March 1st, 2015

Berhenti perlekeh sistem pendidikan negara sendiri

Kenyataan bahawa pengajian tinggi kita setanding dengan yang di negara maju lain, bukan sahaja dipersenda rakyat kita sendiri. Ia ikut dipertikai pihak tertentu dalam negara ini. Beginilah sikap sesetengah rakyat Malaysia yang memandang sinis semua perkara yang wujud dalam negara.

Sesungguhnya banyak perkara yang kita laksanakan setanding dengan yang dilakukan di kebanyakan negara maju. Ini termasuklah sistem pendidikan kita. Antaranya Pelan Pembangunan Pendidikan Malaysia (PPPM) 2013-2025, yang meliputi pendidikan prasekolah sehingga menengah. Begitu juga halnya dengan sektor pengajian tinggi 2015-2025.

Ini kerana ia merangkumi segala ciri yang bukan sahaja terdapat, tetapi wajib ada pada sistem pendidikan baik. Semua ciri ini dipastikan wujud dalam sistem kita setelah diambil daripada amalan pendidikan yang digunakan di merata tempat di seluruh dunia. Antaranya Amerika Syarikat, United Kingdom, Australia, Jerman, Perancis, Poland, Korea, Jepun, China dan banyak lagi.

Setanding sistem negara maju

Apabila diambil untuk diterapkan dalam sistem kita, sudah tentu penyesuaian dilakukan mengikut acuan kita. Ini penting agar ia dapat diselaraskan dengan Falsafah Pendidikan Kebangsaan dan aspirasi nasional. Antara yang terpenting ialah pengembangan individu yang menyeluruh, perpaduan kaum dan integrasi nasional selain identiti nasional.

Visi, misi dan aspirasi untuk pengajian tinggi kita apabila dihemati, sebenarnya adalah gagasan, tugasan dan harapan sejagat terkini untuk pengajaran dan pembelajaran di institusi pengajian tinggi yang didukung di banyak negara. Begitu juga dengan langkah yang diambil bagi memastikan hasil terbaik daripada pengajar dan pelajar serta peningkatan usaha pelbagai pihak untuk menjamin penyampaian bestari.

Dengan adanya semua ini dalam pengajian tinggi kita, ia bukan sahaja sistem yang berada pada landasan betul, ia memang setanding dengan yang diamalkan di negara maju. Ini kerana ia dikendalikan mengikut kaedah yang dilaksanakan oleh Amerika Syarikat dan United Kingdom sebagai dua negara yang terkenal dengan pengajian tingginya.

Selain kaedah begini yang menekankan kemahiran abad 21 untuk pelajar dan pengajar, kerjasama sejagat dengan universiti terkemuka di seluruh dunia ikut menjadikan pengajian tinggi kita bermutu dunia. Kerjasama ini sebenarnya menguntungkan kedua-dua pihak, dan tidak seperti yang disangkakan sesetengah pihak dalam negara ini bahawa ia hanya menguntungkan universiti kita.

Tingkat prestasi universiti

Oleh sebab kita menduduki tempat 50 teratas di dunia dalam bidang sains persekitaran, kerjasama dengan universiti kita sudah tentu akan memberi manfaat tidak terhingga kepada mana-mana universiti yang tiada kebitaraan dalam bidang ini. Hal sama juga berlaku dalam bidang pertanian dan perhutanan. Ini kerana universiti kita menduduki tempat 51-100 teratas di dunia.

Diakui bahawa secara keseluruhannya, prestasi universiti kita perlu dipertingkatkan agar dapat menduduki tempat 150 teratas di dunia. Ini penting dari satu segi apabila kita mahu pengiktirafan dalam sistem susun letak begitu. Akan tetapi, dari segi lain, kita tidak perlu terlalu mengejar kedudukan dalam letak duduk status sedemikian.

Yang lebih penting di sini ialah proses pengajaran, pembelajaran dan latihan akademik dan iktisas pada peringkat maju itu dikendalikan dengan baik. Ini penting untuk menghasilkan graduan yang berilmu, hasil yang kesarjanaannya tinggi dan ilmu yang baharu.

Sesungguhnya semua ini jauh lebih berfaedah daripada mengejar kedudukan dalam susun letak itu, yang menggunakan syarat yang sering juga tidak memihak kepada sesetengah negara.

