View issues with Tan Seng Giaw

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Working hard towards world-class universities

DAP National Deputy Chiarman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw believes that setting up another foreign university campus such as Johns Hopkins University medical school and hospital in Malaysia provides another useful benchmark for all our universities.

Our 20 public universities including University of Malaya (UM), National University (UKM) and the Apex University, Science University (USM) have too much baggage to be able to breathe properly. How do we get rid of the baggage such as the lack of real meritocracy and political interference? UM is showing a sign to progress. We hope it can truly move forward. UKM has to work harder. Since USM has been conferred the Apex title, has it been able to shed its baggage?

Dr Tan comments on media report on the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's statement that Johns Hopkins University will be setting up a medical school and hospital in Malaysia, providing facilities for a medical research hub in the region.

Najib was a graduate of Nottingham University, UK. Now, the university has a campus in Semenyih. We hope what Najib says about Johns Hopkins will come true.

There are many aspects of a good university. Being counted in international tables is one thing. Showing the the real achievements of academic excellence, research and practical applications in the genuine world is another. Harvard is top of the international tables. It shows excellence in many fields, not just key performance indices (KPIs)

For example, the President or Vice-Chancllor of Harvard is not a political appointee. The criteria are purely those for a world-class vice-chancellor. The US Democratic Party and Republican Party have no say in his or her appointment. Can all our universities appoint vice-chancellors strictly on non-political criteria?

I shall bring this matter up again in the Budget Session of the Dewan Rakyat.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Entrance of UEC holders to teachers' universities

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Educaton Minister YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin to state whether the Cabinet has truly accepted Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) as a qualification to enter teachers' universities.

Allowing UEC holders to enter teachers' universities ia a step in the right direction. The Chinese Educationists such as Dong Jiao Zhong have their own assessment of the Cabinet decision, if it is true..

On 23.9.2010, the media report that Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Dr Koh Tsu Koon and MCA President Chua Soi Lek reveal that Cabinet has agreed in principle to allow Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) holders with credits in Bahasa Malaysia in SPM and three other subjects of UEC to enter teachers' universities.

We do not know what Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and hís deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin have said after the Cabinet meeting. I intend to ask them in the House.

Universities in other countries including those in Singapore have accepted UEC with their own conditions. They have recognized that UEC has attained certain standard. Now, the Cabinet appears to have taken a decision on UEC holders' entrance to teachers' universities.

What the Education Ministry should tell the public is whether UEC is comparable to other qualifications which enable a student to enrol in our teachers' universities. If UEC is comparable or even higher than other qualifications, it should practise the principle of meritocracy. Thís principle should be applicable to other Malaysian universities.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Conducive atmosphere for RM1.4 trillion investment?

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Central Government to show its seriousness in promoting conducive atmopsphere for the agenda to attract RM1.4 trillion investments and to create 3.3 million jobs by 2020.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has to convince us that he is prepared to take firm action to make the agenda a sucess.

On 22.9.2010, Dr Tan comments on the statement by minister Datuk Idris Jala on the economic agenda the day before.

For months, the Prime Minister YAB Najib has ben talking about Malaysia becoming a high-income nation with various transformation programmes. On 21.9.2010, Datuk Idris announced the agenda of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), identifying 12 key sectors such as oil, gas and energy and the rivitalisation of Kuala Lumpur.

It seems that the Government attempts to raise the gross national income from US$188 billion in 2009 to US$523 billion by 2020. Malaysians are keeping an eye on the results.

Idris says,"If we continue on the current economic model, we risk getting caught in the middle-income trap and continue to lose out on talent necessary to support high-income economy."

There are many factors such as bureaucracy, corruption and ineficiency that affect our nation. The Government has yet to show its determination to overcome them.

The Government must take the lead to create a conducive atmosphere in all fields including goverment-linked companies (GLC) like Petronas and Sime Darby. They play an important part in our economy.

We continue to show our concern with the ways the Government deals with affirmative action. Investors are watching whether it has effective measures to prevent abuses. Would it be truly willing to implement the policy of merit and need?

Previous plans such as the last Malaysia Plan did not achieve the full objectives. Will the ETP agenda end up similarly?

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Leadership by example is imp[ortant in Rukun Negara

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Central Government to show leadership by example as part of the campaign to inculcate the values of Rukun Negara.

On 21.9.2010 Dr Tan notices that Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim announced the day before his intention to carry out widespread campaigns to spread the values of Rukun Negara which includes belief in God, king and country, politeness, the rule of law and national unity.

It is necessary to inculcate universal values continuously, starting from home and school. As Raise believes that Malaysians between the age of 20 to 40 are not knowledgeable about Rukun Negara, he intends to launch a big campaign to disseminate the principles of Rukun Negara. We hope that he does it well, making good use of the public fund.

