Archive for June, 2019

Asset declaration effective anti-corruption measure

Sunday, June 30th, 2019
A special motion to make it compulsory for all members of parliament to declare their assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission will be tabled in Parliament tomorrow.

IT’S good that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad confirmed a special motion warranting a mandatory declaration of assets by lawmakers from both sides of the political divide will be tabled tomorrow. It is hoped that every politician will support this motion.

Once approved, it will be compulsory for members of parliament as well as their family members to declare their income and assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). This would deter them from using their influence and abusing their positions to get financial rewards.

Prior to this, chief secretaries and heads of departments are required to declare their assets to the Public Service Department while cabinet members would declare theirs to the prime minister. This raises some questions, as failure to place this issue under an independent body results in reduced transparency. Moreover, the disclosure of assets requires expert evaluation and a monitoring agency to verify the information and take action against those who fail to comply.

There was action taken by the new government when Pakatan Harapan parliamentarians declared their assets to MACC. The information is posted on MACC’s website (https://mydeclaration.sprm.gov.my/). However, the declaration is confined to their monthly income and assets, and does not contain details about the assets, income sources and liabilities. As seen on the website, Dr Mahathir’s income is RM75, 861.57 and total assets are RM32,357,900. The monthly salary of a prime minister is RM20,544 and an MP, RM16,000. The monthly salary of a minister is RM13,416.

Penang state executive councillors publicly declare their assets online, in line with the competency, accountability and transparency principles.

Making an asset and income declaration public enables society to detect violations of financial disclosure requirements. It allows the public to hold leaders accountable, providing additional scrutiny and complementing the role of official oversight bodies.

Many studies reveal that an asset declaration that is open to public scrutiny is a way to ensure leaders do not abuse their power. Without a doubt, making a public declaration of assets is an effective anti-corruption tool.

Disclosure of assets should not only be done before and after taking office. Periodic net-worth analysis should also be conducted, with the records kept by forensic accounting experts and investigators. The administrator of the asset disclosure will be required to monitor, collect and evaluate information on the assets periodically.

An asset profiling system should be introduced to determine how much assets a personnel is expected to have based on his position, years of service and present and past emoluments.

Asset profiling should also include their spouses, dependents and immediate family members along with any business interests or institutions they may be part of. Those who fail to comply will be probed.

The repeated calls for transparency and full public disclosure of assets of elected and public officials go a long way towards improving the confidence of Malaysians in the integrity, accountability, transparency, trust and good governance of public administration and the government. This is also to prevent corruption, conflict of interest, collusion, and uncover illicit enrichment and false accusation of their wealth, and monitor wealth of politicians and public servants.

A good asset declaration law requires all public officials to declare their income, assets, liabilities and financial interests.

This is a valid demand because they hold power over allocation of resources and their salaries are paid through the public tax contribution. One of the steps to overcome this problem is to request the leadership of the three branches of government — the executive, legislature and judiciary — to declare their assets to the MACC.

Besides that, the MACC chief herself should declare her assets to Parliament. The declaration is in line with the belief that transparency and accountability starts at the top.

Studies show a growing trend in many countries requiring public officials to declare their assets and income. Across the world, members of the public expect their top leaders to publish information about their assets and liabilities with full transparency.

In order to improve transparency of public service and comply with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, the Macau government established the Legal Regime of Declaration of Assets and Interests in April 2013.

This covers all public office-holders, including the chief executive, the commissioner of audit, the commissioner of the unitary police service, members of legislative council, judges and public prosecutors, members of the executive council, directorship and senior management officers of public services and funds and other public legal persons, as well as chairpersons and boards of directors, administrators and supervisors.

All Commission against Corruption (CCAC) staff submit their declaration forms to the Secretariat of Court of Final Appeal while the other staff of public administration submit their forms to the Declaration of Assets and Interests Division of the CCAC. This is one of the best and most effective asset disclosure systems.

Thailand’s 1999 Organic Act on Counter Corruption requires all political office-holders and high-ranking public officials to make full disclosure of their assets and liabilities, including those of their spouses and minor children.

The National Counter Corruption Commission is responsible for publishing the financial disclosures of a number of highest-ranking public officials in the government gazette.

The asset declaration framework of Indonesia is a good and effective model which requires public officials to submit a wealth report within two months of taking office, getting promoted or transferred.

Today, Filipinos have the right to review the financial disclosures of all public officials and employees, including their spouses and unmarried minor children living in their households, pursuant to Section 8 of the 1989 Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. The Philippine Centre for Investigative Journalism also posts the asset declarations of the congress and the cabinet in an online database.

This issue is more apparent now as averting corruption and questioning the rich lifestyles of various personalities have become a favourite topic of conversation in our country.

If leaders are seen to live beyond their means, which is the most common red flag, an asset declaration can be a starting point for investigations.

Economically, corruption leads to the depletion of national wealth, and integrity is an important element in a nation’s success and survival. Failing to do this may also contribute to further negative impact on the perception of corruption in our country. As such, its implementation should be without delay.

The government should also consider amending Section 36 of the MACC Act to make it easier for the MACC to compel an individual to declare his assets without having to first initiate an investigation. If this section is amended, anyone suspected of having unusual wealth would have to explain to the MACC. The amendment should top the government’s to-do list this year because it would enhance public confidence in the MACC.

There is nothing wrong with being rich as long as the accumulated assets are obtained legitimately. As such, it becomes very necessary for politicians and public servants to be honest and maintain their integrity.

By Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2019/06/500265/asset-declaration-effective-anti-corruption-measure

Youth and Internet governance

Sunday, June 30th, 2019
Aisyah Shakirah Suhaidi speaking at ICANN Meeting in Kobe, Japan

EMBRACING the Industry 4.0, the Internet has become an essential part of everyday life, particularly for digital natives — those who are born and brought up in a world with digital technology.

According to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s Internet Users Survey 2018, 30 per cent or the highest percentage of Internet users in the country are young people in their 20s, most of whom are digital natives.

In this digital era, Internet users are susceptible to issues such as online crimes, abuse, threats and conflicts. Last year, more than 10,000 cybersecurity attacks were recorded by CyberSecurity Malaysia.

Therefore, proper oversight in the form of Internet governance — a process where Internet users, developers, network operators, online service providers, governmisyah Shakirah Suhaidi speaking at ICANN Meeting in Kobe, Japan.
ents and international organisations come together to resolve problems related to cyberspace — can help to ensure a safe online environment.

YOUTH ADVOCATE

Despite being the main stakeholders of the Internet, the Malaysian youth are mostly missing from important local and international discourse on Internet governance.

Internet Governance Forum (IGF) ambassador Aisyah Shakirah Suhaidi, 24, views this as a huge problem.

The IGF Ambassadors programme is organised by the Internet Society in relation to the annual IGF — a multi-stakeholder forum introduced by the United Nations (UN) to discuss Internet governance.

The forum is open to all stakeholders of the Internet including government authorities, the private sector, civil society as well as technical and academic communities through an open dialogue system.

Aisyah Shakirah said: “Our youth are shaping online culture in many ways. Although we are the most dominant users of the Internet, when it comes to policy discussions, most of us are not at the table.

“When the youth are underrepresented in major policy developments and implementation processes, the future of the Internet will be greatly affected,” said the Universiti Malaya law student from Jitra, Kedah.

Aisyah Shakirah developed an interest in Internet governance at the age of 17, when she began volunteering with the Internet Society Malaysia Chapter (ISOC MY).

“From my involvement there, the UN invited me to attend the World Summit of the Information Society Forum 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland as a speaker representing the youth.

“It was then that I understood that a lot of work goes into making sure that the Internet is a safe, secure and reliable infrastructure. I wanted to be a part of it,” she said.

“I believe I have a responsibility to facilitate change by representing and leading the youth in my country and region to increase their participation in Internet governance.”

She noted that there exists a lack of awareness on fundamental Internet knowledge in Malaysia’s local grassroot communities.

“As a result, many Malaysians are increasingly becoming victims of cyber-attacks such as identity theft, cross-site scripting, Internet scams and online harassment.

“Many are also uninformed about important Internet issues such as online freedom, fake news, censorship and data governance.

“I want to address this by setting up continuous community-based educational initiatives while encouraging local, regional, and global engagement in Internet policy development and implementation processes.”

INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM

Last year, Aisyah Shakirah was invited to attend the IGF at the Unesco headquarters in Paris, France.

This opportunity came through the Internet Society IGF 2018 Ambassadors Programme held in collaboration with the UN and the French government.

Out of thousands of applications from around the world, only 14 candidates were selected to be ambassadors representing their respective countries.

Proud to be one of them, Aisyah Shakirah said: “As IGF ambassadors, we were given a number of tasks and responsibilities. Throughout the year, we had to study a number of modules, take part in various online tests and online conference calls, engage in Internet governance-related discussion every week and participate in Twitter discussions.

“In Paris, we were tasked to facilitate collaborative leadership exchanges, speak at sessions, address issues, propose solutions and attend numerous meetings,” said the final-year student.

The forum carried the theme Internet of Trust, which originated from the knowledge that the Internet is increasingly under threat.

Aisyah Shakirah said: “Recently the global Internet has been experiencing a series of cyberattacks that is not only affecting individuals, but also the operations of strategic security services, administration and healthcare.

“It has become a space for hate speech and fake news dissemination as well as the development of criminal organisations and terrorist propaganda. Not only is the Internet under threat, but the Internet itself is starting to be described by some as a threat.

“The question is, how do we deal with the weaknesses and cracks in the system to ensure the stability and security of the Internet, without breaking it apart?”

At IGF 2018, various sessions and dialogues were conducted to discuss these issues.

“For example, there were sessions on how we celebrate emerging technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things while not compromising the ethical, legal and security challenges they pose.

“There were also sessions on the risk of and responses to online child sexual exploitation, the need for Internet Protocol version 6 for the future of games, refugee rights online, data governance in smart cities, how to prepare Gen YZ for their future career as well as the issue of mental health and youth on the cyberspace.

“Currently, a lot of the younger generation are making a career on the Internet through mediums such as YouTube, and they are involved in social media marketing so a proper framework should exist,” added Aisyah Shakirah.

DEVELOPING AN APPLICATION, MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Post-forum, the IGF ambassadors were expected to work on projects or coordinate initiatives and activities within their regions to spread awareness on Internet governance.

So, in March 2019, Aisyah Shakirah represented Malaysia and Southeast Asia at the 64th Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Meeting in Kobe, Japan.

She was among the 12 students selected through the NextGen@ICANN Programme which provides funding and coaching to individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 who are interested in actively engaging their regional communities to shape the future of global Internet policy.

Prerequisites include displaying interest in ICANN and the Internet through examples of current work or research.

