Youths the largest group to be affected by proposed public transport fare hike

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We, the Malaysian Youth & Students’ Democratic Movement (DEMA) are gravely concerned with the SPAD’s decision to increase the taxi and express bus fares by between 20& – 67%. We urge that the government to regain state control of the public transportation system, reduce public transport fares and to prevent the public transport services from becoming a rent-seeking tool for cronies to exploit the people.

The major problem plaguing our public transportation system is that of cronyism. Instead of being used to promote the right to freedom of movement for the people, especially those who cannot afford to have their own transport, the government by handing over the operation of the public transportation system to cronies has transformed what is supposed to be a public goods into a money-making business.

The government by colluding with the cronies has promoted a series of fare hikes without regulating the quality of the public transportation system. The youth has become the greatest victims of this failed governance. This is so especially when there exists uneven distribution of the national wealth in geographical terms, youths who are incapable of owning their own vehicle are forced to travel long distance by public transport for education and better working opportunities.

On the basis of the above reasons, we wish to express our dissatisfaction towards the fares hike sanctioned by the government and declare the following demands:-

1) The government must acknowledge that public transportation system is a public goods and shall reclaim the control over them without any delay. Cronies shall not be allowed to exploit the public transportation system as a profit-making tool against the rights of the people;

2) The government shall take positive steps in lowering the fares and offer free public transport during peak hours to encourage the more people to use public transport services. Low-income earners and youths should be given the relevant subsidies to ease their already high cost of living and to uphold their right to freedom of movement;

3) Students studying in higher education institutions away from home should be given transportation subsidies to alleviate their financial burden;

4) Active steps must be taken to regulate the quality of public transport services to encourage more users, reduce the number of private vehicles on the road as part of the sustainable development of this nation. The government should also tighten the control against operators of express bus service who may compromise the safety of the passengers (e.g. by requiring drivers to work overtime) in favour of profit maximisation.

We urge the government to accept the demands of the youths, failing which we will not remain silence but to fight against a pro-business government. The government and their cronies are reminded not to dig their own graves in the capitalist system as “the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains; they have a world to win”.

公交回归公共 拒绝压榨人民

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针对陆路交通委员会(SPAD)调涨公共交通收费20%至67%,马来西亚青年与学生民主运动(DEMA,简称学运)呼吁,政府让公共交通公共化,降低公交收费,停止让公交成为朋党寻租的工具,继续压榨人民。

学运指,目前公交的问题是,将公交都交给朋党财团经营,不视公交为推动人民,尤其是无法负担私人交通者的行动权益。政府将公交交给朋党财团,让交通成为了政治寻租的工具,谋利成为了公交的唯一目的。

政府在这之中,与朋党财团共谋推动一系列的涨价行为,甚至对于公交素质的优劣,也没有进行管制,放任朋党压榨人民。如此的结果受害的,只有人民,尤其是还未踏出社会,或者刚刚踏出社会的青年,更是最大的受害者。

这是由于,青年的能力不足,难以自己拥有私人交通工具,搭公交成为了通勤的首选。而国家发展分布不均,更让青年被迫长途跋涉就学就业,这导致长途巴士这类交通工具成为异乡游子回家的交通工具。

学运对政府推动公交的涨价的决定表示不满,并提出以下四大诉求。

一、公交公共化,减少甚至停止让朋党财团经营公共交通,拒绝公交成为朋党寻租的工具;

二、政府必须介入压低公交价格,甚至在高峰时间免费乘搭,鼓励人民乘搭公交,尤其是低收入人士及青年更必须给予给大的补助,以保障本外人士的行动权益;

三、住在远地的大专生应该获得长途交通的补助,以便减轻大专生回乡的负担;

四、管制公交品质,推动更多人民乘搭公共交通,以便减少私人车辆的使用,减少废气排放,达致节能减碳的环保效益。政府也应该着手减少长途巴士的车祸率,让我国有更安全的公交体系。

最后,学运要求政府接受青年的诉求,否则社会将对这一系列亲商政策集结反扑,学运促请政府及朋党财团切勿成为资本主义体系中的“自掘坟墓者”,无产阶级失去的枷锁,得到的是全世界。

更多报道:

