Friday, June 27, 2008

Dashini Jeyathurai, ex-student of Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan (Perempuan) Yahya Awal selected to be valedictory speaker at US university

Source : NST
Stories abound over the achievements of Asian students in American universities.
Last month, 13-year-old child prodigy Sameer Mishra from India stunned the American nation by winning the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee competition in Washington.
Today, it is a Malaysian girl’s turn to bag a rare distinction.Dashini Jeyathurai, 24, from Johor Baru, has been selected as one of two students out of the 30 bright students who auditioned for delivering the valediction speech on “Disorienting Dilemmas: Getting an Education.” She arrived in the United States in 2004 to pursue an undergraduate course in English and Womens Studies as her major and minor subjects at the reputed Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. The course is courtesy of Starr International Scholarship, awarded by the C.V. Starr Foundation in the US.

This month, Jeyathurai graduated with a summa-cum-laude distinction which is awarded to students who graduate with a 3.90 score and above.“I was the only Malaysian out of six students granted scholarships,” she said in an interview with Bernama.Jeyathurai is planning to study for her PhD in English and Womens Studies at the University of Michigan, a five-year academic endeavour.
She began her education at the Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan (Perempuan) Yahya Awal in Johor Baru, then went on to further studies in Singapore on an Asean scholarship.Jeyathurai has received accolades at Carleton, including the Mortar Board Fund Prize, Niles Prize in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Noyes Prize which is awarded to distinguished scholars from the junior class. This year, she won the Scott Tyler Bergner Prize for demonstrating excellence in character and thought, and the Andrea Iseminger Endowed Scholarship which enabled her to study theatre and empire literature in London.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


A few days ago, DAP Johor was alerted by members of public of a commentary titled “Mendaulatkan Islam Yang Terbantut” posted in

Our attention was drawn to a segment of the article and it is produced herein.

“…sekiranya PAS ingin melaksanakan undang-undang Islam, sewajibnya PAS
perlu menghantar wakil-wakilnya ke Parlimen sehingga menjadi suara

Dengan itu, jika PAS mahu melaksanakan hukum Allah, sewajibnya Pas perlu
menguasai kawasan DUN-DUN dan Parlimen-Parlimen. Justru itu, jika PAS
ingin menguasai DUN dan Parlimen, sudah pasti PAS perlu menghantar wakil
untuk bertanding di DUN-DUN dan Parlimen-Parlimen yang sudah
dimenangi PKR dan DAP.

Dalam kes ini, jika diharapkan dengan petugas-petugas sahaja agak susah
untuk pihak PAS merebut kerusi di DUN-DUN dan Parlimen-Parlimen yang
sudah dimenangi oleh PKR dan DAP, tetapi antara cara yang paling kuat
untuk “mengambil” kerusi itu adalah dengan membanyakkan cawangan-
cawangan PAS, yang dengannya PAS adalah golongan menguasai sesuatu
DUN atau Parlimen.

Apabila ini dapat dibentangkan dihadapan pihak DAP dan PKR, sudah pasti
mereka tidak boleh lagi hendak beralasan dengan mendakwa bahawa
sesuatu Dun atau parlimen itu milik mereka, yang dengan itu, walaupun
agak susah mereka terpaksa menyerahkan kerusi DUN atau parlimen itu
kepada PAS.”

I am gob smacked reading it. Occasionaly similar or like views do appear in blogs of inviduals but in the spirit of freedom of speech, such views can be tolerated and dismissed as an individual’s mussing however warped those views are.

However, in this instance, when such views appears in the party’s official website it naturally raises concern. It has to be deemed to be the party’s stand. In essence, the article reveals PAS plans for power grab and the extent it is prepared to go in order to achieve its aim. Naturally, it makes disturbing reading for Pakatan Rakyat’s coalition partners DAP and PKR

The open declaration and revelation by PAS of its actual and true agenda is not on callous but most disturbing. It may not be wrong to conclude that in truth PAS gives two hoots about its alliance with DAP and PKR. The end justifies its means and even if it means riding rough shod over its Pakatan Rakyat partners DAP and PKR.

It is high time PAS (and other parties in Pakatan Rakyat) realize that their success in the 2008 General Election was because each needed the other and each had to help the other. That’s the reason why the people supported and voted Pakatan Rakyat. People did not vote DAP or PKR or PAS. They voted Pakatan Rakyat.

Thus, when one party is not prepared to work together with its partners for the greater good of all and common goal but instead designs its own personal agenda and charts its own road to power grab, it can ultimately result only one thing – certainty of another failed alliance.

History has shown that opposition parties in order to challenge Barisan Nasional’s hegemony had in the past had attempted to form or replicate something similar to Barisan Nasional’s coalition. Unfortunately for one reason or another all the attempts did not last long.

Harakah Keadilan Rakyat (1986), Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah (1990), Gagasan Rakyat (1995), Barisan Alternatif (1999) ought to be a reminder to parties in Pakatan Rakyat how alliances formed with fanfare and hope in the end due to personal and conflicting agenda floundered and failed.

