Friday, August 28, 2015

Adenan sets S'wak election date but coy about it

Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem announced today that he has fixed the date for the 11th Sarawak state election which must be held before July next year.
However, he remained tight-lipped about revealing the date to the public as yet.
"I have chosen and decided on the date for the 11th Sarawak state election but it is not yet the right time for me to announce it to you," he was quoted as saying by Berita Harian.
Furthermore, Adenan said the selection of almost all BN candidates has already been finalised.
He added that Sarawak BN was ready for an early state election.
Adenan's announcement came after the Court of Appeal ruled in the Election Commission's (EC) favour to go ahead with its re-delineation exercise.
The re-delineation exercise will create 11 new seats, most of which the opposition said will favour the ruling coalition.
the Kuching High Court had initially ordered the EC's re-delineation exercise to be redone for not complying with the constitutional requirements but this was later overturned by the appellate court.
The opposition which took the case to court, is expected to challenge the matter at the Federal Court.

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‘Umno’ sues Najib to retrieve chunk of RM2.6b

 Hafiz Yatim

EXCLUSIVE Things are heating up in Umno, as a member who claims to represent the party files a suit against its president Najib Abdul Razak to reclaim a portion of the RM2.6 billion alleged party donations said to have left the country.
A large portion of the funds, which The Wall Street Journal had exposed was deposited into Najib’s personal accounts, were allegedly transferred to Singapore two years ago.
Umno, through one of its grassroots leaders, named Najib and Umno executive secretary Abdul Rauf Yusof as defendants in the suit filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registry this morning.
The vocal member claimed that the legal action is for the benefit of and on behalf of the party and its members.
The US$650 million is said to be the balance from the original US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) the prime minister had received in his personal accounts.
The transfer happened sometime on Aug 30, 2013, the same day Najib closed the account, as alleged by whistleblower website Sarawak Report.
It is understood that the suit was filed today after no action had allegedly been taken on complaints made against Najib to the party’s disciplinary board.
The Umno member is seeking an injunction against Najib and Abdul Rauf or their agents in the disciplinary board, state liaison body, divisions, and branches to be restrained from removing, suspending, and taking disciplinary action on her, pending the disposal of this action.
The complainant is also seeking a repayment amounting to US$650 million - the amount reportedly deposited by Najib to a Singapore bank - and an account of all monies that he had received in the form of donations.
Also sought are details of all monies in the AmPrivate Banking Account No 2112022009694 allegedly belonging to Najib, along with damages, costs, and other reliefs.
Unaccounted for in Umno's books
The complainant further argued in the claim that the monies said to have been donations from wealthy Arabs for the party’s benefit allegedly did not appear in the party’s audited accounts.
The sum of RM2.6 billion allegedly did not appear in Umno's audited accounts for the financial years 2013 and 2014, according to the statement of claim sighted by Malaysiakini.
The document said that between Mar 21 and Mar 25, 2013, US$680,999,976.00 (RM2.6 billion) made its way into Najib's two private accounts in AmBank, through Falcon Private Bank in Singapore.
The claim argued that since Najib has admitted receiving the amount, which he said he was not the personal beneficiary to the funds but Umno, he is only acting as a trustee of the funds.
It was reminded that Umno, and hence Najib, is governed by the Societies Act 1966 and party constitution over matters related to financial matters and accounting.
Under Section 14(d) of the Act, Umno is required to provide the audited accounts every financial year to the Registrar of Societies.
Umno's financial year is from Jan 1 to Dec 31 every year, and monies belonging to Umno are to be deposited in a commercial or savings bank.
The complaint stated Najib as a trustee has breached the Umno constitution, the provisions of the Societies Act, and common law as a trustee of the donations.
Singapore account not Umno’s
It further claimed that Najib allegedly did not inform or declare the sum of RM2.6 billion to Umno.
The Singapore account to which the portion of the RM2.6 billion was transferred on Aug 30, 2013 also allegedly did not belong to Umno.
The statement of claim said Najib had paid or removed from the party an original sum amounting to US$650 million, and this is in direct violation of the Umno constitution.
It further alleged that the Umno president had utilised or retained part of the monies for his own benefit and without regard for Umno.
For these reasons, the complainant argued Najib had acted in breach of trust and confidence reposed in him as an Umno trustee.
For this, the complainant said the Umno president and the supreme council had acted ultra vires (beyond its power) of the party constitution and had committed fraud.
The complainant further states that because Najib is the alleged wrongdoer in control of the party, the party is in no position to make a claim for its own benefit against Najib.
Supreme council unwilling to act
It also said the supreme council is unable or unwilling to act against the Umno president following his power and influence over the party.
Najib was also accused of abusing his power as prime minister in removing Muhyiddin Yassin, who remains as party deputy president.
The complainant claimed Umno and its organs have been co-opted by Najib, resulting in the party being unable or unwilling to bring action against him for the party's benefit.
As a result of Najib's position of power, as well as the manner in which Umno is governed by the supreme council, state liaison committees, divisions and branches would not sue or seek an account of the RM2.6 billion, the claim said.
This legal action is the second faced by Najib in his personal capacity.
PKR and several opposition members have also filed a suit against Najib, BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, 1MDB, and the Election Commission, linked to the RM2.6 billion allegation.
Najib had claimed that the money was a political donation.

