Girl is now 36-years old and is still confined to her room
SAUDI ARABIA: A Saudi man decided to lock up his teenage daughter in her bedroom for an apparent punishment. The girl is now around 36 years and is still locked up.
Police said they are not aware of the girl’s trauma but a newspaper quoted neighbours and human rights activist as confirming the woman is still confined to her room in the eastern province of Qatif.
“Neighbours and human rights sources said the girl was apparently subject to family punishment and violence and was locked up in her bedroom when she was a teen ager,” Kabar Arabic language daily said.
“They confirmed the girl is still confined to her room and is not allowed out…the sources urged authorities to immediately intervene and free the girl as she has been deprived from education and all other needs in life.”
Kabar quoted police spokesman Lt Colonel Ziad Al Rukaiti as saying authorities in the eastern region have not received any information about that case.
But it also quoted a human rights activist as saying the girl is still locked up and calling on all parties to join hands in releasing her.
“What this father has done is totally unjustified and cruel…perhaps he is suffering from mental problems given the fact that he has not yet realized the consequences of this act against his own daughter all these years,” said Alia Al Fareed, a member of the Saudi Human rights Commission in the eastern area.
Immediately after SMS, faxes and website postings started going out
and the Press Conference from at the Hindraf HQ in Bangsar calls started
coming from the school asking Sri Tharan’s father to withdraw the
police report and to “close this case" of gross racism.
at 12.30 a.m Sri Tharan’s father Murugan gets a phone on an “old case”
from one Sargeant Affendi (017-2247704) asking Murugan to come to the
police station for “muka cam” on a case that happend two years ago and
that was hardly investigated. This caused alarm to the family who
telephoned their lawyer at 12.40 a.m.
And then this morning a ‘reporter from The Star” has been harassing Mr. Murugan to come to the school.
In the previous cases the classic racist UMNO BTN trained headmaster
teachers etc is to coerce the family to give in writing that this matter
is solved and the police report withdrawn. And end of the matter.
But had it been an Indian teacher who thrown his shoe at a Malay
muslim pupil, he would by now have been remanded for seven (7) days been
clobbered in the police lock up and prosecuted by the racist Attorney
General Tan Sri Gani Patail for “attempted murder” if not causing grievous injuries on a child.
And the Indian teacher would have been sacked by now.
But as usual when the victim is an Indian child, zero happens,
no police investigations, the teacher gets to stay put in her school.
So much for UMNO Prime Minister Najib’s 1 Malay-sia.
Anwar (centre) said the EC has yet to address complaints regarding the manipulation of the voter registry. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) may not hold state elections concurrently with the national polls if the Election Commission (EC) fails to implement meaningful electoral reforms even after being compelled to do so by Parliament.
PR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today that a decision on the matter was yet to be reached, but added that the pact’s choice would be “influenced” by the EC’s response to the parliamentary select committee’s (PSC) recommendations.
The PSC, which is meeting for the last time today, will be tabling its final report to Parliament next Monday.
But Anwar revealed today that throughout the committee’s six-month investigation, PR lawmakers — who are also members of the panel — had found the EC lacking in commitment to implement meaningful reforms as promised by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak last year.
“We still have to state our strong objection because until now, the EC has not cleaned up the electoral roll, especially when the election is so near,” he told a press conference here.
He said the leaders of PR states are still negotiating on whether to hold simultaneous polls with national elections, but added there was fear the alleged voter roll manipulation could greatly affect the pact’s chances if it remains unresolved.
“I think we have to sit with them again. No decision has been reached yet. We have the option of whether we should hold it all together but it is still open,” he said.
Anwar stressed that the “central issue” to PR now is to ensure the EC commits itself to electoral reforms.
“We have compelling evidence and facts to support our argument that the (election) process is fraudulent.
“So that’s the issue and that will influence our decision (on whether to hold simultaneous polls),” he said.
Anwar added that PR would continue pressing for reforms in the election process even if the EC failed to do so.
Barisan Nasional (BN) experienced its worst electoral result during the 2008 general election, when it lost five states to PR as well as its customary two-thirds supermajority in Parliament.
But Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has indicated that he will soon call for a general election, adding that confidence in his BN has surged of late.
Umno-controlled Berita Harian reported the prime minister as saying in Port Dickson on March 24 that “rasa-rasa bunyi (PRU) dah dekat (it feels and sounds like (elections) are near).”
The Umno president said last week he would dissolve Parliament when public confidence towards his administration is at its highest level.
Observers say Najib, who took over in April 2009 ostensibly to improve on the ruling coalition’s performance, will need to return BN’s two-thirds majority to guarantee he remains in power.
Seramai 150 peneroka berdemonstrasi secara aman di pejabat Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan hari ini.
SEREMBAN: Seramai 150 peneroka Kampung Serampang Indah dari Serting hari ini mengadakan demonstrasi secara aman di hadapan Pejabat Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan, Dato’ Mohamad Hasan di sini bagi mendesak campur tangan beliau agar memulangkan semula tanah perladangan mereka secepat mungkin.
Mereka yang turut mewakili 250 peneroka yang lain berjumpa Menteri Besar di Balai Pengawal pejabat beliau. Mereka menyerahkan memorandum meminta Mohd Hasan berunding dengan syarikat Thamarai Holding Sdn Bhd agar tanah perladangan mereka dapat dikembalikan semula kepada keseluruhan 400 peneroka di Kampung Serampang Indah tersebut.
Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Bertindak Peneroka Kampung Serampang Indah (Gatco), Abdul Rahman Ali Mohamad, 60, menjelaskan kronologi masalah yang membelenggu 400 peneroka terbabit timbul sejak 35 tahun lalu.
“Peneroka di sini membeli tapak kediaman seluas satu ekar dan tanah perladangan seluas 10 ekar daripada syarikat Gatco pada tahun
1977. Peneroka Bumiputera membayar RM4,000 manakala peneroka bukan Bumiputera membayar RM7,600.
“Pada tahun 1983, syarikat Gatco memperbaharui perjanjian dan melakukan pengubahsuaian dan keluasan tanah perladangan dikurangkan kepada lapan ekar.
“Gatco membuat pinjaman dengan dua buah institusi kewangan iaitu United Asian Bank dan Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappijvoor Ontwikkelingslanden.
