Archive for November, 2015

IPG lecturers anxious over move to recall them as school teachers

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Up to 800 lecturers from the Teachers’ Training Institutes (IPG) nationwide may be recalled as school teachers, according to the National Union of the Teaching Profession.

NUTP secretary-general Datuk Lok Yim Pheng said the plan, which could affect between 200 and 800 people, had caused anxiety among the lecturers.

“Some of them will start asking among themselves whose turn it will be to go back to teaching in schools,” she said.

NUTP president Hashim Adnan said IPG lecturers had been feeling anxious ever since they were told that they would be required to return as school teachers at the start of 2016 for not having PhD qualifications as part of IPG’s transformation plan.

He said the rule was unfair to the veterans who might not possess a doctorate but had served a long time with the institutes.

“They are already over 50 years old and ready to retire as lecturers.

“To suddenly order them to go back as a school teacher two or three years before their retirement would challenge their reputation, as some would question the lecturers’ performance,” he added.

Another issue that worries the lecturers is the change of their usual school holidays leave to annual leave from next year.

Under the transformation plan, lecturers are not considered suitable anymore to enjoy the school holidays as they are no longer teachers.


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Fatimah: English just as important

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

Fatimah (second from right) speaking to Sarawak Society For The Deaf president Albert Wong and other members on the planning for the Malaysia Deaf Games, which will be held in Sarawak next year.

Fatimah (second from right) speaking to Sarawak Society For The Deaf president Albert Wong and other members on the planning for the Malaysia Deaf Games, which will be held in Sarawak next year.

KUCHING: Sarawak’s Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister indicates the state will not back down from its English as the second official language policy.

Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, who keeps a watching brief on education for the state as the matter falls under the purview of the Federal Government, said the Sarawak government wanted as many people as possible to be bilingual or better.

“I also don’t see how learning two languages well would make us less patriotic. I ‘sayang’ Sarawak, I love Malaysia,” Fatimah said yesterday.

Pressed for more comments, the minister replied she did not want to repeat the criticism of others whom had sparked negativity.

“We never said we should not use Bahasa Malaysia. In fact, look at the Malaysia Education Blueprint – both languages are stressed. Here, we are trying to do something we hope will provide the right environment for everyone in society to realise the importance of English,” Fatimah said.

She added that it made sense to encourage the state civil service to be English proficient as Sarawak was wooing more international investment. “We encourage foreign companies to come here. We emphasise the Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy. One way to improve is to be multilingual.”

Fatimah was speaking to reporters after a briefing on the Malaysia Deaf Games, which will be held in Sarawak next year.

It was the second time this week Fatimah had defended Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s English as an official language alongside Bahasa Malaysia policy.

by  YU JI

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    Spotlight on Sarawak school and its illustrious sons

    Saturday, November 28th, 2015

    STUDENTS from Sarawak’s interior had to rely on cargo boats and ships to make the almost week-long journey from their longhouses and villages whenever the new term began in the state’s only upper secondary school, more than 50 years ago.

    Some had to travel on foot for several days before boarding the boats to Miri, where the Tanjung Lobang Government Secondary School was located.

    The Forms Four and Five students from the remote areas of Betong, Kapit, Sibu and the deep interior of the Baram district were the school’s pioneer batch.

    “It wasn’t easy. The trunk road from Kuching to Miri was not constructed then, so students had to depend on passing boats and small ships to ferry them across the waterways to the school.

    “The distance and the sometimes arduous journey did not deter them. If anything, they were determined to get to school, work hard and excel in their studies,” said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, a former student who had to endure the long days of travelling and hardship.

    He was speaking on behalf of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem at a reunion dinner of the school’s former students in Kuching recently. The school has over the years seen numerous changes and is now known as Kolej Tun Datuk Tuanku Haji Bujang.

    He added that it was “the students’ sheer dedication, focus and great passion for learning that eventually paid dividends.”

    “Some of them are politicians at state and federal level while others have become professionals, corporate leaders and businessmen,” Jabu said.


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    Get this, we have bright teachers who shine

    Saturday, November 28th, 2015

    Regardless of the standards set for the teaching service, there are many educators who stand out simply because of their dedication, competence, creativity and intelligence.

    IT was one of those forwarded messages that you sometimes get on your messaging applications or social networking websites.

    A line or two which at first glance appears witty, a pun or play on words which seem harmless and even a little amusing.

    No one really knows the original author, or intent and the message seems to have been put together a little carelessly.

    A few eyebrows are raised, there are some smirks or “likes”, cynical remarks are passed and then the whole thing is forgotten.

    Except that in the case of this particular message, I couldn’t dismiss it immediately although in retrospect I think I should have.

    I can’t remember the exact words of the message – it wasn’t written in English.

