Wednesday, November 29, 2006

To Michael Backman

To Michael Backman
Dear Mr. Backman,
First of all, thank you for hitting the nail right on the head with your series of article on Malaysia.I am a Malaysian, grew up, educated and brought up in Malaysia, only to be fortunate to emigrate to the USA recently.
Do please allow me the opportunity to shed some light on the entire Malaysian 'system' as how a layman would see it

Education
Ever since I was a boy of eight or ten, my earliest memories was of my late father (a lowly paid civil servant) continuosly harping and drumming into me, on the need to excel way and above expectations. The odds are stacked against non-Bumiputra in all avenues, he would always say. In a developing nation like Malaysia in the depressed economies of the early 80s - one can expect little economic progress if one lacked a good formal education.

Reality struck me when I finished my primary education, almost every single one of my Bumiputra friends, worth a pinch of any academic salt was weeded out to attend Government-operated fully residential schools. Those that remained were close to extreme basket-cases (some could not even read after 6 years of primary education). Some of these friends whom I will meet again in my later years would have their British, American or Australian university education fully paid for by the Government.

My educational experience got much worse for me as the Government continue to make calls for an egalitarian approach and quota-based allocation students in classrooms. Let this be known, that this does not apply to fully-residential schools which are 100% attended by Bumiputras. So, through the years, brilliant non-Bumiputra school children would have to succumb to dumb-down classrooms to cater for the their Bumiputra counterparts (who have been left behind as the better ones are 'raptured' away)

The system of weeding-out Bumiputra children into a mono-culture, preferentially-treated educational system continues. Right after the first public examination (Malaysian Certificate of Education, equivalent to British GCE 'O' Levels). Bumiputra students are again given 100% preferential seats at matriculation centers (conducted by Universities, or governmental agencies). Placement in these instituition almost guarantees a place in the University and some governmental agencies will go to great lengths to prepare the student for placement at foreign universities. Less academic oriented ones will be provided places at Vocational instituitions.

Hence, we have the non-Bumiputra students left behind in the main-strean school system, yet again.

Then came the all-important school leaving examinations (STPM, equivalent to Higher School Certificate or British 'A' Levels). Those aspiring (rather those who do not have any other means) for a place at a Malaysian University would have to sit for this examination. Once again, after examination results are announced admission to the University are quota-based and skewed towards Bumiputra students. Some faculties are even wholly reserved for Bumiputra students.

Non-Bumiputra students from traditional school system have just sat for a tougher public examination and after that is over, their admission to Malaysian universities are once-again based on quotas skewed towards Bumiputra students being admitted to local universities from these Matriculation centers. Again I have the need to stress, that Matriculation centers run their own examination and courses are graded based on an American semester-based system (in which marks are provided based on a combination of exam score, coursework and attendance)

Yes, my late father did mention, the odds are stacked against us. Looking back, the odds are unimaginable. Regular Non-Bumiputra students from working-class families have literally no means of any advancement given the odds that are stacked against them. Firstly, non-Bumiputra students have to dumb themselves down in classrooms that are forced to portray a facade of multi-culturalism, in which his Bumiputra friends are no way on par with him academically. Again, I stress the better Bumiputra have been weeded out to fully residential schools.Secondly, even if rises above the dumb-down school system and excels, his seat in the local university is again unsecured, as he faces a stiff 'challenge' from a quota-based entrance system, in which Bumiputra students from these Matriculation centers are given preferential seats.

I thank God everyday today that I have broken away from the clutches of this extremely inhumane system. It is my fervent hope that my children will never have to experience and undergo such bigotry.

To Mr. Backman, thank you for your courage to write the article that you wrote. It almost seem like a glimmer of hope for those that have been wronged and trodden upon. We hope that one-day things will be better for them, in their own country. Better for them in their own home.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The National News Agency Concur

http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news.php?id=230193

November 15, 2006 17:34 PM

M'sian Astronauts To Spin Top, Toss Batu Seremban In Space
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian pioneer astronaut will spin top and toss "batu seremban' (five-stone game) as part of an experiment during his space travel."The astronaut will also paint a batik motif and make 'teh tarik' ('pulled' tea) which would be shared with his fellow astronauts," said Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim.Rohani, who was representing the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, was responding to a supplementary question from Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan) in the Dewan Rakyat, here Wednesday.('Batu seremban' is played by throwing one stone and sweeping another on the floor and then simultaneously catching the one thrown earlier.)On Marcus's original question, Rohani said a lot of scientists had forwarded their research proposal in space to the astronaut."The main objective of sending an astronaut into orbit is to carry out scientific experiments under microgravity - a situation alien to the earth. As such the National Aerospace Agency has opened doors to our scientists to show their mettle and capabilities through the National Astronaut Programme," said Rohani.She said the outcome of the experiments would be studied on earth with the hope that it would unravel the mysteries in science, education and medicine."The National Astronaut Programme is not only aimed at despatching an astronaut into space but it will be a continuous affair as it will benefit the people."She said the programme was not borne by the Treasury, but derived by offsetting the purchase of Sukhoi jet fighters from Russia by the Defence Ministry.Two Malaysian astronaut candidates Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and Kapt Dr Faiz Khaleed are now undergoing rigorous 12-month training at Star City, Moscow where eventually one of them will be selected as the pioneer Malaysian astronaut who will lift off from the International Space Station.-- BERNAMA

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And so...after lot's of research proposal, the best Malaysian scientific experiment is to play 5 stones, make tea and paint a batik.

