Wednesday, December 23, 2009


International Conference of
Alternative Perspectives in the Humanities and the Social Sciences:
Development and Conflict

Kanchanaburi, Thailand
(October 1-5, 2010)

Host Organizations:

- The Guild of Independent Scholars
- The Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies
- The Journal of Contemporary Literature
- JAPSS Press

The First International Conference of Alternative Perspectives in the
Humanities and the Social Sciences will be held in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand.
It will be held at the beautiful
Banrimkwae Paerimnam Hotel.

Topic for the Conference:
Conflict and Development:
Challenges and Opportunities for Change.
Included in the Registration Fee:
  • Transportation from and to the Airport from the Conference Venue
  • 5 Prominent Keynote Speakers in the fields of conflict and developmentConference fee will include room and board
  • Best conference papers will be published in one of three edited books
  • All accepted papers will be included in the published conference proceedings
  • Tours will be provided to the famous Bridge over the River Kwai
  • Registration Fee: $380 (4 days of conference and three nights of hotel)
  • Registration for 1 day option and for local participants $40 (does not include room and board)
  • Virtual Registration: For those who cannot physically attend the conference: Includes: Accepted papers will be published in edited volume about Development and Conflict and a hard copy will be send by mail to contributors. In addition to that, contributors may send a ten minute recorded presentation to be shown during the conference. Fee: $90
  • All Participants will receive a certificate of participation suitable for framing
  • All Participants will receive a paperback copy of the conference proceedings
  • Abstract proposals are welcomed and will be submitted to double blind peer review. Deadline for submission: May 20, 2010
  • To submit a proposal please fill out the following form. Once a proposal is accepted those interested in having their full papers published in an edited volume or in the conference proceedings should send their papers to the following e-mail (papers should follow APA format for references)
  • Important: Participants are required to wear an academic gown, full academic regalia is recommended, during their presentations (please let us know in advance if you need us to lend you a generic gown for your presentation)
  • Presentations will be professionally recorded and will be available through internet flash video from the conference web-site.
Those interested please surf the website for registration...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas to all,

..and may all your work,
and everything flow freely

this Holiday Season!!!..

Sunday, December 20, 2009

'M'sia is Zimbabwe by another name'

Hazlan Zakaria
Dec 20, 09
Without mincing his words, political analyst Abdul Aziz Bari likened those who hold the reins of power in Malaysia to a bunch of 'thugs'.

ing to him, these individuals do as they please without proper regard for the law of the land and the percepts laid down in the federal constitution.

"We are like Zimbabwe,
just with another name!" stressed the law expert.

Zimbabwe under President Robert Mugabe has earned international infamy over it's questionable policies and use of the legal system and laws to prop up the g

laborating, Abdul Aziz said: "I don't know how else to call them, sometiNONEmes we need to call a spade, a spade. What we have is a state of lawlessness, it's like the law of the jungle."

He pointed to the recent overturning of the high court decision regarding the Malaysian Anti Corruption Agency's (MACC) right to interrogate beyond office hours as a glaring example.

"It is painful to hear the court of appeal decision. They are using the provision to overrule the high court, saying it is silent on the matter," he told Malaysiakini.

'Judiciary takes its cue from government'

According to the UIA law professor, the court of appeal's recent decision "is a lame decision and in itself a failure to carry out the court's role, namely to fill the gap left by parliament in the statute."

Abdul Aziz is adamant that "the high court decision is to be preferred as it is closer to justice and the spirit of the constitution."

"It is for the court to fill the gap by making a decision that is closer to fairness and justice," he added, though he bemoaned that in Malaysia, "the judiciary takes its cue from the government."

"When you have a judiciary like what we have, what can we do? In normal circumstances you go to court to compel the parties who refuse to do its legal duty to do it. But not in our case," he said.

What is worse, according to Abdul Aziz, Barisan Nasional is "undermining or simply could not care less about the constitution."

"BN has demonstrated complete disregard for the rule of law and supremacy of the constitution, eith
er the letter or the spirit of it," he said.

Abdul Aziz contends that the Reid Commission's original intent was to propagate federalism, this he said permeates through the entirety of the constitution with the express delineation of powers to the state and the federal government.

On a micro scale, he added, this framework of federalism included the issue of the petroleum royalties and funding for states.

Umno warlords stumbling block to change

Abdul Aziz believes that the BN government is clearly going against the constitution when it set up the JPP (Federal Development Department) which is ultra vires of the defined rights of the states.

He explained that the state has rights to certain grants and funding the federal government sans such 'intermediaries'.

The use of the Emergency Ordinance to define territorial waters in the Kelantan oil royalty issue, he said, is another example of the BN government's disregard for the law.

"Why not refer to the Petroleum Act or the Law of The Sea?" he asked.

In a similar vein, he also criticised the federal government's 'play acting' in making much ado when giving assistance and aid during natural disasters to opposition held states,

"Why the furore, it is their duty anyway, as described in the constitution," he said.

According to Abdul Aziz, this rot of lawlessness goes right down to BN's core which is Umno.

He is of the opinion that the Umno warlords cannot be reformed and as long as they exists, Umno cannot be reformed.

"They simply don't want to do it," he said.

As Lord Acton said, Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Prof Aziz convinces the public that UMNO leaders can bring about a better Malaysia if they want, but they refuse to do so. Power interests prevail over public interests. Status quo is preserved and it is going to be there as long as UMNO remains in power. The draconian laws in this country, the injustice that u see every day and the corrupt leaders are there to preserve this 'Zimbabwe' style of ruling. Wonder how 1 Malaysia is going to be adapted to this oppresing regime.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Modul BTN rencam, tidak rasional — Muhammad Hilman Idham

The Malaysian Insider Dec 12, 2009

DIS 11 — ISU Biro Tata Negara (BTN) sudah menjadi bualan setiap anggota masyarakat lebih-lebih lagi apabila berlaku pertarungan mulut Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz dan bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Idea dan cadangan Kabinet negara untuk melakukan rombakan modul berkenaan mendapat tentangan Dr Mahathir yang mempertahankan bahawa ia baik dan tidak perlu dirombak.

Idea Dr Mahathir ini kemudian mendapat sokongan kebanyakan pimpinan Umno termasuk Timbalan Perdana Menteri sendiri.

Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) turut mengeluarkan kenyataan pendirian berkenaan isu ini. Mungkin ramai yang menganggap bahawa mahasiswa sekadar ingin turut campur hal-hal politik.

Namun, saya berpandangan bahawa mahasiswa bertanggungjawab untuk turut bersuara menyatakan pendirian mereka kerana mahasiswa adalah antara kumpulan sasaran yang dikehendaki untuk menghadiri sesi BTN.

Suara mahasiswa kali ini selari dengan suara kebanyakan mantan pengendali BTN bahawa BTN adalah program yang tidak sihat. Penuh dengan hal-hal perkauman, memecahbelahkan masyarakat serta menekan peserta untuk taklid pada pihak-pihak tertentu.

