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Wednesday, January 04, 2006




vesewe said...

Yesterday was undoubtedly one of the most difficult in my life, because like tens of thousands of Malaysian parents, I sent my children to standard one.

But the strange thing was I honestly did not know how difficult it could be, until I had to go through the process with my wife.

The whole bitter sweet experience began the night before, when we had to try hard to get our children to go to bed early, to prepare for the next bright new day when they would enter standard one in a Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (SRJK), or better known as a vernacular school, just like I did 40 years ago.

I remember then, on my first day in school, my mother walked me to the SRJK; there was no traffic jam, no pushing and shoving. Forty years later, there is still this same SRJK catering to the expanded population with the same basic facilities utilised way beyond capacity, bursting at the seams.

Such a school typically accepts enrollment way beyond reasonable teacher-student ratios, and creatively has a SRJK II or basically an afternoon school using the same facility.

My wife sent our children in while I drove our car further away to avoid causing more congestion; she came out later to take over the car and I went in to see how our children were coping.

As the morning school was still in progress, the children of the afternoon school were all made to sit passively on the floor of the assembly hall according to their respective classes.

It then dawned on me that our children today do not have my joy of going to school early, and having a whale of a time playing with schoolmates in the field or in the canteen exchanging smuggled - in nasi lemak some 40 years ago.

I went to my children, hugged and kissed them, telling them how proud I was feeling, in witnessing their first step towards this grand notion of education which I passionately promised would lead them into wonderful careers of their choice.

Then I reluctantly walked away from them. As I looked back into the assembly hall and seeing the images of my children sitting on the floor with so many other children, while waiting for the morning school to vacate their classrooms, I could not suppress my frustration any further, tears started to roll.

What are we doing to our children?

Within such close proximity to the Twin Towers, we, the dutiful taxpayers have to go through hellish traffic jams to send our children to such a congested facility. Our children had no space at all to play, mingle or interact with each other.

What are we doing to our children?

Why were there no expansion of facilities and streamlining of infrastructure in and around such a good and reputable school?

The whole issue boils down to our ruling government's aspiration of, and stubbornness in promoting a single failed education system under our Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK).

What are we doing to our children?

How far can our beloved country progress in an increasingly competitive globalised world, with so many of our politicians still lacking in confidence in urgently resolving this destructively perpetuated dilemma on education facing such a wide spectrum of our society?

Education today has to be a liberal means to enlighten the people bringing out the best in them, and to connect our society to that of the larger globalised world.

In fact, the narrow view of the government to use education as a tool to influence the people towards a certain direction for clear political reasons will be inherently regressive and unwise.

We owe it to our children to be responsible in offering them a decent environment to study in.

Unless we confront the issue pragmatically, it will be increasingly easier to justify the massive brain drain that we are currently suffering.

pang said...

Corruption to the country is just like tumor to our body. Let tumor to become cancer the body will die. Let corruption to grow to be irreversible the country will collapse.

So to control and minimize - corruption should deserve highest priority. Of course there are still many more issues to tackle.

I just could not imagine what will happen to the country if Pak Lah is slowly compromising himself with those corrupted people around him.

Let us hope Pak Lah has the courage to carry on the battle against corruption, and has the wisdom to take some drastic actions at the right timing on all the other major issues.

GLCs and NEP are becoming the means for some Umno politicians who are corrupted to gain power as well as to gather wealth for themselves. This is causing tremendous damage to the Malaysian economic.

More and more businessmen irrespective of race are working together with these corrupted Umno politicians to gather their own wealth. Most of these businessmen are equally greedy and corrupted, of course, there are some who are forced to do so for their own business survival.

The implementation of another well-intended policy on Malaysia incorporated, for the public and private sectors to work together for the good of the country, has also been abused by the same group.

Pah Lak must have the wisdom, strategy and courage to use the power of people to help him to bring the change, otherwise, 2006 year will be worse and the future of Malaysia will be full of uncertainty.

If another leader who although are stronger but corrupted, to take over as prime minister - God saves Malaysia!

miya said...

I have never studied Mandarin! Honestly speaking, I regret no knowing how to read or write Mandarin (except perhaps my own name!) and this is definitely one of the biggest regret of my life.

