Saturday, July 31, 2010

Overnight in Hatyai, Thailand...

How lucky to have the opportunity to write this post in Hatyai, Thailand..
I'm staying at the Asian Hotel for the night.. This hotel offers free internet with 3 PCs available at the customer service.. But I cannot upload the photos I've taken today because I didn't bring the necessary gadgets. I'll upload them when I get back home tomorrow...

We shot off from Kangar at 8.00 this morning with 12 bikes but then we were joined by 2 groups from Penang and KL at the border. It was a big convoy up to Hatyai.... Midway through the journey to Hatyai, another group of small bikers joint us....  Weeeee...., nice trip !!!
You'll love the photos......(tomorrow).

Okey, see yer tomorrow..
Have a nice day....

Off to Songkhla, Thailand...

I'll be out for the weekend. Off to Songkhla, Thailand on a motorbike expedition with a group of friends...
Will upload the photos later...

Have a nice day.....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Teachers are Better Politicians....

I took this straight from the local newspaper today:

PUTRAJAYA: Teachers have been allowed to be involved in politics as they will serve to improve the country's political leadership, given the intellect and respect they command in the community, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday. He said there would be a void if the prohibition was not lifted, especially at the grassroots level.

"Teachers are highly looked upon and respected by the community and they would have the kind of knowledge and credentials that command that respect. Hence, when they become political leaders, they will be better accepted.

"They also promote values that are not materialistic and would mould better political behaviour and values," Najib said, adding that politically-active teachers must prioritise their role as educators. Whatever political post they held, the teachers must respect the Education Department and school's organisational structure.

Deputy Prime Minister @ Minister of Education Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the decision was made to enable teachers to contribute their leadership qualities to society.
"It does not matter whether they want to hold posts in Barisan Nasional or the opposition.
"Of course, as a leader in BN, I wish they will all be supportive of the government. But rest assured, no one will take any action against those who choose to be with the opposition as there will be no discrimination in this matter."

He said teachers should be allowed to use their free time for the good of society through politics.
Muhyiddin, nonetheless, stressed that politics was strictly off-limits at schools.

My comments:
Well, well, well.... The government is turning to teachers to save the country...
Now, they have realized that teachers are better politicians !!!!
What can I say...

Have a nice day....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Every Wednesday from 5.30pm till 10.30pm, there is this Night Market in Kangar, beside the state stadium.
Foods, fruits, vegetables, ....everything is there...
Today, Malaysia's TV3 happened to shoot a programme with comedian Shamsul Ghau Ghau as host...
Here are some shots I took at the Night Market...

Hope you've enjoyed those photos.....
Have a nice day....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Teachers into Politics...

Beginning Aug 1, 2010, government teachers on grades DG41 to DG48 could take part in active politics. It was announced earlier today... Currently, graduate teachers are not allowed to be active in politics. For this purpose, amendments must  be made to Regulation 21 of the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993.
Moves are underway to gazette the amendment into regulation. Currently Regulation 21(2) limits politics to officers in the Support Group.

These officers can contest or hold any position or be appointed to any post in any political party, on the condition that they obtain prior written approval from the director-general of the Public Service Department or the secretary-general of the relevant ministry.
With the amendments, all education officers other than principals or headmasters and officers holding any administrative post in any government agency can engage in politics, so long as they obtain prior written approval from the secretary-general of the education ministry.

1.  There will be different Staff Rooms in school:  BN, PKR, PAS, DAP.... hu, hu....

2.  Students will have different ideologies. Those supporting BN will be 1Malaysia. Those supporting PKR will have a lot of demonstrations in schools, with their teachers as their leaders..  Those supporting PAS will have "ceramahs' everyday... Those supporting DAP will be busy getting land and premises...

3.  Headmasters and School Principals will have headaches everyday controlling teachers and students with different ideologies... Headmasters and Principals are not allowed to take sides. Senior Assistants can... (PK Pentadbiran, PK Hem, PK Ko, PK Form 6) Just nice for the "Big 4".

4.  Discipline teachers have no power left.... I think I have to resign this 31st July....

Have a nice day....

Monday, July 26, 2010

A school for pregnant teens?

What????  SMK Pregnant ?? I came across this article in the NST papers today. Would like to share it with you...

MALACCA: The state government has come up with a noble idea to prevent baby dumping among teenagers.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the state government was willing to support not just the nikah (solemnisation) fee of young couples but would also give them RM500 each.
Saying Muslim teenagers in the state were encouraged to get married early if they feel the urge to do so, Ali said this would help to prevent babies from being abandoned.

"The state government has decided to promote and help teenagers who want to get married as we strongly feel that this is the best way to prevent them, including school kids, from committing sin and worse, dumping their newborns.
"I am willing to meet the teenagers' parents and seek their blessings on behalf of their children. The government will also help them financially to see that the marriages are solemnised," he said after officiating the state's Book Village third anniversary celebration and launching of Malacca "Makan-makan" and "Membeli-belah" books at the Botanical Cafe, Ayer Keroh here yesterday.

Ali said: "Baby dumping cases usually happen among the Muslim community as teenagers were desperate to conceal their pregnancies. Some of the girls were also disowned by their families.
"They do not perform abortions as this is prohibited in Islam. So, they take the shortcut to solve their problem by dumping their newborns. We do not want this to continue. It has to be stopped."
Ali said the state government was also considering building a special school for pregnant teenagers.

"In the event normal schools cannot accept pregnant girls, we are going to build a school just for them.
"This school will cater to those who are legitimately married.
"But, for unmarried teenagers, they also can be part of the school but with one condition -- they must marry the baby's father."

Ali said teenagers from other states could also join the school.
"This problem has become a disease of sorts. We cannot just turn our backs and think that this is not our problem.
"The best way is to take an effective counter-measure.
"We also have plans to provide financial help for young couples. Maybe they will be made eligible for welfare aid. We will also help them to take very good care of their newborns."

My Comments: After all, the idea is a noble one...
But, Prevention is Better that Cure !!

Have a nice day....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Singaporeans Complaining.....

Current Pump Prices                    Singapore Dollar - Malaysian Ringgit   
Petrol - RON97: RM$2.10/litre
Petrol - RON95: RM$1.85/litre
1 SING$ = RM$2.32

When Malaysia raised the price of petrol (Ron 95) by RM0.05 from RM1.80 to RM1.85, no Malaysian complained.  Singaporeans are the ones who are complaining !!!  Funny, after all these years ...

1. Starting 1 Aug 2010, Singapore Registered vehicles will not be able to pump petrol with RON95 grade at all within Malaysia. Enforcement officers will be in patrol around border towns, especially in Johor Bahru.
2. Starting effectively, there will be an increase in fuel price for both RON95 and RON97 petrol as such:
i. RON95 petrol, while still being subsidized by Malaysian government, will be priced at RM$1.85/litre and will be only available to Malaysian Registered vehicles.
ii. RON97 petrol will no longer be subsidized by Malaysian government, and the price is subjected to market forces. As of last night, the price for RON97 is RM$2.10 in Johor Bahru, against a price of RM$2.05 just last week.
3. Thus for RON 97 petrol, there is no longer any restriction in the amount of petrol that can be topped up by Singapore Registered vehicles.
In the long run, the price of RON97 will probably increase further, especially in towns like Johor Bahru due to the high petrol demand from Singapore vehicles.

What is the current pump price of petrol in Singapore?
The 92-octane unleaded petrol is now priced at S$2.213 (RM5.13) per litre, the 95-octane unleaded at S$2.246 (RM5.21) a litre and the 98-octane grade petrol costs S$2.32 (RM5.38) a litre.

Not that it is much to complain for now. The current price of RM$2.10/litre of RON97 is still a good 57.0% discount from Singapore prices. Simple mathematics shows that Singaporeans only pay S$0.90 for a litre of Malaysian RON97 petrol...
Still want to complain??   ?&*^%$#@!>!!
Learn to respect Malaysian laws.... OR better still, buy Singapore's petrol. There's a lot of unused stock at your kiosks....
For those who owns a Singapore-registered car, please buy Singapore petrol as well.. You are NOT eligible to get the government subsidized fuel as well...

It doesn't end there.. Singaporeans get to buy other goods at more than 60% the price of the same goods sold in Singapore.. On the other hand, Malaysians cannot go shopping in Singapore because it is not economical to do so.. Your "murtabak" cost RM18.00 each. It costs only RM2.00 in Kangar. That's 900% more than it cost here in Kangar !!

No offence, Singaporeans.. Just my simple thoughts..
Have a nice day....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Education Minister, New Policy...

Many educationists in the country are still in a bind as to why the call to abolish exams had cropped up when there seems no apparent reason to do so. After debates of whether to teach Science and Maths in English or Bahasa Malaysia or whether to change classes to one-session or maintain the two-session system, the whole country is now embroiled in a significant debate ‘to abolish UPSR, PMR, SPM exams or not'.
Why the need for changes in our education system now, was there a study conducted and found that our current system was not competent? I really fail to undersatand...

Why is it that every time a new minister takes over the education portfolio, there are calls for some kind of drastic change in the system? Why?? Why can't the Education Minister not be a politician... Politicians always make mistakes !!
Just a few years ago, there was heated debate which centered on whether to teach math's and science in English, Bahasa Malaysia or rather Bahasa Melayu, a debate that resulted in a compromise that saw both subjects taught in English for an interim period before calls to revert to Bahasa Melayu.
Reason: Teachers found it difficult to teach both subjects in English because they were not proficient in the language??? True, very true.., because the present batch of teachers were educated in the "Malay Medium".
Who made that mistake?  Politicians !!!

The Education Ministry said it would be holding a roundtable discussion to seek the views of various groups on the government's proposal to do away with the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR), on July 19 and 27.
Question: Can a round table discussion decide the destiny of education?
Answer: Hah ha..., he, he..., hu, hu....

In contrast, a senior educationist in the country said "This is neither the time nor platform to debate on the issue of exams, as there are more pressing issues in schools that need to be tackled, especially students playing truant, gangsterism, bullying, increase in number of pregnancy among school children, quality of teaching in schools, etc." This is very, very true......
He added that despite having to sit for exams and close monitoring from parents and teachers, there has been an increase in the ‘ponteng sekolah' culture and gangsterism among students, imagine what will happen if exams are scrapped.

It is indeed a shame to hear headmasters especially, coming out in support of abolishing UPSR and PMR. Teaching is a noble profession and teachers are evaluated and respected for helping their students achieve the best possible results in examinations and guiding those who do not achieve the desired results.
Are the days of teachers and headmasters showing passion and dedication toward their profession, numbered? Are these new batches of teachers today really teachers?

Let not the outcome of two round table meetings, decide the destiny of the education system in the country, because only a strong foundation in education can ensure the future of our young generation.

Remember.. Teaching is the only profession that produces all the other professions..Have a nice day....

Friday, July 23, 2010

UFO sightings in MALAYSIA...

This was the photo taken by James Dungil as seen from the Tuaran Beach Resort.

The serene atmosphere at a beach resort near the city of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah was quickly broken when a UFO allegedly appeared in the sky without warning, according to Harian Metro, a Malaysian paper.
The round blue object, which was said to be hovering in the sky near the Tuaran Beach Resort, was sighted by resort guests and employees. They claimed that the object emitted blue and green light, floated in the air for a minute, and then vanished in a blink of an eye.One witness, 27-year old James Dungil, reported seeing a round, blue object floating in the air that turned green seconds later.
Another witness, Donny Benedict, 29, said he did not believe in the existence of UFOs, but changed his mind upon watching the unusual sight.
“I saw the object for about 20 seconds before it disappeared."
While some witnesses claimed to have successfully captured images of the object with their handphones, others asserted that their mobile phones mysteriously "went dead" when they attempted to do so.
Harian Metro noted that Malaysia's first recorded UFO sighting took place in the 1950s. A man allegedly saw a flying saucer in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
The last UFO sighting apparently happened in 1999 at Tanjung Sepat, Kuala Langat.

All these reports do not include the one I had myself, way back in 1967, in the town of Batu Gajah, Perak. I had that in my earlier post last year...
Do you believe in UFOs ??

Have a nice day..

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

PMR, UPSR to be abolished ??

 PMR... UPSR...
Much have been said about this topic for the last few weeks.. The local newspapers, TV channels, Mamak stalls, Ah Chong's coffee shops, Warung Wak Sameon......., everywhere, except teachers' staff rooms. There was an uproar among the public with all the "pros" and "cons" of scrapping off these two public examinations were highlighted...  Round table discussions are going on at the moment to finalised the issue. Some says it has already been finalised!!  I'm not surprised...
Why do teachers NOT talk about this issue? Care to know?
1.   Whether the PMR/UPSR will be abolished or not, there's still at least 4 exams in a year to all students in a school. In SMK Derma, you will have 6, irrespective of what Form (level) you are in...
2.   Exams or shall I say assessments/valuations is a MUST in schools. It's the only way we can assess a student's performance. It's the mode of assessment that might be different among schools or among different countries...
3.   Statistics is the only way you can know a student's capability. Capabilities of students differ from each other, thus statistics of his/her achievements in studies is the only way to channel the student into the correct field.
4.   Some students are late developers. These students may not be that excellent in Primary schools, but as he/she grows up, good skills are well developed. Likewise, a straight A primary student might get only 3 As in the PMR... There are many examples....
5.   It is part and parcel of a teacher's life to set exam papers and mark them. Even if you are teaching Music or Moral Studies. Even Physical Education.... You cannot escape!

My suggestion is NOT to scrap those public exams... In fact, more subjects are to be added in these public exams. Subjects like Physical Education, Civics and Moral Values, Music, Computer Studies MUST be included in the UPSR and PMR..
But, but..., the Final Exam (PMR/UPSR) should only be 50% of the whole assessment system. The other 50% will come from practical work and project papers...  In this way, we will have an "all round" student to walk into the real world/public, once he/she leaves school.....

I picked one good comment in the local daily today:

JAYARAJ K.G.S., Sitiawan, Perak

I WATCHED with amazement the news on Bernama TV and TV3 on the roundtable talks attended by 140 people who are supposed to chart the future of the national education system.
From the interviews given by a few, it’s rather obvious that the decision to abolish the UPSR and PMR exams is a predetermined one, with the roundtable talks being merely an eyewash.
The many letters that have been written and published in the newspapers show the strong objection to this proposal.
What is wrong in having these public exams? Don’t blame it on the present system; the real problem lies with the implementation.
How do we intend to measure the achievements of pupils? Schoolbased assessments? It is easier said than done. The repercussions of replacing the UPSR and PMR exams with school-based assessments are plenty.

Firstly, there is the lack of manpower.
As it is, there is a shortage of qualified teachers. We would need enough teachers to implement and ensure the success of such a system.
Next is the problem of infrastructure.
Most classrooms these days consist of 40 pupils or more. To ensure a conducive environment for the implementation of school-based assessment, we need smaller classes so that pupils can get personal attention from their teachers.

If the ministry decides to reduce the size of classrooms, where do we go for more space for new classrooms? And where do we go for the extra teachers required? A school-based assessment system was initiated in the late 1980s in primary schools in the Manjung district. Despite all the ideas, it was a miserable failure.
School-based assessments mean that teachers would have to shoulder a heavier burden and this won’t do any good for the teachers or pupils.

Teachers are a stressed lot as it is.
If this system is introduced, parents would start to curry favour with the teachers.
No parent wants his or her child to be left behind and school-based assessments could lead to abuse of power by teachers.