BTN adalah sebuah program yang saya kira relevan jika dijalankan dengan modul dan cara implementasi yang baik dan penuh tanggungjawab untuk membangunkan semangat patriotisme dalam kalangan masyarakat khususnya anak muda. Namun, malang kerana ia tidak begitu.

Kebanyakan mahasiswa yang menghadiri program ini kecewa kerana unsur-unsur perkauman masih lagi wujud. Mungkin pengendali belum sedar bahawa landskap politik sudah berubah dan idea-idea perkauman ini sudah mula ditolak keras oleh sebahagian besar masyarakat termasuk juga parti-parti komponen dalam Barisan Nasional.

Namun ada juga mahasiswa yang tidak bersetuju dengan usaha dan pendirian SMM untuk memboikot program BTN ini atas alasan pernah menghadiri dan ia ternyata menarik untuk mahasiswa.

Program BTN mempunyai pelbagai modul dan cara implementasi yang berbeza mengikut latar belakang peserta.

Penyertaan daripada peserta yang keseluruhannya Melayu akan mendapat layanan dan cara kendalian yang berbeza dengan penyertaan peserta yang keseluruhannya rencam dengan keterlibatan pelbagai kaum. Hal ini yang berlaku dalam BTN.

Namun, SMM tetap dengan prinsip menolak segala manipulasi dan agenda perkauman sempit bagi kepentingan sesetengah pihak. Idea membenci sesetengah individu juga adalah perkara yang ditolak kerana ia adalah menggunakan program agensi kerajaan ini sebagai alat untuk meraih sokongan.

Mahasiswa sebagai masyarakat kampus yang terpelajar seharusnya bijak dan sudah layak untuk menyatakan pendirian dan pandangan mereka.

Penolakan BTN dibuat atas dasar penolakan agenda perkauman yang dibawa, idea-idea yang memecahbelahkan masyarakat dan penggunaan agensi kerajaan sebagai alat untuk meraih sokongan politik.

Harus dibezakan parti politik dan kerajaan.

Ini adalah hasil daripada pengalaman kebanyakan mahasiswa yang telah menghadiri program berkenaan.

Sekiranya tetap mahu dipertahankan, ia tidak menjadi masalah yang besar. Sebaliknya kerajaan harus bersedia untuk mendedahkan modul dan cara implementasi yang diguna pakai dalam program ini.

Masyarakat saya kira sudah cukup matang untuk menilai dengan sendirinya.

Mahasiswa juga tidak melihat apa rasionalnya untuk mewajibkan penerima tajaan dan biasiswa kerajaan serta mahasiswa yang akan ke luar negara untuk menghadiri program berkenaan.

Pasti ada sebab mengapa mereka diwajibkan penyertaannya, namun ia tetap ditolak sekiranya ternyata ia dimanipulasikan untuk kepentingan politik pihak tertentu.

Oleh itu, atas semangat reformasi kepada perubahan yang lebih baik dan cocok dengan keadaan dan situasi semasa, saya kira relevan untuk dirombak dan dikaji semula.

Malah, sekiranya turut terbukti bahawa BTN tidak sihat dan digunakan sebagai alat untuk meraih sokongan pihak-pihak tertentu maka ia harus terus dimansuhkan segera.

Muhammad Hilman Idham merupakan pemimpin Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia

Ramai sudah anak muda dan anggota perkhidmatan awam yang menyertai kurus BTN. Semua mereka telah melalui proses indoktrinasi yang sedemikian rupa. Daripada beberapa komen yang dihamburkan dengan imej negatif program ini ia telah melambangkan beberapa perkara seperti berikut..

1. Modul yang disediakan tidak dipatuhi... dan jika dipatuhi maka ternyata ia jelik. Daripada berbagai sungutan yang dihamburkan ternyata ia racist, jumud, dangkal dan sarat emosi.

2. Jika Dr. M atau YB lain mempertahankan modul ini, ada kemungkinan fasilitator tidak mematuhi modul yang disediakan. YB semua merasakan modul sudah cukup baik (pun tidak dapat dipastikan mereka sudah memeriksanya atau tidak) namun fasilitator yang bertindak bak lebih senduk dari kuah.

3. Atau apakah mereka tidak mahu mengaku bahawa BTN bukan untuk negara tetapi untuk pemeliharaan status quo. Agak mendukacitakan jika yang dipilih menjadi fasilitator terdiri dari anggota parti yang jumud. Mereka tidak mahu perbincangan atau tidak menerima bantahan mahupun kritikan peserta progam. Peserta yang mempersoal ajaran, akan dipenalise dalam program, menjadikan ia sunyi dari perbincangan.

4. Fasilitator hanya dilatih dengan ditanam matlamat mereka, tetapi tidak disediakan dengan pendidikan bermutu dalam pengajaran, psikologi pendidikan, asas pedagogi, berwacana secara sihat atau sekurang-kurangnya menerima budaya berwacana dan sederhana dalam perbincangan. Mereka sarat dengan emosi dan enggan memberi alasan atau respons yang rasional apabila dibantah oleh peserta.

Banyak lagi yang boleh dibangkitkan. BTN disuarakan akan disusun semula, ini juga sebagai lambang satu penerimaan hakikat secara tidak rasmi bahawa mereka tidak langsung bersifat One Malaysia.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

To those interested.. pls.. help yrself..

Applications invited from Asian Civil Society Professionals for the Asia Leadership Fellow Program 2010

The International House of Japan and the Japan Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2010 Asia Leadership Fellow Program (ALFP). The ALFP is an opportunity for individuals working in the civil society/NGO sector in Asia to gain increased professional understanding about related issues through workshops, seminars, the retreat meeting, field trips and the public symposium.

The Program will be held in Tokyo, Japan for a period of nearly one month and has been scheduled from 12 September to 13 November 2010. The theme of the program is “Asia in Dialogue: Visions and Actions for a Humane Society.”

The fellowship includes a round trip airfare to and from Tokyo, daily allowance to cover accommodation, meals and other incidentals, medical insurance during the stay and other costs related to group activities such field trip and retreat.
Eligible candidates can be from Northeast-,Southeast-and South Asian countries and should be between the age group 35-59 years. Although it is not necessary to have a postgraduate degree, but the candidate should have a good command over English and should demonstrate outstanding leadership ability or potential in his/her profession.
The application form can be downloaded from the link given below. The deadline to submit applications is 11 January 2010. For more information, visit this link.
The fellowship includes a round trip airfare to and from Tokyo, daily allowance to cover accommodation, meals and other incidentals, medical insurance during the stay and other costs related to group activities such field trip and retreat.

Eligible candidates can be from Northeast-,Southeast-and South Asian countries and should be between the age group 35-59 years. Although it is not necessary to have a postgraduate degree, but the candidate should have a good command over English and should demonstrate outstanding leadership ability or potential in his/her profession.

The application form can be downloaded from the link given below. The deadline to submit applications is 11 January 2010. For more information, visit this link.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific)

Those interested... pls.. help yourself..

Nov 26 2009

Call for Applications
Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific).


Call for Applications
Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific).

Applications are now being accepted for study and for scholarships in the Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) (MHRD).

