Saturday, August 15, 2009

EPL 2009/2010 Season

Finally can get rid of the football withdrawal syndrome.

This season will be extra special as I've joined a virtual league. It's an invitation from a colleague at work. 3 of us are in this league together with a few other friends of my colleague. It's going to be exciting.

I've also joined football tipping. This is my prediction for week 1's action.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My take on the policy reversion of Teaching Science and Mathematics in English

My first opinion which appeared in Malaysiakini. The title was changed to Back to the future for math and science

The Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (Pengajaran Dan Pembelajaran Sains Dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris) or PPSMI has been a hot topic in Malaysian politics in recent months. It ended with the Government announcing that the education policy, brainchild of former Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir some 6 years ago will be abolished within the next 3 years. From 2012 onwards, it will be 'back to the future', where the teaching of science and mathematics in primary schools will revert back to Bahasa Melayu for national schools and Chinese and Tamil in vernacular schools while Bahasa Melayu will be used in secondary schools.

It is difficult to gather whether this is what the majority of Malaysians really want. PPSMI has been strongly challenged by GAPENA (Gabungan Penulis Nasional) and Chinese Educationists since its commencement. The key justifications are the status of Bahasa Melayu as the national language, the ability of students from rural areas in taking up the challenge and the preservation of ethnic and cultural identities. There are also statistics to indicate that students from rural areas have been coping poorly with science and mathematics since the implementation of PPSMI.

Based on my understanding, the statistics definitely hold a lot of truth for smaller towns and kampungs where the command of English is generally poor. Students did badly because they are not able to understand the instructions or text written in English. As we are all aware, the standard of English in Malaysia has deteriorated over time. The introduction of PPSMI was done in a haste, without considering the steps to improve the level of English or to train teachers with higher capability in the language. It is also a well known fact that the teaching profession has become very unattractive in recent years that it is difficult to attract capable teachers into the education system. In fact, many teachers from the younger generation have very poor command of English themselves. It is no surprise that they were not able to deliver.

Back to the abolishment of PPSMI. Is the Government taking the right steps? Is this merely a tactic of a Government which is under immense pressure due to its weakening support base? It is debatable. But the fact is, most parents with better education background or those who are from more urbanised areas are likely to be disappointed. It feels like a step backwards. Their children could adapt quite easily to the change in medium of instruction. In fact learning science and mathematics has become easier as there are plenty of resources, be it printed material such as books or electronic material such as the Internet where they could take advantage of.

Those who are against PPSMI often cite the ability of countries such as Japan, China, Germany and France to be advanced in science and mathematics despite not learning them in English. However they missed the point entirely. The 4 countries above have ample of scientific and mathematical resources in their own languages. In fact, they are also major contributors to the development of science and mathematics.

In my opinion, it is better for Malaysian students to learn science and mathematics in English from the practical point of view as it will meet their future needs in this globalised era. However, it is difficult to implement it in the earlier years of primary schools as most students will be faced with the challenge of learning new languages. Hence it may be desired to teach science and mathematics in mother tongue from Standard 1 to Standard 3 or even up to Standard 6 and then switch to English later on. This will allow them the time to build up good foundation in English at the same time not compromising their ability to learn science and mathematics.

It will be interesting to see whether the Government will really revert to the old policy as 2012 is still more than 2 years away and that may be after the next general elections. Whatever it is, I hope that the interest of the future generations will be taken at heart. The Government should consult the views of those who are involved in education as they will have a better feel of the issue instead of letting emotions rule the day. Let us not change education policies at whim and without proper research and planning.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Glory Glory Man United!

Despite not playing well against Arsenal today, we've clinched our 18th title, equaling Liverpool's record. Finally found a response to this dated photo (1993) below.

Well done United! We've been great this season. The only blemish is the FA Cup where we were a bit unfortunate in the semi-final.

Next up - back to back UEFA Champions League. We'll have to play a lot better than today though.

Glory glory Man united,
Glory glory Man united,
Glory glory Man united,
As the reds go marching on on on!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sad Day in Perak

Whatever happened in Perak, I still hope that rule of law and constitution are being respected. 

However, what happened today shows that we are fast becoming a lawless state and it is sad that police were also part of it by invading the State Assembly. 

Arresting people for merely wearing black is soooo unreasonable. In a democratic country like Malaysia, don't we even have a right to express our disagreement or disapproval? 

Dear Sultan Azlan Shah, please let the people decide on who they want instead of letting all the power-crazy politicians inflict more and more pain to Perakians. Perak has been nearly 20 years of my life. I would like to see peace and stability returning. 

Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar forcibly dragged out of the Assembly by some"official" who later installed Ganesan as the "new" Speaker - which part of the law has such provisions? 

Hee Yit Fong - Victory? Wonder who will have the last laugh? The winner should be Perakians, not politicians

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


我一向来都比较喜欢小调(minor key)的歌曲。但是小调歌曲经常都被用来表达悲伤的情感。对我来说歌曲的旋律比歌词重要。




優客李林 - 認錯

周華健 - 不願一個人

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Photoshop Tutorial - How to make your photo more interesting

Yet another tutorial I've completed. This one is on how to make a photo more interesting.

The original photo

The finished product

Photoshop Tutorial - James Bond Logo

I'm really enjoying myself with these Photoshop tutorials. This one is a reproduction of the James Bond logo.

Photoshop Tutorial - Luminosity Effect

This luminosity effect is amazing. The tutorial could be found here.

Photoshop Tutorial - Comic Book Effect

As usual, during exam season I'll learn a lot of unrelated stuff, the latest is this Photoshop tutorial on transforming photos into comic book style.

Please click to view full image.

Second update...