet  and not defending government’s policy?

The snapshot on global economy and the local economy

If anyone of the readers here haven’t read the Confessions of an Economic Hitman book, here is a Youtube video where the author summarily describes the content of the book in about 11 minutes.

Locally, our own economy is floundering.

None of the great economic consultants employed by the Prime Minister are able to find the right formula to revitalise the local economy yet. Today, the blogger Darah Tuah wrote a snapshot on the economic position of this country right now particularly the economic relationship between the bumiputera and the non-bumiputera. The blogger gave recommendations as well.

Maybe PEMANDU and other advisers can learn a little bit of something about it too.

Please have a read HERE.

Thank you.

Why is DAP so eager to censure Tanda Putera?

Why is DAP so eager to censure Tanda Putera without any of their leaders seen it?

Simple.

DAP is so against Tanda Putera because it is a fact that they were one of the villains during May 13 racial riots and one of its leaders at that time is still alive today.

Don’t torture yourself with endless possibilities; for more information, just read:

NOC White Paper

The true and fair view of 13th May 1969 Racial Riots

Thank you and Selamat Hari Merdeka!

Improving the Malaysian civil service

This is a piece of news from Bernama yesterday:

Applications for civil service employment to be filtered online

December 19, 2012
PUTRAJAYA, Dec 19 — Applications for civil service employment will be filtered online before eligible candidates are called to attend an examination and an interview beginning Jan 1 next year.Public Service Commission (PSC) chairman Tan Sri Mahmood Adam said with the new mechanism, the civil service employment confirmation could be shorten from three years to between one year and six months.

He said the filtration entailed 14 items, including the validity of the Malaysian citizenship and qualifications, criminal records searches and the status of financial position (whether a bankrupt or otherwise) which could be verified within a few hours.

“This is an innovative mechanism. Previously, the background filtration took three years before civil servants were confirmed in their jobs,” he told reporters after chairing a PSC meeting with ministries, departments and state administration here, today.

He said the mechanism proved effective for 24 applicants for the post of engineers in June received job offer letters immediately after their interviews were over.

“This shows a sense of urgency that we want to implement and we have asked all ministries and departments to announce job vacancies at their monthly meeting,” he said. — Bernama

I don’t get it. Does this mean all this while, there is a 3-year probation period for a newly joined civil servant to be confirmed in his post just because it takes 3 years for their human resource department to validate their academic qualifications, financial status, criminal records and other very easy to verify information?
Or, the civil service takes into their employment candidates without even getting their background checked?!
Either way, no wonder the civil service has a dreadful reputation.
It’s already 2012 and yet the civil service is hampered by a problem which should have been eradicated in the 80s. And only now the top bosses of the civil service thought about this solution?
This is why many people (I presume the intelligent ones) are turned off working in the public sector. The industry average for a probation is 6 months. During this short time, an employee is not entitled to a full benefits of their employment until they are confirmed to the job.
Imagine had to wait for 3 years just to get confirmed!
For all the hard work you put through for 36 months and yet you could not apply for a staff loan, full hospitalisation benefit, etc.
Civil service should have first-rate candidates entering their recruitment process. But this seems impossible since the recruitment process itself is a third-rate buffoonery.
But I am crying over spilt milk. Better late than never I suppose.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Towards improving our national education system

The admin at the One School System website were gracious enough to host an article of mine over there. Please have a read at it here. Thank you.

Defenders of traffic criminals vs our fight against crime

Sometimes I can’t fathom the ‘small-mindedness’ of anti-Government activists and the sycophants of Pakatan Rakyat. Their prejudice towards any efforts by the government, however good, had made them a bit daft. Simply put, they just can’t think in a rational manner anymore.

Take for example, the effort of the government to curb traffic offenders as posted below:

Government wants to raise traffic fines to RM2,000

KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — A hefty fine of up to RM2,000 awaits traffic offenders including for beating the red light, when amendments to the Road Transport Act 1987 are approved.

The Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2012 was tabled today at the Dewan Rakyat for the first reading by Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abd Rahim Bakri.

An amendment to subsection 79(2) was also sought to set the minimum penalty at RM300 and maximum at RM2,000 for motorists or pedestrians who ignore an order or traffic signal by a uniformed policeman or warden on traffic duty. The original act provides for an offender to be fined not more than RM500.

An amendment to subsection 26(2) of the bill is aimed at setting the minimum penalty for driving without a licence at RM300 and increasing the maximum from RM1,000 to RM2,000 and offenders liable to a jail term not exceeding three months, or both.

The proposed fine for speeding, under subsection 40(1) is RM2,000, from the original penalty of not more than RM1,000.

The Bill also included a new definition for an electric bicycle — “[vehicles] which cycles with pedal assistance equipped with an auxiliary electric motor at a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25kW, of which the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25km/h or sooner if the cyclist stops pedalling”.

A new section, 76A, has also been inserted in the Bill, which gives road users the liberty to make a left turn at the traffic junction provided it was safe to do so. — Bernama

In August 2009, I posted an article; Road Fatalities – Do We Even Care About Our Loved Ones? Nothing much has changed since then.

With increasing number of road accidents and fatalities in our Malaysian roads, the relevant authorities had no choice but to instil further deterrents to traffic crimes with the hopes that the public in general will become more disciplined when using our roads.

As the statistics shown, there are more than 6,000 deaths per year and over 400,000 road accidents occurring just in 2010; and this figure is rising at an alarming rate.

The new act will definitely help reduce these fatalities IF the people obey the traffic rules and laws. Traffic offenders are a nuisance to society and any effort to reduce the number of traffic offenders should be greatly welcomed.

Imagine a world without people double parking blatantly. Imagine crossing the road peacefully without any drunk drivers that could accidentally run over you and your family. Imagine driving around town without getting hit by a teenager without any driving licence. Imagine a city without dangerous ‘mat-rempits’ racing on the roads.

These are traffic criminals that must be penalised or punished with severe penalties.

But I am surprised that some of us chose to defend these traffic offenders and shift the blame to the police officers!

For instance, the comment by Peter which received the highest number of likes (99 so far) in the article posted above.

Now the happiest people will be those corrupted enforcement officers. Non corrupted ones will join in too. Now everyone will “pay” under counter. 

RM2000 for a principle of not giving … no it wont work . All will pay or be bankcrupt lah. 

Welcome to Malaysia… especially Singaporeans. 

Dont be surprised… the collections for the govt will drop by 1/2 because all “fear” the max RM2000 or go to jail. 

Stupidity knows no bounds.

Logically, if people do not break the traffic rules, there is no need for the police to summon them. This is as simple as it goes. If you break the law, then you must be penalised. Why do you have to resort to pay ‘under the counter’ to the police?

If you do not wear seat belts, is that the fault of the police? Why do you need to bribe the police to get away with it and then blame the police for it?

Bribery starts from the giver.

Let people be responsible for their actions.

So you do not want to wear seat belts or want to drive at 180km/h on a 110km/h highway. That is your own volition. But if you get caught by the police, please do not kick a fuss or trying to offer a way out by sheepishly saying “tak boleh settle sini ke Encik’?

I for one, am supporting this effort to increase the amount of fine for traffic offenders. These ‘criminals’ are no different from other type of criminals. Worse, their offence could well costs the lives of other people.

We must not emulate some opposition leaders who entice and encourage people to break the laws of this country whenever they want to. The laws are there for a reason. To safeguard the safety of the majority. A responsible government must increase the sense of security of our surroundings and lower our fears when we go out and about doing our business. A secured and healthy psyche of our society will make the nation stronger.

Thus we do not need some people who encourage law breakers and lynching our security forces.

It is really sickening when people could not see who the bigger culprits are in this traffic offenders vs corrupt police issue. Obviously, if there is no offence, there will be no summons issued at all.

And of course, revenue for the police will be lowered. But this is small price to pay for the  possible lower number of deaths and road accidents in this country. But with a stronger and more efficient enforcement on collecting payment for summonses, the collection could be improved.

On a related note, Road Transport Department will test a new system which will encourage traffic offenders to settle their summonses quickly. Every year the government loses millions of ringgit from unsettled summonses by traffic criminals.

I believe the RTD will install traffic cameras and surveillance systems to enable a more efficient ways to catch traffic offenders and get them to pay within a stipulated timeframe. When the offenders know that they could not escape the fine, they will be more disciplined in following the traffic regulations.

In the long run, number of traffic incidences will decrease and the aftermath would be better driving conditions and safer environment for road users and pedestrians in particular.

Which is why, it is amazing that for any effort by the government to curb crimes and save lives, there will be a few cynical people who could not see anything good in any of the efforts thus far. And to make matters worse, they do not provide any other sound solutions as well.

One such example is this:

The RTD is coming up with a new scheme to encourage traffic offenders to settle their fines early. Has this got anything to do with the impending privatisation of the installation and maintenance of hundreds of traffic cameras across the country?

The Edge recently reported the impending privatisation to two obscure local firms, which will be given five-year concessions. The firms will be buying the cameras and other equipment from Germany and Australia.

Under the financial model, the two firms would reportedly be paid a percentage of the fines – but only when the fines are actually paid or collected.

Malaysiakini reported the RTD deputy director-general Ismail Ahmad as saying.

“The concept that we are introducing is that the more you delay, the more you pay, but for offenders who pay quickly, for example within the first two weeks of the compound being issued, they only need to pay RM100.

“But if you delay to within 15 to 30 days, the compound becomes RM150 and if you delay further to 30 to 60 days the compound can become the maximum RM300, depending on the offence,” he said.

He added that an offender will only need to go to court and face the possibility of the maximum fine if they opt for it, fail to pay the compound within 60 days or is a habitual offender where the offence is committed thrice in two months.

Why privatise the traffic cameras in the first place? I suppose the answer to that is obvious.