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Speaking in London, Ambiga shatters four Bersih myths

28 Aug 2015 10:00 AM

 by Mariam Mokhtar
OUTSPOKENThe people who criticised Bersih failed to realise that, despite being unable to push through all of the electoral reforms it demanded, Bersih created a high level of awareness, among the public; about our democracy, our electoral process, the power and greed of Umno Baru politicians, and their desperation to cling to power.
As Bersih 4 nears, the Umno Baru supporters and politicians and the Muslim extremist groups are feeling the pressure. The depth of anger, among the Malaysian rakyat, is unprecedented. The rakyat demands that its parliamentarians restore democracy in the nation, uphold the rule of law, and reinstate the independence of its institutions.
Four common myths were shattered by Ambiga Sreenevasan, when she delivered a morale boosting pre-Bersih 4 talk, called "Why Bersih 4?", in London on Aug 23.
Reclaiming democracy
On Aug 21, Ambiga Sreenevasan, wrote an article in The New York Times (NYT) about the necessity for Malaysians to take to the streets, in Bersih 4, to reclaim their democracy, lest they be "cheated" in GE14.
She criticised the prime minister for his mishandling of the economy, for allowing a state of lawlessness, and condoning an Election Commission (EC) which kept the ruling party in power, with its redelineation exercises.
Her article infuriated the Cheras Umno Baru Division chief, Syed Ali Alhabshee, who accused her of spreading "malicious lies" and "stirring-up emotions".
He said that "holding the Bersih rally, during the Merdeka celebrations", showed "no respect for the fathers of independence". He alleged that the "real intention was to topple a democratically elected government".
The irony is that Syed Ali's remarks, betrayed him as a man who is scared of the impact of Bersih 4.
Ambiga's response was that he should ask the NYT for the right to reply, on an international platform, and list the malicious lies, that he alleges were uttered.
Ambiga quoted figures, from an independent study conducted by the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE) at the University of Oxford, which detailed the gerrymandering of the EC.
The report said, "If Barisan had drawn the borders themselves, they could not have made a better job of redelineation of the boundaries, than the EC."
Soliciting the Agong's help
NGOs, like Bersih, have tried all avenues to demand a clean government, but without success. Malaysians know that they live in a repressive regime, where there is no equality, and people are denied their constitutional rights. One cynic said, "To be truthful, most Malaysians do not know their constitutional rights."
Some Malaysians want Bersih to appeal to the Agong, to help the rakyat and save the nation.
Ambiga said that there was good interaction with the King, in Bersih 2, and he issued a "titah" (royal command) for the Bersih rally to take place in the stadium.
She added, "We have to be fair to the king and sultans. Their position is tough. They are constitutional monarchs and if they were to interfere in politics, it would be unprecedented and would not accord with their constitutional roles.
"To be fair, I don't think it would be right to put the king in a position were we to ask him to interfere in the political process. This is a political issue. The politicians have to work it out at this point."
The fear factor
The importance of student voices is without parallel. They are the leaders of tomorrow.
Overseas students have access to a variety of lectures, which could help stimulate discussion and open their minds, so that they can challenge and be challenged by different ideas; however, many are afraid to attend these thought-provoking lectures, especially if they are not organised by Umno Baru or their cronies, for fear that their scholarships will be revoked.
Ambiga's advice to the students was simple, "We must all work together, to dismantle this process of intimidation. The government had been mean to some students who took part in Bersih rallies, in various countries.
"If the students come out in sufficient numbers, it will be difficult for the government to target them. How many scholarships can they revoke? How many students can they punish?
"Students must be made to know that they will not be alone."
Ambiga was clear that students could mount a legal challenge, if the government were to target them. She said that students must stand up and speak with one voice.
She said, "If any action is taken against them, they must assert their legal rights. They must seek assistance and Bersih will provide that assistance, or put them in touch with people who can help them.
"We have made representations on their behalf, to have their scholarship reinstated. It is not an easy process. It is a nuisance, but it is important to make a legal stand."
The police and Bersih
Various sources claim that the police force is divided, about Bersih 4, and Ambiga had a special message for the policemen.
She said, "This Bersih is one of the most important rallies, in the country. Our systems are broken. Our institutions, like the MACC, the AG's office and possibly Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) are under attack.
"Bersih 4 is fighting, for the police, and the rights of their children, too.
"When we are at the Bersih rally, and you are watching us, please do your job. Please allow us to have the rally. Do apprehend the troublemakers, but please remember that we are the rakyat and we are not the enemy.
"We join Bersih because we love the country."
Mariam Mokhtar is “a Malaysian who dares to speak the truth”.
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Thursday, August 27, 2015


