Education is the utmost priority

From the days of our forefathers’ decades ago, obtaining formal education is a luxury. Not many have the financial status or the opportunity to study in a school. If lucky, one may have graduated from the primary school.

Hence, when I was still a kid, all the adults that I met used to advise me to study hard in school, get enrolled in the university and become a highly educated person. I am sure all of us face that “lecture” by the elders. For closer families like our parents, sometimes we get a beating for not scoring good results.

These days, finishing studies at least in primary and secondary schools is a must. Although graduating from colleges and universities are common as well, but there are still a number that doesn’t take that option.

Nevertheless, we are now more aware of the importance of education. We also understand that education doesn’t only mean finishing schools or graduating from universities. It happens throughout our lives and every second of the life that we are living in.

From the day that we were born, we have started to learn already. As an infant, we learn by observing the people around. We learn how to walk, talk, eat and subsequently we learn how to read and write in schools.

In schools, learning doesn’t only happen in the classrooms. Out of the classes, students learns how to socialize, they learn about leadership in the school’s organizations, they learn about sports and fitness in the field and many more.

Nobody can ever deny that education is definitely important and in every family, education is the utmost priority.

Unfortunately, the Penang State Government might be thinking otherwise or they might have a different perspective on priorities.

Why would I say so? Few weeks back, we have notice the uproar from the Chinese community over the Penang State Government’s decision to acquire part of Penang Chinese Girls’ High School (PCGHS) land to make way for the expansion of the road.

I have always believed that if there is any option, education must not be forsaken for other purposes which includes its buildings and infrastructures.

And there are options indeed for this case. According to a former state EXCO, in the proposal of the Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) led by Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon then, there was an elevated highway instead of taking up the land of the school for road expansion. Probably the DAP was making its stand clear, after all, they objected the PORR back then.

This has also portrayed the hypocrisy that we can see. The DAP-led state government has always been so proud of their advocacy and contribution to the education. Press conferences and statements were issued on how much financial contribution that they have given to the school. It is an irony to me that if so much money were given to a school, but when the school starts losing lands; what would they use the money for?

YB Chow Kon Yeow has explained that the issue happens due to PCGHS’ plans to expand the school’s building. Therefore, the school have to adhere to the land setback regulation.

If they are so rigid on local regulations, then the state government will have to a lot to explain on their practices on other matters as I see it as double standard.

We have heard that the state government has been so flexible on housing development regulations. Different housing development projects are implemented with different regulations? Certain housing developers were waived from certain criteria or given special privileges in their projects?

It seems like housing development regulations can be amended from time to time to suit the “needs”. And the definition of “needs” might be different between Penangites and the state government. Are we getting what we need in terms of housing or any specific group is benefiting the needs?

If the state government can be flexible towards housing regulations, why not on land setback regulations especially when it is related to the education land?

If not from the strong pressure by the community, the school land might have already been acquired for road expansion. After this episode, we can see what the priorities in the state administration are. As to what it is, you judge it for yourself.

All Schools Must Be Maintained

For the past one month, there has been calls by various groups of people, including politicians, academicians, and even the grassroots to implement a single stream education system for the sake of unity in Malaysia. In fact, it is not something new and has been advocated on and off since decades ago.

Of the Concerns

By nature, the Chinese and Indian Malaysians are usually the ones that advocate maintaining the vernacular schools due to several obvious reasons. Throughout the years of reading articles and listening to the people; I noticed that there are two major concerns of the Chinese regarding the matter of the education system. The first is the fear of losing the mother tongue and vernacular schools are one of the main educational institutions that teach Mandarin. The second is the responsibility to preserve Chinese culture in schools including the name and origin of the schools. Of course there are also other concerns such as the ownership of the school, the management of the school, funding, and examinations.

Of the Unity

In a nation with different ethnics, “Understanding” is needed to achieve unity with different cultural backgrounds. To attain “understanding” among the people, I believe there are two key factors that we need to look at: language and communication. Most of the time, people argue or fight with each other is due to misunderstanding; and avoid it, we need to make people understand each other through communication. To have an effective communication, the basic thing that is needed is to speak the same language.

The Education Blueprint is for Vernacular Schools and Unity

In the latest Malaysian Education Blueprint for the year 2013 until 2025, it is obviously written that vernacular schools will be maintained and implemented. In achieving unity, the Education Ministry plans to ensure that the education system provides all students with the opportunity to interact with individuals from a range of socio-economic, religious, and ethnic background as well as geographical locations. This is to make the young people to learn to understand, accept and embrace differences. The measures to achieve the goal includes raising the Bahasa Malaysia proficiency; scaling up the RIMUP programme to encourage intergroup friendships through co-curricular activities; introducing a compulsory community service component; and revising Moral and Islamic education elements.

The current situation of schools

Although there are one major race enrolling in each school, however there are also other races who are studying in each type. For instance, in the SK schools, there are students from all ethnics in the nation. In the SJK (C) schools, although the communication language is in Mandarin, however there are still Malays and Indians children enrolling into it.

