Saturday, August 6, 2016

Study: Chinese schools may be main schools in 10 years

With the current trend of lopsided enrolment in school along racial lines, this may yet become a reality.

Back in the early 90s, when I was attached with a bank, I was invited by the Headmistress of a premier girls school in the Klang Valley to give her Form 5 Commerce students a talk on banking as a career. 

Since I was early, I was given a tour of the premise, and to my utter surprise, I noticed that each classroom had no less than ten Malay girls studying in it.  They were giving their presentations in Mandarin in front of the class, writing calligraphy and in the cafeteria, there were students with their Chinese friends discussing their lessons together.  What a contrast from national type schools where groups along racial lines were more apparent.

I was told to give my talk in English and this was part of the plan preparing the students for the real world, communication in English, and all Qs and As addressed to me after the talk were to be in English too.  No Mandarin, no BM.

According to the Headmistress, the school was facing a 10% incremental increase of bumi students to the school each year and they were trying their best to cope, especially the provision of facilities like prayer rooms, halal food, etc.

The following report, therefore, came as no surprise.


A two-year research carried out by the National Education Advisory Council reveals that in 10 years, Chinese schools may turn into mainstream schools.

They may even replace national schools and are likely to be more multiracial, as the number of Malay parents registering their children stands at 18 per cent this year.

Recently retired council member Prof Dr Teo Kok Seong said national schools registered only four per cent non-Malay students while the Chinese schools had 18 per cent non-Chinese students.

“These numbers (in Chinese schools) are expected to go up each year. Our research shows these vernacular schools, within 10, years are likely to become the mainstream schools as more non-Chinese parents are refusing to sign up their kids in national schools,” he told FMT.

He was asked to comment on the preferred choice of education and schools for parents registering their children.

He said the Education Ministry’s 2013-2025 Education Blueprint target of attracting more Chinese and Indian students to national schools was likely to fail by 2025 as their research showed more parents were planning to register their children in vernacular or private schools.

The study carried out by the 13-member council made up of educationists, corporate figures and former top-level education department officers, listed five main reasons keeping middle and upper income parents away from national schools.

The first was poor teaching and delivery methods by the teachers; second, the administration of national schools was dominated by one race; third, the schools were seen as being too Islamic; fourth, disciplinary issues were seen as a major problem; and finally, some schools were not maintained well, with outdated computers.

He said recommendations were made to allow teachers who were good in a particular subject to be appointed head of the subject so that the teacher would be able to guide other teachers well.

“For instance, if an Indian teacher is good in English, that teacher should be heading that unit. But instead, preference is given to someone else who is not capable of guiding others. It is the same with a school’s principal. The head of the school should be someone who is most capable to run a school.
“There should not be preference according to a race. Parents just want someone who is capable of teaching and disciplining their kids. If this can be done, the government will be able to regain confidence and attract more non-Malays into national schools.”

He said there was a constant clash between Muslim and non-Muslim parents. He said following several forums organised by the council, they found that Muslim parents felt there was not enough teaching of Islam in national schools while non-Muslim parents were not in favour of having religious recitations during the school assembly.

Teo, a professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, said non-Muslim parents were uncomfortable with audio recordings reciting religious songs during the school assembly.

“There is a constant tug-of-war on this issue, causing many non-Muslim parents to send their children to Chinese schools or to private schools. It is a sensitive issue and there seems to be no end to the discussion between parents.”

As for Malay parents, they were concerned about the quality of education. “They are concerned that national school teachers are not putting in their best for their child’s education. They are concerned their child might not be able to catch up with the fast moving world.”

He said most of the Malay parents wanted their children to excel in mathematics and loved the up-to-date computer and sports facilities offered at Chinese schools. “They know their children are in good hands.”

In March this year, President of the Association of Former Elected Representatives (Mubarak) Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman told a news portal that national schools had become de facto Malay schools, and that this hampered the fostering of unity among races.

He said there were only Malays in these schools and labelled national schools Malay secondary schools.

[Source: FMT]

Loretta Lynch, the lady who publicly reported on the 1MDB scandal. Who is she?

The Attorney-General of the United States, Loretta Lynch is a graduate from Harvard Law School whereas, Apandi , the Malaysian AG is a third-grade law graduate from New Zealand -what a difference!!!

