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CIMB Classic dropping off, Japan in Asian swing

TOKYO — America’s PGA Tour yesterday announced its first annual tournament in Japan with a purse of nearly US$10 million (RM41.8 million), as it rejigs its Asian swing.

The new Zozo Championship effectively replaces the CIMB Classic in Malaysia which is dropping off the tour after
nine years.

It will offer a purse of US$9.75 million — a record for Japan — starting next October under a six-year deal, the
PGA said.

The new event, along with the CJ Cup in Korea and the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, will form a three-tournament swing in Asia for players from the world’s leading golf tour.

“Japan’s passion for golf is widely recognized and something our stars have experienced first-hand through various events held here and the support of standout PGA Tour players like champion Hideki Matsuyama,” said the Tour’s executive vice president Ty Votaw.

Golf is one of the Asian country’s most popular sports.

A Japanese golfer has competed in every PGA season since 1993, with two on the Tour’s roster for the
2018-19 season.

“Today’s announcement further strengthens our presence in Asia and certainly comes at an opportune time with golf set to follow its highly successful return to the Olympics in Rio when Tokyo hosts the 2020 games,” Votaw added. — AFP

Malaysia climbs to 22nd spot in World Talent Ranking

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia climbed six spots to 22nd place among 63 countries in the International Institute for Management Development’s (IMD) World Talent Ranking this year, sitting above richer nations like the UK, France and Japan.

The ranking is based on countries’ performance in three main categories — investment and development, appeal and readiness.

The three categories assess how countries perform in a wide range of areas, including education, apprenticeships, workplace training, language skills, cost of living, quality of life, remuneration and tax rates.

For investment and development, Malaysia ranked 9th for teacher-to-pupil ratio, 6th for apprenticeship and 8th for employee training.

It also fared well in terms of appeal. Under this category, the survey looked at criteria like cost of living, policies for attracting and retaining talent, brain drain, and quality of life.

Malaysia’s affordable living cost made it highly attractive, according to the survey, which ranked the country 10th in this aspect. It was also in the top 25 for talent retention. The report also described the country’s quality of life to be “very high”.

As for readiness, gradings were based on the skill levels of a country’s workforce.

Malaysia was 11th in terms of talent availability, 15th for international work experience and occupy the top 30 in average for criteria related to the country’s education level and overall talent competitiveness.

The report said Malaysia’s progress in the ranking is rooted in investments in education to develop its homegrown skilled workforce, in an addition to improved perceptions about the quality of the talent pool available in the country.

Malaysia, however, remained relatively weak for its performance in the Programmes for International Students Assessments or PIS.

The programme evaluates a student’s capabilities in maths, science and reading.

The Western countries consider the three subjects the building blocks for technological and economic advancement.

Malaysia ranked 41st among 63 countries.

Regional rivals Singapore maintained its position at the 13th spot, scoring well in all three main categories. But the expensive cost of living there has made it less attractive for drawing talent in.

The island republic has consistently made it to the lists of most expensive places to live in globally for several years now, mostly due to the exorbitant property market. It took 58th spot in this aspect.

Singapore was also ranked close to the bottom in terms of education funding, but that could be due to its already solid standing in the field. Its elite university, the National University of Singapore, is rated the best school in Asia.

In the report’s summary of the performance of South Asian nations, Singapore and Malaysia achieved the best placements in terms of talent competitiveness.

“Compared to last year, Singapore keeps the same position in the ranking and Malaysia moves up by six,” the report said.

Singapore continues to excel in appealing professionals from abroad to sustain their top-tier talent pool but lags behind in terms of public investments in education, it added.

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Children call for anti-bullying law to feel safe

KUALA LUMPUR ― Bullying has become a pandemic social disease in Malaysia that seven out of 10 children believe legislation is needed to protect them, a Unicef survey revealed.

In conjunction with World Children’s Day, the nationwide survey released yesterday involved 2,011 children under the age of 18.

The survey carried out by Unicef and social enterprise WOMEN:girls from April to September found these children had brushes with bullying during their lives ― whether as a victim, a perpetrator or a witness.

Three out of four said they have been bullying victims.

According to the Children4Change survey, 64 per cent of children admitted to bullying, whether verbally or physically.

The figure was broken down further and the children were asked if they have ever called someone else names, hit, kicked, pushed, threatened or been mean, 21 per cent said “Yes” and 43 per cent said “Maybe”.

The most common place where bullying occurred was at school, according to 83 per cent of victims.

