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In conjunction with Universal Children’s Day, November 2011
Name-calling. Teasing. Not playing with someone because she or he is different. These aren’t just childhood rites of passage; they’re all forms of discrimination. And they can destroy childhood for children. Children can cause great harm by discriminating against their peers based on various biased beliefs. But there’s not a child in the world who’s born prejudiced. Children learn how to discriminate, and they can unlearn it, if we teach them how to.
Visit UNICEF Malaysia to learn more.
- Why children discriminate
- Bullying: A form of discrimination
- Teaching children respect: What you can do
- Teaching children respect: Classroom exercises
- Teach Respect Public Service Announcements
- Teach Respect Supporters
- News Release: Creating a society of children respecting children
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For more than 60 years, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has been helping governments, communities and families make the world a better place for children. Part of the United Nations system, UNICEF has an enviable mandate and mission, to advocate for children’s rights and help meet their needs. In Malaysia, UNICEF has been working with the Government since 1954 by supporting programs in health, nutrition, water and sanitation, formal and non-formal education as well as services for deprived children in poor urban areas. With Malaysia’s progress and development, our focus today includes three new priorities – Responding to HIV; Ending Violence Against Children; and Providing Basic Quality Services for Vulnerable Children.
A simple ceremony for the official handover of Perdana Leadership Foundation’s upgraded Door Access System by Cathay Systems took place at PLF’s banquet hall today, 10th May 2011. The date coincides with the sixth anniversary of the foundation’s official launch by the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Tan Sri Nik Mohamed Nik Yaacob signed on behalf of PLF while Mr Wishing Ng represented Cathay Systems.
After the signing ceremony, guests were ushered to the multipurpose hall for a very informative presentation by Mr. Wishing Ng on the latest security advances. With wireless technology (where you do not have to worry about the wiring and cables in your building), online centralised monitoring (monitoring your premises from anywhere), face recognition, eye recognition, MyKad reader and other advances, there are a lot of new options to consider to make buildings safe and secure.
These advanced features promise that security will have a bright and effective future.
“What makes a good follower?”
At the essay competition, the Guest of Honour, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad chose the occasion to remind the audience that followers are just as important as leaders. “A leader becomes a leader because there are people supporting them. Followers who are also voters must be quite knowledgeable in order for the country to remain prosperous. Followers must be intelligent and they must understand what they do when they choose their leaders.”
“Some followers tend to become fanatics and will vote irrespective of the candidates. This is because they think that they can get something out of (the selection of leader), despite not knowing if the candidates are corrupt to begin with. In my tenure, many people have often asked me ‘What makes a great leader?’. Not once, has anyone asked me ‘What makes a good follower?’”
He warned, “The quality of followers leads to the quality of the leader. If followers are corrupt, uneducated, fanatical and abusive, the leaders will turn out as bad. In a democracy, the number of votes matters and bad leaders will create a bad government. There will definitely be a high price for us all to pay, when followers make the wrong choices.”
May 4, 2011
PUTRAJAYA, May 4 (Bernama) — Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has described the killing of Osama bin Laden as revenge by the United States for the Sept 11 attacks and not a move to combat terrorism in the real sense of the word.
Osama’s death might result in more people getting angry, and there could be more acts of terrorism, he said when asked to comment on the killing of the Al Qaeda leader.
“Even if there is a little respite because they have no leader, sooner or later the angry will act. This is not a way to check terrorism,” he said.
Osama was killed in an operation conducted by US special forces in Abottabad, Pakistan, early on Monday.
“He (Osama) is definitely a criminal, but sending a team to kill him is not the way to enforce laws. They should have arrested him if it was possible,” Dr Mahathir said.
He said the US action was uncivilised as an unarmed man was killed and his body was buried at sea.
“It was unlike civilised human beings. Uncivilised people,” said the president of the Perdana Leadership Foundation when approached after he had presented prizes for the Perdana Leadership Foundation-MPH “Nurturing The Minds of Future Leaders” Essay Competition 2010, here.
