Disciplining kids begins at home

August 20th, 2017
A vicious cycle: Bullying, gangsterism, drug abuse and other problems persist due to the inability to stem the tide.

A vicious cycle: Bullying, gangsterism, drug abuse and other problems persist due to the inability to stem the tide.

HERE we go again, talking about so-called “hotspot” schools tainted by disciplinary problems, like bullying, gangsterism and drug abuse.

A list of 402 schools nationwide marked as schools saddled with these issues, and requiring special attention from the relevant authorities, has leaked on social media.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon said, of the total, 311 were in the category of schools with disciplinary issues while 91 are “hotspots” or have the potential of becoming problematic schools.

A furore has exploded because the list is now in the public domain. And stoking the fires of controversy even further, “good schools” are also to be found on the list, with parents demanding explanations for these tarnished images a natural consequence.

However, the “sinister” reality is, this issue has remained unresolved for decades, quite like an unsolvable case from a crime caper. Every education minister who has come and gone has flashed the badge and shot from the lip.

Almost all have spun that proverbial cliché, “kita tidak akan kompromi” (we will not compromise) in their oath to deal with these delinquents.

Like a rehashed script, the false promises have rolled out; “will take action,” and “take this seriously” or “go after the culprits”.

In the end, though, the problem continues to persist, and worryingly, has now even flourished. The authorities have been able to do little to stem the tide.

To put it succinctly, these education ministers have failed miserably. The countless meetings between the police, educators and parents, are sadly, wasted resource. And from these shindigs, a silly number of committees and sub-committees have been set up over spreads of kuih and coffee, while their reports are likely languishing in the dust.

Of course, no one wants to concede failure. But, for amusement’s sake, hit the search engines on this issue, and see the cyclical nature of the problem. It is rampant and repetitive.

In 2004, 16-year-old student Farid Ibrahim was killed when he was bashed up by seniors at the hostel of SM Agama Datuk Klana Putra Ma’amor in Seremban.

Earlier, in 2000, then Education director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Abdullah had urged school principals not to sweep cases under the carpet, “as has happened in the past”, when they encounter gang activities in schools.

Former Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Mohamed Bakri Omar revealed in 2003 that there were 5,320 criminal cases involving students, crimes including drug abuse, stealing, robbery, extortion, rape and murder – in statistics, a 22.7% increase from the 2002 figure of 4,200.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/on-the-beat/2017/08/20/disciplining-kids-begins-at-home-problems-at-schools-wont-go-away-overnight-schools-are-not-care-cen/#gmA8JcQfgCcuG8jM.99

Come together as one to help country soar in Games.

August 20th, 2017

A HAUL of 111 gold medals might seem like a tall order, but according to Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, this projection is based purely on the current form of our athletes taking part in the 29th SEA Games, which officially kicked off yesterday.

It has been 16 years since Malaysia last played host, and as luck would have it, we hit that staggering figure in 2001, too. So it’s easy to see this looking like a walk in the park. But that is a sensational statistic.

Still, our chinlone team, synchronised swimmers and archers have all been bang on target, setting the wheels in motion for our warriors to realise Mission: Almost Impossible. This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, because KL2017 takes place over 12 days.

Blood, sweat and tears will separate winners from losers battling it out across many hours on the tracks, courts, turf and in the water.

It’s the same kind of spirit athletes pour into years of training, hoping to arrive at a major sporting platform.

Ultimately, everyone wants to stand up and be counted, because they want to do it for the flag.

So, why shouldn’t we dare to dream? Didn’t it all start with one, anyway?

When Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman cried out “Merdeka” on Aug 31, 1957, he ushered in the start of a country that stood tall with its mixed race makeup. And we’ve achieved great things since, especially in sports, where we have celebrated and cried together.

There is an indescribable romance attached to the 1980 Moscow Olympics football team, and the AFF Suzuki Cup team of 2010 has a lovely fairy tale to it, proving what playing on your patch can do, especially since the team pretty much sealed the deal in the first leg of that final playoff.

Stadium Bukit Jalil nearly split at the seams with the thundering noise of our supporters seven years ago.

