Before You Can Reach for Space…


Read these first:-

exploration_discovery

(Space exploration – this is where the future lies and we need to look beyond, move beyond our comfort zone. Image source: discovermagazine.com)

Well, let’s read this interesting piece of development when it comes to the direction of the nation:-

Malaysia now has a National Space Policy to allow the country to look into developing technologies related to aerospace and turn it into a new economic contributor.

With the policy in place, authorities can plan to develop this sector systematically and ensure it is well managed so that the nation will benefit from it.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that fields related to space science, be it research or creating new technologies, have vast potential and he was confident that Malaysia could become a significant contributor to the world in these areas.

The Prime Minister said he was happy to read about the success story of astrophysics PhD student Nurul Adlyka Ainul Annuar, whose discovery in the field of astronomy made headlines around the world.

(Source)

Malaysia does not have an organisation as big as or as well-run as or as well financed as NASA when it comes to the space and related studies. But we do have these organisations that ensured Malaysians do not missed out on the space race:-

ANGKASA – It is our own National Space Agency and their mission is to develop the country’s potential in the space sector to support the development of the new economy, generate knowledge and strengthen the national security infrastructure.

National Planetarium – It have shows about astronomy and the night sky and also handles training in celestial navigation.

National Science Centre – out of it’s many missions under it’s arm is provide interactive science exhibits and simplify the implementation of science and technology. In essence, helping to create a scientific society.

The above of course excludes the various Ministries and other lesser agencies related to the area of education, space, science and technology. Well, in conclusion, at least we do have something – which is better than nothing. And it is good that the Government is also looking into that general direction with the introduction of a National Space Policy.

The NSC, which was set up last year, was based on the rationale that the Science, Technology and Innovations (STI) agenda could be monitored and coordinated under one council only to avoid duplication.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations (MOSTI), Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said the formulation of the National Space Policy enabled the planning and development of the national space sector to be implemented in a more proper manner for efficient management.

He said the policy formed the basis for the formulation of the Outer Space Act aimed at supervising activities and operations relating to the space sector such as the launching and operation of satellites, registration of objects launched into outer space, the operation of an Earth station and related activities.

(Source)

Frankly speaking, it is a giant step for the nation, it is the right step indeed – we need the drive towards science and space explorations. We need more people who will be able to look beyond. That’s great indeed. However, this is the Bolehland that we are talking about and in the Bolehland, we have this ugly side of religion that seems to spook people from thinking aloud and even come up with silliest stunt. I mean if we cannot kill the monster on silly things, how we even going to look into the vast area called space.

Prime Minister Najib Razak expressed his displeasure with the conduct of enforcement officers during the recent operation against traders selling the paintbrushes, saying they should have not been too hasty, The Star reported.

“I understand the issue with the paintbrushes with pig bristles but we cannot simply confiscate and compound the traders.

“We are living in a multiracial society, we have to respect other races in this country,” he said during a Chinese New Year gathering at SJK Chung Hua yesterday.

Earlier this week, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry confiscated paintbrushes suspected to be made from pig bristles and slapped traders with compounds.

Najib disagreed with the conduct of enforcement officers and said the ministry should have advised traders to label the paintbrushes accordingly.

(Source)

And it did not take long before other silly questions started to crop up – namely on the blood and organ donation of non Muslims and for Muslims. The comments on the social media on the above was less forgiving though – especially when one hand, paint brushes using pig bristles was eagerly confiscated and made headlines but on the other hand, blood & organs of people who probably had pork for breakfast, lunch and dinner their whole life was somehow acceptable. Personally, I agree that blood donation and organ allocation should not be based on race, religion, background, social standing and others.

And there is the picky issue of Science and Mathematics not taught in English. We are still doing flip flops on what language we want to drive this nation on excelling on these 2 key subjects that plays a big role when it comes to the science and space exploration. Mind you that the example that Najib used in his speech, the PHD student, Nurul Adlyka Ainul Annuar was a not a student in local university. She is in fact currently pursuing her PhD in Astrophysics at the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy at Durham University in the United Kingdom where I trust the language of Science is not in Bahasa. And she was not alone in making the discovery – she was part of a team that made the discovery.

