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The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy or simply known as SCORE, is one of the five regional development corridors being developed throughout the country. SCORE is a major initiative undertaken to develop the Central Region and transform Sarawak into a developed State by year 2020. It aims to achieve the goals of accelerating the State's economic growth and development, as well as improving the quality of life for the people of Sarawak.

What is the Core of SCORE? The core of the corridor is the energy resources, particularly hydropower (28,000 MW), coal (1.46 billion tonnes), and natural gas (40.9 trillion square cubic feet) found abundantly within the Central Region. This will allow Sarawak to price its energy competitively and encourage investments in power generation and energy-intensive industries that will act as triggers for the development of a vibrant industrial development in the corridor.


Private investments in priority industries and their associated downstream value-added economic activities will be the primary force behind the growth and development of the Sarawak Corridor. Chief among the priority industries will be the energy-intensive industries to provide the trigger investments and form the early anchor for an advanced industrial base to be built in the Corridor. Many other opportunities will also exist to broaden the industrial and economic base in the Corridor and they include resource-based industries and many other modern services. Supported by investments in basic infrastructure development such as roads, airports, ports and power supply, they lay the very foundation of widespread and sustainable development in the Corridor and beyond.

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Resource: http://www.sarawakscore.com.my/modules/recoda/page.php?id=100&menu_id=6&sub_id=114

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Resource: http://stop-corruption-dams.org/campaign_update/?show=7

Malaysian communities demand referendum on controversial dam projects

After intense discussions at a conferenc in Miri, Malaysian communities call on the government to immediately stop all dam projects in Sarawak and to hold a referendum on the issue. More details can be taken from today's press release of the Save Sarawak's Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) which unites affected communities and concerned organizations and individuals: Participants of SAVE Rivers Conference reject the construction of mega dams in Sarawak MIRI, SARAWAK - About 150 indigenous representatives who are affected by the current and planned mega hydro dam projects in Sarawak together with local civil society organisations and indigenous peoples organisations and concerned individuals gathered for a conference in Miri, Sarawak from the 16 to 18 February, organised by the newly formed Save Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers). The discussion in the conference centred on issues regarding the impacts of building mega-dams to the livelihoods of the affected communities as well as the adverse impacts it will create to the environment. At the end of the conference, the participants issued a statement demanding that the government take the necessary steps to address the issues concerning them. According to Peter Kallang, the Chairman of SAVE Rivers, "In the workshop discussions the participants unanimously expressed their clear intent to resolve these issues and continue the campaign until the demands are met." The participants of the conference strongly condemn the Sarawak State Government's development plans to build an additional 12 dams after Batang Ai, Bakun and Bengoh dams. They strongly demand the State Government to scrap the said plans as well as the plans to bring in dirty industries to the state under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE). They are also demanding that all outstanding issues regarding the peoples affected by the dams which have already been constructed or currently under construction should be solved immediately. The participants agreed in the conference that the government must respect the decision and the right of the people to disagree with the proposed dam projects as they are the ones directly

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affected. There was a strong call to the government to promote viable energy generation alternatives which are people and environmental friendly such as micro-hydro, solar, wind and biomass. The participants demanded that destructive activities caused by logging, plantation and infrastructure activities within the water catchment areas of all the river system in Sarawak should cease. All the participants also agreed that the government should at the very least conduct a referendum after a full and free consultation among the peoples affected by the proposed dams. 8 speakers gave presentations during the conference. They are Detta Samen who is one of the Commissioners in the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM), Gurmit Singh from the Centre for Environment, Technology and Development, Malaysia (CETDEM), Edmund Bon who is a lawyer and formally in the Bar Council's Human Rights Committee, Dr. Andrew Aeria from the Faculty of Social Science at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Adrian Lasimbang from the Indigenous Peoples' Network of Malaysia (JOAS), Dr. Ting Chek Ming who is a senior lecturer in Universiti Selangor (UNISEL), Kirk Herbertson from International Rivers and Cynthia Ong from Green Surf. The indigenous communities include the Kayans, Kenyahs, Kajangs, Kelabits, Lun Bawangs, Ibans, Penans, Bidayuhs, Kedayans, Trings and Ukits. SAVE Rivers is a network of civil society organisations, community based organisations and associations and individuals who are concerned about the issue of mega dams construction in the state which will affect a large group of indigenous peoples and the environment.
Resource: http://stop-corruption-dams.org/campaign_update/?show=7

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In the last few days I read Jeffery Kitingan commenting very vocally on the politics of STAR and the interests of Sabahans. If STAR does win a big healthy chunk of the electorates in GE-13, I smell secession not far off. KTemoc Konsiders In an earlier post I had warned about the change of winds prevailing in East Malaysia. Incidentally 'East Malaysia' is a (literally) politically incorrect name as the government prefers the nations eastern wing to be called the states of Sabah and Sarawak. Perhaps the 1971 secession of East Pakistan to become Bangladesh had alarmed the federal authority on the terms 'East' and 'West' in describing the two wings of Malaysia. In Tri-Ancaman I wrote (extracts): There has been an awakening of nationalism in Sabah and Sarawak that bodes no good for the continuing cohesion of Malaysia. Many are the people of the two Eastern States who are pissed off with Putrajaya for their treatment by a succession of patronizing and condescending PMs who viewed both States as only equal or even lesser to one of the 11 in Peninsula, when the constitutional fact of Malaysia has been one of a merger of Malaya (or the Peninsula), Sabah and Sarawak (and previously Singapore), and not of 14 states. [] That an expelled Singapore (from Malaysia) is now doing great guns on its own has added to the 2 Eastern States chagrin in their perspective that there, but for the curse of Syaitan, could have been us, where 'Syaitan' of course is Putrajaya. Putrajaya (and its predecessors) hasnt helped ameliorate, but instead aggravated the current mood in Sabah and Sarawak by its arrogance, deprivation of correct development funding for those two States, corruption, fostering of unpopular and corrupt local politicians who have misappropriated native lands and raped other resources, and the scandalous, insidious & treasonous socio-political engineering in Sabah. Today the two States are still relatively undeveloped, and their natives have hardly enjoyed the benefits of being bumiputeras. Even though secession is prohibited by the Constitution, someone (obviously from one of the two States) wrote recently in Free Malaysia Today that since the federal government hasnt abided strictly by the Merger Agreement, then both Sabah and Sarawak have equal rights not to abide by the constitutional prohibition of secession. Tit for tat! [] They are very desirous of at least autonomy if not secession, to take charge of their own destiny (and wealth) as they can no longer trust nor want federal politicians to look after those for them. This may upset someone who hates the red dot in the south but the reality is that the Sabahans and Sarawakians want their respective States to be like prosperous and independent Singapore. [] But we also need to be aware that two autonomous states separated from Peninsula by the vast water body of the South China Sea will be as good as two de facto secessions. [] We need to note that the world has witnessed several secessions in recent times in the former USSR, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Indonesia (East Timor), where some were peacefully achieved whilst others were blood-stained. There are still threats of secessions from the people of the Canadian state of Quebec and Scotland (from Britain). In the last few days I read Jeffery Kitingan commenting very vocally on the politics of STAR and the interests of Sabahans. If STAR does win a big healthy chunk of the electorates in GE-13, I smell secession not far off.

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The deepset dissatisfaction and resentment among Sabahans are already there, having built up into raging crescendos they are today, thus the mood and willingness to go it alone on their own must be fermenting to boiling point. With a political mandate in GE-13, STAR will no doubt demand (or blackmail) the federal government (BN or Pakatan) into giving it greater autonomy. A hung parliament after GE-13 will be just gnam gnam (very fitting) for STAR, assuming of course it wins big in the state seats. And as I mentioned above, we also need to be aware that an autonomous Sabah, separated from Peninsula by the vast water body of the South China Sea, will be as good as a de facto seceded state.

Sabah's flag in 1963, when it was actually independent for two weeks prior to 16 September 1963 And we need to bear in mind, again mentioned above, the future (and peaceful) secession of Scotland from Britain has become in recent weeks a probability rather than just a possibility, and will represent, like the peaceful separation of Czech and Slovakia, an unavoidable example staring at Malaysia in the face, should Sabah demand secession call it a 'peaceful and friendly separation' if you wish!

Are we prepared to send troops into Sabah to stop secession? Do we have the military capability and competency to do so, given the intimidating logistical problems? Can we afford to? Are we willing to face international sanctions? Incidentally, did you know that prior to the formation/independence of Malaya in 1957, Penang had tried to exclude herself from the Federation?

Resource: http://www.malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/from-around-the-blogs/48774-will-sabahsecede-

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Environmental and Social Impacts of Oil Palm Plantations and their Implications for Biofuel Production in Indonesia
Krystof Obidzinski 1, Rubeta Andriani 1, Heru Komarudin 1 and Agus Andrianto 1

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Abstract Introduction Overview of Oil Palm and Biofuel Development in Indonesia: Progress and Issues o Oil palm plantation business models o Slow growth of biofuels o Social implications o Environmental concerns Methods o Stakeholders selection and sampling methods o Research sites Results o Environmental impacts o Livelihood impacts Discussion: Implications of Oil Palm Development for Biofuels o Uneven economic benefits o More established plantations correlate to stronger benefits o Benefits come with significant environmental cost o Winners and losers o Companies clear land years before developing plantations o Land clearing has direct and indirect environmental impacts o Targets for biofuel production and feedstock cultivation unreached o Land allocation regulations not implemented Conclusion: Governing Oil Palm Impacts o Channel future development into nonforest land o Map extent and distribution of degraded land o Assess life-cycle costs of plantations o Make deforestation the exception to the rule o Enforce regulations and standards o Monitor and mediate community-company negotiations more actively o Adhere to industry standards o Monitor enforcement of labor regulations o Strengthen customary land rights Acknowledgments Literature Cited

This paper reviews the development of oil palm with linkages to biofuel in Indonesia and analyzes the associated environmental and socioeconomic impacts. We selected three plantation study sites in West Papua (Manokwari), West Kalimantan (Kubu Raya), and Papua (Boven Digoel) to assess the impacts. Research findings indicate that the development of oil palm in all three sites has caused deforestation, resulting in significant secondary external impacts such as water pollution, soil erosion, and air pollution. In terms of social impacts, many stakeholder groups, i.e., employees, out-growers, and investing households, report significant gains. However, we found these benefits were not evenly distributed. Other stakeholders, particularly traditional landowners, experienced restrictions on traditional land use rights and land losses. We observed increasing land scarcity, rising land prices, and conflicts over land in all sites. Three major trade-offs are associated with the development of oil palm plantations, including those related to biofuels: unevenly distributed economic benefits are

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generated at the cost of significant environmental losses; there are some winners but also many losers; and economic gains accrue at the expense of weak rule of law. To reduce the negative impacts and trade-offs of oil palm plantations and maximize their economic potential, government decision makers need to restrict the use of forested land for plantation development, enforce existing regulations on concession allocation and environmental management, improve monitoring of labor practices, recognize traditional land use rights, and make land transfer agreements involving customary land more transparent and legally binding. Key words: biofuels, environmental impacts, oil palm, socioeconomic benefits

In recent years, many countries around the world have been tapping renewable resources to secure stable sources of energy. This tendency has been spurred by high fossil fuel prices, rising demand for energy, and increasing concerns about the implications of fossil fuels on global climate (FAO 2008a). The European Union (EU) and United States of America (USA) are currently the leading markets for, and producers of, biofuels, but Brazil and the emergent economies of China and India are not far behind (Emerging Markets Online 2008, Biodiesel Magazine Editorial Staff 2010). The growth in biofuels has been achieved primarily by introducing fuel-blending obligations and government subsidies (FAO 2008b). Over the past two years, following the initial excitement over biofuels potential as a clean source of energy, increasing concerns have emerged regarding the potential environmental and socioeconomic costs of large-scale biofuel feedstock cultivation, especially in developing countries (Cotula et al. 2008, Danielsen et al. 2008, Sheil et al. 2009, Gibbs et al. 2010). As a result, some major markets, such as those in the EU, have adopted production and trade safeguards, e.g., Renewable Energy Directive (RED), that require biofuels consumed in the EU to meet defined sustainability standards, regardless of their origin (EU 2006, Ismail and Rossi 2010). Indonesia is potentially a key supplier of biofuels, especially oil palm-based biodiesel, to world markets. In 2006, the country had 4.1 million ha of oil palm plantation, 31% of the world total (Koh and Wilcove 2008). By 2010, the plantation area increased to about 7.2 million ha of oil palm, which accounted for 46% of the worlds crude palm oil (CPO; FAO 2008a, Bromokusumo 2009, Bromokusumo and Slette 2010, Teoh 2010). Currently, Malaysia is the regional leader in biodiesel production with an output of 540 million liters per annum as of 2009 (Teoh 2010). Indonesia is second with the production of 400 million liters in 2010 (Slette and Wiyono 2011). By 2019, Indonesia and Malaysia are forecast to nearly double their production of biodiesel, respectively (FAO 2008a, Hoh 2009, FAPRI 2010). By 2025, it is forecast that biodiesel, mostly from CPO, and other biofuels will constitute 25% of Indonesias national energy mix (Timnas BBN 2007). Biofuels have increasingly attracted the Indonesian governments interest because of their potential to reduce the countrys reliance on imported fossil fuels (Dillon et al. 2008). As a result, in 2006, the government made use of biofuels for transport mandatory and established blending targets at 5% in 2006, 10% in 2010, and increasing to 25% by 2025. In early 2007, the government announced that 60 biofuel projects worth about US$12 billion would be developed (Business Wire 2007). However, few of these investments have been implemented; the global financial crisis of 2008 and rising CPO prices made biofuels too costly and uncompetitive vis--vis fossil fuels. This caused biofuel refineries that had just commenced operations to reduce production or close indefinitely (Lacey 2009). In late 2009 and 2010, as international economic conditions improved, the biofuel sector showed signs of revival. At the same time, country-level policies in Indonesia moved increasingly toward securing

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and sustaining the growth of biofuels by supporting large-scale plantation investments and prioritizing the development of biofuels on marginal or idle land (Hallam 2009). Between 2010 and 2020, experts expect between three and seven million ha of new oil palm plantations will be developed for food and biofuel (Gingold 2010). Some estimates run as high as 20 million ha based on the concession permits issued at various administrative levels in Indonesia. Historically, however, only one-third of allocated oil palm plantation concessions has actually been developed because of the high-risk business environment (Slette and Wiyono 2011). Expansion plans for oil palm plantations in Indonesia have become the subject of political and environmental debates. Some see oil palm as a commodity playing an important role in mitigating climate change, providing alternative sources of energy, and contributing to economic development and rural livelihoods (Basiron 2007; Y. Basiron, unpublished manuscript). Others are concerned about potentially serious unintended social, economic, and environment implications (Fitzherbert et al. 2008, ICTSD 2008, Marti 2008, Bringezu et al. 2009, Sheil et al. 2009, Sirait 2009, Colchester 2010, FoE 2010). This ongoing debate is important, and will likely determine the future of first-generation biofuels. Arguments in favor and against oil palm and biofuels are based on sectoral and institutional interests and also on different, often superficial, methods to assess the benefits or costs of oil palm. Using a systematic and empirical approach to shed light on the local social, economic, and environmental impacts of oil palm development in Indonesia, we seek to inform the ongoing debate. We examine oil palm plantations supporting biofuel production or undergoing expansion or acquisition processes associated with bioenergy. We also analyze the impacts of oil palm plantation development and highlight the potential implications of CPO-based biofuels in three sites, one in West Kalimantan with an established tradition of oil palm cultivation, and two in Papua and West Papua provinces with more recent operations. The impact assessment focuses on landowners, customary users, investing households, employees, and affected neighbors.