Bertolak dari masalah pengurusan, syarikat Gatco diisytiharkan muflis pada tahun 1996. Sepanjang tempoh ini peneroka gagal mendapat geran hak milik.
Tanah perladangan dilelong
“Pada tahun 2004 tanah perladangan ini dilelong. Kami bersedia membeli tanah perladangan ini melalui koperasi dan kami telah membayar deposit sebanyak RM320,000.00 (earnest deposit) kepada Tetuan Singam and Young (Pelelong).
“Apabila kami ingin membuat bayaran peringkat kedua, pihak pelelong tidak mahu menerima bayaran dari kami atas alasan kami tidak mampu untuk menyelesaikan keseluruhan lelong tersebut.
“Seterusnya tanah perladangan ini ditawarkan kepada Thamarai Holdings Sdn Bhd dengan harga RM16 juta.
“Persoalannya kenapa pihak pelelong tidak meneruskan urusan lelongan dengan kami. Jika kami gagal membayar baki RM16 juta dalam masa yang ditetapkan, mereka boleh batalkan urusan ini,” jelas Abdul Rahman.
Abdul Rahman berkata mereka sanggup membeli tanah mereka pada harga RM18 juta dari Thamarai Holdings dan memohon jasa baik Menteri Besar dan Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Negeri Sembilan (PKNNS).
Tetapi selama ini Menteri Besar dan PKNNS tidak mahu membantu mereka walaupun kuasa tanah terletak di bawah Menteri Besar.
Seorang lagi wakil peneroka Kampung Serampang Indah, C John pula berkata keadaan semakin meruncing apabila Thamarai Holdings sudah membawa masuk jentera dan jentolak untuk membersihkan tanah ladang (pokok getah) mereka.
“Masalah kami sudah berlanjutan selama 35 tahun. Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) Sungai Lui, Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad pernah berjanji untuk membawa masalah kami kepada perhatian Menteri Besar namun sehingga ke hari ini janji tinggal janji.
“Oleh yang demikian pada hari ini kami datang ramai-ramai untuk meminta Menteri Besar campur tangan dalam masalah tanah ini dan berunding dengan Thamarai Holdings agar kami mendapat semula hak kami.
“Kami sanggup membeli balik dari Thamarai Holdings dengan harga RM18 juta.
“Sebelum ini Thamarai Holdings bercadang menjual tanah kami kepada kami pada harga pasaran iaitu dari RM25,000 hingga RM30,000 seekar sedangkan mereka membeli tanah kami dengan harga RM4,000 seekar.
“Kami memberikan masa tujuh hari kepada Menteri Besar dan jika beliau gagal selesaikan masalah ini, kami akan membawa masalah ini kepada Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“Kami tidak teragak-agak untuk membuat bantahan di hadapan Pejabat Perdana Menteri di Putrajaya”, kata John.
Sementara itu drama demonstrasi aman dan penyerahan memorandum ini tidak berakhir apabila Mohamad
Hasan ketika menerima memorandum berkata bahawa beliau akan menjadi orang tengah dalam masalah ini dan akan cuba berunding dengan Thamarai Holdings
Bagaimanapun selepas Mohamad Hasan menerima memorandum tersebut dan ketika baru meninggalkan peneroka terbabit terdengar laungan agar Mohamad Hasan menyelesaikan masalah ini dengan segera dari luar pagar oleh Adun Senawang dari DAP, P Gunasekaran.
Mohamad Hasan kembali semula ke Balai Pengawal dan berkata bahawa beliau tidak akan membantu peneroka sekiranya pembangkang campur tangan dalam isu ini.
Ini memaksa Abdul Rahman dan John menjelaskan kepada Mohamad Hasan bahawa isu ini tidak ada kena mengena dengan pembangkang dan ini merupakan masalah peneroka semata-mata.
Tanah milik syarikat swasta
Dalam sidang akhbar selepas mesyuarat Exco, Mohamad Hasan berkata masalah yang dihadapi oleh penduduk di tanah ladang ini sebenarnya bukan masalah kerajaan negeri.
“Tanah tersebut bukan milik kerajaan negeri sebaliknya milik syarikat swasta yang membeli tanah ladang itu melalui lelongan awam yang dibuat di mahkamah.
“Syarikat Thamarai Holding membeli tanah tersebut melalui lelongan awam dan kerajaan negeri tidak pernah menjual tanah tersebut kepada syarikat itu kerana segala urusan jual beli serta lelongan dilakukan di mahkamah dan tiada kaitan dengan kerajaan negeri.
“Walaubagaimanapun kita akan berusaha berbincang dengan Thamarai Holdings bagi mencari jalan penyelesaian yang terbaik untuk kedua-dua pihak.
“Peneroka ini jangan terpengaruh dengan pihak lain yang cuba menghuru-harakan keadaan agar menjadi lebih sensasi.
“Saya pasti ada pihak lain yang cuma mempengaruhi peneroka dan membuat dakwaan bahawa kerajaan negeri yang jual tanah ladang itu kepada pihak luar sedangkan itu tidak betul.
“Janganlah terpengaruh dengan anasir luar. Siasat dulu dan faham betul-betul apa yang sebenarnya berlaku kerana masalah ini bukan satu perkara yang baru”, ulas Mohamad Hasan.
Sri Lanka's problems cannot be solved overnight, and Malaysia is giving the war-torn country time to help itself, says deputy minister Richard Riot.
KUALA LUMPUR: Putrajaya has defended the decision to abstain from voting in a United Nations resolution urging Sri Lanka to “credibly investigate” allegations of war crimes during the final months of its civil war there.
Amongst the reasons, according to Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Richard Riot, was that Sri Lanka’s problems were too complex to solve in a short time.
He said that the country, which had fought a civil war between 1972 to 2009, tabled a report investigating the war’s atrocities in its own parliament on Dec 16, 2011.
“Taking into account 30 years of conflict and complexities of domestic issues… unfair for (the UN) resolution to impose an obligation on the government of Sri Lanka to report in just three months,” he said, during the wind-up on the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong’s Speech today.
Riot also said that Malaysia had acknowledged Sri Lanka’s national reconciliation process as a domestic issue.
