Let's dive in.
When we say "Pendidikan Bersih", what does that mean? What are the glaring root problems? What are the key non-negotiable solutions?
The Principle of "Stop Trusting Golongan Atasan"
We must first establish a key tenet.
All superior Court judges must be approved by JAC, a commission where most members are appointed by the Prime Minister.
All MACC Chief Commissioners are appointed by the Prime Minister.
All Education Service Commission members are appointed by the Prime Minister.
All SUHAKAM (Human Rights Commission) appointments are appointed by the Prime Minister.
All local elections were banned in 1965. All attempts to reintroduce them have been blocked by the Executive Branch.
The Attorney General is selected and dismissed by the Prime Minister. All criminal prosecution is controlled by the Attorney General.
Any media outlet can be blocked, either directly on the website or shut down. See Malaysiakini, the Sarawak Report, and the Malaysian Insider.
All Public Services Commission members are appointed by the Prime Minister.
All Election Commission appointments are appointed by the Prime Minister.
All government misconduct investigations must be confidential, investigated internally, and decided internally.
All public servants are forbidden from making public statements on information learned through the public service.
All PIBGs are banned from discussing any “problems” of the school principal, any school staff, and even the Ministry of Education.
All politicians receive a lifelong pension, even if they only served for a single day.
All internal check-and-balance schemes are ineffective against motivated political actors due to intra-Executive collusion (e.g., 1MDB).
Any government document can be an “Official Secret” and hidden from the people and even the Courts.
The 2010 Whistleblower Protection Act is only available if you report to the Government. Any protection can be lost if a lawyer, family member, or colleague is told.
Who can stop the Ministry of Education?
What is different about the Ministry of Education versus other Ministries?
It is not unique in its evil intentions: it is the same deep love of wealth, power, and reputation / status. But it has some unique characteristics.
High # of implicated civil servants
- An abusive or negligent teacher is overseen by 4 – 8 administrators in multiple departments, levels
- MOE is highly visible, highly distributed: 419,000 civil servants in 10,200 schools
- Thus, discipline / civil / criminal violations will quickly implicate many, often senior, civil servants
- Very high combined wealth (wages, bonuses, allowances, pension, perks) is thus at risk
Extremely strong shame / loss of face
- State-responsible abuse / negligence of children, esp. girls, is a horrific reality reminder to parents, voters
- Dozens of student witnesses implicate many perpetrators
- Predominantly hurts rural / poor districts, mocking and delegitimizing the development narrative
- Teachers are stereotypically sanctified or elevated as “they are all heroes” to ⬆️ vote bank
Weakens elite-first confidence & international ($$$) image
- Besides the business & political environment, education (“human capital”) is a primary indicator of long-term economic outlook
- Admitting widespread state-responsible abuse / negligence weakens investment attraction
- Questions if Malaysia’s progress indicators on all fronts are in fact exaggerated or fabricated
- If even schoolchildren cannot be protected, the powerless readily become uncomfortable with elites
Deep-rooted connections to power-hungry politicians
- Top civil servants can be politically-connected (e.g., MOE DG is a wife of an MP)
- 7 of 9 Prime Ministers and 7 of 13 Deputy Prime Ministers were Education Ministers
- Education portfolio is demanded because of high visibility to promote personal agendas, righteousness, massive funds
- MOE often has the highest allocation, sans the MOF: two-thirds of RM1 trillion in 11 years
Malaysia's Federal Budget (2021)
Designed to halt justice
Malaysia’s problems are structural, not individual. Do not blame yourself, as they claim. Millions are in the same boat.
Who is the cause? 1) politicians and 2) top public servants, i.e., collectively golongan atasan.
Our procedures and laws were and are consciously written to prevent transparency, accountability, and solidarity.
Stop trusting golongan atasan. Trusting them after all their failures is akin to standing in the sun to dry your sweat: giving them trust is how they will hurt us.
The Three Critical Mindset Flips
- Governments, in our name, will abuse our children.
- The people should not fear the government. Governments fear their people.
- Stop watering dead soil: start watering roots.