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Bersatu padu, mempertahankan reformasi demokrasi tulen, buangkan khayalan, menghalang pemulihan Mahathirism.

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Bersatu padu, mempertahankan reformasi demokrasi tulen, buangkan khayalan, menghalang pemulihan Mahathirism.

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人民之友恭祝各界2019新年进步、万事如意!在新的一年里,联合起来,坚持真正的民主改革! 丢掉幻想,阻止马哈迪主义复辟!

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2014年加影州议席补选诉求 / Tuntutan-tuntutan Pilihan Raya Kecil Kajang 2014

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人民之友18周年(2001—2019)纪念,举办一场邀请4名专人演讲的政治论坛和自由餐会,希望通过此论坛激发更多的民主党团领导、学者、各阶层人士,共同为我国民主改革运动做出更大的努力和贡献。

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林清祥《答问》遗稿片段

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新加坡“5•13学生运动” 有/没有马共领导的争论【之一】与【之二】

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马来西亚民主改革的新阶段 / The New Phase of Democratic Reform in Malaysia / Fasa Baru Reformasi Demokratik di Malaysia

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人民之友为庆祝15周年(2001—2016)纪念,在2016年9月上旬发表了最近5年(2011—2016)工作报告(华、巫、英3种语文),并在9月25日在新山举办一场主题为“认清斗争敌友,埋葬巫统霸权”的论坛。

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人民之友16周年纪念,针对即将来临的全国大选发表专题文章,供给我国民间组织和民主人士参考,并接受我国各族人民民主改革实践检验。

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人民之友根据2017年9月24日发表的《人民之友 对我国第14届大选意见书 》的内容与精神以及半年来国内和国外的政治形势,对5月9日投票提出具体意见,供全国选民参考。

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《人民之友》2019年国际劳动节发表对2007年兴权会游行示威的重要领袖乌达雅古玛(Uthayakumar)的专访(第一部分)。这次专访的主题是:兴权会的主要斗争对象乃是马来霸权统治集团。

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

An Act that will fix the racists

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/106869


An Act that will fix the racists
Kua Kia Soong | Jun 20, 09 6:31am
Anyone who had attended the talk by Prof Aneez Esmail on ‘Race Relations in Britain’ organised by Kita (Institute of Ethnic Studies) in UKM will be left in no doubt as to the efficacy of the Race Relations Act 1976 in dealing with racism and racial discrimination in Britain.
MCPX

malaysians 050905Twenty-four years ago, I wrote in The Star, “The need for race relations legislation” (Nov 28, 1985) because there was an alarming incidence of “institutional racism”, a point stressed by Aneez.

In that article, I elicited many examples of racism and racial discrimination in Malaysia which could be dealt with if such an Act existed in our country.

It was not taken seriously for the obvious reason that if we had such a law, many Umno politicians including the present prime minister would have been dealt with under such a law; many policies such as the enrolment of “bumiputera only” students into institutions - for example, UiTM - would have been declared racially discriminatory long ago.

The British Race Relations Act 1976 has a section on ‘Incitement to racial hatred’ which said:

“A person commits an offence if he publishes or distributes written matter which is threatening, abusive or insulting; or he uses in any public place or at any public meeting words which are threatening, abusive or insulting, in a case where, having regard to all the circumstances, hatred is likely to be stirred up against any racial group…”

In 1987, Umno Youth organised a rally at the Jalan Muda Stadium in Kuala Lumpur at which banners read: ‘May 13 has begun: Soak the keris in Chinese blood’, among others.

This is not the invention of the opposition. It can be corroborated in the government white paper, ‘Towards Preserving National Unity’, 1988. It was also covered by the Chinese-language press at the time.

Play transcript of Najib’s 1987 speech

On stage to fan the flames of such flagrant racism during that fateful rally was the Umno Youth chief and present prime minister.

Of course, he has denied in Parliament that he uttered the exact words as those on the banners. But as the police often warn us, the organisers must bear the responsibility for any utterances and banners displayed.

If we had a Freedom of Information Act, we would be asking for a transcript of the Umno Youth chief’s speech at that rally.

Since we do not have a FoI Act, the prime minister can try to clear his name by asking the authorities to make public the transcript of his 1987 speech. At least, if no one else, our Special Branch should have a copy. They told me during my ISA detention that they were one of the best intelligence outfit in the world and their library had more information than any other resource centre in the country.

Is there any wonder why such a FoI Act will meet the same fate as a Race Relations Act under such a government?

No action was taken against the main rabble rousers on stage at that rally. The main targets of the police were people like me who had nothing to do with this racist rally. More than a hundred of us were subsequently arrested and detained without trial under the ‘Operation Lallang’.

Since then, we have been treated to nauseating racist taunts by delegates at the Umno general assemblies and the ritualistic flaunting of the keris by the Umno Youth chief.

I remember a few years ago, an education minister tried to play to the gallery at an Umno general assembly by saying that, as long as he was the education minister, he would not allow a single non-bumiputera to be admitted into UiTM.

This is the reality of racial discrimination in this country. When we bear in mind that UiTM has a total enrolment of some 100,000 students and that it is a public-funded institution, it is shocking that the government can get away with such blatant racial discrimination by justifying it as “affirmative action”.

If we had a FoI Act, we would be able to get the statistics on other areas of such blatant racial discrimination.



Set up a Race Relations Court too

The statistics I got in Parliament in 1990 were as follows - an average of 90 percent of loans for polytechnic certificate courses, 90 percent of scholarships for diploma of education courses, 90 percent of scholarships/loans for degree courses taken in the country, almost all scholarships/loans for degree courses taken overseas were given to bumiputeras.

Regarding the enrolment of students in residential schools throughout the 80s, 95 percent were bumiputeras; the enrolment in Mara Lower Science College, Maktab Sains Mara was almost 100 percent bumiputera throughout the 80s... do you call this affirmative action?

Is there any wonder the government has not ratified the United Nations Convention Against Racial Discrimination up to the present day?

A Race Relations Court will be able to determine and define the legality or illegality of such actions and a Commission for Racial Equality could be formed to work toward the elimination of racism and racial discrimination; promote equality of opportunity and harmonious ethnic relations, and keep under review the workings of the Act.

I concluded my article of Nov 28, 1985 thus:

“While such a Race Relations Act may not strike at the roots of racial polarisation, at least it should ensure that the limits of the implementation of government policies are scrupulously delineated, and just as importantly, the Malaysian public is not treated to racist garbage, which should be spurned with all the contempt it deserves.”

KUA KIA SOONG, a director of Suaram, is former Petaling Jaya Utara MP. He was arrested in 1987 under the Internal Security Act and detained for 14 months. He is author of ‘445 Days Behind the Wire’.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Lossing our mangrove

Losing our mangroves
Stories by HILARY CHIEW

Various development projects in Johor have carved up pristine mangroves.

IN 1980, a special report to the then Science, Technology and Environment Ministry recommended a conservation strategy through rationale use of Sungai Pulai mangrove forests in Johor. It called for a Mangrove National Park because the area is important for fisheries and is a food production zone under the National Agriculture Policy.

Some forms of conservation efforts were implemented when the Johor government in 2003 nominated Tanjung Piai, Pulau Kukup and Sungai Pulai in south-west Johor for the Ramsar list – a global initiative to conserve wetlands of international importance.

Once a sleepy hollow, south-west Johor is seeing the development of a modern township and is poised to be the jewel of the Iskandar Development Region, one of five economic regions unveiled by the Government last year.

But what is one of the country’s most productive and pristine riverine mangrove ecosystems is now being carved up for a port, power plant and soon, two petrochemical hubs. In the late 1990s, vast tracts of land on the west bank of Sungai Pulai was cleared for the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), followed by reclamation of 400ha of mangroves for the Tanjung Bin coal-fired power plant on the opposite bank. Public-listed Malaysian Mining Corp (MMC) holds a 70% equity in PTP and operates the power plant through its sister company Malakoff Bhd.

The latest development is an integrated petrochemical facility on 40.5ha of reclaimed island at the estuary by Asia Petroleum Hub. When it opens next year, it expects 2,000 vessel calls and will handle annually 60 million tonnes of petroleum products – industrial and marine fuel oils, diesel, jet fuel and biodiesel.

MMC, through its subsidiary Seaport Worldwide, will clear a further 902ha of mangroves for a petrochemical and maritime centre on the east bank.

The comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project was approved last July. But critics, who said that there was no public comment and expert panel review, urged for a detailed EIA, given the project size and the area being a Rank 1 “environmentally sensitive area”. Such a ranking allows only low-impact nature tourism, research and education, not development, agriculture or logging.







A fishing jetty in one of the tributaries of Sungai Pulai in south-west Johor. The reclamation of 902ha of mangrove forests along the river for a petrochemical hub is likely to affect the livelihoods of at least six riverine communities that have for the longest time enjoyed the bounty of the rich ecosystem. In the background are high tension wires that transmit electricity from the Tanjung Bin coal-fired power plant.

Safeguards

Johor executive councillor for environment Tan Kok Hong points out that the area is designated for petrochemical industries under the Pontian District Structural Plan (2002-2015) and PTP had acquired the land in 2001. He says the project proponent is required to replant cleared mangroves and a task force will ensure that development is carried out in a sustainable manner as the Iskandar Develop ment Region is envisioned as a green city.

PTP chairman Datuk Mohd Sidik Shaik Osman, speaking on behalf of Seaport, says the comprehensive EIA approval came with 62 conditions to safeguard the environment.

“We recognise the area has certain ecological sensitivities and we have to fulfil the conditions. Half of the land is sacrificed as a buffer between the project site and the Ramsar area, villages and rivers. As a master developer, we’ll develop the land responsibly. The individual companies will have to prepare detailed EIAs,” he says, stressing that all legal requirements are being observed.

Sidik, a director of MMC, explains that growth is imminent due to the huge demand for industrial land in the vicinity of PTP, owing to its strategic location in a busy international shipping lane.

Inaccurate claims

Criticising the EIA report, Save Our Seahorses (SOS) co-ordinator Choo Chee Kuang says the document misidentified species and lacked mitigation measures.

He says the sole seahorse species found in Sungai Pulai – the spotted seahorse (Hippocampus kuda) – was misidentified as the pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise). And instead of Rhizophora apiculataand R. macronata, the dominant mangrove tree species was named theAvicennia lanata.

EIA consultancy Hijau Sekitar refused comment, citing client confidentiality.

Choo argues that further disturbance in the estuary could lead to local extinction of endangered species such as the seahorse and dugong.

“The type of heavy industries proposed could cause irreversible damage to the Sungai Pulai ecosystem that harbours the country’s most extensive seagrass bed, the densest seahorse population, productive fish and shellfish nursery grounds.

“The consultant’s estimation of loss at RM4mil over 99 years has severely under-estimated the economic value of the mangrove forest. According to the United Nations Development Programme, the output of mangroves in terms of fisheries alone would amount to US$215,000 per hectare per year. That is RM200mil per year from the area earmarked to be cleared. Will the country experience more loss than gains in the long run?” he asks.



Aerial view of the Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Johor (file photo). In the late 1990s, vast tracts of land on the west bank of Sungai Pulai was cleared to build the port.

In the picture

While SOS is petitioning against further large-scale development in the area, another conservation group is collaborating with PTP. The Johor branch of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) has received RM60,000 to document the natural and cultural heritage of Sungai Pulai in a coffee-table book.

It will also work with researchers from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia to analyse water samples and map the Merambong seagrass meadow and its biodiversity.

MNS president Anthony Sebastian says the partnership compels PTP to protect Sungai Pulai and the seagrass bed: “Through engagement, the MNS is part of the process and hopes to make things better, as opposed to choosing not to participate.”

PTP’s Sidik says: “We agreed to fund research for the seagrass bed although it isn’t within our port limit. The coffee-table book is to kick-start the collaboration that will inc lude other research and awareness activities.

“We want our business to grow but we’re also willing to sit down with concerned parties to mitigate the impacts – as a responsible corporate citizen way of approaching development,” he adds.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

HRSC: Petrochemical Industry issue at Tanjung Bin, Pontian

反对静悄悄砍伐红树林!

发展石油化学工业触犯政策和法令,

大马人民之声(新山支会)敦促有关当局回答人民的疑惑。

【大马人民之声(新山支会)2009年6月10日文告】

http://www.merdekareview.com/news/n/9912.html

柔佛州务大臣在丹绒宾煤碳发电厂主持开展“种植红树林运动”仪式的两个星期后,便开始砍伐计划将让路给发展石油化学工业的913公顷红树林。有关当局静悄悄砍伐红树林是不听取龟咯实叻角居民的心声之举。同时,也凸显了所谓的“种植红树林运动”作为表示柔佛政府其实有爱护及维护大自然的讯息或意识只是一种欺骗人民的手法。



2009年6月8日,下午5时30分左右,约50名居民挺身而出参与500米的游行至已遭砍伐的红树林地点表示抗议。参与和平集会的人士不单单只有成年人,其中还包括小孩们。他们的脸上彩绘各种海产的图样如鱼、海马、乌龟等等;有的出席者身上挂上海牛、海草等幅画;有的幅画明显传达停止砍伐红树的讯息。居民再次高举写着“我们支持种植红树;我们反对砍伐红树”的横幅,希望有关当局能听到他们的心声。





有关当局必须回答以下问题。其中包括:-

问题一:蒲莱河在国家自然计划中,已经被列为一级环境敏感地带。因此,那是不可以用为任何涉及砍伐、大规模发展计划用途。可是为何发展石油化学工业会被获准呢?



问题二:在环境法令里,任何超过500公顷的湿地发展计划都必须呈交详细环境评估报告(DEIA)。请问详细环境评估报告在哪里?



问题三:在《1985年鱼业法令》,受威胁动物如海牛、海马必须受到保护。发展大型工业如蒲莱河流域发展石油化学工业将会销毁红树和海草。红树林以及海草床都是属于各种海产的生境,受到破坏最终会导致稀少的海牛和海马灭种。那么,如何保障这些受威胁的动物和柔南的源海得到保护和恢复呢?



问题四:石油化学工业将带给附近居民(大约1公里)巨大的环境及健康影响,尤其是排出的多环芳香警烃(polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH))和各种毒物。为什么石油化学工业要兴建在与龟咯实叻角居民区区只有1公里的范围内?





大马人民之声(新山支会)敦促有关当局必须向人民解答以上的问题。因为,发展石油化学工业触犯了联邦政府和地方政府的政策和法令,即包括保障原始来源和附近居民的健康。



我们认为一切发展必须回归到实叻角人民或渔民的利益。我们认为不应该只单单考量到集团的利益,不顾依斯干达经济特区里的发展计划所将带来的健康问题。



我们呼吁有关当局让居民和渔民直接参与丹绒宾的发展计划以作为保障和捍卫他们的基本利益和权力。



最后我们吁请各阶层人士、非政府组织和政党继续关注发展石油化学工业所将带给实叻角居民和渔民的种种问题。





*此文告随同附录照片

1) Himpunan aman sebelum perarakan

2) Perarakan bermula

3) Pemusnahkan pokok bakau telah mula dijalankan

4) Penduduk berdiri diatas tempat penebangan

5) Anak-anak sekolah turut sama menyertai himpunan aman







大马人民之声(新山支会)

柔佛州人民之友工委会

2009年6月10日

ChinaPress.Com: 將毀1000個足球場大紅樹林,建石化廠破壞生態.

http://www.chinapress.com.my/content_new.asp?dt=2009-06-10&sec=local&art=0610lj01.txt

更新: June 9, 2009 17:41

將毀1000個足球場大紅樹林
建石化廠破壞生態

獨家報導:戴秀音
攝影:王永明

逾20名環保人士及甘榜村民,高舉橫幅和齊喊口號,反對砍伐紅樹林。
(笨珍9日訊)丹絨賓即將建設的大型石油化學工業區帶來甚大破壞,整個工程足以毀滅相等于1000個足球場的紅樹林,嚴重破壞海洋生態環境,影響漁民生計。

繼東南亞最大的燃煤發電廠在丹絨賓落成,當地也將開發建設一座大型石油化學工業區;據了解,自兩周前,工人陸續到距離發電廠不到500公尺處,大量砍伐紅樹林,以鋪設一條可通往工業區的道路。

參與者在臉上彩繪各種海產的圖樣,冀喚醒大眾,時時愛護我們的海洋。小圖為這位村民額頭上涂上一只藍色的海豚,是頻臨絕種的海洋生物之一。
據觀察,有關道路鋪設工程,從路邊衍生出埔萊河,目前已建設約一公里;隨著工程進行,不僅大片紅樹林將遭砍伐以建設通道,兩旁的紅樹林盡管未遭砍伐,也將受影響。

