- The secrets of the most improved school in Malaysia
- Don’t damage a child’s psyche
- Policing the police
- Wee says school head’s apology insufficient, suggests ‘severe action’
- Dogs In Islam; An Insult Or Just Misunderstood?
- Kelantan Banning Shisha Too
- Ex-mufti: It’s okay to have dogs in Islam
- ROS orders DAP to hold fresh polls
- Malaysian politics of the future
- Raja Petra ordered to pay RM300,000 over defamation suit
- Are we sliding to a state of lawlessness?
- ‘I didn’t say Sanjeevan’s friends were involved’
- Who cares?
- DAP spurns BN rural area focus notion
Posted: 31 Jul 2013 12:58 PM PDT
(Business Circle) - It's not enough to know your students as students; you've got to know your students personally, and love them as your children.
The best school systems in the world, such as Finland's, are funded based on need, so that the most struggling schools get the most resources. Such a policy would make a big difference for Malaysian schools as well – given that Malaysia's student performance across all subjects now ranks among the bottom third of 74 countries. Amid the bleak outlook, SK Lemoi has proven that the right resources at the right time will improve student outcomes.
Posted: 31 Jul 2013 12:48 PM PDT
From disrespecting the sanctity of a human being to manipulating and politicising racial sentiments, the Education Ministry's obtrusive actions have wrecked the very fragile racial ties in the country.
Jeswan Kaur, FMT
Don't damage a child's psyche
Knowingly or otherwise, this insenstitive act by SK Seri Pristana has opened up a can of worms, one whose stench travels way back to the Education Ministry's four-walls.
Posted: 31 Jul 2013 12:45 PM PDT
While policing the police has become a major concern, Barisan Nasional (BN) political leaders are of the view that the Malaysian police force suffers badly from a "negative perception" of being corrupt. They are of the view that the success and achievements of PDRM are often not highlighted.
Christopher Fernandez, FMT
Suhakam's damning verdict
Generally, the perceived effectiveness of the government's action in fighting corruption has decreased. Even the perception that the government's effectiveness in dealing with corruption has suffered, dropping to 31 percent from 40 percent in 2011.
Posted: 31 Jul 2013 12:35 PM PDT
(The Malay Mail) - The apology by the SMK Alam Megah headmistress over her "balik India, China" remarks is insufficient as it had come with a claim that she had also insulted her own race when making the jibe, MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong (picture) said today.
The former deputy education minister pointed out that in her apology yesterday, the school head had claimed that apart from telling the Chinese and Indian students to return to their home country, she had also told the Muslims to "balik Indonesia".
"The dichotomy over citizenship is satirical," Wee said in a statement here. "If the allegations are found true, her behaviour calls for severe action and nothing less."
He said it was okay to reprimand the students if they had indeed been disruptive when the national anthem was being sung during the school assembly, but her use of such incendiary comments was unreasonable.
"The incident alone reflected our country poorly, but her apology even more so builds a seemingly intolerant and zealot image of Malaysia," he said.
"We are all rakyat Malaysia; patriotic and proud. Besides Malaysian citizens, any person who resides in Malaysia legally, with the necessary work permit and visa, whether he/she may be an investor, diplomat, expatriate or even the humble migrant worker does not deserve to be subjected to such bigoted hurls.
"Statements such as hers must cease immediately as they can taint Malaysia as racist, thereby putting off would-be investors and international relations," he added.
According to MIC leader A. Prakash Rao yesterday, the school headmistress admitted to making the jibe and apologised for her remarks but pointed out that apart from addressing the non-Malays, she had also told the Malay students to "return to Indonesia".
"She has promised to meet the students on Friday to apologise to them," news portal Malaysiakini reported the MIC leader as saying after he visited the school.
On Tuesday, Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan confirmed that the headmistress was under probe for making the incendiary remark.
