Educate our kids about the Orang Asli, says anthropologist

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: An anthropologist with 40 years’ experience with the Orang Asli says the education ministry needs to expose urban children to their lifestyle and culture to erase misconceptions still being harboured about them.

Alberto Gomes, a professor at La Trobe University in Australia, said the indigenous people have not gotten the respect they deserve from Malaysians, as they are looked down upon and considered primitive by the mainstream population.

“There are a lot of Orang Asli lawyers and doctors, but the moment they say that they are Orang Asli they are considered inferior,” he told FMT today. Read more

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

Changing mindset to catch crooks and bullies

Source: The Star Online

GIVING our children an avenue to anonymously report wrongdoing at school is a good thing, right? As it is, most adults are reluctant to speak out against the offences and misconduct that they see. They fear that this will lead to inconvenience, alienation or worse, reprisals.

Imagine how much harder it is for kids to tell teachers or school heads about other students being bullies or playing truant.

This is why it is a good idea that all schools must now provide a complaint box for tip-offs on student misconduct and criminal activity. And yet, some parents and teachers appear to be unenthusiastic about this move. Read more

Into the future – together — Zainah Anwar

Source: The Star Online

BY ZAINAH ANWAR

Zainah Anwar, co-founder of Sisters in Islam. Pic taken from The Star Online.

Zainah Anwar, co-founder of Sisters in Islam. Pic taken from The Star Online.

AS we stumble into 2017 in a Malaysia and a world full of uncertainties, and a US President shooting from his hip, causing global turmoil, I am glad that there are actually two important discussions taking place now in Malaysia on the kind of country we want to live in.

One is the TN50 series of national dialogues with young people on the Malaysia they envision by 2050. The other is the effort to make Rukunegara the preamble to the Constitution. And I believe they should feed into each other.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin who is leading the TN50 dialogue, rightfully said this process is not just about defining policies for national development, but importantly, also about defining our national identity.

That many politicians are still determined to use ethnicity and religion to not only define us, but to divide us remains a dominant leitmotif of Malaysian politics to this day.

In his recent interview with The Star, Khairy stated that one of the areas of engagement in TN50 will be the subject of “an inclusive, vibrant and open society”.

This, he hopes, will lead to a discussion on values and what a Malaysian identity should be.

I hope these dialogue sessions will be a platform where diverse groups of stakeholders can get to listen to each other and think. And in this process the “I” can become a ‘We” – we, Malaysians. Read more

Chinese schools promote unity, says Malay UEC grad

Source: FMT News

UEC grad Farah Halijah says studying in a Chinese school taught her the value of acceptance and the importance of respecting the views of those of other races. Pic taken from FMT News.

UEC grad Farah Halijah says studying in a Chinese school taught her the value of acceptance and the importance of respecting the views of those of other races. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Farah Halijah Halim, 29, says that contrary to what some Malaysians say, Chinese schools in her opinion, promote unity among the various races in Malaysia.

Farah told FMT of her first-hand experience, relating how her primary and secondary school education in Chinese schools had taught her how to interact better with those of other races.

“In a way, it (Chinese school education) taught me the value of acceptance. Instead of demanding people respect and understand my needs, I learnt how to tolerate other people’s points of view as well.”

She said her non-Malay peers were also sensitive about the halal and haram aspect of Islam and were genuinely curious about how Malays lived. Read more

Mahasiswa tidak mahu dibisukan, gesa Najib transformasi pendidikan

Sumber: FMT News

Aktivis anak-anak muda ini berharap perdana menteri mencontohi sikap Presiden AS Barack Obama menyokong hak mahasiswa berbeza pendapat ketika berhadapan protes di UM. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

Aktivis anak-anak muda ini berharap perdana menteri mencontohi sikap Presiden AS Barack Obama menyokong hak mahasiswa berbeza pendapat ketika berhadapan protes di UM. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Ketika meletakkan sasaran tinggi melalui Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50), kerajaan tidak boleh lupa untuk mengubah sistem pendidikan yang menekan mahasiswa, kata aktivis Ashraff Nazrin Noor Azman.

Bekas pelajar Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UMS) itu salah seorang daripada 14 aktivis anak muda yang berhimpun malam ini di pintu utama Universiti Malaya, tuan rumah kepada acara tertutup TN50 yang dihadiri Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“Dalam TN50, transformasi pertama seharusnya institusi pendidikan agar mahasiswa boleh menyuarakan pandangan mereka,” kata Ashraf, yang kini bergerak melalui Gerakan Anak Muda Malaysia.