Should parties in Pakatan Rakyat and in this instance PAS fail to learn the lessons of past and instead work against each other, it would only mean that Barisan National need not do anything towards Pakatan Rakyat. Pakatan Rakyat will destruct by itself.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Recently, newspapers reported the story of K.Kamine Devi. Although she scored 10A1 in last year’s SPM, the Public Service Department turned down her application to study medicine overseas. This after the PSD had issued a statement recently guaranteeing scholarship for students who scored 9 A’s in their SPM. To add insult to injury, her application for a matriculation programme was also rejected. Kamine Devi is an Indian.

She is not the only Indian in the lurch. Lost out simply because of skewed education and affirmative action policies. Also, Kamine Devi is not the only unfortunate Indian. There are many with a similar story.

A fortnight ago, M.I.C Central Working Committee Member S,Murugasen in a letter to Malaysiakini revealed that out of 751 successful candidates for Jawatan Pembantu Penguatkuasa Gred N17 only 10 candidates or 1.3% were Indians. Now, for the uninformed, Grade N17 are support staff and is usually open to applicants with SPM or equivalent qualification. There are more likely from the lower and lower-middle income families who may have discontinued studies after Form 5 to find a job in order to support their families.

What I found interesting was the M.I.C’s Central Working Committee Member’s expose that “whenever the issue of low percentage of Indians being accepted into the government employment is raised, the standard answer is that there were insufficient number of applicants. However, feedback from divisional level M.I.C Youth leaders is that many Indians Youths do apply for governmental jobs but are not called for interviews and out of those called only a very small percentage have been successful”. Quite startling and hard-hitting especially when during the recent general election, M.I.C gave a glowing report card about job opportunities for Indian youths. Yet three months later, M.I.C in public is talking about unfairness. Is M.I.C in the government or now running with the opposition?

Still on the same point, a letter from the Inland Revenue Board published in NST on Monday, June 23, 2008 stated that the Inland Revenue Board does not have race quota in recruitment of new officers. Now let me remind everyone that I also believe in the fairy god-mother and Santa Claus. According, to the Inland Revenue Board, in their recent recruitment exercise only 2,16% (324) of the total applicants (15,018) for the post of executive officer Grade 7 were Indians. And of the number of successful applicants, 2.47% ( eight) were Indians who fulfilled the criteria set for the job. As for the total application received (916) for the post of administrative assistant Grade 11, only 0.44 % (four) were Indian applicants. Of the total number of successful applicants (190) all four of them were successful.

Even in the Johor Bahru courts, the majority of the Indians are only employed as court interpreters. This is a sunset position as there are already some judges who encourage litigants born after 1970 to converse in Bahasa Malaysia. They are often urged to speak in Bahasa Malaysia without the aid of an Interpreter. So, it is safe to say that in years to come the job of interpreters especially Tamil and Chinese Interpreters will become redundant. With that another job opportunity in the civil service closes for Indians.

The private sector does not look promising either. Go to the banks and other office's and count the number of Indian faces there. Even, legal firms which once provided Indians with clerical job opportunities employ fewer Indians. If there is one segment of the Indians population who has better prospect of finding jobs, at least clerical jobs are those who can speak Mandarin. Trust me if you can speak Mandarin, you will never be jobless.

Last week, the Star gave a breakdown of the intake into public universities. Out of the 40,184 STPM and equivalent candidates, 6.84% were Indians. The number of places awarded to Indian student for critical courses are as follows:-


What can be seen is that the Indian intake into public universities is ridiculously and unfairly small.

Hoping for an overseas scholarship to study one of the critical courses will be like waiting for Godot. There is a better chance of witnessing the Halley’s comet.

So what’s the point I am making? Indians must realize that in the near future it is going to be nearly impossible for Indians to get employment in the civil service. In the private sector which is dominated by the Chinese, there is a “national service” pressure for companies to provide employment for Malays first before Indians. Just have a look at the banks and see how many Indians are employed. Indians are already finding it really difficult to near impossibility in getting scholarships. Indians must prepare now for their children’s future. Indians must begin to look elsewhere and not rely on the government to educate their children.

The only way for Indians to uplift themselves and their families is through education. That means Indian parents must make every possible sacrifice for their children. My sister, brother and myself are eternally grateful to our parents for the sacrifices they made to ensure that we got the education we want. My parents received not a single sen from the government yet my parents sacrificed their yesterday for our tomorrow. The saved every single sen to pay for our education.

To study, one needs money. Indian parents must realize that the realistic option for their children education are private universities or to study abroad. Whichever option, one needs money and lots of it. I just wonder how many parents and particularly from the lower and lower middle class Indian families actually put aside of money each month for their children’s education. However seeing the number of empty beer bottles on the table of the ever grateful Chinese coffee shop owner only, I fear a bleak future for many Indians. Add to that, is the sad sight of seeing children wasting their valuable studying time every night sitting together with their mothers watching Indian serials on Astro. Sometimes I just wonder if Indian parents ever care for their children’s future. There are many Indians who would not buy a computer for their children but have no qualms in installing Astro. Just where are their priorities, I often wonder. At least one can see Malay parents buying for their children computers at Courts Mammoth even if it is purchased through installment plan. Believe me, Malay children are really good or at least better than Indian children when it comes to computer technology.