By all means, if there is proof of corruption in awarding the contract, then get the relevant authorities to investigate and furnish them with the necessary evidence. But please do not shoot down a good idea just because you are biased and prejudiced towards people you do not politically support.

Who knows, our loved ones could be a part of that morbid statistics just because one traffic offender didn’t learn his lessons.

Thank you.

DAP and their chinese first, Malaysian second friends

The latest shocking news that came about regarding DAP is their unequivocal support for Dong Zong and Jiao Zong (chinese education NGO extremist groups) to rally as a protest against the seemingly unfair treatment of Ministry of Education against the whole universe of chinese education here in Malaysia.

The rally is set to be held on March 25. I am not sure what is the latest development of this but if the rally does go on as scheduled, then yet again, DAP is proven to be as racist as they claim their political opponents to be.

To put it simply, DAP as well as Dong Zong and Jiao Zong are saying that they do not want any teachers without the ability to speak Mandarin to be teaching in their chinese vernacular schools.

Therefore, they are asking the MOE to take back the teachers and at the same time, asking the ministry to train more teachers and send in more qualified ones.

Since they think MOE is having ulterior motives or worse, being apathetic towards chinese education, the rally is planned to gain more support. And surprisingly, the party that label themselves as advocators of being Malaysian first, everything else second is using this platform to buy more votes for the coming general elections.

Or else, why would DAP poking their noses in a highly racial issue such as chinese education? Shouldn’t they be promoting how each Malaysian should mingle with each other in a more institutionalised and comprehensive way?

Anyway, the Minister of Education gave his opinion two days ago:

KUALA LUMPUR: The protest over the lack of teachers at Chinese schools should not be politicised by any party, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“I hope that this will not become a political issue,” he told reporters this after launching the Federal Territory Umno election machinery here yesterday.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister said steps were being taken to address the concerns raised by the groups and their protest should not be viewed as though the ministry was not doing anything to resolve issues faced by Chinese schools.

Muhyiddin said this when asked to comment on the protest by Chinese educationist groups, United Chinese School Teachers Association (Jiao Zong) and United Chinese School Committees Association (Dong Zong), over the shortage of teachers at Chinese primary schools nationwide.

On Sunday, about 100 representatives of the groups held a protest at SRJK(C) Pay Fong III at Bukit Cina Malacca.

A similar protest would be held at Dong Zong’s headquarters in Kajang, Selangor at 11am on March 25.

He said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong had met up with the groups recently to better understand their grouses to address the shortage of Chinese language teachers and teachers of other subjects at Chinese primary schools nationwide.

“The outcome of the meeting will be presented to me next week.

“The decision we take will be based on resolving the problem of the shortage and not something we do without taking into consideration their actual needs,” he said.

He noted that teachers sent to Chinese schools needed to have proper training not only to master the particular subject they taught but also Mandarin.

At present, he said teachers sent to the Chinese schools which faced teaching shortages was a temporary measure, with the ministry working towards a long-term solution. SOURCE : Here.

The chinese schools has been facing shortages of teachers for some time now. And this problem persists in national schools and tamil schools as well. It is a perennial issue. New schools are built each year and good teachers who are willing to relocate or stationed anywhere as instructed are hard to come by.

It is my opinion that those extremists groups i.e., Dong Zong and Jiao Zong are arrogant into thinking that the MOE is not doing anything to solve their plight. It is also disgusting to think that their plight revolve around their own racist tendency and paranoia.

The non chinese teachers within the chinese vernacular schools are teaching Bahasa Malaysia subject. Obviously, in order for the students to learn Bahasa Malaysia, Malay teachers or teachers with good command in BM are sent.

It is illogical if this was deemed as unacceptable by those two racist groups.

They further justify that those teachers must teach other subjects in Mandarin if there are shortages of teachers in other subjects; and, they are also saying that these BM teachers must also be able to speak Mandarin if the students do not understand the teaching methods and the teacher must be able to converse in Mandarin for the ease of the students.

I never knew that students in chinese schools are pampered and spoon fed that way. Certainly, if they entered universities in the US or UK or Australia, none of the lecturers there would speak with them in Mandarin if they do not understand English.

Furthermore, Mandarin is not even our mother tongue for the chinese here.

And if the logic by these chinese extremist groups is accepted, then the teachers from English speaking countries being called to teach English to our students here would also be an incorrect thing to do. Obviously these teachers couldn’t speak BM.

I really do not understand the paranoia that is being cultivated by these groups.

For all its worth, the hyperbole brought forth by these two groups are clouded by a feeling that can be regarded as chinese supremacy.

Apparently, non chinese teachers are not good enough to set foot in chinese education system eventhough these teachers are the best bet in trying to teach the children the malay language.

No wonder the DAP is wholeheartedly supporting them. This party will always champion anything that can promote and heighten chinese supremacy in Malaysia.

This issue is very much akin to the events preceding the Operasi Lalang in 1988.

Fortunately, not many are taken by this hate-mongering tactics of the DAP and these chinese supremacists.

One thing that is different from the issues of the 80’s is the absence of MCA in this issue. MCA is more sensible these days. In fact, one of its leaders is chairing a committee to solve this issue. I hope the MOE will not bend over backwards to give in to these racial separatist movement.

But knowing the DAP, which will always make noise but not willing to take part in the solution will forever be a thorn in the issue. Recent development of not wanting to take part in the committee discussing the LYNAS issue is one fine example.

MCA, being the more mature and having more common sense are not playing the ‘we are more chinese’ game with the DAP. A game which if memory serves right, had destroyed the ‘semangat muhibbah’ among Malaysians so many times in the past.

It is good to note that some chinese are not inclined with how DAP is playing up this issue. Some of it can be read here, here and here.

But the best can be read here as below:

Dong Jiao Zong: So, What Is The Problem?

By Jolina Tan

After much noise and ‘foot thumping’ by the Dong Jiao Zong over the appointment of non-Mandarin educated teachers in Chinese vernacular schools, it is reported that the 17 teachers involved were only directed to teach Bahasa Malaysia, which is why Mandarin background is not deemed essential.

A friend of mine asked, so what’s the noise and foot-thumping all about?  Demonstration of power?

It’s the upcoming election, isn’t it?  All the political parties must be made aware of the power of Dong Zong and that whichever party is ready to kow-tow to this organization, would be ‘blessed’ with its support.

Just because the Dong Zong fights for the Chinese, doesn’t mean it represents 100% of us.   I am among the few Chinese who is uncomfortable with this unhealthy but upward trend of ‘power-testing’ by our people, championed by Dong Jiao Zong.

We all know that it is important to not lose our roots but aren’t we the ones asking the nation to be Malaysian First, and race second?   Naturally, as Malaysian, we must put our Bahasa Kebangsaan first and Mandarin second.    But it never seem that way to me and no wonder the Malays are going berserk towards us.

I am one of the many Malaysian Chinese who can’t speak Mandarin and I’m not proud of it.  I wish I could, as it is an advantage to know many languages.

But I don’t feel guilty for not being able to speak Mandarin because I believe in being Malaysian First and Chinese Second.

When I go overseas, I hate it when people get confuse of whether I am from Malaysia or China because most of us Malaysian Chinese do not have anything to show that can relate us to Malaysia, except that it is written as so, in our passport.   If there is anything that can relate us to our country, it is only our broken Bahasa Malaysia.  And yet, we scream if we didn’t get treated as loyal Malaysians.

Whereas, the Thailand or Indonesian Chinese are easy to be recognized when overseas for they usually speak their national language.   They also strongly considered the traditional dress and culture of the original Thais or Indonesians as theirs too.  For this, the original Thais and Indonesians have no prejudice towards them and accept them as their own.

In fact, in all parts of the world, the immigrants would quickly adopt and practice the original language and culture of the country, in order to blend in and be accepted.  Like it or not, only in Malaysia that such cases of ‘alien-citizen’ is common.   And I’m pointing out to you that it is as much our fault, as everybody else’s.

I respect Dong Zong for its determination to keep the spirit of our ancestors’ and motherland alive and strong.    But I strongly feels that Dong Zong, as an education NGO should help promote unity instead of extremism.

We want the Malays to be Malaysian first and Malay second but are we doing the same?   What does it mean to be Malaysian?  What is Malaysia, anyway?

I don’t know what the Dong Zong have in mind about Malaysia, but I don’t want to teach my children to lie to themselves about their roots.  I want them to accept the fact that even though our ancestors were from China, China is no longer our country.

Our country is Malaysia.  Our national language is Bahasa Malaysia, our culture is of a very strong influence of the Malay culture because Malay is the original settlers of this land.  Our traditional dress is the baju kebangsaan and all Chinese or Indians just have to accept it or should not claim to be Malaysians.   However, as non-Malays, we have the right to uphold our race’s traditional dress too, in respect of our roots.

I bring this matter up because I don’t see any solution to the never-ending prejudice among all the races in Malaysia.   Everybody is backing up their own races’ arguments but none would admit their wrongs.

We have always complained of being discriminated in terms of education, properties, government projects and all but have we ever tried to look at it from the eyes of others?

With Dong Zong constantly fighting for separation of our race from others, how can we expect the Malays to not have any prejudice and suspicions towards us?  How can we expect them to feel secure enough to abolish the policy that discriminate us when we, ourselves, are still aliens to them?

I believe that only when we truly blend in, that the privilege and special rights of the Bumis can be truly abolished.   Let’s not be hypocrites and selfish.  Let’s truly fight for unity, for a 1Bangsa Malaysia, for our own sake.

Instead of demanding, provoking and threatening, may be Dong Zong should start offering, giving and co-operating in sharing ideas and working towards bringing the races together.   Prove that the Chinese too, can truly be Malaysian First and Chinese Second.