According to the 2011 Malaysia Education Statistics; in SK schools, there are 94% of Bumiputera students, 1% of Chinese students, 3% of Indian students while the remaining are from other ethnics. Meanwhile in the SJK (C) schools; there are 9% of Bumiputera students, 88% of Chinese students, 2% Indian students and 1% from other ethnics.

To put it short, it means that the Government allows any Malaysian to enrol in any type of school as they wish to. There are no barriers for anyone to enrol in the type of school that they wanted.

Why the differences?

The differences between a national school (SK) and a national-type school (SJK) is perhaps the language classes, medium of language used in teaching, the management, and the name of the schools.

I did not do any professional survey on the reason why parents enrol their kids to the respective schools; but parents generally consider the quality of teaching, languages that are taught in the school and also the medium of language when it comes to choosing the best for their sons and daughters.

What if?

At the very base, what if all schools will be maintained, no matter a national school, a Chinese-based school or an Indian-based school? What if the only amendment is the syllabus of the education?

What if Bahasa Malaysia and English language are maintained as the compulsory subject in every school while the students are compulsory to choose Chinese, Tamil or any mother tongue as the secondary language? By doing this, every Malaysian has the right to learn and educate in their mother tongue.

What if all medium of teaching used in every school is the same language? Certain people may worry that the children may not be able to cope with lessons not taught in their mother tongue. But our Malay and Indian friends have proven otherwise when they studied in a Chinese-based school. Some even excel in it.

By then, I believe all parents will only have to choose a school for their children to enrol in based on the quality of teaching and the geographical location.

Maybe it is the way that the suggestions were portrayed by some people has created a perception of closing down certain schools. I don’t know.

Nevertheless, no matter what suggestions that we may have for now, whatever is tabled in the Malaysia Education Blueprint must be continued until the end of its term before making any review. One of the weaknesses of the implementation of Malaysia’s public policies is that the policies usually changes with the change of the Minister. Let the education policy be implemented first, and then only analyse the results of the Blueprint for future considerations.

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 9th October 2015.




Saudara-saudari sekalian,

Pembangunan belia dan anak-anak muda Malaysia merupakan salah satu daripada tiga teras utama di dalam manifesto saya untuk Parlimen Belia.

Pembangunan Belia


Antara langkah-langkah saya ke arah teras tersebut adalah:

– Pembangunan Belia Positif merupakan sejenis konsep pembangunan belia yang baru. Konsep ini adalah satu pendekatan yang bermatlamat untuk memahami belia secara mendalam, mendidik dan membangunkan belia secara proaktif.
– Usaha untuk memajukan dan membangunkan pendekatan Pembangunan Belia Positif ini akan diperkenalkan kepada pihak-pihak yang tertentu untuk bekerjasama agar pembangunan belia dapat dilaksanakan dengan sempurna.

– Usaha-usaha akan diambil untuk memperkenalkan bantuan dan peluang ekonomi yang dilaksanakan oleh Kerajaan kepada belia.
– Membentuk satu rangkaian keusahawanan agar usahawan-usahawan belia dapat mendapatkan maklumat, latihan, dan bantuan yang diperlukan dari segi kerajaan ataupun swasta.

– Pembangunan seseorang belia tidak dapat dilaksanakan hanya dalam program sepanjang beberapa hari atau minggu sahaja. Usaha membangunkan belia merupakan suatu usaha yang memakan jangka masa yang panjang.
– Oleh itu, sesebuah institusi harus diwujudkan hanya untuk program-program pembangunan belia. Satu program jangka masa panjang dan sesebuah pusat yang tetap mesti diwujudkan untuk proses pembangunan belia yang efektif.
– Sehubungan dengan itu, ia adalah matlamat saya untuk mendapatkan kerjasama kolektif di antara pemimpin-pemimpin belia, pihak kerajaan dan pihak swasta untuk mewujudkan Institusi Pembangunan Belia ini.

– Untuk memerkasakan belia dan memberikan keupayaan kepada belia untuk melibatkan diri dalam pembangunan masyarakat, “belia yang sebenarnya” mesti diberikan peluang penyertaan di dalam negara kita.
– Perjuangan untuk menurunkan had umur belia kepada 35 tahun secara berperingkat harus diadakan dari Parlimen Belia, Pertubuhan Belia dan juga Kerajaan. Peluang dan pengalaman untuk memimpin mestilah diberikan untuk anak-anak muda yang berumur kurang daripada 35 tahun agar pembangunan belia yang efektif dapat dilaksanakan.

Sokongan saudara-saudari sekalian untuk saya adalah amat diperlukan untuk merealisasikan perancangan-perancangan yang seperti saya impikan demi pembangunan belia dan anak-anak muda di negara kita.

Pengundian untuk Parlimen Belia secara online akan bermula pada 22hb hingga 31hb Oktober 2014.

Dengan ikhlas hati, saya ingin memohon sokongan saudara-saudari sekalian untuk mengundi saya OOI ZHI YI – PP018 sebagai Ahli Parlimen Belia.