So is it home advantage that has spurred our sportsmen and women on? And if it is (and we surely know it is), what defines home advantage?

We define it – each and every one of us. Spare a thought, if we can’t be united in sport, what can bring us together then? We should ask, consequently, are we even worth our individual colours if we cannot be as one for a common goal?

But of course we are. And that’s why, whether it’s five people huddled in front of a dorm TV or the thousands who throng the stadiums, pools and arenas, everyone wants to get into the thick of action, because we all want to be a part of something truly special.
Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/the-star-says/2017/08/20/come-together-as-one-to-help-country-soar-in-games/#KK2d3ld4yhGGwFbk.99

KL2017 an opportunity to again bring Malaysians under a common cause.

August 20th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The time has come for Malaysians to “Bangkit Bersama” (Rise Together) and throw their support behind the athletes representing the nation.

Hosting the 29th SEA Games after 16 years provides an opportunity to once again bring together all Malaysians under a common cause, said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who is the Malaysia Organising Committee chairman.

“This is where 30 million hands come together to reach for the dreams and stars to provide support to the Malaysian contingent and celebrate as a nation which will be united and blessed always.

“No matter what challenges and troubles that cross our paths, we will never give up.

“Let’s rise together! Ayuh Malaysiaku!” said Khairy to rousing cheers from the crowd during his welcoming address at the opening ceremony of Kuala Lumpur 2017 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium last night.

Malaysia hosted the SEA Games in 1989 and 2001.

Also present were Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Reflecting on Malaysia’s nationhood, Khairy noted that six decades ago, a dream and hope for an independent nation came true and six years later, a bigger dream to form a peaceful Malaysia with various religions and ethnicities materialised.

Khairy said there were many factors that helped that dream become a reality and one of it was sports.

“When we support our sportsmen and sportswomen, we do not ask them what race they are.

“We drown our differences and the one thing that emerges is our similarities which come from a noble heart which displays nothing but undivided love for our country,” he said to resounding cheers.

Khairy also said that many gathered and watching at home believe in the power of sports “to unite, to inspire and to bring the very best out of us”.

“It is for this very reason that the SEA Games has been such an important part of shaping the community of South-East Asian nations that is now coming of age,” he added.

Statesmen from the South-East Asian countries came together to forge a shared future five decades ago, he said.

Reports by Hemananthani Sivanandam, Loshana K. Shagar, Natasha Joibi, and Tan Ming Wai

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/08/20/lets-rise-together-says-khairy-kl2017-an-opportunity-to-again-bring-malaysians-under-a-common-cause/#8g7RYuQxd6W9Jf3m.99

Lee Lam Thye: We need to better shield senior citizens from crime.

August 20th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Senior citizens need to be better protected and insulated from crime, said the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF).

Its senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said that senior citizens are vulnerable to criminals and syndicates.

“Senior citizens … have become victims of crime because of their more trusting and believing nature, and because of their concern for their loved ones.

“This makes them easy targets for criminals,” he said after opening a seminar on crime prevention for senior citizens at the Gombak community centre here on Sunday.

Lee said the number of crime victims who are 41 years old and above has only slightly dropped to about 1.5% of the 21,321 reported cases in 2015, compared with 21,649 cases in 2014.

Being aware of preventive techniques could help senior citizens recognise potential crime situations and take action to reduce or remove the risk, he added.

“For example … it is vital that they do not fight back as they can easily sustain serious injury, or even death, by resisting.

“Remain calm, try to memorise the assailant’s appearance, and call the police immediately once you are safe to do so,” he said.

He said the criminals are now employing various tactics through social media to deceive senior citizens into joining get-rich-quick schemes or to establish fake relationships online.

“Apart from losing their valuables and money, victims may also suffer from mental stress,” said Lee, who is also a member of the Mental Health Promotion Advisory Council.

He advised senior citizens not to trust strangers, while being aware that people they know could also commit crimes against them.

“We should teach senior citizens who live alone to take safety measures such as ensuring that all windows and doors are always locked.

