Saturday, February 16, 2019

Insolence of Office

People in positions of public power and public trust must always remember to be patient and consult with stakeholders and affected communities.

Heed Hamlet's warning observation in Act 3; Scene 1 to avoid the insolence of office.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Malaysia's Schooling System

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it". That is the old saw that has been a vital piece of wisdom for engineers for a long time.

In the 1960s, the intention was to foster National Unity and National Integration through the co-option of the mission schools into the National School System. The medium of instruction was to be changed from English to Bahasa Malaysia. The Junior Cambridge and Senior Cambridge examination system would be localised into the LCE and MCE. Later it would morph into SRP and SPM.

What went wrong after that?

How did the quality of education go down?

How did religion become so dominant in the National School System?

We should all note the reality that the 1960s ethos and the second decade of the new millennium are completely different epochs. It should be quite clear that the state of Malaysia's schools system is in disarray.

National objectives have not been met. What was the intended outcome? What went wrong?

Malaysian families, as always, practical and effective, quickly found alternative ways to get their children schooled at a standard that allowed them to enter into the workforce with the necessary skill sets to earn a living. They resorted to the Chinese-medium schools.

Leave aside polemics and rhetoric. Cast aside racial arguments. Throw away prejudice and invective. Just measure the schooling system by looking at OUTCOMES. That is the sure and objective measure. 

The issue of Malaysian schooling systems is a large one with different aspects. All these create confusion and distractions.

My suggestion is that everyone starts with getting the National School System fixed. This, as I previously blogged, requires an open and inclusive consultative process. 

The shape of Malaysia's future is at stake here.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Malaysia's Gettysburg Address

As Ministers for media and communications go in Malaysia, there are 2 standouts. One is Tan Sri Ghazali Shafie who was a good friend of Tun Razak. The other is Tok Mat, Datuk Mohamad Rahmat.

The post is now held by Gobind Singh Deo.

What Malaysians need now more than anything else is a sense of good cheer.

And, what Malaysians need is a timely reminder of the tenets of the Rukunegara which shone a light and, gave a sense of direction to Malaysians in our hour of darkness.

In the euphoria of the change of federal government in May 9 last year, many assumed that the Malaysians who voted for BN to remain would swing to the new government. The jury is still out on this matter.

But, whoever is in charge of the federal government has a sacred duty to keep multiracial Malaysia intact.

Everyone loves to feel good. Malaysians have every reason to feel good. But in order to feel good we often need something to trigger the chemicals in our body that makes us feel good.

The current federal government should be reminded that it needs to invoke the Rukunegara that all Malaysians have embraced since 1970, without any question at all.

What the Minister for Communications and Multimedia needs to do is to get the talent within his Ministry and the talent that is out there in the Malaysian entertainment, media, advertising and communications sectors to get onto the bandwagon and create content that will remind Malaysians to feel good about each other.

Who can argue with the principles enshrined in the Rukunegara?

The Rukunegara is a work of genius. It is economical in language. It is categorical. It is enumerated. It is a national mantra. 

It is Malaysia's version of the Gettysburg Address.

I invite the Minister of Communications and Multimedia to use the Rukunegara to change Malaysian mindsets for the better.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Malu Troll in Malaysia Baru

It must be annoying and confusing for many to see people who are charged with serious breaches of public trust, corruption and assorted financial crimes walk freely among us. Worse still, these accused persons wear smug expressions and appear to carry on their daily lives with nary a worry in the world. Further unkind blows are received when we read about their capers in social media and the adoration they receive from certain sections of the Malaysian polity.

One may begin to wonder ... hmmmm ... do crimes really pay? Can one really get away with it? What gives? Is our system of laws really broken? Why haven't the accused persons been thrown in jail?

The due process of the law is, indeed, annoying. It comes across and being slow, lumbering, languid, emotionless, uncaring and, cold. One has to be stoic.

If nothing else, our criminal justice system requires the accuser to be patient. This is due to the basic principle adopted only in the recent two centuries that an accused person must be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

Annoying as it may be, this system is far, far better than the one used by Torquemada in the Spanish Inquisition and, the Star Chamber used in 17th Century England.

The long arm of the law will reach the guilty parties. By charging the accused persons, the noose is already around their necks. The noose may be loose now because the trials haven't started. It will start tightening around the necks of the accused once the trial gets under way. 

Malaysia Baru is a work in progress. Everyone needs to do their own small positive part. Have faith that change has started and, it is in progress.