September 10th, 2012

Bahaya agenda tersembunyi

UTUSAN MALAYSIA: Dalam status twitter, saudara selalu kaitkan DAP dengan PAP, kenapa?

TAN KENG LIANG: Kalau kita lihat sejarah, DAP sebenarnya adalah cawangan di Semenanjung Malaysia bagi PAP, kerana dahulu Singapura adalah sebahagian daripada Malaysia , ini adalah fakta.

Apabila Singapura dikeluarkan dari Malaysia maka DAP ditubuhkan pada 1965 (didaftarkan dengan rasmi pada 1966). Pada tahun itu cawangan PAP semenanjung Malaysia dahulu dijadikan DAP. Maka DAP sebenarnya berasal dari cawangan PAP. Setiausaha Agung pertama DAP ialah Devan Nair iaitu dari 1965 hingga 1968. Dia juga pengasas kepada DAP walaupun kita juga dapat lihat Devan Nair ialah ahli PAP. Ini adalah dari sejarah.

Seterusnya, Devan Nair pada 1981 dilantik oleh (bekas Perdana Menteri Singapura), Lee Kuan Yew sebagai Presiden Singapura. Ramai orang tidak tahu siapa sebenarnya pengasas DAP dan apa kerjaya dia sebelum itu, kenapa Devan Nair dilantik sebagai presiden. Saya tak tahu apa hubungan sebenar DAP dan PAP sekarang, tetapi kerana saya tak tahu dan mereka tidak mahu jawab di twitter dan bila saya tanya orang yang berada di sekeliling Kit Siang mereka tidak mahu jawab, mereka senyap maka saya buat kaji selidik sendiri melalui sejarah. Bukan saya nak buat apa-apa tanggapan tapi biarlah kita teliti sendiri perkara ini.

Sejarah amat penting untuk lihat apa agenda dan perjuangan sebenar sebuah parti itu, memang mereka boleh kata apa sahaja secara retorik tetapi tingkah laku dan apa yang dibuat oleh mereka adalah lebih penting daripada retorik, jadi lihat dari sejarah.

Apakah ada kebenaran jika dikatakan ada pemimpin mereka yang impiannya suatu hari nanti adalah ke arah negara republik?

Saya tak tahu, kerana saya bukan mereka, hanya mereka boleh jawab, kita kena lihat daripada tingkah laku mereka. Untuk kita kata mereka mahu republik itu salah juga kerana tiada bukti. Kita akan hanya tahu bila mereka buat, itu pun kalau mereka buat atau berdaya untuk buat, selagi mereka tidak ambil Putrajaya kita tak tahu, tetapi adakah kita sebagai rakyat Malaysia mahu ambil risiko itu. Ini soal risiko, tapi saya bukan kata mereka mahu (republik).

Bendera Sang Saka Malaya jelas menunjukkan pengaruh bendera negara yang mengamalkan republik. Bagaimana saudara melihat pengaruh dalam pembangkang itu?

Saya tidak terkejut dengan mana-mana pihak pembangkang yang ingin buat bendera lain kerana sebelum ini pemimpin DAP telah berkata sekiranya pakatan pembangkang ambil alih Putrajaya mereka akan tukar bendera kita. Ini dilaporkan dan beliau juga telah memohon maaf, ini fakta. Mohon maaf itu soal peribadi dia, tetapi ia menunjukkan agenda yang terselindung mereka, saya tak kata DAP. Tapi dia pemimpin DAP, bila dia kata ertinya dia berhasrat, mohon maaf itu perkara lain tapi dia sudah tunjukkan hasrat. Memang pada waktu itu DAP ada pertikai kata ini bukan agenda kami...ya lah siapa mahu mengaku kerana waktu itu boleh kena Akta Hasutan. Itu dulu 2011 ,pemimpin DAP kata, tahun ini 2012 dikibarkan pula satu bendera masa Perhimpunan Janji Bersih yang disokong oleh pihak mereka. Dari sudut undang-undang di sini ada collaboration evidence atau terma undang-undang bermaksud bukti yang mengukuhkan lagi kenyataan kalau kita lihat dalam dua insiden ini.

Selain itu, kita lihat pemimpin pakatan seperti DSAI (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) pula sokong, dia kata tak salah kibar. Dari segi sejarah reka bentuk bendera itu seolah-olah Indonesia campur Singapura macam nak buat satu negara Malaya Raya iaitu Indonesia, Singapura dan Malaysia. Jadi ia negara republik, tetapi ini andaian, tak tahulah mereka mahu atau tidak tetapi saya lihat seolah-olah begitu.