“They should also contact their family members or neighbours if they suspect something amiss,” he said.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/08/20/we-need-to-better-shield-senior-citizens-from-crime/#UfwzW5y2zChSpqRv.99

It keeps schoolbags light

August 19th, 2017
Chloe Chan Phooi San, Bernice Woh Xuan Qi, Ong Ee Xuen and Chow Kay Yue (left to right), showing off the weight watcher school bag.

Chloe Chan Phooi San, Bernice Woh Xuan Qi, Ong Ee Xuen and Chow Kay Yue (left to right), showing off the weight watcher school bag.

PETALING JAYA: Tired of waiting for a solution, pupils have taken charge to end the heavy schoolbag problem.

And Year Four pupils from SJK(C) Tun Tan Cheng Lock even bagged awards for their creative solution to the weighty issue.

The 10-year-olds – Bernice Woh Xuan Qi, Ong Ee Xuen, Chow Kay Yue and Chloe Chan Phooi San – received a silver medal and special award at the International Exhibition for Young Inventors 2017 last month in Nagoya, Japan, for their invention – a weighing scale that alerts the user when the load becomes hazardous to health.

The “Weight Watcher” was also named best invention and won a gold award at the recent World Young Inventors Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur. Weighing a mere 0.3kg, the device can be fitted into any bag.

Explaining the difference between the electronic and hydraulic versions, Bernice said the former buzzes when the bag exceeds a set weight limit.

“This can be used by the visually impaired.

“Made entirely from recycled materials, the hydraulic version has a liquid indicator. This is useful for hearing impaired pupils,” she said.

The Weight Watcher, said Ee Xuen, was inspired by their daily burden.

“It’s tiring, lugging our schoolbags around every day,” she said during the school’s prize presentation ceremony yesterday.

On Aug 15, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said state and district education officers had visited schools in several states to investigate the perennial heavy schoolbag issue as some schools were burdening pupils with workbooks.

Kay Yue said children should not carry more than 10% of their body weight.

“We set the weight limit at 3kg but this can be adjusted according to the individual’s body weight,” she said.

Chloe said pupils do not realise that the weight they are carrying can injure the spine.

Describing the girls as perfectionists, team mentor Hay Quee Kei said they needed very little help.

“The biggest challenge for them was trying to calibrate the device.

“They did over 100 trials before they were satisfied,” he added.

The school’s headmistress Ngann Sook Wei said they encourage students to be innovative and creative as these are crucial 21st century skill sets.

“Learning must also take place outside the classroom. We want pupils to find solutions to daily problems and become successful inventors,” she said.

The school is part of Kompleks Sekolah Wawasan in USJ15, which also comprises SK Dato’ Onn Jaafar and SJK(T) Tun Sambanthan.

Congratulating the team, Malaysian Invention and Design Society (Minds) president Tan Sri Augustine S.H. Ong said Malaysians, regardless of age, must believe in their ability to be creators.

He said youngsters can come up with ideas seasoned researchers miss, because they ask basic questions that experts brush off.

“I’ve been asked: ‘What can a Malaysian invent that others in the world haven’t already thought of?’

“Plenty. Because the problems we face are different.”

Ong, who is also senior fellow at the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, said Malaysians need a change in mindset.

“We must have confidence in ourselves to come up with effective solutions,” he said.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/08/19/it-keeps-schoolbags-light-year-four-pupils-bag-awards-for-innovative-weight-watcher/#8IfIgWWCKOYbCjFC.99

Malaysia in our hearts all over the world.

August 19th, 2017
Pride Down Under: Staff of the Eco World International office in Melbourne, Australia, are proud to be AnakAnakMalaysia.

Pride Down Under: Staff of the Eco World International office in Melbourne, Australia, are proud to be AnakAnakMalaysia.

PETALING JAYA: No matter where life takes you, home is where the heart is.

As the 60th National Day celebrations approach, more and more Malaysians abroad have gathered with their friends and families there to send their love back home.

Malaysians as far away as the United States, Japan, Senegal, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand are waving the Jalur Gemilang and displaying the #AnakAnakMalaysia2017 poster with pride at foreign landmarks, with Malaysian students at Tacoma Community College sending in a picture from Washington state.

Together in Africa: Malaysians living in Dakar, Senegal, showing their support in front of the African Renaissance Monument built to symbolise the rebirth of Africa.