Russia model terbaik

Sehubungan ini, Russia perlu dicontohi. Ia mempunyai sebilangan universiti terkenal, sama ada yang secara keseluruhannya ataupun dalam bidang tertentu. Ini tidak dapat dinafikan khususnya dalam sains angkasa dan dapat dilihat dengan jelas bahawa bakal angkasawan mana-mana negara pun perlu ke Moscow untuk sekurang-kurangnya membandingkan ilmu itu di sana, kalau tidak pun untuk menimbanya. Namun, Russia tidak berminat pun untuk beradu dalam bidang ini.

Dalam soal pendidikan, kita tidak sepatutnya memperlekehkan sistem kita sendiri. Ia yang mendapat pujian dari pihak luar negara, tidak dibangunkan dalam ruang kosong. Ia memiliki asas yang digunakan di Amerika Syarikat dan United Kingdom. Oleh itu, ia yang selama ini memang mampu pun mengilmukan anak bangsa perlu diyakini semua rakyat Malaysia. Teo Kok Seong adalah Ketua Kluster Sejarah, Warisan dan Sosiobudaya, Majlis Profesor Negara. Berita Harian Kolumnis 1 Mac 2015

Tujuh amanat and the seven decree

Tujuh amanat pemimpin Melayu

KUALA LUMPUR 28 Feb. - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak menggariskan tujuh amanat utama sebagai panduan untuk bangsa Melayu melangkah maju pada abad ke-21 dan menjadi kuat, hebat serta bermaruah.

Peringatan kekal selagi ada bulan dan bintang – Najib


Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak melaungkan hidup melayu selepas berucap di Perhimpunan Gerakan Perpaduan Melayu di Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil, disini, hari ini. Gambar : Hafiz Johari / Pemberita : Team Utusan -

Perdana Menteri ketika menggariskan amanat itu dalam Malam Perhimpunan Perpaduan Melayu di Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil di sini berkata, orang Melayu dan umat Islam mesti memperjuangkan ketinggian agama Islam serta syiarnya sebagai agama Persekutuan yang berasaskan al-Quran dan al-Sunnah.

Menurut beliau, amanat kedua menuntut orang Melayu mempertahankan institusi raja-raja Melayu dan hak keistimewaan mereka serta kaum bumiputera yang lain seperti yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Najib memberitahu, amanat ketiga menegaskan komitmen untuk menegakkan maqasid syariah manakala amanat keempat menyatakan tekad memperkukuhkan ekonomi orang Melayu agar mampu bersaing dengan kaum-kaum lain di negara ini dan di pentas antarabangsa.


Tetamu yang hadir menyambut laungan 'Hidup Melayu' daripada Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak pada Perhimpunan Perpaduan Melayu di Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil, di sini, hari ini. Gambar: Abdul Razak Latif / Pemberita: Utusan & Kosmo.

Beliau yang juga Presiden UMNO menambah, amanat kelima memberi penekanan terhadap usaha melatih dan mendidik orang Melayu sebagai peneraju yang berilmu, berpengetahuan, berkemahiran tinggi, berdaya saing, kreatif, inovatif, berwawasan serta berfikiran global namun dalam masa sama, berpaksikan kepada adat resam dan budaya Melayu.

“Amanat keenam iaitu menyuburkan nilai-nilai mahmudah yang mulia lagi terpuji seperti berjiwa besar, semangat juang yang tinggi, berani serta patriotik kepada watan dengan menjauhi sifat-sifat mazmumah yakni tercela, terkeji seperti berdengki dan bersengketa serta bermusuh-musuhan sesama bangsa.

“Amanat ketujuh, memperteguh institusi keluarga dan masyarakat Melayu serta menjadikan nilai murni seperti hormat menghormati, kasih mengasihi, tolong menolong sesama kita di samping itu menjauhi sifat-sifat negatif seperti buruk sangka, saling memfitnah sesama bangsa dan seumpamanya,” katanya.

Yang turut hadir Menteri Pertahanan, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein; Menteri Pendidikan II, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh; Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar dan Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim; Menteri Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob serta Setiausaha Agung Majlis Perundingan Melayu (MPM), Datuk Dr. Hasan Mad.

Perdana Menteri menegaskan, dengan tujuh amanat tersebut, orang Melayu wajib mengorak langkah dalam mengeratkan silaturahim sesama bangsa.

Beliau berkata, orang Melayu mesti menjadi bangsa yang kuat, hebat, bermaruah dan diberkati Allah SWT.

