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, May 21, 2016

A surreal coincidence in the operating theatre

As I was wheeled into the operating theatre, a member of the OT team recognised my nose (last seen, probably some 15 years ago), despite my dramatic loss in weight (from 80+ to 58 kg). She checked my name, and took off her mask and asked, 'Are you Cheng Boon's father?' 'Yes.' I replied. 'Is she coming back?' 'No' without finishing with, 'but she will be post operation'.

That brief conversation set into motion a vital link which proved to be so useful because of my unexpected prolonged surgery (from 2 hours to 6 hours) because of need to resussitate me and blood transfusion. Whenever possible she informed my daugher Cheng in Geneva, who informed her brother in PJ, who then informed my wife, anxiously waiting for news. Just imagine her anxiety, if not for this almost real time information, and she were kept in the dark throughout the 6 hours! I do not think, if pre-planned, it could have worked out so well.  

First hurdle cleared, next battle is chemotherapy, which I have 2 to 3 weeks to build my body up to it.

I will be avoiding the computer and handphone as much as possible. So this blog, which had not been updated recently, will continue to be slack in the next few months.

I wish to thank my followers and visitors for their past support and hope they will bear with me during this period.



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Friday, April 22, 2016

PAC Report: E&O Excepted?

Might as well include it at the end of the report. Otherwise, how could the Chairman of PAC takes it so lightly, his omission of crucial sentences which might enlighten and strengthen the report?

I am referring to the Malaysiakini report:

Editing of sentences doesn’t affect PAC report, says Hasan

More: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/338456

and selected readers' comments on

PAC report’s deletion not a mistake but deliberate attempt

'MinahBulat: Public Accounts Committee (PAC) deputy chairperson Tan Seng Giaw, I take objection to your word "mistake" in referring to chairperson Hasan Arifin’s deletion of the two crucial sentences from the PAC report.

A mistake is something that is wrong but was not deliberately done. The PAC, as I understand, had agreed to the working draft. So on what authority did Hasan unilaterally amend the working draft?

How can that be a mistake when he had no authority to do so? The PAC report has to be signed off by the PAC members and the removal of the sentences was detected later.

Tan, this was no mistake but a deliberate attempt to defraud the other PAC members and ultimately the public. Hasan must be referred to a parliamentary select committee for his dastardly act.'

More:
https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/338877

Wikipedia: 'Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE) is a phrase used in an attempt to reduce legal liability for potentially incorrect or incomplete information supplied in a contractually related document such as a quotation or specification.'



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Sarawak Elections: Can BN win with honour?

Important leaders of the Opposition and NGOs, lately particularly those from DAP, were denied entry into Sarawak. Notable exception was YAB Lim Guan Eng, probably by reason of protocol, being a Chief Minister who has equal standing as Sarawak's.

According to Malaysiakini's latest list, since 1994:


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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Penang Monthly: By Herbert Poenisch: Things to Consider when Choosing a Governor for Bank Negara Malaysia

Excerpt:

"With the exit of Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the Governor of Bank Negara, Penang Monthly considers the issue of central bank governance.

As the outstanding leadership of Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz as Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) draws to a close, this article aims to shed more light on global best practices for choosing a central bank governor and provides profiles of central bank governors worldwide."

"A critical aspect of central banks’ autonomy pertains to the appointments procedure (Figure 2), their terms of office and the procedures for their dismissal. The understanding is that senior officials should have tenure and should be protected against arbitrary dismissal. The power to appoint central bank governors rests mainly with the Head of State (60%). This is the case in Malaysia, where the Yang di-Pertuan Agong appoints the Governor[6]. However, on the way, the BNM Governance Committee prepares a shortlist of candidates and submits it to the Government, which in turn proposes candidates to the King.

Having a number of institutions involved in the appointment process (Figure 3), i.e. a multifaceted appointment process which involves advice, recommendation or consent by another body, may mute the influence of any single political party in the selection of a governor.

In order to ensure tenure, the length of mandates and the conditions for reappointment are specified. As Table 1 shows, the most common length of term is five to six years with the possibility of being reappointed. This was the case in BNM[7], where Zeti was in office for three terms. The Bank Negara Act 2009 provides for the appointment of the governor in line with best international practices without being specific in detail.The remuneration of central bank governors has to be approved by the supervisory board as well as outside parties, such as the government and/or the parliament."