The classroom was a hotbed of bullying, according to 54 per cent of victims and bystanders who witnessed bullying taking place.

The second most common place was over the internet, with 58 per cent children saying they have witnessed bullying through social media.

Most of the bullied children indicated that they would take some form of action to protect themselves, with just over half or 51 per cent saying they would report the incident to a teacher, followed by confiding in a friend or a parent.

Data showed it was more prevalent among the younger children, 69 per cent for those under 12 years old, dropping as they grow older, resulting in only 38 per cent of those above 15 years old.

The survey also showed that violence begets violence among those who witnessed bullying. One in three witnesses said they responded to the violence by turning on the bully, either by yelling or punching.

Bullying witnesses also said they feared they would be targeted next.

Two out of three children said they would feel more protected if there was a national anti-bullying law and anti-bullying education programmes, followed by an anti-bullying school policy.

Those polled among the 16 to 17 age group asked for a 24-hour free hotline.

Other ideas to curb bullying were for schools to install CCTVs, teach self-defence lessons, hold civic camps for bullies and have good counsellors who would listen without judging.

But one of the students polled said laws alone were insufficient if there was no human follow-through.

“Setting laws is not enough. They need to be seen to be put to use. Make sure that teachers and students alike treat everyone as proper human beings,” the anonymous student was quoted as saying in the survey.

Marianne Clark-Hattingh, the Unicef representative to Malaysia, said the survey results showed the width and breadth of the bullying culture, and highlighted the urgent need to arrest it.

“We tend to underestimate the impact of bullying on children and to belittle its effects. In doing so, we discourage children from speaking up, be they victim or bystander,” she said in a statement accompanying the survey results.

“This is dangerous as it makes children more vulnerable to violence and its consequences. It is essential that children feel safe to report cases, have confidence that appropriate action will be taken to address bullying, and support given to the victims.”

Clark-Hattingh said the authorities need to pay attention and act to encourage every child to speak up against bullying and enable them to be part of the solution.

Tahfiz students to receive certificates

KUALA LUMPUR ― Three secondary religious schools which followed the Tahfiz Integrated Curriculum (KBT) will receive tahfiz certificates from the Education Ministry next month.

Education Minister Maszlee Malik said in line with the government’s aspiration to empower Islamic education, the certificate for the 249 students would provide added value to those in lower and upper secondary levels to pursue
tertiary education.

Maszlee said the three secondary schools began the curriculum in 2014 to produce students who memorised 30 Sections of the al-Quran and to form human beings with a religious foundation that is sound, authoritative and principled in leadership.

“Until 2018, KBT has been implemented in 17 government-aided religious schools, 11 religious secondary schools and four full-boarding schools,” he said at a signing ceremony of the Notes of Cooperation on the Award of the Tahfiz Certificate between the Education Ministry and the Malaysian Islamic Development Department in the Parliament building on Monday.

Maszlee pointed out that tahfiz education was growing and receiving the attention of parents because of the public’s awareness of the importance of al-Quran education and the advantages gained by acquiring the title of Al-Hafiz. ― Bernama

PPSR, UPSR results out next week

KUALA LUMPUR ― The Primary School Assessment Report (PPSR) for Year Six pupils, including their academic achievement through the Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR), will be announced next week.

Education director-general Datuk Amin Senin said the pupils could get their UPSR results and the PPSR report at their respective schools from 10am on Nov 29, or through the short messaging service mySMS at 15888.

“The online service will be activated at 10am on that day until 6pm on Dec 8,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Relatives are allowed to take the PPSR documents if the pupils are unable to do so.

it themselves.”

Amin said the UPSR results and the Pentaksiran Alternatif Sekolah Rendah (PASR) 2018 report could also be obtained through the Education Ministry’s Board of Examination at Ip.moe.gov.my.

PPSR is a document encompassing the pupils’ activities, performance and progress in primary school, including classroom assessment, psychometric assessment, assessment on physical activity, sports and co-curriculum, and UPSR for mainstream students or PASR for students with special needs. ― Bernama

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Unesco: Malaysia’s progress on education for migrants slow

KUALA LUMPUR ― Malaysia’s progress in making education more inclusive for children of migrants and refugees is too slow, according to the 2019 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

The report, titled “Migration, Displacement and Education: Building Bridges Not Walls”, highlights the achievements and shortcomings of countries in ensuring the right of migrant and refugee children to benefit from quality education, a right that serves the interests of both learners and the communities they live in.

The report was published in conjunction with International Children’s Day yesterday.

