Look, man threw dog into manhole!


Scores vent anger at Somali dog killer

PETALING JAYA: Scores of people are lodging police reports against a Somali student and his friends who killed a dog by throwing it into a manhole recently.

The student had been taking care of the dog named Kanilla while its 19-year-old Jordanian owner was away on a month’s holiday at his home country.

People were further infuriated after watching a recording of the incident on YouTube which shows the perpetrators running away laughing after throwing the dog into the manhole.

The video has since been removed.

Lawyer C. H Tan, who lodged his report at the Bukit Jelutong police station on Wednesday evening with three others, said he was livid over what had happened.

“When I see acts of cruelty perpetrated against animals, I feel a dire and almost desperate need for justice to be dispensed against the perpetrators,” said Tan.

“Even worse was that the entirety of the deranged act was captured on video as some sick memorial,” he said.

The mass police reports were initiated by canine welfare project Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB).

MDDB rescue coordinator Irene Low urged the public to lodge more police reports to express their disdain over what had happened.

“MDDB has provided a sample to be copied and pasted when lodging police reports on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/MalaysianDogsDeserveBetter,” said Low.

Angry animal lovers also bombarded the Facebook page of the university, in which the Somali is believed to be a student, with comments.

A former student Colin Kuan urged the establishment to pay heed to what had happened.

Business owner Nortanti Latip urged the university to hand the perpetrators to the police and ensure they are sent back to their country of origin.

Meanwhile, a friend of the perpetrator said he believed the Somali student and others involved in the incident had been drinking.

He also said the perpetrator was very frightened and was in hiding.

“The news is everywhere with so many people angry at him,” he added – The Star/Asia News Network

Related post:

How low can cruel people go?

How to impress Malaysian law examiners?


The semester examination has just ended at my university. Working late till the wee hours of many mornings, I completed the evaluation of several thick bundles of examination scripts. As always, a fair number of answers were illegible, incomprehensible and terribly disorganised.

FOR all of us in the teaching profession, the periodic ordeal of marking examination scripts arouses suicidal as well as homicidal instincts!

Many students fail to exhibit basic knowledge of the subject and, understandably, fail the examination. Others have undoubted ability but not the technique or methodology of writing effective answers. It is to the latter group of law students that I wish to address today’s column.

Let me begin by saying that law is “reasoned argument”. To perform satisfactorily in the field, some special skills and techniques need to be cultivated.

Language: A law student should understand that oral and written communication skills are absolutely indispensable for the effective practice of the law. Law students should seek constantly to improve their command of the language by reading newspapers, law books and law journals.

Original sources: A good law student buys her own textbooks and statutes and does not rely entirely on class handouts. She constantly supplements class handouts with self-study from textbooks and adds to the “bank account” of knowledge opened by the lecturer for the students.

Art of reading: Reading is an art. Unless we have a smart strategy, it is entirely possible to get lost in the undergrowth. In reading a book or article, the student must avoid beginning at the beginning and plodding to the end. She must first look at the headings and sub-headings to get a broad feel or outline of what the chapter contains.

She must proceed from the general to the particular; from the woods to the trees. If an easy book or handout is available, she must read that first to get a background.

Self-study: Her study techniques must have three aims. First, to understand the basic principles of the law. Second, to recall basic ideas. To achieve this she must summarise the main principles or ideas in simple diagrams, charts, “magic words” or acronyms. These “scaffoldings” or outlines must be committed to memory. A third aim must be to evaluate existing materials and to highlight the flaws in the laws.

Attending tutorials: Successful students go prepared to class bubbling with queries. During the class or tutorial, they don’t just hear, they listen. They jot down prolific notes. They ask questions orally or by e-mail or in other written form. They participate.

Study groups: Successful law students form informal groups for study and revision. They try to be in a group of hard workers and independent thinkers. They encourage differences rather than conformity. They expose their understanding to scrutiny by others.

Summarising notes: Organising, systematising and summarising knowledge is the best way to master it. In preparation for the examination, a good student summarises each topic on one A4 page or on index cards or uses flow charts or diagrams to organise the vast amount of material collected.

