Posts Tagged ‘Funds’

SJKT St Joseph’s plight highlighted AGAIN

January 21st, 2013
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to poobalan.com by Email


I searched my own blog and found that SJKT St Joseph was in the limelight way back in January 2011. Its been 2 years since then, and we just at the stage of  “identified land for relocation” and “waiting for decision”. Aren’t we ashamed to say such things? By now the new building should be under construction lah!

The school boasts of high achievers who had gone on to be politicians, newscasters, businesswomen etc, but their alma mater is still like this.

This school is took the best SJKT award for best UPSR results and percentage of “cemerlang A” for 2012 (refer here). In my books this is a high performing school. Nothing much given, yet able to get some good results.

I hope we don’t read about the same problem in another 2 years time!

 

Stuffy: The store room doubles as a library but because of the lack of space, the pupils have to take their books outside to read them.

Stuffy: The store room doubles as a library but because of the lack of space, the pupils have to take their books outside to read them.

THE Tamil primary girls school in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur may be sitting on prime land in the bustling new township with modern facilities, but there is nothing modern or new about the school which still stands on wooden stilts.

Old, rickety and leaking, the 89-year-old SJK(T) St Joseph, like the proverbial grandfather’s clock, is still ticking, but barely. And parents are pleading for a new building with proper facilities for their children.

Built in 1924, the school does not have a canteen, field, library, science lab or computer room.

Termite-infested: The original facade of the 89-year-old school sits on stilts until today.
Termite-infested: The original facade of the 89-year-old school sits on stilts until today.

Its pupils sit under trees to eat their lunch and have been using the roadside for sports activities for the past nine decades.

What’s worse, matters have come to a head now because the owner of the land has told the school authorities to relocate.

“We are in limbo,” said the school’s parent-teacher association (PTA) chairman Alice Fatimah.

“The land belongs to the St Joseph’s church and they had allowed us to stay here all this time.

“Now, we have been told to move. We have been asking the government for a new site but nothing has happened,’’ said the 42-year-old.

The situation has made the school’s predicament worse as it is unable to even upgrade its faciltiesnow.

“We received some funds from the Education Ministry last year to repair the leaking roof and termite-infested building, but we do not know what to do now,” she said.

PTA deputy chairman Kobi Subramaniam said there was also talk that the school may be shut down for safety reasons.

“This has led to a drop in enrolment. We used to get 190 pupils per new intake but now, the number has dropped to 135,”’ he said.

Former student Parameswary Thanapal, 48, said she was disappointed that her daughter, Sanjena Kumari, nine, was suffering the same fate she did almost 40 years ago.

“There were no basic facilities then, no canteen, library or a proper toilet during the 1970s when I was schooling here. To see my daughter having to go through the same situation is just not right.’’

Sharing Parameswary’s sentiments is Vijaya Letchumi, 53, whose daughter had studied at SJK(T) St Joseph and now, her granddaughter is a pupil at the school.

“It breaks my heart that my daughter had to suffer such discomfort just to get an education and now, it’s my granddaughter. Things must change,’’ she said.

A check by StarMetro showed that the school is in a dilapidated state, with leaking roof and toilets.

The stilts that hold up the structure are termite-infested.

An old steel cabinet is the “Kedai Buku’’, while a storeroom has been turned into a mini library.

“As you can see, there is hardly space for the pupils to read here. They have to take the books outside and find a place to read them,’’ said Alice, adding that as there was no science lab, experiments were conducted in a classroom, posing danger to the children.

The school also does not have a computer room and the teachers staff room is cramped.

Despite these problems, school headmistress B. Valarmathi said the pupils were doing well in their examinations.

“We have produced high-achievers,” she said proudly, adding that some had even become politicians, newscasters and businesswomen.

“We have been judged as the best Tamil school in terms of academic results for several years in a row now,’’ she said.

“Imagine what these girls can achieve with better facilities.’’

The partially-aided school has five classrooms, 135 pupils and 15 teachers.

Meanwhile, Deputy Federal Terri-tories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk M. Saravanan said the government had identified a three-acre land near the Batu People’s Housing Scheme (PPR) in Kuala Lumpur to relocate the school.

He said the land belonging to the Education Ministry would be ideal for the school and could also accommodate a football field..

