December 20th, 2015

Hak asasi Muslim yang lebih kukuh

PERLEMBAGAAN Perseku­tuan meletakkan asas yang kukuh bagi kedudukan Is­lam sebagai agama negara melalui fasal 3(1) dan fasal-fasal lain berkaitan. Sumpah sharie Yang di-Pertuan Agong di dalam fasal 37(1) (Jadual Keempat), memaktubkan tanggungjawab ba­ginda untuk memelihara Islam pada setiap masa. Tugas ini diamanahkan di bahu setiap penjawat awam bagi kerajaan yang memerintah, serta adalah salah satu tiang utama yang membina asas kenegaraan.

Kedua-dua fasal penting ini pada hakikatnya merangkumi tugas memelihara hak-hak Muslim. Kes-kes mahkamah yang telah diputuskan sehingga hari ini jelas menunjukkan tafsiran terhadap kedudukan dan peranan Islam tersebut. Pada masa sama, Islam di Malaysia bukanlah alat untuk menganiaya dan menafikan hak-hak bukan Islam sebagaimana yang dimanipulasi dan dituduh sesetengah pihak.


Golongan LGBT di luar negara kini sudah begitu berani mempromosikan gaya hidup songsang itu di khalayak ramai. Agensi

Frasa ‘agama-agama lain boleh diamalkan secara aman dan harmoni’ di dalam fasal 3(1) tersebut adalah prasyarat yang diletakkan secara jelas bagi memastikan wujud sikap saling hormat-menghormati dalam kalangan penganut pelbagai agama di negara ini, sejak Persekutuan ini mula-mula dibentuk dengan persetujuan Majlis Raja-Raja Melayu.

Kedudukan fasal 3(1) yang mendahului fasal-fasal 5 hingga 13 (Bahagian Kedua) Perlembagaan Persekutuan menunjukkan betapa kepentingan Islam mendahului tuntutan-tuntutan kebebasan asasi atau hak asasi seperti yang difahami di zaman mutakhir ini. Sebagai sebuah negara yang mene­rima Islam sebagai kerangka pandangan hidupnya, Malaysia perlu mengawal selia agar prinsip-prinsip Islam dan nilai-nilai murni lain menjadi panduan bagi membentuk ke­sejahteraan masyarakat.

Pada masa sama, fasal-fasal yang menjamin hak-hak asasi manusia di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan menggunakan frasa-frasa yang menunjukkan hak-hak tersebut tidak mutlak, sebagai contoh subject to clause…, save in accordance with law…, Except as expressly authorized by this Constitution…, The Parliament may by law impose…, dan State law and in…Federal law may control or restrict.

Rujukan terhadap saving clauses sebegini mesti diberikan penekanan apabila kita bercakap tentang tuntut­an hak asasi manusia. Kebebasan asasi yang diperuntukkan di dalam bahagian kedua tersebut tertakluk pada kedudukan undang-undang yang wujud dan sedang berkuatkuasa, khususnya undang-undang yang melaksanakan tujuan fasal 3(1).

Gambaran ini diinsafi para hakim apabila memutuskan kes-kes yang mana kedudukan Islam dipersoalkan atas dasar tuntutan hak asasi manusia. Sebagai contoh di dalam kes ZI Publications Sdn. Bhd. & Mohd. Ezra Mohd. Zaid lwn Kerajaan Negeri Selangor (2015), Mahkamah Persekutuan tidak bersetuju dengan hujahan pempetisyen-pempeti­syen berkaitan kuasa Parlimen bagi mengehadkan kebebasan bersuara melalui fasal 10(1)(a).

Bagi Mahkamah Persekutuan, peruntukan-peruntukan di dalam Perlembagaan tidak boleh dibaca secara berasingan. Mahkamah berpendapat bahawa fasal 10 di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan mengenai kebebasan bersuara hendaklah dibaca khususnya bersama-sama fasal 3(1), 11, 74(2) dan 121. Fasal 3(1) mengisytiharkan Islam sebagai agama persekutuan manakala fasal 11 menjamin hak menganut dan mengamalkan agama seseorang, tetapi tertakluk pada sub fasal (4) mengenai menyebarkan agama.

