March 17th, 2015

Whistleblowing: A duty to expose wrongdoings

WHISTLEBLOWING apparently is not everyone’s cup of tea, according to a recent report by Britain’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

More than half of the 17,200 British police officers surveyed thought it was a mug’s game. They readily confessed that if they came across their colleagues engaging in corrupt practices, they would not report them.

They did not believe that “their evidence would be treated in confidence”.

They feared the consequences of being found out that could possibly put their personal safety and livelihood at considerable risk.

The effect of the report on the normally staid British public can only be described as devastating: their disbelief that this is all happening in this, their sceptred isle, is exceeded only by a feeling of deep anger, because out of the 3,000 allegations of police corruption made last year, only half were properly investigated.

Neil Darbyshire, an assistant editor at the Daily Mail, in a feature article titled “PCs gone bad” which he wrote for The Spectator magazine of March 7, had this to say about the British police.

“Imagine that the police increasingly used their powers to crack down not on criminals but on anyone who dared speak against them.”

That the best police service in the world has succumbed to organised corruption is a shocking indictment of society’s new values.

The central tenet of British policing — duty in the public interest has gone the way of that quintessential hallmark of British honesty: “My word is my bond”.

The fall from grace is not unique to the British police. Fairly or unfairly, the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) finds itself in very much the same situation.

Public trust has become a fragile commodity. In 2005,the police dismissed out of hand a critically important proposal of the Royal Commission, appointed in 2004 to enhance PDRM’s operations and management.

The key proposal was the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, or IPCMC.

In rejecting it, the police leadership had away a precious opportunity to redeem the service. Instead, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission was set up as a substitute for the IPCMC.

The IPCMC was intended primarily to protect members of the public from police excesses.

At the same time, it would give the police the pro tection they needed against unfair and malicious allegations of misconduct and impropriety.

The IPCMC represents the balance between the paramount legitimate concerns of the people, whom the police have sworn to protect and the rights of the police to carry out their work unimpeded within the law.

PDRM has a long history of honourable and devoted service to the nation, and the IPCMC would increase the legitimacy and stature of the police service.

The key to effective policing is public support. Whistleblowing may be a mug’s game, but to former High Court judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid Syed Abdullah, it was a sacred duty to expose wrongdoing, even if it meant drawing public attention to brother judges.

The nation owes a debt of gratitude to this honourable man who, putting aside his bright career prospects and the future of his young family, stood up against corruption in the Palace of Justice.

Syed Ahmad Idid lived up to his reputation as a principled public servant when he decided to open the can of judicial worms. The judiciary today is all the better for his highly developed sense of duty.


Tunku Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur NST Home News Letters 16 Mar 2015

Kurikulum baharu mulai 2016

Contradicting news one from the original news and one from MOE Website ....

Oleh MOHD. ASRON MUSTAPHA Utusan Malaysia Pendidikan 12/09/2012

KEMENTERIAN Pelajaran akan melaksanakan kurikulum persekolahan baru iaitu Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah - Semakan Semula (KSSR) mulai 2016 dan Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Menengah (KSSM) pada 2017 dalam usaha melonjak sistem pendidikan negara.

Kurikulum baru itu dirangka berdasarkan tanda aras antarabangsa bagi memastikan murid dan pelajar yang dilahirkan oleh sistem persekolahan di negara ini memiliki kemahiran yang diperlukan untuk bersaing di peringkat global.

Ia merangkumi dimensi intelek, emosi dan fizikal setiap murid serta menekankan aplikasi pengetahuan serta perkembangan pemikiran kritis, kreatif dan inovatif selain memberi peluang melibatkan diri dalam aktiviti sukan dan kurikulum.

Pengenalan kurikulum baru itu juga selaras dengan pemansuhan Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) mulai 2014 serta perubahan penilaian ke atas murid tahun enam yang tidak lagi dibuat berdasarkan keputusan Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) semata-mata.

Ini kerana mulai 2016 juga gred pencapaian UPSR murid tahun enam tidak akan lagi ditentukan melalui peperiksaan awam sahaja tetapi digabung sekali dengan pentaksiran sekolah dan pentaksiran pusat.

Pelaksanaan kurikulum baru ini pula akan melalui tiga fasa iaitu gelombang satu (2012-2015) iaitu fasa persediaan, gelombang kedua (2016-2020) iaitu fasa pelaksanaan dan gelombang ketiga (2021-2025) iaitu fasa pentaksiran.