So Dong Zong, Jiao Zong and DAP, bila mau jadi Orang Malaysia?

A plea for common sense

A question allegedly from a Form 3 History workbook

This snapshot is currently making its rounds in Facebook pages. And many people are aghast with this type of question and criticise it as against the spirit of 1Malaysia.

To the masses that feed on sensationalised issue and unable to think beyond the typical knee jerk reaction, this question was deeply riled as a racial and political plot to promote the much maligned ‘Ketuanan Melayu’  dogma.

If people would dare to apply their common sense and step back and breathe for awhile, the question posed was in the context of Malayan Union and the struggle of Malayans against their British oppressors.

Obviously the exploits of Datuk Onn Jaafar was learned by all of us and kids these days are not excluded from learning the history of Malaysia.

Try answer the question please.

Done? What have you answered if you were Onn Jaafar? What would you do in order to maintain the status quo of the Malays at that time in the face of being colonised formally by the British through the Malayan Union?

Don’t know? Are you not Orang Malaysia? Why are you offended with this type of question in the first place?

It is part of history.

The snapshot above is from a History subject. It is not a subject about 1Malaysia or current affairs or current political studies.

This is History education.

I wrote sometime back which greatly emphasised this exact issue:

History as a subject has two pronged objectives. One, to instil patriotism into the heart of every citizen from their childhood stage. Two, as source of knowledge on their surroundings and how they perceive their world.

In America, History was a touchy subject for the people especially with the advent of multiculturism among its people. With the influx of foreigners and the calls for equality among the afro-american movement, history as a subject was a sensitive issue indeed.

For example, how do you reconcile the fact that George Washington, the founding father of United States of America, has many black slaves and treated them harshly?

How can one see Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest President the United States had ever had but at the same time he ‘supported projects to remove blacks from the United States’ and said that ‘blacks could not be assimilated into white society and rejected the notion of social equality of the races’?

Multi-culturism pose a big threat to the learning of a country’s history because history in the eyes of each community living in a particular country is different from one another.

Was the Great Settlement of the Mid West by the white colonials in America a great human achievement for the whites? Or was it a mass extermination of the native Red Indians and their way of life by the europeans?

So what if George Washington owned slaves? So what if Abraham Lincoln was racist?

Each and every American out there reveres them both as the founding father and a great leader based on their achievements alone and what good they had brought to the Americans even centuries after they had passed away.

In other aspects, the native Americans in the USA are very patriotic regardless what happened to their people in the past.

Back in Malaysia, we hear so many negative opposition from the people who are against the subject of history made compulsory in schools. This is precisely because their views came from the racial angle.

All the prejudice, the stereotyping, the paranoia are the by-products of segregated education they experienced in their early childhood. At the very least, their views were contaminated by the very people that champion the need to segregate our children.

In the end, history is being promoted by these clustered group of people as evil and should not be taught to our children. We see so many unsavoury characters in the cyberspace trying hard to re-write history based on fiction and malicious motives.

In any case, like how the Americans are accepting their history, Malaysians must accept their country’s history from the eyes of Orang Malaysia.

The need for racial posturing when it comes to history must be stopped. Only desperate politicians would look through the racial lense and try to skew history to further their agenda for power. People must not look at history as if it is a disease that must be eradicated.  – Full article here.

You may also like to read this.

Mat Sabu, Selamat Hari Merdeka ke 54!

Dalam hari-hari terakhir bulan Ramadhan yang lepas, kita mendapati satu pembohongan besar telah di lakukan oleh Timbalan Presiden Parti Islam Se-Malaysia yang bernama Mohamad Sabu.

Ianya dilakukan di satu ceramah politik di Padang Menora, Tasek Gelugor. Video tersebut boleh di lihat di bawah:

Ada beberapa perkara kejam Mat Sabu sudah lakukan dalam ucapan beliau tadi. Pertama, beliau mempermainkan lagu Negaraku. Tidak perlulah kita mempertikaikan asal usul melodi lagu kebangsaan kita sendiri. Yang penting, ianya diterima dengan sebulat suara dan hati yang terbuka sejak lebih 50 tahun yang dahulu hinggalah sekarang.

Tabiat memperlekehkan lagu kebangsaan sendiri demi perjuangan politik yang muflis seperti apa yang Mat Sabu bawa ini amatlah menyedihkan. Apatah lagi, beliau adalah orang nombor dua tertinggi di dalam parti yang mempunyai ahli teramai di dalam pakatan pembangkang.

Kedua, memperlekehkan Hari Kemerdekaan itu sendiri dengan mengaitkannya dengan filem Bukit Kepong arahan Jins Shamsuddin. Tujuan beliau sebenarnya adalah untuk memperkecilkan perjuangan Umno menuntut kemerdekaan tanahair kita ini.

Akibat satu nyamuk, habis satu kelambu di bakar… akibat musuh politik, sejarah negara di tukar-tukar.

Beliau mengatakan bahawa penyerang Balai Polis di Bukit Kepong di dalam tahun 1950 merupakan hero sebenar kemerdekaan. Jika Mat Sabu buat buat tolol, yang menyerang balai polis berkenaan adalah ahli Parti Komunis Malaya. Secara langsung, mereka adalah komunis.

Mungkin Mat Sabu terlupa atau terlampau dangkal fikirannya hingga boleh melupakan kekejaman yang dibuat oleh komunis ke-atas rakyat Malaya ketika zaman darurat tersebut. Ianya boleh di baca di sini dan di sini. Komunis telah melakukan huru-hara di dalam negara kita dengan membunuh ramai rakyat yang tidak berdosa. Bagaimana pula Mat Sabu boleh mengangkat komunis sebagai ‘hero’ Malaya?

Oleh itu, Mat Indera bukanlah sekadar ‘hero penyerang’ balai polis. Dia adalah salah seorang ahli komunis yang menjadi sebahagian daripada Rejimen ke 4 Parti Komunis Malaya yang diketuai oleh Goh Peng Tun.

Di dalam suratkhabar The Star pada 30 Ogos 2011, Mat Sabu mengatakan bahawa:

“What I said in my ceramah was that Mat Indera was a hero because he fought independence. He was a labour leader, a freedom fighter,” Mohamad said when contacted.

Mohamad said he did not use the word ‘communist’ in his speech.

“Yet, Utusan claimed that I said ‘the communists were heroes’. Also, Utusan mentioned that Goh Peng Tun led the insurgency at Bukit Kepong.

“I never heard this name before, until Utusan mentioned it.”

Sebab itu, kita berharap supaya Mat Sabu tidak hanya menghadkan pembacaan beliau kepada komik sahaja. Pelajarilah buku buku sejarah agar tidak menampakkan diri sebagai orang yang amat cetek ilmu pengetahuannya. Semestinya, jika beliau banyak membaca, beliau akan tahu siapa itu Goh Peng Tun.

Tidak menyebut perkataan komunis bukan bermakna kita tidak menyebutnya secara tersurat. Mat Sabu kelihatan amat terdesak hingga alasan beliau seperti kebudak-budakkan.

Manakan tidak, ketua beliau yang juga Pengerusi DAP Malaysia, Karpal Singh mengeluarkan kenyataan yang secara tersiratnya merujuk Mat Sabu sebagai amat tidak pintar sekali. Kenyataan tersebut boleh dibaca di sini.

Suka diingatkan kepada Mat Sabu, jika anda mengangkat senjata dan membunuh orang awam dan anggota keselamatan negara, anda bukan lagi dianggap ‘labour leader’ atau ‘freedom fighter’.

Ketiga, mengatakan bahawa kisah Tok Janggut dan Dr Burhanuddin Al-Helmy tidak diceritakan di dalam sejarah negara. Ini adalah tohmahan yang tidak tepat sekali. Kita boleh membaca kisah mereka di dalam buku-buku teks sejarah pendidikan negara. Mereka ini di anggap pejuang kemerdekaan negara.

Bahkan nama Rashid Maidin juga disebut di dalam buku-buku teks kita. Walau bagaimanapun, memandangkan Rashid Maidin adalah komunis, maka tetaplah dia di anggap sebagai musuh negara. Ini sejarah yang tidak mungkin bertukar walaupun terdapat seribu Mat Sabu di dalam negara kita.

Saya merasa sedih kerana sejarah negara kita diputar sewenang-wenangnya oleh para pemimpin pembangkang yang bankrap idea untuk mengetengahkan perjuangan mereka. Seolah-olah tiada sifat terima kasih kepada mereka yang bertungkus lumus mempertahankan negara kita sewaktu waktu dahulu.

Mentaliti Mat Sabu senang sahaja difahami. Beliau mahu rakyat Malaysia menidakkan segala usaha dan budi pemimpin-pemimpin Parti Perikatan yang membawa kepada kemerdekaan negara. Salah satu daripada parti tersebut adalah Parti Umno – musuh politik PAS.

Tidak kisah jika kita menyokong pembangkang atau kerajaan ataupun atas pagar sahaja; yang penting sejarah negara kita adalah kebanggaan kita. Apa yang telah terjadi, begitulah yang terjadi.

Adalah membimbangkan jika orang seperti Mat sabu diangkat sebagai pemimpin nombor dua negara. Menjadi Timbalan Perdana Menteri Malaysia. Apa mungkin beliau boleh menaikkan taraf negara kita jika pengetahuan beliau hanya berbekalkan ilmu seperti murid darjah satu sahaja?

Apa mungkin beliau dapat memberi keyakinan para pelabur di luar negara jika cara percakapan beliau lebih mirip celoteh kedai kopi sahaja?

Sempena Hari Kemerdekaan kita yang ke-54, marilah kita bersama-sama menguatkan iltizam dan bersatu padu membanteras gejala meremehkan perjuangan para perajurit tanahair yang telah berkorban tenaga dan jiwa raga menentang kezaliman komunis dan British.