The point is that before you look up and look beyond into the space, you need to look down and see whether we have a more opened and matured society that is keen to work with others and doesn’t simply dismisses an argument or a theory without the notion of religion and race. We need more enpowered people who will be able to spur the nation to greater heights, to space and beyond.

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Now Anybody Can Fly?


(Before I start with the post for this week, I just wanted to say this – if the old man is so concerned with the level of proficiency of English among graduates (no thanks to his own shortcomings when he was the Education Minister and the Prime Minister), why he did not join PAGE and give it the added creditability and force that it needs to push the change of policy (to teach Science and Mathematics in English). He instead joined PERKASA as its advisor and as we all know from how the Ibrahim the clown acts up and down like his backside was on fire whenever the opposition had raised critical issues, PERKASA and its main objective is nowhere close to the realms of improving proficiency of English in this country. Just wanted to get this out from my chest. That’s all)

f87e6530fa6fac7bcade9c6cec2e6b82.gif

(Whether it is a private jet or a public abuse of trust and power – such nonsense cannot be tolerated at any level even for a high ranking politician’s wife. Just because it is approved by the Cabinet, don’t these people who fly have some internal conscience or they are just corrupt to the core? They must be counting their blessings that they are not in China. Cartoon source: Zunar @ Malaysiakini)

Let’s get back to the post for this week and as a taxpayer, I am quite pissed off.

As you all know, there are only 2 things certain in life and it is not death and taxes. Oh sorry, let me rephrase it, there are only 2 things certain when it comes to a Malaysian politician – racial segregation and abuse of power.

Still remember Najib’s “pie-in-the-face” reaction when he faced the election results that was worse than Pak Lah’s time and realized that his wayang kulit with the Chinese voters had not worked wonders? He then squarely and conveniently blame it on the Chinese – one sick newspaper even asked “what else the Chinese wants?”. And till to this day, there are still people who is convinced that the Chinese had ulterior motive for BN’s worse performance in the electoral. They may have forgotten that 50.87% of the voters from all races did not vote for BN – that’s more than half of the voters in the country. They may have also ignored the fact that most people were not pleased and had deep distrust with the current administration for some time now – for obvious reasons too – there has not been enough work done curtail the main 4 political pillars in this country namely racial segregation, waste of taxpayers money, double standard enforcement & prosecution and abuse of power.

And it is just amazing to see how some politicians can put up a (very) thick face and trivialize the matter when they are caught red handed on the blatant abuse of public assets:-

Opposition lawmakers grilled Putrajaya on Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s use of the official government jet for a visit to Qatar last week to attend an international forum.

Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) started the ball rolling when he interjected Anthony Loke (DAP-Seremban) during the debate on Budget 2014 at the committee stage, noting that Rosmah had used the jet. “How can the prime minister’s wife use the government aircraft? We want to know the cost involved and how come she is eligible for this,” Azmin asked. In reply, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the Cabinet had approved for Rosmah to use the jet for this particular trip.

His reply did not satisfy the opposition ranks and Parliament turned chaotic with several MPs questioning the rationale of the Cabinet decision. “Isn’t the Cabinet headed by the prime minister? This is a conflict of interest, how can the prime minister give permission to his wife to use the jet?

(Source)

And the more the opposition grill this deeper, the more it becomes clear that Shahidan Kassim is not only talking cock when it comes to answering serious question in Parliament, he also proving to be a liar. Which is funny because the more these fellows try to cover up the abuse of power and divert the attention, the more evident it becomes to the general public:-

Pengerang MP Azalina Othman, who accompanied Rosmah Mansor during a women’s summit in Qatar, which the prime minister’s wife had gone on in a private jet, admitted that the invitation to attend the summit was extended to Rosmah in her personal capacity and not to the government.

“The invitation was not on a government basis but on a personal basis,” Azalina admitted in Dewan Rakyat today while debating the Budget 2014 allocation for the Rural Development Ministry.

To this, PAS’ Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad criticised the move, saying that a “wrong decision can’t be justified because cabinet made the decision”. “If you want to go, you go on your personal expenses,” Khalid said.