據悉,上述整體工程將導致913公頃、相等于1000個足球場的紅樹林毀滅,不僅進一步破壞海洋生態環境,漁獲也將銳減,影響漁民生計。

最讓村民擔心的是,石化工業區與甘榜區相距僅僅3公里,日后釋放的化學廢料及氣體,很可能對人體健康造成影響,甚至影響甘榜下一代。

灌輸人民環保意識

有關當局已展開工程,在紅樹叢林間,建設一條道路通往石油化學工業區。
配合“世界海洋日”,環保分子連同丹絨賓甘榜村民,昨日傍晚到當地石油化學工業區施工地段和平請愿,反對砍伐紅樹林,并聲聲高喊“我們不要石油化學工業”。

環保組織特到丹絨賓發起上述覺醒活動,冀村民了解環境破壞帶來的種種惡果。

大家紛紛在臉上彩繪上各種瀕臨絕種的海洋生物圖案,到施工地點拉起寫著“我們支持種植紅樹,我們反對砍伐紅樹”的橫幅,高喊“我們排斥石油化學”口號,也喊出熱愛大自然,熱愛家園的單純心聲。

較后,海馬拯救學會、大馬人民之聲(新山支會)、馬來西亞環境之友及馬來半島漁民學會,也到龜咯島,與島民交流傳達環保意識。

擔心危及村民健康

環保人士也在現場,分發印上拯救海馬圖樣的徽章。
居民擔心石油化學工業區,危及甘榜村民健康,希望政府及相關企業正面看待村民的不滿。

他們也促請當局盡速提供“應當給予”的資訊,包括石化工業將帶來的負面后果。

有村民指出,當局的舉措以個人利益為先,不僅不顧及村民利益,更罔顧海底生物安危。

另外,嘉馬魯丁也指出,盡管沒有研究顯示,石化工業會造成人體健康受影響,但中國的實例已經告訴,居住在石化工業附近范圍的民眾,有40%莫名的患上各種癌症,孩子不足月出生的情況也更普遍。

而朱及光指出,冀望透過此次請愿,提高村民及各界對環保的覺醒,因砍伐紅樹林將帶來深不見底的連鎖效應,其中,大片的海草受到威脅,連帶殃及其他珍貴海產如海馬、螃蟹、海牛(儒艮)等的居住環境。

*紅樹林的重要性*

紅樹林濕地內匯集河川上游及海洋帶來的豐富無機鹽及有機物,而紅樹林植物本體的枯枝落葉經過分解,也使得區內沉積了大量的有機養分。

這些養分藉著漲退潮,帶給沿岸的一些浮游生物利用,也因其底泥沉積了大量有機物,成為一些底棲動物最佳生存環境,而構成完整的碎屑食物網。

因此紅樹林與其濕地除了提供魚、蝦、蟹、貝、鳥類等生物豐富的食物來源及棲息場所,也構成一個具有高度生產力之生態系,所以紅樹林生態系可說是聯結陸地與海洋的重要媒介。

在環境保護方面,紅樹林可以攔截淤泥、擴大灘地,也可保護海岸,減低強風大浪對于海岸的直接衝擊力,之外,近年來的研究更顯示,濕地是各種有毒物質的過濾器及營養貯存場所,為大自然最佳的濾水系統。

此外,紅樹林具有多種經濟功能,除了其樹皮可以提煉單寧及染料之外,木材也可供為建材及薪炭材之來源。

(注,資料源自網絡)

*參與和平請願的組織和人士*

海洋生物學家朱及光

大馬人民之聲(新山支會)執行秘書嚴居漢

半島漁民行動網主席嘉馬魯丁

海馬拯救學會

馬來西亞環境之友

馬來半島漁民學會

以及20余名環保分子、漁民和村民

丹絨賓紅樹林“變形”

漁獲銳減、閃電水災頻密、強風吹襲陸地、河岸土地侵蝕加速,丹絨賓紅樹林遭砍伐負面影響陸續“現形”。

半島漁民行動網主席嘉馬魯丁指出,丹絨賓有4個主要甘榜,包括甘榜雙溪迪納、甘榜雙溪博、甘榜雙溪成吉及甘榜雙溪山,總人口逾萬人。

他說,發電廠工程開發后,當地漁獲已經銳減50至70%,若再進行石化工業工程,后果無法想象。

“以往漁夫出海半天,可捕獲14至16公斤豐富海產,如今耗盡整天,只能捕獲不到3公斤魚蝦,足見生態環境遭嚴重破壞。”

另外,一些村民也說,當地紅樹林被大量砍伐后,沿岸防護不再“嚴密”,甘榜水災發生得更為頻密,常令人措手不及。

不僅如此,一些沿岸居民的住家屋頂,數周前更被強風刮起,這都是以往不曾發生。

最令人擔心的是,居住在河流沿岸的居民說,河岸泥土陸續崩塌,土地遭侵蝕,以致住家與河流距離日趨拉近,日久家園隨時“失守”。

無獨有偶,有龜咯島居民也指出,當地海面風浪同樣變大,夜間急促的海浪拍打岸邊發出的巨響,以及強風發出的呼嘯聲常令人不安,有島民甚至要誦經念佛來定神。

款項來歷不明
250漁夫獲撫恤金

部分漁民兩周前獲發數額不等的“撫恤金”,卻對款項來源及用意一無所知。

丹絨賓的部分甘榜居民受詢時指出,兩周前,即有關石化工業區鋪路工程未展開前,有人到村里分發“撫恤金”,而根據名單,只有250名全職及兼職漁夫獲得款項。

村民說,全職漁夫每人獲1萬令吉,兼職漁夫則獲2000令吉,惟漁民都未取得款項的總額,到手的數額都被“扣除”數十或數百令吉。

“我們無法確定有關代表來自哪個單位,更不清楚款項是政府發出亦或是企業分發,也不知道款項的用意何在,只好視之為‘撫恤金’。”

此外,部分漁民也說,在領取款項時,無需簽署任何文件,對一切都是一知半解。

“事實上,從建設發電廠工程開始,我們對一切都是懵懵懂懂,當局未曾向我們解說,或征求甘榜村民的同意,便建設發電廠或石油化學工業區。”

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康復班/新班分為午間班(下午2時30分至5時)及晚間班(晚上8時至10時),地點:47, Jalan Budaya, Taman Bandar, Batu Pahat(峇株巴轄智能氣功協會會所)。

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外埠學員可獲該會提供住宿。有興趣者請向聯絡人索取報名表格:莊坡治(012-7237815)、邱佳祝(012-7595818)、楊棉棉(012-7197581)、顏惠珍(012-7317535)、陳秀成(013-7440310)、張美華(012-7255501)。報名截止日期:本月21日。

勿隨意砍伐
郭琇瑩(48歲,龜咯國家公園資料中心管理員/島民)

一顆紅樹,要經歷80年方能長大,并發揮防護海岸的作用,十分珍貴,輕易砍伐是要不得的行為。

而紅樹林除了有穩定泥土,防止土地流失,和阻擋海浪的功能,其浸泡在水中的樹根,也是許多魚蝦蟹寄居、產卵及覓食的地方,少了紅樹林,將有大批海產生計受影響。

實施上,近年來海水污染,已導致許多紅樹林枯死,加上人工砍伐,更加速紅樹林的毀滅。

土地侵蝕嚴重
諾愛妮(30歲,村民)

大片紅樹林遭砍伐后,本地風勢變大,近日還發生河邊的房屋屋頂被強風刮起事件。

淹水情況也變得嚴重,以往只有大漲潮的日子,甘榜才會淹水,如今閃電水災常在毫無防備下來襲,讓村民覺得失去了防護。

最糟糕的是,我家前方河岸的土地侵蝕現象加速,擔心不久將來,土地侵蝕情況將蔓延到家門前。

冀關注各族群
阿查里(30歲,散工)

盡管有關當局曾派員到村內派發補助金給漁民,但其他人就不需要被照顧了嗎?