For example, the whole topic of constitutional supremacy in constitutional law can be summed up in six points:

> Article 4(1) and 162(6) on supremacy of the Constitution

> Fundamental rights

> Federal-state division of powers

> Judicial review

> Amendment process

> Darurat (emergency).

These six points can, in turn, be summed up in one magic acronym AFFJAD to help you to recall the broad contours of the topic effortlessly.

Likewise, important cases could be summed up in half a page with a few lines each on three important parts of each case: the facts, the issues, and the court’s decision on each issue.

Past years’ examination papers: Familiarity with existing patterns of evaluation helps greatly in preparation. A successful student obtains and analyses past years’ examination questions. She prepares charts to discover the examiners’ preferences or patterns. She is, however, aware that examiners change from year to year and are not bound by patterns or precedents.

Practising written answers: A good student solves some past years’ questions and submits them to her lecturer for evaluation. This way she seeks to learn by simulation. She submits her knowledge as well as her methodology to sympathetic scrutiny.

Effective presentation: Examinations are like life. Substance is important but so is show! An organised, easy-to-read presentation always secures higher marks than one that is all jumbled up, disconnected and disorganised.

In writing her answers in the examination hall, a wise student does not start writing the moment she is allowed to do so. She spends five minutes organising her answer; drawing up the scaffolding or the outline on the left page of the answer book.

ATACR formula: For each essay or problem question, a wise student follows the ATACR formula. “A” stands for analysis or breakdown of the question or problem into its constituent parts. The more issues the student spots, the higher her marks are likely to be.

“T” refers to theory or the law relating to each issue identified above. The theory and the law are found in statutes, decided cases and juristic works.

The next “A” stands for application of theory or law to the facts of the case or question at hand.

“C” refers to conclusion on the point being discussed and “R” signifies the remedy or course of action to be recommended.

Reflecting On The Law
By Shad Saleem Faruqi

> Shad Faruqi is Emeritus Professor of Law at UiTM

Why bullies bully ?


Taking a look at what drives bullies, and what can be done about it.

FIFTEEN-year-old Lee (not his real name) is familiar with school bullies – he was once a victim.

Lee, who was previously in charge of his school bookshop used to get harassed by several other students who would enter the bookshop and “mess things around”.

After several weeks, Lee reported the bullying to a teacher. The students were given penalty points, and they were not happy about it.

“They got angry, and started picking on me. Once I was with a friend, when we got surrounded by a group of them. They said they wanted me to pay.

“That day, when school was over, a big group of boys wanted to attack me while I was walking to my transport van. I was lucky the other students protected me,” says Lee, a student in Klang.

His parents lodged a police report.

The police went to the school to meet both parties and settled the issue.

While Lee has been fortunate to have his problem dealt with, many other students often suffer bullying in silence.

A bullying victim seen in a screen capture of a video whereby she was humiliated by her classmates, sparking an uproar on Facebook and drawing nationwide criticism.

Why do bullies bully?

According to clinical psychologist Dr Ng Wai Sheng, bullying is essentially using one’s power or ability to intimidate and control another by fear.

“The bullying behaviour is not a new phenomenon, whether in human society or in the animal kingdom.

“In fact, it’s a real temptation to not bully when we have the opportunity to do so to a seemingly ‘weaker’ party, without consequence,” says Dr Ng, in an email interview.

She adds that it is interesting to note that while bullying can be a pre-meditated behaviour with malicious intent for some, it is more often an opportunistic behaviour, where one finds an “easy target” and somehow thinks that he can get away with it.

“Once this behaviour is rewarded by him seeing the target’s hurt or fearful reactions, the bully is reinforced to repeat the same behaviour, expecting to see a similar response. Gradually, this can become one’s pattern of functioning, where he learns that he can get what he wants by intimidating and controlling others by fear,” she explains.

The inclination to bully, she says, can be seen among children as young as those in primary schools, and can happen among both boys and girls.

Bullying among boys is usually more physical, and it may often appear as though only boys engage in bullying behaviour, as cuts and bruises are more easily recognisable.