The MHRD is a unique Master degree program in which students undertake a foundational semester of study at the University of Sydney, and then a second semester at one of the four partner universities:

Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia)
Mahidol University (Thailand)
Katmandu School of Law (Nepal)
University of Colombo (Sri Lanka)

Graduates of the course will gain an interdisciplinary understanding of human rights and democratisation in the Asia Pacific, and will have opportunities to research and examine the application of human rights and democratisation in the field with the partner institutions.

Course Structure
In the first semester at the University of Sydney, students will undertake a foundational course in social science, legal and political approaches to human rights and democratisation. During the second semester students will follow two core units of study complemented by either supervised
research, an internship at an in-country organisation specialising in human rights/ democratisation or undertake further specialised electives. Students must select one of the four partners universities listed above to undertake their second semester study.

Core Courses
Human Rights Norms and Laws (1 & 2)
Human Rights and Democratisation Research
Dynamics of Human Rights Violations
Democratisation: Theory and Practice
Critical and Emerging Issues in the Asia Pacific

In the second semester, students will take one of the following options:

a) Specialised electives
b) Internship program
c) Research thesis

Graduates will have both the ability to undertake independent scholarly research on current issues pertaining to human rights and democratisation in the Asia Pacific and skills to put their academic understanding and practical experience to use in real situations.

Potential Students
We are looking for people who have a strong commitment to or experience on working on issues about human rights and democratisation. The degree will strongly benefit people already working in, or seeking to work in the fields of human rights and democratisation in our region.

Through a combination of academic and practical educational experiences, the objective of the program is to produce graduates who can support ongoing efforts to strengthen institutions dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights and democracy and to enhance a regional culture of human rights and democracy.

Recognising the critical institutional developments that are taking place both regionally and in particular countries during this time, the program has been set up to ensure that human rights and democracy advocates in the region are well resourced to lead us into the next decades.


Thirty scholarships, covering course fees and a living and travel allowance, will be offered to outstanding applicants from across the Asia Pacific region. This is made possible with the support of a significant grant from the European Commission.

Scholarships will be available to citizens of Asia Pacific countries (a full list of countries is available from the Academic Director upon request). The award of scholarships will be determined by academic qualifications and potential contribution to human rights and democratization.

Applications are now open.
Applications for the MHRD close on 30 April 2010 and are considered upon receipt.
Applications for the Human Rights and Democratisation Scholarship close on 12 March 2010.

Contacts and Further Information
If you are interested in the program, you can find more information at

For any questions, or for a copy of the application form, please contact Academic Director Dr. Danielle Celermajer at

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's Senator Syed Husin

Malaysian Mirror
Tuesday, 17 November 2009

SHAH ALAM - Veteran politician and PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali has been nominated a senator to represent Selangor.

Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim forwarded Syed Husin’s name for a vote to the state assembly sitting on Tuesday, with 32 agreeing and three objecting, the Star reported. Twenty assemblymen were not present when the vote was taken.

syed husin ali.jpgAnother candidate is lecturer and Petaling Jaya Municipal Councillor S Ramakrishnan Suppiah, 53, from the DAP, whose nomination had 32 votes in favour and two objections.

Ramakrishnan, a DAP member for nine years, was proposed by Kinrara assemblyman Teresa Kok and seconded by Kota Anggerik assemblyman Yaacob Sapari.

Two vacant seats on Dec 6

V Ganabatirao, a former member of the Hindu Rights Action Force, was originally named to represent Selangor with the backing of DAP assemblymen but was dropped.

Selangor’s two senate seat allocation will be vacant after the terms of Ikhwan Salim Sujak and Yip Kum Fook end on Dec 6.

Syed Husin was the long serving president of Parti Rakyat Malaysia who brought his party to merge with Keadilan forming the new entity, Parti Keadilan Rakyat, in the process.

Friends and associates immediately hailed his election to the Senate, saying that Syed Husin was most deserving of the appointment.

Right choice, right moment and right man. Lets have some intellectuals in the hall.. I am sure this respected man will contribute a lot to the assembly.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tujuh mitos, tujuh pembohongan

Hishamuddin Rais
1 Okt 09

Mitos ialah naratif yang dibuat bertujuan untuk memesongkan hakikat.
Contohnya: Raja dikatakan jelmaan tuhan - mitos ini bertujuan membodohkan kaum tani agar mereka memberikan tanaman mereka pada satu kumpulan manusia yang malas bekerja.

Mitos ini berpanjangan dan ditokok tambah: selepas satu, satu lagi ditambah. Hakikatnya mitos raja dari muntah lembu atau raja jelmaan tuhan bertujuan untuk menipu. Walhal antara raja dengan sesiapa sahaja tidak ada bezanya. Yang melahirkan perbezaan hanyalah mitos.

Contoh mitos: Pokok itu berhantu. Pokok itu wujud dan dapat dilihat dan dibuktikan. Tetapi hantu itu tidak wujud. Mitos hantu diwujudkan untuk menakut-nakut. Apabila kita takut, maka kita akan mencari perlindungan.

Peranan untuk melindungi kita daripada hantu ialah bomoh dan dukun. Akhirnya kita tunduk pada kuasa bomoh dan dukun.

Mitos diwujudkan untuk tujuan baik dan tujuan jahat. Jangan pergi di dalam gua ini, ada hantu adalah nasihat yang bersalurkan penakutan. Nasihat ini baik kerana cuba menjaga keselamatan. Ia juga tidak baik kerana asasnya satu pembohongan.

Hari ini mitos masih cuba di wujudkan – tetapi agak susah. Dengan kemajuan ilmu, tidak ramai yang akan mempercayai mitos-mitos baru yang hendak direka.

Mitos seperti angkasawan Neil Armstrong turun ke bulan dan kemudian terdengar suara azan. Atau mitos Bruce Lee mati kerana bersilat dengan Dicky Zulkarnain – semua ini cuba disebarkan untuk menjadi bahan lawak jenaka.

Tujuan asal mitos ialah untuk membodohkan dan dalam masa yang sama menakut-nakutkan orang ramai. Kalau Raja Jepun berasal daripada Tuhan, maka diharapkan rakyat Jepun akan tunduk. Walhal kalau Raja Jepun ini makan petai, kencing dia tetap hancing. Kalau Putera Charles tercirit, baunya tetap busuk.

Lawan mitos ialah fakta. Fakta dapat dibuktikan melalui pengkajian. Ilmu pengetahuan manusia datang dari fakta dan pemikiran manusia. Semua ilmu dalam dunia ini berpunca daripada tiga sumber.

Pertama: Pengumpulan pengalamnan.
Kedua: Kaji selidik.
Ketiga: Ujian dalam bilik makmal.

Sesuatu mitos akan pecah jika kita berfikir secara rasional. Kajian ilmiah akan dapat membuktikan sama ada sesuatu itu mitos atau fakta. Jika sesuatu masih dalam kajian dan belum dapat dibuktikan betul atau salah, maka ia masih di tahap teori.

Satu ketika dahulu Letupan Besar atau Big Bang hanya satu teori. Hari ini ia telah diterima sebagai fakta. Teori menjadi fakta apabila kajian dapat membuktikan teori ini.

