Khamis, 29 Ogos 2013

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An open letter to my generation - A different kind of freedom to fight for

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 11:35 AM PDT

http://www.unicef.org/eapro/malay-equity-362x200.jpg 

We lament the state of our country's education system, but we leave the teaching of our next generation of citizens to "other people" - people who in our minds have less going on for them than us. 

Abel Cheah, TMI 

I am scribbling the draft of what you are now reading on a piece of scrap paper at the back of a dark, stuffy classroom, where I teach my Form 1 students. It's their second English Diagnostic test this year, the reason for the unusual calm that has befallen what would otherwise be a raucous group of pubescent boys and girls.

A kid comes up to me with his test paper in his hand - "Sir, ini betul kah?" His sentence re-arrangement attempt reads like this: "after she saw, a running cat mouse". I don't help him because it's his assessment, but I try to remind him of the countless Subject-Verb Agreement lessons we've had over the past year.

This is but one example of the reality of the English proficiency outside our urban-middle-class- comfort-bubbles. Many of my secondary school students read at kindergarten level, and many are around eight years behind academically.

In 5 years, these Form 1 students will leave their school, but they won't have the grades to qualify for university admissions or even government funded scholarships - unless some intervention is done.

In 10 years, these students will add to the ever increasing number of unemployed persons in our country, giving birth to children who have a 60% likelihood of continuing on the same life trajectory and cycle of poverty.

Meanwhile, over in the cities, we, the urban and educated, are becoming increasingly paranoid with the ever rising instances of snatch thefts, assault, murder and rape. The blame game seems to shift between the police force, the government and the fashion choices of the woman on the street. But these crimes are simply symptoms of a deeper problem: the education level in our country.

It was Victor Hugo who said, "He who opens a school door, closes a prison". Bodies of research point to the relationship between education and crime; in the US it was found that correctional populations (criminals) report a lower educational attainment, with an estimated 40% of state prison inmates having not completed high school or its equivalent, while only 18% of the general population failed to attain high school graduation.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/an-open-letter-to-my-generation-a-different-kind-of-freedom-to-fight-for-ab 

Hindraf calls on Prime Minister Najib to get cracking on the Hindraf BN MOU

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 11:30 AM PDT

http://www.nambikei.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/hindraf-1-607x410.jpg 
It is ironical that on the one hand, we have this situation with regards to crime being addressed in a hurried manner with these shootings and arrests and which does not assure sustainability anyway. On the other, we have a plan that promises to be a sure and sustainable remedy and which will have long term positive effects effectively delayed.
 
N.Ganesan, Hindraf National Adviser 
 
The recent high pitched campaign by the police to address the rising crime rate in the country has helped to highlight the extent to which Indian youth are caught up in the whirlpool of crime. The fact that there is such a large involvement of the Indian young is a fairly recent phenomenon. This has not always been the case. This trend was set some 30 odd years ago in tandem with the massive forced displacement of Indian plantation workers out of their traditional abodes in the estates. This crime problem of the Indian young is only one of many ailing the Indian community and is also only symptomatic of the more serious socio-economic problem.
 
It was against this background that Hindraf put out its five year Blueprint to address the situation of the displaced estate workers in a targeted and focused manner with permanent and comprehensive solutions in mind. The Blueprint contained all the elements to address the socio-economic issues of the displaced estate workers which would have had a direct effect on this rising crime problem. The plan clearly addressed the many economic, social, physical and psychological factors that contributed to the marginalization of the Indian displaced estate workers – the path that leads to crime.
 
BN bought the Blueprint on the 18th of April 2013 in an MOU Agreement in an official ceremony and made a public promise to implement the Blueprint on returning to power. They returned to power on the 5th of May.
 
The most significant thing that that has been accomplished deriving from the MOU in the period since is the appointment of Waytha Moorthy as a Deputy Minister.
 
The unit headed by Waytha Moorthy in the Prime Minister's department has yet to be given a name. The charter of this unit has yet to be publicly confirmed. The infrastructure proposal for the unit has not been bought. The Expert Steering Committee which is supposed to come out with the specific plan for addressing the income opportunities, housing and skills training for the Displaced Estate workers has yet to be even identified. The Budget proposed for 2013 has still not been deliberated upon, not to even mention the planning for the 2014 budget.
 
The process seems to be painfully slow. It is ironical that on the one hand, we have this situation with regards to crime being addressed in a hurried manner with these shootings and arrests and which does not assure sustainability anyway. On the other, we have a plan that promises to be a sure and sustainable remedy and which will have long term positive effects effectively delayed.
 