4大专生组织冀公共交通公共化

http://www.orientaldaily.com.my/index.php/nation/gn45345980

交通费涨不休‧住偏远地区大专生 学运:搭长巴应获补助

http://www.chinapress.com.my/node/608011

“別益了朋黨”‧4大學生組織促降公交費

http://news.sinchew.com.my/node/415312?tid=1

不满缅甸警方镇压学运 青年大专生组织抗议

2015年3月14日

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马来西亚的青年与大专生组织联合针对缅甸于本月10月的学运集会表示关注,并支持缅甸学运及民运份子针对国家教育法案(National Education Law)提出抗议,反对缅甸警方残暴的镇压行径。据悉,示威共造成127名示威者遭到逮捕,其中大多数是学生。

该声明对缅甸政府的残酷行径表示羞耻,指缅甸政府正在进行一场民主政治的转型,却使用国家暴力镇压学生们集结的和平集会。青年期盼缅甸政府尊重缅甸人民进行和平集会,并尽快释放及免除提告所有被捕的示威者。

此外,该声明也呼吁缅甸政府停止推动国家教育法案。声明认为所有生活在世界,乃至缅甸的人民都有自身的政治及公民权利,包括大学生及学术人员也享有同样的自由人权,不应该受到一份监控大学运作的法案所限制。因此,声明认为政府没有理由将大学特殊化,并进行严密的监控。大学本身就是一个自由和独立运行的单位,声明迫切要求缅甸政府制止所有打压人民,尤其是学生的行径。

缅甸政府作为有诚意推动民主转型的执政者,首先应该致力于从最小的单位,如大学等教育及学术机构,开始培养民主及基本的公民权利。连这一点都无法完成,这只会让国际世界质疑缅甸政府是否有能力及诚意推动切实的民主转型。

最后,该声明表达与缅甸大学生共同进退的决心,并期盼学生们尽快集结上街抗争。而马来西亚的大专生对缅甸学生的处境感同身受,并共同为学生的发声,社会的民主及学术自由而努力。青年与大专生对民主的期盼并不会因为国家的镇压而有丝毫的退缩和让步!

联署单位
1. Malaysian Youth and Students’ Democratic Movement (DEMA) 马来西亚青年与学生民主运动(学运)
2. Student Progressive Front Universiti Sains Malaysia (SPFUSM) 理大前进阵线
3. Persatuan Bahasa Tionghua Universiti Sains Malaysia 理科大学华文学会
4. Pro-Mahasiswa Universiti Sains Malaysia 理大亲学生阵线
5. Persatuan Mahasiswa Universiti Malaya 马大学生会
6. University of Malaya Association of New Youth (UMANY) 马大新青年
7. Gerakan Mahasiswa Maju Universiti Putra Malaysia 博大前进阵线
8. Student Progressive Front Universiti Utara Malaysia 北大前进阵线
9. Transformasi Mahasiswa Universiti Utara Malaysia 北方大学转型学生组织
10. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Chinese Student Council 工艺大学华裔学生理事会(工华)
11. Pemuda Sosialis Parti Sosialis Malaysia 社会主义党青年团
12. Mahasiswa Keadilan Malaysia 公正党大专生组织
13. Lensa Anak Muda Malaysia (LENSA) 青年透镜组织
14. Anak Muda Harapan Malaysia (AMHM) 马来西亚希望青年
15. Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam Se-Malaysia (GAMIS) 全国回教学生联盟
16. Serikat Mahasiswa

English version: https://demamalaysia.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/press-statement-on-the-police-crackdown-on-students-protest-in-myanmar/

中文版:https://demamalaysia.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/%E4%B8%8D%E6%BB%A1%E7%BC%85%E7%94%B8%E8%AD%A6%E6%96%B9%E9%95%87%E5%8E%8B%E5%AD%A6%E8%BF%90-%E9%9D%92%E5%B9%B4%E5%A4%A7%E4%B8%93%E7%94%9F%E7%BB%84%E7%BB%87%E6%8A%97%E8%AE%AE/

PRESS STATEMENT ON THE POLICE CRACKDOWN ON STUDENTS’ PROTEST IN MYANMAR

14 MARCH 2015

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We, a coalition of students and youth organisations in Malaysia, wish to express our grave concern towards the recent crackdown of the students protest in Myanmar which resulted in 127 demonstrators, mostly students, being arrested.