(Source)

And read here to see the so-called Rosmah’s work for the nation. You may want to keep a vomit bag by your side when you read the so-called “work” for the nation and where we “suppose” to fall to the ground in appreciation and be grateful for it. Apparently she did not go alone either. Still think more than half of Malaysian voted for the opposition for no good reasons? Despite the implied response of the voters in the last general elections, they still don’t get the message, uh? They still think that hard-earned taxpayers money belongs to them and they can spent it as and when and how they deem it fit and they are unanswerable to anyone.

The Government already paying external consultants RM7.2 billion of tax payers money through its noses for work that could be done by civil servants for free. To add further salt to the wound, they have just reduced the subsidy for petrol thus increasing the price to end consumers – with the very excuse that the Government is unable to bear the additional cost. They want to implement GST which many say will impact the lower class of people and soon we also see electricity tariff increase as well. Many more increases likely to be in the pipeline, trust me. And already people in KL are up arms over the substantial increase of assessment rates. All because this Government is unable to curtail unnecessary expenses and channel them based on right priority. Flying some fat ladies all over the world for private functions using taxpayers money is not one of them. We do not need wives of politicians to now waste even more millions of taxpayers money and abuse of public assets for personal trips and make everyone to look very dumb by trying to justify the abuse.

As taxpayers and as one who is facing ever increasing cost of living, don’t you get very angry with this over justification of wrong doing? We are not paying taxes so that politicians and their wives and family members can live a luxurious life and then show the middle finger when questioned! Where is the accountability? Where is the responsibility to the taxpayers?

I won’t say that the Government need to look into this or need to stop this blatant abuse of power and wastage. It will be a futile action – the voice of the ordinary people would remain unheard to those who walk in the corridor of powers. The year in, year out the lack of punishment on the wrong doers highlighted in the Attorney General’s report and a very poor enforcement record when it comes to catching & prosecuting corrupt politicians, speaks a lot for the lack of action. Plenty of opportunities to redeem itself in the area of fighting corruption and curtail of abuse of power have been wasted, intentionally most likely. Not a big surprise given that those who can make a difference are the same people who indulge in and perpetuate the very wrongdoings. The man at the top, obviously too weak to do anything and remains silent.

The only way to stop this blatant abuse of power and misuse of taxpayers money is by a complete change of the Government from top to bottom. A proper spring cleaning if you can call it to weed out the thrash, crap and unwanted parasites from the administration. It also should include those who are lazy and stupid. And once that is done, strict prosecution of the wrongdoers must be done – they cannot be allowed to get away with their past actions. Corruption by public servants and politicians and abuse of powers should be categorized in the same category as high treason and punishment is made very severe. For this, we need to vote in a new Government – the opposition are not perfect but they cannot be worse from the current administration – despite the limitations at Federal level, they already had set a fine example in Penang and Selangor.

Think about it as you eat the overpriced roti canai & teh tarik for breakfast whilst the fat lady goes for another trip around the world on her “private jet”.

Moving Forward with Science & English


(This is hundred times better than some of cheap comics out there and it is my son’s favourite book at the moment. It is also starting to be mine. Image source: http://www.gempakstarz.com/)

The flip-flop direction in regards to the use of English in our national schools over the past few years is showing its ugly side.

Read these first:-

The Education Ministry is looking at ways to encourage more students to take up Science subjects due to the current low take-up rate. Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said currently, less than 20% of students were in the Science stream, a shortfall of the 60% target set by the ministry.

“We found that many students are interested in Science subjects but there are no follow-ups probably due to lack of support from parents as well as lack of appropriate facilities in schools,” he said after visiting students who are sitting for SPM examination at SMK Taman Kosas, Ampang Tuesday morning.

He said the ministry was considering giving incentives to both students and parents to encourage more kids to take up Science subjects such as free books and grants for students, and tax breaks for parents.

Earlier this year, Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi said the ministry was viewing the matter seriously as there was a 37% drop in students taking up Science and Mathematics, and a 29% decline for pure science subjects. Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin had warned that the drop in interest in Science subjects may stunt efforts to improve technological innovations to make Malaysia a high income country.

(Source)

And

It has been revealed that two-thirds of 70,000 English teachers in the country failed to reach a proficient English level. Education Ministry deputy director-general Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said it was one of the two major findings of a survey which required the teachers to sit for the Cambridge Placement Test.

