Sunday, February 28, 2010

The race to the top begins at kindergarten

commentary:  My sister told me about her eldest daughter enrolling to a Chinese nursery/kindergarten in Damansara Perdana... after a couple of months, her daughter was complaining that she had too much homework... at first, my sister think that it was probably because her eldest was giving excuses of not wanting to do her homework but later did she found out that it is true....

She went to see her daughter's teacher and said that actually other parents came to see her not because too much homework, it was the other way around... and my niece was actually 4 years old at that time ! apparently, this goes on in most Chinese medium education centre, all over the world !!!....where education is grilled into their children mind like robot....what such nonsense these people do to their children... i mean, I lived all over the world, I have never met or knew other then this type of people ie Chinese that are so KIASU... i mean, don't you guys appreciate life ? work and education is important but... having a life is also too....

by Anita Anandarajah 
is a stay-at-home-mum 
who lives in Hong Kong. 
She longs for the grassy 
playgrounds of her childhood.

FEB 28 – Education kills. Someone should put that warning on the back of a school enrolment pack.
To be more precise, I am referring to the pursuit of education. So great is the pressure to perform that the race to enter the best school sometimes ends tragically.
Earlier this month, a mother threw her four-year-old girl from the seventh floor of a shopping mall before jumping off herself because the girl had not qualified for a place in the school of choice.
The little girl survived the ordeal when the safety net broke her fall but the mother fell through, and died.
Newspapers reported that the child’s parents had been arguing about her education before the incident.
The girl is a student in an English Schools Foundation kindergarten but had failed to win a place at an ESF primary school. A student at an ESF kindergarten is only ensured of an interview but not a slot in primary school.
As a result, the mother, a clerk, wanted to enrol her daughter in an international school but the father, a mechanic, said he could not afford the fees.
They had already forked out $51,000 a year for the ESF kindergarten fees. There are three years of kindergarten in total.
In response, the mother replied that since her child had no future, she might as well end her life there and then.
Parents put themselves through enormous pressure to ensure their children enter the right schools. Local schools set rigorous assessments to gain entrance and the intensively competitive environment.
International schools offer a tempting alternative with a wider curriculum and less high-pressured learning environment. Parents see the former as better equipping their children for university studies abroad. However the fees are prohibitively expensive for the average family.
The third type of school, the ESF school, is therefore an attractive alternative as it is subsidised by the government.
It was set up to provide education for English-speaking children who cannot access the local system but has become very popular with locals who want western-style education for their children. However, places are limited.
As a parent of a toddler who has just taken his first tiny steps into this treacherous field, I am already suffering the sweats.
I am beginning to understand the madness, the stress that seizes a parent whose life mission is now to provide the best education on a finite budget.
You see, I missed the deadline to enrol Ishan into what should be his first year of kindergarten beginning this August in a nearby school.
Incidentally, this school is popular as the medium of instruction is equally divided into English and Mandarin unlike local schools which are fully Cantonese.
And we all know that Putonghua is this generation’s passport to world domination.
The word around town is that there is a waiting list of up to eight months at said school so parents tend to register their child a year ahead.
One parent I chatted with raised an eyebrow when I expressed surprise at the “kiasu-ness” of this strategy.
So now I worry that he will be completely lost with the Mandarin half of the syllabus if and when he enters that school several terms later.
School aside, there are the extra-curricular activities that parents invest in to ensure their child’s school portfolio is nicely padded. Some of Ishan’s playmates have signed up for swimming lessons, ballet, piano and soccer.
I have also heard of children who attend two schools simultaneously, one in the morning and another in the afternoon.
Ishan just turned two. He has “playroom and/or playground at 4.30pm” and play group twice a week on his list. Am I being paranoid about him falling back?
I want to be able to lean back and watch my son enjoy his childhood and develop to the best of his natural ability. Yet I can’t help but feel I should push him a lot harder.
My husband tells me that we will take it all one step at a time. We are not sure how we will cope with the highly competitive environment but we will. This is, after all, part of the experience of living in Hong Kong.
For now, I will take a tip from The Karate Kid (1984) sensei Mr Miyagi: “Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand. Wax on, wax off. Breathe in through nose, out the mouth. Wax on, wax off. Don't forget to breathe, very important.”
Wax on, wax off, people.
* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

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Majlis Perunding NGO Melayu (MPM)

commentary:  Malay is a race that are actually docile in nature... a very dormant type of people... that usually would like to avoid confrontational issues...

But recently, for the past couple of years, the non-bumi(s), thru their actions (in Penang and Selangor) and their comments in MSM and blogs, have questions the special privilege of Malay that has been enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution.  This was done by the forefathers of Malaysia to get the equilibrium balance among the races, which is not just divided by skin colour and religion, but also their state of economic domination.  This does not sit well for most Malays, although most of them remain silent but we can feel the animosity among them...