Sekian, terima kasih.

Calon Ahli Parlimen Belia Pulau Pinang
Twitter: @zhiyi
Instagram: @ooizhiyi


Manifesto Kita Bersama

Salam sejahtera, rakan-rakan belia,

Belia Kita, belia Malaysia telah menjadi lebih kuat lagi, lebih berupaya sejak belia-belia yang terdahulu;

Ini merupakan jasa YB Khairy Jamaluddin dengan pasukannya di dalam Kementerian Belia dan Sukan. Idea Parlimen Belia dan pelaksanaannya telah mencapai suatu peristiwa, satu tahap di mana ia adalah berbaloi untuk anak-anak muda di seluruh negara untuk menyambut pencapaiannya.

Akan tetapi, sebesar mana kekuatan dan keupayaan diberikan kepada kita; sebagai Belia, kita tidak haruslah menyalahgunakan kekuatan tersebut. Kita mestilah menggunakan kekuatan tersebut demi manfaat dan kebaikan kepada komuniti belia di Malaysia.

Apabila Parlimen Belia bergerak dan dilaksanakan, ia memerlukan satu pasukan dan kerjasama yang kuat yang mewakili suara hati anak muda. Seseorang wakil yang boleh membawa isu-isu belia ke peringkat yang lebih tinggi. Seseorang wakil yang boleh menggerakkan dan merapatkan perhubungan di dalam Parlimen Belia dan seterusnya menguatkan organisasi tersebut sebagai suatu platform untuk mendidik, membangun dan mengilhamkan anak-anak muda.

Dengan rasa rendah hati, saya yakin yang saya mempunyai persefahaman di dalam komuniti belia ini, idea-idea bernas, dan semangat yang mendalam untuk membangunkan komuniti belia ini sebagai seorang wakil; jika dipilih.

Di dalam artikel-artikel dan infografik yang akan diterbitkan dalam sosial media saya sepanjang tempoh kempen, saya akan terangkan tiga teras utama dan lima tumpuan utama dalam manifesto saya sebagai calon ahli Parlimen Belia.

Tiga Teras Utama

  • Perpaduan Malaysia
  • Memperupayakan Belia
  • Pembangunan Belia

Lima Tumpuan Utama

  • Kos Sara Hidup yang Tinggi
  • Perumahan dan Kehidupan Bandar
  • Pendidikan
  • Pengangkutan dan Infrastruktur
  • Kemampanan Alam Sekitar

Tiga Teras Utama tersebut adalah tindakan-tindakan praktikal yang akan dicadangkan dan dilaksanakan secara kerjasama dengan wakil-wakil Parlimen Belia yang akan dipilih, dan juga bersama belia yang bersemangat dalam program-program pembangunan belia.

Manakala, Lima Tumpuan Utama merupakan suara hati dan isu-isu yang berkaitan dengan belia yang akan saya sampaikan kepada pihak kerajaan melalui Parlimen Belia.

Parlimen Belia bukanlah mengenai atau menjadi satu fokus kepada mana-mana satu individu, ia haruslah menjadi satu kerjasama di antara wakil-wakil yang dipilih bersama dengan setiap orang anak muda di negara kita. Dan anak-anak muda itu adalah KITA, BERSAMA!

Yang benar,

Ooi Zhi Yi


Manifesto Kita Bersama

Dear You(th),

Our Youth, Malaysian Youth is stronger than ever, empowered than ever;

Thanks to the leadership of YB Khairy Jamaluddin and his team in the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The Youth Parliament idea and its implementation have achieved a milestone, a point for all Malaysian youth to celebrate our empowerment.

But as much as the power is given to us, youth, must not misuse the power. We must use the power for the benefit and the betterment for our youth community.

As the Youth Parliament moves forward and commence, it will need a team of collaborative and to represent the voice of the youth community. A representative who can bring the concerns of the youth up to the next level. A representative who can mobilize everyone connected to the Youth Parliament and strengthen the organization and to utilize the platform as a means for educating, developing and inspiring youth.

I am confident that I have the understanding of the youth community, the ideas and the deep passion to develop the youth community that qualifies me as one of the representative.

In my articles and inforgraphics that follows up through the campaigning period, I will explain the three pillars and five concerns of my candidacy for the Member of Youth Parliament.

Three Key Pillars

  • Malaysian Unity
  • Youth Empowerment
  • Youth Development

Five Key Concerns

  • High Cost of Living
  • Housing & Urban Living
  • Education
  • Transport & Infrastructure
  • Environment Sustainability

The Three Key Pillars are the practical action steps that I will propose and take collaboratively with fellow representatives together with a team of passionate Malaysian youth.

Meanwhile, the Five Key Concerns are voices and issues concerning the youth that I will highlight to the Government through the advocacy campaigns.

The Youth Parliament has never been about any particular individual, it should be a collaboration of the representatives and also every single youth in the country working together. And it is WE, TOGETHER.

Yours sincerely,

Ooi Zhi Yi