Kita juga dapat lihat, mereka cuba promosikan perjuangan KMM (Kesatuan Melayu Muda) yang ditubuhkan pada 1938. Dari sejarah, kita dapat lihat KMM akan menyokong mana-mana pihak yang dapat membantu mencapai matlamat politik mereka, ini termasuk mereka berpakat dengan Jepun. Jepun bantu membiayai ambil alih syarikat surat khabar propaganda di Singapura (iaitu Warta Malaya) untuk membantu mencapai matlamat mereka. Jadi kenapa nak sokong pihak oportunis seperti ini?

Saudara selalu menyatakan Perhimpunan Bersih adalah sesuatu yang ganas dan boleh menghancurkan negara. Dan kali ini berlaku lagi iaitu Himpunan Janji Bersih. Apa komen saudara?

Saya sudah katakan banyak kali iaitu sepatutnya buat perhimpunan di tempat yang sesuai seperti di stadium supaya tidak mengganggu orang lain. Sebelum ini tiga stadium pernah ditawarkan termasuk Stadium Merdeka oleh kerajaan tetapi mereka menolaknya.

Ini menunjukkan mereka terlalu ekstrem, jadi apa agenda mereka sebenar? Mereka selalu melampaui batas. Bersih juga berjanji untuk berhimpun secara aman tetapi keganasan berlaku hingga menyerang pihak polis, kenderaan media juga rosak, wartawan juga diserang.

Dari sejarah kita dapat lihat insiden 13 Mei bagaimana ia hampir memusnahkan negara kita. Insiden 13 Mei juga bermula dengan demonstrasi yang mahu dikatakan aman berarak tetapi akhirnya menjadi ganas kerana pasti ada dua pihak berlainan pendapat akan bertembung. Sama ada fahaman politik anda itu betul atau tidak itu bukan isu, tetapi mereka akan bertembung. Jadi jika pihak Bersih berarak, orang yang anti Bersih juga akan berarak, maka lihat apa akan jadi? Rakyat juga mahu lihat siapakah dalang di sebalik keganasan Bersih ini dan pihak itu harus dikenakan tindakan sewajarnya .

Di ambang merdeka, himpunan Janji Bersih yang kononnya mahu demokrasi tetapi orang mengibarkan bendera KMM. Adakah ini demokrasi yang mereka mahu? Adakah mereka mahu demokrasi Malaysia atau demokrasi republik?

Tetapi budaya berhimpun penyokong pembangkang nampaknya semakin buruk. Apakah puncanya?

Ini berlaku kerana orang yang menyokong mereka iaitu pemimpin pembangkang tidak halang. Betul mereka kata tidak sokong tetapi apakah tindakan mereka untuk cuba menghalang budaya sedemikian?

Pembangkang kena bertanggungjawab, sekurang-kurangnya memohon maaf atas tindakan penyokong mereka, tapi hingga kini mereka tidak berbuat demikian. Memang polis boleh ambil tindakan, tetapi pemimpin pembangkang perlu tunjukkan teladan yang baik dengan memohon maaf. Selama ini banyak kesalahan penyokong pembangkang tetapi pemimpin mereka tidak memohon maaf maka penyokongnya menganggap seolah-olah tidak salah dan mereka akan mengulangi perbuatan itu. Sebab itu demonstrasi ganas ini asyik berlaku di negara ini.

Bercakap tentang risiko, boleh jelaskan risiko besar yang ditanggung pengundi jika tersalah perhitungan dalam PRU13?

Kita kena teliti apa agenda sebenar pihak-pihak yang kita ingin sokong pada Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 ini. Kita tidak boleh menilai hanya dengan janji-janji mereka. Kalau kita lihat janji pakatan pembangkang di Buku Jingga, kita dapati bukan sahaja mereka tidak tunaikan tetapi dibuat secara bertentangan di negeri-negeri ditadbir pakatan.

Contohnya, isu kebebasan berpolitik bagi pelajar pengajian tinggi. Di Kedah, kerajaan negeri sekat kebebasan akademik dengan menggantung lima pelajar Kolej Universiti Insaniah (Kuin), ini bertentangan dengan Buku Jingga. Kedua, dalamBuku Jingga kata hendak buat tender terbuka tetapi di negeri-negeri pakatan pembangkang banyak projek tidak dibuat secara tender terbuka dengan nilai menjangkau bilion ringgit. Sebab saya di Kedah jadi saya beri contoh di negeri ini. Saya sudah membongkar empat projek yang tidak dibuat secara tender terbuka iaitu kompleks beli belah Aman Sentral bernilai RM500 juta, Apartmen Amanpuri (RM109 juta), Sungai Limau Hidrokarbon Hub (Sulihh) bernilai RM36 bilion dan projek membina kampus Kuin di Kuala Ketil (RM360 juta).