Oil palm plantation business models As of early 2011, oil palm plantations covered 7.8 million ha in Indonesia, out of which 6.1 million ha were productive plantations under harvest (Slette and Wiyono 2011). In 2010, these plantations produced 22 million tons of CPO and the production increased further to 23.6 million tons by the end of 2011. Most plantations, as well as CPO production, are located in Sumatra and Kalimantan (Indonesian part of Borneo). Between 1997 and 2006, 400,000 ha of oil palm plantations were established annually. Between 2007 and 2010, the size of annual establishment of oil palm plantations declined to 350,000 ha (Slette and Wiyono 2011). As new land available for plantations becomes more limited, annual development of plantation is expected to continue its gradual decline. However, over the next few years, land concessions already allocated for oil palm and not yet developed are sufficiently large to allow plantation estates to continue growing. There are three main types of business models for oil palm cultivation in Indonesia: private large-scale plantations and two types of smallholder models, i.e., nucleus estate smallholders, or NES, and independent smallholders. Smallholders manage nearly half of the overall plantation area; unfortunately government statistics do not distinguish between different types of smallholders. It is

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believed that smallholder operations have contributed significantly to the expansion of oil palm estates in recent years (World Bank 2010). Between 2006 and 2010, the area of oil palm plantations increased by 2.37 million ha, bringing the total productive area of plantation estates to 5.9 million ha (Slette and Wiyono 2011). This was partly because of biofuel and oil palm policies, which took effect in 2006 aiming to promote the production and use of biofuels. Overall, however, this expansion is more closely associated with the rising demand for CPO for food, both domestically and for export (Caroko et al. 2011). In 2011, the area of productive oil palm plantation subject to harvest increased to 6.1 million ha (Slette and Wiyono 2011). In theory, this area alone could be sufficient to meet Indonesias current CPO needs and future production expansion targets if the standard average production of six tons of CPO per hectare could be implemented across the entire sector (Table 1). It is possible, however, that not all areas reported as oil palm plantation are actually planted. In Kalimantan and Sumatra, only about half of the land areas allocated for oil palm plantations have been developed into productive estates (Slette and Wiyono 2011). Most independent smallholders operate in North Sumatra and West Kalimantan, areas with a long history of oil palm cultivation on large-scale estates, as well as smallholder operations (Jelsma et al. 2009). There are several variants of the NES model (Jelsma et al. 2009). One involves the development of both NES as large-scale estates, also known as Inti or Nucleus, as well as small plantation plots, known as Plasma. Once the oil palm trees start bearing fruit, normally four years after planting, the company transfers plots to smallholders who then deliver fruits to company mills at agreed upon prices. Sometimes smallholder oil palm planting is connected to transmigration programs, which used to stimulate economic development in remote areas (PIR transmigrasi or NES transmigration). In this case, a plantation developer plants oil palm on the land belonging to transmigration settlers (2 ha per family) and sells the produce to the plantation company at the specified price. A more refined version of PIR transmigrasi is PIR KKPA (Kredit Koperasi Primer untuk Anggota, or basic cooperative credit), under which transmigrants can obtain subsidized bank loans (Potter and Lee 1998).

Slow growth of biofuels Since 2006, biofuels have increasingly attracted the Indonesian governments interest because of their potential to reduce the countrys reliance on fossil fuels (Beyond Petroleum 2010). Because Indonesia has long been dependent on fossil-fuel energy for revenues and to finance development, it has become increasingly urgent to conserve remaining oil reserves and look for alternative sources of energy. In 2005, revenue from the oil and gas sector was about US$19.2 billion (24% of Indonesias GDP). However, production levels of Indonesian oil have declined over the past decade while consumption has increased. In 2004, Indonesia became a net importer of oil (Beaton and Lontoh 2010). The cost of extensive subsidies on fossil fuel products has been a related concern (Dillon et al. 2008). These subsidies are particularly burdensome because they consume large financial resources that could have been used more effectively for development or other national needs (Beaton and Lontoh 2010). In 2010, the government allocated US$21.9 billion for fuel subsidies; this was about 15% of total government spending that year and thus continues to place a significant strain on the state budget (Kaiser 2011). Consequently, government policy makers have been eager to find ways to reduce these costs; biofuels appeared as a strategy of choice. As part of the 2006 National Energy Policy, the Ministry of Energy set guidelines for the mandatory


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use of biodiesel by heavy industries, as well as blending targets. The government has actively encouraged investors to apply for land and industrial licenses. It was expected that by 2010, the biofuel industry would have created 3.6 million jobs in rural areas and helped reduce poverty by 16% (Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources 2006, Dillon et al. 2008, Oxfam 2008, Sheil et al. 2009). These targets have clearly not been reached. In 2010, biodiesel production of 400,000 kiloliters required about 410,000 metric tons (MT) of CPO (Slette and Wiyono 2011); this required approximately 100,000 ha of oil palm plantations. A plantation area of this size would employ between 10,000 and 20,000 workers (Sandker et al. 2007), far below official expectations. In 2007, the first year that Indonesias biofuel policy went into effect, investment in the biofuel sector was initially significant. In addition to private sector actors, banks and government institutions supported the growth (Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources 2006). However, in late 2007, the Indonesian Association of Biofuel Producers (APROBI) reported that 17 biodiesel companies had reduced production or temporarily suspended operations. In 2008, only five mills were operating, which caused biodiesel production to fall by 60% (A. Sugiyono, unpublished manuscript). The decline was caused by the drop in price of fossil fuels on the international market and the spike in the price of the main biofuel feedstock (crude palm oil, CPO), which made CPO-based biofuels uncompetitive. The price of CPO on international markets is variable, but has recently been rising. In March 2008, it peaked at US$1410 per ton. Throughout 2011, it hovered at around US$1000 per ton. There are other constraints on CPO-based biofuel development in Indonesia as well. Oil palm companies tend to sell most of their CPO production to domestic and foreign food markets, which offer best prices and the most buyers. About 25.7% of Indonesias annual CPO production is consumed as cooking oil and other edible fats; about 73% is exported, mostly for food; and only 1.3% is used for biofuels. In 2007, eight CPO biodiesel refineries operated in Indonesia with a combined annual processing capacity of 765,000 tons of CPO. In mid-2007, because of the aforementioned increase in CPO prices, the initial blending target in Indonesia was temporarily reduced from 5% to 2.5%; refineries were reported to be operating on a fraction of their production capacity. Despite these difficulties, Indonesias biodiesel sector has endured and over the years has shown modest production growth (Table 2). Still, biofuels development has fallen far short of expectations in terms of the rate of production growth and contribution to the national economy.

Social implications It is generally accepted that oil palm plantations are an important driver of economic development in Indonesia because they contribute to state revenues and provide employment in rural areas (Basiron 2007, Bunyamin 2008, Feintrenie et al. 2010). In a study assessing the impacts of the nucleus model of oil palm plantations in West Kalimantan, Bunyamin (2008) found a steady increase in the sectors contribution to provincial GDP and farmer incomes. Other studies also indicate economic benefits for smallholders in Indonesia (Feintrenie et al. 2010). However, because oil palm cultivation requires a significant investment and a certain amount of experience, these benefits seem to accrue to those above a certain threshold of agricultural skill and income. Thus, oil palm development in Kalimantan is likely to benefit migrant smallholders with prior exposure to oil palm more than indigenous people with no prior experience, such as native Papuans (A. Hadianto, F. Kesaulija, personal communications). In some cases, oil palm can also be detrimental to local livelihoods (L. Potter, unpublished manuscript). Orth (2007) shows that oil palm development in Central Kalimantan has adversely affected the


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shifting cultivation practices of the local Dayak communities, causing food insecurity. Oil palm plantations, especially large-scale estates, have frequently been associated with negative social impacts on rural communities and indigenous people (Telapak 2000, Marti 2008, Sirait 2009, FoE 2010). Although oil palm frequently appears to improve income, it affects social relations and land ownership in rural areas in ways that may ultimately work against the well-being of poor people (McCarthy 2010). Marti (2008) found many cases of human rights abuse by plantation companies, especially during land acquisition and plantation development. Other studies indicate that most conflicts between plantation developers and communities occur because of lack of recognition of customary rights, breached agreements, and disregard for the environment (Casson 2002, Colchester et al. 2006, Sawit Watch 2006, as cited in Down to Earth 2007; L. Potter, unpublished manuscript). Colchester (2010) reports that in 2010 no fewer than 630 land disputes between palm oil companies and local communities had taken place in Indonesia.

Environmental concerns Deforestation is one of the key issues faced by the oil palm industry, especially in Indonesia where lowland rainforests contain high levels of biodiversity, and peat lands are home to globally significant carbon reserves. Although it is generally agreed that oil palm plantations have resulted in deforestation in Indonesia (Zakaria et al. 2007, Ministry of Environment 2009, Gibbs et al. 2010), the actual extent, and whether oil palm has been the prime driver, is subject to debate. For example, the Indonesian Oil Palm Research Institute (IOPRI) claims that only 3% of all oil palm plantations have been established in primary forests, whereas 63% have been developed in secondary forests and scrubland (IFCA 2008). Casson (2000) shows that, between 1982 and 1999, about six million ha of forestland were converted into oil palm plantations. Using the ratio of biofuel production to total oil production, industry insiders indicate that biofuels currently account for approximately 6.5% (some 65,000 ha) of annual deforestation in Indonesia (Y. Gao, personal communication). In 2008, based on official government statistics, around 22.7 million ha of forestlands were available for conversion under the Hutan Produksi Konversi (HPK) forest land category, i.e., forest zone allocated for conversion to nonforestry purposes. By 2010, about 11 million ha of land were allocated for oil palm plantations on the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan (Slette and Wiyono 2011). Only half of this area has been developed into productive plantation estates. However, large areas of forest seem to have been cleared but not planted. This reflects a trend in the plantations sector in Indonesia to target forested areas for conversion; the sector generates profits from timber either as an end in itself or as a means to generate additional capital for plantation development (Casson et al. 2007, Sheil et al. 2009). Some companies have cleared forest, but eventually ceased operations because of conflicts with local communities. However, others have simply not been managed well and either stagnated or went bankrupt. The conversion of natural forests for oil palm plantations has been associated with the loss of biodiversity, including a decline in populations of iconic species such as Orangutan (Genus Pongo) and the Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae; Brown and Jacobson 2005, Yaap et al. 2010). Oil palm is considered a relatively poor replacement for natural tropical forest. Recent studies indicate that it ranks behind planted forest, agroforest, and community woodlots in terms of the number of species it can support (Fitzherbert et al. 2008). Forest conversion and plantation development as currently practiced are also significant sources of GHG emissions. Deforestation and land conversion contribute 15% to 25% of global carbon emissions. Converting lowland tropical rainforest to oil palm plantations is estimated to result in a carbon debt of 610 Mg of CO2 ha-1, which would take between 86 to 93 years to repay (PEACE 2007, Danielsen et al. 2008, Fargione et al. 2008). For plantations established in peat lands, the carbon debt would be much


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higher, 6000 Mg of CO2 ha-1; this would take over 840 years to repay (Fargione et al. 2008) An estimated 1.7 million ha of oil palm plantations in Indonesia have been established on carbon-rich peat land (Kompas 2010a).

Stakeholders selection and sampling methods The research team followed the standard methodology for the analysis of environmental and socioeconomic impacts, applied consistently in all sites for the purposes of comparison. We selected research sites to represent a variety of business models as well as possible environmental and local social impacts from oil palm plantations in Indonesia. For analysis of local social and environmental impacts, we used three different sources of data collection, i.e., household surveys, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews. In this way, we could triangulate the collected information to minimize uncertainty and error. Stakeholders were determined to represent the variety of groups affected by the oil palm plantations in each type of business model. We selected stakeholders to represent various actors that are directly or indirectly affected by oil palm plantations. Five different stakeholder groups were identified for household surveys and focus group discussions:

employees: nucleus estate laborers or farmer workers; former landowners: individual family groups whose customary land has been converted to nucleus estate and land using community members who are not customary landowners, but whose land has been converted for nucleus estate; customary users: community groups who have de facto rights over the lands; investing households: independent growers, who voluntarily invest in oil palm, or participating farmers who join PIR, PIR-Transmigrasi, and KKPA programs; affected neighbors: respondents who do not belong to any of the other groups.

Although all stakeholder groups are found in sites 1 and 2, site 3 lacks the investing households group because of the nature of the private companys business model. The employees group includes mostly unskilled workers employed in plantation nurseries, fruit harvesting, and others. In sites 1 and 2, most unskilled workers live in surrounding villages, whereas in site 3 they live in the barracks on the plantation estate. The household surveys employed generic questionnaires aimed to obtain respondents personal experience of the impacts of oil palm plantation. A snowball sampling method selected respondents for the household surveys. We first approached and interviewed the local influential persons to help identify other groups of respondents for household surveys in each site. Social relations in sites 1 and 3 communities in Papua feature the big man concept, which means that clan members are not able to speak and act freely about customary land matters (Mansoeben 1995, Zimmer-Tamakoshi 1997). This had implications for how we selected respondents, particularly former landowners and lessors. In site 3, the research team selected clan heads or males assigned by clan leaders to obtain reliable information. In site 1, where local norms for the big man are less pronounced because of a relatively high degree of interactions with the outsiders, the research team was able to interview other clan members as well. We selected members for focus group discussions (FGD) using purposive sampling to capture as


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diverse a range of opinions as possible about the local impacts of oil palm. Through open-ended questions, FGD also helped verify information collected from individuals and households and to gather additional relevant data. We tried to reflect the existing diversity in terms of wealth, age, ethnicity, gender, and the nature of impacts. Separate discussions were held with men and women who were former landowners and investing households. This ensured that a group with a diversity of experience and different stakes in plantations was engaged in the analysis. Finally, we collected secondary data and held semistructured interviews with key government officials, company representatives, and civil society organizations to complement the site-specific survey data. This produced a broader view on important issues relevant to oil palm and biofuel development. All told, we interviewed 386 respondents in the 3 sites. Table 3 shows the distribution of each respondent group for any given site. We analyzed environmental impacts using remote sensing techniques. For example, to understand land cover changes over time, we examined a time series of Landsat images covering each site (Table 4). Landsat data were downloaded from the United States Geological Surveys website (USGS 2011). The three images illustrate the sites before plantation operations to ascertain the original land cover; plantation projects at the midpoint in their life cycle; and the most recent period available. Depending on the availability of the Landsat data, if a plantation concession was obtained, for example, in 1990, the first image would be from just before 1990, the second from 2000, and the third as close to 2010 as possible. In the case of site 1, a combination of two Landsat scenes (Prafi A and Prafi B) were used for each period because no single Landsat scene covers the entire concession area. The time series analysis is intended to show land use and forest cover changes as a result of oil palm plantation development. Household survey questionnaires elicited qualitative information about the environmental changes ascribed by informants to oil palm plantation development.

Research sites In recent years, the provinces of West Kalimantan, Papua, and West Papua have been among the most active areas in oil palm plantation development. Of the 3.5 million ha of new oil palm plantation proposals submitted to the government by 2009, 70% were in these three provinces (Kardono, unpublished manuscript). By 2011, Papua was processing 1.5 million ha of oil palm plantation permits and had another 2 million ha at the state of preliminary proposals (Papua Province Bureau for Plantation Estates, April 2011, personal communication). This activity, which solidified Papuas position as the last frontier in Indonesia for large-scale land investments, has been at least partly because of support from the provincial government. In 2008, the governor issued a policy encouraging pro-poor rural development through oil palm plantations for biofuel production (USAID 2009). However, Papua is also one of Indonesias flagship provinces to tackle climate change. As such, Papuas governor also actively promotes the provinces commitment to a low-carbon economy and limits forest conversion to plantation estates (Suebu 2009). Government-owned PT Perkebunan Nusantara XIII established the first large-scale oil palm plantation in West Kalimantan in the 1980s. In addition, large national and multinational groups such as Sinar Mas, Wilmar, Golden Hope, Cargill, and Lyman control major oil palm plantations in the province. According to official statistics, 337 oil palm plantations covered a total of 3.6 million ha in 2009 (Disbun Kalbar 2010).