而獲得款項的村民,也不知道款項由哪個單位發出,有關人士也未給予任何說明,或要求簽署任何文件。

提升環保意識
嚴居漢(大馬人民之聲(新山支會)執行秘書)

透過到龜咯島及丹絨賓一代派發傳單,我們發現許多居民對于石化工業工程及其帶來的影響都一知半解,因此希望透過覺醒運動,提高人民這方面的知識,也希望在環保方面盡綿力。

人民之聲也認為,當局上月進行的種植紅樹計劃,只是在做表面功夫,畢竟,相較工程所砍伐的,當局所種植的5公頃紅樹林,簡直小巫見大巫。

忽視村民利益
阿吉爾(38歲,待業)

早在發電廠工程展開時,當局承諾會預留30%職位空缺給村民,但在施工階段,村民只以合約形式參與建筑的工作。其后,只有少過5%的村民,獲得廠內工作機會,顯現當局并未兌現承諾,村民也覺得被人利用進行建設工作。

此次,當局在進行建設石油化學工廠,也未事先知會村民,讓我們覺得甘榜村民的利益,從來未被重視。

影響漁民生計
阿都哈密(48歲,漁民)

自祖父時代開始,我們已居住在丹絨賓的甘榜成吉,以捕魚為生,但自從本地開發發電廠,紅樹林遭砍伐后,海洋生態環境遭破壞,漁獲至少減少70%,嚴重影響生計。

盡管當局有分發補貼金,但不足夠,也無法補償自然界被破壞的損失。再者,若即將開發的石油化學工業,對甘榜村民及下一代的健康帶來影響,再多的錢也無補于事。

And insert the rest of it here.

HRSC: Petrolchemical Industry issue at Tanjung Bin, Pontian

Bantahan penebangan pokok bakau secara senyap-senyap!

SUARAM cawangan Johor Bahru mendesak pihak berkuasa wajib menjawab persoalan yang dibangkitkan berikutan cadangan pembangunan industri petrokimia dan industri maritim yang melanggar polisi dan akta-akta.

[kenyataan akhbar SUARAM caw. JB pada 9hb Jun 2009]



Dua minggu selepas MB Johor Datuk Abdul Ghani melancarkan program penanaman anak pokok bakau di Stesen Janakuasa Tanjung Bin, Pontian, penebangan hutan paya bakau seluas 913 hektar untuk memberi laluan kepada pembangunan industri petrokimia telah bermula sepertimana yang telah dirancangkan. Tindakan pihak berkuasa yang tidak mempedulikan suara penduduk sekitar Mukim Serkat sebelum ini jelas apabila mereka mula menebang pokok bakau secara senyap-senyap. Ini juga jelas menunjukkan bahawa program pelancaran penanaman anak pokok bakau hanyalah suatu sandiwara pihak berkuasa untuk menipu rakyat bahawa kononnya kerajaan negeri Johor mencintai dan memelihara alam sekitar.


1) Himpunan aman sebelum perarakan



2) Perarakan bermula


3) Pemusnahkan pokok bakau telah mula dijalankan


Pada 8 Jun 2009, lebih kurang jam 5:30 petang, kira-kira 50 orang penduduk kampung telah hadir dan mengadakan perarakan sejauh 500 meter ke tempat penebangan pokok bakau untuk membuat bantahan. Mereka yang menyertai himpunan aman ini bukan sahaja terdiri dari orang dewasa, bahkan turut disertai oleh anak-anak sekolah. Muka mereka dilukis dengan pelbagai imej spesis hidupan laut seperti ikan, kuda laut, penyu dan sebagainya. Ada juga yang memakai kad-kad dengan gambar ikan dugong, rumpai laut dan ada juga kad yang memaparkan mesej supaya penebangan pokok bakau ini dihentikan. Kain pemidang dengan perkataan “Kami SOKONG tanam Pokok Bakau, Kami BANTAH tebang Pokok Bakau” sekali lagi direntang oleh penduduk kampung dengan tujuan agar tuntutan mereka didengar oleh pihak berkuasa.


4) Penduduk berdiri diatas tempat penebangan



5) Anak-anak sekolah turut sama menyertai himpunan aman



Pelbagai soalan perlu dijawab oleh pihak berkuasa. Antaranya termasuk:-

Soalan Pertama; Kawasan Sungai Pulai yang diitakrifkan sebagai Kawasan Sensitif Alam Sekitar (KSAS) tahap pertama tidak boleh digunakan untuk sebarang penebangan, pembalakan dan projek besar-besaran, tetapi bagaimana cadangan pembangunan industri petrokimia ini boleh diluluskan?



Soalan Kedua; pembangunan projek mega yang memerlukan penebangan hutan paya bakau melebihi 500 hektar perlu menjalankan kajian Detail Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA), tetapi dimanakah kajian DEIA?



Soalan Ketiga; perlindungan kepada haiwan terancam seperti dugong dan kuda laut adalah wajib dibawah Akta Perikanan 1985. Pembangunan industri-industri berat seperti kilang petrokimia dan maritim di Sungai Pulai akan memusnahkan pokok-pokok bakau dan rumpai laut yang merupakan habitat bagi pelbagai hidupan laut, dan haiwan-haiwan yang mengalami kepupusan seperti dugong dan kuda laut. Apakah jaminan keatas pemulihan haiwan terancam dan pembekalan sumber laut di selatan Johor?



Soalan keempat; industri petrokimia memberi kesan ketara terhadap kesihatan penduduk yang tinggal berhampiran (lingkungan kurang dari 1km) akibat pelepasan polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) dan bahan toksik lain, Mengapa industri tersebut dicadangkan untuk dibina di lokasi kurang dari 1 km dari kawasan kampung di Mukim Serkat, Pontian?



SUARAM cawangan Johor Bahru mendesak kepada pihak berkuasa agar persoalan-persoalan diatas wajib dijawab kepada rakyat kerana cadangan projek petrokimia dan industri maritim di Sungai Pulai telah melanggar polisi dan akta-akta institusi kerajaan Persekutuan dan Negeri yang dirangka untuk menjamin perlindungan sumber asli dan kesihatan penduduk sekitar.



SUARAM cawangan Johor Bahru berpendapat bahawa segala pembangunan perlulah mengutamakan kepentingan rakyat dan juga nelayan-nelayan sekitar Mukim Serkat dan bukan hanya untuk kepentingan pihak korporat semata-mata serta tidak mempedulikan risiko kesihatan yang bakal timbul akibat aktiviti-aktiviti pembangunan Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar yang diwar-warkan.



SUARAM cawangan Johor Bahru juga menyeru agar pihak berkuasa melibatkan peranan penduduk kampung dan nelayan secara langsung dalam segala proses perancangan pembangunan perairan Tanjung Bin supaya kepentingan dan hak mereka dapat dipertahankan.



Akhirnya kami menyeru kepada semua lapisan masyarakat, badan-badan NGO, parti-parti politik dan pihak media agar terus memberikan tumpuan kepada masalah-masalah akibat pembangunan Industri Petrokimia dan Industri Maritim ke atas penduduk kampung dan nelayan-nelayan sekitar Mukim Serkat.



Gambar-gambar seperti berikut:-

1) Himpunan aman sebelum perarakan

2) Perarakan bermula

3) Pemusnahkan pokok bakau telah mula dijalankan

4) Penduduk berdiri diatas tempat penebangan

5) Anak-anak sekolah turut sama menyertai himpunan aman



SUARAM cawangan Johor Bahru

Jawatankuasa Sahabat SUARAM negeri Johor

09 June 2009

Monday, 8 June 2009

New Era College row: The betrayal of DJZ, Pt 4

New Era College row: The betrayal of DJZ, Pt 4
Kua Kia Soong | Jun 3, 09 10:27am

http://www.malaysiakini.com/opinions/105686


This New Era College (NEC) controversy has another aspect which may be of interest to political scientists and sociologists. It has divided the old left movement in Malaysia. Now, ever since the end of the armed struggle by the Left in this country, they have put their efforts into the Chinese education movement.
MCPX

Those who critically follow the developments in the Dong Zong and New Era College secretariats know what's going on. But there are others who unthinkingly consider Dong Jiao Zong as inviolate without questioning the actions of the leadership.

During the controversy, certain statements by certain former leftist leaders have created consternation among others on the Left. The article by Fangshan (published in Chinese by Merdeka Review on December 12, 2008) apologised for Yap and his cronies by arguing that this "new stage of development for Chinese education" involves compromising with the ruling coalition.

kua kia soong launch new book 230509 01.jpgThe glorious history of the Left in this country must not be smudged by such renegade or otherwise unthinking left who have chosen to take a reactionary position in this controversy. Yap himself has tried to make use of his "leftist" past and to try to influence the former lefties who have joined the Chinese education movement since their retirement from active politics.