According to reports on Monday, the headmistress had purportedly lashed out at non-Malay students for being unruly during an assembly, allegedly telling them to "Balik India dan China" (Go back to India and China).
The latest incident in Shah Alam is reminiscent of the 2010 case where the headmistress of Sekolah Menegah Kebangsaan Bukit Selambau in Sungai Petani, Kedah accused Chinese pupils there of being insensitive towards their Muslim peers by eating in the school compound during Ramadan, before ordering them to "return to China" if they could not respect the culture of other races.
The same year, the head of a school in Kulai, Johor had labelled non-Malay pupils "pendatang" (immigrants).
Although both school heads later apologised, the incidents and others in the same vein led to accusations of perceived tolerance for racism within the government and the civil service that some blamed on programmes conducted by the National Civics Bureau (BTN).
Posted: 31 Jul 2013 12:30 PM PDT
Posted: 31 Jul 2013 12:28 PM PDT
(NST) - "Based on my experience in other issues, we (state Fatwa Council) will normally agree with whatever decision made by the National Fatwa Council," he said.
Kelantan is set to issue a fatwa to ban shisha smoking to be in line with a edict on the matter made by the National Fatwa Council.
Posted: 30 Jul 2013 08:23 PM PDT
Former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri nevertheless questions the motive of a Muslim woman for making a video celebrating Hari Raya with her dogs
Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT
Former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said it was not wrong for Muslims to care for or even own a dog.
"In fact, it is rewardable in Islam to care for a dog. In a hadith, a prostitute was forgiven by Allah because she gave some water to a dog," he said.
"There is also a story of a bunch of youths who revolted against the government and were forced to flee to a cave, where they lived for a long time. These youths were joined by a dog.
"Therefore, the dog is not always a bad connotation. They are not our enemies," he added.
Mohd Asri was responding to a video showing a Muslim woman and her three dogs with 'takbir raya' playing in the background.
The video, made three years ago by Maznah Mohd Yusof, 38, also known as Chetz, surfaced recently on Facebook, and quickly provoked a firestorm of protests among Muslims groups.
The video, which lasts 1:44 seconds, portrays her in a black Baju Melayu performing ablutions before preparing kuih raya for her dogs.
It also broadcasts the words 'Raikanlah Aidilfitri bersama-sama, tanpa mengira spesis, warna, asal usul' (Celebrate Aidilfitri together regardless of species, colour, origin) while featuring the three dogs.
Posted: 30 Jul 2013 06:32 PM PDT
The Registrar of Societies in its letter only says it is dissatisfied with the party explanation over the counting mistake they committed in the party polls, which Lim Guan Eng says is an act of double standard.
Leven Woon, FMT
The DAP has received a formal letter from the Registrar of Societies (ROS) yesterday demanding them to hold fresh party polls, a directive which is expected to anger the party.
In the one-paragraph letter dated yesterday, ROS says that they are dissatisfied with the explanation given by the party over the counting mistake they committed in the party polls last December, and instructed them to hold a fresh poll in accordance to its party constitution.
The letter was received by the party at 4.48pm yesterday, said party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
"ROS only stated that they were not satisfied with DAP's explanations, without stating the grounds and the reasons why," said Lim.
"DAP had provided a full explanations and co-operated fully with the RoS. All supporting documents were given to prove that the party elections in December last year was conducted properly, legally and democratically.
"Where is natural justice if an organisation or an individual is condemned or punished without knowing the reasons and what are the facts against him?" Lim said in a statement today.
The DAP election controversy first emerged when the party openly admitted early this year that a mistake had been committed by the party's returning officer when transferring the tabulated votes for several candidate using Microsoft Excel.
The amended results saw Lim's political secretary, Zairil Khir Johari, moving up from the 39th position to 20th – the last spot in the CEC.
However, since Zairil was already appointed to the CEC, both him and the person he replaced – Vincent Wu – were retained in the CEC.