Press Statement

27 August 2015

Malaysia is in deep trouble after years of mismanagement and corruption under BN rule. All Malaysians should go out to support Bersih 4 this weekend, whether in KL, Kuching or KK, or indeed in any other city around the world to register our dissatisfaction over the way our country is being run. The demands of Bersih 4 for clean and fair elections, good governance, saving the country's economy and freedom of expression, are consistent with PKR's struggles. These demands should resonate with all right thinking Malaysians here and abroad.

It is our duty as loyal and patriotic citizens to speak up against lawlessness and corruption, and we must not be misled by those who say otherwise. Loyalty to the country requires us to stand up against a government that has lost its moral compass and that is led by politicians mired in corruption scandals which have earned our country worldwide notoriety.

The antics of the anti-Bersih red shirts outside Sogo 2 days ago amount to intimidation and these thugs must be condemned by the PM and the police. However, being led by an UMNO leader, I will not be surprised if these agent provocateurs are allowed to create trouble at the rallies over the weekend. 

I urge the Police to be fair and even-handed in carrying out their duty to ensure the safety of all Malaysians this weekend. After all, we will be standing up for their rights and the rights of their children as well.

Now is the time to act if we care about the future of our children, if we want a say in how our country is being run, if we are to have any hope for a change.

ADUN N70 Ba' Kelalan

Ambiga: Leaders dish out garbage, Bersih gives hope

 RK Anand

Electoral watchdog Bersih is no stranger to holding rallies, with tens of thousands of Malaysians having heeded its clarion call and taken to the streets in the past.
But the movement is not without sceptics and critics, the latter being ruling politicians and those aligned to them, who never fail to recycle the same script of Bersih wanting to topple the government through undemocratic means and that it is a marionette of the opposition.
The critics, on the other hand, remain pessimistic as to what the rallies can achieve and therefore refrain from participating, claiming that since no significant change would come about in the aftermath, there is no need to risk arrest or be subject to tear gas and chemical-laced water that potentially wait Bersih participants.
However, Bersih's former co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan disagrees with both, arguing that since its inception, the movement has been instrumental in shaping the mindset of Malaysians.
"Bersih has lifted the awareness of Malaysians to what our democracy ought to be. And what it is not.
"It has done advocacy and training so that people can play their part as voters whether on election day or when the redelineation process is on," she told Malaysiakini.
Contrary to what sceptics may believe, Ambiga is of the opinion that Bersih has already stamped its mark.
"Bersih has already achieved much by giving people who are frustrated with the leadership a chance to speak loudly with one voice.
"A voice loud enough that it cannot be ignored. If ignored, the price to pay will be heavy," she cautioned.
Leaders dishing garbage
Ambiga said since the leaders appear incapable of listening to reason and instead "dish out utter garbage to us", it is time for them to hear the rakyat express their dissatisfaction collectively.
"There is a renewed sense of purpose for the people after Bersih 4 was announced. In short, Bersih gives hope.
"And look at all those who were against it before who now support it. That is change happening right before us," she pointed out.
Come this weekend, Kuala Lumpur will once again be the epicentre for another Bersih rally, which among others, calls for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
The authorities have declared the rally illegal, but similar proclamations in the past had failed to prevent a sea of yellow flooding the major arteries of the capital.
Ambiga’s successor Maria Chin Abdullah last week challenged Najib to allow the rally to proceed without hindrance to gauge if the public still supported him or otherwise.
In other words, the Bersih 4 rally could be interpreted as a fresh mandate for the embattled prime minister to continue at the helm or a vote of no confidence against him.

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This weekend, stand up for our country

 Kee Thuan Chye

COMMENT The stage is set for Bersih 4.
Many Malaysians have been waiting for this, and now it is coming at a poignant moment in our nation's history - our confrontation with a corrupt system concretised vividly in the form of a man who has received an astronomical amount of money that he shouldn't have but is abusing the nation's institutions and bending the nation's laws to exonerate himself and persecute people who are investigating his alleged transgression, a man who is using his supreme power to save his own skin and deceive the public.