Dalam aspek ini, Mahkamah Persekutuan mengesahkan kepu­tu­s­­an-keputusan terdahulu di dalam kes Sulaiman bin Takrib lwn Kerajaan Negeri Terengganu [2009] dan kes Fathul Bari Mat Jahaya lwn Maj­lis Agama Islam Negeri Sembilan (2012) dalam memutuskan bahawa seksyen-seksyen di dalam enakmen-enakmen Jenayah Syariah tidak bertentangan dengan Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Adalah jelas bahawa keteguhan fasal 3(1) ini telah terzahir di dalam pelbagai ujian asid khususnya melalui kes-kes di Mahkamah. Sementara wujud ruang yang luas untuk memperbaiki tata urus dan pentadbiran hal ehwal Islam di negara ini, sudah tiba masanya juga untuk umat Islam menggesa kerajaan mewujudkan agenda hak asasi Muslim yang lebih kemas, terpelihara dan dihormati semua. Usaha seumpama ini sebenarnya adalah benteng terakhir mengawal maruah dan nilai-nilai kehidupan masyarakat yang semakin tergugat akibat serangan bertubi-tubi gerak­an hak asasi manusia kesan lobi mereka dari pentas global.

Serangan terhadap Islam nampaknya semakin meluas di Malaysia dengan kenyataan dan tindakan memperlekeh pihak berkuasa agama Islam seperti Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim), Jabatan-jabatan Agama Islam Negeri dan Majlis-majlis Agama Islam Negeri. Di sebalik sikap sedemikian sebenarnya adalah usaha berterusan golongan liberal-sekular yang ingin bebas dari bentuk panduan keagamaan demi kehendak dan nafsu individu yang mahukan hak asasi manusia dan kebebasan mutlak. Ini sebenarnya tindakan yang mahu menafikan hak-hak asasi Muslim.

Bekas pengerusi Suruhanjaya Antara Kerajaan Bagi Hak Asasi Manusia ASEAN (AICHR), Tan Sri Dr. Muhammad Shafee Abdullah telah mengemukakan pendirian yang kon­sisten dengan Islam dalam aspek ini. Ketika berucap pada majlis penyerahan tugasnya kepada wakil Laos pada 29 November lalu, beliau mengakui bahawa dalam konteks Malaysia, dan yang sebenarnya adalah cerminan nilai-nilai ASEAN itu sendiri, hak-hak asasi manusia tidak boleh diberikan secara mutlak.

Khususnya, hak-hak seperti kebebasan bersuara perlu mempunyai batas-batas tertentu, dan kita tidak boleh secara melulu mengikuti contoh di negara-negara seperti Perancis yang memberikan kebebasan bersuara mutlak, sehinggakan penghinaan terhadap agama dianggap suatu bentuk tradisi satira yang dijamin hak mutlak kebebasan bersuara.

Begitu juga beliau menyebutkan bahawa hak-hak golongan gay dan mereka yang ingin melaksanakan perkahwinan sejenis tidak mungkin mendapat pengiktirafan di negara ini. Adalah jelas bahawa hak-hak asasi manusia sebegitu tidak munasabah. Bahkan, perlu difahami dari lipatan sejarah,hak-hak sedemikian bukanlah perkara-perkara yang pernah diiktiraf atau dipermuafakatkan negara-negara anggota Pertubuhan Bangsa Bersatu (PBB) di dalam Deklarasi Sejagat Hak Asasi Manusia (UDHR 1948) sejak diisytiharkan dahulu.

Kita perlu mengakui bahawa selama ini wujud interaksi berkesan antara fasal 3(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan undang-undang sedia wujud bagi mengawal insiden penghinaan terhadap Islam dan membela hak asasi manusia, dan sudah tentu dengan ruang pemerkasaan yang luas dan adil.

Hakikat ini, serta keupayaan Malaysia mengemudi ASEAN ke suatu tahap baharu dengan termeterainya Dekla­rasi Kuala Lumpur 2015, perlu mencetuskan usaha menyebar luas wacana kritikal bagi membentuk agenda hak asasi Muslim sebagai naratif baharu hak asasi manusia sejagat.

Dalam hal ini, penyegaran semula Deklarasi Kaherah Mengenai Hak Asasi Manusia dalam Islam 1990 boleh menjadi titik mula usaha tersebut manakala penyertaan optimum golongan alim ulama, pengamal undang-undang serta profesional perlu dizahirkan, demi merangka arah tuju baru gerakan hak asasi manusia yang dapat menyelamatkan manusia dari fahaman melampau tuntutan hak asasi manusia tanpa

Pusat dagangan bijih timah, Gedung jadi pusat pengumpulan timah , Sejarah Pelabuhan Klang

Sejarah Pelabuhan Klang

PELABUHAN Klang memainkan peranan penting di dalam pembangunan ekonomi negara bersesuaian dengan kedudukannya yang hampir dengan hab perdagangan dan perindustrian Lembah Klang.

Lokasi geografinya yang sesuai itu juga menjadikan pelabuhan tersebut pilihan utama persinggahan kapal ke timur dan menjadi pelabuhan terakhir persinggahan ke barat bagi laluan Eropah-Timur Jauh.