"When this error was discovered, this was admitted to and rectified by the party voluntarily without being exposed by any outside parties. The party is now punished for refusing to cover-up mistakes, and for being both honest and truthful," Lim said today.
Posted: 30 Jul 2013 05:29 PM PDT
Everyone was involved in this race, religion, language and royalty battle -- including Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Anwar Ibrahim -- with everyone claiming to represent the voice of the Malays. So all this actually started in 1988 and not 2008 -- 20 years before the Great Political Tsunami of March 2008. Most people look at 2008 as the 'turning point'. 2008 may have been when it 'broke'. But 20 years earlier in 1988 was when the cancer started. It is just that not many people noticed the cancer until it reached 'stage four' 20 years later in 2008.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
'Non-Muslims are insulting our religion'
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Muslims "do not insult" other religions.
(Bernama) - Action that touch Muslim sensitivities must stop or else it will create tension just like what is happening in other Muslim countries.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the action by certain quarters should not happen in a country that is enjoying the peace.
"This shows that there is no deep understanding within society."
"Muslims do not insult the religion of non-Muslims such as Christianity and Hinduism."
"But non-Muslims are insulting our religion," he said at the breaking of fast with orphans of Rumah Amal Kasih Bestari here last night.
The Deputy Prime Minister called for stern action to be taken against the culprits for tarnishing the image and sanctity of Islam.
"The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Home Ministry must act fast to prevent a recurrence."
Years ago if I was to insert a caption below the above photo of Iranians at prayer that said "Iranians helping to look for Ayatollah Khomeini's contact lenses" most, Muslims included, would have taken that as a joke. Today, Muslims would consider that as an insult to Islam if it were done by a non-Muslim and blasphemy if done by a Muslim.
How times have changed. We have lost our sense of humour. Everything, even if done in jest, is now seen as an act of provocation and an insult (or blasphemy). What has happened to our country?
Nothing happens overnight. Cancer takes years to reach the terminal stage. Rust takes years to eat into metal. Rot takes years to destroy wood. Hate takes a generation to divide society.
And now that time has come when Malaysian society has become divided, as it never has before -- even worse than in 1969, which is touted as the blackest day in post-Merdeka Malaysian history.
How did we reach this stage where intolerance, suspicion, hate, and more, have pitted Malaysians against one another? We need to take a walk down memory lane to understand what is happening in Malaysia and to recognise how politicians -- as what has happened in many other countries all over the world as well -- have pushed Malaysia to the brink of a civil war.
Yes, it is easy to blame Umno for the current state of affairs in Malaysia. But it takes two hands to clap. It takes two to tango. It takes two sides to go to war. So no one is exempted in this hate campaign that is currently threatening to engulf Malaysia in one of its worst crisis in history.
I have said this before, many times, and I will say it again. Malaysian politics is about the 3Rs: race, religion and royalty. The acknowledgment of the existence of the 3Rs was the foundation of Merdeka. It was how Malaya gained Merdeka. Without the agreement regarding the 3Rs Merdeka would have been almost impossible.
Malaysians of all races took 12 years to negotiate the Merdeka Agreement to resolve the issue of the 3Rs. Most Malays uphold and hold dear the 3Rs. Most non-Malays oppose and detest the 3Rs.
That one issue alone almost derailed the negotiations for Merdeka. Neither the Malays nor the non-Malays could agree on the matter. Finally they had to meet in the middle somewhere and both sides had to compromise in the interest of gaining Merdeka.
But the Malays were not entirely happy with the Agreement. And neither were the non-Malays. But that is what compromises are all about. It is not about making one side happy. It is about both sides sacrificing something for the sake of coming to an agreement that would otherwise not have been possible.
The four things that the Malays would not let go were, first, the acknowledgment that the Malays are the original people of the country. And that was why the Federation of Malaya of 1948 was translated into Persekutuan Tanah Melayu. Hence Malaya meant Melayu to the Malays.
