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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

YOURSAY | History’s ugly truth cannot be ‘fixed’

 


YOURSAY | ‘History must be told as it is, not according to your own imagination.’

Umno claims history book glorifies communists, nudges Bersatu minister for fix

PurpleJaguar0553: There was no BN, Umno, MIC or MCA during colonial times. It was the communists who fought against the British, who were the colonialists that divided this country and exploited our resources for their benefit.

Tragically, they had taken the lives of Malaysians, including the police and army, in their misguided and warped thinking that they were supporters of the British, which was not the case. The Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA) did fight against the cruel Japanese invaders who killed many Malaysians.

These are facts and narrated as such. I don’t see any glorification in it (as per claims by Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki that the communists were glorified in the Form 4 History textbook).

On the other hand, I do see a great omission on how, for example, BN and in particular leaders of Umno had taken from the public coffers to fund their luxurious lifestyle while many are left in poverty.

This should be written into our history books as it’s more recent and definitely will educate the younger generation about integrity and honesty.

Bravemalaysian: Cowards are often afraid of the truth. There are also people who want to abuse it for their own selfish interests and are afraid that the truth will expose their lies.

The role of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) in fighting the Japanese invaders is well documented. That is why their leader Chin Peng was decorated by the British with a medal after World War Two. Of course, after that the British withdrew that medal as Chin Peng continued to fight against British colonisation.

Why are we so afraid of the truth in history? What happened to Hang Tuah and his merry men? Disappeared from history? Are they now just fiction and a fable? What about the early Hindu civilisation?

History is to teach us about the past and we should learn from it so that we can avoid repeating the same mistakes, or to give credit or condemnation where it is due.

DalvinK: Asyraf, by your logic, you should ask yourself if the inclusion of British colonisation in Malayan history studies is also a glorification? The British left us high and dry to fight against the Japanese army during World War Two.

Also, I don't get your fear of communism - in fact, I am sure at least 50 percent of the products that you use are made in China, a communist country. Are you glorifying communism when you use their products?

Attackedbymonkeys: The Malay “left” did fight for our independence.

Are we now erasing the historical importance and contribution of giants such as Ishak Muhammad, Ahmad Boestamam, Dr Burhanuddin Al Helmy and others? Do you want to wipe away Onn Jaafar’s struggle post-Umno as well?

We may not agree with them or their mode of struggle and some even went on to become enemies of the state (for example, CPM) but all are an important part of our history.

Knucklehead: Asyraf wants the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to “fix” history? Why bother studying history then? Just ask the government to write and tell the story for us all to swallow it.

So Asyraf, are we glorifying communism or practising communism?

LimeSinga1592: Actually, our history book inherently provides opportunities for a higher order of thinking.

In this case, the facts are clear and straight forward – the role of communists, British, Umno and so on. But what can be used to lure students to think critically is to argue why the communists did not prevail and the British had to give independence.

Underhand tactics used by the winners can also be explored, the divide-and-rule system, and so on as a study of conflicting moral decisions.

History, if written well, can actually be used to make our students “cleverer”.

BusinessFirst: Trying to rewrite history is not going to change the truth, especially in the age of the Internet.

I think it is best that history is left to historians, not politicians.

You can try to rewrite history to suit your purpose but all it will do is leave the students here misinformed vis a vis the rest of the world and at best, they remain ignorant, and at worst, they repeat the mistakes of history.

Mario T: Indeed, history cannot be changed according to one's whims and fancies. Even if it is changed, the truth will prevail as there are other sources to get to the truth.

What is most disgusting is these no-gooders have always someone to blame for everything and the likely targets are Pakatan Harapan or DAP.

It looks like they have nothing better to do. No wonder, their party is in shambles. They should correct that instead.

The Wakandan: History should tell it as it is. It should not be adulterated or changed from the truth, otherwise it is not history but falsehood.

As a nation, we should accept what had happened as history, wart and all, because we cannot change the past. We can only chart our future by what we are doing now.

