Very concerning issue: The case of the 11-year-old boy who ranted against his maid on Facebook

About two days ago, a very interesting feature on AsiaOne’s Edvantage not only would leave netizens (Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans alike) reeling in shock and concern but also leave us questioning where were the parents when that 11-year-old child (erm I mean brat) ranted against his maid on Facebook in an obscene manner. If you think a bunch of teenagers would be the only one doing it on social networking sites, think again. This is an 11-year-old kid, allegedly from a top primary school in Bishan as reported by Edvantage, we are talking about has a filthy mouth and mind worth washing and scrubbing out with soap.

Since the issue has been mentioned in Stomp and within cyberspace, the kid’s post got what he truly deserves: a flurry of comments condemning his behaviour. At least this shows that there are some well-mannered netizens out there who will not tolerate his behaviour. As a blogger, I feel sorry for his parents if word not only gets out but also I bet they would not dare to show their faces in public over what their son did. If that boy was my son, he is going to get a clipping from his parent, a lecture on the importance of netiquette and grounding him from using the Internet until he truly understands that good manners still apply in cyberspace (and it is not private as we all think) whether he likes it or not. That boy may never have fully understood the phrase “Internet is forever” because whatever he posts on Facebook he does not realise that any post will not only reflect his true colours as a person but also it will haunt him later on and for the rest of his life when he tries to enter the world of employment (Imagine his potential employers snooping in cyberspace and reading up his Facebook Wall ten or fifteen years from now).

However, the issue on the boy’s vulgar rants against his maid on Facebook do address the needs for teaching youngsters about the importance of netiquette in cyberspace and social networking sites. At the same time, all parents (doesn’t matter if they are Baby Boomers and are not part of the Net Generation) need to be familiarised with the Internet and play a role to ensure that children not only maintain good manners online but also teach them the consequences of posting a vulgar or obscene rant on a Facebook Wall page.

What says you about the issue of the 11-year-old Singaporean boy who posted this unacceptable rant on Facebook? Do you believe there is a need to teach youngsters about netiquette? Opinions are welcome!

The Ashlynn Conner’s tragedy and the need to address the issue of bullying

This article from MSN just appeared on Google a while ago which is not just worth a mention but also something to talk about. As a blogger, I feel sad and angry at the same time that a 10-year-old girl was driven to suicide. It was not homework pressure or the pressure to excel in academics and non-academics that drove this girl to kill herself. It was bullying. Therefore, my heart goes out to her family for their tragic loss.

I too was a victim of bullying growing up in the 1990s and 2000. As a former victim, I can tell you that bullying not just robs a person his or her happiness or self-esteem but also it robs him or her the right to feel safe and secure in a classroom environment. Secondly, to be bullied all the time made one feel that life was not worth living as well. Now as a young adult in 2011, I am no longer in primary and high school but I cannot say the same for this day and age as bullying is still rife. That is not all, suicide driven by bullying is on the rise and don’t be so surprised if the statistics get younger.

Ashlynn deserved better than to be verbally abused and face cruel taunts daily to the point that she could no longer feel that life is worth living. Ashlynn had dreams like every other kid. She had dreams to become a veterinarian because of her love for stray cats. Sadly, she can never have her dream nor will her parents be able to watch her grow up, graduate from high school, attend university and have her own future. Why? It is all because of bullying and the three teachers who did nothing to put a stop to those bullies’ antics and accused her for being a tattler.

Having just read the Chicago Tribune that powder-blue balloons (each carrying a note) were released during Ashlynn’s wake showed that she had people who loved and cared so much about her. As for the nasty kids who taunted and bullied her, well, they should be feeling sorry for themselves because they caused the death of someone’s child and sister. If they don’t feel sorry for themselves and their actions, sad to say they have no conscience. As for those three teachers, they are incompetent and they are better off out of the class for good after putting a stop on Ashlyyn’s attempt to end the bullying. At the same time, her tragic death shows there is a need to address the issue of bullying. Bullying can affect anyone and its impact touches on both the victims and their loved ones.

What says you about Ashlynn Conner’s tragic suicide? Do you believe her death is a need to address the issue of bullying in schools? Do you think teachers should also not only recognise the signs of bullying but also take action in helping bully victims? Opinions are welcome.

