Thursday, February 29, 2024

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Points to ponder

Justice of  Peace, Tokoh Wartawan Sabah dan Labuan, CC Pung’s strong dose of philosophical musings.

There’s much to ponder of late.

1) that Najib has his jail term halfed and he isn’t pleased.

2) some groups in Kedah wanted only Muslims be allowed in a public water park.

3) Malaysia’s pathetic ranking in the Program for International Student Assesment (PISA).

The Pardons Board has not given (it is not obliged to) the public the basis for reducing the fine and prison term on former prime minister Najib Razak for his basket of crimes for which Malaysia is still to pay billions in losses/debts for at least the next decade. He has committed enough crime to justify spending the rest of his sorry life in jail.

But ….Non Muslims are called kafir by Muslims, and are considered ‘unclean’. I always thought that’s just an old reality that belongs to the pages of archaic doctrines. (Like The Bible calling ‘an eye for an eye’  notion of getting even).

That public call to make non believers person non grata in the Kedah park showed that in this day and age there are worrisomely still those who are adamant that they are superior, cleaner than others.

PISA is a globally recognised standard measuring maths, reading and other skills of 15-year-olds.

It’s carried out once in 3 years. In the last survey in 2023  Singapore and China ranked 1st and second with aggregate scores of about 550.

Malaysia scored 431 and ranked a country mile down the ranking. It”s enough for PM Anwar to speak against attempt at denial and blaming the decline (compared to the previous survey) on the Covid pandemic.

We’re though above Cambodia, Philippines, for example.

Malaysia’s education has not been a happy subject  in recent years (or decades, to some). Our new PISA ranking will add further worries.

And when you read about this against a backdrop of report about our mass produced PhDs, pseudo scholars who fabricated works to show Malays have a longer civilisation than the Chinese and the latest claim of ancient Malay prominence in maritime history, you get a picture that maybe we’ve gone cuckoo.

And …. why haven’t all this glorious history published in books and, better still, taught in our kids’ history classes?

Meanwhile in the global heart of Islam, I.e the Middle East, Saudi wants to host a ‘Slam of all grand slam’ World women tennis event and will soon license liquor stores.

The UAE cities are  trying to outdo each in attracting all sorts of sports, including women events like gymnastics and swimming where the attires are questionable through the eyes of, for example, the groups in Kedah state.

When Malaysia’s woman diver Dharbita (can’t remember her full name) was winning medals internationally, a section of Malaysians shamed her for her diving costume. (She can’t dive fully clothed in a robe with tudung, can she?) A rising woman figure skater, a Muslim, has not been heard of for a while. I wish her well dealing with all the condemnation by her fellow Malaysians.  Paradoxically at this moment of writing, the city of Doha is hosting the World Aquatics Championship. Doha is 100% Muslim.

Many TV watchers in Malaysia must be cringing watching the scantily clad athletes leaping off the diving platforms, or going for golds in swimming, synchronised swimming and all manner of physical challenges.

Editor – The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of Talantang.

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