It looks like Asyraf is creating an issue, perhaps wanting to be seen as a champion of some kind.

Hrrmph: A fact is a fact. It does not change because the reality is inconvenient to some people. The only objection one can have to history as stated in the books is that it is an untruth. There should be no other reasons.

Some people really have nothing better to do with their time.

Stand For Truth: History can be revised but facts cannot.

Just check the British and Japanese records of their military campaign in Malaya. Umno was not part of it. Who is manipulating history, Asyraf?

Fair Comments: We are only interested in the truth. That is the most important. Sometimes it may be an "ugly" truth. If the "ugly" truth is a historical fact, is it right to tell a lie to distort history?

For example, is it an "ugly truth" that many white people were slave traders and slave masters in the past? Would it be right for the US government to distort the truth and rewrite history to say that the blacks came to America on their own free will? - Mkini

National Council for Local Government agrees to Jendela programme in principle

 Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin says the National Council for Local Government (NCLG) has agreed to the National Digital Network (Jendela) plan in principle. - BERNAMA pic

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Council for Local Government (NCLG) has agreed to the National Digital Network (Jendela) plan in principle in a meeting chaired by Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof this afternoon.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said the plan, which was drafted based on discussions with stakeholders during the National Digital Infrastructure Lab session last year, would be the platform to improve digital communication services under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

"To ensure the smooth and continued implementation of the Jendela project, assistance from governments at both state and local level to implement the project at state level is greatly needed," she said in a statement today.

The meeting also considered and agreed on five proposal papers to make communication services the third public utility, the use of planning guidelines and application procedures for developers of communication structures or towers.

In addition, the application process for the accommodation for workers in the short term and the guidelines for markets in local government areas were considered and agreed upon.

The meeting was held virtually and was joined by Zuraida, Health Minister Datuk Seri Adham Baba, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, five deputy ministers and two state ministers from Sabah and Sarawak. – Bernama

Experts take dim view of Covid-19 ‘vaccine passport’ for Malaysians

 A nurse loads a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Penang General Hospital in George Town March 2, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

A nurse loads a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Penang General Hospital in George Town March 2, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin



KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — As countries like Israel, Australia and the UK roll out Covid-19 vaccination passports in an attempt to restore normalcy, health experts here are unconvinced if this should be pursued by Malaysia yet.

Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy chief executive officer Azrul Mohd Khalid said Malaysia was in more urgent need of a clear exit strategy for the Covid-19 pandemic, one with measurable benchmarks.

"Policymakers need to move from responding to a crisis, to forward planning.

"Waiting until 70 to 80 per cent of the population have been vaccinated in 2022 to reopen interstate borders, for example, is not a realistic option," he said.

Yesterday, Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said inter-district movement will be allowed in all states except Sabah starting March 5 but inter-state travel remains prohibited.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah previously said it was too early to decide on whether Covid-19 vaccination will serve as the basis for an “immunity passport” before one can start moving around freely.

Dr Noor Hisham said the government will need more data and will use the four-stage vaccination plan, which may take up to nine months, before the country manages to vaccinate 70 to 80 per cent of its people.

Azrul pointed out that there is currently no scientific evidence that any of the current Covid-19 vaccine completely prevents infection or asymptomatic transmission.

The most concrete evidence so far, he said, was Israel’s data that showed vaccination heavily reduced the risk of developing severe Covid-19 symptoms especially among the elderly.

"These are good and reliable indicators which can be used to measure the effectiveness of the Covid-19 response in mitigating the epidemic, as well as the impact of the vaccination programme," he said.

While an elimination strategy was preferable, measures to mitigate the epidemic should take into account that the coronavirus will likely be in the population for some time to come.

"We cannot lurch from one lockdown to the next, or close inter-state borders indefinitely," he said.

Opposing the idea of a Covid-19 vaccination passport, Malaysia Medical Gazette managing editor Dr Khoo Yoong Khean said the concept could create a false sense of security.

Dr Khoo, a medical practitioner who trained in primary, tertiary and emergency healthcare in various clinical specialities, also expressed concern that such a “passport” could be discriminatory of lower-income groups.

