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Archive for 2009年4月

Apik’s love of learning

Posted by mayashanti5282046 于 四月 22, 2009

Apik’s love of learning
Keruah Usit | Apr 22, 09 7:14am
Apik can survive in the rainforest, completely alone, with a parang and some salt. He hunts, dives for fish and makes a bed for himself under the forest canopy.

MCPX

He climbs trees to harvest honey from wild hives. He picks ferns and bamboo shoots to cook, and finds edible fruit and roots. He collects herbs to heal, and uses ipoh, a tree bark, to prepare poison for blowpipe darts.

apik penan love of learning story 210409 04He travels to neighbouring villages in a wooden longboat, with an engine modified from a grass-cutting machine. He manoeuvres the longboat through rapids strewn with giant boulders, as expertly as KL folk weave through rush-hour traffic.

If he finds snakes on jungle trails, he picks up them up with twigs and branches, moving them away from the paths, and from other travelers. He makes fishing nets, and mends them, with a dexterity associated with more delicate, less muscle-bound, maidens.

He can remain underwater for an astounding length of time, looking for fish or a missing propeller. He rears puppies, teaching them to hunt for barking deer and wild boar. He can carry a wild boar heavier than himself, on his shoulders, through the forest, for hours.

His real passion, though, is teaching. He teaches pre-school and primary school, in his small, remote Orang Ulu village in Sarawak. His students adore him, trailing after him after classes, pestering him to go swimming with them.

He takes them down to the river, to cool off and indulge in some horseplay. The children mob him, climbing all over him. They beg him to push them around in their makeshift dinghies, made from truck tyres. They perform somersaults, shrieking and splashing into the water, to impress him.

apik penan love of learning story 210409 03“I like watching the children grow up, watching them grow in knowledge and understanding,” he says. “It’s a wonderful feeling – hard to explain.”

He says kampung students are far easier to teach than urban children. He endured a nightmare, during his training, teaching in an urban school, trying to get students to listen.

When asked why, he ventures, “Maybe it’s because the kampung children get more attention. When the children go to their neighbours, they’re made welcome and cared for, as if they were their neighbours’ children.

“Parents in the ulu talk to their children all the time, even when they are bathing the small children. And then, of course, there’s not much television,” he smiles.

No IC until he was 25

Apik came to his calling late in life, graduating when he was nearly 30. He could not attend teacher training school when he completed secondary school, he says, because he had no identity card until he was 25.

“I didn’t think I could ever get to teachers’ training college,” he remembers. “To tell the truth, I was lucky to get to Form Six. The headmaster in my boarding school encouraged me to stay on, and he turned a blind eye to the fact that I didn’t have an IC.”

Apik was born to farming parents, in a quiet Orang Ulu village. His parents had been born and bred Sarawakians. Apik’s father even had a shotgun licence given him by the British colonial rulers, dating from the 1950s. But they could not obtain ICs for many years.

“My father served as a border scout during the Konfrontasi with Indonesia in 1963,” Apik says.

“He helped keep Sarawak part of Malaysia. Yet he couldn’t get an IC. My parents went to the towns to apply for ICs, many times. The journeys would take a week by boat, down fierce rapids, to the Registration Department.”

Many times, Apik’s parents were told the decision to confirm their Malaysian citizenship and ICs had to come from KL, and the decision took time. When Apik’s parents asked when they should return, they were bestowed the time-honoured advice of the bureaucracy – “just wait”. They waited for the letters from the Registration Department, but the correspondence never came.

Apik’s parents obtained ICs eventually, in the 1990s. The Registration Department had established “mobile units”, traveling to remote communities. Apik says the villagers appreciated these visits, because they could not afford the cost of travel to town. But the visits were rare.

He walked four days to school

“My parents were highly respected in the village,” he says. “They were always good to their neighbours, including the Penan communities who were beginning to settle down near our village.

“They spoke Penan fluently, they helped the Penan with farming techniques, and helped make relationships easier with the rest of the village – many of the people in my village looked down at the Penan.”

Most of Apik’s fellow villagers grew to accept the Penan, thanks to Apik’s family.

Apik went to primary school in the next village, where Penan children formed the majority.

“I learnt a lot from them,” he remembers.