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We selected one site in each of the three provinces for the analysis of the impacts and trade-offs of oil palm plantations with links to biofuels: Manokwari District, West Papua; Kubu Raya District, West Kalimantan; and Boven Digoel District, Papua (Figure 1 and Table 5). The three districts have different geographic and land cover. In addition, the selected sites have connections to biofuel production, although none focus exclusively on supplying CPO for biofuels. Site 2 is a subsidiary of Wilmar, one of the largest biofuel producers in Indonesia. Sites 1 and 3 have shipped CPO to major biodiesel production centers in Indonesia. Table 5 summarizes the research sites. In site 1, the indigenous communities belong to the Arfak tribe, who are highly dependent on the forest for subsistence needs (Laksono et al. 2001). Originally, patrilineal genealogical ties shaped Arfak families and clans with communities living in large clan houses next to their gardens and farm land. This began to change at the end of the 19th century with the arrival of the Dutch government and Christian missionaries. The Dutch colonial government united Arfak family groups into villages for better control and more effective implementation of development, educational, and health programs. Currently, most Arfak communities continue to live in these villages, although some settlements have been moved several times (F. Kesaulija, personal communication). In site 2, the native community is Dayak Ahe. They are an amalgamation of Dayak indigenous groups that lived in the hinterland in colonial times but subsequently migrated closer to the coast and, in the process, intermarried with local Malay groups and Madurese migrants. There are also small groups of Chinese and Javanese settlers in the area (G. Anshari, personal communication). In site 3, the study site is controlled by 5 clans of the Mandobo tribe, 11 clans of the Jair tribe, and 25 clans of the Awyu tribe. All three tribes feature the big man concept; this determines allocation and use of natural resources. All customary land in this site de facto belongs to the clans. Individuals or families from specific clans can use the land for hunting, gathering, fishing, and farming. However, the clan head and other clan members must give collective approval for the transfer of land (A. Andrianto, personal observation).

Analysis of collected data confirms concerns about the environmental impact of oil palm plantations on forested landscapes. At the same time, the household survey showed significant economic gains from oil palm plantations, although these were not available to all stakeholders and were not distributed evenly.

Environmental impacts Analysis of the time series of satellite images shows that oil palm plantations in all three research sites have led to deforestation. Figures 2, 3, and 4 illustrate the land cover change analysis for sites 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Table 6 illustrates the land cover change as a result of oil palm development. Table 7 summarizes the extent of deforestation and percentage of oil palm expansion that occurs at the expense of forests in all three sites.

According to field observations and interviews, oil palm plantations also caused environmental impacts (Table 8). Specifically, plantations degraded adjacent forest areas by displacing timber-extraction activities for construction and firewood use, and by concentrating these activities in remaining forest


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areas. All respondent groups at all research sites experienced decreased forest cover, but this was most salient for former landowners and land users; deforestation has adversely affected forestry activities, which are an important component of their livelihoods. As a result, these stakeholders have had to cover much greater distances to collect forest products and prepare their swiddens. In site 3, all groups experienced the effects of shrinking forest cover, particularly former landowners and those living adjacent to plantations. Deforestation led to the siltation of waterways and swamps used as sources of fresh water for domestic needs. In site 1, decreased forest cover, soil erosion, subsequent siltation, and declining water quality and quantity were perceived to constitute important environmental impacts of plantation development. Respondents living near the plantation in site 1 experienced air pollution because of burning of the oil palm waste, while employees and outgrowers saw soil erosion and sedimentation of rivers as an important environmental problem. Removing original land cover in and around oil palm cultivation areas has eroded soil, particularly in riparian areas where increased water flows during the rainy season cause abrasion. Flash floods also damaged the oil estate significantly, making parts of it inaccessible, and thus delaying and reducing harvest. In site 2, stakeholder groups perceived various environmental impacts, both in type and degree. All respondent groups perceived flash floods leading to declining water quality and quantity and deforestation as important environmental impacts. The destruction of natural drainage caused lowlying areas to become waterlogged. The company tried to remedy the problem by building canals both inside and along the perimeter of the plantation. However, these canals could not handle the massive amounts of water during the rainy season. Besides frequent floods during the rainy season, respondents also experienced worsening water quantity during the dry season. Former landowners and customary users also reported smog from forest fires as one of the most significant and undesirable environmental impacts during plantation establishment. Finally, respondents reported worsening crop pests and various skin diseases. In site 3, respondents perceived water and air pollution as significant environmental effects of oil palm expansion. Because the companies use significant amounts of pesticides and herbicides, they advised workers not to use the river water for daily needs, and instead constructed wells. The neighboring communities and former landowners also expressed concern about air pollution from dust and smoke coming from the plantation and mill site. They mentioned soil erosion as a major problem, particularly in 2009-2010 because of higher rainfall.

Livelihood impacts The groups most negatively affected by land use change are former landowners and customary land users (Table 9). They have to walk farther to collect forest products or to open new fields for shifting cultivation. Households relying on forests resources for income and food had to shift to other sources of livelihood. Those involved in logging and sawmill employment abandoned these livelihood activities entirely because of dwindling forest resources. Because of diminishing forest products and services they had to shift to on-farm activities, such as food crop cultivation (for those who still owned land) or off-farm work (e.g. construction). About 47% of respondents from among customary land users reported negative livelihood changes as a direct result of the land transfer to oil palm (Table 10). Site 3 observed the most negative changes, whereby 86% of respondents indicated adverse livelihood changes. Respondents attributed these changes to the decline in income from forest products and reduced access to sources of food. About 30% of respondents indicated mixed livelihood changes. Respondents reporting positive changes following land transfer attributed this largely to improved infrastructure, such as schools, health clinics,


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or religious centers. In site 1, despite land loss, most livelihoods improved. However, this was not entirely on account of oil palm, because these households had income from other off- and on-farm activities. Their prior experience with oil palm enabled them to capture opportunities associated with oil palm expansion. They received compensation for communal land taken over by the plantation and received plots of oil palm land in exchange for land with ownership certificates. As the plantation permit gets closer to expiry in September 2012, problems in this site are expected to intensify. Former landowners and customary users are eager to get their land back and are already staking claims. According to local customary law, a ritual ceremony involving appropriate compensation must take place to release any land to be acquired by a company for plantation projects. Because consultation and compensation were not done properly, discontent is rife. The parties tried unsuccessfully to seek resolution on several occasions. In both sites in Papua, compensation, when paid, was given to tribal chiefs, who were expected to distribute the funds among appropriate community members. Internal conflict ensued because of lack of transparency in the distribution of these funds. In site 2, the company began acquiring land from local communities in 1994 with a promise to establish plasma plantations, roads, and other infrastructure, e.g., schools and religious centers) In addition, the company promised to provide jobs for local residents, offer appropriate compensation for acquired land, and pay for land clearing. After several years, the company has paid wages for land clearing and developed plasma for several communities. Employment promises were only partially fulfilled, mostly in the form of jobs for unskilled workers. More than half of those losing land to the company experienced a decline in their livelihood, whereas 31% of respondents indicated some livelihood improvement. Respondents who indicated livelihood improvement were mostly smallholder oil palm growers. Those who reported declining livelihoods pointed mainly to loss of income from the forest and exposure to negative environmental impacts from plantation operations. In site 3, only 7% of respondents experienced positive changes in their livelihoods following plantation expansion. The remaining 93% of respondents regretted the establishment of oil palm plantations. With 20,000 ha of land occupied by the plantation, their livelihoods declined significantly, mainly because of decreasing opportunities for hunting, fishing, and collection of sago and other forest resources. Even though formal employment on plantations is an option, most people in this group are not able to work consistently because of limited skills and a reluctance to give up traditional ways of life. The employee group of respondents reported a mix of negative and positive implications from oil palm, with the latter dominant: 81% stated they had to forego former livelihood activities, such as farm-related activities (53%) and paid labor (39%), when seeking formal employment on plantations. In most cases, workers had to reduce their previous livelihood activities because of the heavy work load and long time spent on plantations. Very few people managed to maintain both sets of activities. Other family members have mostly had to generate supplemental income to compensate for the forgone benefits associated with forestry, agricultural, and other livelihood activities. Most of the positive impacts were attributed to higher income, as well as more regular income flows (Table 11). In site 2, 75% of workers experienced better livelihood conditions because of palm oil expansion. Most employees in site 2 indicated they can still obtain complementary income from farming, largely because they already had perennial crops such as rubber, which are less labor intensive once established. They also stated the company partially covers their health expenses; however, this benefit is for permanent workers only. Between 50% and 80% of workers are hired on a temporary basis and can lose their jobs at any moment. Their wages are based on work output, and they must work 26 days per month and 8 hours per day to obtain full wages. They lose income if they do not fulfill targets because of sickness or other reasons. The company requires workers to purchase their own tools such as boots, machetes (parang), and pull carts, which further erodes official


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incomes. Respondents from the investing households group reported mostly positive livelihood impacts because of oil palm development. This group, which only exists in sites 1 and 2, is made up primarily of migrants who have been residing in the area since the early 1970s as part of the government transmigration program. Under this program, the government allocated two ha of land for each household head, providing a formal land title. This group attributed the positive impact to higher income, broadening social networks, access to infrastructure, and better housing (Table 12). Negative impacts were associated with concerns over land speculation and the carefree manner with which some communities transfer their land. Similarities were observed between sites 1 and 2, where both plantation companies implemented the out-grower scheme. Most plasma farmers reported an improvement in livelihoods, suggesting the beneficial nature of these schemes. In site 1, 85% of households claimed to have former land uses, i.e., forest products and agriculture, displaced by oil palm. In terms of forest products, the displaced items include timber and medicinal plants, whereas the agricultural portfolio includes secondary crops, fruit trees, and cassava. Hopes for higher income are the main reasons behind the change from former land uses and livelihood activities to oil palm. After 10 to 15 years, more than 85% of plasma farmers have repaid loans taken to establish smallholder plantations. Now the land and oil palm plots belong to them, and ownership certificates can be used to secure bank loans for further business ventures. Negative impacts were primarily observed in plasma areas near the nucleus estate, mostly in the form of conflicts with former landowners demanding the return of their land. These conflicts occur because the current plasma holders received their land through the government-sponsored transmigration program, which ignores local customary norms and realities. The Papuans who are traditional landowners now demand the return of their land. The issue is difficult to resolve and numerous mediation attempts by local government institutions have proven unsuccessful. The Papuans perceive the government as biased toward transmigrants. They also resent the incomes transmigrants gain from oil palm, which Papuans think are rightfully theirs. In the Manokwari area, where most of the plasma holders are transmigrants, customary landowners currently receive three billion rupiah (US$300,000) to compensate for the entire area of lost land. In site 2, plasma plantations were initiated in 1997, while independent growers began their plantations in 1999. More than 63% of oil palm cultivated by investing households in this area displaced former land uses. Former land uses displaced by oil palm include rubber plantations, pineapple groves, secondary forests, and fallow. Higher economic profitability is also the main reason for the shift of livelihood activities to oil palm. The higher income level among investing households shows some benefits for smallholders; plasma is perceived to be more beneficial because the plantation company does most of the management. Although monthly income generated from these activities varies, most respondents reported it as satisfactory. Some have retained parts of their former livelihood activities and therefore are able to obtain additional income. However, not all investing households have secured immediate returns. For independent growers, the earlier years were most difficult because they had to forgo other livelihood activities to maintain plantations. Regardless of this burden in the early years of oil palm establishment, new families continue to invest in oil palm as independent growers. Investing households in site 2 are better off than in site 1. Prior to oil palm, most were cultivating cash crops, e.g., rubber, while others were also involved in timber extraction. When forest resources became unavailable because of plantation development, they responded by investing in oil palm plots. These households possessed the capital necessary for up-front investment, enabling them to partner with oil palm companies to meet company production targets. Positive impacts were also attributed to


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road construction, which has improved access to nearby urban areas and markets for agricultural produce. However, respondents indicated that oil palm plantations have attracted other investors, resulting in increasing land prices and a corresponding difficulty in expanding their plantation area. Affected neighbors, i.e., the adjacent communities not directly participating in oil palm development but exposed to its impacts, reported similar social and economic effects in all research sites (Table 13). A total of 93 respondents interviewed indicated similar effects associated with the oil palm expansion. Because flooding determined access to nearby markets, respondents perceived flash floods as an important factor affecting their social or economic life. Water pollution due to extensive use of fertilizers and pesticides on the plantation estate was also perceived as an important factor that mostly affected the quality of drinking water. Respondents indicated that employment opportunities in oil palm and road construction have positively affected their socioeconomic conditions. Off-farm business such as restaurants, repair shops, and transportation are in high demand because of oil palm plantations. Conflict was one of the most important and widespread social effects observed in all three sites. Conflicts over land between communities are considered minor, whereas conflicts between communities and companies over compensation for land and labor are considered to be more serious. Another form of conflict takes place between traditional owners and non-native communities, i.e., migrants. Prioritizing control over traditional claims, the government routinely allocates the local community land for transmigration and development. This causes conflict that continues long after the establishment of transmigration settlements.


The analysis of land cover changes in concession areas and household survey data from three selected sites in West Kalimantan, West Papua, and Papua has several implications during oil palm plantation establishment that need careful consideration.

Uneven economic benefits Oil palm plantations generate uneven economic benefits at the cost of significant environmental losses. As shown in the previous section, the economic livelihood gains for some stakeholders can be substantial, although not equitably distributed. In all three sites, the employees of oil palm plantations reported positive livelihood changes mainly because of salaried income and other job-related benefits, although employment terms had their drawbacks. In sites 1 and 2, the households investing in oil palm holdings all reported beneficial livelihood outcome as well. However, not all are able to raise the capital to develop smallholder oil palm. Therefore, in sites 1 and 2 this remains a livelihood option for the privileged; in site 3, in Boven Digoel, the investing households group does not exist at all.

More established plantations correlate to stronger benefits The variation between the sites in terms of reported positive changes correlates with the history of oil palm in each site, stakeholder familiarity with oil palm management practices, and their oil palmrelated skills. West Kalimantan has a comparatively long history of oil palm plantation development; the positive report about livelihood changes among the employees and investing households in site 2 is thus more uniform, whereas negative feedback is less pronounced. West Papua also has been exposed to oil palm plantation estates. However, Papuas more remote location and limited interaction


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with other oil palm centers results in limited management skills; they have less success in generating benefits. In site 3 in Papua, oil palm is a very new crop found in a very remote location. It is therefore likely the local population has not yet developed the knowledge, skills, and means to manage plantations effectively.

Benefits come with significant environmental cost Employee and investing household benefits are generated at significant environmental cost through deforestation and secondary impacts such as air and water pollution. In all three sites, plantation concessions were covered with primary and secondary forest, leading to the clearing of about 70,000 ha of forest in exchange for economic benefits to a relatively circumscribed set of stakeholders. Our findings also indicate significant problems with air pollution, water pollution, soil erosion, waterway siltation, and flooding. Similar studies corroborate these findings (Dudgeon et al. 2006, Danielsen et al. 2008, Fitzherbert et al. 2008, Hartemink 2006, Henson 2003, World Bank 2010).

Winners and losers Although plantation employees and investing households have benefited from oil palm, there are losers as well as winners. Customary land users and former landowners are among the most negatively affected by plantation expansion because they are often unfamiliar with oil palm as a crop, cannot develop oil palm smallholdings, and possess neither the necessary knowledge nor skills to obtain plantation employment (McCarthy 2010, Colchester and Chao 2011). The process of land transfer to plantation developers is a major problem that often leaves customary land users and former landowners on the losing end. Most of the time, government agencies simply issue concession permits; they emphasize the need for prior community acceptance of plantation investment plans, but let the companies and communities negotiate the level and nature of compensation. Companies often claim exaggerated benefits of plantation development for local communities. They also tend to focus on village elite during negotiations causing problems of representation and elite capture. Government authorities should be aware of these problems and participate in negotiations to ensure that agreements are fair, not one-sided. Although affected neighbors indicate they have also experienced positive impacts from the presence of plantations, we found this to be true for only a small number of people. The main concerns of this group relate to plantation expansion plans and the potential for more reductions of their customary land.

Companies clear land years before developing plantations The economic gains accrue at the expense of weak rule of law (Kartodihardjo and Supriono 2000, Wakker 2005, Reinhardt et al. 2007). The plantation companies in three selected sites have acquired concession areas that have taken several years, in some cases decades, to be partially developed into plantations. Yet timber extraction has proceeded more rapidly. This illustrates the broad tendency of plantation investors in Indonesia to acquire large areas of forested land at once for economies of scale, long-term planning, and investment risk mitigation. Historically, oil palm companies in Indonesia have developed plantations on just a fraction of the land they have been given. For instance, Sumatra and Kalimantan islands combined have more than 11 million ha of concessions to be developed into plantations. However, as of 2010, less than half of this area had been developed (Slette and Wiyono 2011); others areas, allegedly developed, have actually been abandoned. Plantation development commonly lags for years or decades, but the removal of forest cover is considerably faster (Koh and Wilcove 2008, McCarthy and Cramb 2009; A. Casson, L. Taccioni, and K.