This is a moment we have never experienced before. At no time in our history has a single person in the highest office of the land drawn so many Malaysians together to go against him.
We must capture this moment, exercise our power as citizens of a democracy, as stakeholders of this land, to show this man that our power is greater than his, and try as he may to outfox us and suppress our voices with the forces he has co-opted to his side, he must not escape justice.
More than this, as we march as one on Aug 29 and 30, we must insist that we no longer want to put up with a system that is corrupt, a system that gives so much power to one man to do what he pleases while those who would expose him suffer the consequences of his counteroffensives.
If anything is to come out of our street rally to call for his removal from office by legal means, an endeavour that could subject us to harsh reprisals by the forces of the dark side, cause us to suffer bodily harm or arrest or eventual incarceration, it has to be a commitment from our public officials, including our elected representatives in the state and federal legislatures, that they will revamp the system with a commitment to bringing positive reform, so that we can thenceforth move forward towards a better Malaysia.
We want a clean government, a fair government, a government that sees to the needs of every citizen under the Malaysian sun, a government that unites, not divides, that ceases to capitalise on race and religion for its own ends, that restores our battered institutions to their pride of place, a government that will fight for us and with us, not against us.
We want to secure this not just for the present but also because we want a brighter future for our children and their children.
That, as I understand it, is what Bersih 4 is about. And that is what must propel Malaysians who care for their country to go for it - despite the natterings of the nay-sayers, the threats of the police to take severe action, the hinting of dark forces to create violence at the event.
Remember - always - that calling for the prime minister to be removed by constitutional means or to resign of his own volition is well within our rights. Don't let the inspector-general of police and his officers tell you otherwise.
Important distinction
Of late, they have been quick to throw Section 124B of the Penal Code - the government's new lethal weapon - at dissenting Malaysians, accusing them of carrying out activities "detrimental to parliamentary democracy".
These very Malaysians who are being so wrongly and unjustly persecuted are, ironically, fighting to preserve parliamentary democracy. It is those who attempt to stop them who should be arrested and charged under Section 124B, for they are the ones who are subverting parliamentary democracy. I don't need to mention who these people are; you already know most of them.
Above all, be aware of the important distinction between government and country. Our government sucks, but not our country. As patriots, it is our duty to save our country from a government that is corrupt, self-serving and incompetent - in short, a government that sucks.
I would like to reproduce here what I wrote in an article published by Malaysiakini on Dec 8, 2010:
"The country and the government are separate entities. Governments come and go, the country is eternal (unless it is destroyed or fragmented). We owe our allegiance to the country, not to the government. Therefore, saying bad things about a bad government is not being anti-national.
"Most important of all, voting against a bad government is not being anti-national. A bad government does not deserve loyalty. Disloyalty to the government is not disloyalty to the country; in fact, voting out a bad government is being loyal to the country."
This weekend, those of us who will gather around Dataran Merdeka need not fear. We will be walking on the side of right. That will be our strength and our protection.
Some of our young people have shown no fear, and for that 17 of them were arrested a few days ago for camping outside Parliament House. They are now being investigated under Section 124B. Despite the arrests, other students have not been cowed. They have vowed to continue camping at the same venue until the prime minister steps down.
The young have shown us the way. Now we must follow after them. We must turn up in numbers never seen before in a street demonstration in Kuala Lumpur - and walk for them, for the future generations, and even for ourselves.
So that in years to come, we may hopefully look back and be proud that we did our bit for the sake of our people. And for our country.