“Amanat yang dilafazkan ini bagi mewakili semua pemimpin Melayu hendaklah dijadikan peringatan yang kekal untuk kita semua.

“Selagi ada bulan dan bintang serta selagi darah Melayu mengalir dalam tubuh badan kita semua, amanat ini menjadi wadah dan maslahah umat ini dan kita akan terus perjuangkan sampai bila-bila,” ujarnya.

Najib mengakhiri amanatnya dengan laungan ‘Hidup Melayu!’ dan ‘Allahuakbar’ masing-masing sebanyak tiga kali yang seterusnya disambut dengan teriakan gemuruh oleh para hadirin.


Najib outlines seven decrees for further Malay empowerment

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has outlined seven decrees that will make the Malays knowledgeable, empower their economy in the 21st century, and to make them strong, powerful and dignified.

The other decrees are to champion the interests of Islam, defend Malay rulers and Malay privileges, uphold maqasid syaria (Islamic law) by being moderate, retain pure values and take care of the family institution.

The 7 decrees Najib said

Najib stressed that if the Malays hold on to these decrees, they will emerge as a race respected by races around the world and become self-reliant.

"These decrees to represent the Malay rulers must be remembered by all," he said at a Malay unity rally in front of thousands at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil here.

"As long as there is the moon and the stars, and as long as the Malay blood flows in our bodies, we will continue to champion these decrees," he said.

Najib took the opportunity to emphasise the importance of multi-racial harmony.

He said multi-racial harmony as well as unity between the races in Malaysia was the key and foundation to a brighter future for the people and nation.

The Prime Minister also said the Malays had gone far and attained many achievements.

However, he urged the Malays to continue asking themselves: "What can we do in the name of the Malays? What can we contribute?"

He said that question should always be in the minds of the contemporary Malays because they could not depend on the Government anymore to become more successful and to guarantee their future. - Bernama

Warkah Waad Misi Melayu Abad Ke-21

KUALA LUMPUR 28 Feb. – Berikut adalah waad (janji) yang dilafazkan dalam Perhimpunan Gerakan Perpaduan Melayu Mahawangsa di Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil di sini malam ini:

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim,

Inilah waad (Janji Luhur) dalam kalangan bangsa Melayu, yang termaktub pada hari ini, berpaksikan persetujuan yang berikut:

n MEYAKINI akidah Islam yang bersendikan al-Quran, hadis, ijmak dan qias telah berakar umbi dalam peradaban Melayu selama lebih satu alaf dan menjadi pegangan luhur umat Melayu yang telah berperadaban dalam rangka lebih dua alaf di rantau alam Melayu dengan binaan empayar, negara dan pemerintahan yang berkesinambungan hingga kini.

n MEMAHAMI peradaban Islam berlandaskan tauhid dan syariah, diperkasakan oleh maqasid syariah dan Piagam Madinah yang telah turun-temurun terserap ke dalam keyakinan serta amalan hidup umat Islam Malaysia dan juga dalam gubalan perlembagaan negaranya Persekutuan Malaysia.

n MENDEPANI cabaran era globalisasi, terutama geopolitik dan ekonomi, pendekatan misi Melayu harus berpaksikan ciri-ciri Melayu global, yang berfikiran futuristik dan bersikap kompetitif dengan kebijaksanaan yang tinggi, berilmu, menguasai teknologi dan berjati diri kental. Bangsa Melayu global juga perlu menghormati kelainan kaum, bangsa dan manusia sejagat.

n MENEGASKAN peradaban bangsa Melayu yang berteraskan inti sari akhlak serta nilai mulia dengan budi pekerti yang bersopan santun, budi bahasa yang halus dan budi bicara yang berhemah tinggi, dengan susunan adat yang sempurna, dan sistem kebudayaan yang lengkap maka wajib sebati dalam jiwa bangsa Melayu demi kemajuan, kemuliaan, maruah dan keagungan negara dan menjadi prinsip pembinaan peradaban bangsa Malaysia dan sumbangan kepada peradaban dunia sejagat.

n MAKA DENGAN INI diwaadkan bahawa peradaban Islam dan peradaban bangsa Melayu ialah sebatian yang sempurna untuk menjadi landasan bagi segala bentuk pemerintahan negara, pembangunan bangsa dan pengurusan seluruh warganegara serta kelangsungan peradaban bangsa dalam menghadapi cabaran dunia sejagat.

