Archive for November, 2013

30
Nov
13

Students must pass ‘warped’ history for Umno’s sake

Is there more than what meets the eye behind the move to make history a compulsory pass subject for students who sit for the SPM examination?

According to Kempen Sejarah Sebenar Malaysia (KemSMS), there is an ulterior political motive at work.

In a media statement, KemSMS chairperson Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim warned of dire consequences.

“We have strong fears that this new attempt to politicise education through the history syllabus will have disastrous effects on inter-racial and inter-religious unity and tolerance through the propagation of a predominantly Malay and Islamic version of history which will form the major content of the curriculum.

“Instead, what is required is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious view of Malaysian history, one that unfortunately this government continues to deliberately ignore for its own short-sighted partisan interests,” he said.

Thasleem pointed out that students from poor backgrounds would be the main victims of this measure which “would damage minds by instilling a warped version of the country’s true history.”

“The teaching of a ketuanan Melayu (Malay hegemony) and ketuanan Islam (Islamic hegemony) history may appear to be a victory for Umno supporters but in fact it will only make the community more unprepared to deal with the reality of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious Malaysia, as well as a multi-civilisational world,” he said.

Thasleem recalled that Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, when launching the National Education Blueprint, stated that it would result in students with world-class knowledge and skills, strong moral values and capable of competing with their peers from other countries.

“This has now been revealed to be an empty boast and a lie,” he said.

“Worse, it is a cover up for the greater politicisation and stultification of our national education system which Umno, the main component of the BN, is seeking to ensure so that it will continue to rule the country for the next 50 years,” he added.

…more
Students must pass ‘warped’ history for Umno’s sake
Nov 14, 2013 – Malaysiakini

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29
Nov
13

Former EC chief admits to gerrymandering?

EC Resign!

Abdul Rashid admits to gerrymandering?

Former Election Commission chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s speech at a Perkasa event yesterday appeared to be an admission of engaging in gerrymandering during his eight-year tenure as commission head.

Outgoing Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan said Abdul Rashid had, in a series of tweets, brazenly admitted to this when he said that three re-delineation exercises which he oversaw had ensured that Malays remain in power.

“(The) former EC chair joining Perkasa is one thing. More important is his admission of (as I see it,) gerrymandering.

“Some of the re-delineation worked against PAS. How is this for the Malays? Seems it was more to favour party in power. What an admission!” wrote Ambiga.

Abdul Rashid, who was the EC chief from 2000 to 2008 and the EC deputy chief before that, had made the admission when he addressed the Federal Territories Perkasa meeting in Kampung Baru.

“We did it in a proper way. Not illegally. The people who lost in the past general elections claimed that we did it wrong.

“But if we did, how did (the BN) lose to the opposition in Kelantan, Penang and Selangor?” he is reported as saying by The Malaysian Insider.

Was it legal?

However, Ambiga, who was the Bar Council president before leading Bersih, said that this admission meant that the re-delineation exercises Abdul Rashid had conducted in the past were illegal.

“(It) also means redelineation did not follow the Federal Constitution. Will this EC do the same? They should respond!” she said.

..more
Abdul Rashid admits to gerrymandering?
Nov 25, 2013 – Malaysiakini

29
Nov
13

Challenging malapportionment and gerrymandering

Opinion
‘Witnessing history’ by Wong Chin Huat

SHOULD the Election Commission (EC) commence the redelineation process before cleaning up the electoral rolls despite public outcry, citizens must organise themselves to reclaim the process.

As we know, any group of 100 or more voters affected by the redelineation can submit their representation (objection) to the EC and force the EC to hold local inquiries.

However, how should they assess the EC’s proposed boundaries? What can they challenge in malapportionment and gerrymandering respectively?

Three grounds to challenge Malapportionment

On malapportionment, we should remember that the Thirteenth Schedule, Part 1, 2(c) stipulates that the seats within the same state should be “approximately equal” although reasonable malapportionment may be allowed if in the “pro-rural” direction.

We can divide the latest available number of total voters in a state – if nothing newer, the GE13 figures would be good – by the number of parliamentary and state seats.

This would give us a state average of constituency size. We should then look out for the outlying constituencies and seek adjustment. While super-small constituencies can be sometime justifiable because of inland terrain, the outliers on the other end are not.