More reports on Stupid Malaysian playing children games in space

You think I made it up ?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Picture Series













4.4 Billion and we are all suppose to shut up.

Madness in Malaysia

Madness in Malaysia.

A picture speaks a thousand words, and this indeed true as the human mind of the 21st century is now too inundated with information.

These series of pictures will attempt to present to the world that the Malaysian Government, the ruling party and the majority community in Malaysia practices open, rampant and legalised racial discrimination and bigotry.

This open discrimination and bigotry has resulted in a tremendous strain on the Malaysian people, particulary the minority community.

Minorities in Malaysia which accounts for less than 40% of the entire population can be broadly categorised as non-Muslim and non-Bumiputra (Bumiputra is literally transalated as “sons of the soil”). The minorities were immigrants during the early 18th and 19th century from regions of what is now southern China, India. The British administrators in the early 18th and 19th century encouraged the migration of these hardworking groups of people to sustain the need for labour in the new colonies.

Words cannot begin to describe the extent on human suffering, economic wastages and inefficiency that this rampant discrimination has resulted in this social reengineering (broadly classified as the New Economic Policy) that has spanned almost 4 decades.

As with the Cultural Revolution of the People’s Republic China, frivalous racial pursuits occupies the minds and paradigm of the ruling party and majority. Ruling party members and within it’s close circle of friends and family members pursue an unending and vicious cycle of greed and wealth accumulation through open system corruption and political patronage.

Minorities coninue to be made to look as bogeyman of the the economic pie. Public policy has been enacted to ensure that the minorities must continuosly be discriminated, opportunities blocked and regulations enacted to deny minorities equal participation in the economy and opportunities for education.

To put this into perspective of the general reader, the logical mind can fathom a ruling that reads along the line that an African-American student will be given special treatment and opportunities for higher education. In Malaysia, the reverse is true and is true in all aspects and fa├žade of the society.

In the US, a ruling similar to what it was ordained in Malaysia would read that the medical schools state universities are reserved exclusively for White Christians. Never mind that state universities are state-funded instituition from tax revenue.

That is the extent of discrimination and racial bigotry in Malaysia and that is the extent of human suffering. I take a moment of silence to honour and pay my respects to the honest and hardworking minorties of Malaysia. They have continued to toil and perservere despite surmounting odds both in the socially, legally and economically.

Experiments in Space and Malaysia Bodoh

The Website starsacademy.com (http://www.starsacademy.com/) provides an opportunity for students around the world to send proposals for experiments to be conducted in space.

This gives opportunity for students worldwide to design actual experiments directly with scientist, engineers and participate directly in the implementation and experiment hypithesis.
Some of the notable experiments include, reproduced here from the website :

- From Australia, Glen Waverly Secondary School. Students design a spider experiment to determine if the spider will build a different web in space compared to Earth. The hypotheris is that the webs metabolic makeup will be impacted. The objective is to determine how spiders will adapt to life in microgravity.

- From China. Jingshan School, Beijing. Observe and experiment and characterize the effects of space flight on the development of silkworm eggs, larvae, pupae and adults during a 16-day space shuttle flight. Upon their return, the silkworms and the silk produced in space will be examined and compared to equivalent organisms and silk grown under identical environmental conditions on the ground.

In 2005, Members of the Electro-Physics Branch at the NASA Glenn Research Center and students from Hathaway Brown School conducted a 4-year experiment on polymers and how well different polymers can withstand the harsh environment of space.

On a more scientific note, NASA engineers are developing a space station experiment to help engineers design smoke detectors that are sensitive enough to catch fires early. The hypothesis is that smoke particles form differently in microgravity than they do on the ground. Fire in space can be devastating.

These examples cited above are verifiable from NASA's website.

Malaysian astronauts will be conducting the following experiments in space which "no one has done before".
- They will play "batu seremban" or "five stones" and spin traditional Malay tops in space.
- they would do batik printing and making teh tarik

Pray please inform the Malaysian public what the hypothesis of these experiments are for. What are we measuring ? Do please inform us, even it's the trajectory of a milky tea in microgravity and to determine if if complies with Newton's First Law of Motion.

If it does, then what ?

It seems again, Malaysia and her half-baked politicians, policy makers and official have done it again with it's utterly blind homage to form over function.

We are the laughing stock of the world and will continue to be.

Malaysians, look around you, look at your rural schools, visit the squalid rural medical facilities, deplorable social programs for the elderly and underpriviledge, count the number of public libraries we have, read about our contaminated water system, check out our crime rate and hear the plight of our underpaid police officers, visit our schools and see our teachers and children who teach and learn in sweltering humid tropical heat.
Then come back and rethink why our Government is conducting experiments on batu seremban in space.