“I learnt to be gentle, to respect my neighbours, and respect the forest. I learnt to value the trees and animals in the forest. The Penan are the best trackers around. They can walk for hours. They share what they have, so I always knew I wouldn’t go hungry when I went hunting with them.

“And they never waste. If they hunt a bear, and the dead animal’s young is left behind, they take the cub in and care for it.”

Apik went on countless hunting trips with Penan friends.

“Every time I went into the forest, the first few days were hard. I was tired all the time. But when my body settled into the routine of walking, I began to appreciate the beauty of the forest. The streams, the waterfalls, the animals, the trees, the wildflowers… he stillness.”

rain forest rainforest jungle 010708 01After primary school, Apik moved on to the nearest secondary school. Children in Apik’s part of Malaysia often walk for several days to reach school.

“I walked to the Sekolah Menengah, Form One to Three, when I was 13 until I was 15. Twenty of us, schoolchildren, walked four days, carrying our food rations, sleeping in the jungle.

“Some parents asked me to look after their young daughters, so I ended up carrying their books, food, clothes, even packets of sanitary pads… I ended up carrying 30 kilos,” he laughs.

Teachers ‘parachuted’ into rural schools

Many rural children suffer far worse than walking for days to get to school. Children are bullied by fellow boarders and even by teachers.

Penan children, especially, are shy and unfamiliar with shouting and aggression. They often leave school because of bullying and loneliness, and sometimes because their parents take them away to help in the harvest.

apik penan love of learning story 210409 02But Penan children do well if they stay on, according to Apik. Many become top students, both in the classroom and on the sports field.

Apik gives chilling accounts of teachers beating and bullying rural children.

“Children from my home village tell me how one teacher in their secondary school lost control of himself, and chased them with a parang.

“Another teacher threatened them with a shotgun. The headmaster knew, but took no action. The school has received many complaints from parents, but nothing has improved,” Apik says bitterly.

Few teachers volunteer to work in rural schools, and there are few trained local teachers. Apik himself has been posted to an urban school in the past, even after he had requested to teach in a rural school near his village.

Teachers “parachuted” into the rural schools experience culture shock. Many of them are poorly motivated and ignorant. They receive little support from the education authorities in the towns.

Apik likes to tell the story of a teacher from Peninsular Malaysia, posted to a remote primary school. The young teacher had never heard of the place, and did not know the school is nine hours’ drive and three hours’ boat ride from the nearest large town.

The teacher arrived at the airport, climbed into a taxi, and asked the taxi driver to take him to the school, Apik relates with a smile.

Contractors profit, children suffer

The schools Apik teaches in are dilapidated, without adequate electricity supply, treated water or clean dormitories.

apik penan love of learning story 210409 05The children bathe in the nearby river, downstream from the rest of the village. Scabies, head lice and worms are routine (left).

One rural primary school had toilets installed and closed down the same day, because of the contractor’s sub-standard work. The children used the bushes for months, until the toilets were repaired.

During lunch hour in another school, the children’s usual meal is rice, tinned food and cabbage. The schoolteachers say the food supply contracts are determined and awarded “centrally” by the Education Department.

Vegetables and fish supplied from the towns are often rotting, so that well-connected urban food suppliers can make their hefty profits. The teachers would prefer to buy chickens and fresh vegetables for the children from the villagers, but are not allowed to.

Many children in these schools have no shoes. Their families struggle to buy them stationery and uniforms. Poor rural children are meant to have an allocation for these items, and are exempted from paying school fees.

apik penan love of learning story 210409 01Yet many children are still forced to pay fees in rural schools, according to headmen and parents in remote villages. Why? the parents ask.  Incompetence, overzealous bureaucracy, or most likely, corruption.

One headmaster in a rural school provides an analogy: “The allocation provided by the Education Department starts out in the towns, loaded onto the transport.

“But the amount gets smaller and smaller as it makes its way upriver. By the time it arrives, it’s a tiny amount. Most of it has fallen off the transport, on the way to the ulu.”

Long walk, with a helping hand

Poor rural children throughout Malaysia face the same hardship. Some overcome astonishing obstacles in getting to school.

A rural indigenous girl used to walk for days to school in Sabah. She left school after Form Three, to work as a domestic helper for an urban Chinese family. Her employers knew about her family’s poverty, and decided to pay for her to complete her schooling, while she was helping in the employers’ household.