Dr Khair added that the other major finding of the survey was that two in three students failed to meet the basics in English proficiency. “This was based on the comparison of the students’ results in SPM English and Cambridge 1119 standards,” he said, adding that the survey was conducted among 13,000 students.

(Source)

And

Students will suffer from the Education Ministry’s preoccupation with the Malay language at the expense of science and technology, according to the Parents Action Group for Education (PAGE). “Why are they pretending that the language of science and technology is Malay?” asked PAGE chief Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim. “They are definitely in a denial dream.”

She was commenting on the new education blueprint that the government unveiled this morning. “The blueprint is a total letdown since they played safe by not addressing key issues and recommendations,” she said.

(Source)

My son is very interested in Science and wants to be a Scientist one day (he has ideas that is out of this world but don’t say it is not possible in the near future). He has a good command of English (as far as I am concerned) so he watches more science related, complex documentaries than brainless cartoons (Marvel or DC cartoons however is excluded from this list) these days and even his comic books are all history or science related. He actively checks on the 3 large encyclopaedias (and me) whenever he has the slightest doubt of anything under the sun and he gets excited whenever he does any “experiments” in his room. He simply questions everything and is not happy when he cannot get a good answer.

Now, when I read the Education Minister’s comment that there is a major decline in Science stream students (not because the fucked up policy of not teaching Science in English?), I view this with great concern especially when my son has high interest in Science and is in the same education system. It is highly improbable that there is a lack of Science students due to “lack of support” from parents, not when most of us are aware the importance of subjects like Science and Mathematics. It is understandable if you say it is due to “lack of money for books / tuition” or “lack of means” to ensure their kids take up Science stream but I don’t think it is due to “lack of support” (unless Art and Religion are far more important than Science subjects for some parents). What is more probable is lack of facilities in schools – how many of them have a well-equipped lab with proper Science teachers and lab assistants? How many of them have the necessary funding to finance Science projects at schools?

The other item in the news – teachers in the country failing to reach a proficient English level was not a big surprise though. You can’t blame them entirely on this – they did not fail, the system did. The flip-flop on use of English in schools, over emphasis of the national language, lack of the necessary English trainers and sometimes the unnecessary hatred on mission run schools produces student who are weak in English and end up being teachers who are weak in English and the vicious cycle continues.

I was a Science stream student too but I did not do that well in all the science subjects for STPM but I did rather well in SPM. I don’t blame the teachers who taught me all those years though. I found that the teachers who taught Science when I did SPM were simply more brilliant (all of them have at least a degree or masters in actual science subjects), speak better English, more dedicated and more understanding (to weak, struggling students) than those teachers who taught me for STPM. Perhaps different school had different culture. I may not have done well in Science subjects for my STPM but I was lucky enough to go through schools (all secondary schools) that had proper well equipped Science lab which made learning Chemistry, Physics and Biology fun (still remember when you dissect the frog with the heart still pumping?). Those science labs were well equipped so we were able to conduct all experiments and more.

Move forward to the future, if nothing is done to curtail the lack of Science stream students and poor use of proper English in schools (yes, the education blueprint seems to address some part of this but it did not reverse the decision to teach Science and Mathematics in Bahasa instead of the more acceptable, universal English), the deterioration will only continue – couple that with lack of facilities due to lack of funds to schools, it is only going to get worse. It is not good news for the advancement of science and technology in this country. It is good to know that there are people both from the Government and the concerned citizens have not given up and continued to work towards improvement of the education system to meet real world challenges and demands. But such change is slow and faces many hurdles (quite a number political) before we can see a positive development.

So whilst we wait for the Government to reverse its unwise decision on not teaching Science and Mathematics in English and whilst we wait for our teachers to improve their command of English to a standard that we can really be proud of, it looks like it is up to you and me take up the challenge to ensure that our kids is inclined to use proper English and incline towards the subject of Science and Mathematics – ok, never mind Science and Mathematics but at least proper English. I am concerned about the state of education in the country and me and my wife have given a lot of thought on what we can do as concerned parents. What we can do to ensure that our kid do not slack on the subjects of English, Science and Mathematics and at the same time, master the national language and all other subjects (including Tamil).