In his speech earlier, Dr Mahathir said the role of followers was equally important in the election of good leaders where unquestioning loyalty would lead to followers making the wrong choice.
“Followers must be wise, knowledgeable in distinguishing good leaders. Picking the wrong leaders will bring about the downfall of a country. You have to pay a heavy price for your wrong choice,” he said.
Eric Lee of HELP University College won the competition’s grand prize of RM7,000 cash, RM500 MPH book vouchers, a laptop computer and an e-reader.
“Governments are to serve the needs of the public. Governance in government is to ensure those needs are served efficiently, effectively and fairly by way of clear processes and structures.”
This meaning of governance was defined by Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Haji Hassan, the Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia during his keynote address at the Round Table Discussion on the Code of Public Governance, jointly organised by the National Council of Professors and Perdana Leadership Foundation on 17th February 2011 in Putrajaya. The half-day programme was organised to gather ideas from the academic sector civil society on the necessity of a Code of Public Governance for the country’s more than 1 million civil servants.
The Round Table started with a welcoming speech by the Head, Cluster of Governance, Law and Public Management of the Majlis Profesor Negara, Professor Dr. Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmood who briefly narrated the background of the National Council of Professors which was established on 1st April 2010.
More than 50 participants comprising of academicians, post-graduate students, members of NGOs and the media listened to the keynote address by Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Haji Hassan, themed, “Not For A few Good Men: The System is Ours”, who defined the concept of ‘the system’ thus:
“Man is a product of his environment, as is an environment a product of society. The bearer of culture is man and the bearer of civilisation is society. It is then not wrong to conclude that our rights and wrongs, acceptance and reprieve as individuals a society maketh what we deem ‘The System’.”
Tan Sri Sidek agreed that there should be a public governance but emphasised throughout his speech that “The System” was not the responsibility of only a few, or even of the government in power, but is the collective responsibility of the nation.
Following the keynote address was a panel discussion comprising of panelists Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi, Professor of Law at the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Haji Megat Najmuddin bin Datuk Seri Dr. Haji Megat Khas, the President of the Malaysian Institute for Corporate Governance (MICG).
Professor Shad began his topic, “The Legal Framework for Public Accountability”, by defining accountability as, “Accountability means having to answer for, or render account of, the way in which one carries out one’s official tasks. The essence of accountability is discharging one’s responsibility at all time in accordance with established ethical norms, values and laws, and being willing to submit oneself to public scrutiny of every aspect of one’s conduct. Good governance is a journey and not a destination and no country has ever reaches it”. He later opined that enforcing accountability in the public sector is a challenge because “no one is willing to submit to public scrutiny” but governance is necessary to prevent “untrammelled exercise of power”.
Professor Shad also highlighted some other interesting points, among them the issue of human rights which he stressed was now gaining universal acceptance. Fundamental human rights, he said, are not endowed or ‘given’ by the government but are the rights that every human being is born with. A code of public governance hence should ensure that the rights of the rakyat are protected and that the government is not infringing on individual rights and freedoms in the exercise of its power.
The second speaker, Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin spoke on, “The Transformability of the Culture of Corporate Governance in the Public Sector”. He believed that the task to emulate corporate governance culture into the public sector is not an easy task. “Decision makers in the government need to be guided by ideal behaviours and values because people’s perceptions have changed and higher standards of accountability are demanded…but cultural transformation to greater governance is daunting and a long-drawn process.”
Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin later chaired a group discussion session, Industries Views on the Needs for Code of Public Governance, while the country’s Auditor-General, Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Haji Ambrin Buang chaired the discussion on, Justification for Having the Code of Public Governance; Political scientist and Nanyang Technology University Senior Fellow Dr. Farish Ahmad-Noor chaired the group discussion on Rakyat’s Perception on Governance in the Public Service, and the Deputy Director-General (Operations) of the Public Service Department Dato’ Dr. Ismail Alias managed the discussion on The Effectiveness of General Order in Ensuring Good Governance in the Public Sector.
