Sunday, February 12, 2006

And the whole point of malaysian education is?

I just came back from 3 hour discussion with my classmate over our observation discussions.

The thing about learning about education is that we are taught, through our readings and trained to teach children to learn to think independently for themselves.

Like today. My elder brother left his bowl on the table. Nevermind that he needn't wash the dishes.

I promptly told him off for being a "bum" for leaving it to the maid to clear his bowl off the table.

He sheepishly went back to the kitchen to clear his bowl to the sink.

Or to teachers who sit on the table, I indirectly told them off by "bringing chairs" to them, to point out to them, we have to do what we teach. If we teach the children not to sit on the tables, as educators, we are sending out a mixed message if ourselves sit on the table.

Besides, didn't your mother tell it ws bad manners to sit on the table??

I believe that when I go Down Under, I will also be trained in the same manner. Whether "doing things for myself" or giving in to peer pressure (such as depending on a helper to do my work) is somethng I would not know in the long term future.

Since I am in a "socio-political" entry writing mood now, as Peter Tan says,

I will re-post here a comment entry from Jeff's comment entries on the UUCA Act 1971.
Now the UUCA Act 1971 forbids "students' involvement in politics, by taking part in events organised and financed by political parties?"

The question now is, are they doing what they preach?

If it applies to local university students, what are these parties trying to do by getting involved with overseas university Malaysian organisations?
Is the govt closing one eye when it comes to their own parties?
How about the opposition parties?

This is what one bumiputra studying overseas noted:

I joined the Malaysian Student Association (MSA)a few years back, in Tasmania, Australia. Our campus is located in Launceston,and the main campus is of course is in Hobart the capital city.We of the Launceston branch are always in envy of our peers in Hobart (and for that matter in the other university, located all over Australia) for the amount of funds they have in their coffers.I can say 60% of our activities are geared towards building funds to finance our few but significant event in the yearly calender i.e. Independance Day Dinner.

The secret of their success came into light one day after a fellow MSA in another university informed us of an proposed visit by an officerfrom the Malaysian government.The officer, gathered the MSA commitee members for a meet one night, a late meet i must add at 11pm.I got word of the meet not through the usual bulletin board but a personal call from the officer requesting my presence at the hotel he was staying. Upon arrival, i was suprised to find the committee members who attended are all of bumiputera/malay background.They too had received the personal phonecall and we wondered why our non malays/bumis didnt receive the similar call.

1 hour later it was clear it was only the malay/bumi members were called.We were invited to setup an UMNO club or affiliate our MSA with the UMNO group.In return, we are to be given a huge boost in fundings by the government of Malaysia.We were then given the same condensending lecture about racial politics etc and how by associating ourselves to UMNO would mean greater benefits for us economically and politcally. In return for their financial backing, we are to uphold UMNO interest in Launceston, be it to show support for the political decision in Malaysia to ensuring other Malaysian political entity do not set up their roots in our campus.

To his credit, the President of our MSA politely refused the offer and at the next meeting told the rest of the commiteee member about the proposal.

Till this day, our MSA is known as the poorest of the lot, unable to attend any of the 4/5 Australian MSA gatherings a year in different states due to dire finances.However, we are proud to say, our MSA still remains a political free association and we have just enough money (from our local fund rising projects) to celebrate Independance day, hold weekly sports gathering and a small emergency fund for any students in need."

To this fella I say: Continue to stick to your guns. At least you can hold your head up high and not give in to peer pressure to "bribing" from political parties who try to be funny.

Go and read 48 Laws of Power. I subscribe by that.

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