“We are waiting for a decision and hopefully, it will be positive,” he said.

source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2013/1/18/central/12586487&sec=central

RM50 billion suit for discrimination against Tamil Schools

January 15th, 2013
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to poobalan.com by Email


Not sure how many readers know about this. RM50 billion suit has to be the largest so far in the country. Usually its in millions only.

RM50 billion! Imagine what can be done with such a huge amount. Probably the country will go bankrupt if lose this case. Anyway, even if they win the case, I doubt the award will reach billion ringgits.

Let’s have a look at Article 12 (1):

Without prejudice to the generality of Article 8, there shall be no discrimination against any citizen on the grounds only of religion, race, descent or place of birth –

  • in the administration of any educational institution maintained by a public authority, and, in particular, the admission of pupils or students or the payment of fees; or
  • in providing out of the funds of a public authority financial aid for the maintenance or education of pupils or students in any educational institution (whether or not maintained by a public authority and whether within or outside the Federation).

And here is the famous Article 153:

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
  2. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, but subject to the provisions of Article 40 and of this Article, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall exercise his functions under this Constitution and federal law in such manner as may be necessary to safeguard the special provision of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and to ensure the reservation for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable of positions in the public service (other than the public service of a State) and of scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government and, when any permit or licence for the operation of any trade or business is required by federal law, then, subject to the provisions of that law and this Article, of such permits and licences.
  3. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may, in order to ensure in accordance with Clause (2) the reservation to Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of positions in the public service and of scholarships, exhibitions and other educational or training privileges or special facilities, give such general directions as may be required for that purpose to any Commission to which Part X applies or to any authority charged with responsibility for the grant of such scholarships, exhibitions or other educational or training privileges or special facilities; and the Commission or authority shall duly comply with the directions.
  4. In exercising his functions under this Constitution and federal law in accordance with Clauses (1) to (3) the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall not deprive any person of any public office held by him or of the continuance of any scholarship, exhibition or other educational or training privileges or special facilities enjoyed by him.
  5. This Article does not derogate from the provisions of Article 136.
  6. Where by existing federal law a permit or licence is required for the operation of any trade or business the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may exercise his functions under that law in such manner, or give such general directions to any authority charged under that law with the grant of such permits or licences, as may be required to ensure the reservation of such proportion of such permits or licences for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may deem reasonable, and the authority shall duly comply with the directions.
  7. Nothing in this Article shall operate to deprive or authorise the deprivation of any person of any right, privilege, permit or licence accrued to or enjoyed or held by him or to authorised a refusal to renew to any person any such permit or licence or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of a person any permit or licence when the renewal or grant might reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events.
  8. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, where by any federal law any permit or licence is required for the operation of any trade or business, that law may provide for the reservation of a proportion of such permits or licences for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak; but no such law shall for the purpose of ensuring such a reservation-
    • (a) deprive or authorise the deprivation of any person of any right, privilege, permit or licence accrued to or enjoyed or held by him;
    • (b) authorise a refusal to renew to any person any such permit or licence or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of any person any permit or licence when the renewal or grant might in accordance with he other provisions of the law reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events, or prevent any person from transferring together with his business any transferable licence to operate that business; or
    • (c) where no permit or licence was previously required for the operation of the trade or business, authorise a refusal to grant a permit or licence to any person for the operation of any trade or business which immediately before the coming into force of the law he had been bona fide carrying on, or authorise a refusal subsequently to renew to any such person any permit or licence, or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of any such person any such permit or licence when the renewal or grant might in accordance with the other provisions of that law reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events.
    1. (8A) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, where in any University, College and other educational institution providing education after Malaysian Certificate of Education or its equivalent, the number of places offered by the authority responsible for the management of the University, College or such educational institution to candidates for any course of study is less than the number of candidates qualified for such places, it shall be lawful for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by virtue of this Article to give such directions to the authority as may be required to ensure the reservation of such proportion of such places for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may deem reasonable, and the authority shall duly comply with the directions.
  9. (9) Nothing in this Article shall empower Parliament to restrict business or trade solely for the purpose of reservations for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak.
    1. (9A) In this Article the expression “natives” in relation to the State of Sabah or Sarawak shall have the meaning assigned to it in Article 161A.
  10. The Constitution of the State of any Ruler may make provision corresponding (with the necessary modifications) to the provisions of this Article.

With my limited understanding, Article 12 seems to say that every student and school must be given the same treatment in terms of funding. So, you can’t be allocating RM5 for SK student and RM4 for tamil school student for extra co-curricular activities, for example.

