Posts Tagged ‘Education


Najib Signed Off Hundreds Of Millions On ‘Scam’ Solar Project For Sarawak Schools

Najib Signed Off Hundreds Of Millions On ‘Scam’ Solar Project For Sarawak Schools

Sarawak Report has viewed copious documents indicating that in January 2017 the former Prime Minister personally pushed through an extraordinary RM1.25 billion project, which was awarded to a car rental company in Bintulu, purporting to install solar energy supplies for 369 Sarawak schools in the interior.

Letters signed by Najib clearly authorised for the Ministry of Education’s strict rules on tendering and price negotiation to be over-ruled during the awarding of the project and later for payments to continue to be made, even though the terms of the contract were not being fulfilled by the company.

Ministry of Education staff who raised concerns about quality control were transferred from their posts, according to our information, and reports to the police and MACC were ignored right up until the last election.

Insiders say several companies qualified to install solar power in Malaysia were by-passed for the contract, in favour of the politically connected Sarawak company, Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, which lacked a track record in the field.

Now, 18 months into the three year contract not a single solar power unit has yet been installed at any of the designated schools, although the money has continued to flow from the Department of Education.

Angry whistleblowers have now passed their dossier of damning information to senior anti-corruption figures in the new government, who have indicated the matter is now being investigated. As one disgusted insider told Sarawak Report:

“The company was made tycoon overnight by Najib. This company even enjoyed a privilege never given to any companies in the world where even price comparison and negotiations were skipped. Najib’s Minutes for the Company encompasses issuing an Uncompromising Letter of Award, pressing the Ministry to forgo price negotiations and also requesting the Ministry to approve the finalized price set by the company itself.”

Solar Power Plan Or Fancy Excuse To Award A Billion Ringgit?

Particularly galling for Sarawak families is the fact that the consequences of the contract have included serious supply problems for the affected schools, many of which have been regularly cut off from electricity altogether and facing blackouts for several hours a day.

Previous to this project, which was touted to provide cleaner, cheaper solar energy, the affected schools relied on deisel generators, which were supplied and maintained by some 30 local companies, who were required to regularly tender for the service contracts by the Ministry of Education. Jepak Holdings had held one of the contracts.

However, under the new contract Jepak Holdings took over the entire diesel supply and maintenance work for all 369 schools for an agreed lump sum of RM21.8 million a month, whilst simultaneously being tasked to convert the schools to solar hybrid systems at a rate of at least ten schools a month.

It might appear a seemingly enlightened strategy, if placed in the right hands for the right amount of money. However, insiders say that the diesel contract was in fact heavily inflated above the actual cost of supplying the schools.

Worse, despite raking in millions, the company has failed to provide sufficient upkeep and supply of the existing diesel generators, let alone install the new solar power supplies. The schools need 2 to 4 generators, but most are currently running on just 1 genset which can only provide electricity for a maximum of 12 hours a day. According to a source:

“to cover up their incompetency, the company just falsified claims and in at least one case forged a school principle’s signature on forms to verify the work. The principle discovered this fraud when Ministry officials conducted a random check. The school head then wrote to officially complain to Ministry, but no action was taken. Instead, the principle was later forced to withdraw the complaint after receiving threats. He was even told to call certain high ranking officers in Ministry and to inform them that it had just been a misunderstanding.”

Najib Signed Off Hundreds Of Millions On ‘Scam’ Solar Project For Sarawak Schools
10 June 2018 – SR


Stop intimidating and blackmailing teachers

Stop intimidating and blackmailing teachers

IT is unprofessional of both the Education Minister and the president of the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) to use their power to harass, intimidate, threaten and even blackmail teachers from having the freedom to support the political party they want. Teachers have the same rights as any other citizen.

For the past few elections now, teachers have been targeted this way because of their sheer number – almost 500,000. This is the single largest vote bank among the civil servants, more than all the armed forces combined. If the BN could engineer an excuse, they would be made “advanced voters” who will have to vote under the watchful eye of the school heads and NUTP representatives.

Is it legally, morally or ethically right for the education minister and the NUTP president to take away the democratic right of the teachers to support the politicians of their choice so long as they do not absent themselves from school to work for the politicians?

It used to happen and may still be happening that during election time, some teachers who are Umno and Barisan Nasional supporters will actively campaign for their teams till late and fall asleep in school the next day. And this is perfectly all right?

The education system is in bad shape, what with broken schools and indiscipline rising. This is what is crying for attention but neither the Education Ministry nor the NUTP seems to have any workable solutions. Jointly, instead of improving the standards of education and character building of the children, they have allowed standards to fall all round.

People are questioning why more and more Malay children are going to Chinese vernacular schools. Why are they abandoning the sekolah kebangsaan which is supposed to be the pride of the school system? Why is indiscipline so rampant in our schools?

If the teachers who have to work in a broken school system feel that the malaise is due to a broken political system, and that the political system must be changed for the broken schools tobe repaired, why is it wrong for them to lend a hand to change the broken political system?

The NUTP is showing itself to be happy with the broken school system. This is a great disservice to the nation. Of all parties, a teachers’ union should know that schools make or break the nation. They either develop future generations of people with good, strong moral values or future generations of unethical and lawless people, which is what is happening now.

