Posted: 15 Dec 2011 09:31 PM PST
Writer: Gan Pei Ling
KLANG: Klang Member of Parliament Charles Santiago has urged Putrajaya to heed the Chinese community's long-standing plea to restore the late Lim Lian Geok's citizenship.
"Lim didn't do anything wrong; his citizenship shouldn't have been revoked in 1961," said Santiago, adding that Lim had merely opposed the then Alliance government's education policy.
Santiago said Putrajaya should also enact an Education Equality Act to ensure equal treatment of national and vernacular schools.
The revered Chinese educationist had championed Malaysia's diverse communities' right to vernacular language education regardless of their ethnicity.
Lim, who died in 1985, had opposed the 1960 Rahman Talib Report and Education Act 1961, which required secondary schools to teach in Bahasa Malaysia or English in order to receive government aid.
The government revoked Lim's citizenship on the grounds that he was disloyal to the country.
However, civil society groups say that every citizen has the right to scrutinise and criticise any government policy and action.
In addition, Lim, who was originally from Fujian, China, and came to Malaya in 1927, had advocated for Chinese schools to add Malayan perspectives into their textbooks to instil patriotism among youths.
Lim also agreed that Malay was the appropriate common language for Malaysians, but felt that should not prevent other ethnic communities from preserving and developing their languages.
Civil society groups launched a campaign recently to restore Lim's citizenship and to seek redress for the "injustice" done to Lim.
The Chinese community has also been organising an education festival every December since his death to commemorate Lim's struggle.
Posted: 15 Dec 2011 05:42 PM PST
Source: Free Malaysia Today
Patrick Lee | December 15, 2011
Promises of a high-income economy will come to naught, claims the opposition leader.
A high inflation rate, he said, would only plunge more Malaysians into poverty even if incomes were to increase by 3.6% every year.
"…by 2020, there will be between 7 million and 8.3 million urban poor with monthly earnings of RM1,500 and below, according to the ETP's (Economic Transformation Programme) own projections," he said during a speech here.
He said this while delivering a keynote address entitled "Debunking ETP: Widening Income Gap".
Even if wages were to grow at 3.6% every year over the next decade, there would still be 7.6 million people earning less than RM1,500 a month, Anwar said.
He also called the current national poverty line of RM700 "obsolete", saying that many urban households were struggling with RM1,500 a month.
Anwar did not appear confident with the government's claim to turn into a high-income nation by 2020.
Citing government figures, he said: "Wage growth in Malaysia recorded an average increase of 2.6% annually for the past 10 years while the cost of living has outpaced the wage growth."
This, he said, contradicted the ETP's claim that workers' wages would grow at an average of 3.6% every year.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak previously announced his intention to turn Malaysia into a high-income economy by 2020.
Najib said the ETP, together with the multi-billion Ringgit Entry Point Projects (EPPs), would spur Malaysia towards this objective.
The prime minister also predicted a high growth rate – more than 6% – and appears to be banking on this for his plan to succeed.
Anwar, however, rubbished this claim, and advised Najib to "use more realistic assumptions detached from political spins and propaganda".
He added that the ETP would only lead to more Malaysians becoming poorer, with the ruling elite left to benefit from the plan.
"It shows that ETP and EPPs will cause real wages to stagnate with only marginal increase over the years, while most of the economic benefits will be retained by the corporations."
"Malaysians want higher wages. Instead, the ETP gives them a declining share of the economic value they generate," he said.
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