Her results were good enough to go to medical school. Her employers helped her through university, for five lonely, trying years in Peninsular Malaysia. She works as a doctor now, and supports her family and community.

Some rural folk, doctors like this young Sabahan, and teachers like Apik, seek education, so that they can contribute to their poor communities. They support their neglected communities as best they can, in their labour of love.

How many of us, the other Malaysians – educated Malaysians – do the same?


KERUAH USIT is a human rights activist – anak Sarawak, bangsa Malaysia. His ‘The Antidote’ column, which will appear in Malaysiakini every Wednesday, is an attempt to allow the voices of marginalised people to be heard all over Malaysia. The writer can be contacted at keruah_usit@yahoo.com.

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副部长交接官僚乘隙捣虚 国营台华语新闻朝不保夕

Posted by mayashanti5282046 于 四月 21, 2009

副部长交接官僚乘隙捣虚
国营台华语新闻朝不保夕

作者/本刊庄迪澎 Apr 20, 2009 11:52:12 pm

【本刊庄迪澎撰述】若说马来西亚的中文电视节目摆不脱“二奶命”,那么国营马来西亚电台(RTM) 的中文节目不但如此,还要面对时时想要拿中文节目“开刀”的部门官僚乘隙捣虚,趁着掌管中文节目的新旧副部长交接前的真空时机搞小动作;马来西亚电台的华 语新闻《八点前线》今天起从第一电视(TV1)晚上八时黄金档改去第二电视(TV2)傍晚6时30分播映,就是另一个例子。

