Friday, August 7, 2009

Updates

Just some updates on previous entries I made.

The teaching of Maths and Science in English issue continues to invite furious debate. Anyway, Mahathir Mohamad conducted a blog poll where the final results only served to support his own contention that the Government has in fact, erred. There were 100,204 votes, of which only 14% agreed with the Government’s decision (to abandon the teaching of the said subjects in English), but that an overwhelming 86% disagreed with this policy reversal (Blog. http://chedet.co.cc/chedetblog/, accessed August 07, 2009). Can this poll outcome change the government’s thinking? Unlikely. We don’t know it yet but we are doomed. When will we realize that English language proficiency in this country has plunged to a level that is piteously pathetic? When we become incapable of speaking and writing proper English – and I am not even referring to good English, just proper English – this is a state of affairs that can only be described as lamentably sub-par. How on earth do we expect to compete with the rest of the globalized world? Wake up, Malaysia!

Besides the deteriorating state of English in this country, we are also grappling with a worsening human rights situation, made worse by the naked use of state agencies as political instruments of the government. Prof Khoo Khay Kim from The Human Rights Commission (Sukhakam) has come out to make this statement: “The police and judiciary should not interfere or get involved in politics. They should be apolitical and uphold only what they are entrusted with by the people” (The Sun, August 07, p 2).

And just in case, some of us are still missing the point, please read Praba Ganesan’s article “Heroes don’t hold batons” at webpage
http://themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/opinion/praba-ganesan/34363-heroes-dont-hold-batons, posted on August 06 in The Malaysian Insider.

There is yet another interesting article written by Wong Chin Huat in The Nut Graph on August 05; he began by reproducing a friend’s question that appeared in Facebook: "[The Barisan Nasional] (BN) insists [on keeping the Internal Security Act (ISA)]; do you want to keep the BN?"

And then his commentary: “This question is spot on. It simplifies many issues into a single concern. It almost frames for Malaysians a referendum question – that is, a public vote over a single issue. Do we want to live in a country like this?

Metaphorically, the 1 Aug 2009 pro- and anti-ISA protests were a referendum waiting to be put to the vote. But as it turned out, it isn't just about the ISA anymore. The BN may have disagreed with the call to repeal the ISA, but did it need to make 589 arrests in one day? Did it need to rough up the elderly, women and children? Did it need to fire tear gas on Masjid Jamek as if it were another Gaza? Did it need to spray water cannons on Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman as if it were Bangkok during the Songkran festival?

We can always agree to disagree on laws and policies, but we cannot agree to disagree on the use of violence”.

In any case, do read Wong’s full article on webpage http://www.thenutgraph.com/launching-msia-two-point-zero. I don’t think I need to add any new comments here – it suffices to say that I subscribe to his views.
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This YouTube clip of silent-film actor Charlie Chaplin (Did you know that he shares the same birthday as Glam?) is taken from his first dialogue movie The Great Dictator (1940) where he played the role of the Dictator of Tomania, clearly modeled on Adolf Hitler. In this video, he gave a timeless 'leadership' speech that has relevance even today. We hope and pray that those in power can be inspired by it and learn from it:

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