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Reviving Spirit Of Appreciation Of Rukun Negara



PUTRAJAYA, Sept 16  — In the past, as Merdeka Day approached, schoolchildren were required to bring along with them to school coconut leaf sticks and glue, recalled Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique.

The National Unity Minister said the pupils will draw the National Flag, color it with crayons and stick it to a coconut leaf stick.

In those days, there was no such thing as buying a ready-made flag as can be done now, said Halimah in relating her days as a teacher at Sekolah Kebangsaan Assunta Convent in Kuantan before she ventured into politics.

She also said that the events of Merdeka Day, now referred to as National Day, will include singing the Negaraku national anthem and reading out the Rukun Negara pledge in class.

Making the national flag is a learning process that enables the pupils to understand the meaning of the red and white stripes, the blue color and the yellow crescent moon and star on the flag, the Jalur Gemilang, she said.

“Although some people may see it as just drawing a flag, the pupils had a very high appreciation of the Rukun Negara principles and they were visibly excited,” she said.

Convinced that the key to unity is through appreciation of the Rukun Negara, Halimah is determined to revive the spirit and appreciation of the five principles to the state it was in the past.

“Like how our predecessors used to say … back to the original. So, we have to look back at the spirit that prevailed in the past and how to revive that.

“This is so that the Rukun Negara does not remain just on the back covers of books, not merely as a decoration but something that is put into practice. There must be an appreciation for it to be put into practice,” she said in an interview for a Bernama special documentary entitled ‘Rukun Negara: A Nation United’, here.

The two-episode documentary was recorded by Bernama in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Rukun Negara for broadcast between Aug 31 and Sept 19 over BernamaTV on Channel 502 ASTRO, Njoi 502, UnifiTV 631, and MyFreeView 121, besides on the BernamaTV official Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Recognizing the fact that the national philosophy has to be fostered from an early age, she said, the ministry has set up a Rukun Negara education committee chaired by the ministry secretary-general and with the secretaries-general of the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, Higher Education Ministry, and Education Ministry as members.

The role of the committee, among others, is to look into proposals to assimilate Rukun Negara education in the school curriculum from the kindergarten level to the secondary school level in the effort to foster an appreciation for the Rukun Negara and strengthen unity in the country, she said.

“We used to have Civics Education. We learned everything about our King, our flag, and things that we needed to know as citizens.

“On that basis, we want to re-introduce Rukun Negara education with some amendments to the national education system,” she said.

Halimah said that while the process is being finalized, the Rukun Negara clubs in the 6,621 primary and secondary schools and the 172 Rukun Negara secretariats in the public and private institutions of higher learning will be strengthened by conducting various programs to promote understanding and the importance of the Rukun Negara.

She also said that the government is preparing the National Unity Action Plan 2021-2025 by gathering all the views and aspirations of the people through roadshow programs that are expected to be completed this month.

“We have presented the implementation paper on the National Unity Action Plan 2021-2025 feedback to the Cabinet. The launch of the feedback campaign will be implemented by all the states.

“I am excited that the feedback campaign for the National Unity Action Plan is welcomed by all the states. Fostering unity is a shared responsibility, regardless of political affiliation. The question of unity transcends everything,” she said.

Halimah said a National Unity Advisory Council has been set up to strengthen unity and national integration.

It will, through the ministry, advise the government on matters pertaining to unity, discuss unity matters, efforts on national integration from all aspects, and propose solutions to address unity issues and challenges in strengthening the national unity agenda.

“I hope this existing structure will help my ministry nurture the people’s hopes and the country’s aspirations into establishing a strong national unity agenda.

“I also hope we can create a principle for the unity of Malaysians based on the Rukun Negara and that it can be translated into the plans that we are implementing,” she said.

The Rukun Negara was declared on Aug 31, 1970, by the fourth Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the late Tuanku Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Zainal Abidin.

The five principles of the Rukun Negara are Belief in God; Loyalty to King and Country; Upholding the Constitution; Rule of Law; and Good Behaviour and Morality.

Sources: BERNAMA

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Malaysian Teacher Samuel Isaiah Makes Final 10 For US$1 Mln Global Teacher Prize 2020



English language teacher Samuel Isaiah from Sekolah Kebangsaan Runchang school, Muadzam Shah, Pahang, has been named as one of the top 10 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize 2020, in partnership with UNESCO.

