June 28, 2009
Anwar: Najib Teeny Weeny Approach Won’t Do
by Terence Netto@http://www.malaysiakini.com
PKR adviser Anwar Ibrahim today called on the government not to hoodwink the people by hijacking aspects of his party’s new economic agenda and mocked what he said were half-cocked revisions of repressive statues like the Internal Security Act.
“Either the government goes the full distance by implementing policies that alleviate the plight of the marginalised such as what the opposition has been calling for or it is business as usual,” said Anwar in remarks made to Malaysiakini after a meeting of his party’s central leadership council at its headquarters in Kelana Jaya.
The meeting was held partly to prepare the top tier of PKR leadership for the worst-case scenario should his trial for sodomy beginning in a few days eventuate in its adviser’s incarceration. After the meeting, the PKR supremo addressed a host of national issues in a rapid-fire manner at the end of a week that began with his brokering an agreement within PAS on desisting in its plans for unity talks with UMNO and renewing commitment among Pakatan Rakyat’s partners – PAS, PKR and DAP – on a declaration to replace the BN at the next general election.
Anwar said that there was no point in BN’s “picking one plank of our agenda and then another just to see if their popularity ratings go up”.
Improve Teaching of English first
The PKR supremo also castigated the government’s decision to require students to pass English in order to obtain a Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM). “This is like putting the cart before the horse,” cracked Anwar about the recent announcement by the education minister that a pass in English would be made compulsory at SPM level from next year. “
In the first place, the policy of teaching science and mathematics in English is found to be an abject failure, particularly in rural schools and in the deep interior. Now the government compounds their betrayal of Bahasa Malaysia as the national language with a requirement that would further burden disadvantaged pupils,” he said.
“There is a definite need to improve the standard of the teaching of English and its fluency among students in secondary and tertiary institutions. But before the resources to achieve that are in place, a move to make a pass in English compulsory at SPM level would aggravate the present failure of the policy to teach science and mathematics in English,” Anwar asserted.
“Science and maths must be taught in Bahasa Malaysia in national schools and in Mandarin and Tamil in vernacular schools,” he demanded.
Is Najib a Chinese agent now?
Commenting on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s announcement that a new category of merit-based scholarships would be created next year for deserving students, irrespective of race, Anwar said: “The PKR policy has been in favour of aid to the deserving and the underprivileged irrespective of race. Now the BN wants to hijack our agenda. When we announced our agenda, I was derided as a Chinese agent, even a Jewish conspirator, among other things.”
“I wonder what they are going to call Najib now that he appears to be taking a leaf of our book,” said Anwar. He said the government’s announcement that legislation like the ISA would be amended was eyewash.
“They say they are going to change or modify this and that but in the crunch, it will be seen that there are no major changes. Reality does not match the rhetoric,” commented Anwar.