Thursday, January 28, 2010

Indian Stupidity

Group seeks divine help on SPM issue, The Star, 27th Jan 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: Members of several non-governmental organisations are seeking “divine intervention” during Thaipusam for the Tamil Lan-guage and Tamil Literature papers to be made core SPM subjects.
They plan to fast and carry the pal kudam (milk offering) on Thaipusam Day at Batu Caves.
The NGOs behind the protest are calling themselves the SPM 12 Subjects Retention Group.
Committee chairman A. Thiru-venggadam said the fast and pal kudam offering would take place from 8.30am to 3.30pm.
Speaking at a press conference at the management office of the Batu Caves temple grounds here yesterday, Thiruvenggadam said they also hoped to hand a memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when he launches the Thaipusam celebration on the eve of Thaipu-sam.
This is what one would call, stupidity in the name of religion.

I did not know that Hindu god, Murugan at Batu Caves can influence the DPM to change his stance on the issue. If this happens to be true, then I would lbe likely to do the same for reinstatement of Teaching Of Science and Maths in English.

Why is there a need to handover memorandum to the Prime Minister when the Hindu God can help is beyond me. The same group, if I am not mistaken held hunger srike few months ago. So what happened? Hunger strike nowdays is from 9 am to 5pm it seems, taking cue from various hunger strike held the same way almost every day back in Tamil Nadu.

The HINDRAF did the same in 2008 praying for release of their beloved leaders. In fact, there’s another group, Sri Murugan Centre who organises annual education pilgrimage to Batu Caves, an event which gathers about 100,000 student who will be sitting for various exams for the year.

cult group, have their cult leader’s birthday at Batu Caves seeking better times for their followers, some of whom are in dire situation despite all the rituals and prayers, spending thousands of ringgit in the process.

All these illustrates the stupidity of Indians in this country. Every other year they carry our prayers, wows, harms their body with various sharp object, walk on fire , carry heavy ‘Kavadi’ (some with liverpool and Man Utd logos, another example of their religious stupidity) and it appears like their prayers are not really answered, if you listen to what PKR, DAP and Hindraf politicians has to say about situation of Indians in the country. Who do the Indians blame.. who else but BN. Why not the lord Murugan, who appears not to be answering their prayers. Not wanting to repeat myself, the answers are
here. Perhaps they should go here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Subsidy : One rate for whole economy is better

T.K. CHUA of Kuala Lumpur wrote this in today's Star

SOMETIMES I wonder how the Malaysian market economy is being managed. I am referring to your news report “Fuel Cap” (Sunday Star, Jan 17). My issue is not on how the fuel subsidy should be managed. My issue is should we have this kind of multi-sector and multi-categorisation subsidy system in the first place.

We know for a fact the Malaysian economy has been distorted and dissected into numerous groups and sectors already. Each distortion and categorisation has created more controversy, inefficiency and avenues for corruption. How we could have managed a market economy with total disregard for basic market principles is simply beyond my comprehension.

Malaysia is one principal customs area. If there is any subsidy or taxation, the rate should be uniformly applied throughout the whole economy.

To dissect, to discriminate, and to categorise into different groups or sectors for subsidy entitlement or taxation burden could only result in more hardship, unfairness, inefficiency, arbitrage and corruption especially by those administering such schemes.

We have fleet cards, subsidies for taxies, buses and boats for fishermen. As if this is not complicated enough, now we want to dissect passenger cars into different categories. We spent hundreds of millions in subsidy on fishermen. Did the amount of fish landed really increase?

How much of the petrol and diesel were really used by fishermen to catch fish? Did the subsidised fuel really translate into lower prices of fish in the market?

How much of the fish we consume were supplied by foreign fishermen who enjoyed no subsides from us?

When a subsidy is given, we can’t guarantee complete fairness. Sure, the rich and the wealthy may have gained more from the subsidy, but they have also contributed more in the form of higher taxes?

When they buy a vehicle, the extra taxes (in the form of sales tax, excise duty, and annual road tax) they pay is probably many times more than the extra fuel subsidy they enjoy. What fairness can we extract from them further? Don’t forget they have also paid higher income taxes.

In managing a market economy, we must allow capitalism and market mechanism to work.

We may tinker a little here and there to make it less painful for some but the objective is not really to achieve complete parity or equality.

Didn’t the communists try to do that but we know the result was disastrous for everybody?

They tried to make equality their priority, but the policies made almost everybody equally poor and today communism is history.

A market economy, albeit with limited government intervention, has made people unevenly rich, which is better than making everybody poor.

To minimise distortions and to enhance efficiency, the Government must first decide whether to subsidise or not to subsidise the fuel.

If the decision is to subsidise, it is better to have just one rate for the whole economy. Multiple subsidised rates for different sectors or different groups of citizens only cause high administrative cost, profiteering, inefficiency, corruption and arbitrage.


I can't but agree with Chua's comment and arguements on subsidy and how it is managed.