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Deddy, unpublished manuscript). Plantation companies do this to generate up-front capital, offset plantation investment costs, secure land immediately for future expansion, or simply to benefit from timber only (Casson et al. 2007, Hunt 2010, Schwarz 2010).

Land clearing has direct and indirect environmental impacts The clearance of forests not only destroys forest cover, it also leads to a range of associated indirect environmental impacts. Although some of these occur naturally, with or without the presence of plantations, many adverse impacts are clearly due to poor oil palm plantation practices. This raises the question of whether the concerned companies have implemented environmental impact assessment (EIA) guidelines effectively.

Targets for biofuel production and feedstock cultivation unreached Clearly, only a small fraction of government targets for biofuel production and feedstock cultivation has been reached. This raises questions about the feasibility of grand policies that are still in effect. The national biofuel and plantation area targets were originally introduced to meet domestic needs for renewable energy. The national taskforce for development of biofuels set the target of four million ha of oil palm plantations to support the production of 16 million tons of biodiesel by 2015 (Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources 2006). As of 2010, only 353,357 metric tons of biodiesel were produced; this required 67,829 ha of oil palm plantations (Table 14), less than 2% of the planned area target (Slette and Wiyono 2010). This raises serious questions about the direction of Indonesias biofuel policy and calls for an assessment of conditions under which better outcomes could be achieved.

Land allocation regulations not implemented The analysis of concession allocation for oil palm in selected sites, and more broadly in Indonesia, has also exposed contradictions between land allocation regulations for oil palm and their implementation. The Ministry of Forestry and Ministry of Agriculture regulations stipulate that a plantation company may be granted up to 100,000 ha and 200,000 ha of land outside and inside of Papua, respectively, but that the land must be released in stages. Almost invariably this requirement is ignored and large areas of land are given at once. In many parts of Indonesia, particularly in Papua, government planners often perce ive forest as idle or unoccupied land that must be optimized for national development (AgroIndonesia 2010). Our findings clearly indicate that local communities have developed multiple uses for forested zones and significant portions of their livelihood portfolios depend on continued availability of these forests. The point of departure to minimize these negative trade-offs must begin with a shift from seeing forests as unproductive idle land to a vision of forests as occupied, supportive of rural livelihoods, and providers of important environmental services. This need not impede the flow of economic benefits from oil palm. Plantation development should continue, but it should focus on nonforest land, which is abundant in Indonesia. It should also involve smaller concession areas and release land gradually to allow for more effective monitoring of plantation development and EIA management practices.


By assessing the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of palm plantations associated with bioenergy production in Indonesia, we have examined options to minimize the negative impacts while


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maximizing the potential for social and economic benefits. We present several recommendations for government, industry leaders, and civil society organizations:

Channel future development into nonforest land Most negative environmental trade-offs stem from the fundamental undervaluation of the forest in Indonesia as an economic asset. Voluntary or mandatory carbon sequestration schemes such as REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) may make it possible in future for greater economic appreciation of forest as a nonextractive resource. For this option to succeed, government planners must take steps to reconcile competing land use regimes in Indonesia and channel most future plantation development into nonforest land. This requires extensive capacity building and applied work to formulate commonly agreed criteria and indicators for degraded land in Indonesia, identifying degraded nonforest land for plantation investments, and offering appropriate incentives to encourage plantation investors to use make of degraded lands.

Map extent and distribution of degraded land At least five different terms in Indonesia currently denote degraded land (lahan kritis, lahan terlantar, lahan tidur, lahan kosong, alang-alang). To complicate matters further, each term encompasses imprecise degrees of severity. Consequently, estimates of the total area of degraded land vary from 30 to 70 million ha. A commonly accepted definition of degraded land, accompanied by clearly specified criteria and indicators, is thus a critical issue. With such a definition in place, the National Land Use Agency, Ministry of Forestry, and Ministry of Agriculture need to work with counterpart agencies in districts and provinces to map and assess the extent and distribution of degraded land in Indonesia.

Assess life-cycle costs of plantations Once more is known about the extent, location, and availability of degraded land for investment, the Ministry of Finance and the National Investment Board need to work with other relevant government agencies to assess necessary incentives for stimulating use of this land for economic purposes. Still relatively little is known about the actual financial and technical inputs needed to establish productive plantation estates on degraded land. Even less is known about how these costs evolve over the life cycle of oil palm plantations. More research is needed in this area to enable government policy makers to understand these issues better and structure appropriate incentives.

Make deforestation the exception to the rule It will not always be possible to avoid deforestation in the development of oil palm plantations. After all, it is legal in Indonesia to allocate areas within the Conversion Forest Zone for clearing. However, deforestation should be an exception rather than the rule. Greater care should be taken to prioritize the use of extensive areas of nonforest land. In this context, it is encouraging that the Government of Indonesia has recently taken steps to limit the release of forested land for plantations, instead encouraging investors to use land without forest cover (Kompas 2011).

Enforce regulations and standards Government authorities must also ensure that companies adhere to relevant legal, environmental, and management standards. This will not be easy because poor law enforcement is a recurring problem in the plantations sector leading to widespread infractions. Most oil palm plantations in Central Kalimantan Province are technically illegal because they either do not possess the plantation business


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license (HGU, Hak Guna Usaha) or have not secured the permit from the Ministry of Forestry in Jakarta for the release of forested land for clear-cuts (Kompas 2010b). At the very least, stricter checks of EIA implementation should be emphasized to support the current two-year moratorium on forest conversion.

Monitor and mediate community-company negotiations more actively Given livelihood changing implications of oil palm for customary communities and frequent conflict, plantation investments must be built on legally binding contracts between investors and local community landowners. This means that local government agencies must monitor and mediate community-company negotiations of land transfer more actively. Once negotiations are successfully completed, the government should release the land gradually, making the availability of additional land for plantations contingent upon satisfactory development of oil palm on the first concession. This will reduce the incentives for timber- oriented business, land banking, and speculation, encouraging participation by legitimate oil palm plantation entrepreneurs.

Adhere to industry standards Oil palm sector supervisory organizations such as GAPKI (Indonesian Association of Oil Palm Companies) should also purse broader adherence and implementation of relevant codes of conduct or industry standards to improve plantation management practices among oil palm growers. The most readily available mechanisms are the recently introduced ISPO (Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil) and RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) standards. Serious implementation of either standard should help plantation companies progress significantly toward sustainable plantation practices.

Monitor enforcement of labor regulations In terms of socioeconomic benefits, oil palm plantations undoubtedly improve income among certain groups of stakeholders. The plantations also generate opportunities for employment and lead to improved public infrastructure. However, in many cases, oil palm plantations fail to deliver these benefits to a sufficiently large spectrum of actors. Those benefitting most are individuals with some prior experience, knowledge, or skills associated with oil palm, cash crops, or other plantations estates. Those who should gain the most, for example, unskilled workers, local landowners, and remote indigenous communities, are unable to reap significant benefits. Unskilled workers receive minimal compensation and must seek complementary income-generating activities on their own. Local landowners end up with a shrinking communal land base, limited compensation for land released for plantations, increasing time and labor investment needed to collect forest resources, and very few plantations jobs. It is imperative, therefore, that government institutions and civil society organizations push for better monitoring and enforcement of existing labor regulations in the plantation sector.

Strengthen customary land rights Among key unresolved issues in Indonesias oil palm sector is the lack of legal recognition of customary land rights. The failure to recognize the traditional land use/ownerships system results in persistent conflicts. Customary landowners in all research sites are mostly native communities dependent on forests and other natural resources for their livelihoods, and therefore unaccustomed to intensive farming practices. Inability to adapt to the changing legal and economic environment renders these groups susceptible to negative impacts of oil palm development, e.g., economic marginalization and damage to resources upon which their livelihoods depend. As a result, it is critical that the Ministries of Forestry, Agriculture, and Land Use Planning produce options to strengthen


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customary land rights in Indonesia. This is important not only for oil palm but also for REDD and other economic sectors and conservation initiatives.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This paper has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union, under a project entitled, Bioenergy, sustainability and trade-offs: Can we avoid deforestation while promoting bioenergy? Additional funding were also provided by CGIAR System wide on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi) and Cordaid. The objective of the project is to contribute to sustainable bioenergy development that benefits local people in developing countries, minimizes negative impacts on local environments and rural livelihoods, and contributes to global climate change mitigation. The project is managed by Center for International Forestry Research and implemented in collaboration with the Council on Scientific and Industrial Research (South Africa), Joanneum Research (Austria), the Universidad Autnoma de Mxico, and the Stockholm Environment Institute. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union and other donors. The authors would like to thank our project partners: Gusti Z. Anshari of Center for Wetlands People and Biodiversity of Tanjungpura University in Pontianak, West Kalimantan; Max Tokede of Papua State University in Manokwari, West Papua;Barnabas F Sedik of District Forestry Office of Boven Digoel, Papua and Habel Waridjo of District Agriculture Office of Boven Digoel, Papua for their kind collaboration on the project. We are also grateful to all staff affiliated with these institutions, who have taken part in field surveys, and to respondents from communities and oil palm companies. The authors would also like to thank the reviewers, especially Andrew Wardell, Director of CIFOR Forests and Governance Programme, Laura German and George Schoneveld for their candid assessment of earlier drafts of this paper.

Resource: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol17/iss1/art25/#social


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Malay supremacy and why Sabah, S'wak & Penang may demand 'INDEPENDENCE'
Written by Christopher Fernandez, Malaysia Chronicle

When the Cold War ended, it witnessed the cracking up of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) and the way and manner in which the Russian states began to gain autonomy and independence might most likely be emulated in Malaysia as well in the near future. Change is the only constant in life and in the Malaysia of 55-years old sweeping changes and transformations are expected to follow in future in line with global trends. While the current defections by Barisan Nasional members to the opposition appear to be taking place as expected and anticipated in Sabah, and should follow suit in Sarawak and the peninsular of Malaysia, this is just a sample of what could possibly happen. There is strong speculation, based on current and future political indications, that the three Malaysian states of Sabah, Sarawak and Penang may opt to go their own way similar to how Singapore pulled out of Malaysia in 1965. Secession always on their minds It must also be stated that secession has always been on the minds of the people of Sabah and Sarawak ever since day one when they joined the Federation of Malaya and Singapore on September 16, 1963 or what is known more popularly now as Malaysia Day. Under the Malaysia Agreement signed between Great Britain and the Federation of Malaya, the British enacted an Act to relinquish control over Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo (Sabah). This was an agreement signed in London on 9 July, 1963. But the growing dissension and discord between Putrajaya and the East Malaysian states have become strained ever since the departure of Mahathir Mohammad and the end of his autocratic rule. Among key reasons for this development is that since the Mahathir days, Sabahans have become better educated and more politically savvy. The wily Mahathir ensured that the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak were firmly under his grip as the vast and numerous resources in these states in terms of timber, minerals and oil and gas was a gold mine for Peninsular Malaysia to piggy-back. However, things have begun to go awry. Sabah and Sarawak residents are showing growing signs of intolerance and are beginning to vent their anger at the orang Semenanjung (people from the peninsular) for grabbing opportunities of economic growth meant for them. The woes of Sabahans Besides this, Sabahans have had to put up with an influx of illegal immigrants from the Philippines who have landed on their shores and parked themselves to seize limited opportunities in the east of Malaysia.


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Sabahans are outraged and are venting their anger at being squeezed and displaced from their own land by the Filipinos and they actually see the greedy west Malaysians as having become even more dangerous in their ambition. While Sabahans have been quite wise in coming up with a 20-point Agreement before teaming up with the Federation of Malaya, of the 20-points, some of those points were incorporated in the Malaysia Bill and became part of the constitution of Malaysia. There were, unfortunately, some other points among the twenty that were not included. While it must be confessed that these other points were incorporated, but only in varying degrees and forms, there were a number of others that were merely agreed upon verbally and these have since become the focus of much argument and debate in the state. Sabahans believe that since all of their 20-point Agreement is not enshrined in the constitution, their rights and privileges have eroded over time, worse still many Sabahans are of the belief that West Malaysians have committed transgressions against them and have plundered the wealth of the state at will for themselves. It was these grouses and strong resentment that led to calls and bred the idea of secession to take place in the land below the wind which was quickly snuffed by the sly and cunning intervention of Mahathir Mohammad who killed whatever hopes Sabahans had of pulling out of the Malaysia Agreement like Singapore. The Sarawak factor In the other east Malaysian state of Sarawak there was varied opposition initially to the formation of Malaysia and to be a signatory of the Malaysia Agreement. The Cobbold Commission which was a commission of enquiry set up by the British government to assess and determine if the people of North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak, based on the decolonization exercises being undertaken, were agreeable and supported the proposal to create Malaysia, found varying findings. In the ensuing studies and census undertaken, one-third of the population of North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak was in full favor of becoming a part of Malaysia. Another one-third of the population wanted to have a terms and conditions reference before deciding if they opted for the Malaysia Agreement. They were of the view that there needed to be a careful study and discussion as this was a very long term measure and so they wanted to have much more information and consultation. The final third of the population of North Borneo and Sarawak wanted to remain under British rule. In the final analysis, Sarawak capitulated easily to the Malaysia Agreement but ended up asking for an 18-point Agreement to be complied by the signatories to the Agreement. Since their entry into the Malaysia Agreement till now, Sarawak has been governed with a vice-like grip, authoritarian rule by a number of chief ministers who have toed the line to keep to the strict control and manipulation of BN from their Putrajaya stronghold.


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However, Sarawakians, like Sabahans, are also beginning to feel the heat and this has caused a groundswell of support for the opposition parties led by the Pakatan Rakyat trio of PKR, PAS and DAP and the various Sarawak opposition political parties. While Sarawak never openly stated it wanted to secede, these sentiments have always been latent, unlike in Sabah. There is now foment growing in greater measure in the Land of the Hornbill against the federal government that might want to cause the people there to rethink and review their position in the Malaysia Agreement. What happens in Penang if the federal govt remains in the hands of Malay supremacists Growing disenchantment by Penangites by what they perceive to be stumbling blocks being imposed on the freewill of the people of Penang and added with the sterling performance of chief minister, Lim Guan Eng, have covertly begin to generate ideas on the island of doing a Singapore and breaking away from Malaysia. The Independence of Singapore Agreement 1965 was an agreement between the Government of Malaysia and the Government of Singapore that granted independence to Singapore with effect from 7 August 1965. The agreement also provided for the granting of the state and federal territories of Malaysia, Singapore to be a new and independent and sovereign state to take effect upon independence which was done by the Singapore Act of 1966. The reason at the back of Penangites of wishing to become a sovereign and independent state is the fact that Penang has developed and prospered dramatically under the leadership of Guan Eng who had pulled in a great deal of Foreign Direct Investment to boost the states economy. If Penang is unable to do another Singapore, owing to the similarities of both island -states, they might want to consider and opt to become a Special Autonomous Region like Hong Kong where China has formulated a one country-two system rule. The fact that Penang has a high number of Chinese among their population and the argument that they can go much further without being bogged down by the unnecessary baggage being imposed by Putrajaya is beginning to appear as a very promising prospect for them to consider breaking away from the mainland in the near future. Much however will depend on the outcome of the upcoming 13 GE. If the Pakatan-led state government of Penang is able to secure a greater number of Chinese votes, but the federal government remains in the hand of Malay supremacists like Umno, the likelihood of Penangites actively demanding their rights and going their own way may be inevitable. Malaysia Chronicle

Resource: http://www.malaysiachronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=37508:secession-breakaways-sabah-sarawakpenang-eye-irdepenence&Itemid=2


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Revisiting the school curriculum