The discussion leaders convened again in a panel chaired by Professor Hazman Shah Abdullah, the Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow Resident Fellow for Perdana Leadership Foundation and Head of UiTM’s Institute of Quality and Knowledge Advancement (InQKA) to summarise issues that were highlighted during the Round table discussions.
The first speaker, Dato’ Dr. Ismail Alias, the Deputy Director-General (Operation), Public Service Department summed up that using the General Order (GO) had helped government officers to execute their jobs accordingly and the ‘GO’ culture had also encouraged professionalism in the public sector. Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Haji Ambrin Buang, the Auditor General of Malaysia, commented that the government was serious about Public Governance but that more discussions on the establishment of a nationwide code need to take place. Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin then pointed out that any Code needs to be adopted by all state governments and stressed that Malaysia’s rewards and punishment system is “awry” in that “the crooks are rewarded and good people are punished”. Dr. Farish Noor meanwhile believed that Malaysians’ lack of knowledge on the concept of ‘governance’ was the root problem and suggested that more education on the concept of governance needs to be done before discussions of a Code can take place.
The programme ended with panelists and participants agreeing that more discussions and forums should be held to debate further on the importance of establishing the code of governance in the public sector.
Click here to read Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi’s paper, entitled, “The Legal Framework for Public Accountability”
February 17, 2011 | By Husna Yusop
PUTRAJAYA (Feb 17, 2011): The system of governance in a society must safeguard and preserve humanity and sanctify shared human values that cut across ideological differences.
Delivering a keynote address titled Not For A Few Good Men: The System Is Ours, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan said the face of the public and private institutions is a reflection of what the society and country condone or penalise.
“So, when we demand excellence in one part of our society, we must equally have delivered that excellence in our own business, our own lives, and our own sectors.
“When we seek progress in one part of our markets, in essence, as commentators we are simply saying aspire to be like me, and so the ‘me’ must have delivered sustainable progress which can be mirrored,” he said today.
Mohd Sidek was addressing participants of a roundtable discussion on The Code of Public Governance organised by the National Council of Professors and Perdana Leadership Foundation (PLF) held at the PLF.
Governance in its every sense and essence is predicated on human calculation while benchmarks and yardsticks of other societies and countries are simply benchmarks.
“They cannot be duplicated and imitated if the participants are not willing to exercise and implement the aspired standards.
“The often said term, ‘doing the right thing’ is relative from person to person, society to society, culture to culture and generation to generation,” he said.
He added that as Malaysia moves to enhance its economic capacity, the Economic Transformation Programme has identified 92% of growth from the private sector and 8% from the public sector in the next 10 years alone.
“Thus, the landscape of governance in our corporate boardrooms is critical in garnering a strong flow of private investment into Malaysia,” he said.
The backdrop of public sector oversights must ensure that the private sector exudes unyielding accountability, transparency, innovation and expansion in the country’s economy.
“Our systems must seek to strengthen where work still needs to be done, and must bring to task those who have failed,” he added.
Perdana Leadership Foundation and National Council of Professors had jointly organised a Round Table discussion on the Code of Public Governance on 17th February 2011. Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi delivered his views on the topic, “The Legal Framework for Public Accountability” during the Plano Session.
THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY
Shad Saleem Faruqi
Commentators often distinguish between “responsibility” (by which they mean ethical and normative restraints) and “accountability” (by which they mean answerability to some normative agency). Others distinguish between “control” (which is ex ante, i.e. before a decision is made) and “Accountability” (which is ex post facto i.e. after a decision is taken).
I will avoid debate on these semantic issues. For purpose of this talk I propose the following description:
“Accountability (or Answerability) refers to the liability or obligation attaching to those invested with public powers or duties. Accountability’s primary ingredient is an obligation to explain and justify decision made or actions taken”.