Loretta Elizabeth Lynch (born May 21, 1959) is the 83rd and current Attorney General of the United States, having previously served as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Her tenure as U.S. Attorney began in 2010, and she also held that position from 1999 to 2001. As U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Lynch oversaw federal prosecutions in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island.

Lynch graduated from Harvard Law School in 1984. She then practiced law in New York and became a federal prosecutor in 1990, rising to become head of the Eastern District office. She later returned to private law practice, until she again became the top district prosecutor. From 2003 to 2005, she served on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

On November 8, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated her to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General.[1] On February 26, 2015, the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate confirmed her appointment by a 12–8 vote, with all Democrats of the committee and three Republicans in favor. 

On April 23, 2015, Lynch was confirmed by the Senate by a 56–43 vote, making her the first African-American woman and the second woman to be confirmed for the position. She was sworn in as Attorney General on April 27, 2015, by Vice President Joe Biden. [WIKIPEDIA]

Uh oh, more in the offing?

PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli is planning to expose what he terms as "another outrageous financial scandal" to hit the nation.

"Wait and see," the Pandan lawmaker tweeted, adding that he expected to be arrested again over this issue.

Responding to one user, who asked him if the new revelation concerned a "fund, company, cows, goats or ducks", Rafizi replied: "Ha3 (laughter) you tunggu (wait). But outrageous enough. I think people will be angry."

The PKR leader also joked about how despite being arrested frequently, he has failed to shed weight.
Rafizi said that he would write to renown ulama (religious scholars) around the world, provide them with the background of the scandal and request a fatwa (religious edict).

"It is time to issue a fatwa on corruption," he added.

To another user who asked him to let someone else release the details in order to avoid the heat, Rafizi, who is currently in London, cited two reasons to explain why this is not possible.

"Because (1) media may not cover it; issue of credibility, (2) they will come down hard on newbie (who exposes the scandal," he said.

Contacted later, Rafizi declined to elaborate on the scandal for now.

On a separate matter, the PKR leader also took a jibe at Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang, who is often critical of DAP and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said a campaign should be launched to persuade Gerakan to field Tan, whom he described as the party’s "hero No 1", to contest against Lim if a snap polls is called in Penang.

[Source : Mkini] 


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Bersih 5 is on!!

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 ― Bersih 2.0 will announce today the Bersih 5 rally after the police gave approval on condition that it abide by the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

The fifth installment of the electoral reform group’s street protests is being organised to press for action on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case after the US government filed a lawsuit over assets linked to the state investment firm.

Malay Mail Online understands that Bersih 2.0 will organise a series of rallies, starting tentatively in a week or so, before the main Bersih 5 street demonstration planned for October.

“No tentative date. Plan is to have it in October, with a series of rallies every two weeks at least leading up to it,” a source from Bersih 2.0 told Malay Mail Online.

According to the source, the rallies would be held at various locations, including at “all institutions which have been directly or indirectly involved” in the US Department of Justice’s civil filing that seeks to seize over US$1 billion (RM4 billion) in assets allegedly obtained using funds embezzled from 1MDB.

The series of rallies will, among others, call for action on alleged corruption linked to the state investment fund.

Bersih 2.0 has scheduled a press conference this afternoon to make an “important announcement”.

The Bersih rallies trace back to 2007 and have eventful records. The first three saw clashes between police and protesters, although the last in August 2015 took place during the weekend in the city without any violence.

Opposition parties have also expressed interest to join the Bersih 5 rally, which if held in October, will occur about a year after the marathon Bersih 4 where protesters flooded the streets of Kuala Lumpur for 34 hours.

Sungai Besar Umno division chief Datuk Jamal Yunos said last month that if Bersih 2.0 goes ahead with its rally, the infamous Red Shirt movement will hold a counter rally in the same place.

Jamal, who was the face of the unruly Red Shirt rally on September 16 last year, warned that over 30,000 people would paint Kuala Lumpur red if Bersih went ahead with its rally.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has told both Bersih 2.0 and the Red Shirts to adhere to the law and to notify the police in advance if they want to go ahead with the rallies.

The police chief went on to specifically warn Bersih 2.0 that its rally would be illegal if it was aimed at demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The US Department of Justice said the 1MDB-related lawsuit filed last month was the largest case ever brought by the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

 US prosecutors said more than US$3.5 billion (RM14.23 billion) in 1MDB funds were allegedly misappropriated by high-level officials of the local state investment firm and their associates between 2009 and 2015.

