Sunday, May 31, 2009

Is sports in Malaysia on the decline?

Shebby Singh, Football pundit
Datuk Dr. Ramlan Aziz, Director-General, National Sports Institute

It's all well and good to be proud of Nicol David but can we really lay claim to her? Did she become a world champion because of the system or despite it?

So, Shahidan Kassim withdrew from contesting for the presidency of the Olympic Council of Malaysia. Should politicians be involved in heading sports associations anyway?

National cyclists preferring to train with their own teams rather than with national coaches. Apparently, the methods used are "ketinggalan zaman".

Ah, if only the Minister could have made it to the programme.

Thank you to Randhir Singh and Rizal Hashim for very patiently answering my questions. But thanks most of all to Sleme for his insights into the world of cycling. M Insider may not publish your comments but I will. Just remember, if you want me to run in the Malakoff event, you'd better not be too nasty to me.

Next week: It's the economy, stupid.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Upcoming topics

I've been trying to do an episode on bloggers since the start of the season but keep being given the run-around by the "relevant" persons/agencies/gate-keepers.

Am also planning to do a topic on police powers but I feel that this would only work if the IGP himself agrees to come onto the show. So, we shall wait and see.

Anyway, upcoming topic is on the state of sports in Malaysia. What do you think? Going the wrong way down a one-way track? Suggestions for improvement?

To cane or not to cane?

Guests: Dr. Goh Chee Leong, Vice President and Dean of Faculty of Behavioural Science, HELP University College
Hashim Adnan, President of the National Union of the Teaching Profession

I hope Shakespeare is not too upset about my cavalier use of his oft-quoted phrase. I'm in the ntv7 studio, updating this blog, as the tape of this episode is being rolled.

We spoke to school principals and disciplinary teachers in preparation for this episode. Most of them support caning.

A science teacher and disclipinary teacher told us that pain sensors is proof that human beings are meant to be able to learn from physical punishment. What a fantastic soundbite that would have made! Sadly, he didn't want to be on tape. You may not agree with his stand, but he's been able to show results. He's managed to turn his school around from being a school with a reputation for ill-disciplined students to one where the number of applications far exceeds the number of places. There's been an improvement in exam results and less discipline problems among students. And he's been voted "Most Popular Teacher" several times.

One headmaster said he's never caned a student because he never saw the need for it but also said he was 100 percent behind corporal punishment.

Most of the students we spoke to said being caned didn't bother them. I don't know if it's boys wanting to be macho and not telling the whole truth. But male colleages who remember being caned, also said more or less te same thing. They treat the whole thing as a bit of a lark.

It was more of a challenge finding someone who still felt mad about being caned.

UNICEF was very helpful in the making of this episode by giving us a lot of useful leads. I'm not sure I agree with their stand entirely that corporal punisment is a form of violence.

Anyway, here's a question for you. Do you think they'll ever come a day where it'd be illegal for you to smack your child? And would you welcome that?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mat Rempits - a menace to society or misunderstood youth

Khairy Jamaluddin, Umno Youth chief and MP for Rembau
I wanted to start this episode with a short clip on Mat Rempits. Previous episodes have all been studio recordings but I wanted to try something different. Give the show a little bit of flavour. How difficult could producing a 2-minute clip be, I thought? I turned first to Haniza, a reporter who had previously worked on Edisi Siasat. She said wouldn't recommend it. "Too ganas now" she said. Her personal experience with Rempits wasn't a good one. Even though the cameraman was filming from a distance,the Rempits caught on and came for them. She and the cameraman jumped into their car and hightailed it, with the Rempits giving chase. Good thing the company cars aren't little 1.3cc hatchbacks. 

I tried another colleague, a studio director, who knows some Rempits personally. But no go. Too risky, he said. He wouldn't introduce us to them because he wouldn't be able to guarantee our safety.  

I asked the Siasat Mandarin reporters. They said they had also been planning to come up with an episode on Mat Rempits but have put it on hold for the time being, as it's too dangerous to film them. Guess I'll just stick to the studio for this episode. 

As for guests - who better to talk about Mat Rempits than Khairy Jamaluddin? And on the other side, the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation. I also wanted to get the police on board but sadly, the IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan was busy. He said to try the head of traffic police chief, who unfortunately, also declined on account of his busy schedule. 

Anyway, what do you think of Mat Rempits? I personally think they're a menace. But in our street interviews, we found some people who thought of them as just youths wanting to do a bit of racing and lacking a proper avenue for that. One lady even described them as "stylo"! Maybe that's how rempit-ing started out but things have taken a turn for the worse and more and more people are associating them with crime.