We have also seen another so-called lefty and Chairman of the KL/Selangor Old Friends' or ex-detainees' Association sabotage NEC in his attempt to discredit me by saying that only one course had been approved by MQA (See Chapter 2). One of Yap's mercenary writers is also supposed to be a former lefty but has shown his true colours by employing a MCA lawyer to sue me for defamation.

There are other lefties who say they are "neutral". If they are neutral in this controversy, can they claim to be lefties? If they cannot make out the facts and see what's just and unjust, what's democratic and what is not, who's reactionary and who's progressive...can they still be considered lefties?

If these are lefties, then who needs rightists? They would like the status quo in Dong Jiao Zong (DJZ) to prevail but it is a status quo that allows Yap to execute his agenda, i.e. get rid of Bock and Kua and to hell with all the young people who want to leave DJZ. This reminds me of a South African song in the seventies:

"There are those who cry out for peace
But do not cry out for justice...
We want peace
But we also want justice!"

The real and democratic Left should instead be asking for the truth and the democratisation of the Chinese education movement. Asking our heads of departments to leave the Board meeting in the name of "legalism" and "professionalism" is right wing reactionary ideology.

Save the Chinese Education Movement

All that Yap can show for his three years as Dong Zong chairman is his successful purging of Bock and Kua from the secretariats of Dong Zong and New Era College. Instead of seizing the opportunities afforded by the March 8, 2008 general elections and learning from the vision of great leaders such as Lim Fong Seng to forge a more democratic society and a brighter future for mother tongue education, Yap has chosen instead to launch his putsch. This has sapped the energy and time of the whole community throughout much of 2008. Nor does his collusion with the MCA augur well for the erstwhile non-partisan and fiercely independent Malaysian Chinese education movement.

The Board's function is to help fund-raise and to plan the development of the college. They have failed and the college has faced a crisis of space toward the end of 2008 while the Board has been idle over the Sepang project since 2000. The momentum of development of the college has thus suffered.

Year 2009 sees the beginning of a movement to ‘Save the Chinese Education Movement'. We want leaders who are visionary, principled, who cannot be compromised by the ruling coalition, and who have an inclusive attitude to all who can contribute to the movement. Corrupt leaders and saboteurs of the movement will be toppled and be held to account.

Unless these unprincipled leaders are replaced, the Chinese education movement will not be able to attract the talented young activists we have seen since the Lim Fong Seng era. The vision of a unique and multi-lingual community-run university will not materialise and even the reputation of the Unified Examination Certificate will be in question ... It will be the beginning of the end of our erstwhile incomparable Malaysian Chinese education system, one of the largest community-run mother tongue education systems in the world.

Read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three


DR KUA KIA SOONG was the principal of New Era College (2000- 2008). He has also been opposition Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya (1990-95); political detainee under the ISA (1987-89) and academic adviser to Dong Jiao Zong (1983-85). He is the author of ‘May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969' and ‘New Era College Controversy: The Betrayal of Dong Jiao Zong'

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

New Era College row: The betrayal of DJZ, Pt 3

New Era College row: The betrayal of DJZ, Pt 3

http://www.malaysiakini.com/opinions/105639

Kua Kia Soong | Jun 2, 09 2:14pm
This book on the New Era College (NEC) controversy details how Dong Zong chairperson Yap Sin Tia executed ‘Operation Axe Kua’ in their attempt to discredit and oust me as the college principal.
MCPX

It reveals his control strategies and hidden agendas and ultimately the erosion of confidence in his leadership.

On Oct 20, 2006, Goh Kean Seng, the Confucian school headmaster confided in me that Yap had asked his opinion about me since my annual contract was nearing renewal.

yap sin tian djz chairman hq 030805Yap (right) had indicated to Goh that I was “a bit of an impediment”, and had been going round saying that he was the chairperson of the board but had no power to touch NEC funds.

I told Goh that Yap had not divulged the real story. What had happened was that at one board meeting, Yap had wanted to use the college Endowment (sponsors’) Fund for the use of the parent company, DJZ Higher Learning Centre Bhd (DJZHLC).

I had opposed this because, I said, this was a breach of sponsors’ trust who had donated specifically for the college use. Again, this became another example used by the directors to say that the CEO had too much power, even more powerful than the chairperson of the Board

Through their sabotage in casting doubt on the management of the college, Yap and his cronies have done irreparable harm to the college. The enrolment this year has dropped. Many donors have indicated that they will not donate any more funds. Yap and the other directors had destroyed the principles of the college even before I left.

1. The whole controversy exploded because Yap ordered our heads of department out of the June 14 meeting of the Board of Governors. This was a breach of the democratic practice of not only the college but also the whole Chinese education movement.

2. Yap, as chairperson of the Board of Directors, had shown contempt for the Board of Governors by failing to schedule any meetings since August 2008, despite the need to approve urgent college agenda. Even though the Board of Governors is the only college body recognised as accountable by the Higher Education Ministry and therefore we could have easily obtained an injunction against the directors, we chose not to, in deference to an appeal by our elder, Sim Mow Yu.

3. Yap has taken away the checks and balance from the college governors by concentrating the power to sign cheques in the hands of the directors of the parent company. He has destroyed a democratic practice established in 1998. There is now no transparency and accountability. Three years ago, I prevented Yap from using the Endowment Fund of the college for the purposes of the DJZHLC.

4. Yap has violated the autonomy of the campus by overriding the CEO of the college and demanding a head of department to ‘show cause’ as to why he sent an email to the press. As in Dong Zong, Yap has interfered in the running of the college. According to the spirit of the Instrument of Government of the college, the CEO is in charge of the college. The Private Higher Education Institution Act 1996 stipulates that the CEO is responsible to the Registrar-General.

5. Yap and the directors have, for the first time in the history of the Chinese education movement, compromised its cherished political independence, through their actions regarding the college. First they allowed the MCA, through the deputy minister of higher education, to intervene in the NEC controversy with various offers to me and my heads of department, and saying that the government has the right to intervene.

The lawyer he has employed to sue Goh is a MCA lawyer. His apologist in the parent company’s Higher Education Committee is Chua Yee Yan, another MCA man. But their historic compromise was seen in their joint caper with the MCA leaders and then Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo just before the last general election when they signed a MOU on the Sepang project.

6. As soon as the new principal assumed office in mid-January this year, he changed the weekly management review meetings into monthly meetings. This is in line with the disempowerment of the heads of department started by the directors last June. Thus, decisions are no longer collectively and democratically made. Worse, he has even given over the power to decide on minor posts (e.g. transferring a technician to another department) to the chairperson of the Board.

Account for Sepang campus

The Sepang project has been dragging on since 2000 when Hong Leong announced that it was donating a 100-acre piece of land to NEC. At the time, we all supported Quek Suan Hiang, the Dong Zong chairperson, for accepting the offer mainly because Hong Leong was fully supporting us – they actively raised funds for us, putting donation boxes in all their branches and they were the manager of the project. They even invited Andy Lau to come for a fund-raising concert in 2001 when RM2 million was raised.

However, in 2001, after the authorities had ordered the cancellation of the launching ceremony of the Sepang project, Hong Leong began to pull back. They stopped raising funds for us and also pulled out as project manager.

When it came to the renewal of the contract, we decided that we could not accept the contract as it stood, because this would mean we would be raising funds on our own and we would have to have the land in our name before the public would donate to the project. The negotiations over the contract have continued since then.

At the end of 2004, we faced a crisis over whether to proceed with the Sepang project. There were problems over extending the agreement. It was risky because the agreement was not in our favour. Hong Leong had backed out of being the project manager and wanted us to take full responsibility for this. They also wanted us to foot the bill for the infrastructural work.

On the Sepang project, it must be put down on record that in the January-February 2007 report of the parent company DJZHLC, the contract had been almost fixed. At the Feb 5, 2008 Executive Directors’ meeting, the Sepang contract had already been accepted and the directors were ready to sign the new contract.

selangor adun ceremony 220408 khir toyoOn Feb 19, 2008 at Wisma MCA, Yap signed the MOU with Vintage Heights together with MCA ministers and Khir (left), with Quek as witness. It was front page news in all the Chinese dailies. It was clearly an orchestrated press event to give the impression that the MCA/BN was supporting Dong Jiao Zong and the college. The MOU stipulated that the contract would be signed within three months.