Beliau dan aktivis lain berhimpun sejak 8 malam tadi kerana mahu menyambut kedatangan Najib dengan plakard seperti “Tangkap MO1”. Turut bersama aktivis DAP Young Syefura Othman dan aktivis pelajar UM, Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof. Read more

How budget cuts affect public universities

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Budgets cuts have affected the academic staff the most, where there is a hiring freeze of new academic staff while some seniors have to retire as they have not been offered a contract to continue.

University Malaya - file pic

University Malaya – file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 ― The austerity drive in public universities has resulted in a conundrum between providing quality education and working within a much tighter budget compared to previous years.

Under Budget 2017, public universities will see their combined operating budgets slashed by about 19 per cent, or RM1.5 billion, a bigger cut than last year’s budget, and out of the 20 public universities in Malaysia, 10 of them will be facing massive cuts ranging from over 10 per cent to over 31 per cent.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh has reportedly said that public universities have become too dependent on government funding, and that a decade ago, it was a fraction of what was now given.

But what do the budget cuts mean? What is the feasibility of public universities sourcing out alternative funding? Will it compromise the quality of education being offered in varsities? Read more

Malaysia berdepan kekurangan pelajar aliran sains yang serius

Sumber: Astro Awani

Ketika ini terdapat hanya 90,000 pelajar aliran sains yang menduduki peperiksaan Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM). - Gambar hiasan Astro Awani.

Ketika ini terdapat hanya 90,000 pelajar aliran sains yang menduduki peperiksaan Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM). – Gambar hiasan Astro Awani.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia berdepan masalah kekurangan pelajar aliran sains yang serius yang mampu menjejaskan usaha mencapai status negara maju.

Presiden Akademi Sains Malaysia, Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali berkata ketika ini terdapat hanya 90,000 pelajar aliran sains yang menduduki peperiksaan Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), jauh kurang berbanding 270,000 yang diperlukan setiap tahun.

Kekurangan itu boleh mengakibatkan jumlah ahli sains yang tidak mencukupi di negara ini.

“Bagi menggerakkan negara ini ke depan, kita memerlukan lebih ramai ahli sains dan jurutera yang lahir daripada mata pelajaran STEM (Sains, Teknologi, Kejuruteraan dan Matematik),” katanya pada sidang media selepas perasmian Pameran Sains dan Kejuruteraan Kuala Lumpur (KLESF), di sini pada Jumaat.

Ia disempurnakan Timbalan Menteri Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi, Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah yang mewakili menterinya, Datuk Seri Madius Tangau. Read more

Mary Yap: 97% of borrowers fail to repay PTPTN loans

Source: The Star Online

dewan_rakyat_signpost_2015_-_parliament_reportKUALA LUMPUR: An alarmingly high percentage of graduates have failed to repay their National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans, says Higher Education Deputy Minister Dr Mary Yap.

Dr Yap told Parliament on Wednesday that 97% of borrowers who graduated over the past two years have been listed in the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) for failing to pay off their study loans.

“728,935 borrowers finished their studies between 2014 and 2016. However, 701,895 of them are now listed in CCRIS for not repaying their loans. Read more

Who will save Malaysia? — Mariam Mokhtar

Source: FMT

BY MARIAM MOKHTAR

People at the top react to scandals only after the tipping point has been reached.

The tragedy of the 1MDB scandal is that people at the top react only after ordinary lives have long been severely affected. The influential in society try to show concern only when it has become obvious that the stakes are high.

Money had started haemorrhaging from the system long ago, reducing funding for government agencies. So the GST, among other things, was used to prop up the system, bleeding the ordinary citizen dry. Meanwhile, people at the top remained in power.

The CIMB Chairman, Nazir Razak, said in a fairly recent interview with Euromoney that he was upset to be dragged into the 1MDB scandal. He also said that with Malaysia’s reputation tarnished, it was difficult to represent Malaysia on the world stage.

Last March, in a written statement to the Wall Street Journal, he confirmed receiving nearly US$7 million, which he said was afterwards disbursed to Barisan Nasional politicians as campaign funds for the 13th general election. He said he thought the money was from donations from companies and individuals.

Corruption is not the only issue making it difficult to promote foreign investment in Malaysia. There are many others: poor governance, disrespect for the rule of law and for human rights, confrontations between pro-people and pro-government NGOS, racial and religious intolerance, and the declining standard of education. Read more