I'm not sure if our readers are aware, but Tony and I have taken care to keep politics out of this blog as much as possible. While we've been critical of government policies in the education arena, we've tried not to evaluate them on the basis of partisan stands. With the upcoming 12th Malaysian General Election, I thought that this would be a good time to make an exception. While I'm not stepping out to endorse any political party, I will step out to endorse Tony as the candidate that all our readers who are in the PJ Utara parliamentary constituency should vote for.
For those of you who are not yet aware, our country goes to the polls on March 8th, next Saturday, to vote in a new government. Tony Pua, who started this blog and invited my to co-blog with him, is running in the parliamentary constituency of PJ Utara where he is facing MCA incumbent Chew Mei Fun. Tony is standing as a DAP candidate.
I'm endorsing Tony as the candidate for PJU not just because he happens to be a friend and co-blogger. But I think that having a parliamentarian of Tony's background and knowledge will increasing the quality of debate in our otherwise rather sad parliament. I also think that it will be a bigger platform for him to raise issues concerning the quality of education in Malaysia. One of the most important roles of an MP, in my opinion, is to raise issues of national importance in parliament, which i think that Tony will excel in. One of the least important roles of an MP, is to make sure that the drains or longkangs are not clogged, a role which the incumbent MP, Chew Mei Fun, excels in. I would prefer my MP to excel in the former rather than the latter.
I'm sure that most of our readers who are PJU voters would vote for Tony but I would encourage you guys to do more. Volunteer to help out in his campaign, contribute funds, tell your friends and relatives who are also PJU voters to vote for him, go out and support him during his ceramahs. You can find out more details at Tony's website. Tony needs all the help he can get. He's up against an incumbent who won in 2004 with a 13,000 majority. He's up against an incumbent who has the support of the Star newspaper, a paper which many of the PJU readers read. He's up against the superior machinery of the incumbent regime.
Every vote counts. I only wish that I could have taken leave to come back home to Msia to cover the elections and lend Tony a helping hand. Vote Tony Pua!
I have no doubt of Tony's abilities to raise pertinent and important issues in parliament and I'm sure he'd make an excellent MP, and personally I would vote for him if he was in my constituency, however, I feel that this blog should be left to debate issues of importance to education in malaysia and should not be a platform for one to lobby for votes or endorse other peoples favourite candidates. I think even though politics and education are intricately linked in this country, we should leave politics out of this blog.
Still, good luck Tony, all the best.
KEEP POLITICS OUT OF EDUCATION!!!
Tony did not go into the election as an independent. The people vote based on the party. A person with your caliber should know by endorsing Tony, you are also endorsing the party which he represent.
I always thought your blog is on education policy in Malaysia. As a reader, I wish to see it will continue to remain that way.
"KEEP POLITICS OUT OF EDUCATION!!!"
I agree. But Malaysian education is heavily dependent on the ruling government, everything from policies to funding to appointments, etc.
So it's impossible to "keep politics out of education"
For this, I agree with KM that we should give Tony a chance to make a difference. Not that I'm "endorsing" his party, but I think PJ Utara voters should prove to the ruling powers that Malaysia no longer wants better drainage, better roads, a bigger mosque. We want issues that matter most - lowering crime rates, improving our education system, better quality of life, healthcare, etc.
At the end of the day, voters have a choice. Give change a chance or stick with incumbents? Choose wisely.
"KEEP POLITICS OUT OF EDUCATION!!!"
Haha, still living in dreamland kid?
My first reaction is that yes, you should not be talking politics here. But then Malaysiakini just published a Q&A session with Chew Mei Fun who is running against Pua and I must say I cannot believe how this idiot managed to win our votes. The Chinese will complain and complain in blogs like this but until they put their heart to their votes they jsut remain pathetic whining losers.
Check out especially question 12 below. Classic cowardry.
-------------extracted from malaysiakini-------------
1. Will you support the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC)?
Chew : Yeah, I do agree with the setting up of the IPCMC.
2. Will you support the implementation of local council elections?
Chew: There (are) many ways to make sure that local councils perform and from what I know the government is looking into the method of appointment of councillors.
3. Will you support that Petronas' accounts be made public?
Chew: I thought they already have their annual report. I thought the annual report is actually the accounts for (listed) companies to disclose to everybody.
4. Will you support the idea of retaining subsidies of oil and other essential items?
Chew: Yes, I think so.
5. Will you support universities to be autonomous or agree to the abolishing of the University and University Colleges Act (UUCA) 1971?
Chew: I think university students to concentrate in (their) studies is something (that) they should focus on. But if there (are) weaknesses in the Act, then (there is) no harm to review and do some adjustment or some amendment.
6. Will you support the idea of an Islamic state being established in Malaysia?
Chew: Under the constitution, everybody has freedom of religion. Islam is just the official religion, that's all. But Pak Lah (Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) has already said that we are not an Islamic state and we go according to the constitution. The most important thing is according to the constitution. I think we are a secular state if you ask me.
7. Will you support the setting-up of the Inter-faith Council or a Non-Muslim Affairs Department?
Chew: The (BN) manifesto already answers your question.
8. Will you support the call that the Anti-Corruption Agency be placed under Parliament?
Chew: I think we need to make sure the ACA carry out their work fairly and (transparently) and make sure that they actually take action to investigate whatever, whoever (that are) involved with corruption. If you ask me, in my own opinion, yeah, I agree but this depends. Any how the government still needs to study and many of the issues (are) not that straightforward.
9. Will you support the idea of abolishing the Internal Security Act (ISA)?
Chew: I think the ISA somehow on some occasions does work like what happened in America. Before that they didn't have ISA and after the 9/11 (attacks), they now have their own. That's why this all depends and (it's) very subjective.
10. Will you support public assemblies being held without needing to apply for police permits?
Chew: I think police permits is a must in order to make the situation under control and everybody must be responsible.
11. Will you support the idea of fixing a minimum wage for workers?
Chew: Yeah, why not? I mean there are so many levels [...] that it is not so straightforward to fix a minimum wage. But for those lower income (groups), I think we should, just to draw them (out) from poverty.
12. Will you support the idea of abolishing the New Economic Policy (NEP)?
Chew: I thought the NEP has already ended. The most important thing is that we must make sure that [...] you can actually help one particular race but in the expense of the other race. Everybody must be given a chance to have their own business and work together to create a win-win situation.
My take on Education
- Maintain the racial schools but proactively develop our cluster schools so that it appeals to everyone regardless of race or gender. Make all languages taught there and give the opportunity for students to think for once!!
- Establish research based and academic based tertiary institutions. Provide a transparent way of measuring performance and rankings of these universities. Promote more inter-cultural exchanges and more direct industry linkages to the private sector. Get the government to listen to what these universities have to say and actively implement them for the future of the country.
The time is NOW.
CONGRATULATIONS TONY! YOU DA MAN! YOU HAVE OUR SUPPORT! YOU HAVE MY SUPPORT!
TONY! TONY! TONY!
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