Pembangunan fasiliti dan perkhidmatan yang diusahakan menyaksikan kejayaan Pelabuhan Klang sebagai Pusat Muatan Negara yang setanding dengan pelabuhan bertaraf dunia dan terus berkembang menjadi hab serantau bagi pemindahan atau pemunggahan kargo.


Pelabuhan Swettenham sekitar 1970-an. koleksi peribadi Faisal

Peningkatan di dalam pengendalian kontena telah menjadikan kedudukan pelabuhan Klang berada ditangga ke-14 pada 2010, ke-13 pada 2011 dan ke-12 pada 2012 dalam senarai tertinggi 20 pelabuhan utama dunia.

Merangkumi pelabuhan utara, barat dan selatan, Pelabuhan Klang menawarkan kemudahan perkhidmatan yang serba lengkap dan canggih di dalam mengendalikan pelbagai jenis bentuk dagangan.

Mengimbau sejarah pelabuhan berkenaan, pelabuhan itu dahulunya dikenali sebagai Pelabuhan Swettenham dan merupakan salah satu daripada pelabuhan terpenting di Tanah Melayu selepas Singapura dan Pulau Pinang.

Sebelum pelabuhan tersebut dibuka secara rasminya pada 1901, kebanyakan kapal-kapal yang berdagang antara negeri Selat dengan Selangor berlabuh di Klang melalui Sungai Klang.

Jeti-jeti yang terdapat di Klang bagaimanapun tidak mampu menampung pertambahan dalam perdagangan import dan eksport pada awal 1890-an.

Atas sebab itu, beberapa cadangan dikemukakan yang akhirnya menyaksikan Kuala Klang dipilih untuk pembinaan pelabuhan di kawasan pantai.



Pelabuhan Klang dari pandangan atas sekitar 1970-an. KOLEKSI PERIBADI FAISAL

Pembinaan itu pada mulanya hanyalah meliputi dermaga-dermaga atau tembok batu sebagai penahan ombak. Setelah landasan kereta api dibina dari Kuala Lumpur ke Klang, pembinaannya kemudian meliputi gudang-gudang, perhentian kereta api dan kemudahan lain.

Memandangkan berlaku pertambahan kemudahan berkenaan, kos pembinaan yang pada awalnya dianggarkan sebanyak $422,188 (nilai sekarang RM1.8 juta) telah meningkat sehingga $1,108,791 (nilai sekarang RM4.8 juta).

Sebaik sahaja pelabuhan tersebut siap dibina barulah ia diletakkan di bawah tanggungjawab dan pentadbiran Jabatan Kerja dan Lalu Lintas Keretapi.

Pelabuhan itu dinamakan sebagai Pelabuhan Swettenham sempena nama Residen General bagi Negeri-Negeri Melayu Bersekutu dan Pesuruhjaya Tinggi bagi Negeri-Negeri Melayu iaitu Sir Frank Swettenham.

Lembaga Pelabuhan Kelang (LPK) kemudian ditubuhkan pada 1963 bagi mengambil alih pentadbiran pelabuhan tersebut daripada Keretapi Tanah Melayu.

Pelabuhan Kelang kemudian diswastakan pada 1986 selaras dengan dasar kerajaan untuk menyemai pengurusan dan disiplin sektor swasta ke atas badan yang dimiliki dan dikawal kerajaan di negara ini.

Kemudahan terminal kontena yang dikendalikan oleh LPK itu diswastakan kepada Klang Container Terminal Berhad.

Selebihnya, bahagian operasi dan perkhidmatan pelabuhan diswastakan kepada Klang Port Management Sdn. Bhd. pada tahun 1992.

Pelabuhan-pelabuhan tersebut digabungkan dan dikenali sebagai Northport Malaysia. Fasiliti terbaru pelabuhan seterusnya dibangunkan di Pulau Lumut dan diswastakan kepada Kelang Multi Terminal Sdn. Bhd. pada 1994 yang dikenali sebagai Westports.



Gedung jadi pusat pengumpulan timah

DIKENALI sebagai Gedung Raja Abdullah atau Muzium Tin, bangunan lama yang terletak berhampiran Jalan Tengku Kelana ini suatu ketika dahulu merupakan pusat pengumpulan, gudang penyimpanan dan pemasaran bijih timah milik Raja Abdullah Raja Jaafar.


Gedung Raja Abdullah suatu ketika dahulu. – PADAT

Menurut Kurator Perbadanan Adat Melayu dan Warisan Negeri Selangor (Padat), Intan Salina Idrus, gedung itu dibina berhampiran Pengkalan Batu di Sungai Klang pada 1856 setelah Raja Abdullah diberi kuasa memerintah Klang oleh Sultan Selangor, Sultan Muhammad Shah.

