How should we judge a government?

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan


Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Koon Yew Yin: The Costs and Returns to Medical Education

Since the publication of my scholarships offer to help students whose parents are
earning less than RM4,000 per month a few days ago, my wife has received more
than 50 applications for financial help and most of the applicants want to pursue
a medical degree which cost the most.

The sole purpose of writing this article is to help inform students who wish to
study medicine not to apply for my financial assistance.

There are 40 Medical Colleges and about 500 University and Colleges in Malaysia.
All of them are lowering their entry requirement to compete for more students.

Tuition Fee for a Medical Degree in Malaysia is between RM250,000 to one million
Ringgit:

Among the cheapest are University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR): RM255,000 and
AIMST University: RM250,000.
Among the mid-range are: Asia Metropolitan University (AMU): RM300,000
MAHSA University College: RM300,000
Melaka Manipal Medical College (MMMC): RM348,000, Monash University Sunway:
RM455,000
Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NuMED): RM450,000
Among the more expensive are: Penang Medical College: RM650,000
Perdana University offers the following: Royal College of Surgeons Ireland:
RM800,000
John Hopkins University Schools of Medicine: RM1,000,000.

All the above mentioned fees exclude accommodation, books, traveling costs, food
and other expenses which could easily add another RM100,000 to the total cost of
studying medicine.

A student will require at least RM350,000 to complete a medical degree. Assuming
he can get RM150,000 PTPTN loan, he will still require RM250,000.

Is it really worth pursuing a medical degree in Malaysia with such high fees?

It is compulsory for all medical graduates to practise in a government hospital for
five years to complete their housemanship.
During this period their salary ranges between RM2,600 to RM4,000. As house
men they work for a minimum of 12 to 15 hours a day. After two years, their salary
increases gradually to RM4,000 per month.
When they are promoted as medical officers their salaries range between RM4,500
to RM5,000. After the final year they have an option to continue their career in the
government service or private concerns.
However, after 12 years and spending a minimum of RM350,000, is it worth just to
earn RM5,000 to RM6,000 per month as a doctor?

They must remember that they have to pay back the RM150,000 PTPTN loan at
RM2,000 per month for about 20 years.

A good alternative proposal:

I like to suggest students to consider other courses such as accountancy, finance,
engineering, marketing, etc. The tuition fee for a one-year foundation course is
RM8,500 and for a 3-year degree course is about RM38,000 in UTAR. The fees for all
Government Universities are less than RM20,000 for a degree course.

All students whose parents are earning less than RM4,000 per month can apply for
my scholarships worth RM15,500 to cover the one-year foundation course fee and the
cost of living. After the completion of the foundation course, all students are entitled to
receive PTPTN Government loan to complete their degree courses.

Since I made the offer to consider helping students who find the PTPTN not
sufficient, my wife has received more than 50 applications in two days and most of
the applicants want to study medicine. We found that most of the applicants are not
realistic. They are poor and with poor results they want to study medicine.

With the PTPTN loan, the parents need to subsidize a small amount to complete
their degree courses with the exception of medical degree. If the parents are really poor,
I am willing to consider helping them. My offer to help students doing degree courses
has opened the door for all students in the country. But the students must be realistic. In
any case, we reserve the right to reject any application for financial help.

Note: All scholarship recipients do not need to work for me or pay back the money
I spent on them. But they must promise me that they will remember I helped them when
they are poor and when they are financially solvent they must help other poor students.
I believe many graduates will continue to help poor students when I die. Since I started
offering scholarships about 10 years ago, I have given out about 300 scholarships and a
large number of the recipients have graduated.

Koon Yew Yin

Source:
Ipoh Echo
http://www.ipohecho.com.my/v3/photo/pdf/2185_20160129111106_k1vgf.pdf

Update:

From Malaysiakini: Koon Yew Yin ends support for foundation programmes

There are about 500 colleges and universities and all of them are lowering their entry requirement to compete for more students. As a result, many graduates cannot find employment.

In view of the growing serious problem of graduate unemployment and the recent disclosure by Deputy Education Minister Senator Chong Sin Woon that a university degree is not a ticket to employment and may even be a stumbling block, I have decided that my financial support programme for students to do a foundation programme at local universities will come to an end on Feb 28, 2016.

In the meantime all applications for support that reach me before end February 2016 will still be eligible for consideration for support from that programme.

Applications reaching me after that date will be sent back with a note announcing that the financial assistance programme has ceased and is no longer available.

I would also like to assure the public that my commitment to supporting education will continue but will take other forms to be decided upon after my discussion with educationists and other experts in the field.

KOON YEW YIN, a retired chartered engineer, is a philanthropist.
Link

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Gopal Sri Ram: A-G's discretion under Article 145 (3)

Excerpt:
In the case of Long bin Samat decided in 1974, the Federal Court held that the attorney-general (A-G) had wide discretion to select the provision of the law under which to prosecute a person.
The pronouncement in this case has been read to affirm a wide discretion in the A-G whether to prosecute at all.
But if you look carefully at the judgment of Lord President Suffian in the case, it is clear that the Federal Court was only speaking of the A-G's wide discretion to choose the section of the law under which a person is to be prosecuted.
But in the case of Johnson Tan (1977), Suffian accepted that the discretion is not as wide as thought to be.
This is what he said: "In deciding that the A-G is not constrained by Article 8 when deciding whether or not to prosecute and if so on what charge, whether a lesser or a greater one, it must not be thought that he may act dishonestly.
"The public of whose interest he is the guardian has a right to expect him to act honestly, without fear of powerful national and local figures or of the consequences to him personally or politically, and without favouring his relatives and friends and supporters, his principal concern being to maintain the rule of law so that there will be no anarchy and to maintain standards in public life and the private sector; and if he did not do his duty honestly and properly the public would be able to show their disapproval not however in the courts but elsewhere and in the last resort by voting against the party of which he is a member."
This shows that an A-G must act honestly and that there is a legitimate interest in every member of the public that he will act honestly.
Another way of saying the same thing is that the A-G must act in good faith and must not be swayed by irrelevant considerations.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/a-g-s-discretion-under-article-145-3-gopal-sri-ram#sthash.3ZYCC4uY.dpuf
Link

Monday, January 25, 2016

Dr Kua Kia Soong: Dispelling misconceptions about the TPPA

Excerpt:

Allow me to dispel some misconceptions raised by some supporters of the TPPA who seem genuinely concerned about wanting Malaysia to submit to a higher “rule of law” trade regime yet appear naïve in making those assumptions.