Saya sudah menghantar memorandum kepada DSAI tetapi hingga hari ini dia tidak menjawab. Jadi mereka buat banyak perkara yang bertentangan, mereka janji satu perkara tapi buat perkara lain, takkan orang begini rakyat mahu sokong?

Contoh lain, sebelum pilihan raya 2008 Pas Kedah berjanji mahu mengekalkan tarif air dan mungkin menurunkannya tetapi apabila berkuasa Pas naikkan tarif air hingga 100 peratus pada 2010. Ada yang kata, naik 28 hingga 40 peratus naik, itu tidak tepat sebab bagi pengguna air kurang lapan meter padu tarif naik dari RM3 kepada RM6. Ini naik 100 peratus kepada pengguna air kecil. Mereka janji suatu perkara tetapi buat benda lain.

Ini juga berlaku di Pulau Pinang dan negeri pembangkang lain walaupun kononnya mereka telus dan bersih. Kita juga dapat lihat projek WiFi (Fasa 2) oleh kerajaan DAP Pulau Pinang yang bernilai berjuta ringgit dibuat tanpa tender terbuka. Alasan Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, hanya satu syarikat yang berminat, maka bagaimana mereka nak buat tender terbuka. Alasan ini tidak masuk akal. Bagaimana mereka tahu hanya satu syarikat berminat sedangkan tender terbuka tidak dibuat?

Saya bukan nak kata parti Barisan Nasional 100 peratus sempurna. Tapi jika kita bandingkan, kita boleh lihat jelas BN melakukannya jauh lebih baik untuk rakyat termasuk melakukan pelbagai transformasi untuk kesejahteraan dan keharmonian rakyat, bukan janji-janji kosong seperti mereka.


Sumber: Utusan Malaysia Online Rencana 10 September 2012 / 23 Syawal 1433

Keliru antara demokrasi dan anarki

Minggu ini Kunta Kinte nak bincang sekali lagi pasal demokrasi dan hantu. Mula-mula berkenaan demokrasi. Dengan tambah dekatnya masa untuk adakan pilihan raya umum, makin kerap jugalah kita dengar orang cakap berkenaan demokrasi.


Yang faham cakap, yang tak faham lagi kuat cakap. Inilah tabiat manusia, bila dia tahu sesuatu hal, dia akan cakap berhati-hati dan berhemah. Tapi selalunya orang yang tak tahulah yang paling banyak cakap pasal memang mudah apabila bantai keromo.


Jadi hari ini, banyaklah yang mengaku mereka amalkan demokrasi atau mereka demokratik. Mereka buat tunjuk perasaan. Ada yang buat cara sunat, ada yang cara makruh dan banyak juga yang cara haram. Ada yang aman, tapi lebih banyak yang kacau-bilau dan ganas.


Bagi Kunta Kinte, mudah saja. Apabila buat kerja haram, apatah lagi dengan cara yang ganas, itu bukan demokrasi lagi. Demonstrasi ganas dan provokasi adalah anarki. Bukanlah Kunta Kinte antitunjuk perasaan. Memang sifat manusia suka tunjuk perasaan. Pasal itulah bila seronok kita ketawa, bila sedih kita menangis.

Masa muda-muda dulu Kunta Kinte pun sekali dua ambil bahagian juga dalam tunjuk perasaan. Pada awal 1970-an, masa mengaji di New Zealand, Kunta Kinte ambil bahagian dalam tunjuk perasaan tentang perang Vietnam. Masa tu Kunta Kinte jadi hippie ikut-ikutan.

Tapi, apabila penunjuk perasaan ingkar arahan polis, bakar kereta, jahanamkan harta awam dan buat kerja tak senonoh, itu buka demokrasi lagi, itu sudah jadi anarki. Malangnya yang kata mereka tunjuk perasaan kerana mereka amalkan demokrasi atau kerana tuntut demokrasi, sebenarnya tak pun faham apa bendanya demokrasi, tak daftar jadi pemilih dan tak pernah keluar mengundi.

Mari kita ingat balik atau belajar sikit asal usul demokrasi. Demokrasi adalah gabungan dua perkataan Greek iaitu ‘demos’ yang bermaksud orang ramai dan ‘kratos’ bererti kuasa. Dalam bahasa Greek, gabungan dua perkataan itu jadi ‘demokratía’ yang secara umum bererti pemerintahan oleh rakyat jelata.


Itu lebih 2,400 tahun dulu. Lepas itu, macam-macam interpretasi dibagi kepada demokrasi dan macam-macam pula cara amalannya. Hatta negara komunis dan negara diktator pun kata mereka amalkan demokrasi dan bagi nama negara mereka democratic republic atau republik demokratik walaupun rakyat jelata tak pernah dibagi hak mengundi.