At the meeting, Aisyah Shakirah delivered a speech on a project that her team at ISOC MY has been working on.

“We have developed a crowdsourcing mobile application called MyHelper to help and empower Asean B40 women so that they can earn extra income by offering services such as cooking, baking and sewing. As of now, the app is only available on Android.

“We provide low-income or unemployed women with training to equip them with the essential entrepreneurial skills.

“This project provides opportunities for women to develop their skills through information communications technology, empowers women to start their own businesses, and use the Internet to improve their livelihoods,” said Aisyah Shakirah, hoping that her speech would attract regional partnership.

UNIVERSITIES AND INTERNET GOVERNANCE

Professor Mohamed Ridza Wahiddin, from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), said that academic institutions can play a role in encouraging more youth involvement in Internet governance.

The Kulliyyah of Information and Communication Technology (KICT) lecturer said: “Universities can raise awareness to students and lecturers on matters connected to the digital environment.

“We can produce educational materials on Internet issues as well as support the coordination between youth groups and organisations.”

At IIUM, an initiative called the IIUM Siber Sejahtera Flagship Project was spearheaded by a team of academics and students to impact local, national and global communities.

It is a part of the awareness and advocacy campaign by KICT, which engages the neighbouring communities of IIUM to be cyber-literate and ethical in cyberspace.

“Our first target group is the Orang Asli community wherein we provide training for their youth to be safe in cyberspace.

“To ensure the sustainability of the project, a group of trainers among the Orang Asli is identified so that the knowledge on cybersecurity can be further propagated within the community,” said Mohamed Ridza.

Determined to develop future talents and instil them with values in cybersecurity, the second target group consists of students, teachers and parents in select schools.

“This is to keep them safe from online threats including cyberbullying, violation of privacy, pornography and Internet addiction while promoting virtues.”

Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) senior lecturer Dr Norshakirah Abdul Aziz said that students especially in the field of information and technology can learn about Internet governance through their university courses and projects.

“Youth or university students should first understand what is actually being governed. In our faculty, we have introduced the subject, Computer Ethics and Cyber Law.

“It is designed to examine the ethical issues surrounding Internet use and the connection between ethics and technology. Our aim is to ensure students know how to apply their knowledge in computer ethics.

“We also want students to demonstrate social responsibilities in relation to computer ethics and the cyberspace. UTP will mould students and develop them to utilise the technology in the right way. Students need to develop the right values and attitudes related to IT governance,” said the computer and information sciences lecturer.

Norshakirah added: “In this course, students will learn about cyber crimes such as computer hacking, privacy infringement, software and product privacy, computing systems and the ethics of software development.

“In the legal aspect, they will learn about the basics of Contract Law, Computer Crimes Act 1997, Digital Signature Act 1997 and the Communications and Multimedia Act. When they study the cyber laws and cases, they can definitely see the impact of Internet governance.

“UTP utilises the active learning and problem-solving method for teaching and learning. Throughout the semester, students will be actively involved in projects related to computer ethics.”

Universities can also lead research projects and consultancy services to help the community.

“In UTP’s High Performance Cloud Computing Data Centre and Centre for Research in Data Science, I lead a very dedicated team to conduct research into IT governance.

“Internet governance is essential to ensure that data is properly managed by the assigned parties. Individuals need to treat their data and information as assets. If a problem occurs when the information is not adequately secured, it can lead to issues such as data breach.

“Many organisations came to realise that Internet governance is critical after many cases of data breaches. So, it is necessary to have someone who can control the data,” said Norshakirah, adding that according to a research conducted, IT governance is an effective management framework.

For Taylor’s University computer science and forensics student Priyanka S. Jayakumar, she had come across the concept of Internet governance a few times whilst studying and researching.

“I understand that Internet governance is all about the rules, standards, practices and especially policies evolving around global cyberspace.

“I know there are laws and acts pertaining to Internet governance but many people aren’t aware of issues related to it,” said Priyanka.

She noted the importance of Internet governance for youth as they are the major age group for Internet users.

“It’s important for youths to know the do’s and don’ts on the Internet and to know the indications when one is faced with something off online. That kind of awareness only comes with proper education and enforcement from a young age.

“More people should be aware of the consequences of certain online activities and learn how to be safe in the virtual world,” said the 21-year-old, who added that awareness can be spread through education, public forums, campaigns and the use of simple and non-technical terms.

“A compulsory subject focusing on Internet awareness should be created and taught in schools. Everyone should be aware of online safety and the new threats and security breaches that are happening on the Internet.

“There should be no room for any uncertainty for young people when it comes to the Internet so they know how to exercise their rights. For example, in the case of cyber-bullying, people should know to contact the relevant authorities to report this incident,” said the aspiring computer forensics investigator.

“Public forums will not only help to educate people about the Internet and its policies but the questions that come from the public may help experts in identifying any loopholes in their policy-making.

by Rayyan Rafidi,

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/education/2019/06/499319/youth-and-internet-governance

Thoughts on working remotely

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

DID you know that while many of us have jobs that require commuting to our workplace, there are those who start their workday from the comfort of their homes?

Technological advancements have enabled professionals to work remotely, and with the changing perception of what defines a ‘workplace’, the remote work movement is growing fast around the world as more employers are opting to hire remote workers.

Whether they work for companies that allow remote work or are freelancing, the essence of being remote workers is that as long as they have the necessary apps, a laptop, and a reliable Internet connection, they can work outside a traditional office environment, be it their home, a café, or a co-working space.