KEE THUAN CHYE is the author of two soon-to-be-released books, ‘Unbelievably Stupid!’ and ‘Unbelievably Stupid Too!’

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Kuching cops helping us secure venue for Bersih 4, Sarawak organiser says

Wednesday August 26, 2015

File picture of the Freedom and Independence Walk at Song Kheng Hai Ground in Kuching. Bersih Sarawak organiser Nicholas Mujah said Kuching district police chief Assistant Commissioner (ACP) Roslan Bek Ahmad will assist in securing this venue for the Bersih 4.0 rally in Kuching. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

File picture of the Freedom and Independence Walk at Song Kheng Hai Ground in Kuching. Bersih Sarawak organiser Nicholas Mujah said Kuching district police chief Assistant Commissioner (ACP) Roslan Bek Ahmad will assist in securing this venue for the Bersih 4.0 rally in Kuching. — Picture by Sulok TawieKUCHING, Aug 26 — Kuching district police chief Assistant Commissioner (ACP) Roslan Bek Ahmad is helping the organisers of Bersih 4 here to secure Song Kheng Hai rugby field as the venue for this weekend’s overnight rally, chief organiser Nicholas Mujah said today.
“He called this morning to tell me that he will talk to Kuching South City Council (MBKS) mayor Datuk James Chan to let us use the field for the overnight event,” Mujah told Malay Mail Online when asked for the status of Bersih 2.0’s venue application.
“From my conversation with Roslan, I am positive that he could convince the mayor to let us use the field on August 29 to 30,” Mujah, who is also the secretary-general of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA) added.
He said MBKS is expected to decide on the matter at its full council meeting tomorrow.
Labelling ACP Roslan a very helpful and understanding police officer, Mujah pointed out that the former had also helped SADIA and Sarawak For Sarawak (S4S) to secure the field for the Freedom and Independence Day Walk on July 22.
SADIA and S4S were joint organisers of the walk that was held to mark Sarawak’s self-determination from the British rule on July 22, 1963.
No untoward incidents were reported during the event that drew over 1,000 participants.
Mujah insisted, however, that Bersih 4 will still be held at the Song Kheng Hai field should MBKS refuse to give its permission.
“We have no choice but to use the field as our demonstration site because we are barred from using Padang Merdeka after Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) turned down our application as well as the threat of arrest warning from the police to anyone turning up there,” he said.
Moreover, he said thousands of people from other parts of Sarawak have already made their preparations to attend the event. 
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Interfaith council urges temples, churches to open doors to Bersih 4 rally goers


