From Personal

The many ways to kill a communist: Indonesia’s communist purge 1965-66

Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing” is the most unsettling documentary I have ever watched. This documentary focused on a group of men in North Sumatra who were involved in Indonesia’s purge of communists in 1965-66. Like Malaysia, Indonesia has a history of violence in dealing with communists in the country. But unlike Malaysia, Indonesia’s…

A tale of a Malaysian lecturer teaching in a Kazakhstan university

Recently I was working in S. Seifullin Kazakh Agro Technical University (KATU) in Astana, Kazakhstan from Oct 14-31, 2012. I was invited to give a two-week lecture on “Soil Conservation” to KATU’s undergraduates and postgraduate students. This was a unique invitation too valuable of an experience to pass up. Rarely are foreign guest lecturers invited…

Homeschooling: Hacking Malaysia’s education system

The Malaysian education system is in dire straits for a long time, with little signs of improvement in the near future. Chong Wai Leng, book author of “Learning Beyond Schooling: Bringing Out Children’s True Potentials”, remarks that our school system has seen almost no improvement in the past three decades. Our education system is still…

Newsflash: Malaysian government concedes to Bersih 3.0

“So, how credible is it – this Bersih 3.0?” the Prime Minister looks at the three men in his office. “Very credible,” the Inspector General of Police answers, “It is all over the internet: in blogs, independent news media, people’s Facebook, Twitter … everywhere. Our informers close to the organizers  also confirm the date. They…

Malaysia’s education system: Waiting for Superman

“One of the saddest days of my life was when my mother told me Superman did not exist.” She said, “Superman is not real.” I was, like, “He’s not? What do you mean he’s not?” “No, he’s not real.” And she thought I was crying because it’s like Santa Claus is not real. And I…

Decline or rise in English proficiency in Malaysia?

Update (Dec 8, 2011): A modified form of this blog entry was published today in the New Straits Times newspaper. Few people would argue against the importance of English language today. It is the lingua franca in cyberspace and in international science, politics, business, and entertainment. A study in 2011 by English First (EF) showed…

Bersih 2.0: So, where were you on July 9, 2011?

Where were you on July 9, 2011 when Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, was in locked down due to Bersih 2.0 street demonstrations? Were you at the streets, along with the 5,000, 10,000 or 50,000 people (figures differ according to whom you ask)? Or did you try to go, only to be turned back by…

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