Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Akibat sampingan daripada PPSMI kepada UMNO - Malaysiakini

Akibat sampingan PPSMI
Pembangkang dapat senjata tambahan
Jika tak pasti yang hendak dicapai
Eloklah kembali ke pangkal jalan

SEKURANG-KURANGNYA ada dua akibat sampingan PPSMI yang telah membawa 'padah politik' (jika tidak mahu menggunakan perkataan 'musibah politik') kepada UMNO dan Barisan Nasional (BN).

Pertama, isu itu telah memberi platform tambahan kepada parti-parti pembangkang untuk bersatu menggodam BN.

Kedua, dalam kalangan pemimpin dan penyokong BN sendiri telah terjadi perpecahan akibat perbezaan pendapat mengenai isu PPSMI itu. Perbezaan pendapat ini berlaku di kalangan sesama menteri dan Ahli-Ahli Dewan Rakyat UMNO dan juga antara menteri-menteri BN.

Itu adalah antara akibat-akibat jangka pendek dari segi politik. Kesan jangka panjang dari segi pendidikan dan pembinaan negara bangsa, masih berterusan menjadi punca pertelingkahan di kalangan pelbagai pihak. Kita belum lagi menyebut kesan ekonominya terhadap kewangan negara dari segi pembiayaan infrastruktur tambahan dan elaun guru-guru yang terlibat dalam pelaksanaan PPSMI itu.

Kerana itu, di tengah-tengah hiruk-pikuk suara-suara menentang dan mempertahankan PPSMI sekarang, saya ingin menyarankan supaya kita menanyakan kembali beberapa soalan asas. Pertama, mungkin ramai yang tidak tahu atau sudah lupa apakah ayat penuh daripada singkatan PPSMI itu?

PPSMI adalah akronim atau singkatan daripada ayat "Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris" Ini adalah satu kaedah atau cara mengajarkan mata pelajaran sains dan matematik dengan menggunakan bahasa Inggeris sebagai bahasa pengantarnya dalam sistem persekolahan di negara ini.

Kaedah ini diputuskan secara mengejut dalam satu sidang kabinet khas pada bulan Julai 2002 dan dipaksakan kepada guru-guru dan murid-murid darjah satu (Sekolah Rendah), tingkatan satu dan tingkatan enam (Sekolah Menengah) mulai tahun pengajaran 2003. Sebelum itu, untuk selama hampir 30 tahun kedua mata pelajaran tersebut diajarkan dalam bahasa Melayu.

Perubahan ini (dari pada menggunakan bahasa Melayu kepada menggunakan bahasa Inggeris) boleh dikatakan berlaku dalam keadaan tergesa-gesa. Kerana itu dapat diduga bahawa pelaksanaannya dipaksakan tanpa persiapan yang sungguh-sungguh dan tanpa perbincangan yang menyeluruh di kalangan pakar pendidikan dan profesional perguruan. Tetapi bantahan masyarakat awam sejak awal lagi sudah cukup meluas walau tidak dapat liputan media yang wajar.

Hanya sejak akhir-akhir ini, liputan media massa mulai meluas dengan bertambah meluasnya bantahan dan sokongan pelbagai pihak. Tetapi liputan meluas oleh media massa itu adakalanya menambah kekeliruan kerana terdapat kecenderungan melemparkan tuduhan-tuduhan yang tak tepat seperti "anti bahasa Inggeris" atau "emosional" atau "tak sayang anak bangsa."

Satu lagi akibat sampingan polemik PPSMI ini ialah terpinggir dan tersingkirnya dari aliran perdana tokoh-tokoh bahasa dan budaya yang selama ini kelihatan "bersahabat" dengan parti pemerintah.

Umpamanya, Sasterawan A. Samad Said yang selama ini kelihatan rapat dengan "aliran perdana" atau pihak establishment tetapi sekarang sudah mulai menampilkan dan menampakkan diri dalam acara-acara dan demonstrasi menentang PPSMI.

Begitu juga dengan Ketua Satu GAPENA, Tan Sri Profesor Ismail Hussein sekarang sudah secara terbuka memperlihatkan tentangan dan bantahan walau pun selama ini sesetengah pihak menganggap beliau mempunyai sikap yang akamodatif dan pro-establishment.

Satu lagi akibat sampingan yang saya anggap mendukacitakan ialah semakin meluasnya budaya "bermuka-muka" atau "berpura-pura" dalam kalangan sesetengah pegawai tinggi kerajaan. Mereka memperlekeh dan mencemuhkan PPSMI secara berbisik-bisik di warung-warung teh tarik atau semasa kudapan di majlis-majlis kerajaan. Tetapi mereka memberi sokongan secara terbuka di hadapan menteri atau di hadapan pemimpin-pemimpin politik yang pro-PPSMI itu.

Saya percaya polemik dan kontroversi PPSMI ini akan berterusan sehingga satu keputusan muktamad diambil dan dilaksanakan. Atau konflik ini mungkin akan menjadi lebih buruk jika keputusan muktamad itu nanti tidak dapat diterima oleh pihak-pihak berkenaan. Kalau itu berlaku, akibat sampingannya bukan sahaja membawa "padah" malah mungkin membawa "musibah."