Three Bersih supporters representing different races pose for a picture during a forum in Ipoh, Perak on August 19. The national interfaith council is appealing to non-Muslim places of worship in Kuala Lumpur to allow Bersih protesters seek shelter if needed during the weekend rally. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Seth Akmal, August 26, 2015.
Three Bersih supporters representing different races pose for a picture during a forum in Ipoh, Perak on August 19. The national interfaith council is appealing to non-Muslim places of worship in Kuala Lumpur to allow Bersih protesters seek shelter if needed during the weekend rally. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Seth Akmal, August 26, 2015. 

The national interfaith council will appeal to all places of worship in Kuala Lumpur to open their doors to Bersih 4 participants this weekend, despite Putrajaya's declaration that the two-day rally is illegal.
Throwing their support behind the Bersih 4 rally, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) said the rally was to demand the people's rights and not about going against the government.
MCCBCHST acting president Datuk R.S. Mohan Shan said this after three Catholic churches offered their grounds as "sanctuary" for the participants.
"We will request for the temples in the city area to open their doors for participants to rest and use the washrooms.
"This is a rally asking for rights, it's not about being against the government, so nothing wrong for places of worship to open their doors to them," Mohan told The Malaysian Insider.
In confirming that three Catholic churches will open their doors to rally goers, Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Julian Leow (pic, left) said a place of worship is not only a house of prayer but also a place of rest for the weary and needy.
"It is in this great spirit of compassion that the Catholic church has decided to allow St. John's Cathedral in Bukit Nanas, St. Anthony's Church in Pudu and Church of Our Lady of Fatima in Brickfields to be places of sanctuary during Bersih 4 rally," said Leow.
The archbishop said the Catholic church is not aligned to any political party, but added that in the month leading to Merdeka Day celebrations, Christians have been praying for the nation and its leaders.
The weekend rally is organised by electoral reforms coalition Bersih 2.0, and is called Bersih 4 as it is the fourth such public gathering in Malaysia.
The previous gatherings were only held in Kuala Lumpur, but this weekend's rally will also be held in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
The rally in Kuala Lumpur is scheduled to last 34 hours from Saturday afternoon to demand for reforms in the election system, governance, freedom to protest, parliamentary democracy and the economy.
Lawyers and the police have been at odds over the rally's legality. While the authorities are not allowing it to proceed, constitutional lawyers say participants will not be flouting any laws as long as they assemble peacefully and avoid causing serious public disorder.
Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah had previously said that the Kuala Lumpur mayor had told Bersih 2.0 that no permission was needed, since the rally was not going to be held within Dataran Merdeka, the venue of the Merdeka celebrations.
She had also assured that Bersih 4 rally would not disrupt preparations for the celebrations and would instead gather in the vicinity on nearby streets around the square.
Yesterday, however, Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim said Bersih 4 was causing uneasiness and worry among Malaysia's multi-racial citizens.
"The Home Ministry has investigated Bersih 4 and found that it is not a registered organisation.
"As such, the ministry is requesting the public not to attend the gathering on August 29 to 30 as it did not obtain the authorities' approval, and it is organised by the unregistered organisation," he said.
In response, Maria accused Putrajaya of trying to confuse the public by declaring the rally  an "illegal organisation".
She pointed out that Bersih 4, like its previous three other rallies, is an event.
"Bersih 4 is an event, how do you define it as illegal? I think they got it wrong. Are they saying we have to register with the government for every event we want to do?
"They are trying to confuse the situation," she told The Malaysian Insider.
On support for the event so far, Maria said that since the announcement of Bersih 4 and the appeal for donations, more than RM1.5 million has been collected.
"Due to the overwhelming support, we now have more than enough funds to cover the expenses of Bersih 4.
"We are overwhelmed by the support the rakyat have shown for Bersih 2.0’s calls and actions for reforms in Malaysia," said Maria, adding that the balance of funds will be used for efforts in electoral reforms. – August 26, 2015.
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Jawapan bertulis pada mesyuarat pertama bagi penggal kelima DUN ke 17

