Practise safety, advises man who cycles to work.

February 23rd, 2017

PETALING JAYA: The safety of cyclists depends on their own behaviour while on the road, says a 40-year-old businessman who has been cycling to work every day since 2011.

Wong Hau Young, an avid cyclist since his teenage years in Ipoh, is also one of those who do not wear a helmet, as he finds it unnecessary.

“There are those who are doing it professionally complete with cycling gear and helmet, and there are the children who modify their bicycles to race.

“As for me, I am just a bicycle user. I don’t use a helmet because I don’t find it necessary,” said Wong who cycles to work and to destinations within a 25km radius of his apartment in Desa Pandan, Kuala Lumpur near here.

Wong traded the comfort of a car for his bicycle six years ago after getting frustrated with the city traffic.

For him, a cyclist must know which roads are too busy and unsafe, and to look for alternative routes.

The PLUS Highway website lists bicycles as a “slow moving vehicle” along with trishaws and tractors, which are not permitted on its highways.

Wong said each month, cyclists in the city gather for a night ride called “Critical Mass” as part of a global movement that aims to raise awareness for cyclists.

From the starting point at Ampang Park, the cyclists will ride together slowly to Dataran Merdeka.

“We will occupy one lane on the road. This movement is to remind other motorists that there are still other people who are not in cars or motorcycles using the road,” he said.

In JOHOR BARU, police have warned the public not to attend any illegal gathering to show support for the mat lajak groups or make degrading remarks that can disrupt investigations on the fatal accident that killed eight teenage cyclists there.

The term mat lajak refers to teenage cyclists who race on modified bicycles without brakes.

Johor Baru (South) OCPD Asst Comm Sulaiman Salleh said police have identified two persons for calling for an illegal assembly as a sign of solidarity towards the mat lajak while opposing enforcement against them, and for posting insulting remarks about the police.

Sulaiman warned that firm action would be taken against anyone involved in organising or attending the rally.

Read more @

Protecting proboscis monkeys

February 23rd, 2017
Born to be wild: A collared male proboscis monkey being released in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.

Born to be wild: A collared male proboscis monkey being released in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.

KOTA KINABALU: Local and international experts are collaborating to come up with a plan to protect the proboscis monkey in Sabah.

Malaysian and international scientists, government agencies and industry players will congregate at the three-day Proboscis Monkey Workshop, which starts today, to draft a policy for the purpose.

The workshop is organised by the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) and Sabah Wildlife Department.

DGFC director Dr Benoit Goossens said several experts would propose recommendations at the event for the primate’s conservation based on findings from an extensive five-year research on the endangered species.

A proboscis monkey action plan for Sabah would be drafted following the recommendations, he said.

“I hope the plan will be adopted by the state government to save the species endemic to Borneo, which is threatened by habitat loss and forest fragmentation in Sabah,” Dr Goossens said.

On the research, he said both the centre and department had collected crucial information on the primate’s population in Sabah, including data on demography, behaviour, genetics and health over the past five years.

Surveys were carried out on proboscis monkeys along several rivers such as the Kinabatangan, Segama, Klias and Sugut, with many blood samples collected for genetic analyses.

“Information on genetic isolation, lack of gene flow between populations, risks of inbreeding and extinction will be discussed during the workshop,” Dr Goossens said.

He said the workshop will see input from relevant stakeholders – government department officers, representatives from NGOs, tourism and palm oil industries, local communities, scientists and experts on proboscis monkeys – to formulate pragmatic solutions to preserve the proboscis monkey.

These researches were made possible with the support of Yayasan Sime Darby, which had committed RM3.96mil over six years since 2011.

Read more @

All Schools To Be Disabled-Friendly By 2020 – Mahdzir

February 23rd, 2017

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 22 (Bernama) — The education ministry has targeted that by 2020, schools nationwide be upgraded with facilities for the disabled, says minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

Thus, he hoped more private companies would come forward to collaborate with the ministry in providing such facilities for students with special needs.

“The ministry itself takes the responsibility of providing the facilities (to the disabled) at new schools, but we need strategic partners to fund for old schools,” he said.

Mahdzir was speaking to reporters after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the ministry and RHB Foundation here today.