Ilmu pengetahuan adalah pengumpulan pengalaman manusia dari suatu zaman ke suatu zaman. Buruk atau baik pengalaman ini akan menjadi panduan. Panduan ini adalah ilmu pengetahuan. Ada ilmu pengetahuan yang turun dari mulut ke mulut. Ada yang dibukukan.

Dalam negara kita, ada beberapa mitos yang disebarkan. Pada ketika mitos ini disebarkan, ramai warga negara kita belum bersekolah. Maka mitos ini diterima bulat-bulat. Penyebaran mitos ini memang bertujuan untuk membodohkan kita semua.

Tetapi dengan adanya internet, kita dapat memecahkan mitos-mitos ini melaui pengkajian berdasarkan fakta-fakta.

Mitos pertama
Hari Malaysia bukan pada 31 Ogos tetapi 16 September.
Bohong. Sabah, Sarawak, Singapura dan Tanah Melayu menjadi persekutuan Malaysia pada 16 September 1963.

Singapura meninggalkan Malaysia pada 9 Ogos 1965. Tidak percaya, sila tanya orang Sabah dan Sarawak.

Mitos kedua
Merdeka dimulakan oleh United Malays National Organisation.
. Parti yang awal memperjuangkan dan melaugkan slogan MERDEKA ialah Kesatuan Melayu Muda (KMM) yang ditubuh pada 1938. United Malays National Organisation belum wujud lagi.

Apabila wujud, slogan United Malays National Organisation ialah HIDUP MELAYU

dan bukan MERDEKA!

Mitos ketiga
Kemerdekaan dicapai tanpa pertumpahan darah.
. Parti Komunis Malaya, Angkatan Pemuda Insaf (API), Angkatan Wanita Sedar (AWAS), Hizbul Muslimin, Peta, Malayan Democtaric Union, KMM dan ribuan warga telah bangun mengangkat senjata.

Pada mulanya melawan Jepun, kemudian melawan British. Tanpa angkat senjata, British tidak akan undur.

Mitos keempat
Lagu Negaraku dikatakan lagu kebangsaan kita.
. Lagi ini bukan ciptaan warga Tanah Melayu. Penciptanya orang Perancis bernama Pierre Jean de Beranger (1780-1857).

Nama asal lagu ini, Memula Moon. Bertukar menjadi Terang Bulan.

Di zaman konfrontasi Malaysia-Indonesia, radio repuklik itu memainkan lagu ini untuk mengejek Tunku Abdul Rahman yang dianggap budak suruhan British. Dari Terang Bulan menjadi Negaraku.

Mitos kelima
Bendera Jalur Gemilang – namanya baru berusia lima tahun. Ia adalah tiruan bulat-bulat bendera Amerika Syarikat yang bernama Star Spangled–Banner, Stars and Stripes dan Old Glory. Jalur Gemilang diciplak daripada bendera Amerika.

Buktinya, lihat Jalur Gemilang tidak ada motif Nusantara atau Melayu. Warna merah dan putih adalah motif Nusantara - merah ertinya darah rakyat dan putih pula hati rakyat. Motif Nusantara ini wujud pada bendera Singapura dan Indonesia.

Mitos keenam
Wujud perpaduan Melayu.
Bohong. Tidak ada perpaduan Melayu. Tidak pernah terjadi perpadun Melayu semenjak konsep Melayu itu wujud. Tidak mungkin adanya perpaduan Melayu seperti mustahilnya lahir perpaduan Cina, perpaduan Arab, perpaduan Itali, perpaduan India.

Mitos perpaduan Melayu bergerak dengan menakut-nakutkan orang Melayu daripada 'ditelan' oleh Cina dan India. Apabila Melayu jadi takut maka akan datang pembantu. Seperti mitos pokok ada hantu. Orang kampung yang takut pada hantu memanggil bomoh untuk menghalau hantu.

Ini cara klasik sesuatu mitos bergerak - takut-takutkan orang ramai. Apabila orang ramai takut, maka mereka akan mencari perlindungan. Maka muncul United Malays National Organisation menjadi pelindung, walhal yang menimbulkannya gerombolan ini juga.

Mitos ketujuh
Malaysia negara unik.
. Mitos ini disebarkan untuk membodohkan rakyat negara ini yang malas membaca dan hanya suka mendengar.

Mitos ini bertujun untuk menunjukkan hanya gerombolan United Malays National Organisation sahaja yang dapat memerintah kerana Malaysia ini unik.

Hakikatnya Malaysia tidak unik; bukan Malaysia sahaja dalam dunia ini yang berbilang-bilang kaum, berbilang-bilang bahasa, pelbagai agama dan budaya. Tidak ada negara yang monolithic dalam dunia ini – semua ada kepelbagaian. Setiap negara dalam dunia ini ada kepelbagaian.

Teknologi boleh memecahkan mitos. Lihatlah betapa teknologi dan ilmu pengetahuan telah memecahkan mitos-mitos ini. Betapa internet telah membolehkan kita bersama-sama mencari fakta dan menilai dokumen sejarah.

Kalau dulu kita tidak tahu asal-usul lagu Negaraku. Hari ini gambar dan riwayat hidup pembuat lagi ini kita kenali. Kalau dulu ada yang menerima mitos tentang kemerdekaan dicapai tanpa tumpah darah. Hari ini mitos ini telah terbarai, pecah.

Dokument-dokumen sejarah ini semuanya boleh kita baca melalui internet.

Kemajuan manusia akan terus memecahkan mitos-mitos yang lapuk dan berkarat ini. Teknologi akan membebaskan manusia daripada diperangkap dan dibelenggu mitos-mitos.

Tanpa mitos, manusia akan jadi berani. Insan yang berani bebas adalah insan yang berfikir. Manusia yang berfikir tidak akan tunduk kepada sesipa kecuali fikrahnya yang rasional.

Komen: Tanpa sedar pelbagai metos sudah dianggap sebagai fakta. Namun perbincangan itu sudah pergi kepada peringkat lapisan kedua atau tiga. Lapisan pertamanya masih ramai yang tidak menerima konsep mitos, dan apa lagi menerima bahawa semua itu adalah mitos..

Friday, October 30, 2009

Democratic rights still far off
29 Oct 09 : 8.00AM By Ding Jo-Ann

"POST-8 March, [the election results] left civil society exhilarated and giddy knowing that change is possible," says Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Ivy Josiah. "It has strengthened Malaysians as a whole to speak up, organise and demand reform."

Candlelight vigils have become part of the fabric of city life

Indeed, since the last general election, Malaysians have been upping their engagement with issues in the public sphere. Citizen movements such as the Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia and Fast for the Nation initiatives have been organised by citizens who want to see a better Malaysia. Candlelight vigils have become part of the fabric of city life. With civil society leaders such as residents' association frontperson Edward Lee and human rights activist Elizabeth Wong elected into government, the expectation is civil society's influence will be stronger in the days to come.

But have the election results of 20 months ago resulted into tangible change on the ground?