Katanya, kawasan Pangkalan Batu dipilih sebagai tapak gedung kerana lokasinya terletak berdekatan tebing Sungai Klang.

“Raja Abdullah merupakan wakil Sultan yang diperintahkan untuk mengurus dan memperdagangkan bijih timah di daerah Klang.

“Beliau seterusnya mengatur penerokaan kawasan perlombongan bijih timah sehingga ke pertemuan Sungai Klang dan Sungai Gombak yang kini dikenali sebagai Kuala Lumpur,” ujarnya.

Menyelusuri sejarah Gedung Raja Abdullah, bangunan tersebut pernah dijadikan markas pertahanan oleh pengikut Raja Mahadi yang berkubu di Kota Raja Mahadi yang terletak tidak jauh dari lokasi berkenaan (kini merupakan pejabat Majlis Perbandaran Klang) ketika tercetusnya perang saudara pada 1866.

“Bangunan dua tingkat bercirikan seni bina Anglo-Indian abad ke-19 dengan gabungan seni bina tempatan itu kemudian dijadikan sebagai Pusat Pentadbiran Daerah pada 1874 oleh Residen Inggeris pertama iaitu JG Davidson di samping menjadi lokasi Majlis Mesyuarat Negeri Selangor yang pertama kali diadakan.

“Bangunan itu seterusnya dijadikan Ibu Pejabat Polis Selangor bermula pada tahun 1880 sehingga 1970,” katanya.

Selepas terbiar kosong, gedung itu kemudian dibaik pulih oleh Badan Warisan Malaysia pada tahun 1984 sebelum dijadikan Muzium Tin setahun kemudian di bawah seliaan Lembaga Muzium Selangor.

“Usaha konservasi bangunan disusuli oleh Jabatan Warisan Malaysia yang melakukan proses membaikpulih pada 2009 dan rawatan kelembapan dijalankan oleh Padat pada 2014,” ujarnya.

Bangunan kayu bertiang konkrit ini dibina secara memanjang dan tinggi dengan tingkat bawah berlantaikan simen sementara lantai di tingkat atas pula berasaskan kayu.

Bersesuaian dengan peranannya sebagai pusat pengumpulan dan penyimpanan bijih timah, gedung itu dibina secara mudah dan ringkas tanpa menerapkan elemen-elemen hiasan seperti rumah-rumah tradisi yang lain.

Di tingkat bawah mempunyai ruang berbilik namun di tingkat atasnya terdapat dewan besar yang dibiarkan terbuka dengan serambi di sekeliling.


Pusat dagangan bijih timah

KEKAYAAN hasil bijih timah yang terdapat di lembah-lembah sungai di Selangor membolehkan masyarakat tempatan menjalinkan hubungan dagangan dengan pedagang luar terutama di utara Semenanjung Tanah Melayu dan Vietnam.

Sumber galian itu amat diperlukan masyarakat luar ketika itu memandangkan logam bijih timah merupakan antara bahan yang digunakan untuk menghasilkan produk gangsa.


Lombong bijih timah di Selangor sekitar 1900-1920-an. koleksi peribadi Faisal

Menurut Kurator Perbadanan Adat Melayu dan Warisan Negeri Selangor (Padat), Intan Salina Idrus, lembah Sungai Klang antara kawasan yang kaya dengan sumber galian timah.

“Oleh sebab itu, lokasi di sekitar Sungai Klang juga berperanan sebagai pusat pengumpulan bijih timah untuk didagangkan ke luar Semenanjung Tanah Melayu.

“Besar kemungkinan bijih timah dari Lembah Klang dan Lembah Langat didagangkan ke pusat-pusat pertukangan gangsa di tanah besar Asia Tenggara pada zaman logam.

“Hal ini memandangkan timah merupakan salah satu bahan yang diperlukan dalam pembuatan barangan berunsurkan gangsa seperti gendang Dongson,” katanya.

Berdasarkan bukti arkeologi, penempatan-penempatan purba yang wujud di Klang berfungsi sebagai pusat pengumpulan hasil bijih Lembah Klang.

“Pendapat ini diperkuatkan lagi dengan jawapan tiga buah gendang Hegar 1 di Semenanjung Malaysia adalah dari Selangor dan terletak di sekitar kuala sungai.

“Petempatan-petempatan ini amat sesuai untuk menguruskan aktiviti perdagangan luar.

“Selain itu, terdapat juga jumpaan gendang gangsa di Bukit Kuda dan juga loceng gangsa yang dianggap sebagai artifak perdagangan dan bukan produk tempatan.

“Hasil dapatan itu menunjukkan peranan masyarakat awal di Klang dalam aktiviti perdagangan antarabangsa yang turut menyaksikan komoditi terpenting di Klang pada masa itu adalah timah,” katanya.