He added that Sri Lanka had taken the “necessary steps” to share information with the international community over reconciliation and development efforts.
Riot was referring to the US-led resolution which was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council on March 22. The resolution was passed with 24 votes in favour, 15 against and eight abstentions.
(The countries that abstained from voting were Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia and Senegal.)
In the last few months of the war, more than 40,000 people were alleged to have been killed by security forces and Sri Lankan rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE).
To this, the Malaysian government acknowledged that genocide had indeed taken place in the conflict-ridden country, citing a paper known as the “Darusman Report”.
“…the report has said there were human rights violations and crimes against humanity…(by the) Sri Lankan government and the LTTE,” said Riot.
He said that Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) confirmed the same thing, adding that the country’s security forces had acted in self-defence.
He also claimed that Malaysia’s abstention was not a double standard and that the country did not interfere in other countries’ domestic affairs.
Regarding the Israel-Palestinian issue, Riot said that Malaysia was looking for a peaceful solution between the two states.
He also reassured MPs present that Malaysia would give Sri Lanka a chance to prove itself.
“(But) if during the period of reconciliation, that they don’t achieve peace, then the international community will meet and vote whether they will interfere or not,” he told the House.
Business deals allegation
Pakatan Rakyat MPs however were not satisfied with Riot’s response.
Criticising the LLRC as “weak”, Klang MP (DAP) Charles Santiago said that the LLRC report supported the Sri Lankan government.
Ipoh Barat MP (DAP) M Kulasegaran said that it was “shameful” for Malaysia to be one of the eight abstaining countries.
“I compare, these are irrelevant countries. They are substandard (in) human rights values and so forth. Can we compare to them?”
“No! Malaysia is entirely different. Our standard is very high, our per capita income is very high. The expectation of the world is very high and we are a member of the Human Rights Council!” he said.
He also asked on the allegation that Malaysia’s abstention was due to billion-ringgit business deals with Sri Lanka.
Kulasegaran claimed that there were “many big business people” in league with the Barisan Nasional government who were investing in Sri Lanka.
In response, Riot said that matters of foreign trade did not come under his ministry and that it came under the Ministry of International trade and Industry.
BN is facing many problems. On 25 March 2012, when about 10,000
members of the public were attending the rally protesting against the
shortage of teachers in Chinese primary schools, about 100 members of
the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and other organisations brought a
watermelon to the Prime Minister Office (PMO) in Putrajaya and smashed
it on the ground, demanding a solution for the extreme poverty of the
By LIM SUE GOAN Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE Sin Chew Daily
According to the latest rumour, it is said that the next general election will probably fall in September, not June.
Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently said that the date of the
election will be a surprise. It seems to comply with the above
speculation. However, he also pointed out that the support for the BN is
peaking, including in Selangor. If it is the case, then what is the
Prime Minister still waiting for?
If the general election is not
being held in the next three months, it might be because the BN needs
some time to solve thorny problems, particularly the rare-earth
refinery plant issue, to fight for votes from swing, urban, young and
The BN is facing many problems. On 25 March 2012,
when about 10,000 members of the public were attending the rally
protesting against the shortage of teachers in Chinese primary schools,
about 100 members of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and other
organisations brought a watermelon to the Prime Minister Office (PMO)
in Putrajaya and smashed it on the ground, demanding a solution for the
extreme poverty of the Indians.
Members of the public were so
agitated at the rally, showing that more efforts are required to gain
Chinese votes. Although the strength of Hindraf has been polarised and
grievances of the Indians have also been abated, there is still
possibility of resurgence.
In fact, the BN's governance mechanism
has faced challenges even before the 2008 general election. On 25
November 2007, Hindraf successfully gathered 30,000 people while 40,000
people joined the first Bersih rally on 10 November the same year.
9 July 2011, about 50,000 people attended the Bersih 2.0 rally and
30,000 participated in the Himpunan Hijau 2.0 on 26 February this year.
They are then followed by the rally on 25 March to protest against the
shortage of vernacular school teachers, as well as the Himpunan Hijau
3.0 scheduled on 13 April.
The high numbers of attendance of
these rallies tell us that the anti-incumbent sentiment is still high
and the effects brought by Umno's 1Malaysia concept, moderate line and
policies are not as effective as expected.
The crux of the
problem lies on the weak promotion on political reform. There are still
weaknesses in the administrative system and therefore, the Pakatan
Rakyat has continued pointing out its management weaknesses to offset
the effects of various transformation plans.
The MCA and the DAP
have engaged in a new war of words after Deputy Education Minister
Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong claimed to have been attacked at the rally. The
MCA is again in an disadvantaged position due to the inconsistent
arguments of the BN in responding to attack incidents over the past few
To fight for swing votes, the BN must be daring to
eliminate bureaucracy and administrative deviations. Only by doing so,
old problems could be resolved and the stereotype of swing voters on
the BN could be broken.
If the general election is held in
September and the thorny problems remain unresolved, the BN might still
be able to keep its regime with votes from its basic supporters, but
there is no way to win back the two-thirds majority.
Moreover, how is the BN going to ensure no more scandal will be exposed in the coming few months?
the election in the end of this year or early next year might also
face economic risks. It is because no one knows whether the US will
attack Iran or not, whether the international crude oil prices will
rise to US$150, or whether the Euro zone will be struck by another debt
If the economy goes down, the good feelings created by money distribution and pay rise will be gone forever.
are now in a period of political chaos with blurred concepts of right
and wrong. Regardless when the next general election will be held, the
outcome will be difficult to predict.
- Senator S Nallakaruppan is exploring the possibility of initiating an
impeachment process against Anwar Ibrahim for allegedly lying to
This was expressed through his newly-appointed lawyer Shafee
Abdullah, who said that “technically, it can be done”, during a press
conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
“The opposition leader is an
official position in parliament. The individual plays a big role to
form check-and-balance to (the government).
“As such, the
personal conduct of a parliamentarian should come under the scrutiny of
parliament. We will study if there is a process to impeach the
opposition leader over his misconduct.
“If we manage to do it,
it will be the first of such case in Malaysia,” said Shafee, a senior
legal practitioner who is well known for his links with Umno.