Menurut Laporan Awal Pelan Pembangunan Pendidikan Malaysia 2013-2025, sebagai persiapan sebelum memperkenalkan kurikulum baru itu kementerian akan memurnikan kurikulum sedia ada dan mempergiatkan sokongan kepada guru bagi meningkatkan sistem penyampaian.

"Kementerian sedar masih banyak yang perlu dilakukan untuk memastikan keberkesanan pelaksanaan kedua-dua aspek kurikulum baru ini, untuk itu gelombang pertama transformasi pendidikan akan memberi tumpuan kepada inisiatif jangka pendek.

"Ia bagi memastikan kurikulum bertulis, kurikulum yang diajar dan kurikulum pentaksiran dapat ditambah baik selain meletakkan asas kepada perubahan fundamental sebelum gelombang kedua dan ketiga dilaksana dan dikaji semula untuk melihat tahap pencapaian," jelas laporan itu.

- UTUSAN Pendidikan 21/09/2012


Getting a clear picture of the nation’s history

I REFER to the letter “Narration of history of nations” by Arof Ishak (The Star, March 5).

To put it bluntly, his definition of history; civilisational narrative as narrated by the natives of a particular nation does not hold water; neither does his assertion that the Chinese and Indian communities do not make up this diverse nation of ours and its history.

History generally has two meanings. One, as stated by Emeritus Professor Tan Sri Dr. Khoo Kay Kim “History is past everything” (The Star, March 11).

Second, history is a factual account of past significant events that have shaped present day society and nations. It is a scholarly pursuit based upon facts and concrete evidence, and not an activity undertaken by the “natives of a particular nation” which can be biased and geared towards meeting a hidden agenda.

History enables us to understand how present day society and nations evolved. Hence, in explaining the origin and current state of our nation and its plural society, one cannot ignore the role played by the Chinese and Indian communities.

How can one explain the New Economic Policy without drawing reference to the economic development of Malaya under British rule? Similarly, how can one account for the rapid economic development of Malaya before independence without taking into account the security provided by the British Government and the significant contributions of the Chinese and Indian communities?

Make no mistake about it. Without British rule and the significant contributions of the Chinese and Indian communities, Malaysia would not be what it is today. The Chinese and Indian communities are an integral part of our nation’s history.

The Chinese community played a crucial role in the development of the tin mining industry and towns. Virtually all the towns in what were then the Federated Malay States and the Straits Settlements developed primarily due to the enterprise of the Chinese.

For example, Kuala Lumpur in 1891 had a population of 43,786 with 79% being Chinese. In the words of Margaret Shennan, “The impact of the Chinese upon Malaya was decisive”.

It was through them that urban life developed in much of the peninsula. Alongside their mining villages they set up shops and workshops, and from these beginnings grew the main towns of the “protected” states’.

Similarly, Gerald Hawkins of the Malayan Civil Service wrote in 1948 that it was the Chinese capital, labour and skills that had made Malaya one of the richest countries in the world.

It was Indian labour (mainly South Indians) that was the backbone of the rubber industry and primarily responsible for opening up much of what is today peninsular Malaysia with their sweat, blood and tears.

Rubber was the chief export of Malaya for several decades beginning from 1916. In 1957, rubber constituted 59% of the total exports of Malaya.

Indian labour was also primarily responsible for building the roads, railways and bridges besides constructing ports, airports and government buildings.

Virtually every mile of railway track which totalled over 1,000 miles and about 6,000 miles of metalled main roads and several hundred miles of tertiary roads by 1957 were built by Indian labour.

Let us not deny historical reality. We must be proud of our rich multi-religious and multi-cultural heritage and build upon it positively to ensure continued progress and harmony of our beloved nation. DR. RANJIT SINGH MALHI Kuala Lumpur The STAR Home News Opinion Letters 17 Mar 2015

Rakyat merana kemudahan asas dipolitikkan

Aneh, tidak sampai seminggu kerajaan Selangor membatalkan perjanjian penstrukturan air dengan Kerajaan Pusat, Menteri Besar, Mohamed Azmin Ali dilaporkan meminta bantuan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak untuk menyelesaikan isu yang berlarutan sejak pembangkang mentadbir negeri itu.

Menurut Azmin, permintaan untuk Najib campur tangan menyelesaikan isu perjanjian air itu disampaikan pada pertemuan kedua-duanya ketika menghadiri Mesyuarat Majlis Raja-Raja, Khamis minggu lalu. "Kami minta tolong Perdana Menteri untuk memaklumkan kementerian (Tenaga, Teknologi Hijau dan Air) supaya dapat diadakan satu perbincangan dan penyelesaian bersama," katanya.