Take Sarawak for example, Hulu Rejang with 21,686 voters could be justified with a size of nearly Pahang. The severe under-representation of Stampin – with 84,732 voters – is blatant abuse of power when its neighbours were almost just half its size: Kota Samarahan (38,158), Petra Jaya (49,570) and Kuching (53,336).

Rural constituencies that find themselves larger than the urban ones – like Baling (93,376 voters) as compared to Alor Setar (69,189 voters) – have every reason to expect the EC to cut down their size. They would have powerful cases in court if the EC insists on violating the constitutional allowance for “pro-rural” malapportionment.

We can also make comparisons between parliamentary and state seats within the same state, even though there is no constitutional provision on this. By common sense, one would not expect a state assemblyperson to serve more voters than a parliamentarian.

In Selangor, the smallest parliamentary constituency in GE13 was Sabak Bernam, with only 37,318 voters. Scandalously, out of Selangor’s 56 state constituencies, 28 of them now have more voters than Sabak Bernam. While this was partly due to the growth of electorate, the main reason was malapportionment in 2003.

With 26 parliamentary constituencies and 56 state constituencies, an average parliamentary constituency in Selangor should be about 2.15 times that of an average state constituency. If the EC refuses to down the oversized state constituencies to at least that of Sabak Bernam, they should be prepared for legal suits.

…more
Wong Chin Huat: Challenging malapportionment and gerrymandering
Nov 11, 2013 – fz.com

28
Nov
13

Allowing Rosmah on official jet an abuse of power

Allowing Rosmah on official jet an abuse of power, says Pakatan MPs

Opposition lawmakers have accused the Cabinet of acting irresponsibly and in an undignified manner for approving the use of a government jet for a recent trip by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (pic) to Qatar.

They said the decision was an abuse of power and interfered in the country’s administration.

“If the prime minister can’t attend, then a minister or an ambassador can be sent in his stead, not his wife.

“When Obama was unable to come to Malaysia, he sent his representative, not his wife,” PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar said sarcastically, referring to the US President’s cancellation of his Malaysian visit last month. In his place were US Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

Mahfuz, questioning Rosmah’s credentials in representing the country, warned the Cabinet’s decision was dangerous for the future of the country.

“This is a Cabinet without any dignity and highly irresponsible to make a decision based on one person instead of taking national interest into account,” he said.

Rosmah was in Qatar last week to deliver a keynote address at the 4th Qatar International Business Women Forum in Doha, organised by the Qatari Businesswomen Association and the Interactive Business Network.

Accompanying her were Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who is special adviser to the prime minister on women entrepreneurs and professionals; Datin Seri Siti Rubiah Datuk Abdul Samad, wife of the Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman; Datin Seri Khamarzan Ahmad Meah, wife of International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed; and Datin Seri Che Kamariah Zakaria, wife of Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.

PKR Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen said Rosmah was neither the country’s representative nor ambassador.

“It sets a terrible precedent and shows no semblance of decency on the government’s part,” he charged.

…more
Allowing Rosmah on official jet an abuse of power, says Pakatan MPs
BY EILEEN NG
November 20, 2013 – TMI

27
Nov
13

Ibrahim Ali, blogger jailed in contempt case

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali (pic) was sentenced to one day in jail and fined RM20,000 after being held in contempt by the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.

This was over an article by blogger Zainuddin Salleh published in the Perkasa website, which had allegedly tarnished the image of High Court judge Datuk V.T. Singham.

Singham had presided over a defamation suit by opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim against Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd.

High Court judge Datuk John Louis O’Hara today also sentenced Zainuddin to four weeks’ jail, leaving both Ibrahim and Zainuddin in shock when the verdict and sentencing were read out.

In an immediate response, Anwar’s lawyer, R. Sivarasa, said this was a fair verdict given the seriousness of the act, where the duo were responsible for the publication of the article which he described as a “personal and scurrilous attack on judge Singham”.

“This article could not have been let off without a response. This is the most extreme scurrilous written attack on the judiciary. I think Zainuddin can consider himself lucky he only got four weeks’ jail.

“In comparison, the imam who threw his shoes at the judge got 12 months’ jail,” Sivarasa said.