The Malaysian teacher was selected from over 12,000 nominations and applications from over 140 countries around the world, said a statement issued by the Varkey Foundation which the Global Teacher Prize is part of its long-standing commitment to improving the status of teachers.

Samuel introduced many innovations to inspire his Orang Asli students to dream big and crucially connect them to the outside world, including an e-mail exchange project called ‘Asli E-Pal’, where they communicate in English with adult volunteers all over Malaysia and overseas.

Samuel also introduced the “Speak Up With Poetry” programme where he worked with amateur poets to write poems relatable to Orang Asli culture which his students would then watch in the form of guided videos to learn English.

The school’s average pass rate in English had increased from 30 per cent in 2012 to between 80 per cent and 85 per cent in 2015-2018, said the London-based Varkey Foundation.

Other finalists are Ranjitsinh Disale from India, Olasunkanmi Opeifa (Nigeria), Jamie Frost (United Kingdom), Carlo Mazzone (Italy), Mokhudu Cynthia Machaba (South Africa), Leah Juelke (United States) and Yun Jeong-hyun (South Korea).

“Congratulations to Samuel Isaiah for being selected as a top ten finalist from such a huge number of talented and dedicated teachers. I hope his story will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also highlight the incredible work teachers do all over Malaysia and throughout the world every day,” said Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO, Stefania Giannini.

“The Global Teacher Prize helps put the teachers’ voice at the heart of our mission to champion inclusive learning opportunities for children and young people all over the world, especially the most marginalised and disadvantaged, during this sudden and unprecedented disruption to global education.

“Since the coronavirus pandemic first emerged, we have seen 1.5 billion learners across the world impacted by school and university closures. But not all learners are being impacted equally. Governments must learn lessons and act decisively to ensure all children receive a quality education in the age of COVID and beyond.”

The remaining two top 10 finalists will be announced one each week in the run-up to the Global Teacher Prize ceremony, which will be virtual for the very first time in its history due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s Global Teacher Prize ceremony will be done virtually and is expected to take place on Dec 3, 2020, where the overall winner will be announced.

It will be hosted by English comedian, actor, writer and presenter Stephen Fry from the Natural History Museum in London.

“The Global Teacher Prize was set up to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society. By unearthing thousands of stories of heroes that have transformed young people’s lives, the prize hopes to bring to life the exceptional work of teachers all over the world,” founder of the Global Teacher Prize, Sunny Varkey, meanwhile said.

“This year, more than ever, we have seen teachers go above and beyond to keep young people learning throughout the world. Teachers everywhere should be applauded for their creativity, compassion and resolve to fulfil every child’s right to a good education.”

The Global Teacher Prize winner will be paid the prize money in equal instalments over 10 years.


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LATEST: Petrol Price RON97, RON95 Remain The Same



The Malaysian Ministry of Finance recently issued a media statement related to the retail price of petroleum products for the period of 31 October to 6 November 2020.

According to a statement released on Twitter, the retail price of RON97 petrol remains RM1.94 per liter, RON 95 petrol remains RM1.64 per liter, and Diesel also remains RM1.74 liter.

Sources: MOF

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Macau Scam: Remand of Datuk, Two Policemen Under POCA Extended by 38 Days



KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — The remand period for a ‘Datuk’ and two policemen being investigated under the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) 1959 in connection to an online gambling syndicate and Macau Scam activities was extended another 38 days by the Magistrate’s Court here today.

Magistrate M. Mageswary allowed the police’s application to extend the remand period against the suspects aged between 34 and 39 beginning today.

They were previously remanded under POCA for 21 days from Oct 11.

The remand proceedings of the three suspects who wore orange lockup attire began at 10.30 am and ended an hour later.

Lawyer Jacky Loi when contacted by Bernama confirmed that all the suspects were remanded according to Section 4 (2)(a) of POCA. Also representing the suspects were lawyers Gobind Singh Deo and Shahrizal Abdul Manan.

On Oct 13, Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department chief SAC Nik Ros Azhan Nik Ab Hamid said police had re-arrested the three individuals after the court rejected a remand order applied for by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against them for their suspected involvement in online gambling activities.

He said they were re-arrested immediately after being released by the MACC.


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