Sesungguhnya, negara kita Malaysia aman makmur kerana semangat patriotisma rakyatnya yang tinggi dan tidak pernah goyah biar pun ada yang cuba melunturkannya.

Keranamu Malaysia!

Kepada Mat Sabu, rajin-rajinlah baca buku.

BERSIH 2.0 For Dummies

I got a lot of queries from college/university students and schoolkids about the recent Bersih 20.0 demonstrations. Therefore, today I would like to provide my point of views and hopefully the most definitive guide for those who want know what Bersih 2.0 is all about.

So guys and girls, here it is. Astound your family and friends with these facts:

What is Bersih 2.0?

BERSIH started out as the Joint Action Committee for Electoral Reform, which was formed in July 2005, and the coalition’s objective was to push for a thorough reform of the electoral process in Malaysia. This committee thought that the election process in Malaysia is unfair and not free from the influence (imaginary or otherwise) of current ruling government of Malaysia. Hence they established this committee to look into these electoral processes.

The formulation of the Joint Communique
The Joint Communique was a result of an ‘Electoral Reform Workshop’ held in Kuala Lumpur in September 2006. The Joint Communique defines the long-term objectives and the immediate working goals of the coalition. One of it is the establishment of the steering committee below.

BERSIH Steering Committee
The Committee comprises members from the political parties, as well as representatives from the following NGOs: Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Women’s Development Collective (WDC) and Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI). Note that most of the NGOs are led by people actively involved with the opposition or known to affiliate themselves with the opposition. Although most of the NGOs are legitimate, the coalition itself is illegitimate as it did not register itself as a unit with the Registrar of Society.

The Beginning of BERSIH
BERSIH was officially launched on 23 November 2006 in the Malaysian Parliament building lobby. It was attended by political party leaders, civil society groups and NGOs, including PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah, DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng, DAP National Publicity Secretary and MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok, PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa, PAS Youth chief Salahudin Ayub, PSM Secretary-General S. Arutchelvan, Malaysian Trade Union Congress Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud, WDC executive director Maria Chin Abdullah and SUARAM executive director Yap Swee Seng.

Thus with names cited above, the opposition friendly BERSIH was formed.

8 Points

Bersih’s call for FREE AND FAIR ELECTION is summarised in the following 8 points:

1. Clean the electoral roll

The electoral roll is marred with irregularities such as deceased persons and multiple persons registered under a single address or non-existent addresses. The electoral roll must be revised and updated to wipe out these ‘phantom voters’. The rakyat have a right to an electoral roll that is an accurate reflection of the voting population.

In the longer term, BERSIH 2.0 also calls for the EC to implement an automated voter registration system upon eligibility to reduce irregularities.

2. Reform postal ballot

The current postal ballot system must be reformed to ensure that all citizens of Malaysia are able to exercise their right to vote. Postal ballot should not only be open for all Malaysian citizens living abroad, but also for those within the country who cannot be physically present in their voting constituency on polling day. Police, military and civil servants too must vote normally like other voters if not on duty on polling day.

The postal ballot system must be transparent. Party agents should be allowed to monitor the entire process of postal voting.

3. Use of indelible ink

Indelible ink must be used in all elections. It is a simple, affordable and effective solution in preventing voter fraud. In 2007, the EC decided to implement the use of indelible ink. However, in the final days leading up to the 12th General Elections, the EC decided to withdraw the use of indelible ink citing legal reasons and rumours of sabotage.

BERSIH 2.0 demands for indelible ink to be used for all the upcoming elections. Failure to do so will lead to the inevitable conclusion that there is an intention to allow voter fraud.

4. Minimum 21 days campaign period

The EC should stipulate a campaign period of not less than 21 days. A longer campaign period would allow voters more time to gather information and deliberate on their choices. It will also allow candidates more time to disseminate information to rural areas. The first national elections in 1955 under the British Colonial Government had a campaign period of 42 days but the campaign period for 12th GE in 2008 was a mere 8 days.

5. Free and fair access to media

It is no secret that the Malaysian mainstream media fails to practice proportionate, fair and objective reporting for political parties of all divide. BERSIH 2.0 calls on the EC to press for all media agencies, especially state-funded media agencies such as Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM) and Bernama to allocate proportionate and objective coverage for all potlical parties.

6. Strengthen public institutions

Public institutions must act independently and impartially in upholding the rule of law and democracy. Public institutions such as the Judiciary, Attorney-General, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC), Police and the EC must be reformed to act independently, uphold laws and protect human rights.

In particular, the EC must perform its constitutional duty to act independently and impartially so as to enjoy public confidence. The EC cannot continue to claim that they have no power to act, as the law provides for sufficient powers to institute a credible electoral system.

7. Stop corruption

Corruption is a disease that has infected every aspect of Malaysian life. BERSIH 2.0 and the rakyat demand for an end to all forms of corruption. Current efforts to eradicate corruption are mere tokens to appease public grouses. We demand that serious action is taken against ALL allegations of corruption, including vote buying.

8. Stop dirty politics

Malaysians are tired of dirty politics that has been the main feature of the Malaysian political arena. We demand for all political parties and politicians to put an end to gutter politics. As citizens and voters, we are not interested in gutter politics; we are interested in policies that affect the nation.

BERSIH 1.0 in 2007

In 2007, BERSIH launched it’s first ever demonstration on November 10th 2007. The original BERSIH was led by led by a group consist of PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, PAS secretary-general Kamaruddin Jaffar, Wong Chin Huat, DAP publicity secretary Teresa Kok, MTUC President Syed Shahir Syed Mohamad etc.

Most of them are members of the opposition. The rally was epic. Some estimated that up to 40,000 people gathered in the streets of Kuala Lumpur to deliver the Bersih Memorandum to the King.

Upon delivery in Istana Negara, Anwar Ibrahim and PAS President, Abdul Hadi Awang were also present to lend a credence to the memorandum.

Launch of BERSIH 2.0

BERSIH issued its first joint communiqué on 23 November 2006.

At its formation, BERSIH comprised civil society organisations and political parties with the objective of campaigning for clean and fair elections in Malaysia.

BERSIH’s journey thus far has been both monumental and memorable. The public demonstration of November 2007, which saw thousands of ordinary Malaysians take to the streets in support of clean and fair elections, was a critical juncture in our nation’s electoral journey.

They believe that after almost 3 ½ years later, the aims of BERSIH continue to be relevant.

They wanted to continue its crusade for clean and fair elections independent of any political party. BERSIH is thus re-launched as BERSIH 2.0, a coalition of like minded civil society organisations. However their claim to be unaffiliated with any political party remains untrue. But of course, their aim is to effectively monitor both sides of the political divide.

The Steering Committee members of BERSIH 2.0 are as follows :

Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan, Chairperson – (She was the Bar Council President during the tenureship of our 5th Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Hj. Ahmad Badawi)
Andrew Khoo - (Bar Council member)
Arumugam K. – (President of Suaram)
Farouk Musa - (President of of the Islamic Rennaisance Front)
Maria Chin Abdullah - (Executive Director of Empower)
Haris Ibrahim – (President of Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM), a splinter political party of PKR)
Liau Koh Fah – (Chair of the Civil Rights Committee, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall)
Richard Y W Yeoh - (Pakatan Rakyat’s Councillor of Petaling Jaya, Selangor)
Toh Kin Woon - (ex-Gerakan leader who quit the party to join the opposition)
Wong Chin Huat – (Chair of Writers’ Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI), a very active opposition activist)
Yeoh Yang Poh – (Former President of Bar Council)
Zaid Kamaruddin – (President of Jamaah Islah Malaysia, a PAS affiliate)
Faisal Mustaffa – Coordinator of the Secretariat (also member of PKR, Kelana Jaya division)

Events prior to 9 July 2011

Dato’ Ambiga took over the leadership of BERSIH to continue the pursuit of electoral reforms with the EC. On 27th November 2010, Ambiga and the BERSIH committee met with the EC and discussed the 17 demands for electoral reforms.

The 17 demands are:

 1. Investigation of Election Offences

2. Obstruction to voters registration

3. Automatic Registration

4. Lowering of voting age from 21 to 18

5. Absentee voting for all.

6. Indelible Ink

7. Minimizing gerrymandering

8. Minimising malapportionment of constituencies

9. Meaningful campaign period of 21 days minimum.

10. Free and fair media access

11. Control of party expenses

12. Public Finance of Party Expense

13. Right to contest election after resignation

14. Administrative neutrality

15. Restoration of Local Government elections

16. Full Judicial scrutiny on Election Petitions

17. Right to observe elections

As the result of the meeting, BERSIH cut down the demand into 8 points as stated above and all the 17 demands above became redundant. The reason for the decrease is due to the invalidity and irrelevance of the other 9 points and the inability of BERSIH to find proof of the concerns. For example, point number 12 above – Public Finance of Party Expense which is translated as public money to finance political party’s expenses. A bit dumbfounded don’t you think? Why would our tax money be used to finance politicians?

Another one is the obstruction of voters registration. It was dropped because they could not find any evidence on the obstruction.

The rest of the demands are either not connected to the EC, or the EC is already implementing them or it is beyond the powers of EC to deliberate.

When we are negotiating to improve something for the good of the country, we would usually meet and have a dialog with the relevant authorities many times. Just like in school when you are a committee member and is tasked to organise a project, your committee and the relevant bodies will meet many times to see it through.

However, BERSIH only met the EC once on 27th November 2010 but subsequently proceeded to announce that the EC will not cooperate.

The announcement was triggered due to the collapse of a 2nd meeting in April 2011. The EC were said to unable to meet them due to the hectic preparation of the Sarawak state election in May 2011.

