Monday, June 29, 2009

malaysiakini and the GREAT SCHOLARSHIP Debate...

The PM has announced the so-called new merit scholarships scheme and not surprisingly many are sceptical about the new idea.
According to this malaysiakini article Kit Siang: 'Pure merit' scholarship award has no merit, the opposition leader is highly critical of this proposal.
I believe that perhaps 70% of ALL scholarships should be based on merit with the remaining 30% being allocated to the needy students irrespective of race.
Anyone else who wants to study at colleges can apply for student loans that must be strictly enforced as far as repayment is concerned.
The authorities have been too slack in collections and that has resulted in billions being unpaid and creating a culture of defaulters; even among scholarship holders who abscond or refuse to return.
Since the authorities have created this non-repayment nightmare, I suggest the following:

The scholarships allocation should be handled by the state governments instead of the PSD. This will have 2 good benefits:
1.The headache of selection will be passed to the states and
2.It reinforces the 1Malaysia concept. Opposition is treated fairly and as equal partners in a progressive Malaysia.

Friday, June 26, 2009

malaysiakini and Being Completely OFF the Mark...

No I am not going to talk about Najib's 1Malaysia concept that is described in this malaysiakini article as being Najib completely off the mark.
I want to highlight another minister who is also quite capable of the "foot in mouth" disease.
Strangely enough, he occupies the post of Information Minister and he suggests that the MSM do not use the term "A(H1N1)" to decribe the latest flu pandemic with the argument that Malaysians will get confused with such a terminology.
I guess he must take us all as fools. Maybe in his little mind he believes that somehow "swine flu" will have a greater impact as the "pig" word will have a "haram" connotation with most of the population and they will be scared shitless?
Maybe we should change his official title to "Minister of Disinformation"?

Meanwhile this bit of information will have Malaysians debating on the following questions:
1.When will Malaysia appoint its next non-Malay general or IGP?
2.When will Malaysia appoint its first non-Malay Chief Justice?

You see Singapore has appointed its first Malay general according to this article in the Malaysian Insider.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

malaysiakini and ANOTHER Take on the "UNITY" Government?

Somehow it seems the government lacks credibility when leaders have to use religion to promote the unity government concept as described in this malaysiakini article PM: 'A religious duty to have unity talks'.
To me the BN would gain more respect if it accorded the opposition states more cooperation to enable the nation to develop universal good principles of governance so that Malaysians can experience real progress.
It seems that the BN has not learned any lessons after the Perak fiasco and is prepared to churn out more dirty tricks.
I for one do not really believe the motives of this lop-sided approach to the "unity" government concept.
There are so many glaring issues like the IPCMC failure and the tainted Judiciary that are so plainly obvious and putting a religious spin on achieving a good government is simply quite incredulous.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

malaysiakini and ANOTHER CHANGE in ENGLISH Policy?

BEGADS! That would be another major blunder if this malaysiakini article is to be believed: A change in language policy by July?.
There are many who oppose the switch to English even though everyone agrees that English is important for global trade and even getting employment in the private sector.
To me the switch back to English was a good decision made by TDM before he retired but it seems during the past 6 years, little has been done to improve the teaching standards in schools and many teachers still struggle with English.
Of course the sudden switch to English would have caused major disruptions but if the Education Ministry is still in the "To teach or not to teach in English" pondering stage, then the future of our children is in great jeopardy.

We should be asking the Education Ministry some pertinent questions like:
1.How many teachers have been trained to teach Maths and Science in English in the past 6 years?
2.How many teachers have been sent for English language degree courses in the last 6 years?
3.How many trainers for English has the Ministry produced in the past 6 years?
Learning English is not rocket science and the media especially TV should be a useful tool. I would suggest English language programs can be broadcast on Astro and RTM to reach the rural folks so that parents can learn English to enable them to help their children from Darjah 1. All it needs is a little discipline, some time and most importantly the willingness to learn.
Those with Internet access can even get free lessons from

malaysiakini and SCUTTLING the "UNITY" Government

There is a saying, "What does not kill you will make you stronger".
Hopefully the Pakatan Rakyat coalition will learn from the latest efforts to form(?) a unity government as envisaged by the BN leaders.
Even the idea of such a government that involved talking only to the PAS leadership smacks of another Perak-like coup that toppled the PR state government and showed the array of "dirty tricks" in the BN cupboard.
Of course that cupboard is full of skeletons that have yet to be fully exposed like the Lingam tapes and PKFZ and all types of unsavoury items aka Balkis.
Changing the federal government will definitely enable the public to discover that the BN has been taking us all on a very expensive ride to nowhere if one looks at the falling standards in education, law enforcement, public transport etc.
Thus it is heartening that according to this malaysiakini article, the PR has responded with Unity gov't: A united 'no' from Pakatan .
Why team up with the BN regime that will probably lose the next General Elections in 4 years?
Of course in any political system there will be those who are opportunists and voters should study the candidates carefully to ensure we do not elect officials who are easily swayed with promises of rewards.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

malaysiakini and SPREADING the A(H1N1) EPIDEMIC....