I send my children to Chinese primary schools and mind you, I feel they are much more disciplined, their thinking much more wider in perspective. In short, it is a very wise choice!

All the public universities in the country are in a terrible state of affairs. The low academic quality leading to a worsening crisis is a result of a variety of factors.

So how can one expect our public universities to attain academic and professional standards when there is such a blatant discrimination?

How can a country that labels itself an aspiring democracy condone, and justify such a nefarious practice of excluding a segment of its population, from participating effectively in public universities?

It is such a shame.

Millions of taxpayers money is spent on building universities and paying lecturers. The money comes from all, but the beneficiaries belong to one particular ethnic group.

Unless and until the racial apartheid is dismantled in the Malaysian education system in general, and in public universities in particular, it makes no sense to talk of the quality of the public universities.

tim said...

The 12 realities ---

1. On paper, citizenship is secure - in reality, they say if you don't like it here, you can go away

2. On paper, we solve inter-community issues by win-win consultation - in reality, issues are silenced by subtle threats of unrest made on grounds of the supremacy, of one community's master and their unquestionable agenda

3. On paper, Malaysia can be great - in reality, 'Malaysia Boleh' remains just a word, an empty cry, devoid of any spirit and life to ensure the nation's survival

4. On paper, we have the meritocracy system - in reality, quota system is still running

5. On paper, we are a multiracial country - in reality, we have one community which is more equal than other communities

6. On paper, we have the national agenda - in reality, it is the malay agenda

7. On paper, even the NEP is good - in reality, it sucks

8. On paper, Pak Lah is fighting corruption - in reality, no Umno member is standing together with him

9. On paper, we have parliamentarians - in reality, we have a zoo, and only a few are ministers, the majority being exhibited specimens

10. On paper, we are a peaceful country - in reality, the absence of conflict is superficial, very fragile

11. On paper, we have a police force to look after our security - in reality, we need some protection from the police

12. On paper, we had the report, and 125 recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Police - in reality, we have just a book, non-act upon

romsam said...

Agree with you. Instead, we are always entertained by many clowns and idiot jokers in the parliament.

Yes! Bolehland is having the one of the largest cabinet in terms of ratio to population size in the world.

The ranking performance of each ministry, minister, deputy minister, etc, should be published in local media and forwarded to the PM for the public and PM's post mortem.

The criteria of evaluation should also be exposed to the relevant persons so that they know what is being evaluated and make it easier for them to get better.

Even better, if the criteria are benchmarked with advanced countries such as Japan, Korea, Singapore, UK, USA, etc, according to its relevance.

Furthermore, the evaluation can include indicators such as top 5 performing ministries, ministers, and deputy ministers, worst 5 performing ministries, ministers, and deputy ministers.

Once you start this big government syndrome, you just can't revert back to small government. Everyone is enjoying the gravy train ride and you just can't get them off without adverse repercussions. And Pak Lah as the train driver cum conductor doesn't have the guts and courage to boot them off.

A decade ago, 800000 civil servants were considered too many and there was a temporary freeze in recruitment. But now, even with the IT revolution, we have more than 1.2 million civil servants.

You can see many of them loitering around aimlessly when you visit any government office. And the government has to give them all incentives and annual bonuses to keep them all happy.

It is all about votes and Pak Lah knows it. Smaller government? Most unlikely - Same old ministers will be re-appointed. Old is new and new is old. Get them all hooked up and they will all keep quiet.

All docile and on leashes. Obedient servants. It is the BN way.

Then we preach to the world we have a very stable government, there is racial harmony, we work as a team blah, blah, blah and more blahs.

Many of the ministers are deadwood and from their performance should have been shown the exit long ago. Some have been too long in the cabinet and have run out of ideas.

It is time we not only downsize the ministerial portfolios but at the same time kick out those that are not performing. There is no rational reason to have so many ministers doing so few works.

They are a heavy burden to the taxpayer's money. Pak lah should immediately put to pasture some of the ineffective and long serving ministers.

But not only we need academic excellent, but also charismatic, creative, sharp strategist with high self discipline and religious moral code of leaders, to maneuver Malaysia to its greatest.