More:
http://penangmonthly.com/things-to-consider-when-choosing-a-governor-for-bank-negara-malaysia/
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Monday, April 11, 2016

Degrees and Post-graduate qualifications from Preston University (United States)

Why would anybody wants to buy a degree? Some wants it for status, especially a Masters or a PhD, without having to go through the normal route which takes a much longer time. Most do not have the basic qualifications to gain entry into accredited universities for a degree course, let alone a post-graduate one. If you are rich enough to start a university yourself, you can easily get a honorary Doctorate or even a Professorship from your own.

Preston University (United States) seem a popular choice for those who want to take a short route to a Masters or even a PhD.

According to Wikipedia:

"Preston University is a private for-profit unaccredited institution that offers a variety of academic degree programs by distance learning. Preston was originally based in Wyoming and in 2007 was based in Alabama. As of 2012, Preston identified Los Angeles, California as its base of operations.[1][2][3]

Preston University is owned by Dr. Abdul Basit.[4]

About 30 affiliated campuses throughout the world were listed by Preston.[5] A number of degree programs ranging from associate to Ph.D. in a variety of disciplines were offered.[6] As of August 2012, the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization reported that the university was operated from Pakistan, had formerly operated in Wyoming and Alabama in the United States, had been active in Nepal in 2009, also had a presence in Dubai, and used several different institutional names in several world regions.[7]"

For more on its history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preston_University_(United_States)

According to a Straits Times report, 'Preston Uni a degree mill? Judge for yourself' on September 8, 2008:

"THE Straits Times yesterday made it clear that it was not about to apologise to Preston University for telling its readers the truth about its credentials - or rather, its lack thereof.

Said editor Han Fook Kwang: 'We stand by our story. I am satisfied that our journalist was accurate in her reporting of Preston University.'

In newspaper advertisements it took out yesterday, Preston University Chancellor Dr Jerry Haenisch confirmed that the university had no accreditation from any US Department of Education body - 'but, a degree mill, absolutely not'.

It did not apply for accreditation, he said, as 'the restrictive nature of the US accreditation system precludes widespread international operations'.

The term - degree or diploma mill - has been used by United States government bodies and newspapers round the world to refer to 'substandard or fraudulent colleges that offer potential students degrees with little or no serious work'. They range from those which are simple frauds: a mailbox to which people send money in exchange for paper that purports to be a college degree to those that require some nominal work from the student but do not require college-level course work that is normally required for a degree.

Preston was taking issue with an ST article on Aug 29 by journalist Sandra Davie, headlined 'At least 218 here have off-the-shelf degrees'. She reported that Preston University was an unaccredited institution and dubbed a degree mill in the US.

Two Singaporeans who graduated from the university were also named, including an options trading expert who said he submitted a thesis and was granted a doctorate within 16 months. He paid $18,000 in fees.

On average, it takes four to six years to earn a doctorate degree from an accredited university."

More: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Education/Story/A1Story20080906-86167.html

From a forum discussion:

"Just because a school is State-licensed in Alabama doesn't mean its degrees are generally acceptable for employment there. I think the prevailing attitude is something like "heck, we let 'em SELL these degrees - they bought a license! They're legal all right - we made 'em legal - but we sure don't want to give any jobs or promotions to folks that are dumb enough to BUY 'em!"

I knew we'd discussed Preston before. This place is "trolling" for students overseas. Preston wants them to think they're being offered legit, proper American degrees - while these are totally unaccredited and have a poor reputation abroad. Preston is known to be active in Southeast Asia, South Asia (Pakistan) and Arab countries. I'd read somewhere they are on the Pakistani Higher Education Commission's "fraud list" of schools whose degrees are unacceptable there.

Here's a thread from an unhappy camper in Cambodia. There are others. One thing that got Preston slammed pretty badly, at one point, was the discovery they were pretending that certain professors (who never worked for them) were on the faculty. "

Source: http://online.degree.net/accredited-unaccredited-state-approved-diploma-mill/t-any-body-know-about-preston-university-2148.html

After all that, it is best to judge for yourself whether someone who has qualifications from Preston University is worthy of them. But if the employer happens to be political leaders appointing their strong supporters to head GLCs, then such 'qualifications' might at least look good on paper to impress people of their so-called credentials. All they are interested in is to fool some people some of the time.


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