It is shameful for the Burmese government – a government currently undergoing political transformation towards a democracy – to deploy state machinery in a violent manner in order to suppress what has been reported to be a peaceful assembly organised by the Burmese students. In this regard, we urge the Burmese government to respect the right of the Burmese people to hold peaceful assemblies and immediately release the detainees without imposing any criminal charge against them.

Further, we call upon the Burmese government to withdraw the National Education Law aimed at supervising the Burmese universities. Everyone living in Myanmar, including the students and academics, should be given the freedom to freely exercise their civil and political rights. There is absolutely no reason to single out the students and academics and subject them to the supervision of a special body. It is only natural that universities be allowed to run freely and independently from the state. We further urge the Burmese government to refrain from oppressing the students’ freedom to associate themselves in the form of students union.

As part of the transformation to a mature democracy, it is vital that the Burmese government first demonstrate its ability to practice democratic value and basic civil liberties to relatively smaller institutions such as the universities. Failure to do so would only cast doubts on the Burmese government’s ability and sincerity in making Myanmar a true democracy.

Lastly, on behalf of the students in Malaysia, we wish to express our solidarity with the students in Myanmar, who have taken their struggle to the street. What happened in Myanmar has served as a reminder to us that back here in Malaysia, the issue of academic freedom remains unresolved and students’ voices are still being oppressed via undemocratic means. We therefore understand your outrage. Our aspiration for the betterment of our own nation shall not be defeated by brutality.

 

This statement is endorsed by the following organisations:

  1. Malaysian Youth and Students’ Democratic Movement (DEMA)
  2. Student Progressive Front UniversitiSains Malaysia (SPFUSM)
  3. PersatuanBahasaTionghuaUniversitiSains Malaysia
  4. Pro-MahasiswaUniversitiSains Malaysia
  5. PersatuanMahasiswaUniversiti Malaya
  6. University of Malaya Association of New Youth (UMANY)
  7. GerakanMahasiswaMajuUniversiti Putra Malaysia
  8. Student Progressive Front Universiti Utara Malaysia
  9. TransformasiMahasiswaUniversiti Utara Malaysia
  10. UniversitiTeknologi Malaysia Chinese Student Council
  11. PemudaSosialisPartiSosialis Malaysia
  12. MahasiswaKeadilan Malaysia
  13. LensaAnakMuda Malaysia (LENSA)
  14. AnakMudaHarapan Malaysia (AMHM)
  15. GabunganMahasiswa Islam Se-Malaysia (GAMIS)
  16. SerikatMahasiswa

English version: https://demamalaysia.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/press-statement-on-the-police-crackdown-on-students-protest-in-myanmar/
中文版:https://demamalaysia.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/%E4%B8%8D%E6%BB%A1%E7%BC%85%E7%94%B8%E8%AD%A6%E6%96%B9%E9%95%87%E5%8E%8B%E5%AD%A6%E8%BF%90-%E9%9D%92%E5%B9%B4%E5%A4%A7%E4%B8%93%E7%94%9F%E7%BB%84%E7%BB%87%E6%8A%97%E8%AE%AE/

What good are world university rankings? Ridhuan Tee asks

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — Controversial lecturer Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah downplayed the importance of world university rankings today, chiding local learning institutions for trying playing catch-up with a grading that he claimed was “rigged” by the Western world.

The Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) lecturer expressed his worry that Malaysian graduates of the world’s best universities have instead ended up in the “anti-establishment” camp, in addition to trying to ape “white folks” or Chinese nationals.

“Is it so important to get the world’s best ranking? What is the guarantee that graduates of world’s best university can become the best in their careers, and useful towards religion, race and nation?” Tee asked in his column published by Malay news portal Sinar Harian Online.

“What’s the use if they graduate from the world’s best university, if their hearts are filthy? Disloyal to the country, betraying and leaking the country’s secret to others,” asked Tee.

Tee also warned local universities from being trapped in the Western world’s “education market politics”, where academics have to pay a lot of money to be published in peer-reviewed literature databases such as Scopus and the Institute for Scientific Information.

“We are still in that colonised mind and attitude. The West are adept at playing magic tricks.