Menteri Besar Selangor itu sebelum ini mengumumkan pembatalan berkenaan dengan alasan Kerajaan Pusat melanggar perjanjian yang ditandatangani bekas Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim tahun lalu.

"Kerajaan Pusat melanggar terma perjanjian ditandatangani pada September 2014 menyebabkan kerajaan negeri tidak mempunyai pilihan. Ketika saya menjadi Menteri Besar pada September tahun lalu, saya bersedia untuk meneruskan perjanjian ini, namun Kerajaan Persekutuan gagal memenuhinya bahkan meminta lanjutan tempoh," Azmin dipetik berkata ketika mengumumkan pembatalan itu.

Selangor gagal penuhi 3 syarat

Ketika sesi soal jawab di Dewan Rakyat Selasa minggu lalu, Azmin mendakwa Kerajaan Pusat gagal memenuhi empat perkara dalam perjanjian itu, antaranya mengeluarkan Lesen Kemudahan kepada Air Selangor sebagai pengiktirafan pemilikan ke atas semua baki aset yang dimiliki. Turut dipersoalkan ialah tuntutan Kerajaan Pusat terhadap 26,000 kilometer tanah dilalui paip saluran air yang tidak disebutkan dalam perjanjian.

Walau bagaimanapun, Menteri Tenaga, Teknologi Hijau dan Air, Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili dalam penjelasannya, berkata apa yang sebenarnya berlaku ialah kerajaan negeri gagal melaksanakan tiga syarat permulaan untuk memastikan perjanjian ditandatangani antara Kerajaan Pusat, Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB) dan Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) pada 12 September itu dilaksanakan iaitu:

l Belum menyelesaikan urusan pindah milik aset air kepada PAAB untuk membolehkan PAAB menyediakan peruntukan berjumlah RM168 bilion bagi membantu kos pengambilalihan syarikat konsesi iaitu Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (SYABAS), Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn Bhd (PNSB) dan Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd (ABASS);

l Belum menyelesaikan urusan pindah milik aset air syarikat konsesi kepada PAAB sebagai balasan kepada pengambilalihan liabiliti syarikat itu oleh PAAB berjumlah RM7.65 bilion, dan

l Belum memuktamadkan senarai aset miliknya untuk membolehkan Lesen Individu Kemudahan dikeluarkan kepada PASSB mengikut Akta 655 (Akta Industri Perkhidmatan Air 2006).

Azmin buat kenyataan bercanggah

Apakah muslihat Azmin membuat dua kenyataan penting tetapi agak bercanggah mengenai isu air dalam tempoh seminggu itu hanya beliau yang tahu. Bagi rakyat biasa, memang keliru kerana bagi mereka kementerian, Kerajaan Pusat dan Perdana Menteri adalah pasukan yang sama.

Namun, yang lebih dibimbangi rakyat Selangor dan penduduk Lembah Klang ialah tindakan kerajaan negeri memanjangkan lagi isu ini menjejaskan pembinaan Loji Air Langat 2, sekali gus mengundang krisis bekalan air sekarang berterusan.

Loji itu penting untuk memastikan lapan juta penduduk Lembah Klang mendapat bekalan air mencukupi dan berterusan sehingga tahun 2025.

Kita tidak tahu siapakah sebenarnya yang dimarahi Azmin - Kerajaan Pusat atau seteru politik dalam partinya dahulu, Khalid? Sejak mengambil alih teraju pentadbiran Selangor enam bulan lalu, Azmin bagaikan mahu memadam beberapa legasi Khalid.

Pada 16 Februari lalu, Azmin mengumumkan pembatalan Lebuhraya Kinrara-Damansara (KIDEX) bernilai lebih RM2 bilion yang bertujuan menyuraikan kesesakan trafik terutama di Petaling Jaya, dengan alasan syarikat konsesi gagal mematuhi syarat sebelum tarikh akhir 14 Februari 2015.

Kita tidak tahu apa lagi dasar yang diperkenalkan oleh pentadbiran terdahulu akan dibatalkan selepas ini. Yang pasti, pembatalan perjanjian air dan pembinaan KIDEX menjejaskan usaha memberi keselesaan kepada majoriti penduduk Lembah Klang untuk jangka panjang.

Dari sudut ekonomi pula, tindakan drastik seumpama itu memberi isyarat negatif kepada pelabur terhadap Selangor, negeri yang sebelum ini termaju di Malaysia. Manja Ismail Berita Harian Kolumnis 17 Mar 2015