Jul 12, 2008

Black Day For Human Rights-Ops Lalang 1987

The operation saw the infamous arrest of 106 persons under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the revoking of the publishing licenses of two dailies, The Star and the Sin Chew Jit Poh and two weeklies, The Sunday Star and Watan. Operation Lalang carried out on October 27, 1987 by the Malaysian police to crack down on opposition leaders and social activists.

The political developments which brought this second largest ISA swoop in Malaysian history since the May 13 riots were sparked ostensibly by mounting political tensions having strong racial overtones. According to the White Paper explaining the arrests, various groups who had played up "sensitive issues" and thus created "racial tension" in the country had exploited the government's liberal and tolerant attitude. This racial tension made the arrests necessary and further, forced the government to act "swiftly and firmly" to contain the situation.

The sensitive issues were brought on by what appeared innocently enough as Education Ministry appointments of some 100 senior assistants and principals to vernacular Chinese schools. This provoked a storm of protest when it was learnt that those appointed were Chinese whom were not Mandarin-educated.

Operation Lalang resulted in the arrest of 106 people under the Internal Security Act. Among the more prominent detainees were opposition leader and DAP Secretary-General Lim Kit Siang, ALIRAN President Chandra Muzaffar, DAP Deputy Chairman Karpal Singh, MCA Vice President and Perak Chief Chan Kit Chee, PAS Youth Chief Halim Arshat, UMNO MP for Pasir Mas Ibrahim Ali, and UMNO Youth Education Chairman Mohamed Fahmi Ibrahim. Other prominent non-political detainees included Dong Jiao Zhong (Chinese Education Associations) Chairman Lim Fong Seng, Publicity Chief of the Civil Rights Committee Kua Kia Soong, and WAO member Irene Xavier. Besides that, there was also another detainee called Hilmy Noor, a Malay Christian, who was accused for "disrupting the Malay culture by being a Christian", while the Federal Constitution of Malaysia defines Malay as someone who is a Muslim, speaks Malay, and practices Malay culture. The detainees were kept at the usual place used for ISA detainees, at Kamunting Detention Center.

Although most of the detainees were released either conditionally or unconditionally, 40 were issued detention order of two years. Included were Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh plus five other party colleagues, a number of PAS members and many social activists. A categorization of the initially named detainees, numbering 97, gives the following breakdown:
  • political parties: 37
  • social movements 23
  • Individuals: 37

The 1987 Ops Lalang mass ISA detentions was a black day for human rights in Malaysia.

Jul 10, 2008

World Heritage City-Penang(George Town) and Melaka


Two natural heritage sites in Malaysia made it to the World Heritage List in December 2000: the Gunung Mulu National Park in the State of Sarawak and the Kinabalu Park in the State of Sabah. After few years Melaka and Penang highlighted in the World Heritage list.

The inscription of a property on World Heritage List is creating many benefits for Penang and Melaka, and in particular, for local communities. World Heritage Listing develops local and national pride in the property and develops feelings of national responsibility to protect the area.


The site which is being nominated in Penang is within George Town. Referred to as the historic centre, the site comprises the 18th century town grid close to the waterfront, and the historic multi-cultural neighbourhoods. The site covers approximately 108 hectares. In Melaka the site which is being nominated in represents the historic core which includes the ruins of the 16th century fortress town and the neighbouring historic and traditional settlements. The site covers approximately 42 hectares.


While this listing will no doubt boost economic activity in the inner city and expand the economy,
I urge federal government and state government will join effort to make full use of this precious prospect, political parties must always bear in mind that peoples and nation’s interest comes before party’s ideology especially Penang state. The state lead by nation’s opposition party, allocation of financial must be given without fear or favour by federal government and at the same time state government must welcome the plan and strategies that introduce by federal government.


Jul 7, 2008

Smart School... The main Challenges

Malaysia intends to transform its educational system, in line with and in the support of the nations drive to fulfill vision 2020. The smart school project is one of the main development to support Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC).
To be a smart school, consider th
e following challenges:
  1. Leadership is the key ingredient; school management must be committed to education system on the idea of Smart School.
  2. The technological infrastructure is more than enough to replace the traditional way of teaching and learning.
  3. Schools are supposed to have enough technical expertise to maintain the ICT infrastructure.
  4. Teachers need more training on ICT programs than the students. It’s important to ensure teachers capability to deliver their curriculum. ICT facilities accessible to the school community even when the school is not in session, thus students able to explore their studies at all the time.
  5. Educators create enough digital contents for used in new learning environment. At the same time, connectivity stable enough to support information anytime and anywhere so that teaching and learning is not just confine to the four walls of the classroom. It must be a teaching and learning community that extends beyond the traditional school walls.

At the same time, it’s not all about equipments. China and India students have some of the worst equipment I have ever seen but their abilities are just amazing. Frankly, I see a lot of poor rural parents know the importance of education. What they lack is proper educational influence and role-model. They are surrounded by poorness in everything and expectation of them. So with the first-class equipment there are no reasons for students to be unsuccessful in their studies. I’m sure I will do my part as a future teacher by accept the teachers challenges to help creating the smart schools. The teachers must fully utilise the Technology Infrastructure and capable of
delivering to the students in
best method.