马来西亚电台华语新闻多年来都在第二电视傍晚6时30分播映,但是自2003年开始已经改到晚上八时的黄金档播映,而且成了马来西亚电台各语文新闻中收视率最高的新闻节目。
不过,今年一月开始,马来西亚电视台却出其不意将华语新闻改到第一电视播映,以致许多看惯了第二电视的华人观众因此忽略了华语新闻的存在。马来西亚电台的消息人士告诉《独立新闻在线》,转到第一电视播映后,华语新闻的观众人数已经从原本的五、六十万,剧跌到二、三十万。
四个月后,马来西亚电台决策高层决定把华语新闻转回第二电视播映,但是播映时间却从原本的晚上八时黄金档,改到傍晚6时30分,而八时的黄金档却留给收视率向来都不比华语新闻的英语新闻。
上述消息人士说,把华语新闻转到傍晚6时30分播映,根本不会对提升华语新闻的收视率有所帮助,因为这个时段并非理想时段,基本上傍晚七时以后播映的电视节目,才有较高的收视率;“即使是口碑最好的ntv7华语新闻,在下午5时30分播出的那一节,收视也只是一般”。
王赛芝说事前不知情
华语新闻转回第二电视播映虽然是一般观众所期待,但安排在傍晚6时 30分播映,显然不是令人欢迎的决定。马华公会新闻局主任李伟杰今天就发表声明说,华语新闻时段应该恢复到晚上八时的黄金档,因为“大部分的上班族都是在 下班回家的路上,而家庭主妇则一般上正在为准备晚餐而忙碌,在这段时间播报新闻将导致他们无法收看新闻,引起许多的不便和反感,最终导致收视率的下降及影 响国营电视台的形象。”
4月16日的《星洲日报》引述刚在上周二(4月14日)正式接任副新闻、通讯、文化和艺术部的王赛芝(右图)说,她向制作中文节目的相关单位作内部探讨,并收集各方意见后向部长反映,获得部长同意作上述更动;不过,《独立新闻在线》今天联络上王赛芝时,问她华语新闻转到第二电视傍晚6时30分播映是不是她的主意,她斩钉截铁地说:“不是。”
王赛芝也是马华公会妇女组总秘书,她今天下午告诉《独立新闻在线》,在上周二的新闻、通讯、文化与艺术部的职务交接典礼后的汇报会上,在谈到中文节目的情况时,新任新闻、通讯、文化与艺术部莱益斯雅丁(Rais Yatim)对她说,要她协助管理中文节目的事务。
王赛芝说:“我对部长说,华语新闻改到第一电视播映后,收视率下跌,因为观众还是比较喜欢在第二电视播映。当时,他说会从长计议,但是我没料到他这么快采取行动。”所谓“这么快”,意指她在当天较后时,就接到华语新闻将转去第二电视傍晚6时30分播映的消息。
王赛芝说,他后来见到莱益斯雅丁时,有向后者提起此事,而后者表示知情,只是“来不及通知两名副部长”。
官僚乘隙捣虚?
易 言之,调动华语新闻的时段的工作,在新任正副部长接任前已在部署,因此可以在极短的时间发出通告及执行,而且王赛芝事前并不知情。无独有偶,这种情况与刚 卸任的副新闻部长陈莲花去年接任时的情况相似,就是部门官僚趁着掌管中文节目的原有副部长卸任,而新任副部长尚未正式接手时的“主管真空”时间,擅作主张 更动中文节目的既定安排。
在 去年三月全国大选后,民政党妇女组主席陈莲花出任副新闻部长,取代在大选中落败的民政党总秘书谢宽泰。陈莲花正式视事前夕,就传出时事论坛节目《你怎么 说?》可能遭变相腰斩,而两名主持人林猷荃及李晓蕙将被撤换的消息;此事经《独立新闻在线》独家报道后,陈莲花插手指示第二电视制作人收回成命,才令此节 目保持原状。陈莲花也向《独立新闻在线》证实,第二电视制作人擅自作主,事前并没有向她报备。【点击:《你怎么说?》主持人不换 陈莲花插手·猷荃晓蕙留任】
此外,消息人士也告诉《独立新闻在线》,马来西亚电台去年曾有意取消《八点前线》,只保留晚上11时的华语新闻时段,经有人“斡旋”后才保留下来。原定在《八点前线》前播映的十分钟专题节目《前线视窗》也差点取消,后经华语新闻组“牺牲”,将30分钟的午间新闻缩短至20分钟,挪出十分钟播映《前线视窗》,才保住这个节目。
据 《独立新闻在线》探悉,在为更改华语新闻的播映时间拍板之前,莱益斯雅丁(左图)曾问部门秘书长卡玛鲁丁(Kamaruddin Siarap),华语新闻是不是改回“旧时段”(old time),后者答是。不过,王赛芝不愿揣测,这是不是部门官僚在“玩政治”,误导莱益斯雅丁,她只说:“也许是有沟通失误 (miscommunication),这事发生在交接期间,难免会有混淆。”
不过,王赛芝承认,此事发生在新旧正副部长交接之际,“应该是事前已商议了”,而且的确仓促了些;她说:“任何改变应由新领导人商议。”
王赛芝透露,华语新闻转回第二电视,却安排在6时30分播映的事敲定后,她曾向莱益斯雅丁商议此事,而后者说,既然通告已经发出去了,那就先试试看反应如何。她承认,通告发出后要收回成命,的确比较难。
王赛芝不愿承诺需要用多久时间“试试看”,但表示会收集华社的意见后,再向莱益斯雅丁陈情;因此,她促请华社积极向其部门反映意见,以便其部门采取相应的行动。

读者来函 [1]

国营电视台内藏汉奸

作者/teckpeng 2009年04月21日 12:50 pm

虽然不适合提倡种族主义,但是也找不到更恰当的词形容藏在国营电视台里面,专事边缘化华语电视节目的官僚。这些官僚其实数量很少,大多为部长特别助理或秘 书之背,其中一名Y姓男子,专门喜欢收集华语新闻记者等员工的情报,然后向新闻部长打小报告,例如,报告某某主播曾经在在野党的场合出现,报告某某记者访 问在野党人士等等。

另 有一名Y姓男子,则是专门策划将华语新闻和《前线视窗》边缘化的幕后黑手。这些蟑螂老鼠,专门在每次新部长和副部长上任前还搞不清楚状况的时候,就先下手 为强,贯彻种猪主义,将华语新闻、华语节目和其他语文节目边缘化。电视台的华人叫这些人汉奸,虽然有种族主义色彩,到也名副其实。

新上任的王赛芝若真的为华社着想,尽早抽出这些损害华社和观众利益之徒,是首要任务。尤其要小心那些自我推荐充当部长或副部长助理、秘书的蟑螂老鼠,确保这些人无法继续掌权,典当华社、人民和新闻从业员的利益和前途。

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