Maaf cakaplah kalau Kunta Kinte kata, orang yang mengaku dia demokratik dan matang itulah selalunya tak demokratik dan tak matang. Hak dia, dia surah orang lain hormat. Suara dia, dia mahu orang lain dengar. Tapi dia sendiri tak hormat hak orang lain dan tolak terus hujah yang tak secocok dengan pandangan dia. Kalau kita demokratik, kita hormatilah hak orang lain. Kalau kita matang, kita dengarlah dulu hujah orang lain sebelum kita tolak.

Bagi Kunta Kinte, cerita pijak gambar, conteng poster, baling telur busuk – di utara kita panggil telur kemurok – persenda bendera negara dan perolok lagu kebangsaan adalah kerja orang yang tak matang. Bayangkanlah, masa tak ada kuasa pun dah pijak gambar orang itu dan ini, apabila ada kuasa apa pula yang agaknya mereka buat? Silap-silap kepala orang pun mereka pijak.

Ini bukan cara demokrasi yang matang dan bukan tindak tanduk orang yang waras. Ini adalah anarki dan perbuatan orang yang tohor fikiran dan cetek pengetahuan. Orang kalau dia betul-betul matang, dia tak bising satu kampung kata dia matang. Dia tunjuk dan buktikan kematangan dia melalui bahasa yang sopan dan tindakan yang berakal.

Demokrasi bukan sempurna. Kalau demokrasi sempurna, dan pilihan raya boleh selesaikan segala masalah, tak payahlah kita susah-susah buat pilihan raya empat, lima tahun sekali. Kita buat sekali cukuplah. Tapi dengan kita buat pilihan raya empat, lima tahun sekali, kita boleh pilih orang baru dan kerajaan baru kalau orang lama dan kerajaan lama tak baik atau tak tepati kehendak kita.

Yang Kunta Kinte rasa tak betul ialah cakap berapi pasal demokrasi, tapi tak pun daftar untuk mengundi. Kalau daftar pun tak keluar mengundi. Atau bila mengundi ikut hati, bukan ikut fikiran yang waras.

Tapi nak marah kepada pengundi saja pun tak kena juga. Memang ada wakil rakyat yang tak buat kerja atau buat kerja tak senonoh. Masa berkempen, sanggup tidur di bangsal, minum air telaga dan masuk hutan rimba. Janji dan ikrar perkara biasa. Tapi menang saja, hilanglah batang hidung. Janji ke mana, ikrar tak ada harga. Dengar-dengar dah kaya-raya. Apabila dekat pilihan raya, barulah nak turun padang tunjuk muka.

Wakil rakyat macam ni, Kunta Kinte kata, boleh pergi ke neraka. Minta ampun cakap kasar. Ungkapan itu Kunta Kinte pinjam daripada bahasa Inggeris, go to hell.

Berkenaan hantu, ceritanya pendek saja. Anak perempuan kawan Kunta Kinte berumur lima tahun tak dapat raya kerana demam. Kawan Kunta Kinte kata, dia demam sebab terkejut tengok jenazah atuknya.

Kawan Kunta Kinte itu mengaku anaknya ‘peminat’ cerita hantu saluran televisyen tempatan. Bila budak itu lihat jenazah atuknya yang sudah dikafankan, dia menjerit “pocong, pocong, pocong” dan terus demam. Itulah hebatnya kesan drama murahan ke atas masyarakat kita. Wallahualam.


Kunta Kinte Original Sumber: Berita Harian Online Rencana Isnin , 10 September 2012, 23 Syawal 1433 H

Bahan sejarah sekadar diperam

Jabatan Muzium Dan Antikuiti, Filem Negara Malaysia (FNM) dan Jabatan Arkib Negara adalah tiga agensi kerajaan yang menyimpan banyak bahan bersejarah negara.

Jabatan Muzium mempunyai koleksi artifak, benda atau objek, manakala FNM dengan koleksi visual atau gambar bergerak, Jabatan Arkib sudah tentu menyimpan banyak manuskrip penting sejarah Malaysia.

Tidak cukup dengan tiga agensi ini, Jabatan Penyiaran Malaysia ada Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) yang sudah tentu menyimpan banyak footage atau pita yang mengandungi peristiwa bersejarah.

Malangnya, ketiga-tiga agensi ini termasuk RTM bagaikan pasif untuk mempromosikan sejarah negara, lebih-lebih lagi ketika kita menyambut kemerdekaan ke-55 dan tidak lama lagi ulang tahun penubuhan Malaysia pada 16 September ini.

Kita yang sering lalu lalang di lebuh raya Mahameru atau Jalan Travers, tertanya-tanya kenapa tidak ada kain rentang besar yang memaparkan sejarah kemegahan negara?