As a trade-off (compromise) the Malays agreed to give the non-Malays citizenship although this meant the large majority Malays would now be reduced to a smaller majority of the population of post-Merdeka Malaya.
Next was the issue of religion. Islam would be acknowledged as the religion of the Federation but all the non-Islam religions would be free to be practiced as long as the non-Muslims do not propagate their religion to the Muslims or 'interfere' with Islam.
Third, the Malay Language would be acknowledged as the official language of the Federation -- Bahasa Kebangsaan -- while the non-Malays would be allowed their vernacular schools to educate their children in their mother tongue.
Finally, the Monarchies would be maintained, although reduced to a mere Constitutional Monarchy, who would be head of Islam in the states as well as at federal level (the Agong).
And it would be considered sedition and punishable by law to question or dispute these four points in the Merdeka Agreement.
Furthermore, the fact that we refer to Malaysians of different races and religious persuasions as Malays and non-Malays or Muslims and non-Muslims demonstrates that Malays and Muslims come first and all 'others' are called nons -- non-Malays and non-Muslims.
This is a sort of 'psychological' divide that was planted into the minds of all pre-Merdeka Malaysians. Malaya is 'Tanah Melayu'. Malays are the 'owners' of the country. Malay is the language of the country. Islam is the religion of the country. And the monarchs are the rulers of the Malays -- the Raja-Raja Melayu, as the Malays would call them.
This was all agreed during the time of my grandfather. I, too, am now a grandfather of five grandchildren. Hence we are talking about five generations ago or more than 100 years of Malaysians if we take 25 years to represent one generation.
As I said, this was planted into the minds of the Malays five generations ago. So how do we erase that from the minds of the Malays after five generations of regarding that as being 'The Agreement'? To question any one of those four points would be seen as a breach of agreement. And if you want to terminate that 'Agreement' then you will also need to terminate the other 'compromises' that came with that 'Agreement'.
That is how the minds of the Malays work. The Malays think they have sacrificed (gave) certain things to gain certain things. Hence if you take back what they gained they too would want to take back what they gave. And how do you make the Malays understand that what they 'gave' was to the immigrants (China- and India-born Malayans) whereas the present generation of non-Malays are not immigrants but Malaysian-born?
This would be the duty of the leaders and politicians to educate the Malays so that they can understand that the 'Agreement' was made with the Chinese and Indians from China and India. Today, most of these people are no longer alive (they came to Malaya between the mid-1800s to about 1920). Those Chinese and Indians in Malaysia still alive did not come from China or India (unless they are 100 years old or older). They were born in Malaysia.
Hence that would make them Malaysians and not Chinese or Indians.
A sensible or thinking person would understand this. But when the leaders and politicians keep playing up the issue of the 3Rs and constantly remind the Malays of their 'special rights' and that the non-Malays do not have these same rights -- plus the 'other side' keeps questioning these 'rights' and push the Malays into a 'siege mentality' -- we will get what we are seeing in Malaysia today: a great divide based on race and religion.
As I said earlier: it is easy to blame Umno for the current state of affairs in Malaysia. But it takes two hands to clap. It takes two to tango. It takes two sides to go to war. So no one is exempted in this hate campaign that is currently threatening to engulf Malaysia in one of its worst crisis in history.
The government side 'fights' to uphold these four points plus the 'special position' of the Malays. Hence the Malays believe in these things while the non-Malays become bitterly opposed to them.
The opposition, on the other hand, questions and opposes these four points plus the 'special position' of the Malays. Hence the Malays believe they are under siege while the non-Malays believe they are subjected to a great injustice.And it will be a never-ending story for many generations more to come.
Negotiating Merdeka was not easy. It would have been easy had it been the Malays versus the British with the non-Malays being less than 10% of the population.
But the non-Malays were not less than 10% of the population. They were almost half the population. Hence it cannot be the Malays versus the British. It had to be the Malays, Chinese and Indians versus the British.