Ricky Hui: Hong Kong legend gone too soon but never forgotten

Today I blog after having heard the news yesterday that a Hong Kong comedian legend has sadly passed away from heart attack. When I went online, the headlines from AsiaOne revealed it was none other than Ricky Hui (3 August 1946 – 8 November 2011)! As a blogger, I am not here to talk about his sudden demise but to talk about the fact he is never forgotten for his talent as a funnyman among the Hui brothers (that makes Michael, Ricky and Sam) and his contribution to the Hong Kong entertainment industry in the 1970s and 1980s.

Alright, I will admit one thing though: I happen to be a Hui brothers fan when I was growing up as a child where their movies such as The Private Eyes (1976) and Front Page (1990) would leave me in stitches with their gags and humourous antics on screen. Despite the fact that I am in my late twenties, their gags, humour and slapstick comedy from their movies has never failed to entertainment and make me laugh. And yes, it will be that way for as long as I am alive while I watch their movies on DVDs or the occasional reruns.

Anyway, before I go off-topic, let’s focus something on the late but legendary Ricky Hui. Although he may lacked in the good looks department, his ability to make people laugh and be funny along with his brothers, Michael and Sam, and his fellow castmates onscreen is a great but true talent that not so many people can do as beautifully as Ricky. Here is something very interesting that not many people know about Ricky Hui. Prior to entering the film career, he used to work as a correspondent for Agence France-Presse (AFP) as mentioned in the Hong Kong Cinemagic website. That is not all, he sang and wrote songs too (he did some collaborations with his brother Sam with songwriting and did guest appearances in Sam Hui’s concerts). Truly talented and intelligent fellow he was, don’t you think? Although he is gone too soon, he is never forgotten and he is loved by his family (as reported here) and his fans in Hong Kong and abroad. I believe he leaves a lasting legacy on both the Hong Kong entertainment industry and also he is an inspiration to those doing comedy. Lastly, I believe a posthumous lifetime achievement award should be awarded for his contributions on the entertainment industry in Hong Kong.

Update on the PPSMI issue in Malaysia: PAGE in the headlines once again

Since I last blogged about the outcome of the PPSMI policy in my previous post, another reason why an update is made about it today. If you look at today’s The Star article you would understand what I mean. As a blogger, I cannot help but tip my hat to PAGE (Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia)  for making headlines once again for the right reasons on the behalf of Malaysian parents and students alike. PAGE are not alone as they along with JMM (Jaringan Melayu Malaysia) are hoping the Malaysian government would give Year One (seven years old) students in the option to learn science and mathematics in English.

Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim has a point in regards to allowing those students to be able to understand mathematical and scientific terms in English, especially for those who opt to learn in English as a medium of instruction in the classroom. Although the Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, has been thanked for listening to parents in regards to the PPSMI issues, I believe he and those other government men should have done better than listening alone. If they want younger Malaysians to become fluent in English as well as stopping the deterioration of the standard of English, why don’t they just leave the PPSMI policy alone if they know pretty well that policy is going benefit many younger Malaysians in the long run. Or how about this, come up with a blooming referendum and a massive public survey to find out if Malaysian parents and students still want to learn both mathematics and science in English as a medium of instruction. If majority of the parents and students say yes to English as a medium of instruction for the learning of maths and sciences, then so be it. Let the PPSMI policy stay. If many parents and student say otherwise, perhaps the PPSMI policy can remain as an option for those wanting to learn maths and science in English.

What says you about PAGE and JMM’s view on giving Year One (seven years old) students the option to learn science and mathematics in English? Do you think it is a good idea? To those following the PPSMI policy issue in Malaysia, do you believe the policy need to stay? Do you think that the Malaysian government men should have done better in regards to the PPSMI policy? Opinions are welcome.


Update on the PPSMI: Here to stay for now but so much more could have been done

Hello everyone. Time flies so fast as we are now in November 2011. Christmas is around the corner and so is Thanksgiving Day. Anyway, without any delays and beating around the bush, I am back once again since my last post about the PPSMI issue in Malaysia. According to The Star article published 3 days ago, the PPSMI policy will stay for those already learning their mathematics and sciences in English. But the downside: the policy is not going to remain for long (sadly) especially for younger Malaysians born after 2003 who are still in pre-school and kindergarten.