September 7, 2012

It is clear that we are far from a finished product, a nation that is still finding itself.
By Stephen Doss Recently I had the good fortune of being part of a focus group on national unity which was formed by a local think tank which wanted to present a proposal to the Education Ministry. The proposal was to be included as part of the ministrys blueprint for education reform. The focus was on what was needed to be done to foster unity though the identification of a Malaysian identity unique to all Malaysians through the school system. The questions posed were not new, just go to any seminar, forum, workshop on unity in Malaysia and the same questions would invariably surface if not by a panelist then from someone the floor. Why are we still having problems defining what is it that makes us Malaysians? Why are we not united beyond the surface level? Why do we still have race-based organisations? Why arent all Malaysians treated equally? And the list can go on and on. But this particular focus group was a bit more focused. The think tank wanted to see what more can be done at the school level to change attitudes assuming that these problems begin from a young tender age. It started off by asking questions about the curriculum, is there something wrong with our school syllabus that does not help foster a common identity? Does the syllabus not promote attitudes that lead students to appreciate unity among the different races? There were also question about the school environment, is the school environment not conducive to the building of harmonious relations? According to dictionary.com, Unity is defined as: 1.the state of being one; oneness. 2.a whole or totality as combining all its parts into one. 3.the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole; unification. 4.absence of diversity; unvaried or uniform character. 5.oneness of mind, feeling, etc., as among a number of persons; concord, harmony, or agreement. Now assuming that it is easier to achieve unity through a state of harmony, and harmonious relations are easily achievable if we have a common identity or purpose, then the question that we should be asking is after 55 years of independence, why do we still have problems with issues regarding national identity? What is national identity? According to Wikipedia, National identity is the persons identity and sense of belonging to one state or to one nation, a feeling one shares with a group of people, regardless of ones citizenship status. National identity is not inborn trait; various studies have shown that a persons national identity is a direct result of the presence of elements from the common points in peoples daily


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lives: national symbols, language, the nations history, national consciousness, blood ties, culture,music,cuisine, etc Now let us dissect the above before we go back to our nations school syllabus. National symbols, we have no shortage of these, the flag, the Rukunegara, the monarchy, architecture, national car, etc. Language, there is no dispute that Bahasa Malaysia is our official language although there are still many Malaysians who are not able to speak or write in the language. The nations history, by and large we are all familiar with our nations history, our colonial past, and our struggle for independence although not all of us may agree with where our ancestors came from, their different contributions, who were the actual freedom fighters and who benefited what, from whose struggles. National consciousness, we might have a problem here as we seem to have different races championing their own cultures as superior to the other, trying to agree on a common culture and placing that above individual cultural practice belonging to each ethnic group in the country still seems a mighty challenge. Blood ties, most Malaysians are by now second if not third generation Malaysians, by right not an issue, notwithstanding that Malaysians still like to call each pendatang or bangsa asing now and then. Culture, as yet we still have a problem identifying a culture that is common to all of us, we seem happy accepting a mix of cultures belonging to all races, a cop out of sorts just to keep everybody happy. Music, weve probably had more success here, but that is to be expected for music is a universal language. Cuisine, to be sure this is the one thing we are all proud of to claim as our own, we have successfully incorporated unique characteristics in our cuisine that it is said that you will not find similar food anywhere else. Looking at the list of items that are said to be part of what is required for forming a national identity, it is clear that we are far from a finished product, a nation that is still finding itself. Do we find these ingredients in our national school syllabus? I am guessing not really and definitely not beyond scratching the surface or with any real substance. I suspect it is because the adults among us cannot yet seem to agree on most items in the list, not surprising since we cannot even agree on allowing our children the advantage of attending one school with one objective. Deliverers must perform too There was agreement among the focus group members though to be sure that our current school syllabus does not cause disunity among students, neither is it a cause for concern in the short term.


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Although the same could not be said of deliverers of the syllabus, most who attended were of the view that it is this aspect of the school system that we should look at, as it is these deliverers who have an impact on our impressionable children. There was also real concern that what is being imparted to students is the reason why there is a perception that real unity will continue to elude us as long as these deliverers do not move beyond the superficial and away from their own racial discriminations. An improved syllabus which incorporates national identity and promotes harmonious relations will mean little if the deliverers themselves do not believe in the project. Stephen Doss is a social activist and political observer. He is currently the president of the International Social Media Chambers. He can be found on twitter@stephendoss

Resource: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2012/09/07/revisiting-the-schoolcurriculum/


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Students can take handphones, IT gadgets to school from 2013


PUTRAJAYA: Students will be allowed to bring mobile phones and IT gadgets to school from next year after the rules and regulations under the Education Act 1996 are amended, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong. He said Monday that such changes needed to be made to encourage educators and students to embrace information technology in the 21st century. He said the move was in line with the Education Ministry's move to implement the virtual teaching and learning programme - 1Bestari - nationwide. Based on a survey conducted by the Education Ministry, initial findings had showed varied views from the stakeholders such as principals, teachers, parents and students. When the 1Bestari is in place, you will get free wifi. We want to provide the virtual learning environment so that students can use their gadgets to learn and do their revision. The world is totally different now. This is a trend. We can't stop that, he told reporters after chairing the student discipline committee meeting in Putrajaya. Currently, students are not allowed to bring mobile phones to school. Dr Wee also invited the public to voice their views and opinions via the Education Ministry's official Twitter account @1KemPelajaran. Dr Wee said the draft of the amendments would be submitted to the Attorney-General's Chambers within a week, and that a stringent guideline on the use of electronic gadgets in school would be set up by the Education Ministry. The teaching and learning process must not be disrupted. The guideline will outline how we allow and when we allow the students to use the gadgets, he said. He added another factor that came into the picture was the safety of students, because parents would like to use mobile phone to contact their children after school. On another matter, Dr Wee said steps would be taken to address the issue of teenage pregnancy among school students in collaboration with the Health Ministry and Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.


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According to Wee, there were 18,000 pregnant teenagers who are below the age of 19 and 25% are unmarried. He said changes would be made so that schools had the right to send female students for medical examination at hospitals should they detect any sign of pregnancy. He said truancy remained a main discipline problem among school students and there were also suggestions to have rules to curb cyber crimes.

Resource: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/7/16/nation/20120716193345&sec=nation


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Scholarship Quotas
Having written on "Scholarship Reforms" and "Scholarship Heartbreaks", I think it's time to have a look at one of the most thorny and sensitive issues with regards to scholarships in Malaysia. Is there a quota, hidden or otherwise, placed on bumiputera and non-bumiputera students in the award of scholarships? If I don't remember wrongly, Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) has previously denied such "formal" quotas being in existence. However, with the recent release of statistics by Datuk Dr Abdullah Mat Zin, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in Parliament a few days ago, and published in Sin Chew Jit Poh, it has become crystal clear that there exists a specific quota on bumiputera and non-bumiputera receipients of JPA scholarships. As the table below clearly shows, JPA has made it a specific point to award 80% of overseas scholarships to bumiputera students and the balance 20% to non-bumiputera students every years since 2000. Nothing was disclosed prior to that year.

In addition, for local undergraduate scholarships, JPA has clearly allocated 30% to nonbumiputeras, and the balance 70% reserved for bumiputeras. This is shown in the table below.

The question then is, is this a just and equitable distribution of scholarships to young Malaysians? Personally, I'm a firm believer of affirmative action, even racially based ones under certain circumstances. However, to have between 70-80% of scholarship awards reserved for a

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particular ethnic group which constitutes approximately 65.9% of the population is to me grossly unjust. The scholarship distribution ratio in this situation appears to be a case of tyranny by the ethnic majority under the guise of ethnic-based affirmative action. To me, an effective ethnic-based affirmative action policy must be balanced between providing a policy advantage to the disadvantaged group, while at the same time provide elements of incentives. That way, receipients of affirmative action policies will continue to have strong incentives to pursue excellence. However, in our current case, it appears that the policy advantage provided is so overwhelming that the incentives for excellence are substantially (if not totally) diluted. The gap of standards between the bottom 5% bumiputeras and the bottom 5% non-bumiputeras receipients of the scholarships will be so huge, such that the long term objectives of the affirmative action policies are defeated. Assistance must be given to bumiputeras, who with certain additional policy assistance as well as hardwork and dedication, are able to make the cut. However, such "additional assistance", if provided to under-achievers of whatever ethnic group, will just be a simple case of flushing limited and valuable public funds down the toilet bowl. Lest my opinions be construed as seeking to eliminate the quotas altogether, I shall propose here, an alternative ethnic-based affirmative action steps and policy.
1. Scholarship awards should be evaluated totally based on merit, without first taking into consideration ethnic groups. Currently, it appears quite obvious that the number of scholarships to be awarded to bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras are decided up front, and candidates of the respective ethnic groups are evaluated within the groups to fill the available pre-determined slots.

2. There should however, be a minimum, say 30%, of scholarships to be awarded to Bumiputera students. I use 30% as a convenient figure, because that's the minimum wealth distribution model which our National Economic Policy is seeking to achieve in the 9th Malaysian Plan (and the ones before that). 3. In the event that the evaluation based on (1) above, produces only say 25% of the proposed scholarship holders comprising of bumiputeras, then the next 5% of bumiputeras shall be offered scholarships. 4. However, in the event that the evaluation based on (1) above results in 50% of the scholars being bumiputeras, then there will be no necessity for the affirmative action policies to kick in. The policy should similarly be made applicable specifically to the Indian community, to ensure that they enjoy an equitable distribution as well. Hence, for example, while they constitute 7.5% of the population, possibly a 3.5% quota should be set as reserved for them.


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Such a system will be beneficial to all ethnic groups for several reasons. 1. The system will provide a sense of justice to Malaysians of all races for the scholarships are not awarded to fill availability pre-alloted to particular ethnic groups, irrespective of changes in social circumstances. 2. In the event that a particular ethnic group performs too poorly, it makes equitable sense for the ethnic group to be given additional policy assistance. Bumiputeras will hence be "protected" in that perspective, and yet at the same time, the advantage does not significantly eliminate the incentives necessary to pursue academic excellence. 3. However, in the event whereby the "disadvantaged" ethnic group has clearly advanced its well-being and demonstrated an ability to compete on equal footing, the affirmative action policy is automatically made obsolete without a necessity of having to make subjective judgements of "readiness" to compete. For instance, once a merit-based evaluation produced 50% bumiputera scholars, then the 30% quota is automatically made obsolete. The crutches, which are often difficult to discard, can hence be transparently and justifiably removed without even a need to revise government policy. The above recommendations is clearly in line with what the current Government is seeking to achieve in the 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP) which also emphasized the 10 guiding principles of Islam Hadhari, which includes amongst others: A just and trustworthy government; Free and liberated people; A rigorous pursuit and mastery of knowledge; Balanced and comprehensive economic development; A good quality of life for the people; Protection of the rights of minority groups and women; Cultural and moral integrity; It is hence, of great importance for the Prime Minister, the Government and its relevant authorities to reform its current scholarship policies which are clearly in breach of the above principles to ensure that not only the economic objectives of the 9MP are met, but also the moral and ethical ones.

Footnote: While I feel very strongly with regards to the above topic, I actually had to think twice about publishing this blog post on this thorny issue. As a sensitive issue, more often than not, it'll raise debates and comments which are inconsiderate, racially-biased and even irrational, driven by unmitigated emotions under the anonymity of the Internet. Hence, I'd like to implore on readers out there to please comment with thought, reason, maturity and responsibility to demonstrate that we can deal with such issues without being prejudiced and destructive.

Posted by Tony Pua at 5/16/2006 09:21:00 pm Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook


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undergrad said... While the efforts and recommendations by Tony should be commended, trying to alter a policy that has been deeply entrenched within the Malaysian society, especially the Bumi, is akin to trying to move a mountain by an old man. The mountain just wouldn't budge. We cannot change a policy in a day or two. As the next GE comes nearer and nearer each day, the government will try to appease the MAJORITY as much as possible to sustain their 'rice bowls'. From my point of view, when the next UPU results are released in a couple of months for public U applicants, most of the successful or rather, chosen ones are from the East Coast states like Kelantan and Terengganu. Here is the incentive works. In most cases, voters are more likely to support political candidates and policies that provide them with net personal benefits. Conversely, they will tend to oppose political options when the personal costs are high relative to the benefits provided. That means, the people will choose the most benificial option. (No offense. Just a little bit of sarcastic sentences...). Do you guys still remember the 'Promised University' in Pengkalan Pasir by-election in Kelantan? 5/17/2006 01:07:00 am

PSD my foot said... Thanks Tony for the update. Do you know that it is even worse at postgraduate levelUSM ASTS/ASHES 2001-2004. Anyone have data for other local public universities. Let's put it here. 5/17/2006 01:20:00 am

Anonymous said... To add on what "psd my foot" just said, do check out on the comment given by A non bumi ASTS recipient posted at this blog some time ago. 5/17/2006 01:26:00 am

Anonymous said...


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I think its very clear that there is a quota which is grossly unfair...can the blog owners kindly add statistic for petronas and telekom malaysia scholarship too? ...from anecdotal evidence, petronas seems to be more fair while telekom, worst, in the scholaship allocation. 5/17/2006 04:37:00 am

dracula77 said... It is unfair to say that that "all" non-bumi ASTS recipients cannot get full sponsorship for postgrad study or only can get it if they study at local university. I know a few non-bumi scholars who get full sponsorship to do their master and PhD overseas. During recession in 1998-2003, gov had reduced sponsorship for overseas study including Bumi. That's the reason most ASTS recipients studied at local university. We also need to think why non-bumi doesn't want to join gov/univ? Who wants to accept offer of RM1729 per month for 5 years (ASTS USM) until you complete your master and PhD? If you work in private sector you can easily get RM3k-4k...:-) And do you want to bond with them for another 7 years with low salary ~3500 with PhD qualification? If the answer is yes, then only we should fight for this ...:-) 5/17/2006 05:19:00 am

Anonymous said... i have very little respect for petronas scholars. i know too many recipients who should never have been given these privileges. i personally know quite a few who were given full scholarships to 2nd-tier UK universities but yet was not able to even pass at the undergrad level. and subsequently having to come back with nothing. it is that sad. 5/17/2006 07:54:00 am

Anonymous said... I knew of a petronas scholars who failed in his first year undergrad in an australian uni. 5/17/2006 08:25:00 am


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Anonymous said... Tony, Do you know that there is the so call token JPA scholarships given to top gov. servants? 5/17/2006 08:39:00 am

dn_i said... Let me clarify on the 'token JPA scholarship to top gov servant' as mentioned above. Yes, JPA did have the 'in-service scholarship' for government servants; which include bumi, non-bumi, to local and overseas universities (for the postSPM scholarship, the conotation is pre-service scholarship). The scholarship is open to all (not only to top officer) provided that the candidate fulfill the requirement. For example, you can go to UPM (engineering, biotechnololy department) and ask some of the young (fresh Ph.D) lecturers, you can easily get a bunch of non-bumi graduated from Imperial, Oxford, Cambridge. I think the question posted here is the 'fairness' - equal opportunity to all qualified candidate to pursue their education. 5/17/2006 09:01:00 am

Anonymous said... Yes if you are qualified you should be given as reward for your contribution as a gov servant. But the question is: 1. You only got 4-5 As in SPM? 2. You were awarded an overseas scholarship? 3. Financially you are rich as a foreign diplomat? Does the above justified for overseas scholarship by using tax payer money? 5/17/2006 09:31:00 am

Anonymous said... Tony, like you, I am also a former ASEAN scholar who has returned to Malaysia. And, yes, as highlighted by Oon Yeoh many times, there are not many like us.


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Mnay things recently, especially since after Abdullah took over, (like the above you've posted above) have made me doubt whether my decision to be back in KL was the correct one. From my own brief research, every year through their ASEAN scholarship, Singapore easily grabbed at least 75% of our top cream of each cohort. 25% will probably continue their tertiary education overseas (out of Singapore) after finishing their A-level. The remaining 50% continue their education in Singapore and most likely will stay and settle down in Singapore. And only probably fewer than 1% actually come back to Malaysia after finishing their tertiary education. I won't be surprised at all this brain-drain. Does Malaysia have any hope at all? Have you regretted coming back to Malaysia? But since your company is listed in SESDAQ, I guess you always have the choice to station permanently in Singapore if things grows worse. For me, I'll probably start looking to get a job in Singapore. 5/17/2006 10:01:00 am

Anonymous said... Tony, like you, I am also a former ASEAN scholar who has returned to Malaysia. And, yes, as highlighted by Oon Yeoh many times, there are not many like us. Mnay things recently, especially since after Abdullah took over, (like the above you've posted above) have made me doubt whether my decision to be back in KL was the correct one. From my own brief research, every year through their ASEAN scholarship, Singapore easily grabbed at least 75% of our top cream of each cohort. 25% will probably continue their tertiary education overseas (out of Singapore) after finishing their A-level. The remaining 50% continue their education in Singapore and most likely will stay and settle down in Singapore. And only probably fewer than 1% actually come back to Malaysia after finishing their tertiary education. I won't be surprised at all this brain-drain. Does Malaysia have any hope at all? Have you regretted coming back to Malaysia? But since your company is listed in SESDAQ, I guess you always have the choice to station permanently in Singapore if things grows worse. For me, I'll probably start looking to get a job in Singapore.