No doubt, we cannot change everything overnight but let me tell you on what I have done for my son in the last few years.

My son’s first spoken language was English (we have been talking in English to him since he was born) so it was slightly easier to start him off on reading and learning things in English. So we already had a good foundation to start with. When he was small, it was not easy to get him to read (we read to him instead) – so we started with something highly visual and colourful – TV kiddies programs and we were quite careful on what we pick for him to watch. Anything that teaches him on reading, words and identification skills was on top of our list. My son got his share of children toys but in between we also try to add something that will provide mental exercise for him. And that continued even after he had started studying in kindergarten. But at the end of the day, all this was to build up good foundation. The real work starts for us when he started his schooling in national primary school.

For the first year he struggled with Bahasa but it did not stop him from keeping up with the school work (although we had to do some serious translations and plenty of checking at home). Kiddies shows was drastically reduced (although he gets to see whatever he wants to see on the weekends) and more educational shows (Discovery, National Geography, History channels) take more time when we switch on the TV. It is back to the highly visual and colourful method of getting him interested on at least some of the current development in science and technology. TV is just one of the tools we deploy for knowledge and understanding. At the end of the day, it is back to basic, so my son have to do some kind of school work (alternating between Mathematics, English, Bahasa, writing and colouring exercises) at least for one hour before dinner everyday (if he has more time, then we extend his revision time as well). After his dinner, he has his adventures comics (such as this  – he has collected a few over the last few months and intends to collect the whole set) which provides humour and general knowledge.

And we have been  learning too – the last thing we need is for the blind to lead the blind. We had to be very sure that whatever answer we give is the correct answer. We had to make sure that we can back up our answer with the right evidence (thanks for the internet for that). We had to be sure that we can explain the unproven theories and provide the various options. And when it comes to English, we also try to drop that “lah” from our conversation and with the right grammar and we keep a close eye on our son too. No doubt, it is tough to keep him interested and maintaining him in the right path when it comes to English and Science (after all he is still a kid and undue stress is the last thing he needs) and it would be more helpful if the education policies are changing in the right path too. Until then, it is up to the individual parents and students to make the big difference on how they are going to handle the shortcomings in the education system. We have to take the first steps and maintain at it.

A Chat with D


Read these first:-

An interesting chat with my son a couple nights ago…

(D doing the Assassin Creed + Gangsta + Rap Singer impression with winter clothes and seriously I do not know where he picked the style up)

I was watching TV a couple nights ago – my son was doing his homework which was weird because he usually got that done before I come back from work. I know he was kind of rushing to complete the homework when suddenly he stopped and seemed to think hard for a moment. I noticed this and I though he was thinking about his homework. I kind of ignored him and continued to watch the TV when I suddenly noticed him walking towards me.

D: Appa, can I ask you something?

Me: Yes, what is it? (I was thinking that it must be query on his homework)

D: Appa, can you send me to English school for Form 1?

Me: English school? (he spoke about it some time ago – he has been having some problem with the National Language especially in the subject of Science)

D: Yes, somewhere I can take the plane and oh yes, there must be snow too

Me: What about English school in Singapore? (me just throwing some names)

D: We can drive to Singapore! No, it must be some where we must take the plane.

Me: So, you want to America?

D: No, I want to go to US (perhaps not understanding that America & US is the same thing)

Me: Ok, sure – if Appa have enough money, I will sent you there, for sure

D: Thanks, hmmm (D going into a “thinking” motion)

D: Maybe I continue until Form 6 here and continue my college there

Me: As Appa said, if Appa have enough money, I will send you for sure but for now, you need to study hard for now. Form 1 is still long way to go

D: Ok

My son, with a face that indicates that he had accomplish an important mission, walks back and continue with his homework.

Now that conversation got me thinking – with the Government screwing up the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English, perhaps it is not a bad idea to look for school that actually teaches that two crucial subjects in English – a language that universally been accepted as the main language of Science (and Mathematics). A point that my son implied to me, considering how he like to watch Science related documentaries on ASTRO all in ENGLISH!