The planned fuel subsidy based on mykad and car engine capacity is obiviously flawed and bound to fail especially knowing very well the capability of our enforcement agencies, level of corruption prevalent and the availability of world class, highly skilled home grown fraudsters in Malaysia

Those in high income bracket are already paying high tax rates and those luxury cars are purchased with one of the highest taxes ion the world, how fair is it that fuel subsidy is only given to those who don't pay tax and only pay considerably low tax and duties for the vehicle that they own. As it is only 15% individuals in Malaysia pay tax. The government should find out why is this the case, when based on per capia income figures, those in taxable range should have been substantially more. They should go after this group of people rather than try to figure out and mess up this multi-level subsidy plan.

Chua's questions on the effectiveness of subsidised fleet card to transporters and fishermen is valid and deserves a review. We should allow market forces to determine fish price and cost of transportation, never mind that public transportation is already subsidised in many other forms.

Looking at the Minsiters lack of clarity when replying to the questions on the subsidy plan, all points to a disastrous implemetation of the fuel subsidy plan in May, which will definitely shunned by the people, and Najib will end up like Badawi, whose popularity went down the drain when he drastically raised the fuel price.

In the end, no one will not die if we do not eat fish, especially those caught with fuel subsidy..

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lee Kuan Yew's Take On Chinese Education

SINGAPORE, Jan 5 — Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was interviewed by Mark Jacobson of the National Geographic in July last year. Read the full article here

While most of the social issues confronting Singapore may be the same as in Malaysia, such as growing immigrant population, insecure original Singaporeans, Race and Religious issues (he spoke about the rise of Evangelical Christians) and others, what caught my interest was his comments about Chinese Education.

Read excerpts from the article below ;

Bilingualism and Chinese schools

We’re losing part of (Chinese culture) because the Chinese schools have disappeared. We’re trying to preserve it in English-speaking schools, but the teachers now were also educated in English-speaking schools and have lost the old traditions. So we’re trying to get them to go to China and see how they preserve these qualities. But we find that in the (Chinese) cities, they’re also changing.
But (I’ve no regret emphasising English). I’m a pragmatist and you can’t make a living with the Chinese language in Singapore.

The first duty of the Government is to be able to feed its people. Singapore has no hinterland and no farming. You have got to trade. You have got to get people to buy your goods or services and get multinationals to come here and manufacture for export.
So we brought the semiconductor factories here. We became a vast centre for the production of computers and computer peripherals. But they all speak English — (including) multinationals from Japan, Europe.

The Chinese-educated were losing out. They were disgruntled because they got the poorer jobs and lesser pay. Eventually, our own Chinese-educated MPs said we have got do something. We’re ruining these people’s careers.

By that time, (Nanyang University) was also losing its good students. Because they took in poor students, they graduated them (with) lower marks and so the degrees became valueless. So when you apply for a job with a Chinese university degree, you hide your degree and produce your school certificate.
I tried to change it from within. Most of the teachers (at Nanyang) had American PhDs. They did their theses in English but they’d forgotten their English as they’d been teaching in Chinese. It couldn’t be done. So I merged them with the English-speaking university.

Great unhappiness for the first few years. But when they graduated, we put it to them: Do you want your old university degree or do you want the English university degree? All opted for the English university degree. That settled it.

(China’s ascent would) make no difference (to the emphasis on English). We are not going to tie ourselves to China to the extent that it makes us hostage. We have many investments there because the older generation are Chinese-educated, they feel comfortable. But the younger generation, they have enough Chinese to go there and do business and they can ramp up (their language skills) if they want.

And not everybody wants to go there. We’ve been offering scholarships to their top universities — Beijing, Qinghua — but very few takers. They say: “Nah, I want to go to America or Britain.” They know they’re coming back here and competing in English.

I can only wish that vernacular education champions back here in Malaysia, most of whom are in awe of Lee Kuan Yew, would realise that in the current century and decade, we are simply losing out. Lee’s assertion that feeding the people comes first makes lots of sense. What is the point of preserving and dying for language and culture if there’s no food on the table.

While we complain that taking away English Medium schools saw the beginning of the decline of education standards in Malaysia, coming from a national school, I could always argue that the rise of vernacular schools also contributed to the decline in English as well as unity in this country.

Further to the decline of English, we are fast losing our competitiveness. Having worked in a MNC before, I have had numerous negative comments on both English and education standards of our graduates. For them, apart from whatever degree that the students graduate in, leadership qualities and ability to communicate effectively (not just speaking English) is more important than say, whether you can count.

Even in National Schools back in 80s and 90s, the quality of English education was quite good as the teachers were from English Mediums. Now with each races segregated in 3 major school streams, we get 3 types of accents and not to mention, less united as a society. The rejection of Vision Schools and the end of teaching of Maths and Science in English can only further deteriorate the quality of our students and our overall competitiveness.

I also wonder why Chinese Schools never reject large number of Malay students in their schools. As champions of mother tongue education, they should have rejected Malay and Indian students and advised them to enrol in national and Tamil Schools.

On the other hand, while Singapore is open to accept more immigrants as their future citizens, we in Malaysia appears only interested in segregate ourselves further.