The funds allegedly embezzled and laundered into the US were purportedly used to buy luxury properties in New York, Los Angeles and London, paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, a US$35 million jet, as well as to pay for gambling debts in Las Vegas.

[Source : The Malay Mail Online]

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

France: After Priest is Slain, Muslims Attend Catholic Mass to Show Solidarity


Muslims joined together in churches across France for a Catholic Mass on Sunday to show support after the killing of a priest.
Rev. Jacques Hamel was killed last week when two French teenagers slit the 85-year-old’s throat. The teenagers had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State militant group.
A nun from the church of the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray was also taken hostage during the attack. 
“We are very moved by the presence of our Muslim friends and I believe it is a courageous act that they did by coming to us,” Dominique Lebrun, the archbishop of Rouen, said after the Mass.
Outside the church, a group of Muslims held up a banner that read: “Love for all. Hate for none.”
“Today we wanted to show physically, by kissing the family of Jacques Hamel, by kissing His Grace Lebrun in front of everybody, so they know that the two communities are united,” said Mohammed Karabila, president of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray Mosque.
Muslims also held Mass in Paris and in Nice, where more than 80 people were killed by a truck driver loyal to the Islamic State a couple weeks ago.
French Muslims also held vigils for the priest and held a “brotherhood march,” holding banners that read, “This is not a religious war” and “We are all brothers and sisters.”
Photo courtesy: World Watch Monitor
 Publication date: August 1, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016

Monday Humour

One Sunday morning Michael burst into the living room and said, "Dad! Mom! I have 
some great news for you! I am getting married to the most beautiful girl in town. She 
lives a block away and her name is Susan.
After dinner, Michael's dad took him aside, "Son, I have to talk to you. Look at your 
mother, Michael. She and I have been married 30 years, she's a wonderful wife and 
mother, but, she has never offered much excitement in the bedroom, so I used to 
fool around with women a lot. I'm afraid Susan is the result of one such affair. 
She is actually your half sister, and I'm afraid you can't marry her." 

Michael was brokenhearted. He broke up with Susan the next day.
After eight months he eventually started dating girls again. A year later he came 
home and very proudly announced, "Diane said yes! We're getting married in
June." Again his father insisted on another private conversation and broke the
sad news. "Diane is your half sister too, Michael. I'm awfully sorry about this."
Michael was livid! He broke up with Diane that same day, leaving her in tears. He
finally decided to go to his mother with the news his father had shared and tell her
about his father's secret.
"Dad has done so much harm. I guess I'm never going to get married," he 
complained.  "Every time I fall in love, Dad tells me the girl is my half sister." 
"Oh, " his mother shook her head, "What are you listening to him for? 
He's not even your real father."

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The 911 tragedy, a view point from another plane.

This Is A MUST Read: Take A Gander At This Amazing, But Little Known, 9-11 Story

This incredible story is from a flight attendant on Delta Flight 15:

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic.

All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain.

As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that “All Business” look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta’s main office in Atlanta and simply read, “All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination.”

No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, Newfoundland.

He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately — no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.

We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander, Newfoundland, to have it checked out.

We promised to give more information after landing in Gander. There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that’s nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM …. that’s 11:00 AM EST.

There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the US.

After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason.”

Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the US. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.

The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the air crafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane.

In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were US commercial jets.

Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC.
People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada . Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.

Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm.

We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.

We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning.

Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.

Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing.

And they were true to their word.

Fortunately we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.

After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel.
We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander!

We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the US airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.

We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.

Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the “plane people.” We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.

Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days.
What we found out was incredible…..

Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers.

Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.

ALL the high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the “guests.”
Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged.

Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes.

Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.

Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day.
During the day, passengers were offered “Excursion” trips.

Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests.
Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests.

Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft.

In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers.

Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully.

It was absolutely incredible.

When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time.
Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling.

Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.

And then a very unusual thing happened.

One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said “of course” and handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days.

He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers.

He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.
“He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte.
He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!

“The gentleman, a MD from Virginia , promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.

As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.

“I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a faraway place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them.

It reminds me how much good there is in the world.”

“In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in today’s world this story confirms that there are still a lot of good people in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward. Let’s not forget THIS fact.

This is one of those stories that needs to be shared. Please do so…