‘Even Clinton was impeached’
Nallakaruppan had called for the press conference yesterday in order to
announce Shafee’s appointment as his lawyer for a RM100 million suit
brought by Anwar.
Anwar is suing Nallakaruppan, his former
tennis partner, for making allegations about his sexual orientation in a
front page report on the March 20 edition of Utusan Malaysia.
Shafee spoke about the possible impeachment after Nallakaruppan, who
stands by his allegations, was asked by a reporter on whether it was
Using the impeachment of former United States
president Bill Clinton as an example, Shafee said a similar principle
can be applied here.
“Clinton was impeached not because he had sex with (Monica) Lewinsky. He was impeached because he lied.
Shafee said he will be looking into the possibility of filing a “motion
of dismissal” in order for Anwar to be referred to the rights and
privileges committee for disciplinary action.
Meanwhile, Nallakaruppan that he and eight other former Anwar allies
will be joining forces in order to “expose” more of Anwar’s alleged
However, he was unable to provide examples of
issues that would be raised, but did allude to the possibility of
raising issues involving a woman by the name of “Shamsidar”.
“I don’t want to mention what form of evidence. But you will know in court,” he said.
Other than Nallakaruppan, members of the new anti-Anwar alliance are
Kulim Bandar Baru MP Zulklifi Nordin, Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Mohd Hashim,
Padang Serai MP N Gobalakrisnan, Anwar’s former aide Anuar Shaari,
Keadilan founding member Ng Lam Yong, former AMK deputy chief Zahid
Arif, Perkasa information chief Roslan Kassim and key witness in Anwar’s
first sodomy trial Ummi Hafilda Ali.
Lee Ting Hui, Chinese Schools in Peninsular Malaysia: The Struggle for Survival
Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2011. Pp. xv, 282; figures, tables, abbreviations, glossary, bibliography, index.
Reviewed by Christine Chan.
As its title suggests, Lee Ting Hui’s book treats the ways in which Chinese schools in Peninsular Malaysia managed to survive from 1786 to 2003. Its approach is to consider how the British, Japanese and post-independence Malaysian governments posed challenges to Chinese schools and how the latter responded to those challenges (xiii).
Chinese Schools in Peninsular Malaysia is arranged chronologically into seven chapters, with the first chapter providing an overview of the period from 1786-1941, beginning with the establishment of Chinese schools with the onset of Chinese migration to Malaya. Lee argues, on the basis of previous research (2006), that Chinese schools managed steadily to increase in number and to remain unaffected by British policy. The second chapter covers developments from the onset of Japanese occupation in 1941/1942 until Malaya achieved self-government in 1955. During the Japanese Occupation, Chinese schools were closed; they were only revived with the return of the British in 1945. The post-war period was also the time when Chinese educational organizations such as the United Chinese School Teachers’ Association and the United Chinese School Committees’ Association, which resurface constantly later in the narrative as the main defenders of Chinese education, were founded.
Chapter Three covers the period between 1956 and 1969. The former year saw the governing United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) declare that they would work towards an “ultimate objective” in education—“to use the Malay language as the main medium of instruction in all schools”. Lee notes that this objective “still holds today” (83). The latter year brought the 13 May racial riots between Malays and Chinese. Lee documents the decision for some Chinese-medium schools to switch to using English as the medium of instruction, while others became independent by refusing any aid from the government. Chapter Four covers developments during the 1970s, while Chapter Five treats 1980s. Each of these decades saw the government push towards its “ultimate objective” in education, resulting in severe difficulties for Chinese education. Some challenges were successfully overcome. For example, there was a campaign to revive the independent Chinese secondary schools in the 1970s. Others were not: the Malaysian government’s “Operation Lalang” (weeding) in the 1980s saw the arrest of 106 persons under the Internal Security Act, among whom were certain Chinese politicians and educationists.
Chapter Six of Chinese Schools in Peninsular Malaysia discusses developments from the 1990s to 2003, when Mahathir Mohamad retired from his position as prime minister of Malaysia. This period, according to Lee, was “eventful” because Mahathir’s Vision 2020, a nation-building ideal, “brought both joy and disappointment to the Chinese community” (214), by threatening to end the use of Chinese to teach mathematics and science in National-type Chinese schools, but at the same time giving the Chinese community the chance to set up new colleges. Chapter Seven concludes the book by summarizing the various challenges posed by the government to Chinese schools, noting their responses to these challenges, and briefly examining the problems faced by the schools from 2004 to early 2009.
Lee Ting Hui’s latest book is a useful source of information on the history of Chinese schools in Peninsular Malaysia, based on detailed primary research in official annual reports on education and the publications of teachers’ or school committees’ associations. The book covers a wide range of issues concerning Chinese education, including funding, expenditure, language, staffing, school populations and school buildings. It can and will prove valuable for anyone interested in the topic of Chinese education in Malaysia. Useful background information accompanying the details from government reports and explaining responses from the Chinese community is also provided. For example, political and social developments in China such as the 1911 Sun Yat Sen Revolution or Malaysian developments like the 1969 racial riots between Malays and Chinese are incorporated into the story that Lee tells in Chinese Schools in Peninsular Malaysia.
However, several weaknesses will diminish the book’s overall impact. For one, this book might be difficult for a non-Chinese-literate person to read, because of its constant use of Hanyu Pinyin names. For example, who would know that the head of the Nanyang Overseas Chinese General Association for the Relief of Refugees in the Fatherland, whom Lee names as Chen Jia Geng (29, 50), was actually Tan Kah Kee, unless the reader were familiar with the history of overseas Chinese, or bothered to flip to the glossary to find the more commonly used name (249)? Or that Jiang Jie Shi is Chiang Kai Shek, to name another example (25, 252). Several typographical errors and awkwardly expressed headings (e.g. “A parting of the ways for the MCA and Chinese educationists, an event of misfortune for Chinese education”, 99) point to the need for better proof-reading and editing of this book by ISEAS’s publishing unit. On a side (but still related) note, there exist library copies of this book that have not only Lee’s name on the cover but also that of a Malaysian educationist, Mok Soon Sang, as co-author. This occurrence is somewhat puzzling to me.