However, instead of rescheduling for another date, BERSIH announced that they will organise a demonstration scheduled on 9th July 2011.

Election Commission’s response

The EC is an institution that reports directly to the Parliament. They do not report to any ministers or political parties.

Hence, any change in the electoral process must be done by the Members of the Parliament which consist of the Barisan Nasional MPs and the MPs of the opposition pact because they are governed by the Election Act, 1958 which are passed through Parliament. They can however make recommendations to Parliament. But ultimately, it is the parliamentarians who will pass any changes in the law.

Note that with the obvious heavy presence of opposition MPs backing the BERSIH line-up, no suggestions to reform the electoral process were presented by the MPs in Parliament since 2007. Surely this would be a good and efficient way to actually improve something? However, not one Private Member’s Bill concerning electoral reforms was tabled in Parliament since the formation of BERSIH.

Nevertheless, EC’s feedback on the 8 points presented above are as below.

1. Clean the electoral roll

One of the major concerned of BERSIH is the existence of deceased persons in the list of Malaysian voters. Since people die everyday, it is impossible to update the list on real-time basis as it is required by law that the next of kin of the deceased person to personally contact the EC to notify of the death. The EC do not, and can not have the authority to automatically wipe out the names without a formal notification by the next of kin.

Imagine if the election is today. There will still be names of dead people in the list because there are people that just died yesterday.

EC’s own improvement initiative is to continuously, and expeditiously clean the electoral list immediately after being informed of any deaths.

Another point of contention is the existence of irregularities whereby there are people registered under different address or multiple persons registered under single address.

This had also been improved by the EC when changes to the Act was made in 2002. From thereon, your place of voting is determined by your address in the IC.

The irregularities existed because previously, political parties, through agents, can register their members without the members knowing it. Hence, your voting address will be determined by the person registering it for you.

Plus, in the period before 21st century, most places in Malaysia do not have individual address to a specific home. Most mail/letters that were sent to rural or semi rural areas were sent to one specific spot and collected by the people on daily basis. These spots were mostly, some ‘kedai kopi’ in the villages, post offices, house of the village head etc.

Most people at that time have ICs that indicate addresses which have only the name of the area they live in. This was way before postcodes were invented. By the way, postcodes were only introduced in the late 80s.

Due to this predicament, the problem of specific addresses in the ICs would spill over to the problems of voters’ address in the electoral roll.

However, this was rectified in 2002 whereby voting address will have to be the same with the address appearing in your IC. Voters can at anytime check their voting status and place to vote online with the EC at http://www.spr.gov.my and is encourage to report to them should there be any discrepancies.

Another problem is implementation of automatic voter registration system.

It actually means, once you reach 21, you are automatically be registered by the EC to vote.

In the highly rigid Singapore, it is MANDATORY to vote. Any citizens who did not vote will be penalised by the government.

Malaysia is different in a way she gives you the democratic right of NOT to vote. As an extension, she is giving you the right not to register as a voter as well. People have the right to vote or not to vote. And this is enshrined in our Constitution. You can actually sue the EC and demand why have you been automatically registered when the Constitution does not say so?

BERSIH’s demand seemed to take away this right. EC has the view that, even though voting is very important responsibility of a Malaysian, they must be given the right not to discharge it.

Thus, the EC do not agree with this point. However, they continuously implement awareness programs to ensure that people would know the importance of registering as a voter. They are aware that if the have to impose automatic registration, the Constitution must be amended first before they can actually implement it.

2. Reform postal ballot

BERSIH has this idea that all Malaysian citizens should vote within the SAME DAY.

Due to the illogical manner and the improbability of this to happen, the EC have only to a certain extent, implement some of the changes to improve the postal ballot.

Police, military and other security forces which made up about 200,000 voters cannot vote on the same day with the rest of us due to the fact that they have to be on high alert during election day. If all military and police personnel go out to polling centres, then obviously there will be no proper security to guard our country at that time.

Imagine if all the policemen and the army queuing up for hours on election day. Who shall look after the streets and our borders?

That is why, these people will vote few days earlier than the rest of us. This is called postal voting because the voting process is done at their police or army posts. Recently, the EC had changed the name of postal voting to ‘advance voting’. The process is still the same where you queue up, show your identification, your name will be crossed out, you receive your ballot papers to tick the candidate you choose and the ballot paper will be then slipped into a transparent box. All this will be done under the watchful eye of political parties’ agents.

The votes will then be counted on the same day. No mailing of the votes involved. Perhaps that is why there was a misperception. Just because the process is called ‘postal vote’, people thought the votes will be mailed somewhere else which gave rise to the perception that it could be abused.

3. Use of indelible ink

With regards to indelible ink, it is used among countries which have no IC, such as Africa and India. It is a very low-tech approach. It is as if everyone else is using Twitter or Google+ but BERSIH still wants you to use Friendster.

The countries in Africa or even India have not reached our level yet. We only have 12 million voters. Why should we turn our system backwards when we have reached this level of technological advancement? The reason there is a push for the use of indelible ink is due to fear of double-voting, but we have an adequate system to handle voter identification and it is nearly impossible for people to register twice.

Everyone has one IC number and one identification card. This is the ultimate control system that is used to register and identify the voters. Ever heard of anyone with two ICs? No you have not.

However, to ensure even more security and to improve on voters identification, the EC is seriously considering the biometric system. This is the thumbprint scan very similar to the ones you use in the airport when your passport is scanned.

Another big risk of the indelible ink is the potential abuse. What would stop anybody from going around in rural areas with the same indelible ink and tricks some unsuspecting old grandma into using that ink BEFORE polling day? Come voting day, she will not be allowed to vote by the officers at poll centre because her finger has already been marked. It is against the Constitution to disallowed a registered voter to vote and the grandma can sue the EC for turning her away.

Hence, biometric is the way of the future because let’s face it, everyone has thumbprints.

4. Minimum 21 days campaign period

Longer campaign period is the norm in big countries with a lot of population such as Indonesia and Thailand. We simply cannot compare our country with others that have longer campaigning days. Look at how big the number of voters is in countries such as Indonesia or Thailand.

The EC has the jurisdiction to determine the number of campaign days that they see fit. Remember, the longer the campaign period, the bigger costs are involved to manage the whole election period. More resources such as police and EC officers have to be on duty. This will take a toll in the EC expenses and ultimately, the tax payers will have to pay for these incrementals.

The shortest campaign period was 8 days in the general election of 2008 while the longest was 42 days (more than one month!) back in pre-Merdeka days of 1955. Naturally, back in those days, there were no internet or TV to quickly disseminate your political manifestos. Hence, the longer campaign period for the politicians to go around the country. How things have changed.

5. Free and fair access to media

BERSIH’s whole idea of existence is to negotiate the demands with the EC. However, this particular demand is beyond EC’s jurisdiction because they do not control the media such as Malaysian Insider, Malaysiakini, Malaysia Today, Harakah Daily Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times and The Star.

Therefore, this demand is invalid and irrelevant.

6. Strengthen public institutions

This is also not in the purview of the EC as they are not the bosses of the Judiciary, Attorney-General, MACC and the police. There is also no law for the EC to instruct any of these institutions. In other words, the EC is indeed have no power to ‘strengthen’ public institutions.

Therefore, it is simply illogical for BERSIH to make this demand in the first place. The parliament is the correct platform to do this.

7. Stop corruption

Just like point number 5 and 6 above, stopping corruption is not the responsibility of the EC. BERSIH cannot demand the EC to end all forms of corruption because simply put, eradicating corruption is not just the duty of the EC but also the duty of all Malaysians.

The Election Commission cannot be expected to apprehend people that are bribing policemen or catching some dishonest businessman who just inflated the price of his project.

Vote buying instances have been documented to be practised by both sides of the divide and those instances have been brought to courts. Again, it is not the EC’s duty to preside over fraudulent cases. That should be the matter of the courts.

8. Stop dirty politics

Perhaps the best way to stop dirty politics is for the politicians within the government and the opposition to practise a more ethical campaigning methods.

This is certainly not under the jurisdiction of the EC.

BERSIH demonstration on 9th July

Without due regards to common courtesy and decorum, BERSIH pushed for demonstrations even after the EC had responded with the responses stated above. The tagline for BERSIH is ‘Free and Fair elections’. And they wanted to handover the 8 points memorandum to the King.

Some say it is their right to show dissatisfaction and by that extent, the people’s right to have freedom of speech.

However certain quarters have the impression that the demands do not warrant a public rally since the EC are quite open for the changes and improvements (except for the ones outside their powers).

Therefore, why should BERSIH incite the people of Malaysia to rally based on the demands that are invalid or already implemented?

If they want to call for free and fair election, at least the call must be fair and also must be free from political motives.

That is why the King made a statement that demonstrations are not the way to solve any issues in Malaysia. He practically asked BERSIH to discontinue their intention to hold street demonstrations.

A day after that, on 5th July 2011, Ambiga and several others had met the King and agreed not to organise a street rally. Interesting to note that Ambiga did not give BERSH’s memorandum to the King at this point of time.

At the same time the government had announced that BERSIH can hold their rally in a stadium which BERSIH readily accepted the offer.

Before any chance for the police to identify which stadium with the most minimum risk to congregate thousands of people, BERSIH announced that they will hold their rally in Merdeka Stadium.

Since the stadium is situated in the middle of Kuala Lumpur the police declined to give BERSIH the permit. Instead, they told the organisers that issuance of permit will be given if the rally is held at Melawati Stadium in Shah Alam. Furthermore, the management of Stadium Merdeka could not approve the use of its stadium because renovations are currently underway.

BERSIH was adamant to use the stadium despite the inability to get permit and despite the fact that Stadium Merdeka is closed for renovations.