I guess I have to start collecting – Form 1 to 6 in US is going to cost me alot

The Unexpected Mission


(All for the love of writing a good story – Image source: http://101reasonstostopwriting.com)

“….He knew that he was asking a very hypothetical question. He knew what would be the consequences if he does not deliver. Deepak did not say anything but instead he stood up and put his hand on John’s shoulder. He just looked at John, smiled and said that he will be contacted in one week’s time or perhaps sooner, depending on what John is doing to get his money. Deepak said John will be of course, watched at all times, just to make sure that the police are not involved in this.

Deepak walked away and John was left still sitting down at his place. John took out the paper and looked at the list again. Two of the banks listed are located in Accra, one in the New York and two more in Malaysia. It is not going to be easy to arrange for the transfer of the money within a week especially the banks are located in three different countries and governed by three different banking rules…”

The Unexpected Mission is the title of my entry for the 2009’s NaNoWriMo and it has taken me about 11 months (in between my regular work and my laziness to open the file to complete it) to complete the short novel (with revisions to style, grammar, spelling mistakes, expansion of the nameless characters and additional twist to the story). The final tally is a short novel of 50,203 words (ya, delete quite load of them especially the x-rated part), covering over 93 pages.

I had intended to publish it once the rough edges of my book has been cleaned out – after all, since I put a lot of sleepless night into the story, the last thing I want to see is it collecting “dust” in my laptop folder.

But recently as I went shopping for new books, I realised something – a 93 page story is going to end as a really short story. 93 pages was nothing in the novel world. So, I looked back at my “piece” and I realise why some good novelist can write a really thick book (they write good stuff there and not for the sake of getting the book thick). They expand on the current storyline – perhaps with some sub-plots, explanation and further expansion of the characters. It ends up something brilliant.

And as I went through my 2009 NaNoWriMo entry – I realise that there is plenty of “holes” in the storyline. The main storyline and the main characters are there but sub-plots were missing and some of the background actions were not explained properly. So, whilst it is good to complete the 50,000 words finishing line within the NaNoWriMo month (it is not an easy task considering that 81% of the participants did not finish the 50,000 words finishing line) but to make sure that the storyline is tight and interesting, it is better to put more time and effort.

So, I am holding back the “publication” of the 2009 NaNoWriMo entry for now – there is plenty of time to improve on my “masterpiece” (as least, that is what I see them as). Another 2 weeks and I will be busy with my entry for 2010’s NaNoWriMo entry (title yet to be confirmed but I have some plots in mind) and perhaps another 11 months, fine-tuning the content.

15 days and counting…

Why They Are Here?


(We have no problem with foreign students but can we take a closer look on what they are coming here for studies? Image source: http://www.immspec.com)

I was flying back to Malaysia couple days ago…

When I got into the plane for the long journey ahead, I noted that the flight was almost full. I made my way towards the middle of the plane, only to find an African (aged mid 20s) seating on my seat. I pointed my boarding pass to him but he looked reluctant to move. Noticing the empty seat next to him (which was my preferred seat but I arrived too late to reserve it), I asked about the seat and upon confirming that it was his seat (and nothing spilled on it), I gladly took over his seat and allowed him to remain on my seat.

The flight was pleasant except for occasional turbulence. Almost reaching the Straits of Malacca, I noticed my African neighbor took out his passport and other documents to fill up the Malaysian Immigration form. I immediately noticed that the neighbor was from Nigeria and he was flying to Malaysia for studies.

My neighbor took out two documents – a supporting letter from a local college (I tried to check but I could not get the details of this college – it is not one of the more famous private colleges) and another, an official looking document from the Malaysian Government which makes reference to the letter from the local college (perhaps to facilitate the visa application).

But what I saw next left me shocked – the type of studies he is going to take up in Malaysia – Foundation in English!!

What the…! You mean to say that some English speaking African flew thousands of miles, changed plane after several hours in transit, and flew another thousands of miles, all the way to Malaysia just to get a Certificate in Foundation in English? Isn’t that sounds strange? Isn’t the official language in Nigeria is…err…English? I am pretty sure that the foundation in English would be laid when Nigerians are still in their primary schools. Or am I missing something here? Perhaps someone can enlighten me on this.