    But the gist of it was that if a particular person had been more intelligent, then he would not have chosen teaching as a profession.

    He would in fact, have been “a pharmacist, doctor or engineer”.

    It was a message composed with little thought, a false proposition, frivolous and not even worthy of a reaction.

    And yet, those few lines triggered some internal “justification” and put every defensive cell on alert.

    If you are a teacher and someone implies that teachers are not a very intelligent lot, it affects your professional pride and puts your back up.


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    SIDMA College-UNITAR Sabah 12th Annual Dinner and Appreciation Night

    Friday, November 27th, 2015

    Student Representative Counsel (SRC), on behalf of SIDMA College (UNITAR, UNIRAZAK, CUCMS and SIDMA) students proudly celebrated another noteworthy year at SIDMA College, UNITAR International University Sabah by hosting SIDMA 12th Annual Dinner and Appreciation Night at Rafflesia Ballroom, Promenade Hotel Kota Kinabalu on 25 November 2015.

    The highlight of the event was the recognition and presentation of the prestigious SIDMA Student Awards such as Academic Excellence, Special Recognition, Sports and Recreational Activities, Most Promising Clubs and Societies; to outstanding individuals, teams, and clubs. They were recognised for their hard work, and dedication throughout the year.

    During the event, Prof Dr Morni Hj Kambrie (Chairman, SIDMA Board of Director) also witnessed the Handing over of Charge by 2014-2015 SRC Committee to the newly appointed 2015-2016 Student Representatives Committee members.

    It was a night to remember as hundreds of students and staff in their amazing transformations: elegant, bright attire and masks; very much in line with the theme of the celebration “The Night of Masquerade”; headed by Dr Morni walked the red carpet to the ballroom entrance; being warmly greeted,  welcomed, received and being proudly escorted to their respective tables.

    As the guests were seated, SIDMA Dance Club, Prima Dansa initiated the evening performances with their special “Welcoming Dance” as well as a series of other dance performances to thrill the delighted audience

    Realising the role and the importance of music throughout the evening, the organiser of the function had earlier made special arrangement for the presence of two special live band performances by SIDMA College students, namely (i) The Mixed Fusion Music Band and (ii) New Age Music Band. SIDMA Staff live band-The Kugiran was also given the opportunity to put up their special performances

    The evening was also packed with colourful and glamorous performances by Dr Morni, SIDMA Idol 2014 and 2015 Winners and finalists, and a host of other entertaining activities which added to the delightfulness of the night.

    Other captivating events of the night was the selection of prom king and queen (both staff and student categories) by secret judges. All guests proudly displayed their colourful attire, accessories and actions throughout the evening hoping to capture the attention of the judges.

    Much to the applause of the audience, the final outcome of the secret voting were: Rechire Ryar Bin Bak and Fanika Matungkil won the Male and Female Student Category, whereas Mr. Ronny L Lampok and Ms Bibiana Buayie won the Male and Female Staff Category respectively

    To add to the excitement of the evening, continuous lucky draws with attractive surprises were held throughout the evening. The highlights of the draws were an attractive Acer Tablet Hand phone and two units of Foldable Bicycle contributed by SIDMA College as grand prizes.

    Dr Morni during his officiating address congratulated the Student Representative Counsel (SRC) and the Student Affairs Department (STAD) for making the event a much to look forward to by both the students and staff each year.

    e too, congratulated Muhammad Zulhimi Bin Willy, Project Director, of the event and the Student Representative Counsel committee members for their ability to organise the event with style and elegance. Each detail was well thought out and exuded a touch of glamour to the audience.

    Dr Morni praised and congratulated the students for their consistency in maintaining and uplifting the good name of the college and their related universities, as well as their families. He hoped that through such an award presentation and recognition ceremony will motivate and propel them forward and to strive for greater heights.

    The function which was also attended by Puan Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO), Puan Azlina Ngatimin (Director, Corporate Relations and Business Development), Mr. David Tiongin (Chairman, Board of Governance), Mr. Lim Chin Tong (Registrar), Managers and Heads of Departments ended with exchanges of congratulations, cheers, photo takings and handshakes all round. It was really a perfect night to remember! Congratulations to 2015 SRC and STAD.

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    Are Private Schools Better Than Public Ones?

    Thursday, November 26th, 2015

    KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) — Are parents sending their children to private schools to keep up with the trend or out of necessity?

    This has become a pertinent question as more Malaysian parents are opting to send their children for private education, despite the soaring costs of living.

    What is the edge private education has over the public schooling system? Have parents lost their faith on the quality of public education in the country?

    Siti Humaira Abbas, 35, sends her three children to an Islamic private school because she believed that it provided her children with a more rounded education.