Perkasa has given the non-bumi(s) a wake up call.... maybe they are a group that is a bit rough on the edges but it seem that they have tremendous support from the Malays. The silent majority aren't that silent anymore..... aizley

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- Seventy-six Malay non-governmental organisations Saturday joined forces to form a consultative council, Majlis Perundingan NGO Melayu (MPM), to defend Malays rights and Islam in the country.

Among them were Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Negara (Perkasa), Majlis Bekas Wakil Rakyat Malaysia (Mubarak), Federation of Malay Students Association of Peninsular Malaysia (GPMS), Malay Professional Thinkers Association of Malaysia and Cuepacs, the umbrella union for civil servants.

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali, who acted as the council's spokesman, said the council's role was to act as a shield against those who tried to question Malay rights and privileges, the position of Islam and the institution of the Malay rulers.

"At the same time, we will also be a polite pressure group to the government not to shirk from its responsibility in upholding fundamental matters as enshrined in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution," he told reporters at the launching ceremony of MPM at the Sultan Sulaiman Club here.

He said MPM members would hold a roundtable on March 7 to discuss the economic direction of the Malays following Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's announcing of the new economic model for the nation.

"We also hope to meet the prime minister before the new economic model is announced because we do not want Malay NGOs to be "making noise" to voice their dissatisfaction over it...we want any policy made by the government to get support from all quarters.

"However, the government should also be proactive to Malay NGOs...meaning there should be give and take...if the government wants the support of NGOs, the government should also give due consideration to our views and feelings," said the Member of Parliament for Pasir Mas.

In MPM's statement circulated to media members present, the council asserted that its members must scrutinise each issue that had a bearing on the interest of the Malays, Islam, the Malay rulers and security and harmony in the country irrespective of who raised or questioned them and that they must also highlight matters that are dear to the Malays.

Besides this, MPM said it would also prepare and implement an action plan to counter any provocation on matters that touch on the interests of Malays and Islam if they were construed as efforts by irresponsible parties to spread hatred.


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Anwar's newsletter to me.....

 commentary: I got this email from Mr Anwar Ibrahim, saying what is wrong about Malaysia economy or what not.... I just want to laugh.... because I still remember when he was the Finance Minister in 1997, this is the very person that almost "sold" Malaysia to IMF, thank god that PM at that time, Dr Mahathir, step in and stop all the "plans" that he had with George Soros....  to hell with you Anwar... enough is enough... stop making us Malaysian confused and create in-fight just for you to get your dream of becoming the Prime Minister of Malaysia..... aizley

Anwar Ibrahim The Voice of Democracy in Malaysia


Dear aizli,

Malaysia was hit by the global recession and 2009 was a difficult year for many of us.  More jobs were lost and more people were left unemployed than at any time in our nation's history.

There are some indications that the economic situation is improving in 2010 but I released a statement today urging people not to be misled by a few statistics.  To say that the “the worst is over” is not only premature but irresponsible. READ MY STATEMENT HERE

For 10 years the government has spent more money than it has made.  In fact increasing government expenditure has been the defining element of Malaysia's economic policy during this period.  The natural outcome of its approach is to register some small amount of growth.  But our continued reliance on an outdated strategy is taking us down the road of economic serfdom.  And the government's failure to adopt creative economic policies to make us competitive in a global economy has left Malaysia lagging behind our neighbours in the region.

It is also true that corruption remains rampant and massive government projects are often unnecessary, cost too much, and benefit only a few people. We cannot afford to keep losing billions every year.

The private sector has not benefitted from the increase in spending.  Small and medium sized businesses were more vibrant and active 20 years ago than they are today. This means that the economic policies of the BN are still not creating enough jobs and opportunities for the vast majority of Malaysians.

Pakatan Rakyat believes that the structural problems with the economy must be addressed urgently so that Malaysia can regain its competitive edge in the region.  We promise to safeguard our future and our children's future by being a government that is accountable to the people, transparent in its dealings and committed to a reform agenda that restores confidence in the judiciary, strengthens institutions of civil society and shows zero tolerance for corruption and cronyism.

Please support Pakatan Rakyat and our pursuit of a brighter future for Malaysians. Send this email to five of your friends and ask them to join our movement. 

Thank you,
Anwar Ibrahim


This message sent to by
Office of Anwar Ibrahim
Merchants Square
Petaling Jaya Selangor, 47401

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nazri's talk was so boring even JJ read the newspaper

commentary:  RPK has so much to say about people... as if he can get people to listen to him without his x-sub-alien topics that he tries to lure people to listen to him, away with you RPK, i think you should worry about your convicted son that is lying in some hell hole prison back in Malaysia while you sip your single malt whiskey while Marina probably be smoking dope in Kalimullah's flat up in Knightsbridge... Kudos to Uncle Ri "Chief".... we all behind you sir.... Salam from Jakarta.... Aizley 

Thursday, 25 February 2010 Super Admin
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Nazri then started his formal speech and spoke for 30 minutes. It was a very academic and therefore a very boring speech. There was no real substance to it and the audience quickly grew bored. Even JJ got so bored as he sat next to Nazri on the podium. 