Sayang sekali kita sudah merdeka lebih setengah abad, tetapi ketiga-tiga agensi ini bagaikan tidak tahu untuk menyegarkan semula sejarah negara. Pada hal, Menteri Penerangan, Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan yang menaungi ketiga-tiga agensi itu, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim sering kali mengeluarkan kenyataan betapa pentingnya sejarah.

Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yang juga Menteri Pelajaran sering mengungkap mengenai kepentingan mata pelajaran Sejarah.

Jabatan Muzium, FNM dan Jabatan Arkib serta RTM ini juga sebenarnya boleh membuat perancangan seperti bekerjasama dengan pusat beli belah utama di Kuala Lumpur untuk mempamerkan gambar, manuskrip dan sedutan visual sejarah negara.

Apa salahnya? Apakah pusat beli-belah tidak membenarkan? Kalau ini pun terjadi, ternyatalah pengurusan pusat beli-belah itu tidak berjiwa patriotik, tidak menghargai kemakmuran negara walaupun premis mereka sering menjadi tumpuan ramai.

Menonton program TV atau filem (kalau ada) yang bertemakan sejarah juga kadang-kadang membosankan. Rancangan bercorak sejarah ini kadang-kadang seperti mengadaptasi sepenuhnya daripada buku sejarah. Ia bersifat sebuah program lakonan semula untuk sebuah peristiwa bersejarah, bukan satu cerita menarik yang berlatarkan fakta sejarah.

Seperti kita katakan, sepanjang bulan kemerdekaan pada Ogos lalu sehingga kepada Hari Malaysia bulan ini, Jabatan Muzium, FNM dan Jabatan Arkib sebenarnya boleh berperanan lebih aktif untuk mempromosikan sejarah negara. Kenapa tidak diadakan pameran koleksi bahan bersejarah, sama ada dalam bentuk artifak, manuskrip dan visual di Muzium Negara?

Kita pilih Muzium Negara kerana ia mudah dikunjungi pelawat berbanding Jabatan Arkib dan FNM.

FNM dan RTM boleh bergabung menyunting beberapa klip video atau filem pendek - lebih kurang tiga hingga lima minit - untuk disiarkan sama ada di TV dan panggung wayang secara selingan.

Klip video pendek juga boleh disiarkan ketika pameran bergerak mengenai sejarah negara bersama-sama dengan bahan yang disediakan Arkib Negara dan Muzium Negara di kompleks beli-belah, pastinya dalam ribuan pengunjung tentu ada yang berhenti sejenak, membaca, menonton dan menghayati maklumat berkaitan dengan sejarah negara dan kenegaraan.

Mata pelajaran sejarah atau berkaitan dengan sejarah tidaklah sukar untuk difahami dan dipelajari. Kalau kita boleh mempelajari sains dan matematik yang lebih teknikal dan rumit, tiada alasan untuk mempelajari dan menghayati sejarah.

Apa yang penting, pihak berkaitan seperti persatuan sejarah dan agensi kerajaan yang berkaitan dengan penyimpanan bahan bersejarah, termasuk stesen TV haruslah kreatif dan inovatif untuk menjadikan sejarah sebagai bahan menarik, menghiburkan dan menyeronokkan.

Bersesuaian dengan teknologi sekarang, penyampaian elemen sejarah boleh dilakukan dalam bentuk visual, animasi, dokumentari, filem pendek atau apa saja yang bersifat interaktif dengan pengolahan skrip mudah tetapi tidak menyimpang daripada fakta.

Berbalik kepada Muzium Negara, Arkib Negara, FNM mahupun RTM, mungkin boleh berkongsi peruntukan kalau tidak mencukupi untuk menampung kos menyediakan pameran sejarah. Mungkin boleh meminta peruntukan tambahan daripada kerajaan untuk tujuan murni ini.

Apa gunanya kita ada banyak bahan sejarah tetapi hanya diperam, tidak dimanfaatkan sepenuhnya demi kepentingan bangsa dan negara.



Zainuri Misfar Sumber: Berita Harian Online Sejarah Isnin , 10 September 2012, 23 Syawal 1433 H

Frank and factual approach

Sex education is not about corrupting children, it is about giving them a holistic view of sex, sexuality and reproductive health.

TWELVE-year-old Ali* says that he knows exactly where babies come from.

“No, my parents and teachers never said anything. My friends and I talk about it in school.

“My friends also showed me videos from the internet,” says the pupil from the Klang Valley.

What sort of videos might these be?

“You know... the ‘dirty’ ones,” he replies in a hushed, serious tone.

Meanwhile, secondary school student Angie Yeo* feels that she is still not getting the information she wants despite the sex education talks organised in her school.



Sex education is not about corrupting children, it is about giving them a holistic view of sex, sexuality and reproductive health

“ I didn’t think the talks were very informative.

