View issues with Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, September 26, 2008

Report the new curriculum to Parliament

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin to to present reports of the new curriculum, which is said to be more holistic, to Parliament. Does the new curriculum cater for the modern need? will it be successfully implemented?

On 26.9.2008, Dr Tan comments on the announcement by the Education Minister yesterday that primary schools will have a new curriculum by 2010 and a new national education assessment system. These will replace the integrated curriculum that has been imppemented since 1983 and the current primary school assessment method.

The present curriculum involves 7,643 primary schools, teaching pupils the 3 Rs, Read, wRite and aRithmatic. There have been less emphasis on aspects such as human values. A brilliant examination result is one of the criteria used. But, examinational performance may not necessarily reflect the future achievement of a person. The integrated curriculum attracts controversies including the perception of not treating non-national schools justly.

We do not know the details of the new curriculum and the new assessment system. Apparently, Hisham stresses more on schoolwork, namely, six areas: communication, spititual attitude and values,humanitarianism, science and technology literacy, physical and aesthetics and personal development. These are meant to develop talents and potentials.

In the current political vicissitude, will Hisham be able to pay full attention to the new system? We are concerned.

The Education Ministry asks Parliament to approve an allocation of RM 31.4 billion, including the building of 110 new primary schools next year. We hope these include Chinese and Tamil schools. Now, we have 5.8 million students in primary and secondary schools.

Since the Education Minister requests Parliament to approve RM 31.4 million, he must present reports about the new curriculum and the new assessment to the august House, telling MPs what is up his sleeves.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, September 19, 2008

After releasing Teresa, rescind ISA..

While believing that the Government is right to release Teresa Kok today, DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw insists that the Government rescind the Internal Security Act (1960).

Release all who are detained under ISA. If they are violent, extremist and terroristic, use other laws to deal with them.

Today, MP for Seputih Teresa Kok has been released. This is correct. But, it is not enough. The Government must stop misusing ISA to detain people who do not engage in violence, extremism and terrorism.

We have repeatedly stressed that if the Government has evidence that any person involves in vilence, extremist and terrorist activities, the government should charge him or her in court. It should promulgate anti-extremist and anti-terrorist act that would protect the country.

For 42 years, DAP has been against the abuse of ISA against Malaysians. It continues to do so. We believe in peaceful constitutional struggle.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Abolish ISA

16.9.2008, Malaysia Day.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw reiterates the need to repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA (1960) which has been misused to detain people.

Yesterday, the de facto Law Minister Senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim tendered his resignation. But, he has been told by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to take two weeks' leave. Zaid has had frustrations including the procrastination on his proposals for law reform and his objection to using ISA against civilians.

I have asked Zaid about law reform in Parliament. He talks about his recommendations to instil integrity in the judiciary. Hitherto, there has been little concrete action.

The recent detention of Teresa Kok, Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Tan Hoon Cheng under ISA shows the irrationality of the Barisan Nasional Government. If the Government has evidence against them, charge them in court. Otherwise release them immediately. Tan has been set free after 18 hours' arrest.

Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman said:"My Cabinet colleagues and I gave a solemn promise to Parliament and the nation that the immense powers given to the Government under the ISA, 1960, would never be used to stifle legitimate opposition and silence lawful dissent."

On this Malaysia Day, let the Government release Teresa, Raja Petra and others detained under ISA which was formulated against Communists. When we were detained in the Operation Lalang 1987-1988, we repeated the call to rescind ISA. Today, we insist that ISA be revoked.

As extremists and terrorists emerge in the modern world, we require modern legislation to deal with these people.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Incendiary statements & Umno's inappeasable action.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw feels that the suspension of Datuk Ahmad Ismail and his defiant reaction may render the Umno action inappeasable.

At the Permatang Pauh by-election Ahmad Ismail was alleged to have said that the Chinese in the country were immigrants and squatters and did not deserve equal treatment. This has aroused strong reactions, calling for stern action against him.

Some believe that if Ahmad were to be from the Opposition, he would have been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Let us hope that the Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar is true to his words when he said on 10.9.2008: "We are warning everyone, irrespective of who you are, that all statements on racial sentiments must cease immediately or the police will take action..."