By Raja Petra Kamarudin in Washington

It was a strange scene at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington on Wednesday morning.  When the seminar on Governance & Rule of Law in Malaysia began, only one of the speakers came into the room, Nazri Abdul Aziz.
Attorney-General Gani Patail and former Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamed were somehow nowhere to be seen.
And in good Malaysian fashion, the seminar started 10 minutes late.
The seminar's chairman, Ernest Bower, looked tired and nervous, saying that he had received a number of e-mails expressing concern that the seminar would not be balanced. He said that he wants a dialogue on important issues. Therefore he also has invited the opposition to speak at CSIS. He hopes they will accept.
Ernest Bower then shocked the audience of about 40 people by saying that the session was 'off the record'. The flyer announcing the seminar never said it was an off the record session.
It doesn't matter though. The session was so boring there is very little to report anyway.
Malaysian Ambassador to the US, Jamaluddin Jarjis a.k.a. JJ, spoke for two minutes. He just said that he is working very hard to improve relations with the US (whenever he happens to be in town, that is). He made no mention, though, whether the new US$150,000 Porsche he just bought is paid for by the Malaysian taxpayers or by him personally. 
Nazri said that it was just a coincidence that he, Gani and Abdul Hamid happen to be in Washington at the same time. (Sure. If you believe that then I have half a bridge to Singapore to sell you.) He said he didn't know where the two missing persons were.
He then introduced the "four members of my delegation," all MPs. (Talk about wasting the taxpayers’ money!) Two of them were PKR turncoats, including the infamous Zahrin Mohamed Hashim.
In a tribute to Malaysia Today, Nazri held up an Internet printout and referred to Martin Jalleh's article, Malaysian Circus goes to Washington. He claimed that he had been planning the trip to Washington for nine months because he and the PM believe it is important to strengthen ties with the US.
Nazri then started his formal speech and spoke for 30 minutes. It was a very academic and therefore a very boring speech. There was no real substance to it and the audience quickly grew bored. Even JJ got so bored as he sat next to Nazri on the podium.
But what shocked the audience was to watch JJ's antics at such an "important meeting" at such a "prestigious think tank."
The whole while Nazri was speaking, JJ was sending and receiving messages on his Blackberry and mobile phone. He never turned off the ringer. When he tapped out a message, one could hear the "click, click, click" of the keys. He even called his aide up to the podium twice to have conversations. He also got up and left the room and then came back.
And here is a first for Washington.
Then, as Nazri was still speaking, JJ picked up the Washington Post and started to read it -- not once, but twice.
Nazri went on and on, quoting Malaysia's many laws banning corruption. But of course he never said that they apply only to the opposition and not to UMNO politicians or taxi permit holders (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).
Finally, he stopped speaking and said he would welcome tough questions. He got one right from the start from Kumar, the head of Amnesty International's Washington DC office.
Kumar said Nazri and JJ had both just said that they want to improve relations with the United States. But that will never happen as long as people in Washington have concerns about Malaysia's harassment of the opposition and Anwar's trial.
Referring to the Malaysia Today article, Kumar said if there's a Malaysian circus, it's Anwar's trial.
Nazri replied, "Anwar is a friend of mine." (With friends like Nazri, who needs enemies?). Nazri said he underwent his legal training in the UK and claimed that if he ever sensed that the Prime Minister was interfering in the case and there is political interference in Malaysia's independent judiciary, he would tender his resignation.
He added, "When we heard about Saiful's charges against Anwar, I thought it was unfortunate. For the sake of the country, we don't want the nation to endure a trial like this again. But Saiful is entitled to justice. Why talk about rule of law if you ignore his report? He had a right to report to the police. In any event, Anwar's acquittal before shows that our judiciary is independent, and we did not appeal that decision. That shows we are interested only in justice, not political persecution."
Nazri went on. "We do not have an agenda against Anwar. Why would we want to use the same old charge of sodomy, again? If you don't believe me, there is nothing I can do."
JJ clapped.
JJ was the only one who clapped.
Murray Hiebert then stood up to introduce himself as the former Asian Wall Street Journal correspondent in Malaysia (but politely declined to mention his experience with ‘good governance’ and ‘the rule of law’ in Malaysia when he was the guest of a Malaysian prison).
Murray asked about the Allah issue. Nazri turned to the Malaysiakini reporter in the room and told him, “Don't you dare report what I am going to say.”
Nazri looked alive and gave a 20-minute history and language lesson, repeating the usual government line. As Nazri finished his long-winded answer, JJ leaned over to whisper to Ernest Bower, who suddenly jumped up and brought the seminar to a halt. It was still only 11:30am and the seminar was supposed to go until noon.
JJ probably thought an early halt would be wise before they put their foot deeper into the mouth. Or maybe he was really getting bored and just couldn't take it anymore. Or maybe he was hungry.
So JJ led Nazri out of the room and the audience followed.
So much for the so-called ‘dialogue’.

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