Batu Belah Batu Bertangkup

MASYARAKAT Melayu dahulu sememangnya terkenal dengan legenda dan kisah rakyatnya. Di Klang, lagenda Batu Belah Batu Bertangkup cukup popular dan tidak asing lagi bagi masyarakat tempatan.

Malah ceritanya turut diadaptasi ke sebuah filem Melayu yang diterbitkan Jamil Sulong pada 1959 dalam bentuk hitam putih.

Menurut legenda tersebut, batu belah batu bertangkup mendapat nama sempena sebongkah batu besar yang terbelah dua seolah-olah mempunyai ruang mulut yang ternganga dan terbuka seperti gua.

Batu itu dikatakan mengeluarkan suara yang kuat dan menyeramkan di samping boleh menelan ramai manusia yang memuja-mujanya untuk dimakan.

Cerita mengenai batu belah batu bertangkup yang berpuaka itu bagaimanapun menurut Shamsuddin Shawal (gambar) adalah tidak tepat.

“Kalau mengikut cerita sebenar, sebatang pokok Binjai yang berpuaka dan bukannya batu bertangkup sebagaimana diperkatakan sebelum ini.

“Pokok Binjai tersebut dipercayai didiami makhluk halus (jin) dan sering mengganggu orang yang lalu lalang di kawasan berhampiran,” katanya.




Bukit Binjai yang terletak tidak jauh dari Jalan Kapar, Klang kini dikenali sebagai Bukit Batu Belah.

Setelah mendapat bantuan daripada seorang pawang Bugis yang mempunyai ilmu kebatinan yang tinggi, makhluk halus itu kemudian dapat ditewaskan dan jin tersebut dikurung di dalam batu tersebut.

Beberapa tahun kemudian barulah timbul kisah mengenai keluarga Pak Uda Daik dan isterinya Mak Timah yang mempunyai seorang anak perempuan bernama Mawar dan seorang anak lelaki bernama Pekan.

“Mak Timah dikatakan merajuk kerana kempunan telur ikan Tembakul. Pak Uda pula meninggal dunia selepas ditimpa sebatang pokok yang tumbang akibat hujan lebat dan ribut semasa mencari telur ikan tersebut.

“Setelah kematian Pak Uda, Mak Timah bersama dengan anak-anaknya telah meninggalkan Lubuk Binjai menghala ke Sungai Kerayong di utara Kapar.

“Bagaimanapun tiada keterangan dan bukti yang mengatakan Mak Timah mati ditelan batu belah batu bertangkup,” katanya.

Begitu juga dengan cerita yang mengatakan anak lelaki mereka yang bernama Pekan berlaga ayam dan berkahwin dengan anak sultan, juga boleh dipersoalkan kebenarannya.

“Hal ini memandangkan tiada catatan sejarah yang menunjukkan puteri sultan berkahwin dengan pemuda yang bernama Pekan atau sultan berkahwin dengan Mawar kerana pada masa kejadian, Selangor dikatakan berada di bawah pemerintahan Sultan Muhammad atau Sultan Abdul Samad,” katanya.

Dalam pada itu, berlaku perang saudara di antara Raja Mahadi dan Tengku Kudin iaitu menantu Sultan Abdul Samad pada pertengahan kurun ke-19.

Ketika peperangan itulah, Bukit Binjai dijadikan sebagai salah satu kubu pertahanan Raja Mahadi sebelum dirampas oleh pasukan lawan.

Pada akhir kurun ke-19, barulah kawasan berkenaan dibuka oleh Datuk Panglima Garang Salleh Datuk Man, Datuk Kaya Baduk Datuk Kaya Mohd Ali Orang Kaya Klang bersama Raja Hassan Raja Ibrahim, Penghulu Wan Hassan Datuk Bentara Kiri Amar Diraja Wan Muhamad Salleh, Datuk Maharaja Lela Abdul Ghani Datuk Maharaja Lela Meka’ dan Datuk Panglima Perang Kiri Sedia Diraja Wan Idris Datuk Bentara Kiri Amar Diraja Wan Muhamad Amin.

“Bukit Binjai dan Kampung Sungai Binjai akhirnya dinamakan dengan nama Bukit Batu Belah dan Kampung Sungai Pinang.

“Kampung Sungai Binjai bagaimanapun telah lenyap berikutan tindakan British yang membenarkan kilang-kilang minyak kelapa dan kasut didirikan.

“Tindakan tersebut turut menyebabkan rumah-rumah masyarakat dan pemimpin Melayu terhimpit sehingga terpaksa dipindahkan,” katanya

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UEC exams see drop in grades, Mixed views on PT3, Dealing with teen stress and exams

Dealing with teen stress and exams

We must set realistic objectives for our children as expecting unachievable goals can lead to severe emotional problems, and even suicide.

