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theSun | WEDNESDAY AUGUST 26 2009 TELLING IT AS IT IS

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Malaysia’s moderate image threatened
Bahasa Malaysia KARTIKA Sari Dewi Shukarno is now an international
media personality, not just because of her striking
name, but because she wants to be caned. She did
decided to postpone her caning to after Ramadan. It
was not a reprieve for her but it was for the authorities
who are responsible for the state of affairs to have
It is
can hold its own because
of the
not know at the time of her arrest two years ago for
drinking beer at a nightclub in Pahang that she would
be catapulted to such international fame.
reached this far and which now threaten the image of
Malaysia as “a moderate Muslim country” where Islam
Hadhari (civilisational Islam) rules.
MANY of us are still unaware of deficiency when used in science many She attracted media attention last month when If Kartika was striking back against the syariah
the dual functions of education in and technology. This is misguided stolen she was ordered to receive six strokes of the rotan by administrators for making public her indiscretion she
this country. Going to school or and must be corrected. If we the Syariah High Court in Kuantan, making her the first could not have done it in a better way than by refusing
university not only enables young continue to translate all English
marches woman in Malaysia to be handed down that punish- to appeal. The media glare that she has attracted is
Malaysians to acquire knowledge terms accurately and system- that it is ment. She was also fined RM5,000 which she paid but now more focused on the country’s lawmakers, who
but also allows them to develop atically and use them constantly, now no refused to appeal against the caning. Had she appealed through being inattentive, have allowed such laws to
racial goodwill, a qualification for they will subconsciously become longer she would probably have been spared the lashes and be enacted without much scrutiny and debate. It is
nation-building. This is especially acceptable to everyone, just as she would have slipped back into her mundane exist- as if those who are in favour of those laws that had
correct ence as a model, a wife and a mother and the world caused much anguish to Kartika had stolen a march on
so if they go to the same school English.
or university with the national I have always believed that
to say would not know of her. Instead the Muslim woman them. It is because of the many stolen marches that it
language as the medium of in- the national language is capable that the said she had repented and wanted to be punished is now no longer correct to say that the various state
struction. of becoming a language of various for drinking alcohol which is prohibited by Islam. She constitutions are truly secular.
Almost certainly we do not knowledge if properly ex- state requested that the punishment be meted out in public The postponement should provide the authorities
appreciate this because we ecuted. Like the evolution of so that she would be an example to others. Since then time to deal with the situation, without sacrificing too
continue to live in a conducive English, Malay will be able to
consti- she has been under the glare of local and international much of the moderate standing that Malaysia had been
environment and thus take enrich itself and become useful tutions media where some commentators expressed surprise building on over the years, should Kartika maintain her
peace for granted. We think it is if the right approach is employed. are truly that it was happening in “moderate Malaysia”. refusal to appeal. For the future everyone should be
God-given and never think about Malaysians will be united and secular. On Monday, while being transported to Kajang Prison vigilant against attempts to enact laws that can be a
how it came into being in the first have a language to call their where she was to be caned, the religious authorities source of inconvenience to all Malaysians.
place. own and continue to move for-
But to the well-informed, they ward in this globalised world with
will acknowledge the wisdom English as their second language.
of past leaders who decided on We should therefore work
Bahasa Malaysia as the national diligently towards making
language to ensure that future the populace capable of
generations are able to progress speaking and writing both in
and live in harmony, even though good Bahasa Malaysia and
most writers mention the English. Being proficient in both
special position of the national will be an asset to the country.
language as inferior to English in
this globalised world.
One major complaint of Sharina Azirah Ismail
the language is its perceived Shah Alam

Scarred by train
seat infection
ON June 26, I took the train to The itchiness and swelling per-
office from the Wangsa Maju LRT sisted for another two days after
station. The moment my thighs which I consulted a skin specialist
touched the seat, they began to at a private hospital.
itch. The specialist took a swab
When the itch persisted, I for tests and prescribed an oint-
reached out to scratch. In the ment.
process, my hand came in con- After a week, the itchiness
tact with the seat and a few small and swelling were gone, but I was
bumps on my thighs. scarred. The lab report showed nil
I thought I was bitten by for fungus growth but could not
something as the itchiness got identify the cause of the itch and
more serious. I finally stood up swelling.
and tried wiping my thigh with I related the incident to a friend
tissue. I glanced at the seat and and to my shock, she said she had
saw a thin line of black stuff on a similar experience.
the lining of the seats. Is RapidKL doing enough to
The next day, I woke up to find maintain the cleanliness of its
the back of my thighs red, swollen coaches?
and itchy.
My doctor prescribed an oint- Scarred
ment and medication for allergy. Kuala Lumpur

Make room for young
physicians
MONEY is the main factor for of history, past reputation and
switching jobs in any profession. numbers, not quality.
It is a fact that once a medical After spending a lot of money
student completes his/her train- to get the coveted qualification,
ing, individualism takes over. The it is logical to reclaim the money
target is to pass the MBBS exams, by working there. Unfortunately,
proceed to postgraduate studies due to the financial stability and
and be a clinical consultant. There being in a system which recog-
is no thought of serving the na- nises one’s talent; the thought of
tion. contributing to the country is lost.
One reason for the brain drain In fact, applying for PR or even
in the medical-health sector is citizenship comes to mind.
the lack of post graduate op- It is the thick colonial thinking
portunities in Malaysia. A rigid we have which encourages the
hierarchical system hinders the brain drain. This is exacerbated by
ambitious from quickly climbing the Health Ministry’s rigid policy to
up the career ladder. not recognise talent. There should
Opportunities are denied even be a paradigm shift to change this
more with the increasing number mindset and formulate a thorough
of doctors that we produce each plan to keep the talent pool in the
year. What happens is these doc- country.
tors resort to overseas collegiate We’ve lost a lot of our talent to
programmes which are designed Singapore; look at their medical
to be “people-friendly” – meaning health system which has many
anybody from anywhere can take Malaysian doctors.
the exams. One should realise
that these programmes are in- Dr Mafeitzeral Mamat
ternationally recognised because Shah Alam