“Most of the information mentioned during the talks can be easily found in textbooks and other reading materials,” says the lass from Kedah.

What does she want to know more about?

“I think topics like rape; before those rape cases in the papers, I didn’t know much about such things,” she says.

Yeo is referring to the wide media coverage of the recent statutory rape judgments of former national youth squad bowler Noor Afizal Azizan and electrician Chuah Guan Jiu.

There is still a dearth of in-depth nationwide study of just how much young people know about sexual and reproductive health.

Young love: Teens should be taught to respect each other’s boundaries when it comes to sexual behaviour. — Posed photoYoung love: Teens should be taught to respect each other’s boundaries when it comes to sexual behaviour. — Posed photo

Ali and Yeo’s comments however, reflect the recommendations of the few studies available — there is an acute need for more effort in equipping youth with the right tools and knowledge to make good decisions.

A survey conducted by Universiti Sains Malaysia researchers in Kelantan last year for instance, offers alarming insight of the naivete of students when it comes to the birds and the bees.

Of the 1,034 secondary school students surveyed, only 30% correctly answered that just one act of sexual intercourse could cause pregnancy.

This may not be surprising as 64% of the students surveyed said they received knowledge about sexuality from friends – only 6.5% saw their parents as a source of information.

Safer sex: While maintaining that abst inence is the idea l, the ministry’s sex educa tion guideline s also provide information about contraceptives.Safer sex: While maintaining that abst inence is the idea l, the ministry’s sex educa tion guideline s also provide information about contraceptives.

In Malaysia, elements of sex education have been part of the secondary school curriculum since 1989, and subsequently introduced in primary schools in 1994.

While not a stand-alone subject, sex education was meant to be covered across the curriculum, in subjects such as Biology, Science, Moral Education and Islamic Studies.

Currently, sex education in the local curriculum is known as Pendidikan Kesihatan Reproduktif dan Sosial (PEERS, or Social and Reproductive Health Education) – previously it was called Family Health Education (1989 – 2002) and Sexuality Education (2002 – 2005).

Guidelines

The name change occurred in 2006, when the Cabinet passed a comprehensive set of guidelines outlining how the subject should be taught in schools.

These guidelines were painstakingly formulated over the course of three years, and involved the Education; Women, Family and Community Development and Health Ministries.

It also included educators, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), health professionals as well as religious authorities.

Former Education Ministry parliamentary secretary Datin Paduka P. Komala Devi was among the individuals involved in coming up with the guidelines.

“The books (modules) were meant to help educators teach students, not the students themselves,” she says.

“The idea was that we give them reliable information so as to prevent them from seeking it out from the wrong sources.

Komala Devi further points out that sex education is not “about the mechanics of sexual intercourse”, but rather a holistic view of sexuality and reproductive health.

“We need to teach them about their own bodies, to have self-respect and respect others, sexual abuse prevention, and having healthy relationships.

“Of course, abstinence is presented as the best and ideal option, but we also need to give young people realistic information about contraception,” she says.

A review of the guidelines reveals a range of modules dealing with not just sexuality, but also gender, health and societal values. The modules outline age-appropriate content for the various topics, slowly building students’ knowledge as they mature.

For example, primary school children may start by learning about making good decisions and accepting responsibility for the consequences of their choices.

Then in secondary school, sex is introduced into the equation and students are encouraged to base their decisions from the health, legal, religious and social perspectives.

For teenagers in particular, the guidelines repeatedly acknowledge the emotional turbulence and pressures of being an adolescent and spell out ways of managing stress and peer pressure.

When detailing potentially controversial topics, the guidelines try to carefully reconcile frank discussion with cultural sensitivities.

The sexual orientation module for teens for instance presents the topic of non-heterosexuality in a neutral manner, but in the same breath states that homosexuality is against religious norms.

The guidelines recommend that children as young as four be taught to recognise sexual harassment and violence, and how to seek help should such assaults occur.

An example of this is the “touch continuum” that encompasses the difference between “good touch” and “bad touch”, as well as the difference between good and bad “secrets”.

In the overall discussion of sexual assault, the guidelines indicate a genuine effort to curb victim-blaming and dismantling stereotypes of sexual assaults.

There is also a great deal of emphasis on building self-esteem and treating others with respect.

Issues of body image are targeted at pupils from Year One, with the key lesson being that every individual is unique and deserves to be free of discrimination.

Media literacy is also brought into the picture, where children and teens are made to question the standards of beauty as well as gender stereo-types illustrated in mass media.

Implementation

What remains unclear is how exactly these guidelines have trickled down into policies and the school curriculum.

The issue of sex education may be brought up every so often when there is public uproar over social ills; once the debate dies down, things appear to return to status-quo.