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5/17/2006 10:03:00 am

Anonymous said... I personally feel that JPA is extremely unfair in awarding its interviews, not to mention the scholarships. I applied for it two years ago but did not even get the interview. My results weren't sterling, 8A1, 1A2(Moral Ed), 1B3(Chinese) and A2 for 1119. But I felt that it was good enough to warrant an interview considering there were people with less than 7As who got the scholarship. I applied for engineering as my first choice and I was very active in co-cu. Represented my school in various competitions and held numerous positions in clubs and societies. Furthermore, I had A1s in all the relevant subjects for an engineering course. At that time, I felt that they were terribly unfair to not even give me the opportunity to be interviewed. Now, I feel that it was a blessing in disguise despite my perceived injustice. I don't understand why JPA would send its scholars to places like Indonesia, Russia, India, Ukraine and the Middle East for professional courses like medicine when there are better options elsewhere and even locally. If I were to award a scholarship, I would send my scholars to places like Europe or US where they'll get better quality education and have the potential to yield better returns. Never heard of Singapore scholarships being awarded to these countries... 5/17/2006 10:45:00 am

Anonymous said... I have also read your other entry in which you advised "A very frightened Malaysian abroad" to come back to Malaysia so that "every other person working together towards the same objectives will help make the goals more achievable." How can we work together, with all this sh*ts around, and seems like getting worse each day and beyond our control. Now that you have your own baby girl, would you worry for her education in future? Or you would probably put her in RGS in Singapore? 5/17/2006 10:47:00 am


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current PSD scholar said... As a current JPA scholar in one of the government-owned prepatory colleges, I find it difficult to stomach the statistics that non-bumis only make up 20% of all JPA scholars. In my course, which prepares students for medicine and pharmacy, non-bumis constitute somewhere between 35%-40% of the student population. In fact, there is one class with 20 students, and it only has 4 bumis! Nevertheless, there is a clearly uneven playing field. The standard for bumis required to enter my programme is around 9 1As, while for non-bumis it is minimum 10 1As. Nevertheless, I think you'd agree that it is not that big a discrepancy. Unofficially though, it is very evident that a quota exists for civil servants, regardless of your race. Out of the 20 students in my class, about 18 have at least 1 parent in the Civil Service. However, I disagree with the notion (Anonymous Wed May 17, 09:31:35 AM) that scoring 5 As and having a civil servant parent will get you a scholarship (and being a foreign diplomat doesn't make one rich. You still exist on the Perkhidmatan Tadbir dan Diplomatik payscale). As I've mentioned above, the minimum standard for bumis is 9 1As, and for non-bumis its 10 1As. We should also note that JPA is strict when dealing with scholars who cannot make the cut. For instance, if you are doing your A Levels (medicine), the minimum grade is BBB, or 85% if you're in the Australian Mat programme. There are many cases of bumi students failing to make the grade, and JPA has never discriminated between bumi and non-bumi students who did not attain the minimum grade. So, it doesn't sound THAT bad, does it? 5/17/2006 01:02:00 pm

clk said... I took my SPM back in the 80s and the situation then was probably worse when probably less than 20% quota was in place. It was something closer to <1% based on my personal observation. None of minorities in school talked about JPA scholarship. We just eyed for either: a) Parents savings (i.e. private education) or b) STPM or c) ASEAN Pre-U


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Top students then eyed for either MTC (BATCO today) or Sime scholarship if I recalled then amongst premier ones based on STPM results. Only those with >4As in STPM dreamt of those scholarship. Forget about SPM ones... Today, we can talk and debate about it openly and hope for the 20% allocation...a step better but still a long way to go. 5/17/2006 01:10:00 pm

Anonymous said... Well, JPA needs to be transparent in its dealings. Currently they actually have a special fasttrack programme, sending a select bunch of students DIRECTLY to Vanderbilt University. This selection is totally undisclosed - its like a lottery inside JPA. And suprise, suprise : all selected participants are the princeofthelanders. This is severely unfair 1. They did not even take the SATs nor apply for it [ essays, forms.. etc]. Which really raises the issue of whether they are qualified or not in the first place - as Vanderbilt is one of the top 20 universities as listed in the USNews report. This also raises other questions - like how come such an arrangement was made possible. Was there elements of understanding involving monetary transactions, a la Mahathirs 1.2 million white house visit ? [ do note that for private universities, generous sums of donations CAN BUY you places ] 5/17/2006 01:19:00 pm

dracula77 said... Petronas scholar even worst...during my time, most petronas scholar were top student..But thing has changed nowdays...I would say so many petronas's scholarships were given to petronas staff kids or if I they have relatives work in Petronas (or even University Petronas...imagine!)..Not to mention some of them are 'somebody'son/daughter ...Majority of them did not perform well overseas..It would be great if the 'least transparent oil company in the world, Petronas' can provide the details of their scholars i.e how many As they got, or what's their parents/relatives positions in the company :-)...Or what's their achievement overseas, 1st class, 3rd class?? how many papers they repeat every year... 5/17/2006 01:20:00 pm


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Anonymous said... I think Singapore has given me more opportunities than Malaysia has. Nuff said... 5/17/2006 01:27:00 pm

Anonymous said... Scholarship quotas?? DUH, what do you think?? I think it is silly to discuss this actually. No offence. 5/17/2006 04:51:00 pm

Anonymous said... I agree that Petronas scholarships are even poorly administered. They also discriminate based on "titles". It's quite ridiculous that rich son of Datuks are given these "prestigious" scholarships and having to shamefully return cause they can't make the grade. 5/17/2006 05:21:00 pm

Anonymous said... Do you all believe minimum standard for bumis is 9A1s? What a big joke. I think he/she is too young and naive only see what in her college. 5/17/2006 06:00:00 pm

Anonymous said... Welcome to Bolehland,... Pejam mata, semuanya OK !! 5/17/2006 06:45:00 pm

Anonymous said...


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
9A1 ? bullshit Hows this : -------------------------Name: ammar School Name: Federal Islamic 2ndary Skool, Kajang Country: Korea Major: engineering Scholarship Gotten: Jpa SPM Results: 6 a1,2 a2,2 b3, 1 b4 n 1 c5 --------------------------Meritocracy? My foot! 5/17/2006 08:35:00 pm

Kian Ming said... Kudos to Tony for putting up this post. You hit all the right points. I'd just like to point out two things. Firstly the stats for overseas JPA scholarships start only in the year 2000. Some of the more recent JPA scholars that I've spoken to think that JPA opened up more places to non-bumis only after the 1999 elections. If this is true, then even having 20% is an improvement. And not reversing the trend after the 1999 elections is also an improvement. Secondly, I'd like to suggest a transition plan from the current system to the one that Tony proposed. Instead of immediately transiting to a merit based system with a baseline quota (of 30% let's say for bumis), it makes more sense for JPA to have stepwise reductions in the current 70% quota for bumi students. Reduce that % every year by let's say 4% or 5%. Then it will take between 8 to 10 years to get to the 30% level that Tony was talking about. This way, there will be an incentive for bumi students to improve their performance given the expectations of a more competitive environment. The only problem is that to set these expectations, this kind of policy has got to be made public. And once it is made public, one can imagine how members of certain political parties would react. 5/17/2006 08:47:00 pm

Anonymous said...


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
I was kind of shock when i saw the statistics put up by Tony. Well we had suspected some foul play in the scholarship awarding process all these years, but aren't what they did now is rather bold, as in, revealing the data to the public? Wouldn't this spell out public anger? Well, i personally think that this is one of their move. Not being transparent, but rather something like, "we are doing these, so what!" I don't think that they even bother about the brain drain issue. Perhaps they want it after all. So all of us should just pack and leave, bringing all our savings together. See what will happen :D To those heartbroken scorers, there are always opportunities out there. ASEAN, as mentioned by a lot of people, is definitely a good choice, but it will be limited as well. For the worst case senario, get a study loan if you are confident enough to go abroad. Pay back in the future. Don't ever return to this country again if you are not bonded to any agencies. 5/17/2006 10:39:00 pm

Anonymous said... dracula77 said... "It is unfair to say that that "all" non-bumi ASTS recipients cannot get full sponsorship for postgrad study or only can get it if they study at local university. I know a few non-bumi scholars who get full sponsorship to do their master and PhD overseas." Go read what a non bumi ASTS recipient wrote again. He did mention that the nonfull scholarship for non-bumi is a recent tweak.

"Who wants to accept offer of RM1729 per month for 5 years (ASTS USM) until you complete your master and PhD? If you work in private sector you can easily get RM3k-4k...:-) And do you want to bond with them for another 7 years with low salary ~3500 with PhD qualification?" Let's be fair to the government on point 1. The RM1729 allowance received is very good. Remember that during the time of PhD, he/she is still not working as a lecturer. To some people, this is like "gaji buta". Also not to forget RM1729 is still not inclusive on other allowances (sara hidup, sewa rumah, tesis, pakain musim sejuk, tiket perjalanan/penerbangan, insurans dll). Point no 2: bonding of 7 years. For every year of sponsorship, you have to serve back 2years. Maximum 7 years of bonding. This is fair deal.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
Low salary: Yes, i agree that this is one of the BIGGEST "push factor" and seriously need to be revised in order to attract talented and highly intellectual students to join the academic. 5/18/2006 03:19:00 am

Anonymous said... To Kian Ming Yes during 1999 election if you still remember lots of bumi voters goes against BM and with the support of non bumi votes, BM only manage to win in quite a number of seats. TDM then open up 10% quota for non bumi in MSRM and matriculation and included JPA scholarship. As suggested that scholarship being given only after securing to top unis., I think is not possible and unfair to those who are poor. Most top uni had quota for international students and as such many good students may not make it and when this happen where can these students go. They can't afford private uni unless IPTA is willing to take them. 5/18/2006 09:32:00 am

daniel said... While having our sights focussed on the scholarship quotas, many of us forget that there is such a thing as "creative marking" and "results tweaking" for such public exams. I had heard, years ago, teacher friends who claim that certain students they taught who never seemed to be able to pass their school tests achieved unbelievable A's and B's in the SPM. Tweaking of results banding can elevate B's and C's to A's without actually affecting the true A's achievers. That is the real reason why A's are now a dime a dozen. Where else in the world do you have "O" levels equivalent exams with thousands of straight A's students? 5/18/2006 02:23:00 pm

Anonymous said... Actually Daniel, grade inflation is happening all around the world and not only just in Malaysia albeit to a lesser extent. Singapore is having similar problems with its


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
A-level results as well. And UK is getting worried about the standard of their GCE A level and O level scores. Nick 5/18/2006 02:32:00 pm

Anonymous said... from a current ASEAN scholar: Man, all of u says such bad things bout Malaysia..Is Malaysia really that bad? Maybe its because i have not started working yet..but right now..i can't think of myself not going back to M'sia after my tertiary education..hopefully i won't change my mind after a few years overseas.. =) haha and a sidenote for those of you working or studying overseas..M'sia is a very good place to retire in( according to my M'sian uncle and a few M'sian teachers( Singapore PR) here..all of them are planning to retire in Msia)..haha guess Msia is not such a bad place to live in after all.. btw the food in Msia totally owns the food in SG man..can't wait to go back to Msia during the June hols to satisfy my tastebuds..u really dunno how good Msia food is until u live in SG man.. => 5/18/2006 04:19:00 pm

Anonymous said... To current ASEAN scholar: Although there are not many ASEAN scholars who actually go back to Msia, Tony and Kian Ming are both who did. Oon Yeoh is also another one. I do know of another guy from RJ who has also gone back. He was the GM of Marketing of a listed IT firm. And I'm also one of the few who did go back. Although Msia may not be ideal, Singapore too has its own set of problems. 5/18/2006 05:13:00 pm


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Anonymous said... I only got third grade in SPM..I wonder why I dont get scholarship? 5/18/2006 05:21:00 pm

current psd scholar said... Well sadly, the folks who bullsh*** 9 1As didn't read my post properly. My course is medicine. Don't compare it with engineering. These are 2 different fields. 5/18/2006 11:26:00 pm

Anonymous said... dracula77, none of the petronas students studying here are employee's children and their results are generally better than the others. 75% of telekom students are employee's children and all are of a same race. go figure it out. 5/19/2006 01:15:00 am

Anonymous said... Current JPA Scholar, if what you claim is indeed true then perhaps JPA is starting to place academic criteria higher up their list of priorities. Still, I remain a cynic at heart. I don't claim to have a solution to the mess JPA makes every year, because while I don't agree with those who say that scoring straight As automatically makes one deserving of a scholarship, neither am I fooled by the claim that the current selection process is in any way meritocratic. I guess you could call me a very objective analyst. Like yourself, I also did pre-uni in one of the government-linked colleges albeit some time ago, and while I met some really cool people there, I am sorry to say that the academic standard of the Malay JPA scholarship recipients, even among


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
those selected for medical scholarships, was low compared to the non-Malays'. I do not use the term Bumiputera because there were a small number of native Borneans, all of whom had excellent SPM results, and almost all of whom were very good academically post-SPM. I hate to separate my friends, or indeed anyone else, by virtue of their race, but for the purposes of this discussion it has to be done so please bear with me. There were a number of Malay students who had fewer than your so-called requisite 9 A1s. All these were medical scholarship recipients. In fact I recall one who only had 7 As. I am not one to advocate selection based on grades alone, because while this should always be the main selection criterion, not all straight-A candidates are scholar material. However, a large number of these students couldn't even string together a sentence in proper, grammatical English despite the fact that they had been picked to do a pre-university course taught in English and do medicine in the UK. Not surprisingly, there were a few who didn't make the stipulated grades or receive any offers altogether. These students were then offered places in other countries such as Ireland or India. So, JPA being strict with its non-performing scholars is news to me. Interestingly, I have never heard of a non-performing non-Bumi student selected for a medical scholarship. Right, on to your next point - the racial composition of the recipients. You forget, or perhaps are unaware of the fact that JPA, for reasons known only to them, prefers to place a larger proportion of its non-Bumi scholars in certain colleges, despite their putative university courses being similar. Thus the total from all the colleges will still reflect the proportions set out in Tony's table. On another point, people who claim that non-bumis only started getting JPA scholarships after 1999 are mistaken. I know of one Chinese lad who got one in the early or mid-90s. I can also tell you all with much certainty that the first year post-recession that JPA started giving out scholarships was 1998, and that nonBumis were included, making up roughly 20-30% of the total. For that year, there was no open application, and the minimum SPM achievement to be selected for interview for non-Malays was 9A1s and 1 A2. Lastly, even if indeed JPA is imposing a 9A1 and 10A1 cut-off, the difference between the good and the undeserving will still remain because of the ease it takes to obtain an A1 these days! 5/19/2006 04:15:00 am

Anonymous said... To anon fri may 19, 04:15:39 am JPA scholarship before 2000 are those called "token jpa scholarship" and not open to all.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
5/19/2006 09:34:00 am

Anonymous said... Fri May 19, 09:34:44 AM, no, there are JPA scholars that are NOT based on civil service requirement such as the case of "token jpa scholarship". i know one who lives near my place who's a jpa scholar in the 80s given a place to UK. 5/19/2006 01:55:00 pm