However, bullying among girls is in fact more vicious, but more covert.

“Girls tend to employ relational and emotional bullying, aimed at hurting someone’s feelings, reputation and social relationships. They can do this by spreading rumours, writing offensive remarks or socially embarrassing or isolating someone. With the ease of using social media like Facebook and YouTube, cyber bullying is also becoming more prevalent.

“This type of bullying is subtler but has greater adverse effects to the social-emotional development of a child or adolescent,” says Dr Ng, who has served in various settings including academic, social services, community health, and inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings.

She adds that bullies are not born overnight, and to understand why a child bullies, there are two things to consider.

“We need to consider their two primary contexts – home and school. Who is the ‘bully’ at home? Very often, particularly in cases of severe bullying, we would find someone in the family who acts like a ‘bully’ at home (such as a grandparent, parent, or a sibling).

“As a result, the child learns to model after such behaviour to get his way. Or he channels his hurt and frustration on the weaker children in school,” she says.

As for schools, overemphasis on students who are academically stronger, while neglecting the weaker ones, could unknowingly promote bullying behaviour.

“School authorities who choose to tolerate, or even cover up, bullying and extortion practices in or just outside the school compound can lead to students feeling unsafe and unprotected when going to school.

“Some may resort to using bullying behaviours to fend for themselves against any perceived threats, while those who have been victimised in the past may also use violence to retaliate,” Dr Ng says.

According to Childline project director Michelle Wong, of the total 5,803 contacts (calls and e-mail) Childline received last year, she says, about 70% were made by those under 18 years. A total of 123 contacts were about bullying.

So what can be done about it?

Two things that can help determine whether bullying stops or continues, depends very much on what happens during and after bullying, Dr Ng says.

“Whenever a bystander takes some action to object to the bullying, at least 50% of the time the bullying stops. In other words, every bystander has the power to either promote (or allow) the bullying to continue, or to potentially stop the bullying, and even influence the other bystanders to object as well.

It is also important that children feel safe enough to disclose to their parents, guardians, or teachers, if they have been bullied in school. Those who are unable to do so, for whatever reason, are at a greater risk of being bullied.”

The response towards the bully is also critical.

“Ideally, parents are to remain calm and supportive to the victim, as well as treat the bully fairly.

“The teachers’ response can be potentially healing or hazardous towards the situation. Public shaming or physical punishment of the bully may stop the bullying temporarily, but often, these methods only serve to anger the bully and make him better at covering his track. On the other hand, when teachers are able to intervene appropriately, both to help the victim and the bully, the other students would also feel safer,” says Dr Ng.

Wong adds that in every bullying case, it’s not the just victim who needs help, but the bully as well.

“People forget that in these cases, the bully himself is also a child, and he likely has more issues to deal with the victim. He also needs help,” she says.

Crime Watch is an initiative by The Star in partnership with PDRM, supported by the Government Transformation Programme.

By LISA GOH  lisagoh@thestar.com.my

Teach and Learn!


GEORGE TOWN: Lecturer Leong Kit Hong wants to go on teaching. And to do that, he will go on learning.

The 67-year-old INTI International College Penang physics lecturer is now pursuing a degree in Telecommunication in Wawasan Open University here.

He already holds a degree in Physics, Mathematics and a Master’s in Physics.

Meaningful gift: Leong (second right) and other lecturers choosing their syngonium plant at the Teachers Day celebration at INTI International College Penang Wednesday.

Leong, who joined the teaching profession 40 years ago, said the best way for him to serve the community was to be a good educationist, and he felt that all educationists should have the right blend of skills and the latest knowledge.

Leong, who is one of the college’s pioneer lecturers, said his greatest satisfaction “is seeing my students do as best as they can be”.

“When they do well in their studies, they will be able to serve society well later on,” he added.

Asked about his retirement plans, the grandfather of two said he would continue to teach as long as his health allowed him.

Leong, who has been teaching at the college for the past 18 years, was among the lecturers who joined the Teachers Day celebration at the college yesterday.