NOVEMBER 24 was a very sad day for all parents, students, in fact, for Malaysians.

It was a day that shook me as well. We were shocked by the news of the untimely and tragic end of a 17-year-old boy who was also an up-and-coming actor.

This shocking news was even more painful when the cause of death was the boy’ s inability to deal with his SPM examination stress.

This is a boy who scored straight As in his PMR examinations and 9As one B in his trial examination. That’s an almost perfect score. Yet when he couldn’t answer some questions in the Additional Mathematics paper, it was just too much for him to bear.

When a “bright spark” like him takes his life for a reason like this, it sends waves of disbelief and sadness to society.

Was this tragedy preventable? Is exam stress becoming too much for our students? Are parents and teachers putting undue pressure on their children?

All the above questions spring to mind when we are confronted by the stark dark reality of the situation.

Although such cases are not the norm, yet the loss of one life is already a loss too much to bear.

Collectively, we as a people need to re-evaluate the priorities of education.

Is attaining the perfect score the aim and are we putting too much expectation on the growing shoulders of our next generation?

A great start would be to move away from the results of an examination and focus on the efforts put in by the students.

We need to assure them that true victory is not in getting a perfect score but in trying one’s best.

As long as they strive to do their best, then they have already succeeded, irrelevant of the examination results.

Incidences of suicide are not acts committed spontaneously.

Victims must have been under tremendous stress for a period of time before making the decision.

Parents, besides refraining from placing unrealistic demands on their kids, can also look out for signs that tweens and teens aren’t doing well emotionally by recognising signs of depression.

The Mayo clinic in the United States, from its research on teen depression has listed some traits that parents can identify with, should they suspect that stress is getting to their children.

In teens, symptoms may include sadness, irritability, feeling negative and worthless, anger, poor performance or poor attendance at school.

They may also feel misunderstood and may resort to using drugs or alcohol.

Eating and sleeping too much, losing interest in normal activities, and avoiding social interaction are some of the other signs.

Parents must be vigil to pick up on these vibes and changed habits.

They should keep children including teenagers engaged so as to bring them out of the depression.

To all young people reading this article, let me assure you that your parents’ priority will be to keep you safe and happy always.

Talk to your parents and teachers if you are overwhelmed by examination stress or feel depressed.

Believe me, your results mean nothing to your parents if you aren’t happy and healthy. You will always have your parents’ love. Results are inconsequential when it comes to your well being.

Also, harming yourself is a worthless exercise.

Life is full of ups and downs. Remember, they are all temporary and should be used as templates for one’s growth and learning.

Exams are just small yardsticks used to measure your academic achievement – it is not the end-all of your journey in becoming a successful person – and you should always remember that.

Should you need some advice or just someone to listen to, talk to any counsellor in your school.

Students can also inform their teachers or counsellors if they observe schoolmates and friends experiencing emotional difficulties, showing a lack of interest in activities and displaying feelings of worthlessness and guilt.

Doing so, could prevent them from sinking deeper into depression as they could be directed to seek the right help and treatment.

Alternatively, if you want someone outside your circle for some sound advice, contact the Befrienders at 03-7956 8144 (Klang Valley), 04-281 5161 (Penang) or 05-547 7933 (Ipoh). Life is precious and no child should resort to ending his or her life.

P.Kamalanathan The STAR Home News Education Sunday, 20 December 2015

Mixed views on PT3

STUDENTS who recently obtained their PT3 results had differing views on the Form Three Assessment.

Several 15-year-old’s from SMK Seri Hartamas said that the higher order thinking skills (HOTS) questions were tough, and that had to some extent, prevented them from scoring higher grades.

The students are the second batch to sit for the PT3 or Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga which was introduced last year.

Form Three students previously sat for the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR), which was abolished in 2013.
mad Kamil and Lee Chong Hui The STAR Home News Education Sunday, 20 December 2015
Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid at a recent press conference on PT3, said that parents now had a good understanding of the Form Three Assessment.

He said PT3 was one of the four components under the School-Based Assessment (PBS).

There seems to be more acceptance of the new system from parents,” he added.

Although introduced last year, there were changes made to this year’s PT3 format.

While all parties were informed and aware of the new adjustments, many parents and students felt it was “too last minute”.

They revised and relied on last year’s exam papers and workbooks, some of which were “not helpful’ to them. Some felt that the changes could have been introduced to Form Two students, as they could then famialiarise themselves and be better prepared for the exams.

Student Sofea Izzati Mior Salim despite scoring 8As, found the exam difficult especially Science which she described as “the toughest”.

“Only 19 students (in my school) scored an A for Science she said, adding that Islamic studies, Bahasa Malaysia and English were easier in comparison.