Accountability means having to answer for, or render account of, the way in which one carries out one’s official tasks. The essence of accountability is discharging one’s responsibility at all time in accordance with established ethical norms, values and laws, and being willing to submit oneself to public scrutiny of every aspect of one’s conduct.
When acts of the administration affect individual rights or interests, accountability requires that appropriate compensation be given to the victim of illegal action or maladministration. Here accountability overlaps with the redress of grievances.
Accountability can be individual or collectable, explicit or implicit, positive or negative. It may refer to acts of commission or mission. It may involve responsibility for powers or for duties.
Controlling the government without crippling it is one of the foremost challenges of constitutional and administrative law. To prevent untrammeled exercise of power, a number of constitutional models, control mechanisms and institutions have been devised which divide and disperse governmental authority and seek to prevent tyranny.
Supreme Constitutions: In most countries the apparatus of control and accountability rests on written and supreme constitution. The Constitution supplies legal and political restraints upon the exercise of all state powers. Fundamental rights, especially free speech and right to assembly and association are guaranteed in democratic constitutions.
Check and balance: In the “check and balance” model of the Constitution of the United States. The executive, the legislature and the judiciary are institutionally separated. The powers of one organ are meant to check and balance the powers of the others.
Responsible Government: In the system of “parliamentary government” in the United Kingdom, the executive is made an integral part of Parliament and is required to be answerable, responsible and accountable to Parliament on day-to-day basis. Answerability to Parliament is enforced through question time, debates, parliamentary committees and service centers run by MPs.
Federal division of power: In federal systems executive, legislative, judicial and fiscal powers are divided and dispersed amongst general and regional governments. The existence and authority of each government is constitutionally safeguarded. Pluralism is given a territorial dimension.
Diarchy: In the diarchical set-up in France and Cyprus there is a division of governmental competence between two or more authorities in the state other than on regional basis so as to prevent its concentration in the same hands.
Constitutional review: The device of judicial review of legislative and executive action, first asserted by the American Supreme Court in Marbury v Madison 1 Cranch 137, 2l. Ed.60 (1803) enables the superior courts to use the Constitution as a touchstone on which to test every governmental action for its constitutionality.
Ultra vires and natural justice: Besides the principle of constitutionality, the doctrine of ultra vires and the principle of natural justice are also employed by the courts to keep the administration subject to the law.
Ombudsman: The office of the Ombudsman is charged with the responsibility of investigating complaints of maladministration against government authorities.
Other Constitutional agencies: Constitutional or legislative provision for independent Auditor-Generals, Attorny-Generals, Anti-Corruption Agencies and Commissions of Enquiry are some of the other means of calling the government to account.
Electoral process: The electoral process supplies a periodic test of the government’s acceptability to the people it seeks to serve.
Press freedom: Constitutional safeguards for a free media seek to ensure scrutiny of governmental action in the media. Newspapers can supply an informal, expeditions and inexpensive method for airing public grievances.
Participative process: Consultative processes including public participation in the legislative process can serve to restrain executive and legislative exuberance. In some political systems, the devices of Referendum, Plebiscite, Petition and Initiative are available to enable the electorate to assert its whishes in the legislative field.
Extra-legal checks: Such extra-legal checks as groups and even the humble departmental “complaint box” if taken seriously, can help to protect citizens against abuse of power by public officials.
Right to Information: A right to information Act, as in the United State is powerful device for ensuring openness and accountability in government. The counterpart of the Right to Information Act, the official Secrets Act, can be a hindrance to the enforcement of responsibility.
Whistle blowers: In a age of globalization, international standards are developing on such issues as human rights, good governance free elections, corruption, access to government and environmentalism. No nation is free of external scrutiny.