New opportunities

"The post-March 8 [climate] has given us a window of opportunity to work with legislators who are keen on reforms and changes using the human rights framework," says Centre for Independent Journalism(CIJ), Malaysia executive director Gayathry Venkiteswaran. "Residents and human rights non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have the ears of the state leaders in some states like never before."

She cites the example of the Selangor government trying to address the issues of displaced estate workers due to the commercialisation of plantations. "It is still early to tell if these will yield the results, but the process is in place."

It's not just Pakatan Rakyat (PR) representatives who are now accessible to civil society. "Interestingly, [BN] government representatives including ministers and Members of Parliament have also been seeking out civil society as they too have learnt that they should listen and take action," Josiah says.

The increased attention has resulted in an increased workload for some NGOs. Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) director Dr Colin Nicholas says COAC's work has increased "manifold" as certain governments have started taking steps to address Orang Asli concerns.

"[T]wo states - Perak (before the BN wrested the state from PR) and Selangor - have taken very proactive steps to protect and advance Orang Asli rights and interests. This has resulted in diverting a lot of our time and resources to working with the state on ways to realise the new thrust of these two opposition-led governments," says Nicholas. continue,

With the "window of opportunity" that has opened, civil society groups have their work cut out for them in the next few years.

From aiming to pass freedom of information laws in at least two states, to reforming Islamic family law, to recognising indigenous rights, it's clear that civil society is not idle.\

But many more hands are needed. "There are so many areas of human rights violations in this country that need proper research, documentation and representation. In terms of human resources, we are still at a shortfall," says Khoo.

He says that on a recent trip to Miri, he heard of many cases where indigenous customary land rights had been violated because the state had granted mining concessions and plantation rights to companies. However, there weren't enough lawyers to file actions against the Sarawak government.

Nicholas also says they are under-resourced, while Josiah cites the need for more resources so that WAO's work can expand into non-urban areas where it is also much needed.

Holding "friends" accountable

Although great strides forward have been made, the task at hand remains enormous.

Bar Council human rights committee co-chairperson Andrew Khoo says: "To a certain extent, we've grown up a bit since 8 March. We've realised that things are not so easy to accomplish. Even when those we were working with have become members of state governments, we have
learnt it's not so easy to deliver on some of the promises that were made."

Khoo says that the pace of change has in some instances been disappointing. He cites the delay in implementing local government elections in PR-held states.

Gayathry concurs. "One of the challenges we face is the diluted commitment by PR members in some core areas of reforms," she says. "Among them are their own manifestos to introduce local council elections. You get a sense that there is some backtracking now and that is not healthy."

With former civil society leaders now in government, people like Gayathry also find themselves redefining some relationships, especially with friends who have since been elected into public office.

"Our expectation is that these friends will be able to push the reform agenda to the fullest but this is not always the case...Sometimes the leaders of the PR parties think we unfairly target them but they don't understand that we are only keeping them in check," she says.

Although it is often BN leaders who label civil society as "irresponsible NGOs", Nicholas and Josiah both acknowledge that there are also those in PR who need to be better informed about human rights issues. "[W]e have friends in Pakatan and BN states just as we have detractors in Pakatan and BN," Josiah says.\

International shame
In terms of political support, the federal government has yet to demonstrate a clear commitment to engaging with civil society. Khoo says the government only seems to respond when there is a risk of foreign direct investment drying up.

"For example, the problem of trafficking in persons. It wasn't until the United States government put us on the watch list that [the government] did something about it. The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2007 came into force, and then we were taken off the watch list.

"[But] after one year of nothing happening, we were then put back on the watch list. Now, we're seeing prosecutions," Khoo observes.

Khoo also says that since the Internal Security Act has received international attention, the government has decided to make changes to it. However, he points out that there are many people detained without trial under the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime)Ordinance 1969 and Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985 which no one is doing much about.

Way forward
Injustices suffered by Penan people are seen as inadequately addressed by the government (© Sofiyah Israa / Flickr)

It remains to be seen how civil society can galvanise the extra support it needs to see the kind of changes required for a "basic democracy" to function.

Nicholas, who has been working to establish indigenous rights for years, says: "A total change of government appears to be our best option in achieving this at the moment compared to the tedious and expensive court cases, lobbying, dialogues and other methods we have been using."

Khoo believes that more human rights education is needed for those in positions of leadership. "We need basic understanding of human rights to permeate administrative and judicial decisions. We need more training for our judges and decision-makers to take into account basic human rights norms," says Khoo.

But perhaps more importantly, how much change and how quickly it will happen will depend on public support. Without citizens actively clamouring for full civil liberties and democratic rights, it would be a rare government indeed that would deliver democracy on a silver platter.

It still depends on the angle that you are looking from. If you ask somebody in one of the Arab countries they would say our democracy is far ahead and the best among developing countries... yet if you ask somebody from he may not list us as democratic country at all..

Monday, October 19, 2009

UM students in trouble for inviting politicians

16 October, 2009
by charlessantiago
Source : Malaysian Mirror
Thursday, 15 October 2009 16:48

KLANG – A black cloud is looming over eight students of the Universiti Malaya, who face stern action from the university for inviting politicians to attend their campus functions.

Two of them face disciplinary action for allegedly inviting the Selangor Mentri Besar’s political secretary, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, to open the annual general meeting of the UM’s Muslim Students Society (PMIUM), without the university’s approval.

The others have been called for questioning over their invitation to several politicians to act as jury for a Chinese language debate on current political issues.

The university charged that the eight students had breached the campus regulations as well as the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 by inviting the politicians to grace their events.

MP claims UUCA infringes students’ rights
UM disciplinary committee chairman Prof Faisal Ali said the committee will determine if the students had acted against the Act, which provides expulsion as the most severe punishment for offenders.

According to the UM students’ representative council, the student affairs department had already given its approval for the debate and was also aware of the topics to be discussed and who the judges would be.

A student spokesman added, however, the department said it would only allow the debate as a ‘one off’ thing that should not be repeated in future as it involved politicians'.

Klang MP Charles Santiago said the UUCA is a controversial Act and contained articles that were against the students’ basic human rights, including the right to free expression.

The irony faced by the government
“Universities and institutes of higher learning should encourage intellectual activities that do not infringe on the students’ academic freedom and the campus autonomy."

“Students should be encouraged and motivated in the way that their right to think and voice up is not affected by threats of action against them."

“The irony is that whenever the government finds a university’s world ranking is slipping, it immediately wants to rectify the situation by amending the Act to give universities more autonomous power and to get students to be more innovatve in their thinking,” he said.

Santiago added that ‘rules and regulations’ will continue to dominate the minds of university managers for as long as the universities are not given their true autonomy.

He said the action against the eight UM students had stunted the joy of seeing the UM returning back to the list of the worlds’ 200 best universities.

Santago urged the UM to withdraw disciplinary action against the students and the Higher Education Ministry to amend the UUCA by taking away all articles deemed offensive to academic freedom and the student’s basic human rights. – Malaysian Mirror.