They should learn some part of it from our southern neighbour.

yoy said...

Some have claimed that the bumis dominate the banking industry, I would agree. And dominate the automobile industry in Malaysia.

Out of the 10 anchor banks in Malaysia, only Hong Leong Bank, Public Bank Bhd and Southern Bank are controlled by non-bumis.

Again, after Oriental Holding Bhd lost it franchise and dealership of Honda. Hyundai franchise has been acquired by Sime Darby. Only Tan Chong which holds distributorship of Nissan remain under non-bumis.

Actually, it is ridiculous to excluded government link company (GLC) on it calculation on 18 percent ownership. If included GLC, bumis control more than 50% of Malaysia economy. All GLCs are head by bumis and majority of its staff comprises bumis plus it has the bumis culture.

Other than the two industries highlighted, they fail to include plantation industry. With the GLC control of Sime Darby, Guthrie and Golden Hope, bumis actually control the majority of the plantation land in Malaysia.

It just that it yield of the company unable to compete with those control by non-bumis like IOI Group, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and PPB Oil Palms Bhd. Thus, it is time to improve efficiency and competitiveness rather than improve percentage of ownership.

All the plantation company also has a property development arm to capitalize on the landbank like Sime UEP, I&P and Gutherie Land.

Bumis also control all the free to air TV via Media Prima Bhd. Holding company of TV3.

At one point of time, bumis control the whole Kuala Lumpur transport system via IntraKota and Park May Bhd. However, both have been acquired by the government due to inefficiency and unable to pay its debts. Again, this is a question of efficiency and not a question of ownership percentage.

I have several remarks to make on Vision 2020. However, with the present state of mind in the country in which alternative views are seen with deep antagonism, I doubt we can make it. We cannot have sound advice and have prejudice in its implementation. Our stumbling block is our prejudices, racial or otherwise.

To talk about the NEP and achieving a 30 percent share of the wealth sounds myopic to me. If the third-rate politicians are allowed to continue with this propaganda to get elected, the electorates deserve what they get. By continually shouting these slogans, they actually give the bumis a sense of inferiority complex.

We are only less than half a percent of the world population. Why don't we open our eyes and look at the other 99 percent of the world market instead of looking just at the wealth of the non-malays in Malaysia.

The solution lies with the politicians and the people.

Edmund Terence Gomez says it who owns corporate Malaysia, and he is absolutely correct in observing that the Chinese Malaysian entrepreneurs have not managed to develop brand names or move up the technological ladder as a result of the NEP.

And I am glad to read that the likes of executive director of the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) agrees that another NEP policy like the kind that we have had before is not a wise move.

If not for the NEP, one would argue that by now, Malaysia would already have produced super companies and super brand names like Samsung and Sony.

Instead, Malaysia continues to drive her most gifted Malaysians such as engineers, entrepreneurs, managers, researchers, scientists etc, out of the country to work for other world-class companies.

If the whole idea of another NEP policy is still to try to get the bumis to own 30 percent of corporate Malaysia, then we'd have missed the big picture altogether.

Because there is a bigger pie out there and corporate Malaysia has to get serious about competing globally rather than to still try and decide how to divide our own little pie amongst ourselves.

aston said...

Learning ones mother tongue is a human right, no dispute. Teaching thing in Bahasa Malaysia has never been made a racist agenda by the non-malays.

On the other hand, the Umno flyers (Utusan, Berita Harian etc) are the culprits.

What is racist agenda?

Closing down schools that teach mother tongues without letting chance for expansion, rebuilding, relocation, (all using private funds on private donated land) is racist agenda.

Up and coming Umno politicians (especially Umno Youth) often cash on racial issues. In fact, it has evolved into some kind of peer pressure amongst them. Today one wave the keris, tomorrow another must bring on the parang. If you take out a butter spreader, you are not a defender of the noble race.

If there were no non-malays in Malaysia, these keris and parang flaunters will become political bankrupts.

What will happen then? There will be more episodes of Dr M and Rafidah APs skirmish coming up.

And the poor malay nelayan still remain as poor malay nelayan in kampung (where is this place? who cares?).

fargoman said...

My best wishes to you. You are doing the right thing despite some may term you as traitor.

