Developing Critical Thinking should be an important agenda toward TN50 — Ng Seng Yi

Source:The Star

By Ng Seng Yi

In today’s context of a plethora of information available on social media, a “critical thinking ” approach could help discern fake information – Ng Seng Yi.

IF I were asked what my aspiration for the Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) initiative is, I would say a developed nation with people who can think critically.

At the Eighth Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform, Summer 1987, Michael Scriven and Richard Paul defined critical thinking as the intellectually disciplined process of actively conceptualizing, applying, analysing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.

In other words, critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or what to believe. It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking when evaluating a plethora of information presented to readers. Read more

Country set to be part of convention against torture next year

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is expected to ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) by the middle of next year.

UNCAT committee member Abdel Wahab Hani said there were positive indications that the Government would ratify the convention following engagement with representatives from several government ministries, religious officials and the civil society.

“A reasonable time frame for the ratification would be between six and 18 months as Malaysia is prepared to be part of the convention,” he told a media briefing at the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) office here yesterday. Read more

NGOs seek assistance to support refugees

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Sympathy helps but what NGOs involved in helping refugees need more is solid assistance.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) spokesperson Yante Ismail claimed that refugees were not helpless but were already finding solutions to their problems.

“It is important to know that refugees are not just waiting for help or donations.

“They are already finding solutions to their own problems, finding ways to cope while in exile and to stay strong as a community,” Yante told FMT.

However, Yante quickly added that refugees were in dire need of opportunities and long-term solutions to support themselves while they are here in Malaysia.

Among long-term solutions which the agency is trying to do are assisting refugees in voluntary deportation when conditions permit, temporary local integration, and resettlement to a third country.

She also said there were many NGOs involved in supporting these refugees.

She said NGOs in Malaysia were supportive in terms of education, healthcare, training and capacity-building, livelihood, child protection, sexual and gender-based violence, and community empowerment. Read more

Caning students is ‘derogatory punishment’ under UN convention

Source: FMT News

Uncat committee willing to work with the government to do away with corporal punishment. Pic drawn from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Caning in schools falls under degrading treatment under the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as Uncat).

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner Jerald Joseph said if Malaysia chooses to sign the Uncat treaty, it would be a positive step in accepting changes in corporal punishment.

Suhakam commissioner Lok Yim Pheng said the government had taken a step in the right direction by not allowing public caning in schools. Consent is still given to cane students in private. Read more

Stateless children outnumber population of Perlis, says DAP MP

Source: FMT News

BUTTERWORTH: A DAP MP has proposed that a public roundtable be held to resolve the problem of stateless children in the country.

Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching said the core problem was the “standard operating procedures” by the National Registration Department (NRD) which only gives out citizenship to children whose parents are legally married.

She said this should not be the case as the Federal Constitution states citizenship must be given to a person born with at least one Malaysian parent.

“The roundtable will be open to all political parties, BN or MIC, and all non-governmental organisations to resolve the problem.

“The numbers are growing year-on-year and it is worrying,” Teo said at a forum on stateless children organised by Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto in Juru here yesterday. Read more

Civil societies want more say in UN graft convention review process

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Civil societies have urged Putrajaya to allow them to take a greater part in the review process of the country’s implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

This comes after the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), the Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) and Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) were invited recently to participate in the review process for Article 13 of the convention which deals with participation of societies.

In a joint-press conference, C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel said it came as a surprise to learn from civil societies in other countries that there was no rule which confined participation of civil societies to one Article. Read more