1Malaysia is supposed to be a rational and moderate state and society. Unfortunately University students have yet to move into the real state of a modern, developed, cultured society. The students only ask for reasonable freedom, exchanges of ideas and freedom of expression. They were hindered by the draconian law. Blocking their activities won't stop them from thinking ideals and ideas that you don't like. Just like the English proverb : you can pull the horse to the river but you can't ask it to drink...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bekas sarjan akui palsukan undi pos

Jimadie Shah Othman Okt 5, 09

Seorang bekas sarjan hari ini mengakui pernah terlibat memangkah BN bagi pihak anggota-anggota tentera dalam dua pilihan raya umum – pemalsuan undi yang selama ini hanya digembar-gemburkan oleh ahli-ahli politik pembangkang.

Abu Kassim, yang bertugas sebagai "sarjan gaji", berkata beliau dan beberapa kakitangan tentera dalam bahagian pentadbiran, seperti ketua kerani, mendapat arahan bagi memanipulasikan undi pos daripada pegawai pentadbir kem. Beliau, kira-kira 10 tahun menyertai PAS, bagaimanapun tidak ingat tarikh tepat dan tempat peristiwa itu dengan alasan ia "sudah lama" berlaku tetapi ia didakwa terjadi semasa bawah pentadbiran perdana menteri waktu itu Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. "Saya tidak ingat. Lama sudah. Tetapi dalam pilihan raya besar (umum), zaman Dr Mahathir dulu," katanya kepada Malaysiakini.

Anak kelahiran Kuala Pilah itu menganggotai tentera darat selama 23 tahun sehingga 1989. Beliau paling lama berkhidmat di Markas Stesen Staf Port Dickson. Pengakuan depan pengerusi SPRAbu kini seorang ahli jawatankuasa undi pos Pemuda PAS yang diketuai oleh ketua penerangan dewan itu Suhaizan Kaiat.“Setiap pilihan raya, saya diminta memantau pengundian pos.

Mungkin sebab saya bekas askar, mereka pilih saya,” katanya yang kini menetap di Bandar Tenggara, Port Dickson.Jumaat lalu, Pemuda PAS mendedahkan pengakuan Abu, yang didakwanya bersedia tampil membongkar perkara itu, menjelang pilihan raya kecil DUN Bagan Pinang pada 11 Oktober ini.Suhaizan sebelumnya berkata pengakuan Abu itu juga dibuat di depan Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof dalam satu pertemuan rombongan PAS, yang diketuai naib presidennya Salahuddin Ayub, pada 28 Ogos lalu.

Menulis di blognya Bila Kentong Berbunyi, pemimpin Pemuda itu berkata, Abu terpaksa berbuat demikian atas arahan pegawainya, yang berdiri di belakang dan memerhati kertas undi dipangkah. Dihubungi pagi ini, Abu berkata walaupun pernah mengundi untuk orang lain, beliau langsung tidak pernah mengundi untuk dirinya sendiri. "Sepanjang berpuluh-puluh tahun menjadi askar, saya tidak pernah memangkah bagi pihak diri sendiri, tetapi tolong memangkah bagi pihak orang lain," katanya, dengan mendakwa seramai empat sehingga lima kakitangan pentadbiran kem turut terlibat dalam proses itu. Diugut dibuang ke laut.

Tambahnya, pemalsuan undi pos itu melibatkan sekurang-kurangnya 400 anggota tentera. Beliau bagaimanapun tidak pasti sama ada pemalsuan undi pos masih berlaku di kem-kem tentera walaupun masih mencurigai amalan itu. Abu juga berkata, akibat mendedahkan perkara itu secara terbuka kepada umum, beliau pernah "diugut hendak dibuang ke laut" melalui mesej SMS daripada pihak yang tidak dikenalinya. "Banyak SMS macam itu saya terima," katanya.

Ditanya apa yang membuatkannya berani tampil kali ini, Abu berseloroh berkata: "Takkan sekarang mereka (kerajaan) hendak potong pencen saya." Dalam setiap pilihan raya, perjalanan pengundian pos sentiasa mendapat bantahan pembangkang kerana dicurigai wujudnya penyelewengan yang akan memenangkan calon BN. Dalam pilihan raya kecil di kerusi ini, jumlah pemilih pos sangat besar - 4,620 daripada 13,664 orang yang layak membuang undi.
Komen: Lebih berminat untuk mendengar kepimpinan tentera dan kepimpinan negara punya response... percaya bhw ini hanya merupakan tips of iceberg.. banyak lagi yg masih tersimpan..

Friday, September 25, 2009

Makan Malam Alumni Sains Politik UKM

Perhimpunan semula Alumni Sains Politik UKM

Tarikh 11 Okt 2009

Masa: 8.00pm

Dewan Seri Endon,
Dewan Puspanita
Precint 10 Putrajaya.

Untuk keterangan lanjut sila

atau lawat web

Pensyarah dan bekas pensyarah sudah dijemput sama. Insyaallah akan hadir, Dato Kamarudin Jaffar, Prof Ahmad Atory Hussein, Prof Madya Saliha Hassan, Prof Madya Dr Rashila Ramli, Ust. Wan Abdul Rahman, Dr. Sity Daud dan lain-lain lagi.

Tuan puan alumni Sains Politik UKM dengan hormatnya dijemput hadir. Terima kasih.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tapis ketat gelaran Datuk, Doktor

Sep 24, 09 7:52pm

Sebuah badan penapisan perlu ditubuhkan untuk menyaring bakal penerima gelaran darjah kebesaran di negara ini supaya hanya individu yang berkelayakan sahaja dikurniakan anugerah itu, kata Presiden Persatuan Pedagang dan Pengusaha Melayu Malaysia (Perdasama) Datuk Moehamad Izat Emir.

Beliau berkata langkah itu dapat memastikan individu yang memiliki 'resume' dan kriteria yang tepat sahaja dianugerahkan darjah kebesaran tersebut. "Jika gelaran itu mahu diberikan kepada seorang usahawan, laporan lengkap mengenai perjalanan perniagaannya dan personalitinya mesti dinyatakan dengan tepat bagi memastikan penerimanya terdiri daripada orang yang betul-betul berkaliber dan bukan juga seorang yang mempunyai rekod jenayah," katanya ketika dihubungi Bernama.
Moehamad Izat berkata gelaran itu tidak boleh dijual-beli sewenang-wenangnya kepada golongan yang tidak layak serta tidak menyumbang kepada negara. "Kalau orang itu tidak memberi sumbangan apa-apa kepada negara atau masyarakat tetapi dia mendapat gelaran Datuk atau seumpamanya disebabkan dia ada duit untuk beli gelaran itu, ini tidak betul," katanya.

