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

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.

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'


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通告 Notification

人民之友 对我国第14届大选意见书
(华 巫 英)3种语文已先后贴出

作为坚守“独立自主”和“与民同在”的立场的一个民间组织,人民之友在今年9月24日对即将来临的第14届全国大选投票,发表了一篇以华文书写的“意见书”,题为:投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!

这篇意见书的英文译稿(标题是:Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”!)已于10月22日张贴在本部落格。马来文译稿(标题是:Undilah "calon yang membantah pengislaman negara": Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Mencegah puak Mahathir kembali kepada kuasa!)也已接着在11月13日在此贴出。



Pandangan Sahabat Rakyat terhadap PRU14 telah diterbitkan dalam tiga bahasa (Melayu, Cina dan Inggeris)

Sebagai sebuah pertubuhan masyarakat yang berpendirian teguh tentang prinsip "bebas dan berautonomi" dan “sentiasa berdampingan dengan rakyat jelata”, Sahabat Rakyat telah menerbitkan kenyataan tentang pandangan kami terhadap Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 yang bertajuk "Undilah calon yang menentang Pengislaman Negera: Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Jangan benarkan puak Mahathir kembali kepada kuasa! " (投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!)dalam Bahasa Cina pada 24hb September 2017.

Penterjemahan Bahasa Inggeris kenyataan tersebut yang bertajuk Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”! telah diterbitkan dalam blog kita pada 22hb Oktober 2017 manakala penterjemahan Bahasa Melayu telah diterbitkan pada 13hb November 2017.

Selain daripada itu, Sahabat Rakyat juga akan menyebarkan kenyataan ini seluas mungkin kepada pertubuhan dan individu semua bangsa, strata, profesyen dan agama seluruh Negara melalui email, wechat, whatsApp dan pelbagai saluran lain. Kami amat mengalu-alukan pertubuhan dan individu yang berpendirian dan pandangan sama dengan kami untuk turut menyebarkan kenyataan ini kepada lebih ramai orang!

Kami berharap pendirian dan pandangan kami berkenaan pilihan raya kali ini yang dinyatakan dalam kenyataan tersebut dapat disebarkan dengan tepat dan meluas untuk diuji dalam kalangan rakyat semua bangsa semua strata sosial melalui penglibatan mereka dalam amalan pelbagai parti politik dalam pertempuran pilihan raya umum kali ini mahupun amalan masa depan.

The Chinese, English and Malay renditions of Sahabat Rakyat’s opinions about GE14 have been published consecutively

As an NGO which upholds “independent and autonomous” position and "always be with the people" principle, on 24 September 2017, Sahabat Rakyat had released a Chinese-written statement of views with regard to the voting in the upcoming 14th General Election, entitled “Vote for candidates who are against State Islamisation: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent the return to power of Mahathir’s faction!” (投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!)

The English rendition of this statement entitled "Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”!" and the Malay rendition entitled "Undilah "calon yang membantah pengislaman negara": Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Mencegah puak Mahathir kembali kepada kuasa!" had been released on 22 October and 13 November respectively.

Apart from that, Sahabat Rakyat will also make every effort to disseminate this statement as widely as possible to organizations and individuals of all ethnic groups, religions and all walks of life throughout the country via email, WeChat, WhatsApp and other channels. We welcome organizations and individuals with the same position and views to spread this statement to more people!

We hope that our position and views pertaining to the upcoming General Election expressed in the statement will be accurately and widely disseminated and also examined by the popular masses of various ethnicity and social strata through their involvement in the struggle of the 14th General Election carried out by various political parties and their practices in all fields in future.

Malaysia Time (GMT+8)