One important factor in the above-stated values is leadership by example in all fields. For example, in economy the news of Port Klang Free Zone scandal, and the huge sum involved in Sime Darby, Khazanah and Pos Malaysia management have caused much concerned about the lack of these values.

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has repeatedly talked about national unity and the need to avoid sensitive issues and to uphold integrity. He would have to lead by example like indicating that he is prepared to make important decision and to act in the interest of integrity and unity irrespective of race, religion and party.

We hope Rais can include leadership by example in his Rukun Negara campaign. This will show that he is serious.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Monday, September 20, 2010

Police must show similar enthusiasm in all cases

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw reminds the Malaysian police that it should show similar degree of enthusiasm, thoroughness and efficiency in all cases irrespective of the status of the victims.

Get rid of the impression that when victims of murder or other cases are less well known, the police takes its sweet time in investigations and other action. No doubt the police would deny it. It has to show unequivocally that it tries its best in all cases.

Dr Tan comments on some people's perception that when it comes to the ghastly murder of millionaire Susilawati and her three associates, the police has been so quick in its action. He was at the opening ceremony of the New Kajang Branch last night.

There are crimes in human society. Some are very inhuman such as the recent murder, burning and disposal of Susilawati and three others. The police has been quick at the scene, untangling the mystery of the murder with the detention of 8 suspects including two lawyer brothers. We like to know the truth in court. The greed and cruelty of some humans are evident.

The police must show that it is as attentive and thorough in other cases. The new Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail would do well to show clearly that he is impartial. Lets wait and see.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More promotion for inter-religious understanding

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to increase efforts to promote inter-religious understanding and harmony.

On 19.9.2010, Dr Tan comments on the media report of Najib's meeting the Inter-faith Working Committee in his office for 45 minutes on 14.9.2010.

It is a good thing that the Prime Minister met the Inter-faith Working Committee that was formed in Febraury this year. According to the Committee's co-ordinator Datuk Ilani Isahak, the Prime Minister said that there should be more meetings like the one they had and that it is a mechanism that can help resolve related issues and problems.

We wish Najib expresses his views directly. Anyway, finding time to meet the committee is a start.

In our multi-religious society, there are and will be issues such as the use of the word Allah, the building of mosques, temples and churches. People in Sabah and Sarawak use the word Allah for God. But in the Peninsula the word used by non-Muslims become sensitive.

There should be more efforts to promote inter-religious understanding and harmony. We hope Najib is true to his words that he is fair to all. No doubt, he will want to be seen as treating all citizens equally.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, September 17, 2010

Healthier accountability for free milk plan?

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw hopes that thousands of Malaysian students can benefit from the new version of the free milk plan as announced by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

On 17.9.2010, Dr Tan reads the news about the new plan. He is curious.

There is no doubt that fresh milk is good for students. But, stale or contaminated milk harm them.

Next month, free milk plan will restart. Najib says,:"This is part of the Government's efforts to build a generation of healthier and stronger Malaysians."

It is a good thing if students from nearly 10,000 schools in the country can enjoy fresh milk. Why did the previous plan fail? Obviously, there were many factors such as inefficiency that plagued the old version of the plan. The Central Government must learn from the mistake, trying to make sure that this time it is value for money.

What are the criteria for appointing Sabah International Diary Sdn Bhd as the sole distributor? Will the company help to make the best use of public fund, ensuring that the plan works?

While we are lookig forward to healthier and stronger Malaysians, we are also expecting healthier and stronger accountability, transparency and efficiency.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

14.9.2010: Congratulations to the new IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw congratulates the new Inspector-General of Police (IGP)Tan Sri Ismail Omar who has vowed to carry out his duties and responsibilities in accordance with the law. He took up his post yesterday.

It would be good if he can fuilfil his promise to ensure that the plice force provide the best delivery service t the rakyat and the country in general.

The people are concerned with many issues of law enforcement such as corruption, crimes and general security that has prompted many to go for gated communities and guarded neighbourhoods.

If the new IGP can be truly impartial in carrying out his duty, he will be able to instil confidence in the police force.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Get rid of red-tape & bureaucracy to make Malaysia competitive

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw reiterates that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak must put in effective measures to cut down red-tape, bureaucrcy and other irregularities to make Malaysia competitive.

On 12.9.2010 Dr Tan comments on the Prime Minister's 'fairer affirmative action and making Malaysia competitive'.

After the Aidilfitri celebrations, we are back to work. Najib prattles on the New Economic Model (NEM) instead of the New Economic Policy (NEP). He Insists that the aim of NEM is to develop a more equitable society towards long-term stability.

