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Trouble brewing in Sabah DAP

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 03:30 PM PDT

Rumours that the Luyang assemblyman is about to jump ship to BN is rife in Sabah. Attempts to clarify the matter with Hiew King Cheu just leads to more questions but no actual answer.

Trouble is brewing in Sabah DAP. Hiew is acting in a political tease that the state has not seen since Datuk Lajim Ukin and Datuk Wilfred Bumburing made their long kiss goodbye to Barisan Nasional last year. 

Philip Golingai, The Star

"WILL he jump? He will definitely jump," a Sabah DAP leader told me when I asked if his comrade, Luyang assemblyman Hiew King Cheu would quit the party.

"It is a public camouflage. Hiew said he would ask the people whether he should leave DAP. For us, we know he has already made up his mind," he said.

Trouble is brewing in Sabah DAP. Hiew is acting in a political tease that the state has not seen since Datuk Lajim Ukin and Datuk Wilfred Bumburing made their long kiss goodbye to Barisan Nasional last year.

"Are you going to jump?" I asked Hiew in a phone conversation yesterday.

"Nothing, nothing ... it is reported (in the media) in an angle that I am leaving DAP.

"That is just speculation. I just resigned as state adviser. It has been blown out of proportion that I am leaving DAP. And, it does not help that Barisan (via LDP, a component party) has extended an offer for me to join it," he said.

If he wanted to leave the party, Hiew would seek the people's view on the matter.

"It is not for me to decide," he said.

Some of his voters, the Luyang assemblyman claimed, wanted him to leave DAP.

"In 505 (May 5) they voted for Pakatan Rakyat because they wanted Pakatan to form the Federal Government.

"Now that it has not materialised, they say mati lah (die lah) this time as we are now in the opposition," he said.

"We have to apologise to them for not delivering the Federal Go­vern­ment.

"We promised them ubah (change). But what is ubah? It is just a slogan as Barisan is back in power.

"The people are upset and angry. They regret voting for the opposition. Some even scolded me because DAP could not deliver the Federal Government to them.

But, what can DAP do? We are only 1/3 of Pakatan. We delivered the seats when we won 38 MP seats (but not PAS and PKR)."

"What did you mean when you said the people menyesal (regret) voting for the opposition?" I asked.

"That is the general feedback I got from the ground. It (the sentiment) is true. Pembangkang (opposition). So what? In the end it is about the rakyat (people). We have to look at it in the correct way. As a wakil rakyat I have my responsibilities," he said.

"For five years I was the MP for Kota Kinabalu (2008 to 2013).

"What was the result? After bising bising (making noise) and teriak teriak (shouting), nothing happened.

"Let's be realistic and practical. The ADUN (assemblyman fund for Barisan) is RM1mil a year.

"For five years, that is RM5mil. Can you imagine what we can do for Luyang (a suburb next to Kota Kinabalu)? We can fix the pavements in Luyang."

"If people want to be stubborn, we can throw this (RM5mil).

"But, can we tahan (withstand not having any development) for five years? I can go back to lawan tetap lawan! (we will continue the fight!) But if you continue to lawan (fight), you get nothing."

The Sabah DAP leader, who was sure his comrade would leave the party, said Hiew was not listening to the people.

"What the people want him to do is not to quit DAP. But, if he wants to quit DAP, they want him to quit as Luyang assemblyman too, so that they can decide in a by-election who they want to represent them," he said.

"The talk is you will jump. Even your DAP comrades think you will jump," I asked Hiew, again.

"If I wanted to jump, I would have jumped by now," he said.

"If you do jump, aren't you worried that people will call you a frog?" I asked.

"Yes, people will call me katak (frog) and other names.

"Lajim (who is now Sabah opposition head) is called king of frogs. But his people still love him," Hiew said.

"(In 1994) Lajim even caused the collapse of PBS (when he ditched PBS to join Umno).

"What is the big deal? Frog or not a frog, the people (in his Klias seat) benefited when he became a state minister (in the Umno-led Sabah government).

"And, Lajim has won election after election. People still supported him. Even during this round after he jumped out of Barisan, he still won (the Klias state seat). It is the people who are the backbone and not the party that you stand for."

Hiew said that he did not owe DAP for his political successes.

"DAP should look at what I have done for DAP. From zero – a party that was scolded by Sabahans as 'Rocket parti Semenanjung kacau saja' (DAP, the party from peninsular Malaysia that only wanted to cause a disturbance) – to two YBs (Kota Kinabalu MP and Sri Tanjung assemblyman in 2008) to four assemblymen and two MPs in 2013. I am responsible for this," he said.

"If the people tell me to leave DAP, I will leave DAP.

"However, there are also some people telling me not to leave. At the moment it is 50/50."


Race-based education policy and polarisation

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 03:01 PM PDT

The fragmented education system has indeed "polarised" the minds of the different communities.

