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Vol II: The Mis-Adventure Continues
Funny stories, witty encounters and serious reflections from Malaysia as experienced by a vegetarian struggling to understand the world.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

The week in review

It was a hectic week for me. I spent almost the whole week in Singapore with very, very limited access to the internet. But I had access to CNN, BBC, etc instead.

This trip to Singapore, I managed to have 3 meals at The Soup Spoon. Their soup is still just as wonderful! A friend told me that just last month, one of the employee at the outlet in Raffles City was stabbed to death!

News on CNN, BBC, etc was non other than the Virginia Tech shooting incident. I don't know about the rest, but some how, I just feel like these 'news updates' are getting out of hand. Almost every hour or so, you get some new updates along with some old and recycled news. I hear almost the same thing every morning when I wake up.

I strongly believe that the next lunatic planning to do something similar will definitely want to die in glory by topping the 33 deaths. I mean, there's going to be some sicko out there who wants to seek glory this way. And news channel like BBC and CNN is only helping these sicko get their 'spotlight'. The Virginia Tech shooting gave the killer more than 1 week of 'coverage'. I'm sure many lunatics will want that.

But I realised something else from this... These lunatics usually fit a certain kind of profile. Perhaps they were bullied, sexually abused and/ or they hold a strong grudge against society - be it the rich, the powerful, etc... And they will rant and ramble about the so-called 'injustice' and how the 'bad' should be punished.

My question is... If I know someone who fits such profile, do I report to police? I know of someone who still harps on incidents back in school that happened almost 15 years ago. This guy has even imagined horrific deaths to people who had 'brushed him aside'. I still keep some evidence of his ramblings and psychotic imaginations. Do I need to afraid of such person?

This week, the teachers in Malaysia are in the news again. This issue was already raised a few months back but somehow, someone decided to bring this up again. According to a circular, teachers are only allowed to give tuition classes (part time job) up to 4 hours a week. Latest excuse given is this is done for the teacher's health. It is now claimed that a typical teacher works up to 9.5 hours a week.

Really?! And all this time, people always tell me my wife have it easy because she's a school teacher. They always tell me that being a teacher means working for only half a day.

So which is which now?

If you want to know, I will tell you. A teacher works a full day, even though she's only physically in school for half a day. The other half of the day can sometimes be spent attending seminars, marking school books, preparing exam papers, completing daily activity reports, planning for the week ahead, etc...

If you must also know, teachers do not have any official 'leave'. The only holiday they get is during the semester breaks. Even then, some may have to attend seminars purposely held during these semester breaks - this way, the teachers will not miss any school days. During the short semester breaks, some schools actually hold extra classes and outings. Once again, teachers end up with no break.

For most of us, we still have Saturdays and Sundays off. But for my wife who is a school teacher in a primary school, she sometimes have to spend half a Saturday in school.

Before I have met my wife, I have always thought that a teacher working with the government have it easy. Now I realise they're not getting a good deal after all. Just like the policemen in the country, teachers here are severely underpaid.

Why do teachers still want to work in such conditions then? Like my wife, many teachers look forward to seeing their students excel and be successful in life. They get a 'kick' when they know their students have turned out into someone useful. This is what 'powers' the teacher everyday not money - although there are a few bad apples who focus on tuition rather than school duties.

So what can a caring and concerned teacher do when parents of students call the teacher and ask them to give extra classes for their child outside of school hours? Accept the first 4 and turn the rest away because of some ill-thought out policy someone up there made?

Sometimes, I think the people above making such policies don't understand the situation. Maybe it is because they are way on top there, butt glued to the chair, so well-fed with nothing better to do than waive a keris around and so well taken care that they forget about the people below.
(Note: The fella wielding the keris is non other than current Education Minister Hishamuddin Hussein - So much for education in Malaysia.)

If you want to truly help the people, increase the pay of civil servants. Increase the pay of our heroes - the policemen, the soldiers, the customs officers, etc... Reward the people accordingly. The existing pay system is severely outdated! And there is definitely NO need to increase politician's pay like what is done in Singapore. :)

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Please leave your comments. There are 5 comment(s).

On 4/23/2007 12:08:00 PM Blogger Dean Arif said:
Wahlao... I was thinking about the VT massacre too, and the... hmmm... better not mention it here... We don't need another incident here...
On 4/24/2007 11:54:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:
scary, eh... to think we know someone who fits the psycho personality profile as well...

anyway, how have you been lately? :)
On 4/26/2007 04:11:00 PM Blogger Taiko said:
Well said, Adrian! The civil servants are the real servant of the people as they work for us while the ministers only talk.
On 4/26/2007 04:58:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
i think this is our biggest problem... civil servants. at the moment, most have no motivation to work... worker super hard or super lazy, your increment is the same. is it any wonder why we have this joke about "goverment service being slow like turtle"?

they should adopt a KPI approach. may take a long time before it gets implemented everywhere, but its a good start. immigration dept taking a step forward. now 2 hours to get my passport. :)

but passing the KLIA autogate is another thing. just got back from Singapore last week... Suddenly i realise so few 'autogate' lanes and so many premier lanes. what the heck is a premier lane anyway?!? can i get a premier passport?!? it took my 30mins to get thru immigration that night... :(
On 4/28/2007 10:57:00 AM Blogger Phenom said:
If I posted a comment on SG politicians, I'd probably have my PR revoked, get deported and my CPF confiscated faster than you can say Mississippi...
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