"Affirmative action should be fairer, more transparent and market-friendly."

"If we don't make changes, if we don't reform, Malaysia will slide backwards. We are convinced about that. We will lose our competitive edge. We are doing all these because we are committed to Vision 2020," Najib added.

While Najib talks about having no less emphasis on drive against corruption, Government Transformation Programme and National Key Result Areas, he should really look into the red-tape and bureaucracy among the 1.22 million civil servants. This is an important problem that affects Malaysia's competitiveness. One indicator is to look at the efficiency of our major ports.

As we are waiting for more effective action agianst those people who were truly involved in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, we notice that it takes four to five days for containers to be cleared in Port Klang. It is about one week at Tanjung Pelepas.

If a container ship docks at Singapore Port in the morning, the containers can leave the port within 24 hours. Najib should check the actual time needed to clear containers at our major ports.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Effective measures to reduce dependence on foreign labour

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw presses the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to announce the details of the eight Strategic Reform Initiatives (SRIs) to drive the New Economic Models (NEM) such as developing a quality workforce and reducing dependency on foreign labour.

Although Home MInister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein says that there are 1.8 million legal foreign workers, we do not know the actual number of illegal immigrants in the country. One estimate is three to four million.

On 7.9.2010, Dr Tan looks at the media report of the SRIs revealed by Najib yesterday. We see many abbreviations like NEM, SRI, KPI,NKRA and NKEA as well as headlines. We would like to know the contents and the effective measures to achieve them,.

One initiaf is developing a quality workforce and reducing dependency on foreign labour. I have often raised this matter. For example, in June 2010, Hisham answered the question the way media have been reporting including 1.8 million legal foreign workers.

Since human beings have been on this earth, migration has been taking place. People move form villages to towns and from poor or less stable country to richer or more stable country. For over 30 years, Malaysia has been facing many legal and illegal immigrants.

Owing to various factors, locals do not like working in plantation, building site or as domestic help. Foreigners fill the gap. for every legal foreign worker, how many are illegal? In Kuala Lumpur, those who go to Chow Kit Road or Petaling Street or to markets like Selayang, can see many foreign workers.

While waiting for the contents of the 8 SRIs, we would like to know the effective steps on illegals. This includes Governemnt action against agencies which work hand in glove with syndicates for illegals or legals. As Malaysia has long shorlines and there are syndicates, how will the Government deal with them?

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, September 03, 2010

Need effective monitoring and enforcement of guidelines on gated schemes

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong stresses that the Central Government must ensure effective monitoring and enforcement of guidelines on gated communities and guarded neighbourhoods.

That the existing gated schemes are exempted is seen as inadequate.

The most important thing is for the police to improve its integrity and efficiency so that there will be no need for such type of community and neighbourhood schemes.

On 3.9.2010 Dr Tan comments on the Deputy Prime Minister's announcement that gated and guarded neighbourhood schemes will have to follow new guidelines.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the guidelines were approved and endorsed by the National Council for Local Government. They would be imposed with immediate effect on new applications.

As the incidence of certain crimes increases, the public look for alternatives to protect themselves and their properties. One is to engage private security firms to form gated communities and guarded neighbourhoods. What rights have security firms to protect the securityof residents? Will the police surrender some of its power or rights to these firms?

Just as ordinary citizens, the only rights security firms have is citizen's arrest. The Deputy Prime Minister must announce to the public the actual rights security firms have to safeguard residents who have paid them. He has said that residents of guarded neighbourhoods have no right to prevent others from going to schools or playgrounds through their areas.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Lets hope the new IGP Tan Sri Ismail instils integrity into the police

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw hopes that the new IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar will truly raise the integrity of the police, making it more effective in combatting crimes, illegal immigration and drugs.

Dr Tan notes the announcement yesterday of the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein that on 13.9.2010, Tan Sri Ismail Omar will take over from Tan Sri Musa Hassan as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).

Tan Sri Ismail has vowed to improve the police force and take it to greater heights. We wish him well. The public have expectations from him.

In our multiracial and multireligious country, the IGP must show truly that he is fair in discharging his duties. This is very important.

For example, it is easy to incite racial and religious hatred. Anybody who infringes on mosque, churches and temples should be dealt with firmly. Those mouthing racial insults should be sought out.

Other issues such as crimes, illegal immigrants and drugs loom large. The number of legal immigrants is about two million and that of illegal ones is unknown, probably three to four milliion. Some say that agencies that deal with immigrants including police are hand in glove with syndicates. The new IGP should investigate and take action.

We wish Tan Sri Ismail can do something concrete for the police.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw