Posted tagged ‘Barisan Nasional’

Fight against corruption starts with electoral reform

September 12, 2011
Bersih 2.0’s demand for electoral reform has made the general public well aware of the urgent need to reform the entire election process. The onus is on Election commission which is giving lame excuses for their inability and lack of political will to reform. The mission of election commission is to conduct free and fair election. Therefore Election commission has to be proactive and take it upon themselves what is required of them to do. It’s the duty and responsibility of election commissioners to ensure that the Election Commission enjoys complete autonomy and is insulated from any kind of executive interference and stop lamenting that they don’t have legislative authority to do so.
Recent media reports show that the election commission and the electoral process are far from what is expected from them. A permanent resident one “Mismah”, has become a voter within hours. This creates doubt as to how many such “mismahs” in the electoral roll. 1,579 similar cases have been found in less than 24 hours mostly in Selangor. This is just the tip of the iceberg. In Sabah illegal immigrants were given blue ICs overnight and become voters dislodging the local’s choice of government. Many such reports have appeared all over the country. And in each incidence the response from election commission is very unprofessional and cast more doubts. With millions of illegal and legal foreign workers all over the country, the possibilities of fraudulent voter registration is very real and appears as a national threat. Election commission must be made independent and accountable to the parliament on the electoral reforms. Their responsibility is to the nation and its people and not blindly following the political master who is struggling to remain in power forever.
In countries like India, Thailand, Indonesia the election commission is highly respected by the people from all divides because of their impartiality in conducting far and free elections. India has 700 million voters and the election commission is respected by the people and feared by the political parties running for office. All because the election commission officials take it up themselves the responsibilities to conduct an election which is unbiased, free from money politics and free from vote rigging. The people respect and accept the elections result without any question. But in Malaysia people has to protest to bring about electoral reforms. Bersih 2.0 calling for electoral reform is considered unlawful and people voicing out support for Bersih 2.0 gets arrested. It’s high time that the election commission realize that the general public is more aware and well exposed to electoral process in other countries.
If only the election commission could support and work towards the Bersih 2.0 demands, the commission will win the support and respect of people. It’s their religious duty to be independent and conduct fair and free elections. The government that gets elected through fraudulent means will not be accountable to people. It will be corrupted and people will be robbed of good governance. Therefore electoral reform is a prelude to the war against corruption, nepotism and cronyism. If no change forth coming then there may be Bersih 3.0 and so on until change takes place.

Senator S. Ramakrishnan

Even scholarship for deserving students can’t be handled effectively by public service department (JPA)

May 27, 2011

Year after year the public service department creates confusion and unhappiness to bright students by failing to award JPA scholarships to deserving SPM students. There seen to be no written transparent criteria in the JPA scholarship awarding after so many years of public hue and cry. Is the public service department that dump and stupid that they are unable to create transparent selection criteria that stops the yearly dilemma to parents and students? The prime minister has clearly failed to resolve the yearly dilemma despite promising to provide scholarships to all students who achieve more than 8A+. These deserving students also know many others who do not have the required A’s getting scholarship to go overseas. With this blatant discrimination right in front of their eyes, will these students ever feel patriotic and good about this country? Unfortunately the biased and narrow minded leaders of this country can’t foresee or couldn’t be bothered about the outcome.

The ministry of education must device clear policies on the awarding scholarships. Those who are rich and powerful should not be given scholarships. That’s a waste of tax payer’s money. Scholarships must be awarded to high achievers whose parents cannot afford the studies chosen by the students. Rich students who are high achievers must be given recognition for their high achievements. The ministry must not insult these high achieving students by allotting courses that are not chosen by them. These students are determined and generally know what discipline to chose. Minister must support them in securing the chosen field for students. If these awarding of scholarships are done well, the country will not face any brain drain but there will be brain gain.

Unfortunately the underlying issue in the whole JPA scholarship award is racial preferences and prejudices. The government should do away with racial discrimination in the selection of JPA scholarship. Can the minister of education provide an open reply to the question of students with 4 A’s getting scholarship to go overseas while students getting 10A’s and not getting scholarship or rather given scholarship to study some diploma course which is not their choice in local university. Students who have 10As and excelled in sports and co-curricular but left out or given courses that are not their choice is a criminal waste of resources. There must be a limit to discrimination and segregation otherwise this blessed country will be retarded economically thus leading many other social problems.

The ministry of higher education must ensure that these students come back to serve the country. Local universities must have quality lecturers and professors to attract these students to stay back and study in local universities courses of their choice which will save millions of ringgit. With so much pomp and prim about the local universities why did the ministry provide scholarships to students with even 4As to go overseas? They could have studied in local universities courses of their choice. The prime minister must intervene and settle the annual JPA scholarship debacle with transparent selection criteria once and for all.

Senator Dr. S. Ramakrishnan