Let me advise Indian parents, save and save all your money. Invest in your children’s education even if you could only educate them to have only trade skill. Education, that’s the best gift you can give your children. Cut out or at least reduce the beer, forget the cigarettes and disconnect Astro. That’s a good start. The savings made, put it into your children’s education account and see it grow. It is hard but sacrifice now and be assured you will reap benefits later. With education, the world and not just Malaysia opens opportunities for your children. Your children will never need to be victims of quota system and affirmative policies. Instead the world awaits and welcomes them.

The writer welcomes comments at

Monday, June 23, 2008


Many years ago, my friend who was a lecturer at a teachers training college in Johor Bahru lamented at the quality of the trainee teachers there. His profound words “education has not gone to the dogs but instead dogs have come into education” remains etched in my mind.

Now let me make it clear that it is not my intention to insult teachers. I have uncles and aunties who were school teachers and incidentally my good mother was also a teacher. Many of my school teachers had a great impact in my life and most of all Mr Chakravathy of Sekolah Menengah Tinggi Setapak, Kuala Lumpur. I still remember going to see and inform him that I will be leaving for teachers training. Instead he tore into shreds my teachers training selection notification and sternly told me to continue with my studies. Phew! what a right decision it has turned out to be.

Reading, Hannah Yeoh’s latest posting in her web-log www.hannahyeoh.blogspot reminds me of my friend’s profound words.

Hannah Yeoh is the DAP Assemblywoman for Subang Jaya. This law graduate from University of Tasmania and incidentally where I too graduated from, was a student of SMK Subang Jaya and was also the Head Prefect for the year 1995/1996. For years there has been a tradition of an annual Prefect Reunion where former and present prefects attend the function which is actually a private function.

What has made Hannah really upset is because some cabbage brained teachers saw it fit to issue a threat to the school prefects to withdraw their invitation to her and even worst to issue an ultimum that should Hannah be invited the function will be cancelled. I just wonder how sensisitive would her presence be at the function. Do the teachers think Hannah will turn the prefects reunion function into a political function and give a political ceramah or use the opportunity to recruit members for DAP? Come of it !

How true are the profound words of my friend said years ago. Dogs have indeed come into education. The school and the teachers of SMK Subang Jaya rightfully should feel proud that one of their students had not only qualified as a lawyer but also has now been elected as an Assemblywoman. Instead, these dumb-asses saw it fit to cast Hannah as an outcast for no other valid reason but simply because she was a DAP Assemblywoman. Had she been a BN Assemblywoman, the school would have had a special assembly and everyone connected with the school from the Principal to the tuck-shop operator to the lolly-pop man would have jostled to kiss her her arse in the hope of getting some “peruntukkan or surat sokongan”. The PIBG Chairperson would have been there with a garden of flowers pinned on his bush-jacket giving an off tangent glowing speech about the government and pleading for “peruntukkan untuk PIBG”.

It is sad that there are teachers who have been so brainwashed that they live in a blinkered and skewered world devoid of any logical and sensible reasoning. I still remember when I was selected by my class teacher to speak on the best book I have read and why to the class. I told the class the best book I read (then) was Time Bombs in Malaysia by Lim Kit Siang and went on to talk about what Lim Kit Siang said about the real situation in Malaysia and what was Malaysia’s future. Through out the session, the teacher felt really uneasy and after I had finished sarcastically quipped “lain kali baca buku yang lebih bermanfaat”. She just could not accept “such books”. She would have been happy as a button if I had said that the book I read was “ Hikayat kura- kura lawan arnab”. Incidentally when I became the top student for History, she presented me the book “The Malay Dilemma”.

Coming back, it is really despicable that teachers have became agents and tools of the government and has no qualms about and are willing to intimidate, instill fear and threaten others against others who do not share their belief - all hallmarks of the government. Teachers not only ought to impart knowledge but also identify role models which their students can emulate. Who better than their ex-students as role models. They ought to be proud of the achievements of the schools’ ex- students. Sadly, the teachers of SMK Subang Jaya are blissful to live in their cloistered coconut shell and see it fit to demean and mortify their own (ex) student. Would the teachers of SMK Subang Jaya reacted in the same manner had Hannah Yeoh been the Assemblywoman from BN? Surely not !

Rightfully, the parents of SMK Subang Jaya should demand an explanation from the Principal and identify the dumbass behind the withdrawal of the invitation. In fact that person could be a real threat to other students for that person may have his/her own agenda to poison the young minds at SMK Subang Jaya with his/her own skewed thoughts and other propaganda.

Truly, we can do without these petty minded teachers who are nothing who only know how to only froth the rulling party’s agenda.