A more serious problem appears to be the lack of attempts to explain certain observations made by the author (or authors?). Although full of detail and careful primary research, Chinese Schools in Peninsular Malaysia lapses at times into academic agnosticism. For example, in 1948, a Ten-Year Education Plan was implemented which sought to increase the amount of English language instruction in schools and gave equal status to the Chinese, Malay and Tamil languages in Singapore. Lee compares this to the earlier Cheeseman Plan, which had been accepted by the British in line with the Malayan Union but was strongly opposed by UMNO. The latter could not accept equal status for all four language streams of primary education. Lee seems to express surprise that, unlike the Cheeseman Plan, the Malay community did not oppose the Ten-Year Education Plan in Singapore. He concludes that “the reason for this is unfathomable” (51), but surely the area of the application of the plans (the Cheeseman Plan for the whole of Malaya, but the Ten-Year Education Plan for Singapore) and the contexts in which they were put forward make this difference quite fathomable. (The Cheeseman Plan was proposed alongside the Malayan Union Plan of 1946, which Malays opposed; it was thus not the contents of the Cheeseman Plan that they were against but rather what the plan represented in their eyes.) Lee’s surprise at the lack of opposition to certain policies is also expressed elsewhere. For example, he finds it “strange” that a government educational report that would affect Chinese primary schools was not opposed by the Chinese community, but instead attacked by UMNO (53). This reaction is possibly due to Lee’s approach of looking at government policy and the acceptance and/or rejection by the Malay and Chinese communities in broad strokes; more could be said about why there were varying responses at different times instead of merely dismissing them as “strange” or “unfathomable”.
This volume is a valuable study of the history of Chinese schools in Peninsular Malaysia over the decades. Although it focuses on the challenges posed by successive governments – the colonial government in the post-war period tried to introduce English-language instruction, while the Malay-dominated government in the post-independence period tried to dominate the education scene by achieving the “ultimate objective” of using Malay as the main language in all schools – it does not simply portray the Chinese community as victims reacting to problems. Much is said about the community’s losses, such as the conversion of Chinese schools to National-type schools, which used English as their medium of instruction and later used Malay. At the same time, the Chinese community’s agency is also shown in the ways in which it had negotiated and protested various policies, adapted to changes (Penang’s Zhong Ling High School, or Chung Ling, is the classic example of how a Chinese school transformed itself into a near- English school in 1956.), and implemented strategies to advance their interests (such as capitalizing on ties to Chinese political parties).
The story of how the Chinese minority in Malaysia managed to preserve much of its identity through Chinese education is a remarkable one, especially when one compares the situation in Malaysia with those of her neighbours, especially in the post-independence period.
In Singapore, which Lee’s book covers for the years before the island’s separation from the peninsula in 1965, there are no longer any Chinese-language-medium schools, whether independent or government-aided. Instead, all vernacular schools were made to use English as their language of instruction, and students had to learn Mandarin, Malay or Tamil as their second language, depending on which ethnic group they fell into. In 1980, several formerly Chinese-medium secondary schools came under the Special Assistance Plan (SAP), which allowed them to teach both English and Mandarin as first languages and to promote Chinese culture. Nevertheless, these schools, while preserving their Chinese names and having enrollments of predominantly Chinese students (since all students in SAP schools have to learn Chinese and be rather proficient at it before enrolling), still teach all other subjects in English. The Singapore government’s nation-building efforts are reflected in the purposeful choice of English, a language that does not belong to any of its ethnic groups, to bridge the communication gap that existed at the time of the nation’s founding. A second reason is economic, since English is an international language and will aid Singaporeans in connecting with the rest of the world in tourism, commerce and so on. Also in 1980, the first overseas Chinese university, Nanyang University ceased to exist and was merged with the University of Singapore to form the National University of Singapore, thus ending any Chinese-language higher education in Singapore. Whether the move was political, due to a fear of Chinese political activism and communism, or practical, due to the lack of employability of its graduates, it is clear that Chinese-medium schools were not desired by the authorities in post-independence Singapore.
From the point of view of Chinese educationists or advocates of the need to uphold a distinct Chinese identity, the situation in Indonesia was even bleaker. Any debate over whether Chinese in Indonesia should assimilate into the wider indigenous Indonesian community or integrate as a minority while keeping their customs and traditions ended with the emergence of Suharto’s New Order (1966-1998), which carried out “forced assimilation”. Indonesian Chinese citizens were made to change their names, the use of the Chinese language was banned in public, and Chinese schools were closed down. It is only in recent years, after the fall of the Suharto regime, that Chineseness has re-entered the Indonesian public sphere, with Chinese-language schools being set up and the widespread celebration of festivals such as the Lunar New Year.
However, one might point out that it was more successful nation-building attempts in Indonesia and Singapore that led to the demise of their Chinese schools, and conversely, that the failure of the Malaysians to achieve agreement on the type of nation they want to build has resulted in the survival of their Chinese schools (since they struggle to preserve their distinct Chinese identity vis-à-vis the Malay majority). During the age of the strong nation-state, the successful story of survival that Lee presents thus has to be seriously questioned. Despite enabling the Chinese community to preserve its ethnic identity, Chinese schools also alienated the community that they served from jobs and higher educational opportunities in Malaysia. Granting that this is not only because of Chinese schools but also because of the way that Malaysian society has been structured, one can nevertheless but wonder how different things could have turned out in Malaysia if Chinese schools had gone into decline and the gap between the various races had lessened.
The situation is likely to be different in this post-nation-building era. There appear to be greater overseas job and educational opportunities for Malaysians who attend Chinese schools, especially if they are from independent Chinese schools that teach both English and Chinese and sometimes even Malay. The setting up of a few Chinese colleges in Malaysia in recent years, which Lee briefly documents in the last chapter, also points to the increase in higher education options within Malaysia for the Chinese-educated community. An even more successful story of the Chinese schools in Malaysia might soon emerge with the rise of the People’s Republic of China and the desire of neighbouring nations to capitalize on it.
Christine Chan Li Hui has recently submitted an honours thesis entitled “TK-SD Kuncup Melati: An Indonesian Chinese Institution’s Adaptation, 1950-2010” to the history department of the National University of Singapore, in which she will begin study toward a master’s degree later this year.