It was obviously an attempt by the BN with the cooption of Yap and the other Dong Jiao Zong leaders to try to swing the Chinese votes to the BN during the March 2008 general election.

At the April 28, 2008 Executive Directors meeting, it was minuted that the Sepang contract would be signed before May 19, 2008.

After the college management had expressed our opposition to the terms of the new contract that had been negotiated by the College ‘legal adviser’, the June 6, 2008 Executive Directors’ meeting expressed the view that they could not accept the contract stipulation that construction of the campus had to be completed within 15 years and that each phase had to be completed within 3-5 years.

education quek hin siang farewell 080805 talkingOtherwise, Vintage Heights had the right to take back the land or buildings that had not yet received the Certificate of Fitness. The meeting resolved to write to Quek (right) for assistance.

Then at the June 14, 2008 Board of Directors meeting, I pointed out that the college must have the right to develop anywhere it likes apart from Sepang. At this meeting, I pointed out that I had already submitted to the board the City Campus concept with the Kajang campus as its centre. This would have the advantage of attracting more students since it is nearer to KL and the transportation routes.

At this meeting, it was resolved that it should be left to a committee of professionals to evaluate the Sepang project and the result should be reported to the public. The problem with the Sepang campus is not only that of the quality of the Sepang land but also the problem of attracting students to such a distant campus and the feasibility of development there.

The meeting resolved to let a committee comprising the three organisations, ie. Dong Zong, Jiao Zong and Merdeka University Bhd, follow up with Vintage Heights before deciding what to do with the land.

It is now nearly a year and Yap has still not accounted to the Chinese community on the Sepang project.

At the June 9, 2007 Board of Directors meeting, I pointed out that the Sepang contract had been dragging on long enough with new problems being raised every time. As such, it would be more advisable for us to consider a ‘city campus’ concept around Kajang. The meeting requested I put forward a concrete proposal.

We put forward this more practical ‘city campus’ project which Yap had refused to discuss. Our development plan around Kajang is popular among stakeholders as it increases our accessibility, deepens our community involvement and requires a lighter investment from the Chinese community.

Yap must explain why he does not want to discard the Sepang project. Does he have any personal interest in this?

The four-part series will conclude tomorrow.

Read Part 1 and Part 2

KUA KIA SOONG was the principal of New Era College (2000- 2008). He has also been opposition member of parliament for Petaling Jaya (1990-95); political detainee under the ISA (1987-89) and academic adviser to Dong Jiao Zong (1983-85). He is the author of ‘May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969' and ‘New Era College Controversy: The Betrayal of Dong Jiao Zong’.



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Monday, 1 June 2009

New Era College row: The betrayal of DJZ, Pt 2

New Era College row: The betrayal of DJZ, Pt 2
Kua Kia Soong | Jun 1, 09 12:36pm
Quek Suan Hiang, the Dong Zong chairperson from 1993-2005, can be credited for his role in raising funds for the two new buildings of the New Era College (NEC) and for leading the way to China and Taiwan in 1997 to seek partnership of their top universities.
MCPX

He was very appreciative of the leadership of Bock Tai Hee as CEO of the Dong Zong secretariat throughout much of his term - after Bock retired in 1999, Quek have him a five-year contract in 2001.

dr yap sin tianIn contrast, the next chairperson Yap Sin Tia (left) gave me a contract from 2005-2008.

But Quek’s first major failure in his leadership of the Chinese education movement was his capitulation to Umno Youth during the Suqiu affair in 2000.

Although the Chinese Associations’ Suqiu Working Committee meeting had decided not to give in to the threats, Quek went against the decision by acceding to Umno Youth leader Hishammuddin Hussein’s demand that several of the demands be retracted. No Chinese educationist leader from the time of Lim Lian Geok had ever shown such weakness.

Quek’s second failure of leadership of the Chinese education movement was seen during the 2004 general election when he expressed the position that we were “neutral” in the elections. For the first time in Malaysia’s post- Independence history, the Chinese education movement did not present any demands to the ruling coalition.

From then on, Quek’s relationship with Bock deteriorated. He no longer confided in Bock as he became closer to the MCA. He would go with the Jiao Zong chairperson Wang Zhaoqun whenever he wanted to discuss educational or political issues with the MCA leaders. The Jiao Zong chairperson’s close relations with the MCA leaders are well known!

During the earlier part of his term, Quek had always been appreciative of the fact that whatever praise he received did not accrue from personal achievements, but his position as Dong Zong chairperson. However, toward the end, he developed delusions of grandeur especially being awarded honourary doctorates and professorships by Chinese universities.

Quek’s attitude to Bock changed critically. This was when Quek attempted to push through a research project with Xiamen University - this did not succeed because the college academic committee had considered it too expensive and there was no real advantage for the college.

The college would have had to share the cost of RM300,000 for the first stage of the project alone and the college would merely have the role of collecting material for the Xiamen University researchers.



quek sin hiangAt the decisive meeting, Quek (right) expressed his dissatisfaction with us because he had unilaterally agreed to this joint research project when he had attended the Xiamen meeting in his capacity as a director of that university. It was a question of losing face more than anything else. We had no option because we put the college interests and capacity first. At the time, the college budget was still in question and there was no indication of where this research allocation would come from.

Bock was mainly going by our democratic decision which had been reached after much discussion. But I remember Quek’s angry remark at the end of the meeting: “…And I never thought that even you, Bock, would oppose this project!”

After that, Quek’s relationship with Bock went downhill. At his farewell speech on 2006, he specifically called on the new directors of Dong Zong to reconsider the role of the CEO in the Dong Zong secretariat: “The CEO has too much power!” he insisted.

After his retirement, Quek played mentor to Yap, who took over. Yap’s subsequent actions to override Bock can be traced to Quek’s farewell speech in 2006. Quek’s loud silence throughout the NEC controversy of 2008 should be seen in the light of what I have revealed above.

A hidden agenda

How did the Chinese education movement with its history of illustrious leaders produce a leader like Yap? This is a question our children will ask and which the movement will have to answer.

Some have put it down to his inferiority complex, hence the need to acquire so many dubious PhD titles and the obsession to get rid of Bock and myself, who he claimed “look down on him”. My wife Anne puts it down to the possibility that he lacked maternal love!

Whatever the reason, Yap’s unsuitability for the post of Dong Zong head can be seen from his actions. His integrity and academic capability are in doubt from his acquisition of dubious PhDs.
In education, there are no shortcuts to success and recognition.

Amassing questionable PhDs only lead to cynicism and invites derision. Someone who has so little regard for academic honesty can hardly lay claim to be the chairperson of the Board of Governors of such an institution as NEC which aspires to be a ‘world-class tertiary institution’.

Yap’s political agenda can be seen as early as the 1998 Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (SCAH) elections when he sided with the pro-BN Liu Panshi (who had organised a tea-ceremony for premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2001) and who tried in vain to form a breakaway ‘Kuala Lumpur Assembly Hall’. Many of the leaders in the SCAH have not forgotten how he sold them out.

In December 2004, MCA leaders had a closed-door dialogue with DJZ leaders. Among other things, MCA leaders complained about the “Opposition sympathies” of some of our lecturers, mentioning Pan Yongqiang in particular, who had written an article in the press criticising MCA’s ‘Lifelong Learning Campaign’.

Soon after, when Pan was selected to represent NEC at a conference in Guangzhou, he was supposed to go with Yap and the Jiao Zong chairperson Ong. The two were not happy with the choice of Pan and asked why he was representing NEC and were against him presenting any papers at the conference.

When Pan heard about this, he refused to go. This was another example of how the DJZ leaders had violated the NEC principle of academic freedom.

In another incident in August 2008, Yap telephoned the organiser of a conference on Malay-Chinese translation demanding to know why he had invited NEC’s head of research centre, Zheng Wenquan. Apparently, Zheng’s paper had been critical of some translations which happened to include Yap’s but the criticism had been totally academic in spirit.

Questionable stance

Yap’s position during the March 2008 general election was highly questionable. Unaware of the political tsunami that was coming, he announced that DJZ was taking a neutral stand.



