Archive for June, 2015

Social activist urges Government to review dress code

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

NUSAJAYA: The Government has been urged to review dress code rulings for visitors entering offices or departments to put an end to the controversy.

Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic) said the Chief Secretary to the Government had to lead a committee comprising representatives of the non-goverment organisations (NGOs) as well as senior civil servants.

He said the existing dress code ruling imposed on visitors at government offices and public institutions was no longer relevant and changes must be made immediately.

“The decision to impose on what one should wear or whether he or she was wearing inappropriate clothes should not fall on one person,” said Lee.

He said this in a press conference at the launch of Southern Marina integrated waterfront development project at Puteri Harbour here on Saturday.

Lee said the members of the special committee on the dress code ruling should be made up of those from different races and religious backgrounds.


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Victims must lodge reports of sexual harassment

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

PETALING JAYA: She was a 19-year-old trainee with a TV station who ended up being a victim of sexual harassment.

While travelling in a company car for an assignment with an executive broadcast journalist, she found the man laying his head on her lap despite her protest.

He even forced her to put her hands on his chest. Feeling humiliated, she cried.

He was also said to have made suckling sounds at her and asked to bite her breasts.

The girl then complained to her supervisor. The man denied the allegations.

A domestic inquiry was held and the panel found him guilty of misconduct and he was dismissed.

Her case was one of the few that made it to court while many victims are believed to have suffered in silence.

An Industrial Court found she had no reason to frame him.

The court ruled that his explanation of being tired and sleepy after a trip to a northern state two days earlier could not justify his action of lying on the lap of a female colleague.

“This court is of the view that with or without consent, the claimant’s act in the course of their job assignment is outrageous, humiliating, improper, unbecoming and derogatory to the standard of behaviour as an employee towards another fellow employee. It’s an act of sexual harassment totally unacceptable in any management,” the court held.

In another case, a hotel chef unzipped his trousers in front of a kitchen helper.

He also touched and caressed her buttocks on several occasions.

She was afraid to do anything as she was only a contract worker.

He also stuck his tongue at her in a lewd and suggestive manner.

He was found guilty of the charges and sacked.

The Industrial Court held that there was no reason not to believe that the kitchen helper was scared of him and dismissed the chef’s claim for unjust dismissal.

In yet another case, a male storehand had been squatting and recording data of carton boxes bound for shipment when a security guard came up to him suddenly and groped him.

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‘Workplace sexual harassment a major misconduct’

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

PETALING JAYA: Employers have to make it clear that sexual harassment at the workplace is a major form of misconduct, said the Malaysian Employers Federation.

Its executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said this was because improper and inappropriate behaviour at the workplace lowered morale and interfered with work effectiveness.

“Such behaviour should not be tolerated by any employer,” he said, adding that he believed many cases had gone unreported.

According to the Employment Act, sexual harassment is defined as “any unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, non-verbal, visual, gestural or physical, directed at a person which is offensive or humiliating or is a threat to his well-being, arising out of and in the course of his employment”.

Shamsuddin said employees should be protected from intimidation, victimisation or discrimination by filing a complaint or assisting in sexual harassment investigation.

“What is needed is an investigation, not an inquisition,” he added.

All complaints, he noted, should be handled in a timely, confidential and fair manner, with prompt attention and disciplinary action to follow.

“If relocation proves necessary, then relocate the harasser and not the victim,” he said.

If the employer does not take action, he is in breach of the Act and committing breach of contract of employment for which he can be sued through Industrial Court claims and civil proceedings.

Shamsuddin said it was vital that those investigating such complaints avoided discouraging genuine complainants.

On the other hand, he reminded that the accused harasser must be given full and fair opportunity to present his version of events.


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Getting Students to Do the Reading

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

reading textbook

Getting students to do their assigned reading is a struggle. Most teachers don’t need anyone to tell them what the research pretty consistently reports. On any given day, only 20 to 30 percent of the students arrive at class having done the reading. Faculty are using a variety of approaches to up that percentage: quizzes (announced, unannounced, online), assignments that require some sort of written response to the reading, reading journals, a variety of optional reading support materials, and calling on students to answer questions about the reading. Which of these approaches work best?

As Hattenberg and Steffy (reference below) note, there is surprisingly little research that addresses that question. And there are some issues with the existing research. For example, according to Hattenberg and Steffy, most studies compare a reading compliance strategy with doing nothing. “It is hardly surprising to find that a particular technique is more effective than doing nothing at all.” (p. 348) Furthermore, a lot of studies of these approaches involve small sample sizes—maybe just one class.