Together in Africa: Malaysians living in Dakar, Senegal, showing their support in front of the African Renaissance Monument built to symbolise the rebirth of Africa.

“This is our first time celebrating Malaysia’s Independence Day in another country and we are proud to be Malaysians abroad. Happy 60th Independence Day! No matter how far we go, Malaysia will always be in our hearts,” they told The Star.

Over in Singapore, journalist Yvonne Lim wished the very best for her beloved country as it celebrates six decades of nationhood.

“My heart is never very far from home. Happy Merdeka, my Malaysia. I bring you with me wherever I go,” she added.

Land of the Rising Sun: Malaysians displaying the posters in front of the Ginza Wako building and clock tower in Tokyo. (Back row, from left) Wong Weng Wah, Abdul Rahman, Shahril, Aini, Ooi Chia Hooi, Tam Yun Yang. (Front row, from left) Aysar, Anis, Anas, Aishah and Mursyid.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/08/19/malaysia-in-our-hearts-all-over-the-world-citizens-abroad-celebrate-60-years-of-independence/#eoMT8YBVUH14Y7XK.99

A better life with critical thinking

August 19th, 2017
Successful critical thinking involves self-directed, self-disciplined and self-corrective thinking. FILE PIc

WE all think — it’s in our nature to do so. But, left to itself, most of our thinking is inadvertently biased, uninformed, partial and often prejudiced. Our quality of life depends on the quality of our thoughts. It is, therefore, imperative to learn and cultivate excellence in thinking.

At the tender age of 2, my son discovered the all-important word “why”. There and then, I vowed to never answer him with a simple “because I said so”.

At 10, he triumphantly declared that Britney Spears was actually 56 years old, but she had a lotion that made her appear to be 21. This was a fact; he had read it on the Internet. What, on earth, had gone wrong?

The unstoppable force that is the appeal of fast facts found on the World Wide Web had clearly wiped out all my, as well as his teachers’ efforts, to instil common sense and critical thinking into his young mind.

A quick search on “Internet said” gives us the definition of critical thinking as “the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue to form a judgment”.

And, the first example of a sentence reads, “professors often find it difficult to encourage critical thinking among their students”.

The lack of critical thinking among students is a frightening fact. It is so on more than one level. Obviously, if anybody should make it a habit to question information, to not take any fact for granted, to push academic boundaries and thus, reach for new discoveries, it should be the intellectual elite of the future.

After all, haven’t most of history’s defining social, philosophical and scientific transformations been fuelled by passionate young thinkers, unafraid to question the status quo, and willing to envision groundbreaking paths?

If we expect future generations to skillfully identify, analyse, assess, de- and re-construct concepts for the betterment of society, it is crucial that they be given the tools to do so. Successful critical thinking involves self-directed, self-disciplined and self-corrective thinking. This sounds like a handful, and it is.

Traditional education, usually delivered as teacher-centred feeding of information, is not conducive to the aforementioned skills nor to effective communication and problem-solving abilities, which critical thinking entails.

We live in a paradoxical age. Thriving companies seek to hire candidates who can demonstrate sound self-monitored, involved, thinking skills. Higher education professionals lament the lack of such abilities in their students.

Yet, people of little merit, albeit glorified on social media, operate as poor role models for young people’s attempt at judging objectively and thereupon thrive in the very complex world they are about to inherit.

Likewise, parents, teachers and even doctors all too often impose a strict hierarchy that leads to uninvolved and passive consumption of information.

Ultimately, the sound analysis and assessment of concepts demands careful gathering of relevant evidence. The sheer magnitude of available information makes this a somewhat Herculean task, as peer-reviewed sources and those of uncertain origin happily co-exist.

The evaluation of sources and points of view needs to be assessed, not only critically in terms of their objective truth and value, but also in their problem-solving capacity.

Like any other skill however, critical thinking needs to be taught, practised and encouraged from a very young age. When nurtured and developed within an educational process aimed directly at that end, good reasoning can become second nature.

This is not to profess disrespect for one’s elders and superiors, of course. It should not be confused with being argumentative or critical of other people.


Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2017/08/269633/better-life-critical-thinking

Education Ministry: Actions taken to help schools deal with disciplinary, drug problems

August 19th, 2017
Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan yesterday explained that the 402 schools did not necessarily have hard core disciplinary issues such as drugs or bullying. (pix by SALHANI IBRAHIM)

SHAH ALAM: The Education Ministry has taken various measures to tackle problems plaguing the 402 schools identified as hotspots for disciplinary and drug problems.

The Ministry said today that among others, it has offered legal literacy course to principals at the said schools and those under the Visionary Teen Programme (Program Remaja Berwawasan), a National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) between the Malaysian Armed Forces and police.

“The Armed forces and police have joined hands under the NBOS to mobilise their expertise to discipline students.

“Students attend weekly training session at schools and Summer Camp programme will be held at the Armed forces camps or police training centres.

“Police also play a role as School Liaison Officers tasked to assist them in addressing disciplinary issues.

“Bukit Aman Crime Prevention and Community Safety Department has distributed names of the schools involved to the relevant police headquarters for monitoring purposes,” the ministry’s School Management Division stated.

The Ministry hopes the efforts taken will be welcomed by the schools involved.

The New Straits Times had on Friday revealed list of schools that were identified as hotspots for disciplinary and drugs problems by sources.

Selangor topped with 76 schools on the list, which divided the schools into two categories, namely discipline (Category 1), and discipline with drug issues (Category 3).

The second highest was Johor with 63 (including one on Category 3), followed by Negri Sembilan (40, with five on Category 3), while Penang and Pahang shared the fourth spot with 37 schools each.


Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/08/269818/education-ministry-actions-taken-help-schools-deal-disciplinary-drug

54,103 Graduates Unemployed Six Months After Completing Studies

August 19th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 (Bernama) — A total of 54,103 graduates were unemployed six months after they completed their studies last year, said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.

The number was based on the Graduands Detection Survey System (SKPG) which recorded 238,187 finishing their studies last year.

He said courses with the highest number of unemployed graduates were business administration, applied science, human resource management, accounting, arts and social science.

“This number did not comprise graduates from the public universities only but also from the private universities and colleges,” he said in reply to a question from Senator Datuk Ng Chiang Chin in the Dewan Negara today.

Idris said in tackling the issue of unemployed graduates, the Higher Education Ministry had implemented a number of programmes including the Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average (iCGPA), Two Universities + Two Industries and the CEO Faculty.


Read More @ http://education.bernama.com/index.php?sid=news_content&id=1382965

Parents urged to play role in curbing gangsterism

August 17th, 2017
Parents were urged to play more proactive role in curbing gangsterism among school students. NST file pic

IPOH: Parents were urged to play more proactive role in curbing gangsterism among school students.

Perak Crime Prevention and Community Policing department officer DSP Ng Bo Huat (community policing) said there is a need for parents to monitor and educate their children and not allow them to be bullied by their peers.

“If there are information on bullies in school, please call our hotline 05-240 1999 or Malaysia Emergency Response Service (MERS) 999. Parents could also bring this issue up in Parent-Teacher Associations where our school relations officers will attend the meeting as well. Give this info to discipline teachers too.

“Hotspot schools will be our focus. We will compare the list given by the Education Ministry to the list prepared by the school relations officers,” he said.

He said to increase public awareness on gangsterism, roadshows was also being held state-wide until September 11.

“There will also be talks held for discipline teachers and school relation officers (police) on how to tackle bullying in Perak. We are stepping efforts to empower crime prevention bully and gangsterism,” he said today.

Meanwhile, state exco in charge of education, science, environment and green technology Datuk Muhammad Amin Zakaria said more joint-activities and programme would be organised to curb disciplinary problems including school bullies.

In Perak,t0 schools are labelled as hotspots, with seven of them were identified with having both discipline and drugs problems, and the others listed for disciplinary issues.

The 402 schools listed as hotspots nationwide were identified through input from the Students’ Discipline System (Sistem Sahsiah Diri Murid or SSDM)

By Nuradzimmah Daim.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/08/269100/parents-urged-play-role-curbing-gangsterism