And this was the difficult part about the negotiations for Merdeka. You had to balance the needs and aspirations of all the three races and not just that of the Malays -- which would have been much simpler.
It is time that we, the rakyat, take the politicians from both sides of the political divide to task for what Malaysia has become. This is all their fault. They should teach Malaysians of all races proper Malayan history. The 3Rs should no longer be a political weapon in the pursuit of power.
Leave the 3Rs alone. No need to argue about it. This matter was agreed before Malaya gained Merdeka. The government does not need to 'fight' to uphold it because sensible Malaysians do not want to remove Islam as the religion of the Federation, remove Malay as the language of the Federation, or abolish the Monarchy and turn Malaysia into a Republic.
The non-Malays, in turn, should not whack Islam and call it an outdated and primitive religion, or whack Bahasa Malaysia and call it a low-class language, or propagate the abolishing of the monarchy on grounds that it is a total waste of money.
We know these are 'sore points'. So why do we want to play up these sore points knowing it is just going to rub people the wrong way? The Malays will never compromise on these issues. So let us see how we can navigate around it rather than meet it head-on in a confrontation.
As I said earlier, this problem did not develop overnight. Just like cancer, rust and rot, it took a long time to come to what it is now. And both sides of the political divide contributed to this.
Let us go back to the story of Merdeka. As I have explained, Merdeka was gained against the backdrop of a compromise on the 3Rs. No one race gained everything it wanted. Everyone had to sacrifice something to gain something else.
In 1957, after 12 years of 'bickering', Malaya gained Merdeka. And that was because the British only agreed to talk to the liberals and not to the extremists or conservatives.
Then, slowly, over another 12 years, the extremists strengthened their hold on Umno and ousted the liberals. And that was basically what 'May 13' was all about -- the catalyst to oust the liberals.
Then, for the next 12 years, Malaysia rebuilt itself from the ashes of 'May 13'. Tun Razak created the multi-racial Barisan Nasional and Hussein Onn -- a.k.a Bapa Perpaduan or Father of Unity -- rebuilt national unity.
Then, in 1981, Dr Mahathir Mohammad took over and he focused on trying to turn Malaysia into another Japan, Korea or Taiwan. It was all about the economy and he was obsessed with beating Singapore even if he had to take shortcuts that were less than kosher and at times immoral if not illegal.
Then, six years later, Umno split into two. And, for the next ten years or so, the Malays (meaning Umno and the other Malay parties such as PAS and Semangat 46) were embroiled in the politics of the 3Rs with each side trying to present itself as the true fighters (perjuang) of their race, religion, language and the royalty (Raja-Raja Melayu).
Everyone was involved in this race, religion, language and royalty battle -- including Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Anwar Ibrahim -- with everyone claiming to represent the voice of the Malays.
So all this actually started in 1988 and not 2008 -- 20 years before the Great Political Tsunami of March 2008.
Most people look at 2008 as the 'turning point'. 2008 may have been when it 'broke'. But 20 years earlier in 1988 was when the cancer started. It is just that not many people noticed the cancer until it reached 'stage four' 20 years later in 2008.
And now the cancer is terminal.
Many of those who were in Umno back in 1988 are now in the opposition. But they too contributed to the problem when they were still bickering in Umno and fighting for power within Umno.
Today, they wash their hands of the problem and blame Umno for it. Yes, if seen from 2008 that may appear like it is true. But then 1988 was when the cancer first started. It took 20 years from 1988 to 2008 to become a problem.
So now they need to take responsibility and do something about it. Don't just shout at Umno to stop this 3Rs politicking. The opposition too must do the same. And as long as the 3Rs politics is a proven recipe for Umno to retain power don't expect Umno to stop using it.
No, I am not saying Unno is innocent. I am saying we are not innocent as well. And as long as we continue doing what Umno is doing then we lose the moral high ground to whack Umno for using the 3Rs politics.