Anonymous said... There is no 'requirement' for one's parents to be in government service before one can be awarded the scholarship, now or previously. However it is an advantage, all things being equal. The use of the word 'requirement' is therefore misleading. As for scholarships awarded before 2000, JPA pre-screened candidates before calling them for interview without the need for application. Many people were pleasantly surprised when letters inviting them for interview unexpectedly came through the mail. I believe this ended in 1999. While perhaps not the fairest way of doing things, it did ensure that only the best non-Malays, in terms of academic results, got scholarships. However, as I have said earlier, academic success should not be used as the sole criterion for selection, although this appears to be more or less what the general public wants. 5/19/2006 05:11:00 pm

wahlaa said... From the discussions in a number of blogs concerning the process how local scholarships (JPA, Petronas, Telekoms, etc.) were awarded over the years, one gets the feeling that it was not transparent and MAS (mana ada sistem). The race factor is of course very important. The rest, your guess is as good as my guess. So, happy discussions in the dark and based on hearsay! 5/19/2006 05:31:00 pm


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Francis said... Have anyone of you seen SinChew Daily today? Ther's an article where a dissapointed mother asked the government to grant her son(12A1 SPM) a PSD Scholarship in order to fulfil her son's dream of studying overseas. I felt sorry for the lady at first but quickly changed my mind when knowing her son already secured an Asean scholarship.What is the point of appealing for PSD whereas you have already got one of the most prestigious scholarhips offered? I have a friend who managed to receive offer from matriculation and even succesfully secured a Petronas scholarship.This particular friend of mine deviced a so-called brilliant plan of going to matric for the first few months but go for Petronas when it is time for him to register.By the way,he is trying to appeal for PSD scholarships.Some of the former teachers back at my school commended on how lucky he is but I totally disagree. I despised his actions which is simply deplorable.Is being greedy and selfish appropriate? What is the reason for you to appeal for scholarships if you already have one within your grasps? What will students who failed in securing even one scholarship feel? I for one failed in getting every scholarships that I've applied.My blood boils when I know that some of the students appealing for PSD are recipients of other scholarships.It is within our mentality that the more scholarships we can get our hands on,the more options available for us to choose. I am totally aware that some of you may think I am being jealous but I advise all of you to look into this matter seriously.Mock me if you like but I'm sticking to what I believe is right. 5/20/2006 04:11:00 pm

Anonymous said... SPM 2002 leavers Malay 7As, medicine, Russia Malay 7As, medicine, UK Chinese 12 A1s, nothing SPM 2003 leavers


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
Malay 8As, medicine, UK Chinese 13 A1s, medicine Indonesia (rejected later) Why? Figure it out yourselves. Meritocracy? LOL!! I rest my case. 5/20/2006 07:42:00 pm

Anonymous said... Wrong SPM 2002 leavers Got alsolah chinese 9A1 and 10A1, medicine to Australia and UK. That year more than 10 from Taylors alone. Must be fair alsolah. 5/20/2006 08:31:00 pm

Anonymous said... Anon sat may 20, 07:42:23 pm For SPM 2002 leavers those who rejected if they had appeal and at the end all 9A1 and above got it. From 2nd batch alone you had 101 non bumi. Thats why you see from tables above 2003 had the most number. This is because GE is around the corner. 5/20/2006 08:55:00 pm

Anonymous said... Francis i know you are disappointed about not getting any scholarships. But I don't think those people who apply for more scholarships despite already having one or two in their hands are wrong. It is human nature that if one gets something good, one would want something better. A JPA scholarship in my opinion is much better than ASEAN. It almost secures you a place in UK universities (if you are good enough you could get into Oxbridge, which is > NUS), whereas ASEAN does not guarantee an overseas placement. If you were him, would you choose to give up a chance to go to the UK just because you already had ASEAN? I think not.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
5/20/2006 10:59:00 pm

Anonymous said... SPM 2005 Malays 6As , Medicine, UK Malays 7As , Medicine, not sure of the country Chinese 10A1s nothing ( never heard of anyone so far ) 5/21/2006 01:03:00 am

Anonymous said... Um... JPA DOES NOT secure you a place in a UK, US or any uni for that matter. You still have to apply for them with your pre-U grades. If you don't make it, the JPA scholarship will be withdrawn. I've seen a LOT of ASEAN scholars going to Oxbridge, Imperial and Ivies on scholarships and Kian Ming and Tony are just two of them. In my opinion, ASEAN Pre-U is MUCH better. 5/22/2006 04:20:00 pm

Anonymous said... Lol...to the anon May 22, 04:20:48, you obviously aren't a JPA scholar. I speak as a JPA scholar myself who is in the UK now. Once you get the JPA scholarship, 99% of the time if your grades are OK (i don't understand what you meant by 'if you don't make the grades'...it's not that hard to not make the grades unless you get JPA by virtue of anything else except grades)and if you maintain your nerves during the interview (heck even if you do a non medical course, Imperial College doesn't even interview you), you get to go to the UK. You are fully paid. I'm sure you can proceed to a UK education once you've completed ASEAN. The question is...is there guarantee that your UK education will be fully paid after that? Well, no. But JPA guarantees full payment of your UK education provided that you do get the offer. And trust me, non-Oxbridge universities in the UK are very easy to get in. All you need is money. I have seen it happening. So, at the end of the day, it's your choice...a GUARANTEED placement in the UK with full sponsorship confirmed. Or, ASEAN which doesn't guarantee u anything after you've completed your pre-U. Btw, I noticed u mentioned 'ASEAN pre-U'...isn't it blatantly obvious now? So yeah,


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
stop ridiculing JPA and glorifying ASEAN pre-U (notice the 'pre'). You know which is better! 5/22/2006 04:43:00 pm

Anonymous said... GUARANTEED?? Who are you kidding. You mean JPA GUARANTEES you a place in Oxbridge, LSE or Imperial? Bullshit. So what about ASEAN Pre-U? Go ask Kian Ming and Tony whether they regretted going to RJ. I mentioned Pre-U because those who are good enough WILL go to Oxbridge, Imperial and the Ivies on full scholarships. ASEAN Undergraduate is just a fallback to NUS. 5/22/2006 05:43:00 pm

Anonymous said... JPA does not guarantee a University education. You need to score for your pre-U and get into the universities yourself before they sponsor you. There are terms and conditions attached. If you fail or do badly for your pre-U, your scholarship from JPA is withdrawn. You are a JPA scholar, you should know this. -Nick5/22/2006 05:47:00 pm

Anonymous said... If you are a JPA scholar, you must have some quality. How can you not perform in your A levels. Easily can get 4A lah. 5/22/2006 06:43:00 pm

Anonymous said...


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
Well...what I meant was JPA guarantees a full sponsorship after you have done your A-levels or International Baccalaureate. Do you think a JPA scholar would fail to meet the minimum entry into LSE or Imperial? If they did fail, they were obviously not qualified for JPA in the first place. Stop deluding yourself into thinking that ASEAN pre-U is better than JPA. As the name suggests, an ASEAN pre-U scholarship gives you an A-level cert at the end of the course. Getting a full scholarship to UK universities requires another stage of application. JPA on the other hand, is a one-stage process. Getting it secures you a place in the UK. Honestly, what do you mean by meeting the grades to get into LSE/Imperial? It is kacang putih to meet the minimum grades. The hard part is to get enough money to pay for the degree. If you can get JPA, go for it instead of ASEAN. Why bother taking the unnecessary risk of not getting a full sponsorship to the UK after your ASEAN when JPA literally says that they would sponsor you thoroughly provided you get accepted (which as I mentioned is very easy). 5/22/2006 06:57:00 pm

Anonymous said... Concur with Anonymous ( May 22,06:57:33 ).When JPA awards a student a tertiary scholarship to UK normally no specific Uni is stated. It is up to each individual to apply to which ever U one is qualified. Of course, most scholars aim for Oxbridge, failing which JPA will also sponsor to other Uni, eg, Uni in Manchester, Liverpool or Newcastle..... The most important part is acceptance to the Uni. 5/22/2006 08:34:00 pm

Anonymous said... Haiya nowadays ASEAN pre-U scholars are not sent to Raffles or Hwa Chong anymore..but instead to the 3rd-8th ranked Junior Colleges is Singapore. 5/23/2006 03:02:00 pm

Anonymous said... Does it matter? ASEAN scholars top those JCs and still go to Imperial and the likes anyway. Anyway, since its so easy to get into Imperial and LSE, doesn't matter where you do your Pre-U.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
5/23/2006 03:10:00 pm

Anonymous said... I know JPA scholars who have either not got any offers or failed to make the grades, the course in question being medicine. I would caution against claiming 100% certainty in anything. The premise that every JPA scholar will make the grades will be true more often than not only if selection is done with a heavy weightage on academic merit, which unfortunately is not the case, hence weakening your argument even further. As an aside, JPA does require you to be bonded to the government, which many don't want to be, hence I also know of some people who've got JPA scholarships and then rejected them. 5/24/2006 12:20:00 am

Anonymous said... 'I know JPA scholars who have either not got any offers or failed to make the grades, the course in question being medicine' It does not weaken my argument because: 1. I was comparing the relative ease of getting a UK education via JPA with ASEAN. If these guys failed to make the grades to meet grades for UK universities, do you think they would be able to secure a scholarship after ASEAN? 2. for medicine, the cost of the bond is nothing compared to the RM 750k JPA spend on you. As far as I'm concerned, I have not seen any 'charity' sponsorships (w/o bond) for medicine to the UK unless you are absolutely brilliant. 5/24/2006 02:21:00 am

Anonymous said... Yes, but you claimed that if they were unable to make the grades they wouldn't have got JPA scholarships in the first place, which I have proven to be patently false.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
JPA does offer an easier route with regards to funding, I'll give you that. They seem to be uncharacteristically generous these days, especially if you get into Oxbridge. As for the cost of the bond, it has now gone up to the full amount expended by JPA, from the previou sum of RM160K. Still better than Singapore, which charges you interest, but hardly 'nothing'! 5/24/2006 07:04:00 am

wood said... I suppose anon Wed May 24, 07:04:14 AM was trying to say that not all JPA scholars are the most academically capable students in the country, therefore not all of them will make the grade and hence gain a place in a British university. Rare but does occur. 5/24/2006 04:19:00 pm

Anonymous said... Actually not as rare as one may think, especially for medicine! Funnily enough, instead of terminating the scholarships, JPA then sends them to other countries Ireland if their results are average or if they don't get offers despite notb eing too bad academically, India if they're dire. 5/24/2006 04:54:00 pm

Asean pre-u holder said... yeah... MOE singapore doesnt send ppl to the top JCs (not many, perhaps <20 get into the top 4) .. year 2005 spm takers life is tough in singapore though, they try v v hard to push you as far as you can go - every year in my JC, about 2 go back after 1st year to complete a levels at taylors. but in the end, results speak for themselves. on the other hand, if i had gotten jpa i would have accepted (10A1, A2 for bm which sunk me =D ) 6/16/2006 08:34:00 pm


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Anonymous said... i finished my spm last four years..i'm too a straight A students..i get A1 for all the subjects except Moral(A2)..although i was selected to the jpa interview but i think it's a strange interview.all 10 of us were asked to enter a room and given a topic.we do not even need to introduce ourselves.besides,after u had spoken for once, u cant giv ur opinion anymore even if u were to disagree with the other member...wat kind of discussion is tat?????(other interviews were not like that!!)my fren told me that actually before the interview they already hav the list of selected students.we were asked to go for the interview just because they are afraid that we will make some headlines in the newspaper.my neighbour's both duaghter and son who are not a straight A1 students get the scholarship just because their uncle is a sort of 'important' person.i got the petronas scholarship but dun get my choice.so i took STPM...it's tough but challenging and i had a great fun and sweet memories of my F6..besides if u get a good result there so many good scholarships available.e.g. Shell sch (both overseas and local as well),NUS sch,NTU sch,Tanjong sch,GE sch.....so never giv up.well,it's true that jpa scholarship provides the scholars with lots of money but i think u al better check out about the quality of the education as well coz i heard some of the not so pleasant stories fr the scholars themselves...(but i dunno how true is that)if u r one of the scholar do let me know ya. 6/28/2006 10:27:00 am

Anonymous said... hi guys, great site, very informative and interesting! Have a question for you as am doing some reading up on Malaysian education system: where did u go to get the info and tables on the breakdown of scholarships awarded to bumiputeras vs others? Are there similiar tables/info available on the overall breakdown of PTPTN Loans? are there any official racial quotas on PTPTN loans? or sector breakdowns? hopefully there is something online..i haven't been able to find so far. thanks so much in advance for any help. best, cheryl 7/14/2006 11:29:00 am

cj said...


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
With all this talk on JPA scholarships, i was wondering on the fact that one of my cousins "claims" that she's under it though her SPM results were only 3As. Is that somewhat possible or have i been duped? Btw, she's now in UNITEN doing E&E Engineering. Apologies on the ignorance as i never applied for any scholarship (not much of a brainiac myself plus i'm underqualified), thus i never really care to know any info on it. 7/18/2006 05:38:00 pm

Anonymous said... i am Chew kean hong (keanhong@gmail.com) and i recently just shortlisted for ASEAN Pre-U Scholarship's interview.. so i wanna.. what type of the questions will be out when the interview?? 8/17/2006 03:42:00 pm

Anonymous said... i am Chew kean hong (keanhong@gmail.com) and i recently just shortlisted for ASEAN Pre-U Scholarship's interview.. so i wanna.. what type of the questions will be out when the interview?? 8/17/2006 03:54:00 pm

Anonymous said... My name is Vincent(vincent_ato@hotmail.com) and recently have been shortlisted for the ASEAN Pre-U Scholarship's interview too. Please do email me to share your experience with me and roughly give me some hints on what kind of questions they might ask. Thanks all. Much appreciation to read and reply to this comment. 9/03/2006 10:48:00 pm

Anonymous said...


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
I went for an interview many years back for a scholarship and the only question they ask me was "Is your father an MCA member?" Obviously I did not get the scholarship. 11/10/2006 06:09:00 pm

Anonymous said... I am a non-Bumi who have been lucky enough to have a JPA scholarship after SPM '99 to study A-Levels and then medicine in the UK. I scored straight 10A1's. I got an interview but my non-Bumi classmate who also had the same result wasnt even called for one. For my A-levels, I was sent to a secluded private college together with all the rest of scholars (JPA, MARA, Petronas, Telekom, Bank Negara). I had a shock seeing so many Bumi scholars for the first time - there were only about 30/350 non-Bumis. Of the 180 medic scholars (all going to UK, all under JPA & MARA), virtually all the non-Bumi scholars were straight 9 or 10 A1 scorers. The Bumis meanwhile got their scholarships with about 4-5 A's (not even A1's), and some couldn't even speak English properly. In college, I was quite dissapointed to see a considerable proportion of the Bumi scholars not bothering to work hard (perhaps thinking getting a place in a British uni was a given). Many of the Bumis (around 80) foresaw they couldnt get the grades for British unis so chose to enter Ireland (easier). When A-level results came out, another 10 Bumis (including my exchaletmate who got C,C,D) diverted to Ireland (plus do an extra pre-med year), another 5 or so couldnt even get the grades for Ireland and ended up in India or IMU. In uni, quite a few Bumi medics had to repeat their academic years. A Bumi senior of mine remained in 2nd year for 3 years (and got sacked by the medical school), only then JPA decided to ALLOW him to return to Malaysia. I was seriously impressed with JPA's commitment to nurturing doctors. I will hopefully graduate in 6 months' time. On one hand I feel very lucky, blessed and grateful for having this scholarship which not only fulfilled my ambition of doing medicine, but at the same time learnt to see things from a different perspective and saw how things work outside my own country. On the other hand, I have come to realise the unfairness and discrimination that non-Bumis have faced (and continue to face). I have become sceptical of the rose-tinted news about the better pay and more transparent postgraduate medical training back home, especially after my recent holiday back home when I did an attachment in a local hospital and gathered first-hand information about the glass ceilings encountered by many non-Bumi doctors. Based on the current situation, I don't feel like going back home. I know i will be


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
criticised by many for this thought. But all around me, the overwhelming majority of Bumi scholars themselves don't want to return to Malaysia (even though they face no barriers or discrimination in their homeland, or do they?). In fact, many even bring their children and families over to the UK (guess who paid for them?). Quite a few of my non-Bumi JPA seniors who have just started working in UK have received letters demanding them to return. I have heard few, if any, of the Bumi seniors receiving the letters. MARA (who only sponsors Bumis), well, there never really was a bond in the contracts. I bet MARA must be proud of the sizeable contribution of Malaysian Bumi doctors in UK & Ireland (ahh...there goes the Malaysian taxpayers' money). All this, frustration. 12/06/2006 09:37:00 am

