(Also published on Dr. Ong’s Facebook Page)
It was announced (here and here) on December 15, 2012, that the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) would start charging private universities, university colleges and foreign university branch campuses RM100,000 and private colleges RM10,000 in student ‘protection fees’. These fees are to be paid once every five years as part of the process of renewing their respective operating licenses and would commence in 2013. This proposal, announced by the Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin, represents all that is wrong about the policy making process in the country. It uses a wrong approach to achieve a very specific policy goal, it was done without consultation with the stakeholders and, as usual, the implementation details for this proposal were left out.
(Also published on Malaysiakini)
The recently concluded 16th DAP Congress held at the Penang International Sports Arena (Pisa) was my first as a DAP member. It was also my first time seeing a DAP national election up close. The following are some of my observations which may not have received the necessary attention in the media, whether mainstream or online.
DAP as a national party
With 2,576 delegates (an increase from 948 in 2008), 150,000 members (from 84,000) and 1,128 branches (from 311) and with representatives from all 13 states in Malaysia, this congress represented the coming of age of the DAP by firmly cementing its status as a national party and a significant political player on the national stage.