College chief executive principal Dr Michael Yap Sau Moi said 80 full-time lecturers were presented with a syngonium plant each.

“Teachers plant seeds of knowledge that grow forever,” he said. “As such, we chose to honour our lecturers with this plant instead of the usual roses.”

By KOW KWAN YEE
kowky@thestar.com.my

Video: Teach and Learn!
Lecturer Leong Kit Hong has embarked on a life-long learning quest so as to continue imparting quality knowledge to his students.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

Student Employment Gap in US for the Class of 2012


My company, Millennial Branding, partnered with Experience, Inc. to release a study  of 225 US employers called the Student Employment Gap. The study reveals information about employer skill requirements and sources of hire for the class of 2012. The findings were released this morning and I spoke to Jennifer Floren, the founder and CEO of Experience, Inc., about her impressions of them. Jennifer is also the author of The Innovation Generation, a speaker, and is on the board of Jobs for the Future. Experience, Inc.’s network consists of 3,800 universities, 100,000 employers, and over 8 million students and alumni.

What is your overall impression of the internship/entry-level job market? 

Generally, I believe the internship and entry-level markets are heating up in many ways.  More and more employers are realizing that they’re about to face a labor shortage as their Baby Boomer workforce retires, and the competition for up-and-coming talent is becoming stronger.  That said, there is still a significant difference between what employers need and what college students are prepared to contribute.  For entry-level talent that can demonstrate a go-getter attitude, strong communication skills, independent thinking and teamwork, there are many exciting options out there.

Based on the study, what skills do employers look for when hiring recent graduates?

It’s clear based on the data that employers truly value the so-called “soft skills”, such as analytical thinking and communication ability.  I think this speaks to the fact that specific on-the-job skills change, and they change more quickly these days than ever before.  As a result, employers are looking for raw material — talent that they can work with and develop, people who can adapt to changes over time.

Why do you think that employers are still using job boards over social networking sites when recruiting?

Employers use what works.  Although more and more hiring is happening on social networks, employers still want to make sure they are casting a wide net to access talent everywhere possible.  As the world has become more online and social in general, the talent pool has become more fragmented — there are so many sites and channels and platforms and communities being used these days that employers need to publish their opportunities in more venues to make sure they’re seen.

What stood out to you the most in the study?

To me, the most interesting thing about the study was the apparent communication disconnect between employers and entry-level talent.  Employers say they need soft skills… yet entry-level candidates often do not understand which classes are relevant for which career paths, or how to express their soft skills in ways employers understand and appreciate.  Employers say that relevant coursework is highly valuable, yet they rarely communicate their messages to younger students — so how are students supposed to know which courses to take?  If the message of what employers need isn’t getting to a younger audience, then our talent pipeline isn’t going to be well-prepared when it comes time to enter the working world!

What are your top three pieces of advice for college seniors right now?

My top three pieces of advice are simple:  get involved, build relationships, and find inspiration.  Getting involved can include building your resume with internships are — but ANY form of experience is what employers are looking for (it doesn’t have to be an official “internship” per se).  When considering entry-level talent, employers look at your past experiences for demonstration of your ambition, your interests, your skills and aptitudes, etc.  Class projects, student government, volunteering, even being active within your church or family — any experience can showcase how you can contribute to an employerso get out there and get involved!  Second, build relationships.

All hiring is personal — and whether you meet your future hiring manager or a mentor who can help make introductions that get you in the door, ‘who you know’ can make a big difference.  Introduce yourself and stay connected — relationships make a big difference.  And finally, find inspiration.  Loving what you do will give you the passion to be successful, resilient, persistent and optimistic — and finding what brings you true passion is a process.  So try things out, explore!  Youth is a time of discovery, and no one expects you to have all the answers yet — use your time to sample different organizations, areas of study, types of jobs or projects – you’ll hone in on what really gets you excited, and loving what you do is the ultimate success!

By Dan Schawbel, Forbes Contributor Newscribe : get free news in real time

Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and management consulting firm.  He is also the #1 international bestselling author of Me 2.0 and was named to the Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30 list in 2010. Subscribe to his updates at Facebook.com/DanSchawbel.