So why Malaysia when he can just hop over to Ghana and get the same foundation in English for much lower price and nearer to home? And the fact that the Ghanaians (or Africans in general) speak better English than ordinary Malaysians makes it an even viable choice for students wanting to get foundation in English. Why not the UK – the source of the language? If they have come over to Malaysia to learn some advance mechanical engineering or space age technology, I would have understood. If they have come over to Malaysia to learn on political studies (plenty of examples here) or the usual business studies, I would have understood. If they have come over to Malaysia to learn advance English, I would have understood that too. But they are not – it was nothing but a foundation in English, so why they are here? Malaysia is already having plenty of problems with the language in the education system.

Perhaps the “quality” of English is better here or perhaps the learning environment is more conducive here. Perhaps I should give the benefit of the doubt. But what is the guarantee that these students do not come in to Malaysia and then disappear to do something more sinister? Will we be making the relevant checking on whether these students do nothing but study on the subject that was submitted for visa application and go back as scheduled?

I wonder whether the immigration department smelled something fishy when they saw the subject that this Nigerian wants to take up. It is like me flying all the way to the US to study Bahasa Malaysia – it does not make sense. I am pretty sure the US immigration would have sounded the alarm and vetted me in and out. No doubt we want to turn Malaysia as a center of learning for foreign students but there must be some rules.

If we start to take in any Tom, Dick and Harry, we may end up screwing the education system in Malaysia even more.

Read Also

African Menace in Puchong

Money for Schools


Here’s why we don’t trust the politicians to handle our future…

(Only in Malaysia…schools in shop lots. Image source: Malaysiakini)

Well, just contrast these reports on the same day:-

The Johor government will build 122 more religious schools which are estimated to cost about RM200mil.

“They will be completed within the next two years,” Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said. At present, there are 552 religious schools in the state.

Speaking to newsmen after launching the Religious Teachers Day celebrations here yesterday, he said the state government had spent about RM40mil in the past five years to improve facilities in religious schools.

(Source)

And

Private firms have been urged to each “adopt” at least one of the 523 Tamil schools nationwide which are in dire need of funds for maintenance, Malaysia Nanban reported.

Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk T. Murugiah said more firms should come forward to allocate money to help these schools.

“Most Tamil schools, especially those in the estates, are in need of funds to repair their premises as they are dependent on allocations from the Education Ministry,” he was reported as saying.

(Source)

That’s great – 2 types of schools with 2 kinds of treatment, right here in Najib’s so-called 1Malaysia.

In recent days, Najib have been talking about cost cutting measures in tackling the issue of cutting down the subsidies (we are not buying the bullshit though – politicians can promise the heaven but until they take the right first steps and enforce the right policies, they can bullshit until the sky turns pink).

Is it worth spending another RM200 million on new religious schools when the existing schools are in dire straits? I don’t have anything against religion but given the trend of the world today, do we really need more religion “specialists” instead of more scientists, doctors, engineers or other professionals?

How about basic education on Science, Maths and Language?

Instead wasting money on religious and Tamil and etc schools, can the Government just cut the bullshit and force everyone to go to fully funded national schools where facilities can be well maintained, education quality is set to the highest level and unity among young Malaysians are further fostered? Why the gamble on the next generation’s future? We already took the wrong step by reversing on the decision to teach Maths and Science in English (and yet we hear “traces” of call to bring this back). So, what’s next?

And one day when the Government decides to cut down on the subsidies, we really wonder whether the money saved from all these subsidies would be channelled back to strengthening our education system. Or will it be “distributed to its goons” as many is predicting?

By the way, Murugiah’s call for private firms to “adopt’ Tamil schools is a wasteful endeavour. We have a bad track record when it comes to sponsorships. In Malaysia, nothing is done for free unless there is a profit to be made or kick-backs given somewhere. Instead of asking the private firms, why can’t the Government itself take over these schools and turn it to national school where all Malaysians will have equal opportunity to basic education?

It is scary to wonder on how the Government is going to tackle the allocation of cost when it comes to funding the education for young Malaysians? Are they going to sit down and check on the right priorities? The Government already said that it is not having enough money to go around.

We really don’t need the wasteful endeavours now and certainly we can do with less idiotic politicians running the show in the background.

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