I also wonder, recently Tamil schools were to be given photostat machines (as announced by MIC President) via an anonymous donor. Does it mean that things like photostat machines are not provided by Education Dept/Ministry, or do they only provide for national schools or fully-aided schools, or based on any other parameters? Does that count as discrimination? Other things like salaries are standardised, so no issue of discrimination (that’s due to Article 136).

This is going to be an interesting trial, provided it gets its place in court and not simply dismissed.

 

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin may soon be compelled to answer in court allegations they had discriminated against Tamil schools after the Court of Appeal today allowed a DAP lawmaker’s challenge.

Kota Alam Shah assemblyman, M. Manoharan and Indian politician P. Uthayakumar, were found by a three-man bench to have locus standi, Latin for the right to bring legal action, against Najib (picture), Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, and the federal government for what they said was a clear breach of constitutional rights on equality and access to education.

“The Court of Appeal allowed our appeal and said we have the locus standi… the case will go to trial,” Manoharan told The Malaysian Insider when contacted.

The High Court had last June struck out the civil suit, ruling that neither Manoharan nor Uthayakumar had a direct personal interest in the matter.

But the appeals court panel, chaired by Datuk Mohd Hishamuddin Mohd Yunus, said the duo could do so as their claims were premised on Articles 4, 8 and 12 of the Federal Constitution, which is public law and not private law.

Article 4 holds that the constitution is the supreme law while Article 8 guarantees equality in the law. Article 12, which Manoharan said was key to their suit, lays out the non-discriminatory rules with regards to access to education and its public funding.

“We want the PM to come and answer our claims.

“When the Constitution says education is equal, why is there a difference [in treatment] between Tamil schools and national schools?” Manoharan raised.

The lawmaker said he and Uthayakumar were seeking a declaration from the government that all 523 Tamil vernacular schools nationwide be fully-aided schools, and to be given financial assistance equal to that granted national schools.

Currently, only 370 Tamil schools nationwide receive any government funding, and even that is only partial, Manoharan said.

They also demand 10 acres of land be set aside for Tamil schools; a Tamil vernacular school for every district and in every state except for Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu — the latter “because there are not many Indians there” according to Manoharan — and a Tamil educational institute, equivalent to the current junior science college set up for Malay students, built.

“And also a RM50 billion fund for 55 years of neglect of Tamil schools, to undo the injustices,” added Manoharan, who is also a lawyer.

He said the High Court has set January 29 for case management of his suit.

Despite Putrajaya’s various moves and initiatives, some Malaysians remain dissatisfied with the government’s role in helping vernacular schools.

In last year’s Budget 2012, the government gave a special supplementary allocation of RM100 million for the upkeep of vernacular schools.

source: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/najib-muhyiddin-sued-rm50b-for-discrimination-against-tamil-schools/

Apply for smartphone rebate RM200

January 3rd, 2013
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to poobalan.com by Email


Syarat-syarat:

1. Age 21 – 30 years

2. Salary RM3000 and below (pendapatan kasar/gross income)

3. Only one smartphone per person

4. First come first serve. Meaning about 1.5 million people will get it.

5. Only for smartphones costing below RM500. Any smartphone can!!!

6. Need to apply line together with phone, at selected providers like Celcom, Maxis, Digi, uMobile etc

7. Need to register first at SKMM website.

If you are a student, register at: http://komunikasibelia.skmm.gov.my/Public/DaftarPelajar

If you are working, register at: http://komunikasibelia.skmm.gov.my/Public/DaftarPekerja

 

* The govt cancelled the requirement for smartphone costing RM500 yesterday.

Earlier news:

The Government’s plan in giving out RM200 rebate for smartphones worth less than RM500 next year is to convert non-smartphone users to bridge the digital divide.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Mohamed Tarmizi said that the rebate is not targeted at those who want to buy expensive phones.

“We really want those with the old second generation mobile phones to migrate to a basic 3G smartphone.

“These are the people who generally want to buy a smartphone, but they cannot afford one,” he said.

He added that the rebate should also serve only those who aren’t earning much, referring to the criteria that the rebate is only applicable for those earning less than RM3,000.

“If you can buy a RM2,000 smartphone, you’re not the person we want to help. If you can afford this kind of phone, would you want a RM200 rebate?” he asked.