As the result, police deemed any illegal gathering around the stadium or in Kuala Lumpur on the 9th of July will be dealt with severely. Warnings have been issued out.

Laws in this country were made to ensure everyone can live comfortably without fear. It is just like in school when there is a rule that everyone must attend all classes.

Imagine when an illegal club in school began to incite other students not to attend classes and gather in the canteen during school hours because they claim one of the school toilets is dirty.

Most of the students have never been to that toilet and do not really know the actual condition of that particular toilet. The janitor of the school made several attempts to explain to that illegal club that the toilet was indeed not perfect or slightly dirty but it is still usable and there are efforts to clean it up even more.

But this does not warrant all the students to assemble at the canteen and break the rule of not attending the classes. The rule is there to maintain order. Students are not allowed to be just anywhere they want to be during school hours. What would the school administration do?

They will naturally penalise the people who had broken the rule. Prefects will herd the students back to the classes while teachers will administer some form of punishment. Does this fall into the freedom of speech concept. Freedom of speech must first be a a valid one. It cannot be based on lies and importantly, it must not break the law.

It is the same with the BERSIH illegal gathering. The protesters made the first retaliation by not adhering to the law of public gathering whereby any mass gatherings must apply for a police permit.

Our Constitution states that we have the right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to assemble peaceably and without arms. However these rights are restricted if it is against public order or security of the people. That is why police will always supervise the issuance of permits.

On the other hand, police must practise caution when dealing with stubborn and ignorant protesters as they are humans as well regardless whether they are there with or without permit.

In order to defeat the illegal gathering, roadblocks had to be set up. This resulted in massive traffic jams all over the city. When options were available to hold the rally in a less hectic venue such as the Melawati Stadium, the police had to cordon off half of Kuala Lumpur so that thousands of protesters can be dispersed easily.

Just like the prefects in school using various methods to discipline the crowd, police used their own anti-protesters methods to drive away the crowd.

In the mean time, BERSIH leader, Ambiga had a press conference with other opposition leaders such as Anwar Ibrahim, Datin Wan Azizah, Lim Kit Siang and Hadi Awang in Hilton Hotel to announce Pakatan Rakyat’s backing over the illegal gathering.

The rally which started at 2pm, ended around 5pm. However, they still failed to hand over the memorandum to the King. Reason for this failure is not clear although rumour has it, the memorandum was lost along the way because BERSIH leaders were busy on the streets near Stadium Merdeka when in fact they should just have made a quick drive to Istana Negara to hand over the document.

The number of people that gathered that day was estimated to be as low as 6,000 and to be as high as 50,000 although the figure of 10,000 is more likely.

Results and accomplishments

1. The BERSIH organisers achieved their objective in mobilising thousands of people to gather illegally in the streets of Kuala Lumpur that day.

2. The BERSIH organisers failed to hand over the memorandum to the King TWICE.

3. Pakatan Rakyat succeeded in hijacking BERSIH’s call of ‘free’ and ‘fair elections’ and morphed it into ‘bring down the government’ and ‘reformasi’.

4. Pakatan Rakyat succeeded in painting a bad light to the government.

5. Government succeeded in giving itself a bad name.

6. Police managed to curb the demonstrations within 3 hours.

7. BERSIH managed to hoodwink the Malaysian public that the free and fair election tagline was actually not a really fair tagline.

8. Malaysia managed to be in the international media because somebody is sad that the EC will not put a permanent ink on your finger.

Thank you.

One School System – It’s now or never

If you are one of the many people that support the One School system, you can almost feel that this post is coming up.

For the past few weeks, there have been some positive development regarding this issue. After the sense of acute racial polarisation is about to take place here in Malaysia, the importance of a single stream education system, significantly at the primary level has begun to permeate in the psyche of ordinary Malaysians.

It is a simple and logical explanation and also the most profound solution for the problems on the lack of racial integration we have here in Malaysia.

Many hurdles were met along the way. The most disappointing and no less disparaging remark was the accusation from the opposition that those who support the One School system are racists.

In one hand, those who desire to see a more unified and integrated society are labeled as racists while on the other hand, those who support the chinese and tamil schools had labeled themselves as victims. Nevermind the fact that chinese and tamil schools are in fact, schools that were established based fundamentally and historically on racial grounds. But according to these opposition members, vernacular schools are not racist. The One School system is!

Are we racist in trying to get all our children to be together? I am sure we are not.

The opposition should just discontinue playing rhetorical taunts and decide if they want to support a more pertinent issue such as national unity and integration. Obviously, segregating the society into clusters of people instead of governing one seamless mass of people are much easier to do. Divide and conquer is an ageless tactic which had lent a helping hand to so many conquerors in this world.

And vernacular schools contribute greatly towards the segregation and polarisation of our society. This is undeniably the most telling symptom of our society. It is so undeniable that any effort to deny this can only be delivered through arguments incongruous with reason.

Take the reasons brought forth by DAP Youth Chief, Anthony Loke.

He argued that the proficiency of Bahasa Malaysia among the chinese is mainly due to the government’s failure in giving enough emphasis and assistance to those who were weak in the language.

He said:

“I think that probably this is because the learning of the language is not really enhanced in both the primary and secondary levels. 

“I am sure that there will be critics blaming the vernacular schools but I disagree… because even there, BM is a compulsory subject and after that, they go to secondary school where BM is even more prominent. There is just no proper programme in place to help these Chinese primary school students to adopt when in the secondary level,” he added.

We have a solution. That programme that Anthony Loke mentioned will be called the One School system.

A study was made by the National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) whereby it was revealed that significant number of secondary school dropouts with Chinese primary vernacular education have little, or zero, command of English or the national language. To be precise, it was found that one-third of students from those schools cannot understand either English or Bahasa Malaysia (BM) when they transfer to national secondary schools.

The inability to communicate in the national language stemmed from the limited interaction with other races. If at the early primary stage the children are handicapped by this social impediment, we can be certain that in later stage of life, prejudice and paranoia will arise and will make it difficult to integrate with one another.

This will happen not only among the children from chinese vernacular schools, but also among children from the tamil vernacular schools and the national schools where the malay students are dominant.

A further study albeit a simpler one was done by The Malaysian Insider recently to gauge the command of the national language among the chinese here in Malaysia.

The most profound data that was gathered revealed that about 26% of respondents do not understand Bahasa Malaysia at all. Close to 19% do not have to use Bahasa Malaysia at all or only use it less than three times in their daily lives.

This suggest that within the Chinese community, there is a significant class whose members only interact with those who speak Chinese.

It is just a matter of time when we have a complete segregation of society where the two main race will not interact with one another in a lifetime. Do we really want this?

Anthony Loke must be delusional if he still want to blame the government for not giving assistance for the students in chinese vernacular schools to increase their proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia. But then again it is not vintage DAP if they do not blame the government for everything.

The most cost effective way is for everyone to enrol in national school where Bahasa Malaysia is the main medium of instruction.

It does not make any sense for the government to pour more resources into vernacular schools just to strengthen  the usage of Bahasa Malaysia in mandarin medium schools.

For every ringgit given to vernacular schools, a ringgit loss for the national schools.

The trick Anthony Loke is playing is for the government to give more money to vernacular schools so that his politics will continue to survive. His racist tactic has always been the bread and butter for his political party.

Too bad the government would always fall for this trick. What the opposition do not want gullible Malaysians to know is that every year, the government is already spending more than RM1.8 billion to pay the salaries of teachers in the chinese and tamil vernacular schools.

That is RM1.8 billion wasted just to produce more polarisation in this country. Not to mention the millions already spent on infrastructures and on by election ‘gifts’.

Another ridiculous statement was issued by the DAP deputy secretary-general, Ngeh Koo Ham when he opined that ‘national integration had nothing to do with a person’s inability to converse in the language and explained that it was likely that many people saw it more beneficial to master English or Mandarin than BM

Ngeh noted the civil service was taken up by at least 80 per cent of Malays, causing the non-Malays to focus their attentions on obtaining jobs that do not require extensive knowledge of BM. 

“We master a language for the betterment of our future, like finding a good job, a good career and so on. So since many non-Malays do not opt for posts in the civil service where BM proficiency is required, their focus on learning the language is almost negligible,” he said.’

Bahasa Malaysia is the national language of Malaysia. The importance and the sanctity of this language is greatly determined by the way it is treated in the national education. If in a school where 90% of the time Bahasa Malaysia was not spoken then naturally, the students will not or cannot see the importance of it. This is a given.

If the students do not lay importance to it, coupled with the fact that there are minimal or zero interaction with students of other races, then almost certainly they will not master the national language. If you are unable to master the national language, you cannot join the civil service.

Therefore Ngeh Koo Ham made a malicious assumption where he asserted that because the civil service has 80% Malays, the non-Malays will not join it due to the fact that proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia is required.

Logically, the argument should be the other way around – due to the inability to converse well in Bahasa Malaysia, the non Malays failed the tests to enter the civil service leading to the burgeoning of Malays in the civil service.

This can again be traced to the existence of vernacular schools. The opposition especially the DAP frequently lamented about the unfair policies of the government and tried to colour their arguments with racial undertones when we can observe that the very core of their existence if to perpetuate their own racist politics. Working within the sphere of racism (whether playing the victim or in any other multiple levels of racial rhetorics) is the simplest and quickest way to gain prominence in national politics.

The DAP national vice-chairman Chong Chieng Jen joined this absurdity by strongly disagreeing  to the fact that national unity are affected by the Chinese community’s lack of proficiency in BM.

‘He pointed out that 30 years back, racial polarisation and segregation were less rampant than it is today despite the widespread lack of understanding of the BM language among the community. 

“Less people understood BM then but there was less segregation. People mingled better than they do today. “So at the end of the day, national unity and integration is more about fairer policies…. Barisan Nasional politicians should stop playing racial politics,” he said.’