The collaboration benefits 505 disabled students at five schools in the Klang Valley, namely SK Seri Indah and SMK Desa Perdana in Kuala Lumpur; SK Bukit Rimau and SM Pendidikan Khas Vokasional in Shah Alam; and SMK Taman Desa 2 in Rawang.

The RM500,000 project involves upgrading facilities such as new toilets for the disabled, pick-up and drop-off areas, ramps and handrails. These facilities were completed last year.

Mahdzir said the five schools were chosen based on the highest number of students with special needs.


Read more @

Lim Kok Wing gets honoured for his contribution to education and society.

February 20th, 2017
Proud moment: Tiffanee (in blue) accepting the award on behalf of her father while International Emirates Business Group founder and president Badria Al Mulla (second from right) and others look on.

Proud moment: Tiffanee (in blue) accepting the award on behalf of her father while International Emirates Business Group founder and president Badria Al Mulla (second from right) and others look on.

LONDON: Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing has been honoured with two awards – the Global Icon for Innovation and Global Leadership for Peace and Equality – for his contributions to education and society.

The Limkokwing University of Creative Technology founder and president received the awards at the Seventh Middle East Business Leaders Awards 2016.

Lim’s daughter, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology vice-president, Brand, Creativity and Talent Development Datuk Tiffanee Marie Lim and its vice-chancellor Prof Cedric Bell received the awards on his behalf at the event at InterContinental London on Friday night.

“I am honoured and humbled by the awards and am proud of my father’s achievement,” said Tiffanee at the event.

Malaysian High Commissioner to Britain Datuk Ahmad Rasidi Hazizi said the recognition had made the country proud.

“This shows foreign nations that Malaysia has developed in various fields.

“I am sure our young Malaysian leaders will continue to receive recognition in the future,” said Ahmad Rasidi.

Event organiser International Leaders chief executive officer Shahul Hameed Shaik Dawood said the award was a recognition to leaders in various industries who had helped propel their country’s economy in a global setting.

“This year, Malaysia won more awards than ever before.

“This shows that the business management approach among local entrepreneurs and industry players is successful and should be followed,” said Sharul.

“I’m sure leaders today are faced with many challenges, particularly changes in global politics, economy and community development.

Read more @

Reinventing varsities for sustainability

February 19th, 2017

IT is now common knowledge that the higher education sector is facing challenging times ahead.

All universities in the country are telling the same story of difficulties in managing the higher education business. The traditional university education is becoming less popular.

For the private universities, there are already signs of declining student numbers, with a growing number of students exploring other options to prepare them for the professions of their choice.

On the other hand, public universities are crying because of the drastic cuts in the funding from the government. With little experience in generating income, most are at a loss on how to cope with this constraint.

Many have chosen the easy way out, which is trimming the workforce. Many have terminated the services of lecturers in order to cut costs, with even experienced professors not spared from the exercise. Already, many fear the long-term impact of such measures, which may prove retrogressive for the nation.

Despite the difficulties, many are unanimous that education is an important investment. It is through education that future leaders are trained and developed. There is ample evidence to show that countries that invest wisely in education stand a better chance of making better headway in business, technology development and innovation.

Like it or not, higher education is the stage which prepares and provides the final touches to the students as they take that initial plunge into industry and society.

Varsities must produce graduates trained not only with the right skills but also with the right mindset to productively contribute to society.

It will be damaging for the country if the quality of graduates does not meet the expectations of industry and society. This is the reason why the curriculum and courses designed must take into account the many factors that are important to major stakeholders.

The big question before us now is: are our varsities catering to those very requirements that would enhance the nation’s competitiveness and bring progress to the society at large?

There are mixed answers to such a question. There are those who believe that we are doing well with our higher education. Indeed, we are producing talents needed by industry. In fact, they are saying that many of our engineering graduates enjoy big demand in the Middle East and elsewhere.

The impact factor of our researchers has also been soaring upwards, as maintained by the ministry.

However, there are those who disagree. Industry captains frequently complain about our graduates not fully meeting their criteria of exemplary talent. They say most are poor in their communication skills and other interpersonal attributes. Apparently, graduates from the private universities fare better compared to their public university counterparts.

In a globalised world rife with competition, most people agree that innovation strength is a key factor if a nation is to rise above the competition. This is where universities can sow the seeds through their R&D activities.

However, innovation can only be felt by society if the R&D findings are effectively shared with the public. Unfortunately, most of the R&D tend to aim only for publication in Tier One peer reviewed journals, as that is the KPI for academics here.