He was referring to the case of Hoslan Hussin, the imam who flung his shoes at the Federal Court bench in February last year after it struck out his bid to challenge an eviction order from a city mosque here in 1999 on a technicality.

According to Sivarasa, in his judgment today, O’Hara ruled that Zainuddin had written and published an article that scandalised the judiciary, and judge Singham, in particular.

…more
Ibrahim Ali, blogger jailed in contempt case
BY JENNIFER GOMEZ
November 19, 2013 – TMI

26
Nov
13

Moral question over exam shocker

Opinion
‘Point Taken’ by Terence Fernandez

NO ONE wants to say this. But the question that should be asked is this: Was the sudden change to the SPM moral paper some subtle bureaucrat’s way of bringing down the number of straight A’s?

OK. Let us be more specific. Were the sudden unannounced changes in the format of the SPM Moral paper a sneaky way to ensure fewer students scored straight As? This would give public universities and matriculation centres another excuse to turn bright students away and further polarise our institutions of higher learning.

Well, that seems to be the reason of choice when scores of students sitting for the examination on Wednesday were shocked by the drastic changes to the examination format.

Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli seems to endorse this theory saying the problem was symptomatic of fragile race relations.

“People do not trust the system and the government. The majority have long felt that the subject (Moral Studies) only serves to penalise them (non-Malays).

“There is a need to re-look at the education system because it only serves to further divide the society,” he is reported as saying by FMT.

Moral is a paper that is taken by non-Muslim students, while Islamic Studies is the compulsory subject for Muslim students.

It is considered a bonus paper that is a sure-A for many, while the level of difficulty is higher for Islamic Studies.

So while this year, 15,793 students obtained straight A’s in the SPM (a slight increase from 15,079 the previous year) – there was a drop in those scoring in Islamic Studies. Moral Studies however, recorded a stark improvement.

So one can argue, that revising the moral paper was to make it a more open playing field for all students.

But while no one is preventing the Education Ministry’s Examinations Unit from improving the syllabus and making the paper more challenging, to do it in a clandestine manner is something that is unfair to the students and opens up the government of the day to scrutiny.

This is especially so when almost everything it has been doing of late – from the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST); the 100- 300% assessment hike in Kuala Lumpur and the proposed cap of 12 years on cars – do not seem to have the rakyat at heart.

…more
Moral question over exam shocker
Nov 22, 2013 – fz.com

25
Nov
13

Why is Shafee leading prosecution against Anwar?

Why is Shafee leading prosecution against Anwar, Surendran asks Najib

The Prime Minister must explain why his personal lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, has been chosen to lead the prosecution against opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, said PKR vice-president N. Surendran (pic, left).

“Najib must break his silence, and explain why his personal lawyer has been chosen to conduct the prosecution against Anwar.”

Surendran was responding to the insistence of the Federal Court to use Shafee as prosecutor in the government’s appeal against Anwar’s acquittal of a second sodomy charge.

“The Malaysian public is entitled to know,” Surendran said in a statement.

In rejecting Anwar’s appeal, the Federal Court ruled yesterday that there was no conflict of interest in Putrajaya’s decision to appoint the prominent Umno lawyer to act as deputy public prosecutor.

Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Mohd Rauf Sharif, who chaired a five-man bench, said the law allowed anyone who was fit to be appointed as prosecutor.

“The shocking decision plunges prosecutorial standards in Malaysia to a disgraceful new low and further undermines public confidence in the judiciary, as it deprives Anwar Ibrahim of his basic constitutional right that the prosecution against him be conducted fairly and ethically,” Surendran said.

Surendran added that Shafee was at Najib’s residence when Saiful Azlan Bukhari met with Najib, claiming that Anwar sodomised him.

Aside from being Najib’s personal lawyer, Surendran said, Shafee also has close links with Umno.

“Knowing the political animosity of Najib and Umno against Anwar, how can the Federal Court allow Shafee Abdullah to be prosecutor against Anwar?”

Surendran added that the court had failed in its duty to oversee justice for Anwar as an accused person seeking redress from the courts.

…more
Why is Shafee leading prosecution against Anwar, Surendran asks Najib
November 22, 2013 – TMI




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We cannot afford ridiculously expensive RM55 Billion ECRL!
All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?

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