Friday, August 21, 2015


19 AUGUST 2015

The announcement by the Chief Minister that he is keen to reclaim full control of education from the federal government is welcome news as this is one matter that I am passionate about and have constantly brought up in my statements and DUN speeches. In almost every State Assembly sitting I attended, I have highlighted the weaknesses and failures of the education system in this country, including the inadequate infrastructure, insufficient funding, lack of qualified and suitable teachers and the declining standards of education. The Chief Minister is spot-on in what he said on the various issues regarding education in Sarawak. I am glad that the he shares my views and has indicated that he is keen that Sarawak regains control of education.  

In the 18-Point Roadmap unveiled by PKR Sarawak last weekend, we have stated our intention to reclaim Education under Point 1 item 8: To reclaim Education and its related government ministry and departments in Sarawak from the Federal List to the Concurrent List as per the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 with a view to address and redress weaknesses and failures of previous education policies affecting Sarawak.

Point 8 of the Roadmap sets out our plans for the improvement of Education, recognizing that a superior education system is the key to a nation’s progress and development. As the Chief Minister appears to be on the same page as PKR Sarawak on matters of education, he is welcome to study our proposals under this point and I urge him to immediately implement those that the government is in a position to do so currently before the next State Election, for the benefit of Sarawakian students.

In his address at the State Assembly sitting, much of what the Chief Minister said echo the position of the opposition including the importance of the use of English and the decentralization of power. It remains to be seen how successful he will be in his negotiations with the federal government, failing which it would be perceived as another political gimmicks at garnering for votes. As of now, he has been unable to achieve much – even the request for 20% oil payments has been rejected. A faster way to achieve the changes we want is for Sarawakians to vote for PKR in the next Sarawak elections. This will pave the way for the people of this country to reject the BN government at the next general elections, and at the same time, bring a much needed change to Sarawak.

Baru Bian
ADUN N70 Ba’ Kelalan

Extract from PKR’s 18-Point Roadmap
Point 8. Education.

We need to lift rural and urban students alike, leaving no child behind, to put them on par with their peers in other developed nations. We need our teachers to excel in the classroom, not at pushing paper. The strong, prosperous future that Sarawakians want and deserve starts with quality education today.
1. Immediately channel RM1 billion towards the renovation and upgrading of rural schools and dormitories.
2. Increase the prominence of English from Primary level to Form Six and commence a study for the introduction of a progressive dual language education system after those of Australia, Canada, Singapore and the United Kingdom, and recalibrate educator courses to realise this policy. 
3. Review food and beverage supply mechanisms in all residential schools with the prime objective of ensuring our boarders are more than adequately fed nutritional meals four times a day, every day including public and school holidays.
4. Cede the preeminence of race-based quota policies in the state to needs-based affirmative action policies, nonetheless aware that inequalities between ethnic groups are real and therefore disburse needs-based grants to all primary, secondary, collegiate and university students upon enrollment.
5. Review and rewrite, on the advice of educators and policy-makers, syllabi of subjects taught from Primary level to Form Six, specifically HISTORY, to restore “The History of Sarawak” in school syllabi to reflect how Sarawak became party to the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.
6. Foster Borneonisation of the teaching corps and address administrative issues faced by teaching corps, especially with reporting via online servers.
7. Increase intake of qualified teachers and other education staff to decrease ratio of teacher-to-student in classrooms.
8. Protect Sarawak’s diversity with annual grants for vernacular and religious schools, with particular emphasis on native languages to Form Five level.
9. Allocate special grants to kindergartens and pre-school organisations that have special focus and emphasis on the teaching of their respective ethnic mother tongues.
Found new universities in targeted hubs specialising in specific fields and disciplines to support local growth.