Remote work benefits in several ways. Mainly, remote workers have greater control over their work and life because they are able to establish their own working time and schedule activities for family, friends, the community, and themselves.

They also can achieve high productivity as they tend to be more focused on the job when there are no office distractions and they understand the privilege of working outside a permanent workspace.

If they are working with professionals from different parts of the world, remote workers have the opportunity to experience different cultures and perspectives as they collaborate with their international colleagues.

And for those who work best in a co-working space, they can boost their creativity and networking by meeting and socialising with other remote workers from different fields.

However, becoming a remote worker isn’t as easy as it seems and is therefore not for everyone, for it takes immense self-discipline and organisational capabilities to thrive in such a working style.

For one, remote workers need to learn not to procrastinate or get easily distracted, since they are not working within a traditional office structure.

If they don’t allocate breaks for themselves, remote workers could also risk experiencing burnout, which can be detrimental for their health and well-being.

They must also set boundaries between their work and life by notifying their employers as well as their social circle of their work schedule.

These boundaries can inform not only those who are unaware of the remote work concept, but also those who assume that remote workers are available at all times on the basis that they don’t work in a typical office setting.

And when there isn’t a lot of videoconferencing with their colleagues, remote workers must possess effective communication skills, especially via emails, text messages, and phone calls, to avoid misunderstandings.

Read more @ https://www.theborneopost.com/2019/06/22/thoughts-on-working-remotely/

Kundasang set to be net exporter of high-value vegetables.

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

KUNDASANG: The hilly Kundasang district is set to be transformed into a net exporter of high-value vegetables.

The popular tourist destination is also known for local produce like cabbages and strawberries, which grow well in cooler climates.

Kundasang is about 90 minutes’ drive away from Kota Kinabalu.

Sabah Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Junz Wong said his ministry, together with the farmers and other relevant agencies, would work out a plan to achieve the goal.

The dialogue was jointly organised by the Kundasang community development leader’s unit headed by Siriman Basir and Sabah Agriculture Department.

“We also discussed about rebranding Kundasang products as being healthy, green, organic and good quality vegetables,” Wong added.

“My ministry will implement several initiatives to promote and encourage farmers to go green and organic.

“One of these initiatives is through hydroponic or aquaponic systems which are green, sustainable, tasty and healthy,” Wong added.

By Kristy Inus
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/06/30/kundasang-set-to-be-net-exporter-of-high-value-vegetables/#0BV7zcuexSqZOdUt.99

Our museums should open till 9pm

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Complaints by tourists that nightlife attractions are rather limited or unknown especially in the state capital can be encouraged to develop new tourism products like visit to the Sabah Museum if it were to open until 9pm on certain days of the week.
Two examples are the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum which opens until 8 pm and 10 pm respectively even in winter Friday which daily draws thousands of tourists, and they are free admission museums, unlike the Sabah Museum.
Sabah Museum has a traditional native houses of Sabah attraction within its compound where staff or volunteers can dress up in their native attires to greet visitors to attract them to buy and try Sabah food cuisine or handicraft items like the sompoton music instrument with musician teacher to show tourists how to play it, whether or not they buy one.
A mock ‘tamu’ can be staged to earn extra income.

An example is the Kew Palace in Kew Gardens in Richmond, London closes at 8 pm in summer where staff are dressed up in their period costumes to interact with local and foreign tourists of a nostalgia lifestyle in the bygone days as the King’s servants etc. Kew Gardens charges admission fees, and daily thousands visit its attractions. Sabah Museum staff should be the ones to wear traditional attires every working day.
Such new tourism product development prong in Sabah needs enlightened and inspiring political leadership to encourage civil servants used to take for granted office hours routines and renumeration perks, to do their utmost in the interests of the state.
It takes time to popularise Sabah Museum as a tourism product in the evenings, but it is worthwhile to try whether or not admission fee is levied.
The private sector cannot be expected altruistically to run museum attractions ever since a Kopi Tiam Museum popular with tourists viewing its old black and white photographs and items that adorned walls and displays, closed down along Australia Place without any government support a few years ago. Visitors were not compelled to spend on food and beverages served as in the bygone North Borneo era.
Another inspiring example is the National Museum of Singapore where it is an asset to attract tourists that can inspire our Sabah Museum to live up to its fullest potential.
As the museum Director Anglita Teo puts it: “I am a strong believer that history provides us with important lessons about today.
“For example, our current exhibition ‘Packaging Matters’ is all about old packaging, of which the museum has a collection.

“It is tailored for a young audience, so families can talk about the pressing issue of recycling today, but we are using history as the entry point to facilitate such conversations.
“Enabling this sort of dialogue means being a part of the community we are surrounded by,” Teo said.
According to her, many encyclopaedic museums around the world are still popular, but they have legacy issues – controversies around how their collections were acquired and where their financial support comes from. But what has really gotten her excited is the rising prominence of city museums globally, like the Museum of London.
So likewise, so can Sabah Museum achieves much more, besides the pressing need for a city museum that a previous mayor lost the tussle of getting the old post office to be one to a rotated chief minister who wanted the historical building to be used as a tourism office, a wastage of tourism opportunity cost as it was a centre that hardly opens after government working hours.
Teo explains: “Museums are as much about the community as they are about their collection.
“As Singapore is a city state, the National Museum of Singapore has to be both a national museum and a people’s museum.
“Singaporeans need to have a sense of ownership and feel like it makes a difference to their lives.
She reveals that the museum is working with Singapore hospitals to bring dementia patients to her museum to interact with the collection and start conversations, besides working with various special-needs schools.
“We have ‘Quiet Mornings’ period, so that people with additional needs or wheelchairs can come in a bit earlier, when it is not so crowded. “We are a civic space now as well as a museum – that’s what I mean by making a difference,” Teo enthuses.
When the Sabah State Library had an outlet at the Suria Sabah Mall, a number of tourists also visited to look at materials there to pass quality time in the rainy quiet evenings, reading displays, tourism subject matters and to acquire an understanding of the local public facility open to visitors and to acquaint with quality book reading people and library members there.