“They came up with rankings, then change the criteria from time to time. We are waddling trying to chase them,” Tee said.

Last month, Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh was quoted as saying by national news agency Bernama that Malaysia’s institutions of higher education are on par with those in the United States, Germany and Australia as there are 135,000 foreigners making 10 per cent of all students in local universities and colleges.

The minister also cited Universiti Malaya’s (UM) rise in the 2014 QS World University Rankings, from 167 to 151, as further evidence.

However, Malaysian universities have failed to show on the radar of other more prominent education listings in recent years, including the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2014.

The Academic Ranking of World Universities produced by Shanghai Jiao Tung University also placed UM in the bottom 100 of 400 universities worldwide last year, while UM barely scraped through the top 500 universities in the US News’ Best Global Universities at 423rd place.

In the Ranking Web of Universities compiled by Webometrics produced by a Spanish research group, Universiti Putra Malaysia ranked 420th, followed by Universiti Sains Malaysia at 480th spot, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia at 552nd and UM bottomed out among local universities with its placing at 646th.

Malaysia’s education system has come under much scrutiny in recent years among politicians and employers questioning the standards of its students and graduates, despite the government’s push to turn the country into an education hub.

See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/what-good-are-world-university-rankings-ridhuan-tee-asks

World wise before world class

AuDR AZLY RAHMAN, born in Singapore and grew up in Johor Baru, holds a Columbia University (New York City) doctorate in International Education Development and Masters degrees in four areas: Education, International Affairs, Peace Studies and Communication.

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Each Malaysian university need not aspire to become “world class”, but to start becoming ‘world wise’ instead. These are my thoughts on the issue of the culture of our universities.

Tradition of intellectualism, freedom of inquiry, adaptability, quality of teaching, production of intellectual and ground-breaking artifacts, the undying pursuit of truth for the betterment of society, the championing of diverse philosophical thinking along with a diverse and global student population rigorously selected and admitted…

These are amongst the elements that make a university not only world class, but ‘world wise’.

Malaysia’s road to world class-ism is a long and winding one due to the following hurdles we have created:
A political governance that imposes a style of anti-intellectualism on campuses;

A culture of fear of thinking, retarding critical sensibility permeating;

A lack of encouragement of radical thinking amongst the faculty;

A culture of high-stakes testing and post-high school teaching;

A society as a force fast moving towards mono-cultural mono-religious thinking;

A nation helpless in determining the freedom of inquiry that ought to be championed by universities;

A government that insists on the appointment of politically-connected and aspiring educational leaders to lead universities;

A mission and vision of the university that do not have a statement which guarantees academic freedom and the protection of free speech as the key foundations of its existence;

A grand curriculum that is weak in the philosophical, sociological, humanistic, and cultural traditions of the East and the West;

A population of students and faculty weak in the mastery of the English Language;

The entire misconception of the aim and purpose of education in an increasingly globalising and predatory world;

The lack of skills of faculty as Socratic thinkers and the mastery of the art and science of teaching and inspiring;

The model of Industrial Age of education still in use in a Post-Industrial Cybernetic world…
And these are amongst the few.

Where do we go from here to make things better – even of it takes a hundred years?

Seems that the farther away society is from nature, the closer it is to materialism; the more people love money more than humility, the deeper truth may be buried.

So, we ought to at least read ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’ and learn from the tension between the illusions of civilisation and civility.

Fights over money and materialism

This is what Malaysia is now facing. The fights in Malaysian politics – to the point of murder, mayhem and madness – are over money and materialism.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr often talked about three things that destroy humanity: racism, militarism, and materialism.

And Malcolm X had his famous saying: “Show me a capitalist and I will show you a bloodsucker.”

What’s nauseating is the growing critical mass of support for this dying regime over-killing the little hope we have for the flowering of critical and moral sensibility.

Why? Because the process of educating for hegemonic and totalitarian ends have been very successful with better ideological state apparatuses built to sustain the political-dynastic progress.

And in all these, we have created a one-dimensional two-sided society arguing over issues versus non-issues, parroting theories and clichés’.

We are in a theatre of the absurd and will be staying in it for a long, long time (Time to read Moliere again and relive my college freshman years in those Literature classes).

In the life of one’s mind, the greatest challenge is to think as freely as one can allow oneself to live in a culture that is increasingly shackling, disabling, controlling, and oppressing.