The NUTP has no call supporting the minister in threatening, intimidating and blackmailing teachers, but should instead defend teachers who are punished in any way for not supporting BN. – January 20, 2018.

Stop intimidating and blackmailing teachers
Ravinder Singh
20 Jan 2018 – TMI


Wrong to threaten civil servants who support opposition

Wrong to threaten civil servants who support opposition

Teachers are not bound to sycophantically praise any government. They are there to educate students, broaden their minds and equip them with skills and knowledge.


Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid has once again proven that he is unfit to occupy his current position by saying that teachers actively promoting the opposition or “discrediting the government” should resign from the civil service.

His remarks bring to mind Chief Secretary to the Government Dr Ali Hamsa who, in November 2016, said that disciplinary action may be taken against civil servants who join the Bersih 5 rally. He said civil servants identified from photos and complaints would be targeted for pay cuts or even possibly face sacking, in a move that wouldn’t be out of place in George Orwell’s 1984.

Coming from a family of teachers, I take offence that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government is threatening my family members and their colleagues who serve faithfully in the education field for daring to exercise their democratic rights to support and choose the government they want, in their private capacities.

While there is much to be said and improved in our education system – ranging from the curriculum, the training of teachers, and the dismal state of national schools, it still stands that teachers and civil servants alike are not beholden to the BN.

Teachers are not bound to sycophantically praise any government. They are bound to serve the country. Teachers are there to educate students, to broaden their minds and equip them with skills and knowledge to face the world and become better, kinder human beings.

Besides that, how does the minister define “defaming”? Is saying that we should arrest and charge corrupt officials who create slush funds to rob our nation’s coffers defamatory? Is saying that free and fair elections are a hallmark of a democracy equivalent to slamming the government?

I am all for keeping partisan politics out of our schools if the minister can address the hypocrisy of barring opposition politicians from federal schools. When the opposition swept to power in Penang and Selangor in 2008, schools in these states were directed not to invite state government leaders, including chief ministers and exco members, to grace school functions or initiate non-partisan, community programmes, such as educating schoolchildren about recycling. Even I, as a local councillor representing the DAP, encounter a good degree of trepidation when I want to help resolve, say, a mosquito problem in schools.

A narrow-minded Education Minister does not bode well for our collective national intellect. If BN is so confident that it is the best choice for governing Malaysia, I challenge them to stop intimidating civil servants and allow them to vote whichever way their conscience dictates.

Lim Yi Wei is Special Assistant to Tony Pua, MP for Petaling Jaya Utara, and a Petaling Jaya City Council councillor.

Wrong to threaten civil servants who support opposition
March 27, 2017 – FMT


‘Show-cause to teachers violates government circular’

‘Show-cause to teachers violates government circular’

PPBM Youth leader says the move has infringed on the Federal Constitution and a Public Service Department circular in August 2010 that allows for teachers to engage in politics.

KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) Youth has criticised the Education Ministry’s decision to slap show-cause letters on five teachers for partaking in politics on an opposition stage as being “autocratic” and in breach of a government circular that allowed such activity.

Mohd Ashraf Mustaqim Badrul Munir, the wing’s executive councillor in charge of education and university student issues, today said the move had infringed on the Federal Constitution and a Public Service Department circular in August 2010 that allowed teachers to engage in politics.

In a statement today he said the circular allowed government servants between grades DG41 and DG48 to become members of political parties or be directly involved in politics.

“In fact, they are allowed to contest or hold posts in any political party,” he said, adding that civil servants in high management and in professional management positions are only allowed to be ordinary members of parties.

Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid had announced yesterday that five teachers alleged to have criticised the government on an opposition platform were slapped with show-cause letters from the ministry.

“We live in a democratic country. We do not have a problem with anyone supporting whoever they liked,” Mahdzir was quoted as saying in a Bernama report.

“But the problem arises when a government official goes on an opposition stage and gives a speech to hit out at the government while he is holding a public post.”

Ashraf questioned how a minister could issue such a statement simply due to opposing political ideology. He claimed that it went against the provision set out in the circular and also violated citizens’ rights.

“In fact, Article 10 in the Constitution safeguards the rights of the five teachers,” he added, pointing out that it allows all citizens to have free speech and be able to voice out.

‘Show-cause to teachers violates government circular’
March 28, 2017 – FMT


Universiti Malaya can’t stay afloat with budget cuts, says ex-VC

Universiti Malaya can’t stay afloat with budget cuts, says ex-VC

Ghauth Jasmon says the university is already dipping into its reserves and will need to cut 2,000 jobs to survive.

SUBANG JAYA: The oldest university in Malaysia may be bankrupt in three to five years if “the right people” are not hired to raise funds for its operations.

This comes after the government slashed its funds by half, said former Universiti Malaya (UM) vice-chancellor Ghauth Jasmon.

He said UM received government aid of RM550 million yearly before funds were slashed two years ago.

“Now, UM face cuts of RM270 million. They are now dipping into their reserves as the top management are academicians (vice-chancellors or VCs).

