Rebranding the Vernacular Education in Malaysia — Michelle Chan

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY MICHELLE CHAN

An opinion piece - file pic

An opinion piece – file pic

SEPT 23 — Education is the basis of constructing and developing a nation.

Since independence, Malaysia’s multi-ethnic society has been buttressed by its education system; an education system with one special feature, various stream schools that allow the main ethnic groups to retain their mother-tongue education throughout at least the primary level.

On one hand, critics view this as one of the main hindrances toward realising national unity.

On the other hand, supporters argue that language is intrinsic in retaining our respective cultural identities and is uncorrelated with the formation of national unity.

Here, it is said that it is not the issue of language use that could lead to national disunity, but rather discrepancies in ideology.

Despite the controversies surrounding the issue of vernacular education, Malaysia needs a shared consensus to its approach towards its education system.

However, what are the positions we should be taking to satisfy all parties?

Drawing upon current and past experiences will help us to find the best-practice and feasible solutions here.  Read more

Putrajaya unveils 32 new members of religious harmony panel

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Putrajaya – The Malaysian Insider file pic.

Putrajaya – The Malaysian Insider file pic.

Putrajaya today unveiled new members of the Committee to Promote Understanding and Harmony among Religious Adherents (JKMPKA) for the 2016-2017 session.

Its 32 members were announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in his office in Putrajaya and with 29 present to receive their letters of appointment today.

The committee’s new chairman is Datuk Azman Amin Hassan, the former director-general of the Malaysian National Unity and Integration Department (JPNIN), and the deputy chairman is Rev Dr Hermen Shastri, general-secretary of the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM).

Among the main committee members are Tan Sri Datuk Seri Simon Sipaun, the founding chairman of the Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) and a former Malaysian Human Rights commissioner; Datuk Seri Jit Heng, president of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST); Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok, Archbishop of Southeast Asia’s Anglican Church; Prof Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong, head of the History, Heritage and Social Cluster of National Professor Council; and Datuk John Sikayun, former Sabah Law Association head.

Others are Datuk Mohan Shanmugam, president of Malaysia Hindu Sangam; academics Associate Professor Madeline Berma and Associate Professor Mohamed Md Yusoff; Negara-Ku steering committee chairman Zaid Kamaruddin; Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim) president Mohammad Raimi Abd Rahim; former MCCBCHST president Sardar Jagir Singh; MCCBCHST office-bearer Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow; and Tan Kong Beng, executive secretary of the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM).

Najib, at the ceremony to hand out the appointment letters, said efforts to strengthen Malaysia’s multi-faith and multi-racial society should be “formalised and institutionalised”. Read more