Over the last five decades, incendiary racial and religious statements have been made by various people including politicians who hope to garner more votes at the expense of the country. Some have got away with them. Now, globalization, political development and Internet make the response to such statements more vigorous.

In our multiracial country, we should avoid this kind of utterances. Ahmad has shown defiance. Hence, many would like the Government to investigate his involvement in various companies and the Penang Outer Ring Road Project.

Yesterday, Umno suspended him from the party for three years, stripping him of all posts and voting rights within the party, including Bukit Bendera division chief. Then, Ahmad has been reported to say that he would tour the country to meet Umno divisional members and explain the issue to them as he is still an Umno member.

Certain people maintain that the suspension is only for show. Barisan Nasional leaders laud the Umno action.

All Malaysians must always try to narrow the gap betweeen the rich and the poor and between regions. That the Government allocates 24% of the budget such as RM35 billion for education and higher education in 2009 is a step in the right direction. We should create more opportunities in education, training and acquisition of knowledge and technology.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Require independent consultant for Kepong MRR2

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw proposes that the Government appoint an independent expert on elongated viaduct to investigate the reasons for the repeated cracks of the pillars of Kepong MRR2 (elongated viaduct or flyover).

Consultants such as Leonhardt who were previously involved in the repair of MRR2 may give a biased opinion. If we do not ascertain the real reasons for the recurrences, the people will continue to suffer.

Dr Tan presented the proposal during a visit to the MRR2 on 7.9.2008.

On 6 to 8 September, 2008, there was closure and diversion of traffic below the MRR2, so that the Public Works Department (JKR) could fix sensors on some of the pillars. Then, the German consultant investigates the reasons for the snapped reinforced carbon fibres.

Road users are inconvenienced. Will JKR get to the bottom of things?

Over 6 years ago, Bumihiway consortium was appointed as the contractor for the design-and-build project, estimated at RM 238 million.. But, the consortium did not specialize in elongated viaduct. It had to subcontract. The Government must find out the amount of commission it took.

For various reasons including poor workmanship and inadequate supervision, 31 of the 33 pillars cracked in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Hitherto, up to 8 foreign consultants were appointed.

In 2006, the former Works Minister favoured the British consultant, Halcrow. But, JKR objected. The matter was referred to the Board of Engineers which decided on the German consultant Leonhardt. Carbon fibres were used. The repair bill plus sundry expenses was RM 74 million. As the original contractor, Bumihiway, refused to pay, the Government is suing the company.

On 3.8.2008, pillar 28 of MRR2 cracked with three carbon fibres flayed. After putting on the sensors, Leonhardt is back to the scene.

Both Halcrow and Leonhardt took part in the study of MRR2 before, they may be prejudiced. As it is, Halcrow has said that carbon fibres lack ductility. The members of Board of Engineers are not experts on elongated viaduct.

We need an independent consultant. There are experts on elongated viaduct in universities.

Tan Seng Giaw

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Kepong MRR2 and German experts

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Works Ministry to be transparent, announcing the preliminary report of the current cracks of a pillar of the Kepong flyover (MRR2). Inform the people of the action taken by the Public Works Department (JKR).

Let us hope that the German experts will find out the true cause of the cracks and that all the other 32 pillars are intact.

Today, after receiving a query from some MRR2 users that there are more green netting on the transverse pillars such as number 6 and 7 besides the No. 28, I have contacted the Director-General of JKR. He confirms that there are no further visible cracks. But, further tests are being done.

The MRR2 has 33 pillars, out of which 31 were cracked; these have been repaired, incorporating carbon fibres. Three weeks ago, new cracks appeared at the No 28; three carbon fibres snapped. Then the Works Minister said that he would take three weeks to study the problem. Now, the initial report is completed. He should make it public.

I am not an expert on pillars of flyover or viaduct. Apart from from the No 28 pillar, I have not seen new cracks. The Director-General confirms that German experts would ascertain the true cause of the cracks and the safety of all the pillars. The public should know the JKR action, especially road blocks that affect traffic.

Tan Seng Giaw