Education Ministry sources claim that the real cause of ineffective implementation is the lack of political will.

A telling evidence of politics coming into play is highlighted in Malaysia’s Global Aids Response Country Progress Report 2012 published in March.

Claiming that comprehensive sexual reproductive health education was still at “an impasse”, the report adds that: “Though it has been under discussion by various levels of government, implementation of this policy has been erratic due to opposition from various parties on moral and religious grounds.”

One concrete example of the guidelines’ influence so far is the KSSR - or Standard Curriculum for Primary Schools - which started with Year One pupils in 2011.

Under the KSSR, PEERS is taught within the Health Education subject, comprising 75% of the subject’s curriculum.

The topics covered are health and reproduction (mostly dealing with the physical and mental changes that occur during puberty); substance abuse; mental and emotional mangement; family issues; relationships; disease prevention; safety.

Additionally, the Health Ministry and Women, Family and Community Development Ministry together with NGOs have been steadily increasing their community outreach programmes and workshops targeted at children and teenagers.

Misconceptions

Educators say that public opinions and misconceptions are still major factors barring effective sex education.

“Many parents don’t even realise that we have health education in schools.

“Some still think that ‘sex education’ means teaching children how to have sex!” laments one primary school teacher from Johor.

A secondary school teacher claims that he had to face a pair of angry parents after a lesson on the human reproductive system.

“The parents thought I was telling my students to go out and run wild because I had taught them a lesson on contraceptives!

“Thankfully I managed to appease them by explaining that I was just stating the facts, because I made sure to emphasise our society’s values with regards to pre-marital sex,” he says.

For the most part, it seems that teachers generally shy away from broaching the topic – only two of the 10 students interviewed by StarEducate say that they were taught sex education in school.

At the mention of the word “sex”, one Form Two student exclaimed that she did not how to respond and balked at answering any further questions.

Hailing from an all-boys school in Perak, Form Four student Wei* says that he appreciates his school’s direct approach to sex education.

“My school also organises workshops (on sexuality) from time to time; we had a speaker who had us in stitches with the stories he shared.

“Even though he made us laugh a lot, somehow he was successful in getting his message across,” he says.

A religious teacher from Negri Sembilan says while the topic is seen as taboo, teachers need to overcome their fears and address sexuality issues openly with their students.

“I initially felt uncomfortable talking about it with my students.

“But in this day and age, we can’t just keep things away from youth or they will try and find out information through unsavoury means.

“My approach is to give them the facts and explain why religious and moral values are important — by teaching them the right things, we have to trust them to make good decisions,” she says.

In light of the recent rape cases involving underage girls, All Women’s Action Society (Awam) president Ho Yock Lin says the organisation is planning to increase its outreach programmes for students with an emphasis on respect between the sexes.

“This is because many students are not aware of the power relations between males and females — in most situations, the boys are making more decisions while the girls are generally submissive to demands by the boys.

“Parents must understand that it is not possible to restrict the movements of their children ... this is why it is important to teach children ways to keep themselves safe,” she says.

* Names have been changed.


BY PRIYA KULASAGARAN and KANG SOON CHEN educate@thestar.com.my Source: The Star Home News Education Sunday September 9, 2012

Education overhaul to put Malaysia among top ranks

CLEAR ROAD MAP: Education blueprint will put our students, schools on a par with the best

THE biggest shake-up ever of our education system, which touches almost every Malaysian, is fast taking shape.

The 13-year road map will reshape how our policymakers, education officials, teachers and parents deal with educating and teaching millions of our schoolchildren and preparing them and the nation for the future.

Judging by the thickness of the preliminary report of the "Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013-2025)", which Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will unveil on Tuesday, the education system will definitely undergo a massive transformation.

The plan, if fully implemented, will ultimately put Malaysia in the top one-third in the global ranking among 15-year-olds in reading, Mathematics and Science, up from current bottom one-third category. The top-ranking countries, at present, include Finland, South Korea and Singapore.

It is by no means an impossible task but not doing anything is not an option. We want our children to have access to a world-class education in order to help them better compete in a globalised world.

The education revamp is long overdue. But it is imperative as we embark on the Economic Transformation Plan and other transformation initiatives ahead of Vision 2020.

No doubt there are detractors or naysayers, who doubt that the ambitious education master plan will work. But the Education Ministry's track record in providing an education to millions since Merdeka speaks for itself.

True, no plan is perfect. That is why the ministry has embarked on the country's biggest-ever public consultation process in drawing up the preliminary report of the blueprint. The process, just short of a national referendum, involved input from 37,000 people from all walks of life. This is on top of the 209 proposals submitted to the ministry, 90 per cent of which were accepted by the review panel.