Head of Women's wing, enmeshed in Cowgate, apparently will retain her post
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak apparently is having
considerable trouble persuading Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, the minister for
women, family and community development and the source of a controversy
over alleged misuse of public funds, to quit the United Malays National
It was announced three weeks ago that Shahrizat, who also serves as the
head of Wanita Umno, the women’s wing of the party, would step down from
the ministry when her term ends on April 8 as a result of what has
become known as the Cowgate scandal. Her husband, Mohamed Salleh Ismail,
and other members of the family have been accused of misusing a major
portion of a RM250 million soft loan from the government to establish
the National Feedlot Corporation, to slaughter cattle under Islamic
Mohamed Salleh Ismail has been charged with criminal breach of trust and
violating the Companies Act in relation to allegations of misuse of
RM49 million of the funds given to the company. According to a report
by Malaysia’s Auditor General, the money was steered into the purchase
of things that had nothing to do with the project to slaughter 60,000
cattle annually. The Auditor General found that the project had never
come remotely close to meeting its goals. Subsequent allegations have
involved the purchase of condominiums in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur,
travel for the family, a Mercedes-Benz sedan for Shahrizat and other
Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad reportedly has repeatedly told
party leaders Shahrizat must go, party insiders say, and her main
protector, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, is also said to be
backing away from supporting her.
“Dr M wants her out and his people have told me so,” a source told Asia
Sentinel. “So does Muhyiddin who is distancing himself from her. So she
is quite alone.”
However, political bloggers in Kuala Lumpur say Shahrizat apparently has
demanded successfully that she stay as a member of parliament, and to
keep her job as head of Wanita as well.
“It’s common knowledge that the PM doesn’t dare sacrifice Shahrizat or
hold her accountable or even ask her to quit her Wanita post because he
doesn’t dare take the chance of a revolt within Wanita Umno so close to
the elections,” the source said. “Knowing Malaysian and Malay politics, I
can see his dilemma.”
Shahrizat, the source continued, remains popular with the women’s wing
of the party “and Wanita Umno are the biggest vote getters for Umno and
Barisan Nasional. During campaigning, they are very effective, going
house-to-house, using the soft touch to win hearts, giving away sarongs
and gifts and so on. It’s easier for a woman to enter an opposition
stronghold than for men and that’s where Wanita Umno’s usefulness is to
Umno and the Barisan.”
Despite the fallout over the National Feedlot scandal, the current
administration has tried to distance Shahrizat from the NFC, saying she
was wasn’t involved with what her husband and children were doing.
“That argument has failed to convince the general public but as far as
Wanita Umno - the majority at least -- are concerned, they buy this
argument and are actually trying to sell this same argument to others,”
the source continued. “In any developed democracy, there is also the
acceptance of the principles of accountability and integrity,” a source
said. “In Malaysia, sadly, we hardly see any public official being
accountable for numerous scandals which take place under their watch.”
That leaves Najib with a bigger dilemma. The opposition Pakatan Rakyat,
throughout the five months since the scandal broke, has continued to
drip out a steady stream of new revelations about the cattle feeding
scheme, apparently provided by company and government insiders. While
the prime minister may believe it crucial to keep Wanita Umno mollified,
the public perception of the scandal is that Umno leaders passed a
project that was basically unneeded – because there were plenty of
abattoirs in Malaysia before they put up the RP250 million – and that
the funds were passed on to an Umno stalwart who managed to squander
them on luxuries and properties that had nothing to do with raising and
butchering cattle. Najib’s gamble is thus that Wanita Umno can continue
to generate enough votes to push the Barisan Nasional over the top.
“Najib (and Umno) are of course criticized all around for Shahrizat
staying as women’s head,” an opposition figure said in an email
interview. “Personally, I would prefer to see her remain in both the
cabinet and Wanita Umno so that the opposition has a living target to
hit at in campaigns.”
Snap elections are expected to be called relatively soon, either in May
or June according to the conventional wisdom. Although Najib’s personal
popularity has risen considerably from its low point after the
government cracked down on peaceful marchers demanding electoral reform
last July, UMNO remains in the doldrums, mired in scandals and perceived
as a party of rent-seekers living off government-linked companies and
“Given the current PM’s fear of doing badly in the elections and his
fear of antagonizing the women’s wing, it is not out of character for
him to accommodate Shahrizat on what in developed democracies would hold
true – that she is innocent until found guilty,” the source said.
Indeed, a lawyer close to UMNO said, “Shahrizat has resigned as Minister
and although Tun Mahathir and perhaps many Umno leaders and members
would like to see her quit as Wanita Umno head as well, perhaps Najib
has made a strategic call that she can stay. After all, elections are
too near. I don't know about Shahrizat standing for elections but we
must remember she is not part of NFC and hasn't been charged with any
crime. Perhaps if she does get a seat it may just be fair play by Najib,
leaving it to voters to decide her fate. And so will Wanita Umno in our
own elections after the general election.”
Pakatan Rakyat has condemned the latest move to instil fears about
threats of Christianity being spread in in the country, blaming it as
tactic by Umno to “frighten” the Muslim Malay majority.
“I want to state that Umno is mighty in Malaysia. Umno is in charge
of religion, Umno is in charge of the finances, so if the allegations
(of attempts to spread Christianity) are true, that means Umno has
failed to strengthen the faith of the Muslims,” Opposition Leader Anwar
Speaking at a press conference in the Parliament today, Anwar pointed
out that there were adequate legal measures that could be imposed on
any movement that threatened the faith of the Muslims in Malaysia.
He said this in response to a letter announcing a seminar to be held on Saturday, organised by the Johor Education Department .
The seminar is titled Pemantapan Aqidah, Bahaya Liberalisme dan
Pluralism Serta Ancaman Kristianisasi Terhadap Umat Islam. Apa Peranan
Guru? (Strengthening Faith, Dangers of Liberalism and Pluralism and the
threat of Christianity towards Muslims. What is the Role of Teachers?)
The letter, addressed to primary and secondary schools heads in the
Johor Baru district, requires two religious teachers from each of the 55
schools in the district to attend the seminar.
28 MAC — Sejak saya mengambil keputusan menyertai pihak alternatif melalui Parti Tindakan Demokratik (DAP) banyak rakan-rakan yang datang menemui saya untuk bertanya berbagai-bagai persoalan tentang tindakan saya itu.