Satu lagi soalan asas yang telah berulang kali ditanyakan dengan berbagai-bagai cara dan ungkapan ialah: Apa sebenarnya yang hendak dicapai oleh PPSMI? Sesetengah pihak menjawab untuk meningkatkan penguasaan bahasa Inggeris. Sesetengah pihak yang lain untuk memudahkan generasi baharu Malaysia mengikuti kemajuan sains dan teknologi.

Tetapi setakat ini, pada hemat saya, belum ada satu huraian yang lengkap dan sistematik mengenai matlamat sebenar yang hendak dicapai oleh PPSMI itu. Ini mungkin boleh juga dianggap sebagai satu lagi akibat sampingan daripada PPSMI itu, iaitu semakin berleluasanya sikap evasive, iaitu kecenderungan mengetepikan persoalan dan menangguhkan penyelesaian.

DATUK DR. FIRDAUS ABDULLAH ialah Felo Penyelidik Kanan (Pelawat) di Akademi Pengajian Melayu, Universiti Malaya.

Theft and the downturn

Employers beware

Feb 24th 2009
From Economist.com

What departing workers take with them


IF YOU are losing your job, you might at least walk away with a competitive advantage. A survey for Symantec, an internet-security firm, suggests that some 60% of American workers who left their employers last year took some data with them. Respondents admitted that they had lifted anything from e-mail lists to customer information, with two-thirds of such workers using this stolen data in their new job. The most popular method of theft was taking hard-copy files (61%), while around half put data on an electronic-storage device such as a CD or USB stick. And it seems easy to do: 82% of departing employees said that no checks were carried out on what they had kept. Many also admitted to keeping electronic-storage devices given for their jobs, even PDAs and laptops.

Alamy

Readers' comments

The Economist welcomes your views.

Khir Toyo's apartments in Makkah

Discrepencies in PNSB's purchase of Saudi apartments

SHAH ALAM (Feb 24, 2009) : The Mentri Besar Incorporated (MBI), a state government subsidiary, said today there were discrepancies in Permodalan Negeri Selangor Berhad's (PNSB) purchase of properties of Al Marwa Tower Makkah, Saudi Arabia in 2007.

The Mentri Besar's Office said in a statement today the discrepancies were detected by external auditors and brought to the attention of MBI's current board of directors which has appointed advisers to evaluate expenses of the state government's subsidiaries.

The discrepancies were uncovered amid concerns by MBI over PNSB's delay in finalising the 2007 financial accounts.

The statement said, according to the PNSB Directors Circular Resolution dated Sept 14, 2007, PNSB had approved the purchase of five units of properties amounting to RM8,352,427.66.

However, records showed that PNSB had between Sept 17 and Sept 19, 2007 transferred RM25,603,545 to Saudi Arabia for 12 units of properties.

Between Sept 25, 2007 and Oct 3, 2007 PNSB received cheques amounting to RM17,251,092 from an individual – said to be for the purchase of seven units from PNSB at the price PNSB had paid for. No official receipt was issued to acknowledge it.

It has come to the attention of board of directors this year that PNSB prepared and signed four cheques amounting to RM8,000,205.20 to an individual, who is the same person who had earlier handed over cheques to PNSB amounting to RM17,251,032 stated above.

However, three of the four cheques prepared and signed by authorised signatories were later cancelled.

The fourth cheque amounting RM2 million was released and banked into the account of the individual. PNSB then arranged with the bank to stop payment.

"Between the date of the acquisition of the additional seven units making a total of 12 units and the disposal of the seven units leaving five units in PNSB's hand, there was no board of directors meeting or Board of Directors Circular Resolution for the transaction.

"Up to the point of issuance and cancellation of cheques to the individual, no board minutes or circular resolution were made," said the statement.

"It should be noted that the acquisition was made in the name of then PNSB chairman Datuk Sri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo as Saudi requirement that properties within the Mecca area must be in the name of Muslim individuals."

At the board of directors meeting in December 2007, Khir disclosed that the properties were in his name but assured the directors he would not be making any claim over them.

However, there was no mention of the exact number of units held by him.

"The above actions are certainly puzzling. Why did PNSB pay more than RM25 million when the board only approved about RM8 million for five units?

"Why did it then accept about RM17 million – said to be for the sale of the seven units? Why did it then attempt to re-purchase the units it had sold off?"

The statement said Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, the current MBI chairman, intends to find the answers to the above questions and will not hesitate to take strong action should there be any criminality involved.

