Friday, 25 July 2014
Kampung
Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia
A Growing Awareness PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 01:29
dic2013f

Kinship: Teoh Lee Lan, sister of death in custody victim Teoh Beng Hock, observing a minute's silence in memory of her brother's and the dozens of others untimely demise.

By Victor Low


IT is 16th July 2013, roughly 7.30pm, on the middle span Leboh Pasar Besar Bridge. Soon after the Muezzin's call for the breaking of fast rang through an emptied out downtown Kuala Lumpur, a group of Anak Bangsa Malaysia listened in silent reflection to the following tune sung and composed by Saudara M.V. Nathan:


Mengapa aku dipukul dan dicederakan?

Mengapa harus ku mati di dalam tahanan;

Bukankah engkau sama seperti aku;

Mengharapkan simpati dan balas kasihan insan.


Could these be desperate pleas by those countless silent victims of death in custody? Powerless to the unbridled abuse and torture of their gaolers. We will never know. As they say, dead men tell no tales.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 July 2013 23:52
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Whither the “Rukun” of the “Negara”? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 September 2013 22:22

SABM-ethnicBy Jayanath Appudurai

 

WE are far from realizing the vision set forth in this historic document proclaimed by Parliament on the 31st August 1970.


OUR NATION, MALAYSIA, being dedicated:-


To achieving a greater unity of all her peoples;
To maintaining a democratic way of life;
To creating a just society in which the wealth of the nation shall be equitably shared;
To ensuring a liberal approach to her rich and diverse cultural traditions; and
To building a progressive society which shall be oriented to modern science and technology;

 

Forty three years have passed since the Rukunegara (and the NEP as the policy instrument) were presented as the way forward towards rebuilding the nation after the trauma of 1969. Whilst we can argue about the how we have fared in all of the above aspirations, our concern must necessarily be with the objective to create “a just society in which the wealth of the nation shall be equitably shared”. Let us examine the evidence using household income distribution.


The current population of 29 million can be divided into approximately 6.5 million households. Official data (DOSM,2012) reveal that the ‘Bottom 40%’ (2.6 million households) has an average monthly income RM 1,847 compared to RM 12,159 for the ‘Top 20%’ (1.3 million households). The Income Share of the ‘Bottom 40%’ is 14.8% compared to the 51.4% share of the ‘Top 20%’ households.  And the ‘Top10%’ of households has an income share of 32.3% compared to 1.9% for the ‘Bottom 10%’ households. This yawning income inequality gap is a recipe for disaster in any society!


Today, almost forty percent of our people are still trapped in the inter-generational cycle of poverty and inequality. Poor and Low Income households comprising almost 14 million Anak Bangsa Malaysia lack the capability to overcome the multi-dimensional disadvantages they face on a daily basis. Their upward mobility is severely constrained due to the inadequate asset base that includes low levels of education and skills, poor nutrition and health; and unwholesome living conditions.


A host of social ills associated with dysfunctional families from this stratum of our society is becoming evident. Increasing rates of substance abuse, delinquency and dropouts, child abuse, crime and mental illnesses, are clear indicators that something is amiss in our society.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 September 2013 22:40
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GBM: Protect and Uphold Our Rich Diversity PDF Print E-mail
Written by straits-mongrel   
Sunday, 05 January 2014 17:44

gbm-logoGABUNGAN Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) views the escalating tension vis-a-vis the Kalimah Allah issue with great concern.


We regard Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor’s (JAIS) seizure of Bibles as well as the planned protests against Catholic Churches by various conservative Muslim organizations as retrogressive and against the goal of establishing a truly peaceful Malaysia.


JAIS had clearly acted beyond its jurisdiction, as it is mandated only to manage Islamic related affairs. By forcing its way into the Bible Society of Malaysia’s premises it had acted in aggression and disrespect towards an established Christian organization. Much worse, it had done so with neither a warrant nor any evidence that the Bibles were being used to proselytize Muslims.

 

On this issue, GBM would like to highlight the freedom of religion that is guaranteed in the Federal Constitution to every Malaysian. In this regard, each and every non-Muslim is promised the the right and freedom to practise their religion as long as it does not infringe on the status of Islam as the official religion.

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 January 2014 18:09
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Draft: Social Inclusion Act PDF Print E-mail
Written by straits-mongrel   
Sunday, 05 January 2014 17:20

sabm-sia-website1HERE'S the crux of what we are pushing for:


“Social inclusion” is a process which ensures that those at risk of poverty and social exclusion gain the opportunities and resources necessary to participate fully in economic, social and cultural life and to enjoy a standard of living and well-being that is considered normal in the society in which they live. It ensures that they have a greater participation in decision making which affects their lives and access to their fundamental rights.


- from Part 1, Preliminary (Interpretation) of the proposed Social Inclusion Act.


To download and read a copy of the latest draft (pdf), please go here:


Draft Social Inclusion Act - Feb 14, 2014 (English)

Akta Keterangkuman Sosial - Feb 14, 2014 (Bahasa Malaysia)


 

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 February 2014 08:58
 
BR1Mless PDF Print E-mail
Written by straits-mongrel   
Sunday, 23 February 2014 14:00

Yesterday (Sat, Feb22, 2014) RM4.6 billion was disbursed to some 7.9 Malaysians in the form of BR1M 2014. Each registered Malaysian head of household earning less than RM3,000 a month would have received RM700, while those getting RM3,000-4,000 would receive RM450. Registered single Malaysians earning less than RM2,000 a month would have received RM300 in this scheme. This, according to PM Najib Razak, is the government's way "to change the policy from bulk subsidy to targeted subsidy in stages and shift the savings to the people through BR1M. BR1M is an example of the targeted subsidy". Yes, but a top-down targeted subsidy.


See, let's first dwell on who qualifies as a Malaysian. A bearer of a MyKad.


And what if you don't have one?


pov09

This is a story of a boy who lives with his mother and father in the slums of Air Panas near Setapak, KL. He goes by the name Zahka. At least that's how he spells it. The six-year-old hasn't been to school, knows only a smattering of Malay and speaks mostly Tamil with his friends and family. He won't be going to school anytime soon if things stay the same.


His story is captured in this photo essay, the final year project by graphic design graduate Chia Hong. His work was exhibited at the recently concluded Art and Design Graduation Show at New Era College, Kajang, and caught the attention of many visitors.


Said Chia: "I wanted to document the difficulties faced by the poor. So many of us refuse to acknowledge they exist, that there isn't such a problem here. But it is around us, as I found out, and bigger than we imagine."


"Zahka is adopted. His mother found him as a new-born baby abandoned in a lorong near their squatters. Despite being poor, she decided this boy had to live. She took him in and nursed him.


"His mother, Firiza (that's how she spells it), has never been to school. She doesn't have a MyKad nor a birth cert. Zahka, too, does not have any birth documentation. I just felt hopeless hearing their story. My only way would be to create awareness through these photographs."

Last Updated on Sunday, 23 February 2014 16:41
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