By: David Thien.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/137181/our-museums-should-open-till-9pm/

Khoo Kay Kim: An oral history appointment fated not to be

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019
File picture of Professor Emeritus Khoo Kay Kim at his home during an interview after winning the 2018 Merdeka Award in the outstanding scholastic achievement category for his contribution to the scholarly research, development of reinterpretation of Malaysian history and lifetime dedication in history education. Pix by NSTP/Asyraf Hamzah

HISTORY is what happened in the past. And the past can also be fated not to be, at the same time. On the Tuesday morning of May 28, I was initially slotted for an oral history session with Professor Emeritus Khoo Kay Kim, widely regarded as the nation’s historian.

That interview was destined not to be. It was earlier postponed as Khoo was hospitalised. An earlier attempt was also scheduled on the morning of the 28th day of the month. It was February. The initiatives were part of the Perdana Leadership Foundation efforts at documenting ideas and moments on the nation’s past. But on Monday of the last week of February, I was informed that the interview was called off: “The doctors need to run a few more tests on him,” said the WhatsApp message.

It was a coincidence that my column in Higher Ed last month on Wednesday, May 29, the day after Khoo’s demise, was on the use of newspapers as historical sources.

And I cited the late professor’s book titled Majalah dan Akhbar Melayu sebagai Sumber Sejarah (1983).

When I started my academic career at the then School of Mass Communication, Institut Teknologi MARA in 1986, Khoo’s writings were heavily used and referred to in my Journalism and Communication courses. It was unusual for the work of a historian to be used in a communication and journalism school in Malaysia — then in the early 1970s and even now.

Then I was teaching an introductory course on Journalism, where the focus was on newspapers and periodicals. The structure of the course was divided into three portions — the organisation, the producer and the product. For each, I would approach from a socio-historical perspective. This led to the need for some pertinent local literature to meaningfully understand the abstract and the context. There were few books then bearing on the sociology or history of Malay newspapers and journalism, or for that matter similar materials with reference to the national context.

One was W.R. Roff’s The Origins of Malay Nationalism (1967). Roff devoted a significant part of the book to the role of Malay and Malay-language journalism and newspapers, their leading editorial figures and opinion leaders from the early 1800s to the birth of Utusan Melayu (1939). I was looking for more context in narrating newspapers to society. Roff was useful enough. However, this led me to two works by Khoo pertinent to what I had imagined for the course. One is Malay Society: Transformation and Democratisation (1991), which I added as reference. The other was the 1983 Majalah dan Akhbar Melayu published by Perpustakaan Universiti Malaya. The latter in addition to Roff’s were my initial references on the socio-historical corpus on Malay newspapers. Malay Society: Transformation and Democratisation provided the context in understanding the how and why of the evolution of Malay newspapers and journalism.

There was also Ahmat Adam’s 1992 book Sejarah dan Bibliografi Akhbar dan Majalah Melayu Abad Kesembilan Belas.

A.F. Yassin’s Etika dan Wartawan: Satu Kajian Ke di Malaysia (1986) provided some discussion on ethics. The work was based on the author’s M.A. thesis in 1980 for Universitas Padjadjaran in Indonesia.

Khoo’s Majalah dan Akhbar Melayu sebagai Sumber Sejarah demonstrated his perspective on and insights into newspapers and journalism as legitimate objects and sources of study about society, Malay society in particular.

And in his autobiography I, KKK: The Autobiography of a Historian (2017), Khoo recalled his engagement with newspapers as a student of history.

“…one of my principle resources for research was old newspapers, such as the Prince of Wales Island Gazette, Malaya’s oldest newspaper. I found them to be a great source of information for those wanting to know about the past. Until today, I have a fascination for reading Malaya’s old newspapers. Visitors to my office are often bemused at the piles of newspapers that rise from floor to ceiling.” (Khoo Kay Kim, 2017: pages 124-125)

I experienced the “piles of newspapers” in the late 1980s when I entered his room for an article I wanted to publish in a journal I was editing. The article was on Walter Makepeace (1859-1941), journalist and editor of the Singapore Free Press.

In I, KKK, the late historian argued that there is no easier way to find out about the past, without which it will be difficult to understand the present. To him, newspapers seized the mood of the times. Khoo had a fair sense of the logic of journalism and newspapers, their importance in public education. He recalled that in the past, local newspapers were important because they played the role of publishing talks and lectures by the more educated segments of society.

In the course of witnessing the early development of the nation, Khoo began to be approached by journalists “who liked to discuss the country’s affairs. I would lead them into a discussion of history, which they knew very little about.” (Khoo Kay Kim, 2017: page 130)

How well do we know our past? Before the interview that never happened, a list of questions was drafted — of the past, present and future of the nation and of the man generally regarded as a historian of Malaysia. There were 25 questions.

Broadly what we would have discussed would cover the times of his life and how that has shaped the person, the teaching and appreciation of history, his publications, the future of Malaysia and how he wants his legacy to be remembered. And sports, P. Ramlee and national unity.

By A. Murad Merican.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/education/2019/06/499317/khoo-kay-kim-oral-history-appointment-fated-not-be

Youth and Internet governance

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019
Aisyah Shakirah Suhaidi speaking at ICANN Meeting in Kobe, Japan.

EMBRACING the Industry 4.0, the Internet has become an essential part of everyday life, particularly for digital natives — those who are born and brought up in a world with digital technology.

According to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s Internet Users Survey 2018, 30 per cent or the highest percentage of Internet users in the country are young people in their 20s, most of whom are digital natives.

In this digital era, Internet users are susceptible to issues such as online crimes, abuse, threats and conflicts. Last year, more than 10,000 cybersecurity attacks were recorded by CyberSecurity Malaysia.

Therefore, proper oversight in the form of Internet governance — a process where Internet users, developers, network operators, online service providers, governments and international organisations come together to resolve problems related to cyberspace — can help to ensure a safe online environment.

YOUTH ADVOCATE

Despite being the main stakeholders of the Internet, the Malaysian youth are mostly missing from important local and international discourse on Internet governance.

Internet Governance Forum (IGF) ambassador Aisyah Shakirah Suhaidi, 24, views this as a huge problem.

The IGF Ambassadors programme is organised by the Internet Society in relation to the annual IGF — a multi-stakeholder forum introduced by the United Nations (UN) to discuss Internet governance.

The forum is open to all stakeholders of the Internet including government authorities, the private sector, civil society as well as technical and academic communities through an open dialogue system.

Aisyah Shakirah said: “Our youth are shaping online culture in many ways. Although we are the most dominant users of the Internet, when it comes to policy discussions, most of us are not at the table.

“When the youth are underrepresented in major policy developments and implementation processes, the future of the Internet will be greatly affected,” said the Universiti Malaya law student from Jitra, Kedah.

Aisyah Shakirah developed an interest in Internet governance at the age of 17, when she began volunteering with the Internet Society Malaysia Chapter (ISOC MY).

“From my involvement there, the UN invited me to attend the World Summit of the Information Society Forum 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland as a speaker representing the youth.

“It was then that I understood that a lot of work goes into making sure that the Internet is a safe, secure and reliable infrastructure. I wanted to be a part of it,” she said.

“I believe I have a responsibility to facilitate change by representing and leading the youth in my country and region to increase their participation in Internet governance.”

She noted that there exists a lack of awareness on fundamental Internet knowledge in Malaysia’s local grassroot communities.

“As a result, many Malaysians are increasingly becoming victims of cyber-attacks such as identity theft, cross-site scripting, Internet scams and online harassment.

“Many are also uninformed about important Internet issues such as online freedom, fake news, censorship and data governance.

“I want to address this by setting up continuous community-based educational initiatives while encouraging local, regional, and global engagement in Internet policy development and implementation processes.”

INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM

Last year, Aisyah Shakirah was invited to attend the IGF at the Unesco headquarters in Paris, France.

This opportunity came through the Internet Society IGF 2018 Ambassadors Programme held in collaboration with the UN and the French government.

Out of thousands of applications from around the world, only 14 candidates were selected to be ambassadors representing their respective countries.

Proud to be one of them, Aisyah Shakirah said: “As IGF ambassadors, we were given a number of tasks and responsibilities. Throughout the year, we had to study a number of modules, take part in various online tests and online conference calls, engage in Internet governance-related discussion every week and participate in Twitter discussions.

“In Paris, we were tasked to facilitate collaborative leadership exchanges, speak at sessions, address issues, propose solutions and attend numerous meetings,” said the final-year student.

The forum carried the theme Internet of Trust, which originated from the knowledge that the Internet is increasingly under threat.

Aisyah Shakirah said: “Recently the global Internet has been experiencing a series of cyberattacks that is not only affecting individuals, but also the operations of strategic security services, administration and healthcare.

“It has become a space for hate speech and fake news dissemination as well as the development of criminal organisations and terrorist propaganda. Not only is the Internet under threat, but the Internet itself is starting to be described by some as a threat.

“The question is, how do we deal with the weaknesses and cracks in the system to ensure the stability and security of the Internet, without breaking it apart?”

At IGF 2018, various sessions and dialogues were conducted to discuss these issues.

“For example, there were sessions on how we celebrate emerging technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things while not compromising the ethical, legal and security challenges they pose.

“There were also sessions on the risk of and responses to online child sexual exploitation, the need for Internet Protocol version 6 for the future of games, refugee rights online, data governance in smart cities, how to prepare Gen YZ for their future career as well as the issue of mental health and youth on the cyberspace.

“Currently, a lot of the younger generation are making a career on the Internet through mediums such as YouTube, and they are involved in social media marketing so a proper framework should exist,” added Aisyah Shakirah.

DEVELOPING AN APPLICATION, MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Post-forum, the IGF ambassadors were expected to work on projects or coordinate initiatives and activities within their regions to spread awareness on Internet governance.

So, in March 2019, Aisyah Shakirah represented Malaysia and Southeast Asia at the 64th Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Meeting in Kobe, Japan.