These researchers aspired to see whether they could find out what approaches worked best and do so in a way that remedied the research deficiencies. They surveyed students in eight sections of an introductory sociology course—a course with the enrolled students majoring in a variety of fields. The 423 students in their sample were asked whether they had experienced one of seven reading compliance techniques:

by .

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The hidden power of reading aloud

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

A LOVE for reading makes children mellower.

Secondary school teacher Yeap Chee Beng, 39, believes that reading helps children to “mellow” and be less hyperactive.

“Before I introduced my eldest son to books, he was mischievous but now he knows how to behave,” she said at the storytelling brunch of the Penang International Kids Storytelling Festival 2015 in Muntri Street, Penang.

Seventy participants — parents and children – took part in the event held in a cafe recently, for some good food and good reading.

The programme was conducted by senior teacher Julie Turner from the British Council, who has 10 years’ experience in Spain and Kuala Lumpur.

Turner’s storytelling method involvescreative pedagogy and engaging children interactively.

“Reading is important for children to cultivate their imagination,” she said.

Penang Education Council preschool education committee chairman Prof Dr Anna Christina Abdullah said the organisers planned to sponsor 400 to 500 underprivileged children in Penang to attend the festival’s activities.


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Quake-hit Mt Kinabalu to reopen to climbers September.

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

KUNDASANG: Mount Kinabalu is expected to be reopened to climbers in early September, said Sabah Minister for Tourism,
Culture and Environment Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

The mountain, which stands at 4,095 metres, was closed to climbers following an earthquake in the state on June 5 that claimed the lives of 18 people comprising climbers and mountain guides.

Masidi said, however, the number of people on the mountain at any one time would be reduce by about half, from 192 to about 90, in the early stages of its reopening to climbers.

“The safety of climbers is of utmost priority. We do not want to take a risk by maintaining the number as in the past,” he told reporters after handing over contributions to the victims of the June 5 earthquake.

The earthquake, of magnitude 5.9, caused rocks and boulders to tumble from the mountain, killing the 18 people, and damaged property in the district of Ranau and surrounding areas


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Mt Kinabalu suffers severe landslides – geologist

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

KOTA KINABALU: Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) geologist, Professor Dr Felix Tongkul said after conducting an aerial survey on the areas surrounding Mt Kinabalu, it was found that large portions of the mountain have suffered severe landslides and that only the eastern part of the mountain towards Poring has been spared.

He said in a statement yesterday that the rockfalls have ‘hurt’ the surface of the mountain so much that the granite rock surface was now exposed.

He added from his observation that the trees around the side of the mountain were also destroyed and that the ‘leftover’ trees were now piled up at the foot of the mountain.

Aside from that, the rockfalls, debris and mud flow have also exposed the bottoms of creeks at the mountain and that these creeks now resembled ‘highways’.

He said that this will improve the flow of water in the river in the event of rain.

Dr Felix said that even though there have been widespread landslides occurring, there were no obstacles to the flow of the river.

He also said that no temporary dams have been formed and that the allegations now going viral on social media about the formation of a large lake at the upstream of Sg Mesilou was untrue.

“This is good news for the folks there,” he said.

Nevertheless, he cautioned that the present condition may change if the incidence of rockfalls occur from the continued aftershocks.
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Ramadan 2015 in SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah.

Friday, June 26th, 2015

“If the Ramadan is coming, the gates of heaven opened and closed the gates of hell and all the devils are chained up”

(HR. Bukhari dan Muslim).

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar is one of the most important and reflective times of the year. It is the month blessed with peace, joy, forgiveness; the month of revealed of the Holy Quran, and more. Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars (duties) of Islam.

In conjunction with this 2015 Holy Month of Ramadan, SIDMA College, UNITAR International University Sabah, through its Corporate and Community Unit lined up a host of religious and corporate obligations and commitments.

Among some of its annual Ramadan Activities are Tarawih Ramadan and Tadarus Al-Quran for SIDMA staff and students. These activities which began on the eve of Ramadan (17 June 2015), and continued to be held every evening at SIDMA Atrium, throughout the month.

Weekly Lectures (Kuliah Mingguan) by invited guest speakers will be held every Friday evenings throughout the month.  SIDMA staff, students and the general public are welcomed to attend these religious sharing sessions.

Also in the list of its annual activities is the distribution of packed spiced porridge (bubur lambuk) to vatious selected mosques and secondary schools located in and around the district of Penampang and Kota Kinabalu City.

Prof Dr. Morni Hj Kambrie (SIDMA Chairman) cum patron for Al- Mughni Orphanage, will personally bring the orphans for a special Hari Raya Shopping Spree, followed by a Breaking the Fast (Majlis Berbuka Puasa) at his resident.