Internal checks: The public services are subject to legal proceeding in the courts. In addition, the bureaucracy has devised many means of internal control. Among them: hierarchy and organizational structures procedures, planning, programming and budgeting, management by the objective, in-service training, job evaluation and internal auditing.
In sum, it is observable in the public sector. But these control mechanisms are not always operating effectively. A wide gap exists between theory and reality and promise and performance. Institutions, principles and procedures do not always work well because a systems is a good as people who administer it.
Increasing opportunities for enrolment to higher learning institutions, the quality of courses in universities and the national higher education strategic plans were among issues that were discussed during the Perdana Discourse Series, themed, “Higher Education in Malaysia: Increasing Access and Quality” that was held on 14th of December 2010 at the Foundation. The twelfth installment of the Perdana Discourse was jointly organised by Perdana Leadership Foundation and Universiti Teknologi MARA and sponsored by PROTON.
The half day programme opened with the welcome address by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees member, Dato’ Krishnan Tan who briefed the participants on the Foundation’s digitisation initiatives and accomplishments. Associate Professor Dr. Zaini Abdullah, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) of UiTM introduced the topic to the audience and narrated UiTM’s involvement in creating opportunities for Malaysians to further their studies. More than two hundred audience comprising University Vice Chancellors, government officials, university students and representatives from the private sectors attended the Discourse to listen to the keynote speech by the Minister of Higher Education in Malaysia, YB Dato’ Mohamed Khaled Nordin as well as the panel discussion on the topic.
The highlight of the event was the keynote address by YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, delivered by the Deputy Secretary General (Development) of the Ministry of Higher Education, Dato’ Rohani Abdullah who highlighted the initiatives that the Ministry had taken to revamp the higher education sector in Malaysia which include; increasing intakes into universities for greater access and equity as well as offering more financial options to students (for example, PTPTN). Dato’ Rohani then briefed the audience on the Ministry’s National Higher Education Strategic Plan that targets 50% enrolment into universities by 2020 as compared with 40% in 2010.
Following the keynote address was the discussion session with panelists Datuk Dr. Hamzah Kassim, the National Economic Advisory Council member, Professor Dato’ Dr. Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid, Deputy President of INTI International University, Professor Dr. Fauziah Md. Taib, Deputy Director of the National Higher Education Research Institute and Professor Dr. Hazman Shah Abdullah, the Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow Resident Fellow for Perdana Leadership Foundation. Puan Zuraidah Haji Musib of the PRIMAKARYA Media Communications and Consultancy was the moderator for the session.
The first speaker, Datuk Dr. Hamzah Kassim connected the higher education sector with the demands of the labour market in Malaysia and the dynamics of the labour market (labour market reforms, reducing and increasing of labour demand as well as labour market forecast) as factors that higher education institutions need to consider when designing programme courses and syllabus to cater to market demands in Malaysia.
Professor Dato’ Ibrahim enunciated the role of the private education sector’s contribution to Malaysian economic growth, where RM4 billion were collected from foreign students who studied in private universities every year and Malaysia has been positioned as the 11th most popular education hub among international students. He also criticized Malaysia’s poor implementation record when he said, “Malaysia is very good at planning where powerful ideas are turned into policies. However, it is the problem of implementation, will, passion and commitment that have made our policies impossible to be achieved”.
Professor Dr. Hazman Shah explained that access requires capacity and the quality standards of an institution was measured by its capacity to teach and further research. He also said that although both Malaysia and Hong Kong were on similar levels in terms of access to tertiary education, the per capita income in HK was almost double compared with Malaysia’s.
The last speaker, Professor Fauziah, raised interesting facts based on her conducted research. For example, in the study of widening access of tertiary education in Malaysia, casual observation suggested that many male students were not interested to pursue tertiary education, but from past surveys, many of these young men regret their decision not to further their studies.
It was an interesting event, marred only by the absence of the Minister of Higher Education, YB Dato’ Khaled Nordin, who would have been able to shed light on many more aspects of higher education in Malaysia.