Uphold academic freedom to improve academic research and excellence

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming on the 30th of June, 2014

I read with concern today’s news that Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Redzuan’s term as the Director for the Universiti Malaya’s Center for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel) has not been renewed. This news report also speculates that this non-renewal was due to political pressure over Professor Redzuan’s survey research which showed the BN in a bad light and also programs which involved politicians, including Members of Parliament, from Pakatan Rakyat.[1]

I was invited to be part of a forum just after the 13th General Election in 2013 by UMCedel to share my analytical findings. This forum was chaired by Professor Redzuan and other invited panellists included Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, the former MP for Temerloh and Shamsul Iskandar, the newly elected MP for Bukit Katil. Nurul Izzah was also invited to this forum but did not participate as a panellist.[2] This kind of engagement with BN as well as Pakatan Rakyat politicians should be part and parcel of the research agenda of any institute or center that examines and does research on elections in Malaysia.

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How seriously can we take the ‘achievements’ outlined in the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013 Annual Report when the Ministry cannot even explain how PT3 will replace PMR starting this year?

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 23rd of June 2014

I would like to congratulate the Minister of Education, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, to keeping to the promise outlined in the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2025 that an annual report documenting the progress of the MEB will be published. The 2013 MEB Annual Report, prepared by the Performance and Delivery Unit (PADU) in the Ministry of Education highlights many of the achievements accomplished in the first year of the MEB.[1]

Unfortunately, it is hard for me to take these achievements seriously when the Ministry cannot seem to get its act together on the much more fundamental issue – which is to explain to teachers, parents and students how PT3 (Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3) will replace PMR (Penilaian Menengah Rendah) for Form 3 students.

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Selangor State government should not forget about areas affected by water disruptions as a result of high demand and lack of capacity at the water treatment plants

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang on the 20th of June, 2014

We welcome the assurance by the Selangor state government that there will not be water rationing during the upcoming dry spell in the state that is caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon.[1] We hope that the initiatives announced by the Selangor state government including the pumping of water from former mining ponds, cloud seeding in selected areas as well as the Hybrid Off-River Augmentation System (HORAS) will be effective in preventing the need for future water rationing.[2]

At the same time, we urge the state government not to forget the water woes in places which are not supplied by the Selangor Dam including Balakong and Bangi. On the 17th of June, 2014, a serious disruption in water supply in the Hulu Langat area was announced by Syabas affecting up to 33, 446 households.[3] This disruption was due to a drop in the water level for certain ponds including the Bangi Terminal Pond, the Tasik Kesuma Pond, the Bandar Teknologi Bond, the Bangi Golf Pond, the Semenyih Baru pond and the Kajang Utama Pond, all of which obtain their water supply from the Water Treatment Plant in Semenyih. The drop in the water level was caused by high demand that exceeded the capacity of the supply from the Semenyih water treatment plant.

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