According to the Hand Phone Users Survey 2011 published by the MCMC, 89.6% handphone users polled earn less than RM3,000. At the same time, 87.3% handphone users surveyed are still using normal phones without smartphone capabilities.

The rebate is also only allowed for Malaysians between the ages of 21 and 30.

Sharil added that at last count, there are 20 smartphone models from seven manufacturers which cost less than RM500 in retail price, with some of them being globally renowned brands.

When checked, Samsung also offers three smartphone models priced less than RM500 including the popular Samsung Galaxy Y.

With the total allocation for the rebate placed at RM300mil, serving 1.5 million youths as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when tabling the 2013 budget, Sharil expected for the entire sum to be used.

He also said that there will be mechanisms put in place to ensure that people don’t abuse the system, and those interested in the rebate should pre-register themselves on their website first at www.skmm.gov.my.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/12/28/nation/12511709&sec=nation

Question is, with potentially 1.5 million new users, can our telcos cope with it? More dropped lines and slow internet? As it is, my Celcom 3G is like turtle at times. At some places totally zero connection.

And remember, you need to have a data plan to support your phone. Allocate between RM50 to RM90 per month depending on what package you take.

The main reason for this promotion (IMHO) is to boost our Internet and Broadband penetration figures. I think it will help in boosting rankings at various global barometers. Secondly, with election around the corner, its a attraction for youths and politically, more potential voters are now accessible via Internet . Thirdly, it expands the market for apps builders as a million new subscribers will be coming on board.

 

MIC General Assembly requests to be in Budget 2014

December 14th, 2012
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to poobalan.com by Email


General assemblies of political parties will see a slew of resolutions being passed. Same with the recently concluded MIC general assembly. 6 resolutions were passed. Various “requests” were made, and according to MIC President, the PM will study these “requests”. And he mentioned that the bulk of it would be in Budget 2014, meaning not next year la (well, Budget 2013 is over already).

Anyway, some of 2011 requests were approved, for example more places in matriculation and increasing allocation for Indians in the budget 2012.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will study the various requests made by MIC during its just-concluded general assembly.

“We didn’t ask for a lot. We made specific financial requests. I raised them in the recent Cabinet meeting and he agreed. The bulk will be included in the 2014 Budget.

“The Government has given a total RM1.8bil to the Indian community since he took over as Prime Minister,” said party president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.

Palanivel had in his presidential address asked the Government to set up a 1Malaysia incubator fund for the Indian community in order to attract young minds; RM10mil for Yayasan Strategik Sosial to train young entrepreneurs; RM10mil to expand MIC’s pilot after-school remedial programme, as well as a RM30mil grant to MIED and a matching grant to AIMST University, among others.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/12/14/nation/12460127&sec=nation

Tan Sri Manickavasagam Scholarship Fund grants awarded

October 11th, 2012
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to poobalan.com by Email


 Though the amount is small, the grants can help to alleviate the financial burden faced by parents.  Hopefully the parents are able to source the balance amounts so that their children can complete their studies.

 

Lorry driver Muniandy Ratnam, 49, was in tears as he narrated how his daughter Selvamary had slogged to excel in her exams and qualify to pursue a medical degree.

“She had put in hours of non-stop studying. I had hoped and prayed that her dreams of becoming a doctor will come true because of her hard work and dedication,” said Muniandy, who works for a transportation company.

Muniandy was one of many proud parents who accompanied their children to receive the Tan Sri Manickavasagam Scholarship Fund grants from MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel at the party headquarters yesterday.

Selvamary is scheduled to leave for Kursk State Medical University in Russia on Monday to pursue a six-year medical degree programme.

<b>Tears of joy:</b> Muniandy relating how Selvamary (right) had slogged day and night to qualify for the scholarship.
Tears of joy: Muniandy relating how Selvamary (right) had slogged day and night to qualify for the scholarship.

She received RM15,000 that will go towards the initial RM43,000 payment required upon admission into the university.

The fees for the medical course will be entirely borne by Muniandy.

Muniandy said he told his daughter that she must come back after completing her studies to serve the country.

His other child, a son, is pursuing a Business Management course at a local institution.

Selvamary, 18, said her father was her role model and that she would make him proud by bring home her medical degree.

“Our family isn’t well off. In spite of this, my father ensured that my brother and I received the best,” she said.

Palanivel said RM1.1mil had been disbursed through the scholarship fund this year….

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/10/4/nation/12121313&sec=nation