From this, too, the question of how can we design a suitable education system comes into being… of the perfect process of schooling – one that will respect the dignity and freedom of the human mind. But how? It must begin with the universities.

What is so complex about the definition of a university for it to be misunderstood? A university is a secularly-sacred institution of scholarly pursuit of ideas that must not be used to create further divisions in society – be they divisions and sub-divisions based on race, colour, creed and national origin.

It is a place wherein the universality of ideas must reign, guided by philosophies that will bring humanity closer to a more meaningful democracy.

A university is not merely a diploma mill and a production-house of academic Taylorism.

It is not an institution to put a ‘quality control’ stamp on the minds of students so that they may become merely good workers in a Total Quality Management-inspired company.

It is not a game of production and reproduction and schooling the mind into total submission.

A university is not a place wherein the discoveries of new bodies of knowledge must point to the dictates of party politics and that ‘truth’ must be acquired through ‘methods’ designed by and derived from the structural-functionalism of politics.

It must not be a place to canonise the ideology of this or that dubious leader whose interest is in self-emulation and deluding oneself to grandeur. A university has more respect than that.

The university is above politics. It must educate politicians. The professor must guide politicians – a professor who is a philosopher-ruler and one who is incorruptible and preserves the culture of free inquiry and human liberation is the best professor a nation can ever have.

Professing knowledge and helping others grow intellectually is not the same as packaging propaganda and helping others become retarded by it.

And so, we must engineer a revolution to make our institutions wiser and to move society to become ‘world wise’ instead of prematurely appraising our institutions as “world class”.

See more at:http://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/290515

MP picks apart Idris Jusoh’s ‘world class’ varsity claim

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GEORGE TOWN: The majority of international students in Malaysia do not come from advanced countries but instead from parts of the developing world where universities are far inferior, Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari has pointed out in rubbishing a claim by Minister of Education II Idris Jusoh.
At the same time, there are 28,869 Malaysian students in advanced countries including Australia, Britain and Germany and hardly any students from these countries in Malaysia.
Zairil, who is DAP Assistant National Publicity Secretary and the son of a former Umno Education Minister Khir Johari, was expressing shock with Idris Jusoh bragging in the media that Malaysia’s higher education was world-class and on par with developed nations such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia.
Idris Jusoh’s outrageous claim, he noted, was based on his assertion that there are reportedly 135,000 foreign students in Malaysia, and who make up 10 per cent of total students currently enrolled in higher education institutions throughout the country.
“As pointed out by Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming on Sunday, the 2014 QS World University Rankings reveals that Malaysian universities cannot compare to those from the UK, Germany and Australia,” he reminded. “Malaysia is not represented in the top 100, with Universiti Malaya (UM) being the only Malaysian university that made it into the top 200 at 151st place.”

Who exactly are the foreign students in Malaysian universities?
“It’s perhaps interesting to delve into the origins of these foreign students that make up this number.”
He cites the Ministry of Education’s latest statistics based on the Perangkaan Pendidikan Negara: Sektor Pengajian Tinggi 2013 which reveals that the top countries of origin for foreign students in Malaysian universities are as follows:
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“It’s quite obvious from the list above that the majority of international students in Malaysia come from countries where the universities are far inferior,” said Zairil. “We must focus on the one-way student migration from Malaysia to the UK, Germany and Australia, among other countries.”
“We cannot even compare with Singapore.”
In terms of ranking, the National University of Singapore, which shares its genesis with UM, has left its “sister” far behind, placing 22nd in the world and first in Asia, he stressed. “Singapore had 21 per cent foreign students in 2012.”
“The Singapore Government has now imposed a cap in order to reduce the international student intake to 15 per cent to give more places to locals.”
The demand for places at Singaporean universities was extremely competitive, not least among Malaysian students who number 3,016 in the island republic, he added. “In contrast, there are only 606 Singaporean students in Malaysian universities, despite the fact that we have many more colleges and universities.”
“Instead of making empty boasts, Idris Jusoh should instead reflect upon why Malaysian students are competing for places in foreign universities instead of choosing to study locally.”

See more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/02/23/mp-picks-apart-idris-jusohs-world-class-varsity-claim/