"Although the suggestion at the moment is limited to travel and business, he said the idea of a vaccination passport will eventually trickle to other areas including entering buildings, events or even as a job requirement.

"This will perpetuate discrimination even further," he said.

According to privacy lawyer Foong Cheng Leong, there could be privacy concerns with such a passport, depending on what data is collected and shared by the governments.

"If it is standard information that is being shared when a person travels from country to country, that should be fine.

"However, a person's medical information is sensitive personal data and the sharing of such information should be limited," said Foong.

He suggested that for the purpose of combating Covid-19, the information shared should only be limited to matters related to Covid-19 and not a person's health information in general.

Raising similar concerns regarding protection of data, lawyer Shanker Sundaram said to properly protect data and comply with data protection laws, both data privacy and data security needed to be applied.

Shanker explained that data privacy focuses on individuals' rights, the purpose of data collection and processing, privacy preferences, and the way organisations govern personal data of data subjects.

"Meanwhile, data security is about the set of standards and different safeguards and measures that an organisation is taking in order to prevent any third party from unauthorized access to digital data i.e malicious attack, alteration, deletion and disclosures," he said.

Explaining further and citing the Immunitee Health Passport, the country's first health passport, Shanker said this is a system that takes into account data protection.

"It ensures that the authorities and other organisations have no access to any confidential information and there is no location tracking and has ensured with data privacy and data security measures.

"Hence, there is minimal risk in the data being misused," said Shanker.

On February 21, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the government has plans to issue Covid-19 vaccination passports as verification for individuals who have received their vaccination.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong similarly suggested that a universal certification may be issued to those who have been vaccinated to ease travel restrictions and revive the aviation sector within the South-east Asian region. - malaymail

‘Govt going in the right direction’

 

More shops at Jalan TAR are reopen during the MCO 2.0 observation on Wednesday. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

PETALING JAYA: With economic recovery and balancing lives and livelihood as the utmost national priority, business groups say Putrajaya has done well so far in charting the right course for the country.

The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) said it was crucial to raise confidence levels among employers, employees and consumers.

MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said he was hopeful that full confidence would return with the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme having started last month.

He called for travel restrictions to be lifted in stages for companies to go back to 100% normalcy and for the economy to reflect the projected growth by year-end.

“Such restrictions make it difficult for economic rebuilding, ” he said, reminding all to adhere to the SOP.

Although the government’s measures were helpful in restoring confidence, Shamsuddin urged for more coordination between the various agencies to avoid confusion.

In his “Setahun Malaysia Prihatin” address on Monday, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government’s top focus now was to ensure economic recovery efforts were in full swing.

Pledging his full commitment, the Prime Minister said his Perikatan Nasional administration would continue to be “Prihatin Rakyat” as it managed the Covid-19 pandemic.

While this was being done, he said economic activities would continue to keep things going.

SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang said economic recovery was crucial as people looked to resume their daily routines.

“Temporary shutdowns are okay, but not for the long term, ” he said, adding that the wait to achieve herd immunity would take time.

As getting back to life before the pandemic would be a tall order, he suggested that the government come up with a joint SOP with the private sector’s input, and introduce a campaign to encourage vaccinations.

Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) SME committee chairman Koong Lin Loong said the government should recreate a business-friendly environment to restore the faith of local businesses and foreign investors.

“We should avoid micromanagement but start looking at the macro environment and our enterprises, the big projects, government procurement and public delivery to restore business confidence.

“For that, we need a good, clear and systematic SOP for all businesses to follow, ” he said, adding that the economy should be opened up without any rise in Covid-19 cases.

Koong said the government should be more prepared for the next course of action as the national economy gradually recovered, citing visa approvals, green lane and relevant SOP for travellers when the borders reopen.

“Our economy will lose out a lot if it reopens only after herd immunity is achieved, ” he said.

Backing the government’s efforts and immunisation programme, Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) president Shirley Tay said a holistic plan was needed to support the business ecosystem during this transition period.