She was among the 12 students selected through the NextGen@ICANN Programme which provides funding and coaching to individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 who are interested in actively engaging their regional communities to shape the future of global Internet policy.

Prerequisites include displaying interest in ICANN and the Internet through examples of current work or research.

At the meeting, Aisyah Shakirah delivered a speech on a project that her team at ISOC MY has been working on.

“We have developed a crowdsourcing mobile application called MyHelper to help and empower Asean B40 women so that they can earn extra income by offering services such as cooking, baking and sewing. As of now, the app is only available on Android.

“We provide low-income or unemployed women with training to equip them with the essential entrepreneurial skills.

“This project provides opportunities for women to develop their skills through information communications technology, empowers women to start their own businesses, and use the Internet to improve their livelihoods,” said Aisyah Shakirah, hoping that her speech would attract regional partnership.

UNIVERSITIES AND INTERNET GOVERNANCE

Professor Mohamed Ridza Wahiddin, from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), said that academic institutions can play a role in encouraging more youth involvement in Internet governance.

The Kulliyyah of Information and Communication Technology (KICT) lecturer said: “Universities can raise awareness to students and lecturers on matters connected to the digital environment.

“We can produce educational materials on Internet issues as well as support the coordination between youth groups and organisations.”

At IIUM, an initiative called the IIUM Siber Sejahtera Flagship Project was spearheaded by a team of academics and students to impact local, national and global communities.

It is a part of the awareness and advocacy campaign by KICT, which engages the neighbouring communities of IIUM to be cyber-literate and ethical in cyberspace.

“Our first target group is the Orang Asli community wherein we provide training for their youth to be safe in cyberspace.

“To ensure the sustainability of the project, a group of trainers among the Orang Asli is identified so that the knowledge on cybersecurity can be further propagated within the community,” said Mohamed Ridza.

Determined to develop future talents and instil them with values in cybersecurity, the second target group consists of students, teachers and parents in select schools.

“This is to keep them safe from online threats including cyberbullying, violation of privacy, pornography and Internet addiction while promoting virtues.”

Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) senior lecturer Dr Norshakirah Abdul Aziz said that students especially in the field of information and technology can learn about Internet governance through their university courses and projects.

“Youth or university students should first understand what is actually being governed. In our faculty, we have introduced the subject, Computer Ethics and Cyber Law.

“It is designed to examine the ethical issues surrounding Internet use and the connection between ethics and technology. Our aim is to ensure students know how to apply their knowledge in computer ethics.

“We also want students to demonstrate social responsibilities in relation to computer ethics and the cyberspace. UTP will mould students and develop them to utilise the technology in the right way. Students need to develop the right values and attitudes related to IT governance,” said the computer and information sciences lecturer.

Norshakirah added: “In this course, students will learn about cyber crimes such as computer hacking, privacy infringement, software and product privacy, computing systems and the ethics of software development.

“In the legal aspect, they will learn about the basics of Contract Law, Computer Crimes Act 1997, Digital Signature Act 1997 and the Communications and Multimedia Act. When they study the cyber laws and cases, they can definitely see the impact of Internet governance.

“UTP utilises the active learning and problem-solving method for teaching and learning. Throughout the semester, students will be actively involved in projects related to computer ethics.”

Universities can also lead research projects and consultancy services to help the community.

“In UTP’s High Performance Cloud Computing Data Centre and Centre for Research in Data Science, I lead a very dedicated team to conduct research into IT governance.

“Internet governance is essential to ensure that data is properly managed by the assigned parties. Individuals need to treat their data and information as assets. If a problem occurs when the information is not adequately secured, it can lead to issues such as data breach.

“Many organisations came to realise that Internet governance is critical after many cases of data breaches. So, it is necessary to have someone who can control the data,” said Norshakirah, adding that according to a research conducted, IT governance is an effective management framework.

For Taylor’s University computer science and forensics student Priyanka S. Jayakumar, she had come across the concept of Internet governance a few times whilst studying and researching.

“I understand that Internet governance is all about the rules, standards, practices and especially policies evolving around global cyberspace.

“I know there are laws and acts pertaining to Internet governance but many people aren’t aware of issues related to it,” said Priyanka.

She noted the importance of Internet governance for youth as they are the major age group for Internet users.

“It’s important for youths to know the do’s and don’ts on the Internet and to know the indications when one is faced with something off online. That kind of awareness only comes with proper education and enforcement from a young age.

“More people should be aware of the consequences of certain online activities and learn how to be safe in the virtual world,” said the 21-year-old, who added that awareness can be spread through education, public forums, campaigns and the use of simple and non-technical terms.

“A compulsory subject focusing on Internet awareness should be created and taught in schools. Everyone should be aware of online safety and the new threats and security breaches that are happening on the Internet.

“There should be no room for any uncertainty for young people when it comes to the Internet so they know how to exercise their rights. For example, in the case of cyber-bullying, people should know to contact the relevant authorities to report this incident,” said the aspiring computer forensics investigator.

“Public forums will not only help to educate people about the Internet and its policies but the questions that come from the public may help experts in identifying any loopholes in their policy-making.

By Rayyan Rafidi.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/education/2019/06/499319/youth-and-internet-governance

Developing Sabah education system via federal and related agencies support

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Ministry of Education and Innovation is committed in engaging with its federal counterpart and other related agencies to further develop Sabah education system.

Its minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob said this included the development of Sabah education hub in Papar which he stressed required basic physical and connectivity infrastructures.