In short, a whore cannot call another woman a prostitute.
Posted: 30 Jul 2013 02:37 PM PDT
(Bernama) - The High Court today ordered Malaysia-Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin to pay RM300,000 in damages to prominent lawyer Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for defamation.
Senior Assistant Registrar Farah Hana Hashim also ordered Raja Petra to pay five percent in interest per annum from the date of the assessment order, which was last year, until full settlement.
Posted: 30 Jul 2013 02:31 PM PDT
THE STAR EDITORIAL
ANOTHER day, another shooting. It seems as if we are becoming as dangerous as some South American nations where gun violence seems to be the norm.
It's just not confined to one or two areas but is happening across the nation.
Three shootings in two days. A 25-year-old man, Jasrafveendeerjeet Singh, was shot in front of a restaurant in Ipoh at 10.15pm. Another man, G. Santhana Samy, 30, was wounded in the thigh when he stopped at a traffic light in Butterworth at 8.30pm.
And in Kuala Lumpur, Arab-Malaysian Development Bank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi died from multiple bullet wounds. He was shot in Lorong Ceylon while walking with his wife to his car in broad daylight.
These incidents followed the murder attempt of MyWatch chairman R. Sri Sanjeevan in Seremban on Saturday who was shot when his car stopped at the traffic lights.
The police response: the setting-up of yet another "high-powered" task force to investigate the crime. Actually, we have lost count of how many high-owered or high-level committees and task forces have been set up to investigate the various shooting crimes.
In fact, we are still waiting for some indication of the progress made by the task force set up in May to hunt down those responsible for the spate of shooting cases then, including the murder of Customs deputy director-general Datuk Shaharuddin Ibrahim.
Federal CID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin had announced that the special CID task force, headed by Federal principal assistant director of Serious Crime (D9) Senior Asst Comm Datuk Huzir Mohamed would identify and arrest the criminals.
At the same time, Penang police have also set up a separate task force to probe a series of shootings, which left at least four people dead over the past five months.
From seemingly ordinary Joes to prominent people being gunned down, the public can't help but wonder whether we are on a rapid slide to a state of lawlessness. The sense of insecurity and nervousness is definitely growing.
Apart from gun-toting criminals, robbers are crashing restaurants to rob the patrons en masse.
Eateries that used to operate till the wee hours are now closing early; there are way fewer people who want to risk being robbed while having supper.
Even snatch thieves have grown more vicious and brazen. They do not just grab but often slash their victims to incapacitate them, making their getaway easier.
In such a state of affairs, we are almost relieved to read of cases where the "victim" is an ATM. The thieves who hack away and drag out these cash-vending machines seem almost harmless and preferable to those who prey on people.
Undoubtedly, the police have their hands full. Theirs is no easy task with no easy solutions. So far, they are focusing on identifying weapons smugglers to try to root out the source of gun-related crimes.
But more action and arrests are what is desperately needed because the ferocity and the increasing number of assassinations are striking fear in all of us.
Our top cops may continue to try to assure us that our nation is still very safe but unfortunately, that's just not good enough.
Posted: 30 Jul 2013 02:21 PM PDT
Khalid Abu Bakar backpaddles on a statement he gave to FMT yesterday, where he said the MyWatch chairman's friends had masterminded his shooting on Saturday.
G. Vinod, FMT
Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar dismissed a FMT report which quoted him as saying that MyWatch chairman R Sri Sanjeevan's friends were behind an attempt to take his life on Saturday.
Khalid said that all he told reporters at a press conference yesterday was that the police are still investigating who was responsible for the attempt on the anti-crime NGO chief's life.
"I told reporters during a press conference yesterday to give us time to complete our probe into the matter. That was all," Khalid was reported saying in Malaysiakini.
Yesterday, FMT reported the IGP as saying that those who shot Sanjeevan over the weekend were not hired killers but the anti crime watchdog's friends.