Looking at the way the latest flu virus is spreading, it seems that the health authorities are not doing enough to reduce this health hazard.
We all know that no nation has been able to eliminate the threat and efforts have been mostly of the quarantine and other social distancing programs.
When I returned home after spending 3 weeks abroad, I told my daughter that I would not visit them for a few days as I wanted a clean bill of health before I exposed them to any possible contagion.
This article in malaysiakini shows how the flu has spead in Malaysia. A(H1N1): 7 more cases, 42 in total suggests that we are just at the beginning of a long struggle to contain this menace.
Today's Star has an even more startling headine: 11 year-old girl among new A(H1N1) cases describes how a single pupil who was infected has now caused the lives of perhaps a hundred other people to become disrupted with home quarantine.
In Hong Kong primary schools and kindergartens have been closed after their first case of A(H1N1)and I suggest the health and education authorities should impose a few extra precautions if we truly want to reduce the spread of the disease.
Temperature scanning has really a limited use as a person who is in the early stage has no abnormal temperature and gets past the scan without problems.
Since we cannot impose travel bans without major disruptions, we should require all students who travel abroad to practice a 2-day self imposed quarantine after their return.
Parents who send their children back to school without the necessary delay should be subject to penalties.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

malaysiakini and SEARCHING for JUSTICE

We have a multi-million ringgit building in Putrajaya but sadly it seems that the quality of justice is indeed stained and strained in Malaysia.
Just read what one writer in malaysiakini suggests here. I am not a lawyer but something is basically wrong when a citizen has to file an appeal without the benefit of the grounds of the judgement against him.
Is he supposed to read the minds of the 3 judges who sat on the Court of Appeal?
I wonder how this is documented in their ISO certification?
Shame on the 3 judges and more shame on the Members of Parliament who cannot or refuse to inquire on this blatant miscarriage of justice.
Indeed one can infer that these 3 judges are derelict in their duties and should be disciplined.

photo: thanks to

Friday, June 19, 2009

malaysiakini and that THIRD BRIDGE to Singapore...

This story from malaysiakini is not surprising.
Sultan torches Najib's '3rd bridge' in which the Johor ruler has stated his objection to a third bridge.
I don't believe the ruler has the authority to reject such a project but he could certainly make life unpleasant for the Mentri Besar.
Of more concern to JB folks is the economic fall-out after traffic was diverted from the city centre with the new CIQ and apart from City Square, traders are really suffering from the new flow away from the town.
Instead of the third bridge, the monies would be better spent on providing a better transport system between JB and Singapore to attract more to come and spend in Malaysia.
A worthwhile project would be a JV to extend the SMRT system into JB and perhaps Tebrau with an undersea tunnel as that would reduce the number of buses using the Causeway.
These surplus buses could in turn be used to transport passengers from the housing estates to these transport hubs. Definitely not rocket science.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

malaysiakini on Ruling in Cloud-Cuckoo Land.....

We are truly a blessed nation.
Someone once remarked that you don't really need much to survive in Malaysia - just throw a few seeds on the ground and one could get food a few weeks later - such is the conditions in which we live.
Even Malaysian ministers get a fantastic deal compared to their UK counterparts.
Over there, the fifth minister has resigned over the expense claims scandal that has involved many MPs.
In Bolehland, the whole Cabinet kind of adopts the Roman defensive shield technique that protects everyone from suffering such a fate as having to resign.
We can see such practices in these stories from malaysiakini:
1.BLACKLIST - Gov't has head in the sand. That's the latest on the USA putting us back on the blacklist for human trafficking.
2.The ongoing saga on the billion ringgit scam of the PKFZ project.
3.The inaction over the Lingam tape scandal and the Kugan murder.

Compared to UK ministers, the Malaysian ones lead a truly charmed life. Maybe our Wisma Putra can earn some foreign exchange by conducting courses on "How to Manage Crises and Not Resign Over Scandals"?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

malaysiakini and ANARCHY in Malaysia?

I have been away from Malaysia since 28th May and spent the time in Europe; visiting Italy, Greece and Turkey. I may blog about my travels later if readers are interested.
I also visited my first mosque in Kusadasi near the historic town of Ephesus - I mention this because I still remember being prevented from entering the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur when it was still new many years ago.
While I was away, I still watched the news channels but it is surprising how little or no news about Malaysia is broadcast overseas.
Now that I am back it is business as usual and this malaysiakini report shows how justice can be delayed and injustice condoned by the justice system.
The even more damaging report Malaysia blacklisted for human trafficking shows that we can have all the laws but if the controls are lacking, the system fails abysmally.
If the heading sounds too dramatic, we can now see the failing of Malaysia as a state as important state institutions are being compromised by vested interests with little or no checks and balances.
We have all the trappings of a democratic government but sadly we are definitely headed towards a failed nation where the voice of the people is being stifled with draconian laws and law agencies that appear beyond redemption.
But we need to make a final stand and I strongly urge you to register and vote in the next elections or we may not be able to escape the same fate as Zimbabwe.