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To teach or to manage?


The Education Ministry should come up with guidelines that strictly define the role of teachers who are assigned to carry out administrative tasks and those who teach.

HAVE teachers not enough to teach that they are crying out to be “allowed to teach”? Or, have teachers been so drawn away from their teaching duty that they are pleading hard to “get (back) to teach”? Sadly, it is the latter that is of concern.

Teachers lament that they are not able to concentrate on their teaching because too many non-teaching activities and responsibilities are thrust upon them. There are the numerous analyses to do, reports to write, data to enter online, meetings, functions, seminars and workshops to attend. They also complain that they have co-curricular activities and games to manage and students to counsel.

Granted that some of these activities do have educational value that may indirectly contribute to classroom teaching effectiveness, teachers are not happy at the seemingly uncoordinated and inordinate manner by which they are called upon to be involved.

The contention is that much of the “paper work” teachers are required to do serve only the purposes of officials higher up. Teachers do not see any benefits to their charges at all.

With all these distractions, the committed teachers are worried sick that they may labour in vain in their classroom teaching; or they may themselves be burnt out. Others may already have thrown in the towel.

On the other hand, the less-than-responsible ones are enjoying the “outings” and “deviations” and unashamedly claiming that teaching is after all an “easy” life.

For the newly recruited teachers, this is indeed a confusing scenario!

There is indeed a case for the Ministry and education authorities to better coordinate and reassess the true needs of the paper work given to schools and expecting their feedback to be uploaded usually within short notice.

On the other hand, teachers must also recognise that some extracurricular activities are essential and therefore rightly become part of their duties.

Yet, with consent, approval and support from the authorities higher up, schools can do better. Here are my thoughts and suggestions.

A normal secondary day school with a student population of around 2,000 and running two sessions will have a principal, three senior assistants, an afternoon supervisor, four heads of academic departments, five student counsellors and a teaching staff of about 120.

This means that the school has 14 administrator-teachers, that is 12% of the staff.

Premier and other schools of acclaim may even have more academic and administrative staff. Smaller schools need no afternoon supervisors, have a proportionate number of counsellors whilst other positions are all intact.

These school administrators are called administrator-teachers because besides administering and managing their respective “office”, they are required to also teach some (10 to 14) periods a week. This may seem minimal as compared to a normal teacher’s load of 24 to 28 periods.

But, consider the minds of these administrator-teachers. Their first concern must be that they administer well the “office” they have been promoted and assigned to. They must also realise that what they do and decide now affect more than their own classes. They are helping to administer the whole school.

Their teaching periods may average two per day. But the timetable could be such that it is one period in the early half and the other period in the latter half of the day. Being conscientious and committed, they are teachers who want to perform well in their given tasks.

So, it is not just about going into classes for 40 minutes per period. There must also be necessary preparations to ensure that each lesson is enriching and benefiting to their charges.

Usually, they are torn between the demands of their administrative offices and the teaching needs of their classes. More often than not, our school structures and expectations being such, their administrative duties take precedence.

To accommodate, the more experienced administrator-teachers opt to teach “less important” subjects and classes.

This has resulted in their teaching becoming, much to their own chagrin, less than exemplary to their colleagues. Worse, there are some teachers who use the situation to justify their own lackadaisical demeanour.

This sad scenario begets the question: Why not allow administrator-teachers to be full-time administrators? They can then focus on the administrative tasks, take over the paper work now being assigned to teachers, “represent” teachers in many out-of-school activities and most importantly reduce the burden from teachers who are not “teaching-centric”.

After all, these administrator-teachers have to prove their administrative prowess rather than teaching for their next career move.

And, may I point out that former teachers who have taken on administrative positions in the ministry or the various education departments are not required to teach at all?

So why should teachers carrying out adminstrative work be expected to teach even if its just a few periods a week?

We really need a transformational change here. Would the Education Ministry allow schools to be administered by full-time administrators who were teachers before?