“These VCs, appointed by the higher education ministry, have no clues as to how to raise money. They only have another three to five years’ of savings.”

He was speaking on the final day of the Asia Public Policy Forum 2017, co-hosted by Harvard Kennedy School and Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia.

Ghauth, who was the UM VC from 2008 to 2013, said there was no “income replacement” for the budget cuts. This was despite the university being informed by the government a decade ago of the intended reduction in aid.

He said UM has 5,000 academic and administration staff. To survive these budget cuts, they will have to remove 2,000 people.

“It’s not only UM. Other public universities are also facing the same problem. Professors going to retire or on contract have been told to end their services.”

There is a big crisis in universities but none of the VCs have the answers to cope with the huge budget cuts, he said.

“… Not the board or the top management of academicians. They are still renting out the gymnasium or organising competitions at the swimming pool. That is the sort of things they are doing (to raise funds).

“What is the solution? The public university is waiting to die. That’s is how I see it because I have not heard of any solutions.”

Ghauth predicts public universities will be forced to sell off their assets to make up for the shortfall.

He said this may lead to a large number of school leavers unable to continue their tertiary education, causing a huge social problem.

As for Universiti Teknologi Mara, it is facing cuts of RM946 million a year.

“UITM has 200,000 students. With almost RM1 billion in cuts from the operating budget, they might not be able to keep that (high a) student number. Where are the school leavers going to go?”

Universiti Malaya can’t stay afloat with budget cuts, says ex-VC
January 19, 2017 – FMT


How budget cuts affect public universities

University Budget 2017

How budget cuts affect public universities

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 ? The austerity drive in public universities has resulted in a conundrum between providing quality education and working within a much tighter budget compared to previous years.

Under Budget 2017, public universities will see their combined operating budgets slashed by about 19 per cent, or RM1.5 billion, a bigger cut than last year’s budget, and out of the 20 public universities in Malaysia, 10 of them will be facing massive cuts ranging from over 10 per cent to over 31 per cent.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh has reportedly said that public universities have become too dependent on government funding, and that a decade ago, it was a fraction of what was now given.

But what do the budget cuts mean? What is the feasibility of public universities sourcing out alternative funding? Will it compromise the quality of education being offered in varsities?

Seeking funds in turbulent times

Professor Emeritus Datuk Abdul Rahman Embong believes that public universities should be allowed to continue providing education and training and serving the community as best they can, and that reducing their operating budgets will affect this.

“Reducing the budget for public universities and demanding that they raise their own funding has the effect of turning the principle of education as a public good on its head.

“I would like to state a fundamental principle that education is a public good, and that it is the responsibility of the government who is supposed to represent the public interest to ensure it is offered to the public from the judiciously managed taxpayers’ coffers,” Abdul Rahman, who is adviser to the Malaysian Social Science Association and Principal Fellow at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s (UKM) Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), told Malay Mail Online in an email interview.

He said that while some universities will find ways to cope with the budget cuts by collaborating with each other in terms of aspects like facilities, there will be a tight race between varsities to source out alternative means of funding.

“Some will succeed while some others will not be as lucky. It is a crowded market out there with hopeful fund-seekers while funders hold tight to their purse especially during these turbulent times,” he added.

Azmil Tayeb, a senior lecturer with the Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) School of Social Sciences, said that the cuts have resulted in university staff being deprived of basic work needs like office telephones and desktop computers.

“A few lucky ones get hand-me-down computers that have seen better days and in most likelihood slow and near obsolete. As the minister has clearly stated, he wants public universities to depend less on government and increase alternative sources of funding.

“That statement in itself is acceptable but the drive for alternative funding should not be done at the expense of diminishing the main function of a public university as a public good serving as the engine for social mobility for the less fortunate. Public universities should not be run as a business entity, where only the bottom line matters,” he told Malay Mail Online in an email interview.

How budget cuts affect public universities
January 11, 2017 – MMO


Report on Malaysia’s PISA disqualification underway

Report on Malaysia’s PISA disqualification underway

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 – The Education Ministry is preparing a report to explain Malaysia’s disqualification from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, its deputy minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon said.

He added that the ministry committee in charge of Mathematics, Reading and Science will release the full details to explain the inadequate sampling which resulted in the disqualification, The Star daily reported today.

“The committee conducting the PISA will come up with a report on the issue” Chong was quoted telling a news conference yesterday.

Despite Malaysia’s disqualification, Chong asserted that the country’s results showed improvement compared to previous years.

The Education Ministry came under criticism after it was reported to have touted an improvement in Mathematics, Science and Reading with Malaysian students allegedly scoring higher in PISA 2015 compared to 2012.

In actual fact, Malaysians were disqualified from the ranking last year as it there was insufficient data supplied for the assessment and low number of schools that responded.

Report on Malaysia’s PISA disqualification underway
December 16, 2016 – MMO

The dawn of A Better Malaysia!
Rafidah Aziz, Hannah Yeoh, Ambiga at TTDI ceramah


Mahathir in Putrajaya ceramah


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BN govt is directing attention to distant past and distant future, in order to distract people from present misdeeds and poor governance
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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?