After all, the real traitors are those who plunder the resources of the country that belongs to its citizens. The fact that you are treated as second-class citizen in Malaysia does not mean only non-malays face such discrimination.

Our corrupt government and those in power have very cleverly manipulating the issues of NEP, Ketuanan Melayu and Islam for their own selfish greed.

Look around, you will find those aligned with the ruling party (BN) are doing very well including non-malays.

Unfortunately, the malay mass cannot see the effect of evil deeds when religion and emotion are used to blind them of any rational thinking to support social justice. Enough have been said about the hijacking of affirmative actions to help the poor malays by Umno-malays.

Non-malays alone will not be able to change the current situation, but in time the malays will realise that to compete in the globalise market, they will need more than just natural resources and their own kind to succeed.

Meanwhile the prospect of children's future is definitely brighter outside Malaysia. I know, because I have gone through that process some 20 years ago.

My two kids are now foreign citizens and have equal opportunity with better healthcare, a higher standard of education and living.

In my opinion, there are more opportunities outside Malaysia for non-malays if you don't have the right connections at home Malaysia.

The pasture is definitely greener on the other side!

kelly said...


I hate to admit this but I do very much agree with you. Malaysia is my home and will always hold a special place in my heart. However, I feel that my future no longer hold in this country due to various reasons, some you have already mentioned and some personal.

I have lived in UK and my heart now is in Europe.

Malay nationalists especially Umno would rather let Malaysia bankrupt than let it progress and prosperous, manage by the Chinese.

They will rather let the people and country suffer than hurting their own ego. That is the fact and this system will remain until Malaysia is bankrupt.

This country is in for very hard times and year 2020 will see the country going down the drain as an even more underdeveloped country.

The NEP is the very reason why I and many of my partners refuse to invest in Malaysia. We know this is a loss of opportunities for us but it is also a loss for Malaysia because it has lost investments and job creation.

For example, we start a business. We take all the risks and do all the hard work. Say, we are successful and have grown sufficiently for us to relax. We do this by listing our shares in the KLSE so that others can share in the fruits of our success.

What happens! The Umno government insists that we reserve at least 30%, for bumis often, at a discounted price. What have the bumis done or contributed towards the success of our company?


They have done nothing towards it! Yet they want to take our success at a discounted price and also have two chances to get the shares. Once at the 30% reserved shares and second, at the general balloting.

Why cannot they buy our shares like all the others? No! Our feeling is that they are robbing us of our hard work and the risks taken by us. To say that this policy is to help the bumis is a lie and rubbish.

It is to enrich the Umno-malays only. The poor of all races do not benefit from this at all.

vokoyo said...

Many, many thanks for all pertinent comments……….I agree with most of them, being in a similar position myself……….

Points taken. Get a little bit nasty, but that is some facts.

I am an engineer. Like architect and other parties, we design and built houses based on the developer's vision and decision. If the house is very small, poor design, bad finishes but still at an unreasonable high price, I will walk away.

I will advice my friends not to buy it, based on my professional experience and some logic, it is not that difficult, really. But it is their money, they have the freedom to decide what they wanted to do with it.

But believe it or not, someone will still stay there. Can't even afford to buy, consider lucky if they are able to clear the monthly rental.

And I have some malay friends, thinking of emigrating, mainly because most Muslims Malaysia here didn't see things the way they saw it, especially on the religion matters. Oh yes, some perceptions never really change throughout the years.

Once a while I will still welcome my uncle from Australia to visit us here. He is one lucky emigrant, I guess, he is well taken care over there.

It is very sad, it is so sad to see Malaysia's brightest minds are all over the world except Malaysia.

The person who is researching into getting water for Singapore is a Malaysian. The head of Parapsychology in Cambridge is Malaysian. The best doctors in the world many are Malaysians.

Yet, they are nowhere near Malaysia.

In Singapore, it is fast and efficient to get a permanent resident. In fact, foreigners in Singapore are invited to become permanent citizens. Here Malaysia, it takes years and years and years and……….to even be considered to become a permanent citizen. I heard of foreigner whose application was lost and had to resubmit. How is that?

All this while I think many of us are dying to go to Australia, Europe, the US, for a better future……….