n MAKA WAJIBLAH waad ini difahami dan hidup subur dalam jiwa dan sanubari bangsa Melayu turun temurun sebagai teras keyakinan untuk menggubal, membina dan melaksanakan sebarang agenda demi kelestarian, kemampanan dan kemalaran bangsa, negara dan peradaban yang tinggi pada sepanjang zaman bercirikan kemajuan ilmu, kemakmuran kehidupan, kedalaman pemikiran dan keluasan kebijaksanaan.

n MAKA MENJADI MISI waad ini untuk membina peradaban bangsa serta negara Malaysia turun-temurun berteraskan keluhuran peradaban Melayu-Islam. Inilah kaedah yang wajar dan benar untuk menjamin kelangsungan wa­risan peradaban (civilization legacy) bangsa Melayu masa hadapan selaras keagungannya pada masa lampau.

n MAKA WAJIBLAH waad ini menjadi peringatan kepada semua anggota bangsa Melayu untuk terus memimpin negara Malaysia ke arah kemajuan, kemakmuran dan kesejahteraan yang adil dan saksama, di mana-mana jua mereka berada, dengan keyakinan akan taufik, hidayah dan berkat Allah SWT.

-Utusan Malaysia Rencana Nasional 1 Mar 2015

Unity came so easy back then

Many of us continue to talk fondly of the past not because we want to relive the good old days but because they remind us about how we, as a young and fledgling nation, could do so well in so many areas of life.

MY family members and doctors banned me from any form of carbonated drinks this Chinese New Year – it is simply ­sugared water to them. Other favourite items regarded as “heath subversives” were canned longan from China and barbecued meat, which are really festive ­goodies.


Good food, great company: Family and friends tossing yee sang for good luck during the Chinese New Year.

See how much has changed? Those of us who grew up as children in the 1960s would remember that carbonated drinks were also known as aerated water – simply water where air is added.

This was the era of Fraser and Neave, or F&N as it was popularly known. We had only two choices – orange or sarsi, as sarsaparilla is known still.

These bottled drinks came in a wooden crate, which would be sent to our home by the sundry shop delivery boy. It was an occasion to look forward to. A whole ­wooden crate would be regarded as somewhat of a luxury in the homes of Malaysian families in the 1960s.

Very often, cockroaches would be found trapped inside the empty bottles, and we – the children – had to remove these creepy crawlies before the bottles were sold to the Indian man who collected used items such as newspapers and bottles. We already knew how to reduce, reuse and recycle long before the greenies got into the act.

For a long time, I could never understand why my Cantonese neighbour kept referring to these F&N drinks as “Holland water” or “hor lan soi”. It was only in recent years, thanks to easy research via Google, that I understood that it was because F&N had a joint venture with Holland’s beer brewer Heineken to produce Tiger Beer way back in 1931.

F&N was founded by John Fraser and David Chalmers Neave, who diversified from their printing business in the Straits Settlements to pioneer the aerated water business in South-East Asia in 1883.

Sugar-loaded food was encouraged for the Chinese New Year as the superstitious Chinese families believed it would bring sweet memories and experiences in the coming year.

That’s quite a different line of thinking from present-day Malaysia where many of us practically distance ourselves from sugar, which is now regarded as poison.

That was also the time when Malaysia had only eight million people. Yes, we went through 1969, the black spot in the nation’s history, but most of us still have fond memories of the country we used to know.

There were dark clouds in the 1969 ­general election and we had to live through the horrifying consequences. But we also remember the strong bonds with our schoolmates from other races. It was the strong ties that kept us together, even if the nation was on the verge of being torn apart. Five decades later, many of us still keep that special friendship alive. For those with whom we have lost contact, we still harbour hopes that the friendship forged during the growing-up years would be rekindled. We never looked at race and religion as the criteria for friendship. It was simple – the person was either a good or bad person.

It was common for Malay and Chinese friends to sleep over in Chinese homes, and vice-versa, and we took special care to make sure that food sensitivity was respected. There was no need to say anything else. They were all unwritten rules.

This was the time when most Malays did not have to worry about enrolling their children in Christian missionary schools. No one worried about getting converted or getting copies of the Bible. Some in fact took the Bible Knowledge paper in the public examinations. The cross in every classroom in Catholic schools was never a concern.