She said the reality is that businesses were badly affected with many facing cash flow problems.

“The government should exercise some degree of commercial pragmatism, as health and economic prosperity are inextricably intertwined.

‘”One would be less meaningful without the other.

“Hence, the government plays an important role in striking that balance, ” she said. - Star

Govt still in talks with Johnson & Johnson

 

Online talk: Khairy speaking during his interview with ‘The Star’ via Zoom.

PETALING JAYA: The Johnson & Johnson’s single dose vaccine may be too little and too late for Malaysia, and this is a concern currently being addressed by the government with the manufacturer, says Khairy Jamaluddin.

The Science, Technology and Innovation Minister said the government is interested in the

Johnson & Johnson vaccine because it is a single dose that is approved by the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has shown good efficacy against various Covid-19 variants, including the South African strain.

“We are quite happy with the option, if we can get it. I think there are a lot of concerns on our part. First is the number of doses that are on offer from Johnson & Johnson.They are not offering us that many and that’s quite disappointing.

“Secondly, the schedule of delivery is quite late. It’s towards the end of the year.

“We have raised this with Johnson & Johnson as a concern, that they are prioritising the rich countries and we get the back-end of it this year, and that the doses on offer are not that much – just slightly above two million doses, ” Khairy told

The Star in a virtual interview recently.

The government is still in talks with the vaccine manufacturer to increase the number of doses and

to speed up the delivery date from either the third or fourth quarter of the year to the second quarter, or even the earlier part of the third quarter.

“In terms of cost, Johnson & Johnson is the most competitively priced vaccine, ” said Khairy.

At the time of the interview, the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) has only approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine while Malaysia has agreements with four other vaccine manufacturers: Sinovac from China, Gamaleya (Sputnik V) from Russia, AstraZeneca (United Kingdom) and the single dose vaccine CamSinoBIO (China) which has yet to be assessed by NPRA.

In a related development on Tuesday, the Health Ministry granted conditional approval for AstraZeneca’s “Solution for Injection” vaccine as well as the “CoronaVac Suspension for Injection” by Sinovac.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the conditional registration requires the holding companies to submit analysis of the latest data by rolling submission, which will be evaluated by NPRA.

Malaysia received the first batch of China’s CoronaVac vaccine, developed by Sinovac Life Sciences Co Ltd, last Saturday. It is being stored at the Pharmaniaga facility, where it will be processed into 300,000 doses.

The vaccine from the plant in Beijing arrived in bulk totalling 200 litres and was later transported to the Pharmaniaga plant in Taman Perindustrian Puchong.

Khairy, who has also been actively engaging with many via social media, said currently, there are no plans to take punitive action against those who are anti-vaccine but reminded them that their “messages” would be monitored.

The Cabinet, he added, had also agreed to an emergency ordinance related to fake or false news against vaccines.

“There is an emergency ordinance coming up, Saifuddin will be announcing it. The Cabinet has discussed it but let him announce it, ” he said, referring to Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah. - Star

Kebenaran rentas daerah buka peluang melancong, kata Nancy Shukri

 

Menteri Pelancongan, Seni dan Budaya Nancy Shukri menyifatkan berita itu amat memotivasikan penggiat industi.

PUTRAJAYA: Kebenaran rentas daerah akan membuka ruang dan peluang untuk orang ramai melancong serta menjamin kelangsungan hidup pekerja yang terlibat dalam rantaian sektor pelancongan selain operasi perniagaan dapat dijalankan sepenuhnya, kata Menteri Pelancongan, Seni dan Budaya Nancy Shukri.

Beliau berkata Kementerian Pelancongan, Seni dan Budaya Malaysia (MOTAC) menyambut baik keputusan kerajaan yang memberi kebenaran rentas daerah di dalam negeri yang sama kecuali Sabah bermula 5 Mac ini.

Katanya keputusan itu berita yang amat memotivasikan penggiat industri pelancongan, seni dan budaya yang selama ini meluahkan kebimbangan jika sekatan terhadap pergerakan rentas daerah serta negeri masih diteruskan.