In fact, soon after the blueprint is released, the ministry will embark on a second round of intensive public consultation to gather feedback through open days and roundtable discussions with various stakeholders. It will be then be reviewed by Malaysian and international review panels before the final submission to the cabinet by mid-December.

So the process of drawing up the blueprint is thorough indeed, taking into account the views of various people who have a say in the education system.

In fact, it is a holistic review of the education system, looking into the current challenges, setting a clear road map and outlining a comprehensive transformation programme for the education system. As such, the ministry should avoid piecemeal or ad hoc initiatives or flip-flopping. Schools should not be turned into "test beds" to try out new things.

There should also be a greater buy-in from the people on the education overhaul. It will bring more benefits to the country. It also reflects a big commitment by the prime minister and his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the education minister, to put things right.

We know that education, like everything else, is highly politicised in Malaysia. But if the government does it right, there will be more political dividends for the incumbent.

I am sure there is enough political will to make this blueprint work. It must be backed up with solid and sustained government funding, with minimal fund leakages and less red tape, of course, to finance the various programmes under the blueprint.

Funding our schools and colleges has not been a problem. We are already spending (in terms of gross domestic product ratio) on a par with top-performing education systems, such as Japan and South Korea. But our "returns on investment" have not been on a par with those countries, ranking wise.

One major challenge facing the ministry is to improve the capability of teachers. Apparently, about 60 per cent of teachers will still be in service for the next 20 years. Efforts will have to be made to retool or retrain them. There should also be a higher bar for intake of new teachers.

Our neighbours are watching us closely. We have no choice but to revolutionise our education system. It is a matter of survival. A more developed education system means a more developed nation.



By A. Jalil Hamid | jalil@nstp.com.my Source: New Straits Times Education overhaul to put Malaysia among top ranks - Columnist - 09 September 2012



Education system to produce students with "HOT " skills

KUALA LUMPUR: Come Tuesday, parents of school-going children, especially those in lower primary school, will be unusually excited over what the preliminary Education Blueprint will offer, especially in terms of producing students who can compete with the best internationally and equipping them with "HOT" (High Order Thinking) skills.

Among other attributes, the transformation of the country's education system is also to produce knowledgeable students with strong leadership qualities and better bilingual proficiency.

"HOT" skills refer to more than just an ability to read, write and count. In today's competitive world, students also need to do more than just memorise or retell the facts.

"HOT" skills take thinking to a higher level among students rather than just restating the facts. They should be able to understand the facts, connect them to each other and apply them as solutions to problems in their work environment in the future.

To be unveiled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the blueprint is a result of a year of extensive research and public engagement spearheaded by Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his officers at the Ministry of Education as well as other bodies, including Pemandu (Performance Management and Delivery Unit in the Prime Minister's Department).

The blueprint is a major paradigm shift of the country's education system for the first time in almost five decades.

It takes a holistic approach at all levels to produce better outcomes for Malaysian students in a constantly changing world. It is also about biting the bullet and springing to action after having taken cognisance of the big gaps in the education system when compared with the best in the world. This is despite the local education system having made tremendous progress since 1957, especially in terms of student enrolment.

Malaysia spends about 16 per cent of its budget on education annually but it has been discerned that the return on investment is not as high as desired when its performance even lagged behind countries with lower funding, thus necessitating a review and overhaul of the education system.

To remedy the situation, the move will entail putting funds to the right sectors in terms of training and upskilling educators, getting better teachers, improving teaching methodologies and closer monitoring of schools and students to catapult Malaysia, now at the bottom third of countries in terms of international assessment of their education systems, to the top third in 15 years.

It has been said that education plays a central role in any country's pursuit of economic growth and national development.

According to Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud, the Director-General of Education, education is key for personal development as it provides a myriad of life-long opportunities.

Educators have often said that there is no better assessment of a nation's future than what is currently happening in its classrooms. In today's global economy, a nation's progress depends fundamentally on the knowledge, skills and competencies of its people.

Therefore, it is not surprising that countries with higher education levels like Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, the United States, Japan and South Korea, to name a few, tend to enjoy greater economic prosperity.

Viewed from another point, education is also a necessity for nation building and unity because it provides individuals with opportunities to better their lives and contribute to society in the process.

In the final analysis, it will take more than 10 years for the dynamic changes in the blueprint to bear fruit. But at least the government has swung into action to stop the rot.

As far as quick wins are concerned, the "low hanging fruits" that can be harvested from next year will see all 10,000 primary and secondary schools using information and communication technology (ICT) to the fullest to keep abreast of latest developments and methodologies.

But best of all, the burden is not only on teachers. Parents will have to play a strong part as they will be equipped with a manual to monitor their children's progress. -- BERNAMA


Source:  New Straits Times Education system to produce students with "HOT " skills - Latest - 09 September 2012