As for HOTS, Sofea Izzati was quick to point out that the questions required some mental might.

“The oral examination was fine and the teachers were fair,” she said.

While topics were discussed in groups for the Bahasa Malaysia oral examination, it was individual assessment for the English oral examination, she added.

Zafir Nazhan said that while the exam was difficult, it was “doable”.

“Science was the toughest subject,” he said, adding that there were questions on topics which he least expected. “That’s when I really had to put on my thinking cap,” he quipped.

Straight As student Shalmeena Vijayakumar was happy with her results, considering that this year’s exam was a “lot more difficult”.“I had problems with Maths and Bahasa Malaysia oral, but my results were better than I expected and I am happy,” said Shalmeena.

For Chin Yaan May, who scored 8As, PT3, she said was considerably harder than PMR. Yaan May said that Science was the most difficult paper because there were HOTS questions that required students to think and analyse, all of which were not in their textbooks.

However, Yaan May said she was satisfied with her results as they exceeded her expectations.

Similarly, Alyssa Yew Menon was pleasantly surprised by her results, adding that she had not anticipated 9As.

Tackling HOTS questions was no easy feat, she said citing a question on how potatoes could be cooked underground.

“It was challenging to answer them as we had to think out of the box,” she added.

Alyssa added that while teachers were clear on the exam format, students hadn’t anticipated that the exams were going to be so difficult.

Noor Safia Mohammad Razin, who scored all As said teachers were there to offer guidance and support.

“The English and Bahasa Malaysia oral tests as well as the sports, co-curriculum and psychometric assessment were relatively easy,” she said, adding that the questions for the History and Geography assignments were tricky.

Brendan Michael Thasan, who scored 7As, found Science and Mathematics difficult as there were many unexpected questions especially for the Science paper.

“Last year’s exam format was simple and systematic but it changed this year and this led to some confusion,” said the school prefect.

“History and Geography assignments also required effort, but our teachers were there to guide us,” he said.

While the HOTS question were unfavourable to most students, Manesh Thiagarajah said he found them fun and challenging.

“It’s good because it makes you think,” he said, adding that “they were not the usual boring questions”.

For Nicholas Francis Christian Yap Jin Loong, the HOTS questions were not overly challenging “as they merely required candidates to give their opinions”.

“You don’t have to completely follow the syllabus,” he said, adding that Bahasa Malaysia was tough and tricky. He scored a B for Bahasa Malaysia and obtained 8As for the other subjects.

His mother, Kam Swee Har, 54, said she felt changes should be implemented when students were in Year One and not midway through their schooling.

“Students have been so used to answering objective questions and are suddenly required to answer subjective questions in the Form Three assessment.”

Kam added that many teachers were not properly trained and unfamiliar with the new exam format.

Parent Irina Redza, 42, said the new format should have been introduced to students while they were in Form Two so that students would prepare better for the examination while Gomathi Subramaniam, 45, said that while the Science paper was challenging, she was still proud of her son’s accomplishments.



UEC exams see drop in grades

PETALING JAYA: More than half of the subjects in this year’s Unified Examinations Certificate (UEC) exams saw a drop in performance compared with 2014.

Out of the 22 subjects, 12 saw a fall in passing rates, whereas the remaining 10 recorded improvements.

The statistics of UEC’s 41st exams were released by the United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) in Kajang yesterday.

Advance Mathematics (I) recorded the highest passing rate at 97.99%, an improvement of 0.45% compared with results last year.

Dong Zong’s president Temenggong Datuk Vincent Lau Lee Ming told reporters that the results were released on Wednesday.

“This year, 44.83% of those who took Advance Mathematics (I) got As, an increase of 11.32%,” he said. He pointed out that those taking technical subjects for UEC saw an 8.77% increase this year.

Lau also announced that they saw an increase of 637 students applying to take the exam, making the total number of candidates 8,948 this year.

When reporters asked Dong Zong CEO Hong Woan Ying why the passing rate for Chinese Language fell, she answered: “Dong Zong has not found a specific reason for the decline and as such, is not able to give a report on the matter.”

Last year, 93.01% of the students who took Chinese Language passed but only 92.17% passed this year. Adrian Chan The STAR Home News Nation Saturday, 19 December 2015

Duh ... it’s ‛the’ not ‛de’, Need to remind kids on good values

Need to remind kids on good values

VALUES play a vital role in inculcating integrity in the education system among Asean member states.

Former education ministry deputy director-general Datuk Noor Rezan Bapoo Hashim in stressing the importance of integrity said that it was important for young people to develop good habits and manners.

“Our value system plays a very important part. We need to have role models. Educators and policy-makers also have a role to play and must ensure that values are instilled and practised,” she said during the recent Asean Integrity Dialogue 2015.