A day after this article was published, The Star reported that some parents are not taking it lying down as reported in this one. PAGE chairman Datin Noor Azimah AbdulRahim has a point and I couldn’t agree more with her. The PPSMI policy should not only stay for many generations to come in Malaysia but also it will benefit many young Malaysians in the long run. Therefore, I ask these questions. Why get rid of a policy that will give young Malaysians the competitive edge their older brother and sisters were deprived of prior to 2003? Don’t these politicians know that they are going to put younger Malaysians (especially those born after 2003) in great difficulty when they are unable to have the chance to compete in the maths and sciences arena at international level? Why not come up with a compromise of keeping PPSMI as an option (although I personally prefer PPSMI to placed full on in the education system) for those choosing to learn mathematics and sciences in English (especially for Malaysians whose English is their mother tongue)? Last but not least, those politicians do not know what they are doing and they have no right to change or abolish an education policy according to whim and fancy. They should just stop and listen to parents and students since citizens have the God-given right to decide what is best for their children especially in the teaching of mathematics and sciences in English as a medium of instruction.

Anyway, what says you about this issue? Do you think the PPSMI policy should stay for good and many generations to come? Or do you believe the PPSMI policy should be an option instead? Opinions are welcomed.

The parents hath spoken: The demand for PPSMI to stay in the Malaysian education system for their children

Since my recent blog post about Melissa Yoong’s message to the Malaysian Prime Minister in regards to the need for reconsidering on the PPSMI policy reversal, another PPSMI reversal issue has once again resurfaced in the news. This time around it is Malaysian parents urging the Malaysian government to stop and listen to their citizens once and for all as reported in this The Star’s article. Same goes for the other Star article showing how Malaysian parents are using Facebook to voice their concerns as well as hoping the Prime Minister will notice. With the power of social networking sites, it has proven that the power of citizens’ voices have said it well: keep the PPSMI within the Malaysian education system for the sake of their children and the younger generations of Malaysia.

As a blogger, I couldn’t agree more with the fact that the Malaysian government has to stop changing education policies according to their whims as if one is changing clothes everyday. Education policies are also not something one can experiment and change overnight in an instance. Secondly, I have to agree with the Malaysian parents having their say on retaining the PPSMI as an option in the Malaysian education system for their children. Malaysian parents are not the only ones wishing and hoping the PPSMI will stay even their kids are hoping too. Looks like the Melissa Yoong effect has rubbed it in on parents wanting the PPSMI to stay.

What says you about parents having their say on Facebook in regards to the PPSMI issue? Do you think or believe that the Malaysian government needs to listen for a change rather than simply change an education policy without consulting their citizens? Opinions are welcomed.

This kid has said it well: The need to reconsider the PPSMI policy reversal

Since I last touched on the PPSMI issue in my previous post, a young girl’s message to the Malaysian Prime Minister (as featured in the Free Malaysia Today article) has proven that at least someone, a teenager, has made an excellent point that PPSMI policy reversal needs to be reconsidered carefully.

As a blogger, I believe Melissa Yoong is not the only one hoping and praying that the policy will stay not just for her but also for other Malaysian students learning Maths and Science in English. A girl like Melissa should not only be applauded for standing up and having her say for herself and the behalf of other students but also the Malaysian Prime Minister and his deputy truly need to listen and leave the PPSMI policy alone once and for all. What Melissa did has totally made sense that most grown-ups tend to take for granted. Secondly, in a world where some grown-ups can be a bunch of idiots, Melissa has proven all is not lost for those wishing that the PPSMI policy is retained in the Malaysian education system

To Malaysians who are backing Melissa’s messages to the Prime Minister and his deputy on Facebook, I cannot help but be pleased to know that you have shown your support to her and calling for the reconsideration on the PPSMI policy reversal. As for those Malaysians who kicked up a big fuss and scolded Melissa online for making her say, well, shame on you because you have no idea how important is English language for your children when globalisation is sweeping in every continent of the world. Last but not least, an education policy is something that one cannot go and change according to one’s whim and fancy as if one is changing clothes. Let the people speak and decide what is best for their children when it comes to the education policy.

What says you about Melissa making her statement on reconsidering the PPSMI policy reversal? Do you think she has made a point on behalf of many Malaysian students and herself to her country’s prime minister and deputy? Opinions are welcomed.