    “It is a different age from the era in which we grew up. The challenges are greater today and the children are exposed to more things at an earlier age. Basic education is no longer enough. The knowledge gained has to be put into practice and adapted into daily routines,” she opined.

    Private schooling is also hugely popular among the Chinese community. So much so, that there are those who view their children’s future as bleak if they fail to get into a private Chinese school, which they see as possessing a curriculum superior to that of SJK(C) (public Chinese schools).

    Yap Sin Mey, a reporter for a Chinese daily, concurred. The 27-year-old, a product of the national schooling system, furthered her education at a university in Taiwan. There she met with a Malaysian students who received their education from private schools.

    “There are obvious differences between the students educated in public and private schools. The latter displays better presence and self-confidence in a social setting,” she explained.

    However, Yap did not discount the idea that students from private Chinese schools are a cut above the rest, to begin with, because such schools screen and accept only students of the best academic potential.

    This is also the case with students who are accepted into fully residential schools or Maktab Rendah Sains Mara.


    Khazanah Malaysia Academic Advisor Datuk Satinah Ali believes that parents today have the option to provide the best of education for their children.

    As someone formerly involved with the country’s education system, Satinah supports the various efforts by the government to provide quality education for children in national schools.

    However, she did not brush off the opinion that private schools were superior to public ones when it comes to several aspects, especially management.

    Satinah, who is also the Vice President of the Malaysia Association of Education was met after chairing the forum ‘A Peek Into Private Schools in Malaysia – Are They Really Better Then Government Schools?’, organised by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs.


    The CEO of the Asia Pacific School, Nina Adlan Disney, believed that there were several things that public schools could learn from from the private schooling system.

    From discussions with the management of two branches of a private school and her own experience in the education field, Nina concluded that private schools today were a preffered option because of four aspects.

    These are adequate financing, effective pedagogy and syllabus, helpful internal policies and the autonomy and independence to decide their own staffing needs.

    “Such autonomy is utilised to provide the best education they can for their students,” she said.

    A lecturer from the Monash University’s (Malaysia) School of Business, Dr Grace Lee, echoed Nina’s findings. She personally found many things in private Chinese schools that could be emulated by public schools.

    As a product of the national schooling system, Lee who sent her own children to private Chinese schools saw vast differences in the management structure and operation of the school.

    “I think that public schools have a lot to learn from independent Chinese schools.

    “They could learn how these schools manage to fund themselves while still making the fees affordable. Parents who compete to send their children to Chinese schools are often of the impression that these schools offer a higher quality education for their children,” she said.

    Private Islamic schools have also gained popularity among Muslim parents, particularly those who reside in the cities.

    According to the director of research outfit IMAN Research, Altaf Deviyati, the fees at such schools are still reasonable and not as exorbitant as those imposed in conventional private schools.

    by Nurul Halawati Azhari.


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    Adenan: Possible to develop English alongside Bahasa Malaysia

    Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

    BAU: Tan Sri Adenan Satem (pic) has dismissed criticism of his decision to adopt English for official use in Sarawak along with Bahasa Malaysia.

    The Chief Minister added that he did not think the move would sow discord among the people, as claimed by Social and Cultural Affairs Adviser to the Government Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim.

    “I’m just being practical, that’s all. You cannot deny that English is an international language.

    “We are being realistic because if we don’t go along with that we’ll be left behind,” he told reporters after handing over land titles at the Civic Centre here on Tuesday.

    On Monday, Rais had asked the state government to reconsider its decision on English to safeguard unity between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak.

    He had also said the matter should be debated before it was announced by Adenan because it also involved the Federal Constitution.

    To this, Adenan emphasised that he was not saying English would replace Bahasa Malaysia.

    “We will continue with Bahasa Malaysia, but we can develop both Bahasa Malaysia and English and then we will be bilingual or even trilingual.


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    UPSI Has A Role In Building, Moulding, Providing Human Capital – Tuanku Zara

    Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

    TANJUNG MALIM, Nov 24 (Bernama) — Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) must play a bigger role in developing, moulding and providing human capital who strongly uphold values on the truth and will not compromise on wrongdoing, power abuse, corruption and injustice.

    UPSI Chancellor, Tuanku Zara Salim said that as a university that excelled in the field of education, UPSI must realise that its function was not merely to churn out graduates, but also to demonstrate that it was a centre of knowledge whose benefits, influence, and fame exceeded the disciplines of knowledge, civilisation and geographical boundaries.

    “The efforts of UPSI to be placed in the international arena cannot be carried out alone. The UPSI is enhancing its networking with the foreign universities through the marketing of study programs, production of quality research and writing, and the publication of high-impact journals,” she said.

    The Raja Permaisuri Perak said this at the 17th UPSI convocation at the Main Hall, Sultan Azlan Shah Campus, UPSI in Proton City, here.