Another brilliant Malaysian got scared off by the Malaysia government. Just had a long distance phone conversation with my Malaysian friend who is now pursuing his PhD in civil engineering in the UK.

According to him, he sees no more hope and future in Malaysia and totally ruled out the chance of ever returning, except for the occasional visits to relatives and friends.

Kudos to Umno government. When it comes to scaring off all the brilliant brains out of the country, you are clearly a master at it.

I've finally come to enlightenment. If you argue with a fool, it ends up two fools are arguing. When I've done with my business here in Malaysia, I will be packing up for emigration.

I may end up as a second class citizen. Who cares? Since when are we treated like a Bangsa Malaysia anyway after 48 years of independence? I have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

Don't slog and waste your life away in Malaysia. You will never be appreciated. Leave if you can!

konek said...

I've no idea why you accuse me for supporting racial discrimination.

I've already put it very clear that the racial segregation that imposed since the colonial time has breed the social inequalities in Malaysian societies.

I always against all form of discriminations including religion, race, gender, culture, ability etc. I have no idea how can you allege me for supporting discrimination.

You've been very "strong" in echoing the propaganda of our Malaysia ruling class that alleging the working class envies them for monopolising the wealth of the society.

In fact, without the wage labor, hardworking people, so-called competitive cheap labor, including the migrants form Indonesia, Burma, Bangladesh……….We won't have such abundance of wealth in our society.

Yes, racial problem is severe in Malaysia and it is the tool used by the ruling class (including political-economic elites) to divide and rule, to exploit the working class (including men and women, also migrants, and disabled), and concentrate the wealth created by all working people in the hands of few.

Racism is a form of oppression in class society, and we must see the root cause is class-based, unless you are enjoying to live as an oppressor or to become the lackey of the ruthless ruling class.

Without clear analysis and proper praxis, you would never realize the real problems and develop a genuine grassroots program for better social transformation.

The best of such probably will be an armchair critique.

reek said...

Malaysians are generally rational, moderate, flexible and capable. During my visits to various international cities, I have met a number of Malaysians who are working, residing or doing business there.

They are resilient, adaptable and as competitive as people from the developed countries. Many of us who are residing locally hold similar traits and qualities.

However, moderate and sensible Malaysians give up too easily when faced with challenges on their own home soil. We allow a small platoon of radicals to dominate and patronise us, and dictate to us their values promoted through shortsighted racial and religious political rhetoric and sentiment.

Socially, we continue to tolerate attempts to divide us fundamentally through the rewriting of our nation's founding history by promoting the supremacy of one race against the rest. Our children are told that they should appreciate their legal existence in this country because they are bound indefinitely by a social contract collectively adopted by their forefathers.

Why talk about national unity when the intention is to divide the society forever? True unity cannot be achieved through subordination. All human beings are born equal in a democratic and civilised society. No one needs to remind us to love the nation.

Politically, we continue to tolerate extreme ethno-religious practices even though we realise that such a political model is at the lowest denomination. The aspiration of creating a civilised, peaceful and successful multi-ethnic society is an unrealistic dream in a society where racism and religious fanaticism can be used as political capital.

Again, the majority of moderate and sensible Malaysians continue to throw our support grudgingly to these politicians although many of us do it for the lack of a viable alternative. This can no longer be used as a legitimate reason to keep the present political model.

Proponents of and human rights, multiculturalism and non-racialism must demand for a totally new political landscape. To progress, we ought to adopt a progressive and proactive mindset. We must learn to appreciate the wealth of our diversity and celebrate our freedom to practice our cultures and beliefs. We must restructure the current social order.

Politicians and policymakers are not political masters but public servants entrusted by the society to represent our collective interests. They must listen to the voices of the people.

The implication of our lack of courage to stand up against these radicals is severe and destructive. Moderate Malaysians, who represent majority of the society, must reclaim their rights and rightful place in the society.

Only through a collective rejection of the radicals can we influence fairer policy formulation and implementation in the country.

Otherwise, policies that are motivated by racial and religious fervour will continue to haunt us and retard our progress. Forever, we may never know how far a truly united Malaysian society can progress on the world stage.