Narinder Singh, FMT

The Malaysian education system is nothing short of melodrama. We clearly suffer from the incompetencies of our leaders in handling the system from day one. We change education ministers but the irony is our education policies have changed far more often within the jurisdiction of the same minister umpteen times.

We never had a policy in place for more than a decade and thus never really assimilated the outcomes of a policy to full breath.

Our education ministers have become lame ducks and keep turning the pages the moment a pressure group nails an issue on its policies.

Education is the key to the foundation in any civil society. The power of cohesiveness in holding any society or community revolves around the components within the education system practised.

Unfortunately, we are definitely off tangent in instilling such ideology in our education system. We segregate and demarcate the different segments of the society under the disguise of championing the race and religious cards.

Racial schooling

Why in a population of only 28 million do we need to have raced-based schools? A fragmented delivery system within the education loop clearly has and will not enhance any form of unity among the different races in Malaysia.

It is baffling that despite vernacular schools insisting that they adhere to national policies in delivering the education system, then why the need for such schools which revolve around a particular mother tongue?

In all honesty, there are definitely other motives and suspicions that will linger on for no matter how they skew and spurt their arguments. It tickles the bone when vernacular school advocates put forth that they merely teach Tamil or Chinese as a subject rather than using their mother tongue in all other subjects.

If that is the case, then why build separate entities and disengage from the mainstream delivery system? Why not just integrate an extra subject for the Chinese and Tamil students? We can have parallel classes running during the same period allocated in schools for Chinese and Tamil language, Islamic studies, and even maybe other languages like French, Arabic or Japanese for those who may want to opt for other choices.

In a globalised environment today, any extra language skill acquired can only be an added asset for the students. But we do not need stand alone entities to do that like vernacular schools.

It is time to abolish vernacular schools. Historically, they came into play as a by-product of settlements during the British Occupation. We stubbornly held on to it and what we have today is an in-direct culmination of racial sentiments in these establishments. Deny as much as we want, but the fact remains that when one is put thorough a homogeneous system, the outcome can only be biased and it is due to conditioning.

Imagine a six-year-old being nourished for the next six to 11 years in a system where only one majority race exist. What do you expect if "racially inclined" thought process does not breed in the mind?

It is proven that the early formative years of education is the most vital and critical in carving the minds for future behaviour. In the same tone, why the issue of racial polarisation being heavily politicised by the opposition and even the government alike?

The fragmented education system has indeed "polarised" the minds of the different communities. This is the root problem in our society today. Every stakeholder shoves the blame on another for the racial discontent that we experience today. Nevertheless, they are nothing short of being hypocrites.

Take the bull by its horns if they indeed dare to look into the truth. The irony is at every change of guard at the education ministry, the game plan takes a twist.

Pacifiers come into play to immediately to calm the disgruntled parties. We may be the only country having such idiotic and diversified entrance requirements to public universities.

This is not at all helping the reconciliation agenda laid by the Prime Minister. With the growing number of naturalised Indonesians, they, too, may soon demand for "Indonesian schools" for their children; after all, it is within their rights, too.

Racially-oriented education will only blossom into race-based polemics in all levels of our society. Almost every issue nauseously has been skewed on the lines of race. Nothing has been left by our politicians.

Reformation or transformation means naught if we do not chew on the hard issues of excavating the rotten roots out from the education foundation. We do not see any political will power from both sides of the divide.

The opposition has a field day in bashing the government the moment a so-called racial issue crops up but we have yet to see any blueprints from them on how they can reform the mindsets of the different races.

Mere policies do not make reforms. It has to be embraced and assimilated into the system. Will they remove vernacular schools if they come into power? Do not count on your luck to reap beautiful and succulent mangoes if you had not manured and water the soil well!

Delivery system

Vernacular, national, religious and private schools all claim that they use the same education policy. If that is so, then why are we in the doldrums of racial segregation? There is a thing called "distortion" in message when different delivery channels are used for the same message; another fact that has either been left out or the authorities play ignorant.

We boast to have some best researchers and academicians in the social front, thus it is time a comprehensive and an in-depth study done as to why our community still has racial sentiments if they had gone through the same policies?

Why the deviation and by how many degrees have we gone off the trajectory? If we do not have this, then its time our politicians, NGOs and other advocates keep their gaps shut on racial issues and live with the realities.

Corrective actions can only be undertaken when we know where the fault line lies and the craters exist. Any attempt otherwise is nothing short of pulling the veil before our own eyes and then blaring the horns to clear the road. Misleading and fooling the masses in short.

Visit any tertiary education or even primary schools; you see groups of students socialising only with their own ethnic group. Having gone through the system, racial polarisation is indeed magnified multiple folds at tertiary level. We have race-based student societies, activities and even formal social gatherings.

Navigating a lost ship in turbulent waters is a nightmare for any captain. With no bearings and a faulty compass, we are steering a nation blindfolded and handicapped. Racial polarisation and sentiments gyrating will only brew into a perfect storm in a matter of time if we keep our current education delivery system.




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