    On the convocation Tuesday, Tuanku Zara congratulated the graduands on their successes.

    “With the success, the graduands not only succeeded in achieving their parents’ aspirations, but also succeeded in placing themselves among the knowledgeable group,” she said.

    Tuanku Zara said the graduands must also realise that bigger challenges were waiting for them outside the campus which required them to strive harder to face their chosen career.

    “In facing these challenges, the graduands should not forget social customs, the sense of sanity and religious considerations to ensure that the action they would take was in line with the values on religion, morality and etiquette,” she said.


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    SIDMA College: Towards Creating & Sustaining an Excellence Workplace Culture.

    Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

    Human Resource Department SIDMA College, UNITAR International University Sabah Regional Centre collaborated with USAHAWAN GROUP Management Consultants (UGMC) Kota Kinabalu to conduct a two-day intensive programme for SIDMA Executives and Administrative Assistants on “Kepimpinan & Budaya Kerja Cemerlang” at Grandis Hotel Kota Kinabalu from 18 to 19 November 2015; focusing on the importance of leadership and improving one’s capability to deliver results and effectively work in collaboration with others in the organisation

    Mr Taidin Suhaimin, a human resources training and development provider, as well as the founder and Managing Principal Consultant of UGMC, the key facilitator of the programme; stressed that no service organisation is successful without leaders throughout the operation, who consistently drive the strategy. He emphasised that each and every one in an organisation is a leader in their own field of influence, and a catalyst of behavioural change and improvement, and thus they are very vital to building an excellence customer service strategy, and effectively work in collaboration with others to accomplish the organisation goals and objectives.

    He added that in order to strive for excellence, leaders need to set clear expectations around result, provide developmental feedback and make performance really matter, particularly around reward, celebration and recognition. Thus he added that we should look at culture of excellence from all sides, and not just manager to direct report, but the need to cultivate and sustain collegiality relationship across all the departments.

    Prof Dr Morni Hj Kambrie, (Chairman, SIDMA Board of Directors) thanked Puan Izah Muhilin, (Manager, Human Resource Department) for her role and full commitment to initiate and to ensure the success of the training programme. He too thanked all SIDMA Executives and Administrative Assistants for their participation and their commitment throughout the programme.

    Dr Morni added that the vitality of an organisation is directly related to the level of caring attitude which exists in an organisation. Once an “I don’t care” attitude takes root in a workplace, it can be just as deadly to the organisation. It is the leadership of an organisation that is responsible for a prevalent of caring or lack of caring attitude in any workplace.

    He prides SIDMA College’s vitality as being directly related to the level of caring which exists within the organisation and encouraged caring leaders at all levels to continuously emphasis the creation of a caring culture to sustain this excellence work culture.

    Dr Morni too alerted leaders at all level to be on the lookout for signs of an “I don’t care” attitude such as the unclean condition of the restroom, missed deadlines and deliveries, excessive tardiness and absenteeism, and other related signs; as such attitude will eventually lead to corruption on the vitality of SIDMA College; the “staying power” of the college that enable it to live and grow.

    Dr Morni also took the opportunity to Mr. Taidin Suhaimin for his effective sharing and facilitating sessions as well his motivational talks throughout the training programme.

    “The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it”….. Pearl Buck.

    “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”…Aristotle.

    Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.” ……..Ralph Marston.

    Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change.”  —- Tom Peters.

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    Auditor-General’s Report: Technical errors by Customs led to nearly RM15mil in uncollected tax revenue

    Monday, November 23rd, 2015

    PETALING JAYA: Almost RM15mil in tax had failed to be collected due to various technical errors by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) in their assessment for completely built up (CBU) vehicles, the Auditor-General’s Report has revealed.

    Describing the performance of the department as “less than satisfactory”, the report found that a total of 213 K1 forms have errors in assessment that result in under-collection of taxes amounting to RM1.29mil and over-collection of RM499,296.

    “A total of 111 K1 forms contain insufficient vehicles information which involves duties/tax amounting to RM1.85mil and vehicles value of RM2.86mil,” said the report, which was released in Dewan Rakyat on Monday.

    The report also found that the Malaysian Association of Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders (Pekema) had failed to apply for an extension of time for keeping unsold imported vehicles for more than 36 months without payment of duty or tax.

    “As at Dec 31, 2014, estimated duty due from those unsold imported vehicles amounted to RM12.65mil,” it said.

    Besides that, it said seven licensed warehouses (12.3% of those audited), were not insured for fire and theft which involved 725 vehicles with an estimated duty of RM38.22mil.

    “The monitoring of movement of vehicles to and from designated areas was less than satisfactory due to the lack of comprehensive and immediate measures to penalise vehicle owners who violated the laws by forfeiting bank guarantees, enforcing penalties and detaining vehicles,” it said.


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