Expressing concern over low moral values among students, she said even a simple ‘thank you’ gesture was missing from them.

She recalled an incident where students who received ang-pows from a VIP did not even say “thank you”.

“Children are not saying ‘please’ or ‘thank you’. This is is not good and the role of educators is to first and foremost, set an example by inculcating these moral values and making sure they are practiced in the classroom,” added Noor Rezan.


Mind your manners: Noor Rezan says that children must be reminded to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in the classroom too.

There is a need to educate and remind children about our traditonal values and etiquette for only then will they develop into adults with character and integrity.

At the event, Malaysian Institute of Integrity board director Dr Chandra Muzaffar called on academicians from Asean member states to play a role and contribute towards creating an environment and culture of integrity in the region.

He gave five pointers to achieving integrity in Asean member states. They were:

• Providing good and ethical education to students;

• Question of integrity should be linked to one’s spiritual, moral, cultural and local environment;

• Need for two dimensions to strengthen integrity, namely through content of what is being taught at institutions of higher learning, and living those values;

• Introduction of case study on integrity at institutions of higher learning across the Asean region; and,

• Education institutions cannot combat corruption and overcome abuse of power unless the environment is conducive. – Bernama



Duh ... it’s ‛the’ not ‛de’

FACEBOOK can be engaging if we use it wisely. I’ve been enlightened by some of the information I’ve gathered on this social networking website.

Not long ago, I joined a public group comprising a number of outspoken parents, teachers and other professionals.

I marvel at the way they discuss issues intelligently offering various perspectives.

The are concerned about the education system in our country. After all, parents being stakeholders have a role to play in raising issues that affect their children.

Their opinions matter which is why the Sarana Ibubapa programme was introduced in national schools. It is an initiative to encourage parents to enagage and participate in school affairs.

English was the medium used by the group.

Being an educator, I enjoy engaging with parents as I am curious to know their views on learning and teaching outcomes.

It is good to listen to their insights on a variety of topics related to education for it also helps broaden my outlook on aspects that I may have overlooked, or have little knowledge of.

In a recent posting, a parent shared his English learning experience in school, many years ago.

It was quite hilarious as he gave a detailed account of how his English teacher in primary school instructed him and his classmates to bring a small mirror to school.

Why? Because they could observe themselves as they learnt to pronounce words that began with “th” and other tongue twisters.

The pupils were given specific instructions – they had to look into the mirror, then place the tip of the tongue between their upper and lower teeth before pronouncing words like “the”, “think”, “thought”, “them”, “theirs” ... the list goes on.

I was impressed, it was a great way to learn pronunciation. The teacher was certainly ahead of her time and yes, thinking out of the box!

The parent in the posting, said that the teacher had made a lasting impression on him. Her unique teaching method was indeed a success.

We cant’t say the same of English teachers these days. Many of them cannot pronounce words like “‘the” correctly often saying “de” instead.

How then can we expect our students to have the right diction?

The objective of the ongoing Literacy and Numeracy Screening (Linus) programme in schools is to ensure that all Malaysian schoolchildren acquire basic literacy and numeracy skills, after three years of mainstream primary education. One of the main components is phonics. Curiously enough, some teachers are still struggling to pronounce common words and even letters of the alphabet correctly!

As teachers, we forget that we too need to learn. We must remember to reinforce what we’ve learnt, while keeping up with new teaching techniques and methodologies.

I must say that learning pronunciation is something that’s dreaded by many students. Many words are not pronounced the way they are spelt. For instance, the word ‘plumber” is pronounced without the “b” sound which means the “b” is silent. Silent letters cause difficulties for English learners because they make the spelling of words different from their pronunciation.

There are other words where there are silent letters like honest (silent h), debt (silent b), heir (silent b), knife (silent k) and knuckle (silent k).

Simply going over pronunciation rules alone is not enough. Saying the word repeatedly can help students improve their pronunciation.

Teachers on their part have to motivate and include an element of fun.

When I trained my students for a choral speaking competition some years ago in my former school, I remember it was incredibly difficult to make the students say “the” correctly.

Emphasis is placed on pronunciation and enunciation in choral speaking.

Since it was a rural school, the students were not exposed to the English language as much as their urban peers.

Still, the choral speaking team managed to take the third spot in the district level competition.

It has been a tough journey for me and other English language teachers since the language is only spoken and taught during English lessons, more so in rural schools.

However, I hope the immersion programme which will see the introduction of English in co-curricular activities next year, would have more students speaking in the international language.

Research has shown that language learning is best learnt through immersion as it helps with a person’s fluency and language skills.

Sumati Muniandy Johor The STAR Home News Opinion 20 December 2015