The executive summary of the report emailed to Bernama states the right of these children to quality education, though increasingly recognised on paper, is challenged daily in classrooms and school yards and denied outright by a few governments.

It said that in Sabah, children of Filipino and Indonesian migrants are identified as orang asing on birth certificates and cannot attend public school.

The same goes to the Rohingya children in Malaysia who are denied access to education because of the protracted statelessness.

Manos Antoninis, director of the report, said: “Considerable changes are being made in countries from Chad and Uganda to Lebanon and Turkey to make education more inclusive for children, no matter their identification or residency status. It is time for Malaysia to do the same.”

While curricula can be adapted locally to embrace diversity, the report said, not all school heads are aware of the issues or motivated or equipped to lead the development of intercultural understanding in their schools.

It said in Malaysia, school leaders who were asked to implement an intercultural programme were hampered by lack of guidance from the government and little autonomy for adaptation.

Particular emphasis is made on the chronic education needs of refugee children with disabilities. Learning centre teachers in Malaysia observed that some families with limited means kept children with disabilities out of school in favour of sending their other siblings.

The report listed seven recommendations for the education of migrants and displaced people ― their rights be protected, they are included in the national education system, their education needs understood and planned, their histories represented in education accurately to challenge prejudices, teachers prepared to address diversity and hardship, their potential harnessed, and their education supported through humanitarian and development aid.

The executive summary of the report states that migration and displacement are two global challenges that interact with education in many ways. Both affect those who move, those who stay and those who host immigrants, refugees or other displaced populations.

Internal migration affects mainly many rapidly urbanising middle income countries, such as China, where one in three rural children are left behind. International migration affects mainly high income countries where immigrants make up at least 15 per cent of the student population in half of schools.

In recent years, all around the world, governments have taken increasingly bold steps to assume education responsibilities for migrants and refugees that used to exist only in the realm of international agreements.

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Cops after man who harassed beer promoter

KUALA LUMPUR — The police have confirmed that they are looking for a man who was shown harassing a beer promoter along racial and religious lines in a hypermarket this week.

Ampang Jaya district police chief Asst Comm Hamzah Alias told Malay Mail an investigation is ongoing.

“We are trying to locate the individual involved. Investigations are being carried out under Section 509 of the Penal Code,” he said.

Section 509 concerns offences where words or gestures are used with the intention to insult the modesty of a person.

The offence carries a maximum five-year prison sentence, or a fine, or both upon conviction.

This comes as Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng lodged a report earlier yesterday, urging the police to take stern action against the man.

Lim said finding the culprit would put an end to the racial tension that stemmed from the incident.

The 45-second video, first posted on Facebook by a user under the name of “Edi Rejang”, has since gone viral.

In the clip, a man, presumably Edi himself, was heard aggressively asking a woman beer promoter about her race, and if she was offering samples of the alcoholic beverage to everyone in the supermarket.

Despite the confrontational attitude, the woman calmly explained that she is only offering the beer samples to non-Muslims in the non-halal section. Her demeanour and response have since been praised by many people.

The video and profile of the man was then closed to the public, though not before it was saved and replicated elsewhere by other social media users, attracting thousands of comments and views.

After lodging his report at the Ampang Jaya police station, Lim told reporters he wanted the authorities to “eradicate racial tension in the country”, which he claimed to be escalating after the video went viral.

“My intention is to ask the authorities from various agencies, including the Royal Malaysia Police, to come up with the solution and eradicate racial tension in the country as well as promote harmony in a multiracial society,” he said.

“I don’t want anyone to be penalised based on their gender and race.

“We live in a democratic country and should respect each other and live peacefully.”

Taman Segambut DAP vice-chairman Patrick Hoo, who was also present, said the party has attempted to contact the beer promoter through her Facebook account, but has yet to receive any response.

The incident reportedly took place at the Giant outlet in Ampang Point here on Monday.

Lawyer asks why senior judge skipped for promotion

KUALA LUMPUR ― The prime minister should help ensure a merit-based judiciary in light of the alleged omission of a senior judge in next week’s promotion of judges to the Federal Court, lawyer Arun Kasi said yesterday.

In a letter to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Arun highlighted that Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer is the second most senior judge in the Court of Appeal and is therefore a suitable candidate to be elevated to the highest court.

“Four new Federal Court judges will swear in on Monday, Nov 26,” said the lawyer in his letter that was sighted by Malay Mail.

“I was shocked that Justice Hamid Sultan (judge of Court of Appeal) had been deliberately left out in the elevation to the Federal Court, despite that he is the second senior for elevation.