Nancy berkata MOTAC telah mengadakan empat sesi libat urus menerusi Jawatankuasa Pasukan Pengurusan Krisis (CMT) bagi mendapatkan maklum balas dan cadangan daripada penggiat industri, yang rata-ratanya mahukan kerajaan membenarkan semula pergerakan atau perjalanan rentas daerah atau negeri.

“Hargai keputusan kerajaan membenarkan pergerakan rentas daerah dengan mematuhi prosedur operasi standard (SOP) sedia ada,” menurutnya dalam kenyataan hari ini.

Menteri Kanan (Keselamatan) Ismail Sabri Yaakob hari ini mengumumkan larangan pergerakan merentas negeri di seluruh negara ketika ini dikekalkan manakala pergerakan rentas daerah dibenarkan kecuali di Sabah berkuat kuasa 5 hingga 18 Mac ini.

Larangan merentas daerah di Sabah dilakukan atas permintaan kerajaan negeri.

Nancy juga berkata satu sesi libat urus diadakan hari ini bersama penggiat industri iaitu Malaysian Association of Amusement Theme Park & Family Attractions (MAATFA), Persatuan Pengurusan Kompleks Malaysia (PPK), Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA) dan Batu Road Retailers Association (BARRA).

Beliau berkata dalam sesi libat urus itu, kerajaan disaran mengeluarkan dokumen atau pasport khas kepada warga Malaysia yang telah menerima vaksin untuk memudahkan pergerakan dalam negeri dan menjalankan aktiviti sosial termasuk melancong dengan selamat.

Katanya penggiat industri juga mencadangkan keutamaan pemberian vaksin kepada penggiat sektor pelancongan kerana mereka juga adalah petugas barisan hadapan yang setiap hari menerima kunjungan tetamu dan pelanggan di premis masing-masing.

Turut diutarakan satu pelan jangka panjang pembukaan sempadan antarabangsa agar kementerian boleh mengenal pasti kumpulan sasaran dari pasaran antarabangsa yang boleh dibenarkan untuk tujuan percutian di negara ini. - FMT

Forget Dr M, move on, DAP man tells Amanah

 

DAP’s Dr Boo Cheng Hau says he has been made to understand there are some in Amanah who still look up to Mahathir rather than opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: A DAP leader has urged his Pakatan Harapan ally Amanah to move on from Dr Mahathir Mohamad and stick together, amid defections within the coalition.

Speaking to FMT, Johor DAP committee member Dr Boo Cheng Hau said although defections were not ideal, what was important was that everyone was still in PH.

This comes after three Amanah assemblymen in Johor quit the party and joined PKR, leading to some Amanah leaders calling for a review of ties with PKR.

Boo said he had been made to understand there were some in Amanah who still looked up to Mahathir rather than opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, and this had made others in the party uneasy.

Previously, PKR Youth secretary Syukri Razab had claimed that Amanah remained unsettled because some leaders chose to be friendly with Mahathir while being in PH.

“Anwar is our undisputed leader. We should follow his lead and stick to PH’s principles. We cannot have more than one horse pulling the PH cart or it’ll go in different directions,” said Boo.

“PH is about multiculturalism, we have to accept the fact that this is not what Tun Dr Mahathir wants and this was evident from his endorsement of the Malay Dignity Congress without consulting other PH leaders.”

Syed Arabi Idid of the International Islamic University of Malaysia, meanwhile, said party hopping within the coalition did not bode well for PH, particularly Amanah.

He said it made Amanah look weak and gave the impression that all was not well within the party.

“It can also lead to a dispute over seats as the incumbents may still want to defend their seats.

“PH needs to address this issue. They have to make their stand on party hopping within the coalition known.”

James Chin of the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute said PH leaders must deal with this matter as it would lead to mistrust and could destroy the coalition.

“What PH should do, and it is common sense, is agree on policies and guidelines on what component parties can and cannot do.” - FMT