By LIONG KAM CHONG

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Happy Valentine, bring in all elements of love!


Teacher Talk  By NITHYA SIDHHU

Kindness, compassion and understanding are qualities that we should nurture in ourselves and those around us to make our lives more meaningful in the long run. Give a man the respect, recognition and reward he deserves and see how far he will go in life

A COUPLE of weeks ago, I dropped by at one of the schools I had taught in before. When a group of my ex-students spotted me, they came rushing up to say “Hello”.

A cheeky girl, now in Form Five, quickly covered her name tag and asked me, “Teacher, tell me my name. See if you still remember me.”

Much to her surprise, I remembered. The reason was simple. I had taught her when she was in Form Three and one day, I had given her class a set of open-ended questions to evaluate my teaching.

I must share with you that my favourite questions are based on Edward De Bono’s lateral thinking PMI (plus, minus interesting) set. I would ask my students to tell me, using whatever vocabulary they had, be it in sentences or in words, in Malay or in English, the PMI elements about my teaching.

Attentive: Teachers should not only teach but make it a point to nurture and interact with their students.

This student, wrote very simply that I was a “nice teacher” who had a “nice nose, nice face, nice lipstick, nice hair, nice personality and nice manners.” To round up, she wrote in every column – regardless whether it was ‘plus, minus or interesting’ that I was “nice, nice, nice”.

Reading out her evaluation to my daughters, I remember the older one going “aawww”.

That explains why when met I this student again, I could really remember her full name. With her simple appreciation, she had left an impression on me.

But while I chatted casually with them all, I noticed a Chinese boy hanging back, unsure whether to approach me or not. With my acute sense of “with-it-ness”, I could feel his hesitancy and trepidation.

Since I recognised him, I called out to him warmly to join us. I even remembered his name! The minute I did that, a transformation came over his face and he broke out into a big smile. Soon, he was among the cluster of students around me, laughing and joking.

Caring teachers: Sometimes all it takes is a hug and some counselling to bring about positive changes in a student. – File photo

The 3A’s

You may wonder what my point is. It is this.

Students cherish the human touch. They need the “3A’s” in their life as much as we teachers do – attention, acknowledgment and appreciation.

In our social interaction, it is a boost to our heart and spirits (brushing ego aside) when we are told, either in words or in actions, that we matter.

An older teacher is gratified when she is told that her contributions make a difference. A younger teacher goes home happy when she has been given a complimentary shot in the arm. A disgruntled employee feels better after his issues have been heard out. A dissatisfied man relaxes when his boss listens to his complaints and then acts on them.

Even the people of a country sleep better when they know they have a government that cares about their welfare.

Say what you will, but it is love that makes the world go round.

Kindness, compassion, understanding, good deeds, empathy – all these go hand in glove with achievement and true progress.

Give a man the respect, recognition and reward he deserves and see how far he will go in life. Deprive him of it, and you may get some results but one that is without much soul and passion.

“These days,” said an old teacher friend, “I do what I can and nothing more than that. Why should I work so hard all the time when others are taking it easy and yet make as much as I do? What more – I’m fed up with the boorish behaviour from people who think so highly of themselves! ”

She was talking about the disparity in attitude shown by her principal to her in comparison to how he behaved and favoured another colleague who did not work as hard as she did.

I told her what I tell all the teachers I give talks to — “Whatever you do, go ahead and be angry, sad, unhappy or miserable, but after that, you should let it go and let love triumph in your heart.

Be focused on the good that you can do, particularly with your students. Come to school with the mind to teach and teach well.

If you let negativity roll in, it will lodge in your mind and fester only pain and disillusionment.

When you teach, you have to give. The giving may seem lop-sided at first and not at all in your favour, however in the long run it always works out for the better.

I may sound like a Maharishi from the Himalayas but I speak from personal experience.

In my teaching years, I was proven right time and time again, that I was a happier and better teacher when I rolled out the good punches in my professional life and worked out the bad ones on punching bags outside school!

This, being the month of February, I think it’s time we ought to give love more room in our hearts.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone.

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