The authorities may promise to put in place mechanisms to check such problems, but will they work given the circumstances? School heads will clamour to produce results and when teachers are under pressure, cheating can take place.
As a parent, and a teacher with some 30 years’ experience, I dare say that doing away with the UPSR and PMR exams is not the solution.
Instead, look at ways of improving what is already a good policy. Take into account the welfare of teachers.

Do not suffocate them with more paperwork.
As for the next round of the roundtable talks, why not invite a teacher and a representative of the parent-teacher association from each school? These people would be able to convey the sentiments of parents and teachers without fear or favour.
Let these teachers and parents meet without the presence of school administrators and we would be able to see for real whether there is support for the abolition of the two public examinations.

I urge the Education Ministry to get in touch with the real stakeholders — the teachers, parents and the pupils themselves — instead of relying on the views of people who are hardly in the classroom.
Conduct surveys and send questionnaires to all parties involved to get the real picture. This can’t be a difficult thing to do.
A decision on such an important policy cannot be reached by just 140 people.

Have a nice day.....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Have you ever heard of this particular University? CUPB... Never?
Me neither. Not until my son got a place in this university. He is starting classes this September, after a year of intensive "China's" Mandarin classes in University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian government is employing a special tutor in China's Mandarin language, stationed at the University of Malaya. It seems that the Malaysian Mandarin language is quite different from the mainland Mandarin.

China University of Petroleum-Beijing (CUPB), is located in a scenic region of tourist interest in Changping County, Beijing, about 5 miles to the Ming Tombs and 15 miles to the Great Wall. CUPB offers not only engineering programs in oil and gas science including chemical engineering, petroleum engineering, geoscience and mechanical and electronic engineering, but also , in computer science, business management and Chinese Language Study programs of a full range from diploma, bachelor's and master's to doctoral programs.
For its great achievements in education and research, the university, as a national key university, has successfully passed the prejudication conducted by all the authorized organizations of different levels for a government-launched "211 Project" , and has been selected as one of the first institutions implementing the project by China State Educational Ministry. It has also be selcted by the Government as one of the top universiies to implement "985" project. .
The university has 4 faculties, 5 departments and 3 schools and 1 research center, offering 25 bachelor's , 99 master's and 32 Ph.D. programs and one diploma program in Chinese Language Study. It has 13 research institutes, 31 research groups, 30 laboratories, 5 centers, and 2 national key laboratories.

Have a nice day....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Retro 1977,1978, 1979.

These were my varsity days in University Pertanian Malaysia (Agriculture University of Malaysia) from 1977 to 1980. The university now is called University Putra Malaysia (UPM).

I was a "kampung" boy...

Have a nice day.....

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chocolates in Langkawi are Taxable...??

I had the shock of my life today.. On going through the Custom's checkpoint in Langkawi, I was stopped by one of the officers on duty. He made me to declare what I had bought.
I showed him the two plastic bags of chocolates... And, he asked me for the receipt. Luckily, I had that kept.
The receipt showed that I had bought RM177.70 worth of chocolate goods. That's all....
The officer said it was taxable. He even showed me the list of items that are taxable. Yes, it was stated that chocolates are one of them!!

The 2 plastic bags of chocolates ..
The RM177.70 receipt...
Langkawi !! Where is your "duty free" status? Why chocolates are taxable??
I am shocked............

I'm not having a nice day in Langkawi !!!

Happy Birthday Daeng Dhadyry....

Wishing "Happy 13th Birthday" to Daeng Dhadyry, my 3rd son....
Have a nice year...

Have a nice day....

Friday, July 16, 2010

Motivational Programme in Sg. Batu Pahat....

Date: 16 - 17 July, 2010
Location: Semarak Resort, Sg. Batu Pahat.

We had a small group motivational camp for 40 students today. The students involved are the under achievers who fail to score A in recent school exams.. This is part of the school programme to ensure that Dermarians perform well in exams..

Have a nice day.....