"No, they are not hired killers. They are his friends," Khalid told FMT. His response was based on a question posed to him by a FMT journalist after his press conference.
The FMT report did not state that he said it during his press conference.
Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) public relations officer ACP Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf urged news portal to rectify the report, claiming it could be exploited to portray a negative impression on the conduct of police investigations.
"The title of this report is not only inaccurate but it could also mislead readers into believing that the IGP had indeed said that the police knew for certain that the shooters were friends of Sanjeevan.
"This in turn, might be misconstrued by interested parties who could exploit the report to portray a negative impression on the conduct of police investigations," said Ramli in a letter to FMT this morning.
Ramli added that he was present at the press conference, with 15 other reporters, and vouched for Khalid, saying the IGP never accused Sanjeevan's friends of being involved in the shooting.
"Several journalists have asked me if the FMT report reflected what the IGP said because they had not heard such a statement made by him. Simply put, it's not the truth," said Ramli.
Posted: 30 Jul 2013 02:17 PM PDT
And since this is just a movie, we should perhaps look at it from the perspectives of artistic creations instead of blockading it with mind-controlled ideologies.
By Tay Tian Yan, Translated by Dominic Loh, Sin Chew DailyThe Wong Kew-Lit that I know is an insistent locally bred director.
He has in the past made a number of local documentaries, including Malaysia My Home, My New Village Stories and My Roots which have been aired over paid TV channels.
His documentaries register the lives and history of Chinese Malaysians in full honesty.
Some of them are very straightforward and unpretentious, such as capturing the moments of a primary school pupil, the sweat and tears of people in the street, and the insistence towards the Chinese culture and traditions by the elderlies.
These films will often stay lingering in our heads for an extended period of time after seeing them.
To videotape the work of rubber tappers, Wong and his team had to start before sunrise, get tensed up for the entire month just to capture the best of cultural happenings. In order to document the life in new villages, they regurgitated the history of new villages in Malaysia, and left their footprints in many of them.
Wong has since acquired a profound sense of affection for Chinese new villages after he finished up with My New Village Stories.
Posted: 30 Jul 2013 02:14 PM PDT
DAP strategist says 70 percent of Malaysia's population are in semi- or fully-urbanised areas.
A DAP leader has rubbished the notion that Umno should focus on rural areas in the view that Barisan Nasional (BN) continues to receive support from voters in such localities since the conclusion of the May 5 general election.
DAP strategist Liew Chin Tong said 70 percent of the country's growing population are already living in areas classified as semi- or fully-urbanise.
In an interview, he said 60% of the traditional Malay villagers are now also situated in urbanise areas based on the population census 2010.
Liew, who is also the Kluang MP, was responding to a call by former Kelantan Umno elections director Tuan Hashim Tuan Yaakob for Umno to shift its presence in urbanise areas to rural districts where voters have shown a strong support for BN despite the rise of Pakatan Rakyat in the last two elections.
The call was made after the conclusion of the Kuala Besut state by-election in Terengganu this month where BN retained the seat with a higher majority.
Among others, Thailand was cited as an example where former premier Thaksin Shinawatra continues to enjoy popular political support due to his devotion to help the rural community in most of the country's 76 provinces.
To this, Liew said Malaysia is certainty not Thailand because the former's rural areas are shrinking fast due to the rapid development rate.
It is believed that Malaysia is seeing record projects of land clearing as there is a demand for plantations, exploration for logging or mining prospects, and housing.
Liew said within the next five years, the urban community is expected to grow in tandem with the population growth and economic push for highly skilled workers.
"There might not be large tracts of rural land left in the next several years. The country's development push is naturally moving into our hinterland."
Umno should focus on what the voters are craving for, which is zero tolerance for corruption and advocating transparency to be underpinned by good governance standards instead of just settling on consolidating support in the rural areas, he said.
There is also a need to adopt equality standards at the expense of racialism as this is needed to drive the country forward, said Liew.
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