As the leader of the Chinese education movement, he failed to put forward the demands of the community, like Quek in the 2004 election. Worst of all, he worked hand in glove with the MCA and Umno Selangor menteri besar by signing the MOU on the Sepang project, an attempt to give the Chinese community a signal that the BN was working for the good of Chinese education. Now, nearly a year later, the MOU promise that the Sepang contract would be signed within three months has still not been kept!

new era college yap sin tian beaten 110109Again, in the NEC controversy, we see that Yap’s lawyer in the defamation suit against Goh Kean Seng is MCA’s Chan Tse Yuen, while the apologist for his dubious PhDs is MCA academic Chua Yee Yan. Chan was again heading the panel of lawyers issuing threats to our head of drama and film department Sun Chunmei, warning her not to comment on the Yap’s ‘bloody nose’ incident.

As chairperson of Dong Zong, Yap has filled the Board of Directors and Governors with his cronies even if they know nothing about higher education. If one looks at the members of the Board of Directors of DJZHLC and the Board of Governors of NEC, we would be hard pushed to spot any academic among them.

Worst of all, Yap has displayed a lack of courage and accountability. This is uncharacteristic of a Chinese education leader. He failed to show up at any of the forums called by the members of the community, including the series of 18 public events in October 2008, all of which I attended.

He even failed to organise the open forums that he had promised the public when the controversy first started. Nor has he accepted my challenge to debate the controversy on radio or television.

Repeatedly, he avoided facing the people at important events where he, in his leadership role, was expected to attend viz the NEC annual general meeting on June 29; Khoo Siong Chi’s memorial on Dec 7; and Lim Lian Geok’s memorial on Dec 14, all held last year.

Unlike previous Dong Zong heads who ran their businesses from offices elsewhere, Yap did not have any business office. He began to play the role of ‘executive director’ by setting up office in the Dong Zong secretariat and by over-riding Bock by directly giving orders to heads of departments.

If he was a sincere and competent leader, he would have invited Bock to discuss how the latter could contribute to the movement after retirement. Instead, his sole objective seemed to be to make sure that Bock would no longer play a role in the Duzhong working committee.


http://www.malaysiakini.com/opinions/105538


Despite the efforts by veteran educationists such as Lee Ban Chen and Low Sik Thong to work out an amicable solution, Yap chose to mount a whisper campaign against Bock and to avoid discussing a post-retirement role for him. I leave the writing of this sordid affair to Bock.

Part 3 of the four-part series will appear tomorrow.

Read Part 1 here


KUA KIA SOONG was the principal of New Era College (2000-2008). He was opposition member of parliament for Petaling Jaya (1990-95); political detainee under the ISA (1987-89) and academic adviser to Dong Jiao Zong (1983-85). He is the author of ‘May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969' and ‘New Era College Controversy: The Betrayal of Dong Jiao Zong’.

New Era College row: The betrayal of DJZ, Pt 1

http://www.malaysiakini.com/opinions/105438

New Era College row: The betrayal of DJZ, Pt 1
Kua Kia Soong | May 30, 09 11:14am
The New Era College controversy raged in the Malaysian Chinese press throughout the second half of 2008. There were occasional reports in the English-language press but it made headlines in all the Malaysian and Singapore media when the Chairman of the Board of the college was given a bloody nose by a graduate of the college during the graduation ceremony on 11 January 2009.yap sin tian new era college punched in the nose by student 130109 06


MCPX


This chronicle of the controversy counts as the memoirs of my last year of service at the Dong Jiao Zong-run New Era College. It will be of interest to those who are concerned with the affairs of the Malaysian Chinese community, in particular, the Chinese education movement. Among other things, this controversy revolved round the issue of the termination of my contract as principal of New Era College.

In the process, it split the Chinese education movement as well as the remnants of the former left movement in Malaysia. It even split families within this left movement. Dong Zong, the United School Committees Association of Malaysia had to call an unprecedented Emergency General Meeting over my contract, the first time in all its 54 years of existence.

I joined the movement in 1983 when I had just returned to Malaysia from my studies abroad. The visionary leader of the movement at the time, Lim Fong Seng invited me to serve in the organisation and it was my honour and pleasure to be in his team. Throughout the eighties and nineties, the Chinese education movement faced numerous obstacles put in its way by the ruling party, UMNO.

While every leader of the Malaysian Chinese education movement has stoically faced sabotage from this external force, from 2005 onward, the secretariat of Dong Zong began to face internal dissension when the new Chairman of Dong Zong, Yap Sin Tian took office. In 2006, he terminated the service of Bock Tai Hee, the CEO of the Dong Zong secretariat who had led the secretariat since the eighties. This led to the departure of nearly twenty committed and talented young activists from the movement. This new leader of the Chinese education movement appeared to have a new agenda of his own, quite different from his predecessors.

Once Yap had completed this operation in the Dong Zong secretariat, he turned his sights on New Era College, the other organisation run by Dong Jiao Zong (Jiao Zong is the United Chinese School Teachers Association of Malaysia) on the same campus in Kajang, south of Kuala Lumpur. (See Kua Kia Soong, "The Chinese Schools of Malaysia", 2008; "The Malaysian Civil Rights Movement", 2005)



I had been principal of the college since 2000 and as can be seen in Chapter One, our goal was to create a unique college that nurtured independent-minded, service-oriented students. Three of our graduates actually got elected as members of the federal and state parliaments under Opposition banners in the 8 March 2008 general elections. However, I had been a fairly well-known dissident ever since the eighties and in 1987, I was detained for 445 days without trial under the infamous Internal Security Act during Operation Lalang.

The "New Era College Controversy of 2008" will go down in history as the darkest hour of the Malaysian Chinese education movement. Our children will ask:

* How did we allow someone with three dubious PhDs become the Chairman of the Board of New Era College which has a vision of being a world-class tertiary-level institution?


* How did we allow someone who lacked leadership qualities, with his own hidden agenda, get rid of some of the most committed and competent activists in the movement?


* How did the Chinese community and mainstream Chinese-language press allow such a leader and his cohorts to execute dirty tricks comparable to the Watergate scandal and get away with it?


This chronicle of my last year at New Era College (NEC) is intended to serve as a wake-up call to the Chinese community, to alert them to the fact that "the barbarians are not at the gates", the barbarians are WITHIN our gates"! New Era College is being destroyed before your eyes - the ten years of constructing a vibrant sustainable campus culture based on campus autonomy, academic freedom and student self-governance have been methodically destroyed.



kua kia soong last day in nec 311208 jolokNow, those who think that I (left) had wanted to stay on as principal as long as possible should think again. Ever since my return to Malaysia in the early eighties, my actions have been decided by the collective decisions of my comrades and colleagues in the movement. Hence, there were at least three important reasons why I decided to stay on as principal of NEC:

* My management team in NEC and I had witnessed the destruction of the Dong Zong secretariat ever since Yap became the Dong Zong chairman in 2005 and we had decided to put our foot down and defend NEC. When the challenge came on 14 June 2008, we had even greater resolve to see through this battle. My total support for my heads of department the following day was the most natural thing to do.
* The management team of NEC had been concerned about the lack of initiative in planning for the college expansion which had reached a crisis in 2008. We had come up with a preferable "City Campus" plan.
* As the controversy unfolded, it was clear that the staff, students and parents all wanted me to stay on as the principal to complete the task at hand.


But the biggest loss to the Chinese education movement is not the purging of Bock Tai Hee from the Dong Zong Secretariat nor the ousting of Kua Kia Soong from the NEC top line-up, but the departure of more than twenty of the most competent and committed young activists who have served the movement since the eighties and nineties. They have left in protest against the blatant destruction of the democratic traditions and working methods of the movement built up by the former Dong Zong Chairman Lim Fong Seng since the seventies.

The other serious consequence of Yap's operations against Bock and I is that the MCA, the component party of the ruling coalition has now got more than a foot in the movement. Yap has destroyed the independence of the movement by his collusion with the MCA, as we shall see below.

Leadership of the Chinese Education Movement

Lim Lian Geok, acknowledged as the soul of Malaysian Chinese education, had a well-known rallying cry to the community which was: "The best antidote to sabotage is to construct." Throughout the fifties and sixties, Malaysian Chinese education faced incessant sabotage from the ruling party, UMNO, and Lim Lian Geok paid the price of adhering to his principles by losing his teaching permit and even his citizenship.


