Archive for the 'Youth' Category

Liberating education

This evergreen number from Pink Floyd may well be the right thing to kick off the new year. Events in recent days and much of 2011, particularly pertaining to some erratic antics and verbal diarrhea of certain politicians and government functionaries, remind us of the importance of formal education to liberate the minds of especially the young people. The opposite, i.e. conformity, may well lead to the maintenance of a status quo that is oppressive, exploitative and, last but not least, mentally challenging.

Do social media trigger social revolution?

Are Youtube, Facebook and Twitter new weapons of mass mobilization? Marwan Bishara of Al Jazeera leads the discussion with: Carl Bernstein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist; Amy Goodman, the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!; Professor Emily Bell, the director of digital journalism at Columbia University; Evgeny Morozov, the author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom; and Professor Clay Shirky, the author of Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age.

Scooting to the right

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Malay rights group Perkasa has come up with a swift idea of ‘recruiting’ new members by attracting scooting enthusiasts in the capital city.

It claims that it has so far managed to register more than 12,000 new members, many of whom apparently came from the Mat Rempit fraternity.

See here for full story.

The politics of revisiting ‘Woodstock’

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Apparently inspired by the historic Woodstock concert that was held in Bethel, New York on August 15, 1969 (see above), Malay-rights group Perkasa plans to organise a 24-hour concert, among other exciting things, at the end of this year to jolt Malaysian youths from their political inertia especially those so-called fence sitters.

Apart from promoting patriotism among the youths, Perkasa also claims that this proposed concert is one way of showing to the public that it is not a racist group as it is often made out to be by certain members of the general public.

And how’s that can be achieved? By inviting youths from all ethnic backgrounds to the concert, says its Youth chief Arman Azha Abu Haniffah.

The political landscape of the country has certainly changed drastically over the years, and this transformation may well be reflected in the songs to be sung in the concert.

Perhaps as an opening act, a rock band may want to belt out an old number, ‘Jump’, to introduce to the seemingly politically unexcited youths about the new politics of Leapfrogging in the country.

Putting some sens to 1Malaysia

Students of UUM profess a common sens of purpose in uniting themselves under the slogan of 1Malaysia.

The Star today reports:

SINTOK: The Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Economic Stu­dents Association entered the Malaysia Book of Records by creating a 1Malaysia logo using 622,187 pieces of 10 sen coins.

A total of 1,920 students took three days to build the 25m-long and 13m-wide structure at the university’s Army Reserve Training Centre at the campus here.

The first coin had been ceremoniously placed by UUM deputy vice-chancellor (Student Af­­fairs and Alumni) Datuk Dr Ahmad Faiz Hamid on Friday.

Meanwhile, the last coin was placed yesterday by Infor­mation, Commu­nication and Culture Deputy Minister Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum to complete the 1Malaysia logo.

Project manager Mohd Hafizi Ahmad said they managed to break the previous record for a similar structure which was 19.8m-long and 12m-wide.

“We managed to collect 670,000 coins for the project, but we didn’t use them all.

“The coins will be donated to several charities and also the association’s fund,” he added.

Salang, who presented the Malaysia Book of Records certificate to Mohd Hafizi, said the project managed to unite the university students of different races in the 1Malaysia concept.

He said the project was also a good way to raise funds for charities.

Remember Yong

A 21-year-old Malaysian, Yong Vui Kong, has been sentenced to death by Singapore’s High Court for trafficking 47 grammes of heroin. Yong, who was 19 years old at the time of offence, is now facing impending execution.

The Singapore Anti Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) has launched a petition to seek clemency for Yong from the President of Singapore and the entire Singapore cabinet.

Those who are interested to sign the online petition, and also to get a little background to Yong’s case, may visit the website concerned here.

We don’t need no (BTN) education

Biro Tata Negara (BTN), that government outfit set up under the Prime Minister’s Department, has become the talk of town the last one week or so as accounts from several people who had undergone its courses suggest that it funtions primarily as a brainwashing mechanism to promote ruling BN and racism, and at the same time to foster hatred towards the opposition.

If these accusations are true, then the stated objectives of the BTN to promote patriotism, nation-building and inter-ethnic understanding among the various ethnic groups in Malaysia have been called into question.

Addtionally, the supposed goings-on in the BTN don’t gel with the so-called 1Malaysia concept of the Prime Minister.

This is why concerned Malaysians such as DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang have even gone to the extent of calling for the closing down of the BTN.

A public inquiry into this controversy surrounding the BTN should be considered by the authorities concerned — despite the assurance of the Deputy Prime Minister and others that the BTN is not what the critics made it out to be.