The Prime Minister I am sure is behind the plan of the Home Minister to get aggressive in addressing the crime situation through the police. What he should be equally doing is to be behind Waytha Moorthy and get aggressive on rolling out the Blueprint. He should speed matters up and get the implementation of the Blueprint going. He should name Waytha's unit, he should publicly confirm its charter, he should immediately get the Expert Steering Committee going, he should approve the necessary infrastructure and budgets to implement the plan.
 
The current lacklustre and half-hearted approach is not going to win the hearts and minds of the affected Indian estate workers whose expectations are sky high because of the public promises during the recently concluded GE. They want "Janji mesti di tepati and Nambikei" to mean something tangible.
 
We hope the Prime Minster will get things moving without further delay. The Blueprint and its implementation through the unit is the last hope the Indian community places on the government. If Prime Minster Najib fails to keep his promises, he is looking at an imminent resignation of Waytha Moorthy from government and we believe this will permanently shift the Indian voter completely away from BN on a long term basis.
 
It is now in the Prime Minister's hand which way all this will go. For our part we only want to see correction of a serious historical wrong.
 

Welcome to Malaysia Announcement for incoming flights (Satire)

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 11:21 AM PDT

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PD9UsSWPRDo/Tp5Mqx-UANI/AAAAAAAAE0s/TSFvNG9zmmc/s400/sacrava%2Bnoo%2B2116.jpg
For Christians visiting Malaysia, please note that you may refer to your God as Allah in your worship if you are landing in Sabah or Sarawak but may not do so if you are landing in W Malaysia. In the event of an emergency and you are landing in the sea, you may use any name that works.
 
Ice Cream Seller
 
I was flying into Malaysia recently and tried to make out what the flight attendant was trying to announce in Inggeris (or Manglish).
Perhaps it should be more appropriate to go along these lines: 

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we will be landing shortly. For those of you coming to Malaysia for the first time, kindly be advised that:

1) If you are bringing in dangerous drugs or firearms, you may be prosecuted and if convicted face the penalty of death by hanging. However, please bear in mind that if that were indeed the case, there is also a possibility that you may die of heart failure, asthma, pneumonia or self inflicted injuries pending your execution whilst enjoying our hospitality in detention. In that case, you need not fear hanging.

2) All foreigners will be required to have their fingerprints taken upon arrival at the immigration desk. If the scanning devices are inoperable for any reason, we will take your thumbprints with ink. To help save the environment, tissue paper is not provided to wipe off the ink. However, since our inks are edible and halal you can safely suck your thumb to clear all remnants.

3) Malaysia is well known for its gastronomic delights. As such, if you find yourself in an eatery where seats are full, you may use the shower rooms or toilets to enjoy our culinary delights. We do that in our primary schools too. 

4) Upon checking into your hotel rooms, you will see a guidebook from our very own Prof Ridhuan Tee in which he very kindly shares his expertise and advice on how to consume your meals in the en suite toilet - as he has reportedly done whilst travelling around the country giving his motivational lectures. He shares some great ideas on how to wash your face using the bidets too.

5) Your baggage may be opened by our efficient ground staff to check on any prohibited goods being brought in. This is in case our sniffer dogs get wet in the rain and consequently, defile your luggage when sniffing around. We do not want to have them (the dogs) put down on account of this.

6) Malaysia is a paradise for shopping. Our very own Petaling Street is a must visit for those intent on getting a bagful of the 'genuine imitations' freely on sale. As most of the foreigners in Petaling Sreet are actually the vendors, you will find yourself quite at home.

7) If you are here on a business visa, kindly note the local sensitivities on the giving of gratuities. It is an offence for a gratuity to be demanded but conversely, it is regarded as a heavenly blessing and kosher if given out of your own volition.

8) For Christians visiting Malaysia, please note that you may refer to your God as Allah in your worship if you are landing in Sabah or Sarawak but may not do so if you are landing in W Malaysia. In the event of an emergency and you are landing in the sea, you may use any name that works.

9) If you are a visiting Shia Muslim, please do not engage in any religious discourse as there is a high possibility for exacerbating the level of confusion that already exists.

10) Last but not least, we apologise if you are unable to understand this announcement due to content or pronunciation as we are likewise unable to comprehend the script.

Thank you for flying with us and we wish you a pleasant holiday in Malaysia and for Malaysians, KALAU TAK SUKA, BALIK SAJA.

Terima Kasih



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