Later, Lim Fong Seng, the father of the Unified Examination Certificate and the Independent Chinese Secondary Schools Movement, ignited the campaign to construct Merdeka University. In the eighties and nineties Lim was leader of the Malaysian Chinese Civil Rights movement and he too paid a high price for holding firmly to his principles, by losing business opportunities and suffering detention under Operation Lalang in 1987.

Sim Mow Yu, in the same steadfast manner did not flinch in his belief that Mandarin should be an official language of Malaysia. He too paid for his principles by being charged under the Sedition Act in the seventies and losing his freedom during Operation Lalang in 1987 together with Lim Fong Seng and the author.

Inspirational leaders such as Lim Lian Geok, Lim Fong Seng and Sim Mow Yu adhered strongly to their principles. And they stood out because they walked their talk! They had a vision of upholding and developing mother tongue education into a complete and excellent educational system in the country. Leaders such as Lim Fong Seng inspired confidence among all sections of the community. Above all, he welcomed intellectuals and professionals into the movement on an inclusive basis. Likewise, his vision for a Merdeka University and his defence of our civil rights through a two-front political system was unflinching.

Leaders like Lim Lian Geok, Lim Fong Seng and Sim Mow Yu had character and character includes honour, integrity and a deep respect for others. Such leaders stand out as having vision which allows them to transcend the "small mind" mentality. They were not men who hankered after titles or other superfluous status; they had a sense of serving their historic destiny. These leaders had an authentic presence and were able to connect with their team through dialogue. Such competent leaders command respect and history has accorded them due recognition.

Now the movement has, at its helm, a visionless leader with a questionable agenda that betrays the trust placed in him by the college stakeholders, thousands of parents and their children. There is no longer a positive and exciting environment that can attract young talented activists. The Malaysian Chinese education movement is today faced with a crisis that is unprecedented and that has been created by its own leaders!

To understand how this has come about, one has to go back at least to the nineties to see how the Chinese associations have been steadily infiltrated by members or supporters of the ruling coalition ever since Lim Fong Seng stepped down as the Dong Zong chairman in 1990. Things had begun to change during the term of Quek Suan Hiang, Yap's predecessor.

Part two of the four-part series will appear tomorrow.


Dr Kua Kia Soong was principal of New Era College (2000- 2008). He has also been opposition Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya (1990-95); political detainee under the ISA (1987-89) and academic adviser to Dong Jiao Zong (1983-85). He is the author of ‘May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969' and ‘New Era College Controversy: The Betrayal of Dong Jiao Zong'.

通告 Notification


成立18周年纪念,9月21日举办论坛

我们决定举办“‘509改朝换代’马哈迪当政,民主改革运动前进抑或倒退?”论坛与自由餐会,作为我们今年(2019年)纪念人民之友成立18周年的活动内容。以下4名专人欣然接受作为论坛的主讲人:
  • 兴权会2.0领导乌达雅古玛 (P. Uthayakumar)
  • 人权律师西蒂卡欣 (Siti Kasim)
  • 自由撰稿人及评论人唐南发(Josh Hong)
  • 媒体工作者及评论人蓝志锋(Lum Chih Feng)
4名主讲人将针对论坛主题分别出具论文,发表讲话,并回答现场问题。我们会在论坛过后,将主讲人的专题文章和讲话视频,上载到人民之友部落格(sahabatrakyatmy.blogspot.com),供公众阅览。我们希望通过此论坛激发更多的民主党团领导、学者、各阶层人士,共同为我国民主改革运动做出更大的努力和贡献。

论坛举办日期:2019年9月21日(星期六),时间:下午2:00—5:30时分,地点:柔佛古来,新国泰餐馆。论坛结束后才进行简单的自由餐会,同时进行互相交流。我们欢迎关心我国政治发展的公众人士前来聆听论坛主讲人的演讲并参加自由餐会(入场免费,但请事先报名参加,以便准备食物。有意参加者请填上表格https://forms.gle/SWbjEaiwNikEUiKF6或联系以下负责人)。

9月9日张贴一篇具参考价值英译文章

我们已在今年9月9日(成立纪念日)这天,发表人民之友秘书处委派人员翻译的一篇新加坡前工会领袖庄明湖2013年所撰写的《廿世纪六十年代新加坡左派工运遭遇问题探索(续篇)》(原是华文版)的英文译稿,作为人民之友18周年纪念的一个献礼——提供一个新马人民反殖独立运动遭遇敌人从内部破坏的历史殷鉴,为在9月21日举行的论坛所探索的现实课题,增添一份具有启示意义的参考材料。

“人民之友”是一个着重促进我国民主人权运动的思想交流平台。人民之友工委会都是义务的自愿工作者,我们坚持独立自主的立场,我们采取自力更生、节约苦干的方针,为推动我国民主人权运动朝向正确方向发展而奋斗。我们欢迎“有心人”赞助我们的这项活动及其他工作,有意赞助者请联系:

(1)朱信杰 017-7721511
(2)钟立薇 012-7177187
(3)吴振宇 013-7778320


Forum to be held on 21 September in commemoration of 18th anniversary

We will be organising “Mahathir returns to power after regime change in the 14th General Election, A progression or regression of the democratic reform movement?” forum cum buffet in commemoration of our 18th Anniversary. The following 4 experts have accepted the invitation to become our panel speakers:
  • P. Uthayakumar – Leader of Hindraf 2.0
  • Siti Kasim – Human rights lawyer
  • Josh Hong - Freelance writer and commentator
  • Lum Chih Feng – Media worker and commentator
All 4 panel speakers will present papers, deliver speeches and answer questions on the theme of the forum. After the event, we will also be uploading the paper and video of the speeches of the panel speakers to Sahabat Rakyat blog(sahabatrakyatmy.blogspot.com)as reference material for the public. Through this forum, we hope to inspire more leaders of democratic parties, organisations, scholars and peoples of all walks of life to make more contribution to the democratic reform movement of our country.

Particulars of the event are as follows:
Date: 21 September 2019 (Saturday)
Time: 2:00pm – 5:30pm
Venue: Cathay Restaurant Kulai, Johor
Buffet will start upon the completion of the forum, concurrent with the sharing session
. We welcome all who are concerned with the political developments in Malaysia to attend this event and join the buffet meal. (Admission is free, but please register in advance so that we can make necessary arrangement for food. If you are interested, please fill in https://forms.gle/SWbjEaiwNikEUiKF6or contact person in charge below)

9 September - Published the English rendition of an article of value for reference

On 9 September this year (the actual day of our anniversary), we had published an English rendition of the "Probing into the sufferings of Singapore's left-wing labour movement in the 1960s (Part II)" originally written in Chinese by Chng Min Oh, a former trade union leader in Singapore on Sahabat Rakyat blog, as a gift of our anniversary. This English rendition was translated by personnel delegated by the Secretariat of Sahabat Rakyat. This article provides a historical lesson learned about the destruction bore from within of the anti-colonial independence movement of the people of Malaya and Singapore plotted by the enemy, and constitutes revelatory reference material to the realistic issues that this coming forum is probing into.

Sahabat Rakyat is an ideological exchange platform that focuses on promoting democratic human rights movement in our country. All committee members of Sahabat Rakyat are volunteers. We adhere to the stance of being independent and autonomous, we adopt the principle of being self-reliant, thrifty and hard work, and strive to promote the development of the democratic human rights movement toward the right direction.
We welcome those who are generous hearted to sponsor this event and other work that we carry out. For those who are interested to sponsor, please contact:

(1)Choo Shinn Chei 017-7721511
(2)Cheng Lee Whee 012-7177187
(3)Ngo Jian Yee 013-7778320


此外,现居新加坡的庄明湖已将他在《人民之友》发表的《20世纪60年代新加坡左派工运问题探索》(正篇)一文的英文译稿传送到编辑部,因原文中所述人物的姓名或者是党团工会组织的全称或简称,在译文中尚未解决或有待查证,需要一些时日来完成——人民之友工委都是自愿挤出时间来进行工作的,因而无法很快完成。经过一番努力,我们终于在9月30日刊出,为我们的17周年纪念增添光彩!

值得在此一提的是,庄文所述的20世纪60年代新加坡工运遭遇问题(除了遭受来自外部的镇压,还要遭遇来自内部的破坏)的见解,或许能为一些读者(特别是不谙华文和不懂新马历史的读者)思考马来西亚民主改革运动在当前阶段面临马哈迪主义复辟的问题,提供一个历史殷鉴,或者是一个新的启示。


Malaysia Time (GMT+8)