I am not sure from which abyss he excavated this kind of logic. If there were less segregation and polarisation 30 years ago and yet the people back then understood Bahasa Malaysia even less than today, how on earth did we communicate with each other 30 years ago? Through sign languages?!

We had better national education system back then. There were less people that went to vernacular schools back then. That was why the society were less segregated. But in recent decades, the emergence of extremism in politics of both divide had destroyed our education system. The only way to go now is through a comprehensive and well coordinated effort to standardise the education system. We should start at primary level as the first phase.

The government recently announced that they are looking into the One School system to promote unity and harmony. It is high time that we should look into this.

Summarily, it was proposed that:

1) The first phase will be a co-ordinated exchange of programmes between vernacular and national schools

2) The second phase will be the introduction of a third language in both schools.

3) The third phase will be co-locating of schools and,

4) The final phase is the implementation of the 1School system.

Frankly, do we want our children to be segregated like this:

chinese vernacular school

tamil vernacular school

national school (mainly malays)

Or do we want to see like this:

Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua

Support Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua. Thank you everyone.

HAPPY WESAK DAY TO ALL MALAYSIAN BUDDHISTS!

Straigthening out YB Khairy Jamaluddin’s column

Below is an excellent article by blogger SatD of Pure Shiite. It is to reinforce the MPs into doing the right thing instead of skirting over the problem and sweeping the mess under the carpet. This mess, if left untreated, will torment your own children and grandchildren in the future. Although some of YB Khairy’s points are valid, he had completely misread the wordings in the Constitution as pointed out by the blogger SatD. I am copying the first half of his article. The juicier parts can be further digested here. You can also give your comments there. Thank you.

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YB Khairy, what “Virtual Constitutional Guarantee” are you talking about?

Dear YB Khairy.

I was recently notified of your recent column published in the Edge, thank you for having the guts to venture into the subject matter.

Allow me to reproduce your full piece for my readers.

Engage multiculturalism early on

I think the biggest elephant in the 1Malaysia room is the societal behaviour of Malaysians themselves. I do not deny that national unity suffers from politics, political parties and politicians.

People in my profession – from all parties (even those that claim to be multiracial) – are routinely guilty of ethnocentric politics, reaching out to different communities at the expense of others. Politics is also a reflection of the society that we live in. And the fact of the matter is many Malaysians still live in silos with a heightened sense of suspicion towards other ethnic communities.

But rather than philosophising about this fundamental question in generalities, I attempted to address the policy-making behind the often ephemeral question of national unity during the debate on the Agong’s Royal Address in Parliament recently.

It is often said that the reason why racial polarisation is worse today than a few generations back is simply because there is less contact and interaction now. Those who attended local universities in the 1960s and 70s will regale you with stories of how students of different ethnicity hung out together, in marked contrast to the scenes at our varsities today where posses of friends are usually mono-ethnic.

Some have pointed out that the problem starts much earlier, during the formative years of young Malaysians. The fact that today more Malaysian kids of Chinese ethnicity attend vernacular schools rather than national schools contributes to the drastic reduction in contact hours between our children.

Although many of these students end up in national secondary schools, there is already a psychological perspective that has been formed during the earlier (and arguably most impressionable) years of their education in which they grew up in largely mono-ethnic environments. Of course, there are non-Chinese students who attend Chinese vernacular schools but for the most part, the overwhelming majority of children there are from one ethnic group.

One solution to address this polarity that has been brought about by the existence of different types of schools in Malaysia has been to just have one school – the national school. Advocates for this argument say that for as long as vernacular schools exist, our kids will be separated during their formative years and will carry with them a ‘silo-ed’ worldview into their teenage years and beyond.

While there are great merits to this argument, principally the notion that all Malaysian children will be educated under one roof and all the wonderful consequences that this might have on national unity, I doubt there would be any government that would commit themselves to this. Vernacular schools are a virtually sacrosanct institution for many members of the Chinese and Indian communities for which they have a virtual constitutional guarantee for it’s continued existence.

So, rather than pursuing something well near impossible, we are left with trying to find ways towards greater unity while acknowledging the continued existence of different systems in our education system. For a few years, the government’s flagship program to break down the walls that separate our kids has been the national service stint in which SPM leaders are selected at random to spend three months in a quasi-bootcamp where they are taught leadership, teamwork, civic virtue, nation-building in a contained environment.

The architects of the program believed that this could be the magic panacea to cure racial polarisation, social ills and instill a much needed “Malaysia Boleh” sense of pride and patriotism which is apparently not pronounced enough among our youth.

As someone who served on the first national service training council (the body tasked with overseeing the implementation of the programme), I was able to visit some of the camps during the training period. It goes without saying that most participants have fun during their stint. For most young people, the opportunity for adventure and to bond with others of the same age is something that they would naturally be attracted to.

Hence, when the government releases surveys done on national service participants, it is no big surprise that most of them enjoyed their three months. But beyond a superficial analysis of feedback from national service participants, we need to ask whether or not the program has succeeded in making young Malaysians mix around better with one another and, more importantly, believe that the national interest always trumps sectarian or communal considerations.

Anecdotal evidence suggests the situation is less encouraging than one might hope, for the simple reason that many participants enter the program having grown up in relative ethnic isolation. Formative years do not begin at age 17 or 18, when perspectives – including those regarding communal identities – have most likely hardened. I dare say it has never been clear how three months after SPM can possibly overcome years of polarisation. There is of course nothing inherently wrong with the national service programme; but we need to take a step back and face the very real probability that we asking far too much of it – it is not the magic panacea.

Now, if our goal is inculcating a sense of national identity over and above communal persuasions, why not begin at precisely those formative years of a child’s life? During my speech, I touched on the Student Integration Plan for Unity (RIMUP).

Initially introduced in 1986 but never gained a foothold until its revival as a key initiative under the National Education Blueprint 2006-2010. It has since withered away once again. Involving primary school students of different races from national and national-type, vernacular schools to regularly engage in a range of usually co-curricular activities, we have in RIMUP a practical and actionable initiative to encourage early inter-ethnic interaction.

It is actionable in as much as it does not require us venturing into the constitutional and political labyrinth of arguing for a single school system or sidestepping political landmines associated with the Vision School proposal (putting one national school, one Chinese school and one Tamil school in the same compound). It is practical because its nature as an activity-based program on school grounds means RIMUP does not involve extensive infrastructural commitments.

The potential and relative ease of implementation thus makes it rather curious that, across the levels of policymaking and discourse, RIMUP is not given anywhere near the attention it deserves. A study conducted by school inspectors in 2007 revealed that only 27% of schools were extensively and regularly involved in RIMUP activities. Further, only 12% of them conducted post mortems or discussions on how to improve activities organized under RIMUP.

The figures on fiscal expenditure are not much more flattering. RIMUP was allocated only RM25.8 million in 2007. Compare this to the public spending on the national service programme, which stands at an average of RM595.7 million per year from 2009 to 2011 – twenty times more than RIMUP. The glaring asymmetry is further illustrated by the fact that no details on RIMUP were provided in the Federal Government Spending Estimates for 2011.

When I finally received an answer from the Deputy Minister of Education on how much the Government has allocated for RIMUP in 2011, I almost couldn’t believe my ears when he said RM2.4 million. National service will receive RM564 million this year. You do the maths.

I urge the Government to immediately remedy the situation by revitalising RIMUP as a central initiative of promoting national unity organically, as it were. The national service has its many advantages but why pin the entire unity project on it when it can be supplemented by a rather understated program that is so readily incorporated into a child’s everyday life at school?

At stake is no less than the viability of this nation’s multicultural and multiracial character. For too long we have taken a disengaged stance about multiculturalism, self-enchanted by the rhetorical allure of ‘unity in diversity’ without necessarily promoting cross-cultural and cross-communal engagement.

This approach, I believe, is mistaken. A multiculturalism that is satisfied with leaving each other to live in parallel lives is inherently self-destructive; it engenders precisely the prejudices and paranoia that ‘unity in diversity’ is meant to displace.

1Malaysia implores us to move beyond tolerance for good reason – tolerance of the alien is never enough. Rather, a Malaysian identity requires, first, an empathic recognition of each other’s cultural particularities, and then an embrace of the ways in which cross-cultural contact may enrich our own lives. Postponing this project to age 17 or 18 will not do. Source here.

As a strong advocate of the Single School, allow me present to you our side of the story more clearly so that going forward you may have a better bearing in navigating the “constitutional and political labyrinth” with regards to this issue.

First of all there is No such thing as a Virtual Constitutional Guarantee with regards to the Continued existence of Vernacular School.

In fact it is actually against the Constitution of Malaysia and the National Language Act. Allow me to refer to two court judgements where the issue of medium of instruction in a Foreign Language have been put to test.