Rata-rata yang datang bertanya itu adalah dikalangan mereka yang telah berkawan dan bersahabat dengan saya sejak puluhan tahun dahulu. Rakan-rakan yang jauh bertanya kepada saya melalui emel dan talipon dan memahami saya setelah saya memberikan kefahaman yang sebetulnya.
Apa yang saya nampak mereka lebih bertanya kenapa saya memilih untuk tidak lagi bersama Umno. Jarang-jarang mereka bertanya kenapa pilih DAP kerana mereka juga memahami yang DAP itu adalah sebuah parti yang berpengalaman dan telah berusia hampir lima dekad lamanya.
Mereka memahami yang DAP telah melalui semua ujian dan dugaan untuk “survival” nya kerana tekanan dan momokan oleh pihak pemerintah terhadap parti itu tidak henti-henti dilakukan oleh pihak yang takut dengan perkembangan pengaruhnya, lebih-lebih lagi sejak akhir-akhir ini.
Ramai mahukan saya memberikan mereka sebab kenapa tidak lagi mahu bersama Umno. Ada setengahnya saya jawab sambil berjenaka dan ada kalanya saya menjawab dengan serius dan memberikan dalil-dalil yang Umno akan berada dalan persada politik negara hanya sebentar sahaja lagi. Ramai di antara mereka telah pun memberikan sokongan moral kepada saya dan mereka tidak lagi menyimpan sebarang prejudis terhadap DAP lagi.
Tidak ada siapa yang melonggarkan sokongan ramai terhadap Umno itu, sebaliknya semuanya disebabkan oleh “conduct” Umno itu sendiri. Umno itu kian lemah bukan kerana pihak lain. Sebenarnya Umno itu sendiri seolah-olah terminta-minta parti itu ditinggalkan oleh ahlinya, setidak-tidaknya kepada mereka yang berfikir secara mendalam.
Kenapa saya berkata Umno itu sendiri terminta-minta untuk ditinggalkan?
Pertamanya, Umno telah menyalahgunakan mandat yang diberikan oleh rakyat sebegitu lama sehinggakan apa sahaja yang dilakukan Umno sekarang menjadi persoalan kepada rakyat ramai. Oleh kerana terlalu lama memegang kuasa, Umno sudah mengambil kelembutan orang Melayu dan rakyat “for granted” kerana mereka berfikiran yang orang Melayu tidak akan pergi kemana dan akan terus menyokong Umno walaupun Umno telah membinasakan peluang orang Melayu untuk maju dalam dunia yang serba berubah dan moden ini
Umno memandang rendah kepada ahli-ahlinya serta rakyat jelata yang mereka akan tetap berkuasa, waimma setelah memperkosa harta rakyat melalui budaya kronism yang telah begitu kental terbentuk dalam negara ini. Pendeknya Umno telah mengambil kelembutan hati orang Melayu sebagai kelemahan yang boleh diperkosa dan dinoda tanpa reaksi negatif dari mereka.
Di mana letaknya kemunasabahan yang orang Melayu masih tercicir sedangkan negara ini diperintah oleh Umno sejak negara mencapai kemerdekaan 54 tahun yang lalu? Kenapa Umno gagal untuk melaksanakan dasar-dasar yang terbentuk pra-Dr Mahathir Mohamad yang begitu kukuh dengan sokong setiap kaum dinega ra ini? Kenapa Umno tidak melakukan pelaksanaan kepada dasar memperkukuhkan orang Melayu dengan sempurna.
Apa lagi yang Umno mahukan kepada orang Melayu sedangkan orang Melayu telah memberikan segala sokongan kepada Umno sejak merdeka sehingga tahun 2008 dahulu apabila orang Melayu sudah mula merasakan yang Umno tidak mungkin berjaya membela bangsanya lagi? Sekarang ahli-ahli Umno menyalahkan bangsa lain dan parti lain pula di atas segala kegagalan mereka.
Segala-galanya, kuasa, sokongan dan kesabaran Melayu dan rakyat keseluruhannya itu diambil kesempatan untuk membina budaya kronism untuk kepentingan perut dan nafsu-nafsi pimpinan sahaja. Sekarang mundar mandir kembali Perdana Menteri menabur janji dan mengingatkan orang Melayu supaya memberikan sokongan kepada parti Melayu Umno ini demi masa depan orang Melayu.
Bukankah semuanya itu telah diberikan oleh orang Melayu tetapi kenapa Umno masih tidak berjaya melakukan sesuatu yang berkesan untuk Melayu yang ramai ini? Sebaliknya parti itu hanya memberikan keuntungan kepada segelintir yang berada dikeliling pimpinan atasan sahaja. Kalau diberikan lagi mandat ini, kita sudah pasti keadaan akan masih sama malah orang Melayu akan ketinggalan dari segi pemikiran dan persepsi terhadap kehidupan secara negatif.
Setengah abad adalah terlalu lama untuk membiarkan Umno memerintah dan waktu untuk Umno duduk dipetak pembangkang sudah sampai supaya Umno tahu dan merasakan betapa pedihnya perasaan rakyat khususnya orang Melayu selama ini. Orang Melayu sudah bersabar begitu lama dan tahap kesabaran mereka sudah sampai kepenghujungnya.
Apa yang ramai orang Melayu sekarang berfikir ialah selagi Umno masih memerintah selagi itulah pemikiran orang Melayu akan jumud terus menerus dan memerhatikan sahaja bangsa-bangsa lain maju kehadapan. Ketinggalan kita itu pula dimainkan untuk memberikan harapan palsu untuk Umno mendapatkan sokongan dari orang Melayu, tetapi orang Melayu sudah tidak boleh dikotak-katikkan seperti yang selalu mereka alami.
Ramai diantara orang Melayu sudah mula memahami keadaan yang mereka tidak akan pergi kemana jika masih memberikan dukungan kepada Umno kali ini. Orang Melayu sudah menyedari mereka tidak boleh lagi menagih ehsan dari pimpinan Umno seperti menerima RM500 semasa pilihanraya mendatang kerana jiwa Melayu sekarang sudah mula bertambah kaya dan tidak mahu lagi dalam jiwa yang fakir dan jumud.