A Breaking the Fast Ceremony (Majlis Iftar) with all SIDMA staff will be held at Hotel Avangio, Metro Town, Kota Kinabalu on 1st July 2015

More information on 2015 SIDMA Ramadan activities can be obtained from Mr. Abu Saied Safwan, Secretariat, Corporate and Community Unit, SIDMA College, UNITAR International University, Sabah Regional Centre; Tel. 088- 732 000 or 088-732 020.

Prof Dr. Morni, Puan Azlina Ngatimin (Director, Corporate Relations and Business Development) and Puan Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO) would like to wish all SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah staff, students, relatives and friends a very Blessed Ramadan. May this be a month blessed with joy, peace, forgiveness and guidance for you and your families.

“Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping for reward (pleasure of Allah), then his sins forgiven before”

(HR. Bukhari).

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RM225,000 Allocated For Malaysia Astronautic Club In Primary Schools

Friday, June 26th, 2015

News Pic

AstroX President Captain Mohammed Faiz Kamaludin giving his speech at the launch.

CYBERJAYA June 26 (Bernama) — Malaysia Astronautical Association (AstroX) has launched the Astronautics Club Malaysia for 26 selected primary schools under the Ministry of Education with sponsoring from Bank Rakyat and Microsoft Malaysia totalling RM225, 000 here, today.

The objective of the club’s establishment is to increase science literacy among primary 4 to primary 6 students. Due to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) report that Malaysia’s science literacy among 14 year old students have declined by nearly 17% from 2003 to 2011 and Malaysia scored 510 in 2003, 471 in 2007, and 426 in 2011.

“From AstroX’s extensive research analysis, we have identified that students aged between 10 and 12 are the best candidates to help develop their interest in science. In addition, parents are supportive of cocurricular activities for their children. Astronautics and science is an important extension to their normal science subject in school,” said AstroX President Captain Mohammed Faiz Kamaludin at the launch.

2011 TIMSS report showed that Malaysia scored below the international average and was ranked 32nd out of 45 countries. TIMSS is a global assessment conducted every 4 years by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) on the knowledge of mathematics and science of 10 and 14 year old students.

“AstroX has a good track record in conducting CSR work in the field of astronautics and space science. We are the pioneer in this niche field and have collaborative projects with universities and colleges throughout Malaysia.

by Suriani Razali.

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They drop our ‘water face’

Friday, June 26th, 2015

“FORGIVE me. I want to throw big water.” This is the type of English spoken by a young civil servant. He is probably a fresh graduate in his mid-20s.

His elderly colleague, well versed in English, was stunned. He was unsure what mistakes his junior had made that caused him to apologise. Neither did he understand the phrase, “throw big water”.

By trying to be polite, this so-called gra­duate used a literal translation of his mother tongue. “Maafkan saya. Saya mahu buang air besar (Excuse me. I am going to the washroom to defecate).”

Likewise, the polite way of saying to urinate or pee in Bahasa is buang air kecil – throw small water.

The command of the language has dropped drastically for the last five decades. It’s a gla­ring affair, more so for the younger generation.

English was once a benchmark in daily conversation among the strata of society. Even a trishaw rider can speak broken English.

“You want trishaw ride. Vely vely cheap. I take you go round round. See many good place.”

It is heartening to know that there are still a big number of the older generation in Penang who can speak the Queen’s English.

Why has the command deteriorated? The change in the medium of instruction has become a flaw in our education system.

Ethnic polarisation is another case in point. There is so much emphasis of “birds of a feather flock together”. They tend to speak in their mother tongue.

Author Fernando Es­­pue­­las is living proof of a person who can master English against great odds. He did not know even a word of English when he migrated to the United States.

He invented computer components and became a millionaire. Read his book Life In Action. It will inspire you.

If you are well “equipped” in English, it will make you a person of personality. A person of character. And a person of charisma. It will boost your confidence in life. Reason: English is a universal language.

It is amusing to hear English spoken by “half-baked” students and educated adults alike. “What man? You drop my water face.”

Again, it is a literal translation from Bahasa Malaysia. “Apa lah? Awak jatuhkan air muka saya (You embarrass me).”

Quite often I hear youngsters speak “I yes go. You no go”. What a shame. The language has gone to the dogs.

I have yet to make a “thesis” on why some of my friends can speak fair English. In fact, they are illiterate.

They have the audacity to behave like educated persons. Just a show case, for sure.

My advice: Shed the fear of making mistakes. Don’t be embarrassed. Embolden yourself.

We learn through trial and error. Start conversing in English.


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