In fact, it was one former education minister who ordered the cross removed. The irony of it all is that he is now regarded as a popular opposition icon.

And CNY was a time when many of my friends from St Xavier’s Institution in Penang would come to my home – the ang pow were an inducement, no doubt! Before the festival was over, the entire class, regardless of their race, would be coughing, the result of ingesting too much carbonated water and oranges.

The parents of my Malay and Indian schoolmates also had a request – that my friends would return home with delicacies such as kuih bakul and kuih kapit!

It is such a far cry from today, where we now hear divisive remarks from racist individuals and one controversial Malay-Muslim wannabe, as he is known now, which take the joy out of our celebrations. And so we have to listen to those who proclaim that it is not right to offer greetings to fellow Malaysians of different faiths, and to be suspicious even of the food served or the eating utensils.

I do not recall the term “open house” as it is known now. Homes remained open at all times. This was an era where no one made any appointment for a house visit. Malaysians would just drop by any time they wished. Making appointments would be unthinkable, socially unacceptable and even regarded as snobbish.

Most homes did not have a telephone. It was usually the neighbourhood sundry shop that had the telephone, and we had to pay 20 or 30 sen to make a call. And the bonus was that the number also became our number and people could call us there. It must have been a lot of work for the sundry shop owner to be the neighbourhood operator as well.

Chinese New Year also meant going to the cinemas. I grew up in the golden era of the Shaw Brothers with their sword fighting and kung fu flicks, and for some strange reasons, Malaysians nicknamed the Special Branch police the “Shaw Brothers”.

There would always be one or two special movies made for the CNY festival. Even in the 1980s, there were always the Hui Brothers’ comedies to look forward to.

A little discretion was also exercised during CNY. My father, who abhorred gambling, lifted the ban during CNY. The children were allowed to play cards – and again, I also wondered why everyone kept referring to these simple stacks of playing cards as “Holland cards” or “hor lan pai”. Everything seemed to be linked to Holland and no one was able to give me a good explanation then.

Well, it seems these playing cards started in Holland although some said it was introduced to the Dutch by the French in the 15th century. The strict ban my father imposed on gambling certainly had an impact on me and my brothers.

Interestingly enough, that was also an era where Sports Toto draws were actually broadcast live over RTM (with Datuk Faridah Merican as the host) and people bought Social Welfare lottery tickets because they were regarded as charity, not gambling.

There were only two channels in black and white available on TV, and I followed the programmes to kill my boredom but I never got excited.

Many of us continue to talk fondly of the past not because we want to relive the good old days but because they remind us about how we, as a young and fledgling nation, could do so well in so many areas of life.

We had a sense of unity and purpose, we excelled in trade and commerce, we had glory days in sports, and we also had high education standards.

Today, we see so many wrongs in these very same areas where we once had success. We know that when standards drop, and excellence and ethics are compromised, there will be serious implications in the long run.

We appreciate that there is room given for a diversity of views, but at the same time we wonder why individuals and groups who propagate extremist views are not being reined in.

And then we see the growing scourge of corruption in this country where sums involving millions no longer shock us. Compare that to 1983 when the RM2.5bil scandal involving the Bumiputra Finance Malaysia captured the whole nation’s attention. It was regarded as the­ ­mother of all scandals, and a precious life was lost – that of BMF auditor Jalil Ibrahim.

But what is RM2.5bil compared to the losses involving some of our government-linked institutions today? There was a public inquiry into the BMF scandal. We wanted to know what happened and, more importantly, we wanted to make sure that it would never happen again. We wanted proper rules to be set up so that public funds are protected.

But have we learnt anything from the past, or do we even care? Malaysians must insist on answers and accountability from our politicians on how our money is spent – or perceived as lost. It is not their money, it is the people’s money.

Malaysians are demanding answers and they have a right to do so.

The days of trying to sweep everything under the carpet are over. We may know a bit here and there about some alleged wrongdoing, but in the absence of full disclosure, the situation only gets worse. All we want is to see any form of wrongdoing, especially those involving huge sums of public money, eradicated.

CNY isn’t over yet and many of us, including politicians, are busy making the rounds of the open houses.

We hope there will be a spirit of openness in seeking out the truth. Whether one is a visitor or the host, we should be prepared to send out the right message about what the people truly care about.

Our real concerns should not be drowned out by polite talk and good food. This can still be the occasion to truly listen to the concerns of the ordinary people and to make fresh commitments to make things better.