Ramai orang Melayu sedar bahawa mereka perlu memecahkan tembok yang menghalang mereka untuk berfikir dan bertindak semata-mata untuk generasi mereka yang akan datang. Melayu tidak boleh lagi bergantung kepada perasaan sentimen terhadap Umno kerana Umno yang sebenarnya pun sudah tidak wujud lagi. Orang Melayu sudah merasakan nikmat bersatu padu ini semasa era sebelum Dr Mahathir dahulu.
Maka orang Melayu kini mahu bersatu padu dengan jitu diluar Umno kerana Melayu sekarang sudah berjumpa dengan pilihan yang secara relatifnya lebih baik diluar Umno itu.
Orang Melayu mahu melepaskan diri mereka dari dikongkong oleh perasaan sentimen terhadap parti yang kononnya berjuang untuk Melayu. Orang Melayu sudah sedar setelah lebih dari lima dekad diperhambakan oleh pemimpin-pemimpin parti mereka yang tidak berkemampuan untuk memimpin bangsanya selain dari pandai memerah harta benda rakyat untuk kepentingan ahli-ahli keluarga mereka semata-mata.
Kepada setengah yang menyertai Umno itu kerana hendak menjadikan modal perniagaan dan bukannya untuk memperjuangkan nasib bangsa sendiri. Oleh kerana itu biarlah mereka sahaja yang bergiat dengan Umno itu. Bagi sesiapa seperti saya yang “having no business to be in business” ini meninggalkan parti itu.
“Akhirnya saya bertindak keluar dan menukar wadah saya. Saya bukannya bertukar akidah” kata saya kepada mereka. — aspanaliasnet.blogspot.com
MELAKA, March 28 (Bernama) -- Umno divisional and branch leaders should
open wide the door for professionals and intellectuals to join the
party and then field them as candidates for the general election.
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he felt that Umno
was facing a dearth of capable leaders as the leadership at the
divisional and branch levels were hampering their entry into the party.
"For decades Umno has 'not allowed' the smart ones to join the party. That is why many doctors have joined Pas.
"This ultimately makes it difficult for Umno to find suitable
candidates in ensuring victory in the elections," he said after
delivering his keynote address at the Global Culture Symposium organised
by Sekolah Menengah Sains Muzaffar Shah at Puteri Resort, here,
Umno NS BERTANGGUNG JAWAB KE ATAS INSIDEN SERANGAN KETUA MENTERI P.PINANG.
Keadilan Rakyat Rembau menggesa Umno (Seremban) Negeri Sembilan
mengambil tanggungjawab penuh dengan memohon maaf dan mengambil tindakan
dengan terhadap ahli dan pemimpin mereka yang terlibat dalam serangan
bersifat perkauman terhadap Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang. Dalam kejadian
tersebut beberapa orang telah cedera termasuk seorang wartawan yang
dipukul beramai ramai oleh penyerang.
kenyataan media ini di sertakan sebahagian bukti bergambar yang
mengaitkan ahli dan pemimpin Umno (Seremban) N.Sembilan terlibat dalam
kejadian tersebut. Dalam gambar tersebut jelas kelihatan penyerang
mengenakan kemeja dan topi tertulis Pemuda Umno Seremban.
hari yang sama (berdasarkan maklumat yang ada) sememangnya pemuda Umno
dari Negeri Sembilan berada dan berkumpul dalam program yang turut
melibatkan pemimpin Umno Pulau Pinang. Selepas program tersebutlah
mereka ramai - ramai berkonvoi dan melakukan jenayah serangan 'gaduh
gempar di tempat awam'. Ini jenayah serius kerana serangan jenayah ini
dilakukan kepada Ketua Menteri P.Pinang dalam majlis rasmi.
banyak rakaman boleh disaksikan dalam internet termasuk seperti You
Tiub yang jelas penyerang dari Umno ini menjerit perkataan lucah dan
menghina bersifat perkauman.
dibuat beberapa laporan polis namun amat mengecewakan tidak ada
tindakan serius diambil selepas itu. PKR Rembau juga akan membuat satu
lagi laporan dengan menyerahkan bukti bergambar kepada pihak polis.
Rembau mencabar Umno (Seremban) Negeri Sembilan untuk mengambil
tanggungjawab penuh memohon maaf secara terbuka seterusnya menamakan
semua ahli dan pemimpin mereka yang terlibat termasuk yang dibawah umur.
Umno juga harus mengambil tindakn disiplin terhadap mereka jika Umno
tidak merestui tindakan tersebut jika tidak jelas Umno sendiri terlibat
dan merestui jenayah ini.
diseru menilai insiden ini sewajarnya dan menjadikan ini satu lagi
alasan kukuh untuk menolak Umno khususnya di N.Sembilan. Jelas Umno
menjadi pelindung kepada gangsterisme dan mendidik anak anak muda
termasuk bawah umur untuk menjadi penjenayah keganasan.
che'Gubard Parti Keadilan Rakyat Rembau
kenyataan ini dibacakan dalam sidang media pada 28 Mac , 11.30 pagi di
Rahang, Seremban. Sidang media dihadiri oleh che'GuBard (Ketua Cabang
Rembau),Ust Norazman Ahmad (Ketua Penerangan PAS NS), Sani Md Shah
(Ketua AMK Rembau), Sharul (AJK PKR Rembau), Zubir (Pengarah P.raya PKR
yang memakai baju dan topi Pemuda Umno NS bergambar ketika berkumpul
sebelum melakukan jenayah serangan terhadap ketua Menteri PP
Jelas terakam penjenayah yang menyerang dengan 'senjata' wartawan dalam kejadian tersebut
bersiap sedia untuk menyerang
Kenderaan dari NS
Antara pemimpin yang hadir ketika Umno berkumpul sebelum serangan
wajah penjenayah jelas terakam tetapi apa tindakan polis dan umno ?
Serangan fizikal sehingga serbu ke kereta ketika Ketua Menteri baru sampai
Penyerang majoriti terdiri dari pemuda berkemeja dan bertopi tertulis Pemuda Umno Seremban
Wartawan diserang beramai - ramai dan dipukul dihadapan awam tetapi polis hanya berdiam