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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Malaysians must question Rosmah’s Permata project – J. D. Lovrenciear

Image result for rosmah and Permata

The Malaysian prime minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who spearheads the Permata project has just announced in a 30-minute appearance that this organisation she drives is head-hunting for gifted Malaysian children under the age of five.

Towards this goal, a website is being designed, to be uploaded soon and to be managed obviously by a team of early child development experts.

Speaking to some parents and teachers at the Beseri Anak Permata Negara Centre in Padang Besar, Perlis where her husband too garnered a show of support for himself in his unending battle against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Rosmah reportedly said “...it will be easy for us to manage the development of the (country’s) intellectually gifted children”.

But netizens are already pouncing on this announcement. Some are offering very insightful arguments against Rosmah’s pet project especially in the wake of this head huntingventure.

Of course, those behind Rosmah will condemn these naysayers as anti-government, anti-loyalists, anti this and that.

But let us pause. Put aside our emotional bearings. And let prudence, fair judgment and wisdom prevail.

Does Malaysia need a special project costing such huge expenditure – an expense account that nobody seems to be able to put their finger on owing to blurred clarity and accountable expose?

Does Malaysia need to focus only on and create this "promising" future generation of so-called “gifted” children, and if so, why?

Are our school system incapable of nurturing, grooming and producing responsible, capable, high-performing citizens for the future?

What happens to the vast majority of "average" students in the country? That they need no special help from the national coffers that also fuels jet-set travel in the name of heightened security for some individuals owing to their special and invaluable status quo?

There are many individuals who rose from the ordinary unsung kampungs and backwaters of cities and are today creating history in other nations through their innovations, contributions, and expertise. Permata was not there then.

How about the raging and unresolved Mat Rempit chaos that has spread to every town and village road?

How about the children who can complete schooling and also qualify to enter universities but have to drop out because of lack of financial assistance? Or how about those who half-way through their studies are told that their scholarships have to be retracted or downsized?

Maybe, the whole idea is some sort of Hitlerism, no? Trying to create for Malaysia a whole new world out of a select cream or what critics say, elitist force?

The prime minister is singing that the GST and 1MDB are all about making money to provide better BR1M, does it not then indicate that the people are struggling even without a global financial crisis?

Some netizens have even done arithmetic on how much is to be spent on each child in the genius creation programme. So the question is, at what cost, and why?

Suppose Najib quits or ends his term at some point (he cannot and will not want to break Dr Mahathir’s record certainly), what happens to Permata?

Dear Rosmah, even before you started Permata, you should have let the citizens come together and decide what they need from you most. If you had, today you will be the nation’s most affectionate personality.
* J. D. Lovrenciear reads The Malaysian Insider.

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