Moehamad Izat berkata golongan muda juga boleh dianugerahkan gelaran "Datuk" berdasarkan sumbangan besar mereka kepada negara seperti mengharumkan nama negara di peringkat antarabangsa dalam bidang sukan atau hiburan. "Umur adalah penting tetapi jika mereka berjaya membuatkan negara dikenali di serata dunia dan mempunyai rekod cemerlang, seperti pemain badminton Datuk Lee Chong Wei dan Datuk Siti Nurhaliza, mengapa tidak," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika mengulas laporan media berhubung saranan yang meminta Jabatan Peguam Negara memutuskan sama ada 'pembelian' gelaran seperti Datuk dari luar negara atau ijazah doktor falsafah (PhD) 'secara ekspres' merupakan perbuatan jenayah atau sebaliknya. Laporan media itu memetik kenyataan Menteri Penerangan, Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim sebagai berkata bahawa kegiatan membeli gelaran sosial semakin serius dan jika tidak ditangani, akan melahirkan satu generasi 'ilmuwan palsu'.

Ketua Biro Penguatkuasaan Pertubuhan Perunding Latihan dan Motivasi Muslim Malaysia (TAMRIN) Kamal Affandi Hashim berkata orang ramai perlu mengetahui bahawa individu yang mendapat gelaran Datuk dari luar negara perlu mendapatkan kebenaran bertulis daripada Yang di-Pertuan Agong untuk diiktiraf penggunaan gelaran itu di negara ini. Kamal Affandi yang juga seorang pakar penganalisis jenayah berkata beliau pernah membangkitkan isu pemberian PhD sejak empat tahun lalu, namun sehingga kini tiada tindakan tegas diambil bagi menanganinya.

"Sudah tiba masanya kita meneliti balik undang-undang negara kita yang dilihat masih lemah dalam membanteras sindiket pemalsuan di kalangan individu ini kerana setakat ini tiada sebarang laporan dibuat oleh individu yang pernah menjadi mangsa penipuan PhD ini. "Jika orang ramai melaporkan, (pemegang PhD palsu) ini boleh ditahan dan disabitkan kesalahan mempunyai PhD palsu dan boleh dijatuhkan hukuman mengikut Seksyen 420 Kanun Keseksaan (Kesalahan Menipu) iaitu penjara tidak kurang daripada satu tahun dan tidak lebih daripada 10 tahun dan boleh juga dikenakan sebatan dan didenda," katanya.

Bagi bekas Ketua Pengarah Pendidikan Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Arshad, pengurusan universiti perlu memperketat saringan serta mewujudkan satu kaedah khusus bagi membendung pengeluaran PhD secara palsu yang membolehkan pemilikan PhD 'ekspres'. Abdul Rahman, yang juga canselor Universiti UCSI, berkata hanya graduan PhD yang memiliki sijil yang tulen sahaja wajar diiktiraf dan mereka juga perlu menyerahkan salinan tesis PhD sebagai rujukan universiti. "Pada pendapat saya universiti harus memainkan peranan masing-masing dengan memperketatkan saringan serta pemantauan dengan melihat sendiri tesis yang dihasilkan oleh warga pendidik dan bukan menerima bulat-bulat sijil yang diterima," katanya.

Pengarah Akademi Kepimpinan Pengajian Tinggi (Akept) Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Zainuddin pula berkata dalam proses untuk mendapatkan PhD tulen, calon perlu melalui proses Kerapian Akademik yang melibatkan pelbagai tahap termasuk tempoh minimum, penilaian dari lembaga akademik dan kursus penyelidikan."Proses mendapatkan PhD merupakan satu 'kehidupan' yang sangat unik dan hanya selepas melalui semua kerapian akademik, baru tercapai 'satu pengetahuan baru' yang dihajati," katanya. BERNAMA

Komen: Panggilan dan gelaran khas semakin menjadi-jadi dalam masyarakat Malaysia. Di samping bintang anugerah, pangkat dan gelaran juga diberi melalui pencapaian akademik, jawatan pekerjaan dan gelaran sosial seperti imam, pak haji dan sebagainya. Apa yang dijadikan isu kali ini ialah gelaran yang bersifat profesional dan darjah bintang kebesaran yang diragui. Memang sudah lama ia menjadi isu, namun hanya kini diutarakan. Pensyarah Universiti yang bergelar doktor juga ada yang diragukan, apa lagi dengan timbulnya tindakan penipuan seperti yang dinyatakan di atas. Hairan..., ada orang boleh hidup dengan kepura-puraan asal mendapat gah..

nidzam sulaiman & zaini othman
boleh diperoleh dari Penerbit UMS atau Pengarang (RM25).
Terima Kasih.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Elak M'sia dapat imej 'kilang diploma' Sep 15, 09 7:40pm

Semua institusi pengajian tinggi (IPT) negara perlu terlebih dahulu menghalusi kualiti dan kelayakan pelajar, khususnya dari luar negara sebelum menerima permohonan mereka melanjutkan pelajaran di negara ini.

Menteri Pengajian Tinggi Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin berkata lambakan pelajar asing di IPT negara ini menyebabkan Malaysia digelar sebagai pembekal ijazah tidak berkualiti atau "kilang diploma" di beberapa forum antarabangsa. Katanya tohmahan seumpama itu harus dikekang kerana ia menjatuhkan imej dan martabat sektor pendidikan tinggi negara.

"Kementerian tidak mahu mana-mana IPT menerima pelajar tidak berkelayakan, terutama dari luar negara untuk mengikuti program yang ditawarkan. "Malah mulai tahun depan demi untuk menjaga nama baik, imej dan reputasi, semua IPTS tidak boleh menawarkan sebarang program yang tidak memiliki akreditasi kepada para pelajar antarabangsa," katanya dalam sidang akhbar selepas mengadakan pertemuan dengan ketua pegawai eksekutif IPT-IPT swasta di Pusat Konvesyen Antarabangsa Putrajaya (PICC) hari ini.

Mengulas lanjut, Mohamed Khaled berkata Malaysia ditohmah sebagai "kilang diploma" di beberapa forum antarabangsa selepas didakwa mudah mengeluarkan ijazah kepada para pelajar asing walaupun mereka tidak berkelayakan. "Kerana itu kita mahu, IPTS ini membaiki sistem pengurusan akademik mereka dan melalui proses penarafan.

Dalam soal beri gelaran profesor, penerimaan pelajar dan penawaran kursus, Malaysia tidak seharusnya menjadi tempat lambakan untuk para pelajar yang tidak diterima di IPT lain. "Hanya kerana ada duit, maka mereka diberi tempat di IPTS negara ini," katanya. Kelayakan minimum kemasukan pelajar di IPTA, jelas Mohammad Khaled ialah CGPA 2.0 dan beliau pasti semua IPTS akan mengenakan syarat seumpama itu dalam menerima kemasukan pelajar pada masa hadapan.

"Memang sekarang mereka (IPTS) tidak mengenakan syarat ini, tapi saya pasti apabila kita kemukakan perkara ini, mereka akan berbincang untuk menentukan kelayakan minimum dalam menerima kemasukan pelajar," katanya. Terdahulu, beliau berkata kementerian memulakan langkah transformasi sistem pendidikan tinggi negara kerana transformasi kerajaan tidak akan lengkap jika ia tidak dituruti oleh industri pengajian tinggi.

Transformasi sektor pendidikan, katanya diharap mampu meletakkan transformasi negara di landasan yang betul bagi membolehkan Malaysia berhadapan dengan soal kemajuan dan pembangunan, sekaligus berjaya menghadapi pelbagai saingan era globalisasi.