“In fact, there is no judge in the current judiciary who can match his qualifications, which include the fact that he holds a PhD in law, has written more than 10 books and 1,000 judgments.”

In the two-page letter, Arun highlighted Hamid Sultan’s other roles, such as being an honorary fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute, an adjunct professor at the International Islamic University Malaysia and the Multimedia University, and honorary visiting professor of Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University in India.

He said Hamid Sultan’s judgments that upheld the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in several cases such as Nik Noorhafizi, Nik Nazmi and Teoh Meng Kee had paved the way for the new government under Pakatan Harapan.

“His juniors holding single law degree bypassing him is an insult to meritocracy in judicial appointments. This is not expected in new Malaysia,” he added in the letter.

Arun claimed the non-promotion of Hamid Sultan creates the perception that he was being “punished possibly” for revealing alleged interference with the judiciary in the M. Indira Gandhi case and for asking for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to clean up the judiciary.

“I trust that YAB Tun will take note of the above and will do the needful to give us a meritocracy judiciary,” he concluded in the letter.

On Aug 16 during the International Malaysia Law Conference, Hamid Sultan had alleged that he was reprimanded by a top judge and subsequently not being assigned to hear public interest or constitutional cases due to his dissenting judgment in Indira’s case.

In Malaysia, suitable candidates as judges for the High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court are selected by the Judicial Appointments Commission, which are then passed on to the prime minister for his consideration.

Najib predicts lower EPF, unit trust dividends

KUALA LUMPUR ― Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak claimed that state-operated funds such as the Employees Provident Funds (EPF), Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB), Tabung Haji and the Armed Forces Fund (LTAT) will pay lower dividends this year.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Najib attributed this to the loss of investor confidence in Malaysia after GE14.

“I’ve observed that most of the unit trust prices managed by various private financial institutions and the government have dropped. Some at 5 per cent and others as much as 25 per cent compared with the start of this year,” he said.

Najib claimed it was an indication that ASB, EPF, LTAT, and Tabung Haji would be paying lesser dividends this year.

He said he was convinced that EPF’s dividends would be lower than the 6.9 per cent rate paid out last year, which was the highest in the past 20 years.

In the same Facebook post, Najib posted a chart which depicted the net inflow of foreign capital into Bursa Malaysia between January and April.

He said the trend reversed beginning of May.

“In total, RM14.2 billion in foreign investment had been divested since May,” he said, adding that the FBM KLCI dropped by as much as 200 points compared with pre-GE14.

Najib expressed concern that government-linked companies (GLCs) like Khazanah Nasional Berhad, EPF, LTAT, PNB and Tabung Haji have suffered losses.

He said this was worrying because many of the largest shareholders of these GLCs were state investment funds.

Najib said the fall in Telekom Malaysia share prices caused Khazanah to lose RM3.9 billion, EPF RM2.5 billion, and ASB RM1.8 billion compared with pre-GE14 prices.

“The price of fuel and the cost of living have not gone down, but now share prices and the people’s savings are being reduced instead?” he questioned.

‘State govt proposed bridge different from Dr M’s’

JOHOR BARU — The state government’s plan to build a new bridge to Singapore is separate from initiatives to revive Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s proposed replacement of the ageing Causeway.

Abdul Hakim Ab Rahman, press secretary to Menteri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian, told Malay Mail the state’s proposed bridge was aimed at easing traffic congestion on the two existing crossings.

“The state government’s planned third crossing is to address the issue of traffic congestion at both the Causeway in Johor Baru and the Second Link in Tanjung Kupang,” he said.

“Both land crossings have seen a marked increase in vehicle traffic over the years and the state government’s proposal for a third bridge is a long-term solution to manage the issue.”

Abdul Hakim said he had been authorised by Osman to speak to the press and clarify questions regarding the proposed project.

Confusion has reigned over the next Johor-Singapore link after talk emerged that Dr Mahathir would finally get his “crooked bridge” to replace the 95-year-old Causeway.

He had suggested a curved bridge to be built on the Malaysian side of the Causeway shortly before he left office in 2003. It was rejected by then Singapore prime minister Goh Chok Tong.

Last month, Osman reportedly said the new link could be “crooked” or combined with the Causeway, adding that the state government was keen to link Pengerang on Johor’s south-east with Singapore’s Pulau Ubin.

Several other locations were also suggested, including Pasir Gudang and Pontian.

Abdul Hakim said the third bridge was only at the planning stage and it would take two to three years before construction can begin.

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