Is the rejection of the TPPA a retreat into isolationism?

These supporters of the TPPA argue that a rejection of the TPPA is a retreat into isolationism. Some even use the examples of North Korea and Iran to scare Malaysians into accepting the Agreement. This is disingenuous indeed. For a start, North Korea and Iran have been forced into isolation because of sanctions applied by the world community. On the other hand, Malaysia, which is modelled along liberal democratic lines, has one of the most open globally interconnected economies in the world, without being in the TPPA. At the other end of the spectrum is China, which is run by the Chinese Communist Party and is doing pretty well thank you in its trade with countries in every continent even though it is being strenuously isolated from the TPPA by the US.

Will investors stop investing in Malaysia if we do not ratify the TPPA?

That depends on what we have to offer. If tenders cannot be won on merit, if corruption and commissions are the order of the day, if the rule of law is suspect, which investor would want to put their money here? But does the TPPA ensure such bad governance conditions will not prevail anymore? Think again!

Now, assume that we do not join the TPPA. Do you think Lynas will stop dumping their toxic rare earth in Kuantan? Will other Multinational Companies stop coming to invest in Malaysia if the Malaysian government continues with its union-bashing and low wage policies? Only the absolutely naïve would think so. It was the MNCs that demanded these policies in the first place when the first Free Trade Zones were established in Malaysia in the seventies.

Will the TPPA entrench the rule of law in Malaysia?

Some supporters of the TPPA are of the opinion that the binding stipulations in the Agreement will have a positive impact by strengthening the rule of law in Malaysia. The evidence shows otherwise. Now, even before we have signed the TPPA, the US has already lowered its standards on human rights for Malaysia. First, it upgraded the ranking for Malaysia’s record on human trafficking despite the shocking discovery of mass graves near the Thai border. Then it agreed to the Malaysian government’s request for racial discriminatory exemptions for Bumiputera interests in the TPPA.

The only “rule of law” that the TPPA is concerned about is securing the interests of multinational corporations whenever they face challenges to their profits. Thus the ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) mechanism is not so much the “rule of law” as the extrajudicial process written into the TPPA whereby governments can be dragged before supra-national tribunals by corporate lawyers if they think national laws violate their TPP rights or limit the MNCs’ expected profits.

Do you think the US is concerned about the “rule of law” in Malaysia beyond the ISDS? President Obama’s diplomatic replies to this question to placate the Najib government during his last visit is instructive. Is the US concerned about the rule of law in Saudi Arabia, their strongest ally in the Middle East?

More:
http://www.suaram.net/?p=7792
Link

Friday, January 22, 2016

I'm crazy, not stupid

This joke is worth repeating, and if it could help someone in a similar situation, it is worth it...

One truck driver was doing his usual delivery to Mental Hospital. He discovered a flat tyre when he was about to go home. He jacked up the truck and took the flat tyre down. When he was about to fix the spare tyre, he accidentally dropped all the bolts into the drain. As he can't fish the bolts out, he started to panic.

One patient happened to walk past and asked the driver what happened.

The driver thought to himself, since there's nothing much he can do, he told the patient the whole incident.

The patient laughed at him and said "Can't even fix such a simple problem... no wonder you are destined to be a truck driver..."

"Here's what you can do, take one bolt each from the other 3 tyres and fix them onto this tyre. Then drive to the nearest workshop and replace the missing ones, easy as that."

The driver was very impressed and asked:"You're s o smart but why are you here at the Mental Hospital?"

Patient replied: "Hello, I stay here because I'm CRAZY not STUPID!"
Link

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What's up with WhatsApp? It's free!

My friend commented when forwarding to me the news:

'This is good news for all our WhatsApp users.   It's not so much as to the cheap subscription, it's about HOW to go about paying the subscription - using what ?  Credit card, PayPal, or some cumbersome form of payments?   Not all WhatsApp users have these.   Now that its definitely free, that worry is no longer there.'

From Androidcentral.com:

'WhatsApp has announced that it will axe its $1 annual subscription fee starting today. The Facebook-owned messaging service is nearing a billion users, and will start exploring alternate business models.

WhatsApp failed to monetize in emerging markets due to low debit and credit card penetration, which led to the service being offered for free. Today's announcement reflects a change of strategy that will see the platform acting as a facilitator between businesses and customers:

Naturally, people might wonder how we plan to keep WhatsApp running without subscription fees and if today's announcement means we're introducing third-party ads. The answer is no. Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from. That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight.

We all get these messages elsewhere today – through text messages and phone calls – so we want to test new tools to make this easier to do on WhatsApp, while still giving you an experience without third-party ads and spam.

Facebook has already undertaken a similar strategy with Messenger, giving users the ability to chat with businesses. The feature will come in handy in countries like India, where WhatsApp is slowly becoming the de-facto method of communication.'

More: http://www.androidcentral.com/whatsapp-gets-rid-annual-subscription-fee
Link