Mohammad Khaled berkata proses transformasi itu dimulakan dengan penyediaan pelan strategik IPTA mencakupi pelaksanaan projek agenda kritikal sebelum fokus diberikan kepada sektor IPTA, termasuk pindaan terhadap Akta Insitusi Pendidikan Tinggi Swasta 1996 (Akta 555). "Pindaan ini menjadikan kementerian sebagai pemudah cara untuk memenuhi keperluan yang dikehendaki oleh IPTS dan kita berharap IPTS ini dapat memberi perhatian serta mematuhi peruntukan yang terkandung dalam Akta 555 ini," katanya.
Komen: Malaysia cuba menjadi pusat industri akademik rantau Asia Tengggara atau Asia Timur. Semakin ramai pelajar luar datang ke Malaysia untuk mendapat pendidikan dan ijazah/diploma. Di samping kos yang agak rendah secara relatif dengan negara barat, kebanyakan pelajar asing ini merasakan selesa dengan Malaysia kerana suasana yang aman, orang ramai yang mudah mesra, kebudayaan yang terbuka, menerima pelbagai etnik dan budaya serta politik yang stabil. Selepas peristiwa Sept. 11, kehadiran pelajar Timur Tengah di negara barat juga sering kali berhadapan dengan pelbagai 'soal siasat' di kaunter imegresen ketika masuk, menjadikan negara barat tidak begitu attractive lagi. Namun seperti yang diingatkan di dalam ucapan di atas IPTS seharusnya memainkan peranan yang amat bertanggung jawab agar tidak mudah mengeluarkan diploma yang rendah kualitinya. Nama baik Malaysia dan Kolej perlu dipelihara dengan baik.

Friday, September 11, 2009

STS: Heightened race rhetoric in Malaysia

Heightened race rhetoric in Malaysia - Carolyn Hong

SEPT 10 - Sometimes, it seems one lives in multiple worlds in Malaysia. A couple of weeks ago, I was reading a Mingguan Malaysia commentary by Awang Selamat, a pseudonym used by the newspapers' editors.

It began like this: "Previously we assumed that the Chinese were only interested in economic power, while political control was held by the Malays, but this doesn't appear to be so anymore." It continued: "What will happen if the Chinese also control political power - where will the Malays be?"

The belligerence leapt off the page. As I was reading it, my mobile phone beeped with an SMS invite to an iftar (breaking of fast) with Malay friends. Even before I had finished reading the SMS, another one arrived from another Malay friend keen to check out the Ramadan bazaar in Kampong Baru, the mosttraditional Malay enclave in Kuala Lumpur.

Welcome to life in parallel worlds: one filled with fear among the races; another filled with friendship. In recent weeks, the rhetoric on race - always a staple in Malaysian society - has grown louder and at times poisonous.

This latest round actually began soon after last year's general election when the Barisan Nasional lost its iron grip on power, largely because non-Malay voters favoured the opposition. Umno fought back. Umno-linked organisations and newspapers dropped hints about the erosion of Malay power.

Still, in recent weeks, the sentiment shave become almost hostile. It is hard to tell how far racial feelings are being deliberately stoked to further a political agenda. My opposition friends lay all blame at Umno's door. My Umno friends insist that Malay fears about losing their special position are deeply felt and real.

The truth lies in-between. The rhetoric does seem more political than real. Malaysians leading their own lives will say that the situation on the ground is nowhere as belligerent as it seems in the media. Certain ugly incidents have a whiff of political manipulation to them, like the protest two weeks ago by some Malays who stomped on a cow's head. The protesters objected to the building of a Hindu temple near their homes.

Yesterday, 12 of them were charged with illegal assembly and six also had sedition charges slapped on them. But, despite the ugliness of the incident, some good has also come out of it. The protest galvanised many Malays to speak up and condemn the protesters for insulting Hindus.

Even some of my Umno friends were appalled - and they didn't hide it. Some Malay friends made a trip to meet the Hindus in the neighbourhood, to assure them that the protest was not reflective of wider Malay sentiment. "They were nervous to see me at first, and when I mentioned my friends wereon their way, they got even more nervous!" said one of my friends.

The response of such Malays was heartening, because it seized the agenda from the intolerant. Even though it is fraught with twisted logic and can be ugly at times, the race debate has a soul-searching side to it. My Malay friends and I have ended up talking about the subject endlessly and I've come to better understand Malay sentiments. Political experts have described the Malay feeling as one of insecurity oranxiety, but the reality is more subtle and harder to pin down.One conversation has stuck with me.

A Malay friend who is a British-trained lawyer stayed back several years in London to work for a prestigious firm rather than land a cushy job at home immediately. He told me he wanted to shake off that inevitable impression that his success was due to pro-Malay government policies. Another Malay friend who worked in government told me of complaints of discrimination in economic sectors controlled by the Chinese, ranging from the reluctance of Chinese employers to hire Malays to the lack of cooperation in selling construction supplies.

These chats have helped me understand the vicious cycle that Malaysia is in, and why my innocuous comment about the inefficiency of a Malay-owned restaurant was seen as an indictment of the entire race. I meant nothing of that sort. If my friends and I had not spoken about race, I might not have realised this imagined slight.

More importantly, the race debate has given rise to more Malaysians tryingto change the racial framework of "us versus them". Prominent Malays have come to the fore, refusing to allow race to define them. They include lawyers Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and Art Harun, writer FarishNoor, politicians Dzulkefly Ahmad and Khalid Samad, and university lecturer Azmi Shahrom.

Former MP Zaid Ibrahim published a book early this year, Saya Pun Melayu, orI Am Also Malay, which explores a Malay identity that's not bound to oldpolitical notions. Such Malays have spoken up for the minorities, and challenge stereotypes at a cost to themselves, as many have been labelled as traitors.

It's a pity there aren't as many Chinese bridge-builders. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is one, but there aren't many more who will challenge Chinese stereotypes: The Chinese only want to make money, drink alcohol, and go to karaoke. They have no interest in the community. They are only out to protect their turf at the expense of everyone else. That's how we have been asked to define ourselves. But that's not who weare.

Malaysian Chinese need to break these stereotypes and empathise with others. The race debate is not all ugly; away from the media glare, it has been a more thoughtful exercise. That's why when some Malaysians are grim about the country, I'm not. As longas race is bound up with power, it will feature disproportionately in ourlives. But when so many Malaysians are trying to change the old dynamics, one feelsmore hope than despair. - The Straits Times

Comment: Sceptical if the loss of Malay political power would occur should UMNO lose control of the government. Some of these leaders are smartly constructing the UMNO image as the sole savior of the Malays and at the same time rediculing the ability of PAS and/or PKR. Without UMNO they say the Malays are in trouble. This false consciousness is going strong in the mind of many ordinary Malay folks. They could not detect what political agenda is, what political construction is or the colour of the wayang kulit. What ever appears in our local newspaper or main media to them is always true and should be supported and inevitably they constantly become those leaders' prey. How I wish they can be enlightened as regard to the true colours of these leaders.