The sad part of it is that such journals have a very limited readership, with only those in the same discipline reading them. The findings do not effectively reach out to those who matter, such as the policy makers, businesses, and society at large.

Read more @

Exploring Korean teaching and learning

February 19th, 2017

SOUTH Korea, or the Republic of Korea (ROK), has emerged as the world number one for educating students. I was curious about what made that nation progress so fast up the ladder of education and economics compared to Malaysia.

As a participant of the Asean-Korea Exchange Fellowship Programme 2016/2017, I spent three weeks conducting research in schools, the Seoul National University, and meeting some Korean think tanks.

My primary research was to explore primary school education in the ROK, focusing on the teaching of morality and healthy body programmes for primary school pupils.

After in-depth document analysis on the educational history of the ROK, I have a clearer picture of why ROK can emerge as the world number one for education.

Firstly, the country sets a solid foundation by investing heavily in early preschool education (up to five years old).

It goes back to basics: this is the formative age for character formation and healthy bodies.

Historically, education started in the ROK with character development more than 500 years ago. Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism were the pillars behind the basis for character formation.

By 1949, preschool education for every Korean child was compulsory, and parents who could not afford it were provided with subsidies to ensure that no child was left behind.

The focus of early education was on basic hygiene, character development and leading a progressive life. By the time these children came to primary school, basic skills have been learnt, and they seem mature for their age; knowing the right food to eat and behaving appropriately in school and public spheres.

With character having been developed and formed according to norms of society, teachers in elementary school can fully focus on the teaching and learning process.

The second important factor that speeds up world class education in the ROK is training of teachers and the excellent support system for teachers at all levels (elementary school, middle high school and high school).

For a start, teacher candidates are selected from students who obtained excellent results in high school and have a well-rounded record in school.

They are provided with comprehensive, up to date training; merging hundreds of years of local wisdom with the latest Western and Eastern educational philosophy that has been proven effective not just in one but many developed nations.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology ensures that teachers receive high wages, have small number of students in their classes for deep teaching and learning to take place. This provides the opportunity for the ROK teachers to research the latest method of teaching and learning so that they can maximise the opportunities from the time spent with students in the classroom.

Read more @

Thousands cheer Johor Ruler and Crown Prince at procession.

February 19th, 2017

, Sultan Ibrahim striking the drum to launch the procession as Crown Prince Tunku Ismail looks on.

Sultan Ibrahim striking the drum to launch the procession as Crown Prince Tunku Ismail looks on.

JOHOR BARU: Thousands of people lined the streets and cheered as Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar and the Crown Prince Tunku Ismail arrived to launch a Chingay procession here.

A sea of fluttering state flags and energetic chants of Daulat Tuanku echoed along Jalan Wong Ah Fook when Sultan Ibrahim and Tunku Ismail arrived to join in the celebration at about 9pm here on Friday.

Sultan Ibrahim, who made history as the first Johor Ruler to attend the parade in the state last year, launched the event by sounding a Chinese drum several times.

It was Tunku Ismail’s first appearance at the Chingay festival this year, just a week after celebrating Thaipusam with the Indian community in Masai on Feb 9.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, China’s ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang, Singapore consul-general in Johor Baru Rajpal Singh and Johor Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong also attended the event.

Sultan Ibrahim waved as the participants chanted heng ah! (prosperity) and huat ah! (good fortune) as well as Daulat Tuanku as they passed the main stage, which was set up at the Komtar JBCC’s entrance here.

“Deities” from the five main clans in Johor, namely Hakka, Teochew, Hokkien, Cantonese and Hainan, were taken on a 9km tour on foot to bless the city and its people.

The crowd was treated to elaborately decorated floats, big head dolls, bearers of huge flags from the five clans, lion and dragon dance performances as well as fireworks throughout the four-hour event., Malaysia’s latest subscription video-on-demand service, also made its debut at the event with a prosperity-themed float, in-line with the year of the rooster.

Based on the concept of a sailing boat, the float indicates a successful year ahead for, accompanied by five koi fish to represent “five concurrent users”, one of the key features of the service.

A red rooster sits up front, also in’s colour.