This, he said, was in line with the government’s aim of providing education to people of all level.

“We need complete infrastructures including land as well as good points of connectivity such as road and digital connectivity in terms of optic fibre in these areas.

“That is why we need to first ensure that these basic infrastructures are available in order to spur education, tourism and other industrial developments in Sabah.

“Therefore, we hope these will be provided so that more investors would come in to Sabah,” he said. He was speaking to reporters after officiating at the Sabah Animation Creative Content Centre (SAC3) Academy 2019 graduation ceremony and ‘Greative Showcase’ here Tuesday.

SAC3, he noted, was among the first institution in Sabah that offered courses in creative industry – one of the major demands in today’s digital industry.

He pointed out that the global market value of creative industry particularly in animation as reported by the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) was USD305.7 billion in 2017 and is expected to escalate to USD404.8 billion in 2023.

Therefore, he said Sabahan youth should tap into the opportunity and become entrepreneurs, earning their own income by setting up their own animation companies.

“The industry has a bright future and we hope our Sabahan youth will take the opportunity to also exploit our beauty here to become subjects in their animations which can later be sold in the form of documentaries, globally.” Yusof added that the government has also set a long term planning to develop the sector and include animation and creative industry into Sabah education system.

A total of 108 students graduated in various programmes including JPK certification programmes – Animation Creative Multimedia Artist, Visual Multimedia Artist, and Visual Film Production – and SAC3special programmes – certificate of Media Production and certificate of Advanced Media Production.

Since 2011, SAC3 deputy director Marina Abd Ghani said the centre has produced high income-earning graduates in the field of entrepreneurship and creative digital technology which are becoming more popular among millennials. “With this, we believe our future generation will be capable of earning high income even without securing permanent posts in public nor private institutions,” she said.

By DK RYNI QAREENA.

Read more @ http://www.newsabahtimes.com.my/nstweb/fullstory/31871

Making learning amazing

Monday, June 24th, 2019
For Tenby Schools, a good student is one who has the self-motivated desire to see how far they can go, and it is committed to ensuring that their desire is realised.

For Tenby Schools, a good student is one who has the self-motivated desire to see how far they can go, and it is committed to ensuring that their desire is realised.

WHAT makes a good school? A better question is, “what makes a good student?”

Since its founding over 60 years ago, Tenby Schools has grown into seven campuses around Malaysia, offering both the International and Private National curriculum. More importantly, over the years, Tenby Schools has developed a culture where students are given the space to explore their potential and be the best they can be.

However, today we live in an age of unprecedented challenges and opportunities amidst rapid change. Changing education trends reflect schools’ attempts to provide students with the knowledge, skills and adaptability necessary to be 21st century citizens. But, while new methods and tools are good, for effective learning to happen, one must go deeper than just merely adopting these new methods and tools.

Tenby Schools takes a different perspective. From its years of experience, it understands that at its core, education is founded on the relationship between teachers, students and parents. As such, it is focused on supporting parents’ efforts to mould their child’s character, because Tenby Schools know that excellence in character will result in excellence in all that the child attempts.

As such, everything done at Tenby Schools is driven by the aim of optimising learning outcomes. Its teachers observe the children closely both inside and outside the classroom, while facilitating learning opportunities by challenging them on a personal, individual basis. Its goal is for its students to have amazing learning moments, when they reach a level beyond what they thought possible and can say, “I didn’t realise I could do that until now!”

For Tenby Schools, that’s what makes a good student. It is the self-motivated desire to see how far they can go. It is the confidence that comes from realising that their achievements are a result of perseverance through good struggle. It is the pride in knowing that they have become better versions of themselves. It is the hope in knowing that they can always be better. Our children can attain all this when they experience a school that empowers them to. For Tenby Schools, that is what makes a good school and that is what it is committed to be.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/06/18/making-learning-amazing/

Maternity and paternity leave: It’s more than just profit and loss

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Fatherhood and motherhood are not mutually exclusive activities from employment. Many talented mothers and fathers are willing to contribute to organisations that provide a work-life balance. — NSTP Archive

THE Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has stated that the three-day paternity leave proposed by the Human Resources Ministry, to be funded by employers, will cost companies RM157.2 million or RM 52.4 million a day.

MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan has suggested for the cost of such leave to be borne by the Social Security Organisation (Socso) or the Employment Insurance System (EIS).

While the approach is used in other countries, the question is whether Socso or EIS has enough funds to undertake the task.

Could MEF enlighten the public on the methodology it used to calculate the losses?

There has not been an increase in Socso contribution over the years. It is vital for the government, employers and unions to review the feasibility of using Socso and EIS to finance paternity and maternity leave, and whether contributions should be increased.

The fundamental questions are, why is there a need for a duration of paternity and maternity leave, and how is it related to modern employment?

Does allowing the father and mother to bond with their baby create stronger families and lead to retention of talent and improved productivity?

Fatherhood and motherhood are not mutually exclusive activities from employment.

Many talented mothers and fathers are willing to contribute to organisations that provide a work-life balance.

Employers who want paternity or maternity leave to form a crucial part of talent pool and retain this talent must strengthen its human touch.

Productivity, in the long term, is about creating the right conditions for the development of human capital in terms of attracting diverse talents.

Attracting a variety of talent with diverse needs is crucial for organisational survival in a competitive economic environment.

By RONALD BENJAMIN.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2019/06/498551/maternity-and-paternity-leave-its-more-just-profit-and-los