Backbencher queries selection of teachers


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 18 Mar 2003

A BACKBENCHER has questioned how teachers who failed their SPM English were allowed to teach Science and Mathematics in English. 

“How can this happen? What is the criteria (for them) to teach the subjects in English?” Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor (BN –Tampin) asked when debating the motion of thanks on the Royal Address. 

He said he found out about such teachers when he conducted a probe in his own constituency. 

“I am worried about claims that these people are willing to teach in English just to qualify for the laptops and allowances given out by the Education Ministry,” he said. 

Shaziman noted that the local press, especially the English dailies, had missed the chance to promote Malaysia during last month’s Non-Aligned Movement Summit. 

For example, he said, the newspapers could have published the weather reports in a more attractive way to project Malaysia as a fun and sunny destination. 

“Instead, they highlighted stories about dengue, the haze and pregnant women being raped,” he said. 

Kerk Kim Hock (DAP – Kota Melaka) said the existence of vernacular schools did not hamper efforts towards national integration. 

“We have to accept that Malaysia is a plural society,” he said, adding that he was disappointed with a recent report of a school which had asked its students to wear baju kurung on Fridays although the principal later clarified that it was not compulsory. 

Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (Keadilan – Permatang Pauh) expressed doubts on the inflation rate issued by the authorities, saying it did not reflect the actual rising cost of products commonly used by the people. 

She said consumers were forced to face the gradual increase in prices of goods, citing the increase in petrol prices recently. 

“Malaysia is one of the first countries to increase the petrol price although the war in Iraq has not begun,” she said. 

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