Case 1 Mark Koding

The question therefore arises as to the true interpretation of proviso (a) to Article 152(1). Having regard to the words used in the proviso, viz. “teaching or learning any other language” as opposed to “teaching or learning in any other language”, I tend to agree with the restricted meaning enunciated by Abdoolcader J when dealing with schools or other educational institutions. In my view, under proviso (a), although the National Language shall be the Malay language, the usage of any other language other than for official purposes, is guaranteed; so is the teaching or learning of any other language in schools, be it Chinese, Tamil, Arabic or English. But there is nothing in proviso (a) to justify the extension of the protection to the operation of schools where the medium of instruction is Chinese, Tamil, Arabic or English. This strict interpretation is consistent with proviso (b) which guarantees the right of the Federal Government or any State Government to preserve and sustain the use and study of the language of any other community in the Federation. Thus, the preservation and sustenance of usage of language of any other community is guaranteed. So is the preservation and sustenance of study of any other community’s language, but again there is no justification in extending the guarantee to the preservation and sustenance of study in the language of any other community in the absence of specific words to that effect. Any other interpretation of proviso (a) would result in abusing the words used in the proviso. It is absurd for instance to think that the proviso gives constitutional protection to teaching or learning in school where the medium of instruction is Russian or Japanese. To my mind, the protection only extends to language but not to medium of instruction in schools. In other words, no person shall be prohibited or prevented from teaching or learning Chinese or Tamil or, for that matter, any language which is not the national language in any school as a language subject, but such protection does not extend to the teaching or learning in a school where the teaching or learning is in any other language. As correctly stated by Abdoolcader J the omission of the preposition “in” after the words “teaching or learning” in proviso (a) makes the distinction necessary

Case 2 Merdeka University

Reading Article 152 together with the National Language Act, in our judgment, the law may be stated as follows:

* Bahasa is the national language;
* Bahasa is the official language;

A person is prohibited from using any other language for official purposes — subject to exceptions as regards the continued use of the English language allowed by s 4 and of other languages by other provisions of the National Language Act;

* No person shall be prohibited or prevented from using (to be specific) Chinese for unofficial purposes;
* No person shall be prohibited or prevented from teaching Chinese;
* No person shall be prohibited or prevented from learning Chinese;

The Federal or a State Government has the right to preserve and sustain the use and study of the language of any non-Malay community — as indeed the Federal Government is doing in school and at the Institute of Technology, Mara, and in the Departments of Chinese and Indian Studies and in some other departments at the University of Malaya where even Arabic, Japanese, Thai and other languages are taught. (This right belongs to Government).

Government cannot legally prohibit or prevent MU from teaching and offering courses to enable students to learn Chinese.

But the crucial question is: would MU be prohibited from teaching in Chinese as the sole or major medium of instruction? It certainly would if it is a public authority, for then the use of Chinese there would be use for an official purpose which the Constitution read together with the National Language Act says is prohibited.

And this is their decision

In any event, bearing in mind the history of education in this country and the divisive results of allowing separate language schools and the lesson learned from the experience of our neighbour with a private university and the determination of Parliament to so regulate schools and universities and education generally as an instrument for bringing about one nation out of the disparate ethnic elements in our population, we have no choice but to hold, as we have already held, that MU if established would be a public authority within Article 160(2) of the Constitution and that accordingly teaching in Chinese there would be use of that language for an official purpose, which use may be prohibited under Article 152.

As there is no right to use the Chinese language for an official purpose, accordingly in our judgment it was not unconstitutional and unlawful of Government to reject the plaintiff’s petition to establish MU.

We would therefore dismiss this appeal with costs.
For more details on the Legal Basis go here

To be completely honest with you YB Khairy, I’m bored of writing about this subject, especially to address the misconception with regards to the “Constitutional Guarantee”, too many people are walking around like zombies believing in this “Virtual” non existence guarantees.

If you don’t mind me asking, which part of the Constitution says that there is a “Virtual Guarantee”? As an MP you of all people should have studied the document better and to actually look at Article 152 and our National Language Act and perhaps inquire further how they have been interpreted in the court of law.

How did you come up with such strong conclusions that it is impossible and you actually use the words ” I doubt that any Government would commit themselves to this….” YB Khairy, is it not the objective of the Government and the Members of the Parliament to ensure that all the provisions of our Constitution and the National Language Act is adhered to?

MORE QUESTIONS WERE ASKED HERE

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Similar articles to this subject can be read here and here.

The aftermath of PPSMI policy

Anak desa masih di pekan
Mencari bunga buat kalungan
Terima kasih saya ucapkan
Budi tuan menjadi kenangan

First and foremost, I would like to thank YOU for all the kind compliments and words of wisdom I received in the previous article.

Obviously I am very appreciative towards any feedback be it positive of negative. But the sincerity I read within the lines gave me a lot of courage to continue doing what I have done for the past 3 years.

Therefore, again, for the millionth time, Thank you.

This time, I would like to add something about the recent announcement of our government leaders and a recent announcement by EF EPI, an international organsation that had recently measured the English proficiency ranking of non native speaking countries.

Back in 2009, the Government had made their decision to reverse PPSMI and gradually abolish it. Starting from 2012, the subjects on Mathematics and Science in all schools will revert to Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin and Tamil in respective schools. By the year 2017 in primary and 2016 in secondary, all children in both primary and secondary will learn all the subjects in Bahasa Malaysia, with the exception of the English subject of course.

And, with the exception of children in vernacular schools too.

All children in national schools will learn mathematics and science in Bahasa Malaysia again, while all children in mandarin and tamil schools will learn those subjects in their respective mother tongues.

That is the outcome of the opposition’s relentless pursuit to oppose anything just for the sake of opposing. I mentioned the opposition because Pakatan Rakyat leaders were involved in the various platforms conducted by the Gerakan Mansuhkan PPSMI (GMP) which incidentally headed by A. Samad Said, an iconic ‘pejuang bahasa kebangsaan’.

Much is left to be desired when this so called pejuang bahasa kebangsaan stopped short in asking the vernacular schools to switch its medium of teaching language to Bahasa Malaysia. Hence I find it really hypocritical of him when he assumed that GMP will bring dignity to Bahasa Malaysia among Malaysians.

In fact, his foray in politicising the national language will further alienate the races between each other.

I believe the PPSMI would be one of the factor that would attract Malaysia parents to send their children to the national schools. The other main factor is the lessening of Islamic /Arabic influence in the daily routine of activities of the school. But that is another matter altogether.

At that time, if GMP and the Minister in Education said that Bahasa Malaysia has finally and correctly ‘dimartabatkan’, then so be it.

The aftermath of the decision has led to various lobby groups being set up to lobby for the return of PPSMI. The most prominent is called Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE).

The stark contrast between GMP and PAGE is the absence of street demonstrations. We all remember the pretentious street demonstrations organised by GMP and led by several opposition leaders back in early 2009. It was pretentious because Bahasa Malaysia now became the domain of the Malays; not the rest of Malaysians.

Only the Malays should dignify the national language. The non-Malays can continue strengthen their own mother tongue. Only the Malays are chastised if they use English as their main language to converse. Non-Malays can use English with impunity.

Nevermind the fact that Bahasa Malaysia should be used by all Malaysians. GMP forgot to support the one stream education system which suggested the use of Bahasa Malaysia as the main medium of learning in most of the subjects.

GMP, if they were serious, should make Bahasa Malaysia the mother tongue of all Malaysians.

To me, it doesn’t make sense to chastise Malays who wanted to learn mathematics and science in English when Bahasa Malaysia is already their mother tongue. Being the mother tongue of approximately 17 million of the population is already a dignified accomplishment of Malaysia. What they should have pursued is the usage of Bahasa Malaysia as the mother tongue of 100% of the population.

Hence the one stream education system is the way to go. But GMP seemed more interested in looking at narrower view i.e., looking only at the Malays and not the overall populace.

That is why they are labeled as pretentious and not serious enough in their battles for Bahasa Malaysia’s survival.

Fortunately and finally, PAGE’s objectives had been heard by the Government. Last week, the Minister of Education, announced the possibility of a dual medium of instruction in schools.

Although the details are sketchy, I believe the MOE will give schools the power to decide which language to teach mathematics and science. The Parent-Teacher Associations of  each school will undoubtedly be given the voting power to decide on this matter.

But what is unclear is whether this will cover vernacular schools as well. Those  powerful vernacular cartels such as Dong Jiao Zong will almost certainly and vehemently defend their racial turf.

We all know a lost cause when we see one. The only way for them to see beyond racial lenses is to have a strong national leader that can make them see the benefits of having one stream national education system.

All things considered, I think this is the best time to propagate PPSMI. In 2009, the MOE made a good decision to limit the number of subjects in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) to 10 subjects.

With smaller number of subjects for the students to study, all the excess energy that was used to gain 15As, 18As and even 20As  in the previous years can be channeled into learning mathematics and science in English. Also, extra co curricular activities will automatically be emphasised more by the students as they would certainly want to make their curriculum vitae more marketable than their peers.

Being in sports, clubs, societies and uniformed groups will enhance their social skills and leadership qualities.

Those are a couple of great assets for an aspiring student to venture into the realm of tertiary education and beyond.

The recent survey made by Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) listed the ability of good written and spoken English as the main criteria to employ new employees.  Out of ten traits, 68% of employers listed that as the most sought after attribute of a prospective employees.

Good academic results came out 7th at 37.9% while 56.2% of employers valued interpersonal skills as the 3rd most sought after trait.

Bottomline, your paper results will not be nearly as important as your social interactivity skills. And the ability to write a nice business letter and to speak English with confidence top everything else.

You will be a star employee if you can master scientific or business terminologies with ease.

Anyhow, we hope the Ministry of Education will not forget to improve the overall standard of education in our national schools and continue to produce more positive news and good results in order to promote the national education to the masses.

It is enlightening to read about the news that among the non native English speaking country in this world, Malaysia is ranked at 9th position and the 1st among Asian countries with population that has high proficiency in English.

It is ironic to note that Singapore which has Bahasa Melayu, Mandarin and Tamil as their official languages  is not considered non native English speaking country anymore. In other words, Singapore is now considered an anglophile state according to international standards.

They do speak good Singaporean English.

But Malaysia, that had laid so much importance towards her national language, can strive to be among the best English speaking country in the world, speaks a lot about our education system.

We want to be global. Yet, we retain our identity as Malaysian.

Orang Malaysia bukan sahaja mesti pandai berbahasa Malaysia tapi mesti pandai berbahasa Inggeris juga. Baru boleh duduk sama rendah, berdiri sama tinggi. Boleh mengharung globalisasi tapi tak hilang jati diri.

Terima kasih. Thank you.

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