Organised annually by the Johor Ancient Temple, the procession, which takes pride in its 147-year old history, marked the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Read more @

Strengthening usage of English

February 18th, 2017

UNIVERSITI Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) and the Cambridge Malaysian Education And Development Trust (CMEDT) will work to strengthen the usage of English Language in the country.

UPSI and CMEDT, an organisation aiming to advance education in Commonwealth countries, signed a Letter of Intent to launch a pilot project, Cambridge Accessible Tests (CATs), with UPSI.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the joint effort by UPSI and CMEDT marks the beginning of the journey to enhance students’ acquisition of English.

“It is also part of the ministry’s effort to redesign higher education as well as to improve quality and the standards of English among our graduates,” he said at the launching ceremony last Monday.

Idris said the deployment of CATs – an online learning platform which is calibrated with the Common European Framework of Reference – would address the “urgent need” for higher learning institutions to develop “self-directed graduates” who are proficient in English.

“CATs will enable students to learn and improve their proficiency in English at their own pace, promoting self-directed learning.

“This would make students not only recipients of knowledge, but also co-curators of knowledge,” he said.

Idris says the joint effort marks the beginning of the journey to enhance students’ use of English.

Idris says the joint effort marks the beginning of the journey to enhance students’ use of English.

The enrichment programme will be carried out from the September intake this year, in addition to the existing university English courses in UPSI. Studies on its effectiveness will be conducted later.

CMEDT executive chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid said the pilot project will cover four principal areas of English – speaking, reading, writing and listening.

“CATs was specially developed and formulated in a manner where it is in full synergy with the teaching and learning process to ease students’ mastery of English accuracy and fluency,” he said.

UPSI vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Zakaria Kasa said CATs is a chance for students to “soar upwards” as it is an additional platform which helps them to “conquer” their command of the language.

Read more @

Students Must Excel In Studies And Sports – Raja Muda Of Perlis

February 17th, 2017

KANGAR, Feb 16 (Bernama) — The Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail called on students to excel in both their studies and sports to be truly excellent citizens.

“Though sports and education are synonymous and complement each other in the day-to-day activities of students, it is hoped that students will never ever neglect academic achievements.

“An athlete who excels in his studies will be able to manage himself better and is capable of planning a better life in the long term besides having good self-esteem and moral character,” he said when opening the ‘Titian Kasih Mega’ Programme at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Syed Alwi, here today.

Tuanku Syed Faizuddin said the public should understand that the field of sports nowadays was not just a last option if one was poor academically.

“The field of sports can also be a long-term career option like other professional fields if carried out with dedication. Schools and parents should provide support to children to engage in sports because they can become certified coaches or athletes someday,” he said.


Read more @

SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah Launched English Enhancement Programme.

February 16th, 2017

On 14 February 2017, Madam Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah) launched the SIDMA College English Enhancement Programme (EEP), a tailor-made programme to improve student’s ability in the four main areas: in speaking, listening, writing and reading in English.

Held at SIDMA College, the ceremony was also attended by  the college management team, Mr. Louis Jais (Academic Manager), Ms Melissa Marcus Molijol (Student Counsellor), Ms Valerie Charles (representative from Office of the Registrar) and Madam Jenifah Abdullah as the English Language Facilitator

During the launching of the first stage of EEP; which is also known as “Express English” involving the first cohort of 35 students, Madam Azizah announced that the programme is part of SIDMA College Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to provide free coaching in English to the targeted students, and hoped that students can enjoy learning the language as well as can benefit from it.

The main objectives of the programme among others, are aimed to improve the standard of English as well as to boost the student’s confidence in using the language, which would indirectly encourage their usage of the language as a second language in Malaysia. Other programmes in the pipeline to be implemented soon, are Grooming and Induction Courses for students upon completion of their studies in the college.

Madam Azizah also introduced Madam Jenifah Abdullah, whom the college has handpicked to facilitate the implementation of the programme. Madam Jenifah, a former Senior Education Officer as well as member of the Malaysian Teacher Support Team, has undergone as well as conducted various intensive English Language Teaching and learning courses during her 38 years of service with Sabah Education Department. She would be developing related teaching and learning modules, as well as creating conducive learning environment to suit and enhance students mastery of the language through active involvement and interactions.

“Express English” is a four (4) hours weekly programme implemented throughout the 14 week semester (with a total 56 credit hours). Students who successfully complete the programme will be presented with a certificate of participation from the management of the college.

Read more @