Ketuanan

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Berebut perkongsian 30%
Sebagai harta rompakan
United Malay National Organisation
Diatas abu mitos lama
Dasar ekonomi baru
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Meliwat warisan sejarah
Perspektif berat sebelah
United Malay National Organisation
Memutar rekod sumbang
Dari balaci ke wira kemerdekaan
Ketuanan yang bangang itu
Mengubur jasad bahasa
Tinggal sekadar keranda 152
United Malay National Organisation
Ketamakan lembu kroni
Merogol science and mathematics
Ketuanan yang tempang itu
Kebaculan media perdana
Sekadar omongan propaganda
United Malay National Organisation
Membelit segala berita
Memaksumkan kepimpinan bangsat
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United Malay National Organisation
Setelah ruh perlembagaan
Tinggal bangkai dalam muzium
Ketuanan yang berdaulat itu
Suara keramat rakyat
Bangkit untuk menerajang
United Malay National Organisation
Yang kerisnya tumpulnya semakin berkarat
Dimamah rasuah dan kebobrokan terlampau!

Fudzail
Dubai, UAE
25 Februari 2009

MACC's Feeble attempts to show independence

MACC (popularly known as Malaysian Agency of Cars and Cows) can never be independent as long as not answerable to the Parliament.

They can bullshit and lie until the cows go home..the image has been tarnished long time ago. Basically, MACC is corrupt under the Prime Minister's cowardice powers...imagine when the big mama becomes our PM! The cows will be fatter and the opposition leaders will be slaughtered for whatever reasons under the corruption charges!

Feeble attempts to show independence
R. Nadeswaran

ON
Monday, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) charged four people with various offences ranging from receiving bribes and making false reports – perhaps with a reason too. This turn of events has been seen by some as a prelude to the official launch of the MACC yesterday. But cynics have a right to call these attempts to right a wrong which was done on Friday when it announced that it had enough evidence to press charges against Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

However one looks at the events of the past five days, all the hard work, time, effort and money spent on giving the anti-graft body a new image has gone down the drain. By going into over-drive and charging someone with offences allegedly committed in one case, at least six years ago, cannot mitigate the highly-publicised press conference on Friday. Let’s put the matter in the right perspective – corrupt practices cannot be condoned irrespective of who does it – the government or the Opposition; the director- general or the office boy. It would be a folly to say that some of the charges are politically-motivated.

But by jumping the gun and announcing the evidence against Abdul Khalid, the MACC has turned its back on its own policies, if not rules.

On May 23, 2006, I shared the same platform with the then ACA’s research and planning director Sutinah Sutan at a seminar on corruption in local government. I had gone on a tirade because the agency was dragging its feet on several high-profile cases. I then posed this question: Do I as a complainant have a right to know the progress of investigations into a case I reported?

Sutinah unequivocally declared: The ACA is not obliged to update complainants on the progress of investigations unless it receives an official letter seeking such information.

That was not the first time I had locked horns with the ACA top-brass. A year earlier, I had a lively debate with its former chief, Datuk Seri Zulkipli Mat Nor, on his numerous lawatan sambil belajar (which he had admitted to) at a forum chaired by the former chief justice, Datuk Annuar Zainal Abidin.

After our public spat, Zulkipli in a conversation with colleague Terence Fernandez last remarked that "senior ACA officers are unhappy with what Nades is writing. And because the ACA reports directly to the prime minister, these criticisms are also directed at the PM."

If dropping names was the previous chief’s forte to get us off his back, he failed miserably. No, the PM took no umbrage to the criticisms when Terence and I interviewed him last November. On the contrary, he wanted support for his reforms which included the setting up of the MACC.

Even before the MACC was set up, we had always co-operated with law enforcement agencies.

As late as three months ago, we gave the then ACA a dossier on a minister’s questionable practices. While on an official trip to Japan and Hawaii, the minister’s personal trainer was on the same flight. His expenses were paid by a supplier to one of the agencies under the ministry. The dossier contained the flight details, exchange of e-mails between the travel agency and the supplier and even copies of a cheque and payment vouchers. We did not pick these documents out of thin air and neither did they arrive in brown envelopes as they usually do. They were and still are available in the public domain – at the High Court Registry. These documents were produced in a civil suit.

As outlined in last Wednesday’s column, there are many other cases which the ACA or now, the MACC, has yet to provide progress reports. Yet, on Friday, there was an update on Abdul Khalid’s case. Don’t misunderstand me. I would be the last to stand up for a public figure who is corrupt and neither am I saying he is innocent.

Three days before its official launch, MACC’s image is in tatters. However hard it tries to justify its actions, public perception will not change. Despite all its claims to be "truly independent", people will continue to view it as an arm of the ruling party. The debates in the "Letters to the editor" columns in the print media and in cyber space are testimony to this.

How can MACC repair the damage? Crisis management specialists will give the same advice that we, the lesser mortals, can offer: Come clean by telling the truth. There’s no other way. The flurry of prosecutions can continue but they will not nullify the wrongs of the previous week. No one can read the mind of the MACC chief who called for the press conference. No amount of self-righteous statements by those associated with the MACC is going to change public perception.

The MACC shot itself in the foot and it has to nurse the wound which may heal, but the scar will remain. The pain must be unbearable but that’s the price one pays for one’s follies.

R. Nadeswaran is editor (special and investigative) reporting at theSun. He can be reached at citizen-nades@thesundaily.com.