Tan said... I am a little late but i might as well give my two cents. A lot of the arguments above stem from the fact that there a total lack of verifiable data. Most of the evidence cited are either anecdotal or hearsay and when the truth is known it will all be a little more than hot air. At the end of the day I am concerned not so much as who gets it but whether the rakyat get their money worth regardless of race. I think the more important issue is whether those scholars are wiling to serve. I am of the opinion that the ten year bond imposed on JPA scholars is too short and that is why there are so may applicants every year and they have paid salary in that ten years. If we apply the law of supply and demand JPA should increase the number of year the scholars need to serve until we reach a point of equilibrium where the number of applicants is equal the number of places. I am of course making the assumption that when I say applicants I mean people who have scored more A's than there are fingers on their hands since they now number in the thousands. Therefore we can be assured that quality is not compromised. In the grand scheme of things a doctor who got only 6 A's in SPM is better than no doctor especially for the folks in the rural areas. By increasing the number of years of service and actually enforcing it we we can ideally also retain a larger number of doctors in government service and when supply increases we can afford to send or induce them to rural areas. In fact people willing to serve in the rural areas can be given shorter services as an incentive. This all may sound very naive but I make no apologies. Intelligence doesn't entitle you to a free lunch and I am inclined to think that Bumiputeras in the rural areas would rather all the scholarships be be given to non-Bumiputeras who are willing to serve 30 years in rural communities than people who just want a all-expense paid trip to some foreign country. Please forgive the verbosity.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
12/08/2006 06:38:00 pm

Anonymous said... i am currently studyin in singapore, under ASEAN scholarship schemes, firstly i wanna highlight the fact that i was one of the non-bumi students who studied in MRSM. I heard from the people that the education in MRSM was very good, and i was promised a good future in my studies. The non-bumi students in my MRSM generally performed very well in the exams. Almost everyone of us were among the top students in my school, and i was dealt a cruel blow when they conducted a talk on schoalrships opportunity, they mentioned about this special course available for MRSM students, its called fasttrack, since they based the scholarship solely on your SPM trial exam. The nonbmi hopes were raised up on the mention of this opportunity, but in the end, the teachers informed us that the scholarship is only available for bumis students. So, i was kinda pissed off, since we spend an hour in the hall listening to all those things only to know that we are not eligible for it. As for my results, i was a perfect scorer for the exam, and guess what? i didn't even get an offer for any interview for the scholarship, including JPA, PETRONAS, and almost all the scholarships available that i can apply for under the government scheme. In the end all i get was an offer for the matriculations, while the rest of my schoolmates, the bumis, the ones that got a mediocre results, 6A1s, and even 5A1s, were offered JPA scholarships, some evn under medical schemes! I was so disspointed with the outcome, but i still harbor some hope, and i try for the appeal...but i received a letter from JPA who had the guts to tell me that there are no vacancies left! they just simply state the excuse that there were too many perfect scorers! So, i was the unlucky one out! Now that i am studying in Singapore, i don't intend to go back to malaysia ever again, i will not want my sons and daughter to go through the same fate, if they call this system as meritocracy!!!, i will tell them to kiss my ass!! But i want to say this, that our country is making a big mistake by doing what they are doing now, every year, can you imagine how many people like me ended up going to singapore to further their education?? how much valuable manpower did they lost? SInce i am pretty sure that msot of them would not relish coming back to Malaysia. Since my country does not help me in my studies, why should i serve my country only to make things better not for myself and for my people, but for the bumis... 12/20/2006 10:06:00 pm

Rhi said...


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
spm is no longer a good measure of how capable a student is academically imo. believe me there's just a slight difference between an 1A and 2A,and they r very easy to get. u just have to attend those seminars held by tuition centres and the tutors will tell u their 'predictions' of topics which will be covered in the papers. and their tips are ridiculously accurate!besides, the passing mark for an A is altered every year in response to the difficulty of a paper, and also to maintain a sufficient number of students with As. so my point is, it's not fair to say that a student with 12 1As is better than another person with 10 A1s, because their scores of each subject are not known. therefore, to truly differentiate between them their scores must be made known. 1/01/2007 02:33:00 pm

Anonymous said... academic excellence is not the sole factor in determining who deserves a scholarship and who doesn't. passion for ur chosen field of study is important too. i don't see how a student with more A1s has more passion than another who has less. therefore there's no point in all the discussion on 'how a 13 A1 student deserves a scholarship for medicine more than another person with 10A1s or less'. BUT i do think that jpa's( and mara, petronas etc) way of awarding scholarship is simply stupid. malaysia absolutely deserves the brain-drain 1/01/2007 02:47:00 pm

Easy Migration &amp; Education Planners said... Looks like this will continue. But do you know that having a scholarship can also entitle the holder to certain perks? I have been told it is easier to find a place in a hall of residence (hostel), etc. If your family can afford it, it might be worthwhile setting up a scholarship fund to channel the money to the student. It is not difficult and in some cases it could be tax deductible (if you do not make it clear it is for your kid alone).Your lawyer should be able to help you establish such a scholarship and your accountant advise you on the tax situation. 3/05/2007 09:53:00 am

Anonymous said... I understand that JPA scholarship was awarded to 2 students of doctors in Kuching. Why? They are Dr Denis Yu's daughter and Dr Siew's daughter, who are both studying in UK. This is most unfair, as they can aford paying the fees.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
5/16/2007 10:56:00 am

Anonymous said... well..as for me.. i think we should all consider ourselves as a malaysian hence we wont be talking about this. for the non-bumis... i noe it's a hard time for us but hey..do remember...our ancestors long ago were long accepted by the bumis here in Malaysia. I guess its a fact that we shold already be thankful. I wpnder where would I be now if my great great grandparents were not accepted here? even the constitution has stated the priority should be given to the bumis. It should be respected. And yes... maybe true enough that sometimes in some cases they themselves do not make it an advantage through all the priority and privileges given to them and yeah...its politics you guys...mind you.. but i guess.. we have to accept the fact that all countries has that. What more can we say.. Unless you're powerful enough..you wont get what you wish to have even if you deserve it. So lets sum up that...we're fated to have what we have now. So be, thankful. 5/17/2007 10:24:00 pm

Anonymous said... 'Anonymous said... I understand that JPA scholarship was awarded to 2 students of doctors in Kuching. Why? They are Dr Denis Yu's daughter and Dr Siew's daughter, who are both studying in UK. This is most unfair, as they can aford paying the fees. 5/16/2007 10:56:00 AM' JPA scholarships is based on academic grades and is not a poverty fund, although ideally one would consider both factors in awarding scholarships. As such whether the student is the daughter of a timber tycoon or a ketupat-seller is irrelevant. If you think awarding a scholarship to a doctor's daughter is 'unfair', may I enlighten you, as a current JPA scholarhip holder who did A-level in a college full of JPA scholars, that there are many more sons and daughters of corporate tycoons in West Msia who are also awarded scholarships and every weekend the chaffeurs or the parents come n pick them up in Ferrari's and cars dat only royal elites can afford. 5/25/2007 03:25:00 am


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Anonymous said... hello, if you want there is soo many other private companies and institution that offer scholarships (try astro, sime darby etc, etc). Don't bring up this racial issues ok because as a Bumiputra they are born priveleged to get those scholarships awards. 6/04/2007 04:28:00 pm

Anonymous said... To be fair, before we even talk about the quota allocation for scholarship, shall we first look at the number of applicants in each ethnic group and % awarded to each group? Let say in 2005, if there are 300 non-Bumi applicants and 260 are awarded, compare to 10,000 Bumi applicants and 1040 are awarded, what is the implication then? Is the 80-20% statistic meaningful? 7/15/2007 11:25:00 am

Anonymous said... a JPA scholar to japan, a bumi and scores 7as, came back Malaysia within two weeks~ because he is unable to adapt.

isn't it a waste? 7/29/2007 03:41:00 am

Anonymous said... In response to Anonymous of 29th July who stated "a JPA scholar to Japan, a bumi scores 7as, came back to Malaysia within two weeks~because he is unable to adapt. isn't it a waste?" :


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
My observation: I know of a fellow, non-bumi 'cum laude' USA graduate who then received a prestigious UK govt scholarship to study for Masters at a non-Oxbridge uni in UK. This non-bumi person came back to Malaysia shortly after as this non-bumi person was not able to adapt. Moral of the story: With bumis or non-bumis as are with all other human beings, there will always be some who are successful and some who are not. 9/11/2007 03:58:00 am

Anonymous said... i'm a bumi petronas scholar and i totally believe that the government should stop this injustice in our country. to make matters worse, a bunch of govt scholars are actually getting the opportunity through the 'back door' process under the pretext of being a son of politician etc though their spm results suck.as the govt built under the foundation of islam hadhari,justice to all should be emphasized to ensure peace and harmony in our country.many malay students are able to get the scholarship without the quota system.just eliminate those unqualified, and our dignity will be preserved. i've got this scholarship thanks to my 10A1 SPM result and active participation in CCAs and I really deserve the respect actually.not all of the Malay scholars get their scholarships due to the mere racial 'tongkat' etc.govt should stop this insanity. 9/16/2007 02:33:00 pm

Anonymous said... dear friends firstly, the allocation system for scholarship is screwed up the rich gets it, the poor ignored. the politically connected person gets it, the straight honest person ignored when your parents serve the government for donkey years with donkey pay its not recognised and their children get shit. our scholarship has no value simply a pile of valuable dirt. it doesnt build a wholesome individual it porjects a group of kiasu kiasi scholars, dont blame singapore only for this we have our own drastic ones too. seriously, not everyone deserve the tax payers money! what more, they are not coming back, health ministry, get it? deaf, dumb or blind you decide. and now they can do post grad overseas, brilliant idea its like pls stay on dont come back forget what we say earlier cause we are stupid.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
10/20/2007 06:37:00 am

zalikha said... I think rather than commenting on which race gets more than which race. Maybe we should help the needy, regardless of their race. I am a straight A student. High CGPA pointer..and i don't get a scholarship because well, i like to think it as because my dad's filthy rich..and i am a malay. OR maybe it is because i just don't deserve it...maybe i'm just not smart enough. But i don't envy my friend who got scholarships..whether they are malay, chinese or indian..some of my friends got into Harvard, Yale,and MIT..most went to Russia, Aussie and of course UK..I felt proud for them..and i hope i will continue to work my ass off so that i will deserve a scholarship one day. If i don't get it..it's okay..i'll just continue to study here. It doesn't matter where i'm studying, who i'm competing with. what matters is..i become a well educated girl and an highly intelligent person..all this with hard work..not where i study at. 11/11/2007 11:53:00 am

Ang said... so the 07' SPM is over, u SPM leavers better start looking for scholarship opportunities... u can post any question u want, i'll do my best to help. btw, i am SPM 06' 11/29/2007 09:20:00 pm

babashah said... hye..im new here...diz is a very interesting pg n ye i would 2 comment on diz topic..well based on PERLEMBAGAAN MALAYSIA Perkara 153, memperuntukkan peranan YDP Agong memelihara hak istimewa dan kedudukan orang Melayu serta kaum bumiputra sabah n sarawak


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
d 'hak istimewa' includes: 1. pose in d public service 2. SCHOLARSHIPS n education helps 3. trades n business licenses so..there should be a quota in jpa or mara scholarships!!daa??..dont u ever noe bout diz??did u get an A for ur sejarah??? another thing, diz is for anonymous...where did get all those facts??those must b a really big lie...coz who said Malay who get 5,6 7 n 8as can get scholarships?n spcially from jpa...coz its very hard 2 get those...d least result dat ive ever heard was from mara which was 8a's n for jpa??i think its impossible n really2 impossible..n u also state dat there were 2 malays got 7as n fly 2 russia n uk??wth??!!for jpa, they'll only send studs 2 uk n ireland only if they get at least 10as nstraight as!!!n for those who get 9as n below, will b send 2 other countries..n diz is a fact!so mind where did u get those?? 12/04/2007 08:06:00 am

Scholarship Reviews said... Great posting. May someone wanna look for scholarship, please visit Scholarship Reviews. 1/08/2008 11:20:00 am

Anonymous said... Way back in 1976, when I was in lower six... my school mate was granted a scholarship to do her A levels in the US. She told me then that, after her A levels, she was given the option to either go to a uni in the US or UK. And what was her SPM (MCE those days) result? It was either 1 A or 2 As out of a maximum of 8. This is the reason why the Non Bumi population is declining... We hve to fund our own children education which means, we cannot afford to hve too many kids. 2/29/2008 04:49:00 pm

wan amirul said... This comment has been removed by the author.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
4/04/2008 01:12:00 am

wan amirul said... This comment has been removed by the author. 4/04/2008 01:13:00 am

Dr siva said... I think the author of this blog has adequately addressed this issue and I really dont need to add anything further. On a posetive note there some very bright Bhumi academics who are a credit to their community and international authorities in their field. Its a great pity for Malaysia they are working here in Australia. 4/15/2008 10:24:00 am

Anonymous said... +++Quote+++ Anonymous said... hello, if you want there is soo many other private companies and institution that offer scholarships (try astro, sime darby etc, etc). Don't bring up this racial issues ok because as a Bumiputra they are born priveleged to get those scholarships awards. 6/04/2007 04:28:00 PM +++Quote+++ __________________________________ 1st of all, I must point out that it is a must to discuss, issues, even the sensitive one, that cause problems. If not, how are we to solve it and progress... 2nd, so this person is trying to say that priveleges are for Bumiputra. They deserve it. Try this dude, we are MALAYSIAN. YOU yourselves are being sensitive, don't u think? THIS is unfair and unjust, against the foundation of morality. 3rd, this friend of ours is trying to encourage us to apply private scholarship, and


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
IGNORE the government's action? Dude, it is also reasonable to fight for our right. 4th, DO NOT try to think that GM or anything meeting will solve this issue. I stress on this point, it's results are negligible. - Kevin, 90, Student Logical criticisms and debates welcomed. 4/30/2008 10:45:00 pm

Anonymous said... Sadly, you've got your facts wrong. 30% is allocated for the CHINESE while about 10% is for indians and lain-lain. 60% goes to bumis. I agree with Kevin. This is MALAYSIA. If you want it based on merits try thinking of the possibilities. One cannot deny that a majority of the population are bumis- Go ahead, do it based on merits and you know how we'd end up? Like indonesia. Riots because the indonesians are unhappy with the Chinese people controlling everything. One needs to sacrifice to achieve social balance and hormony. Besides, do the math. Malaysia has about 20% chinese and about 8% indians. The rest are bumis. You guys are fighting for an allocation of 30% in the big big cake comprising of the whole of malaysia. The chances are fair. 5/02/2008 09:09:00 pm

Anonymous said... you know, actually, the main thing that sparked the issues on quota is actually because the non-bumis believe that they are smarted than bumis. which is not entirely true. there are a lot of clever bumis too. no offense though. just do not think that you race is more superior than the other races. 5/11/2008 01:13:00 pm

Anonymous said... Try looking into other places instead of Singapore, UK, US, Australia ... I was a top scorer for SPM and got a full scholarship to do A-Level in a private college. Then, I was offered a scholarship to study in Hong Kong. I would say that I did not do that well in A-Level but I qualify to get into medical schools. My family was having very bad financial problems but I have this 'I just won't die' attitude and flew to HK. Well,


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
I am actually living based on the idiom 'kais pagi makan pagi, kais petang makan petang' but HK and my uni gave me many, many opportunities and even an all expenses paid trip to one of the top 5 universities in the world. How's that? Though I have a little regret of not applying into universities in the US (I didn't sit for the SAT 'cos no money and also 'cos the application fees are $$$), I have no regrets studying in HK. For all you school-leavers now, the HK gov has recently loosened its policy for international students and also provided full (and renewable) scholarships for them. I should have applied this year (duh) as my scholarship is not renewable so I have to work hard every semester and not only 'fight' with the locals but also the ever-hardworking students from the Mainland. P/S: there are 8 public universities in HK and HKU, CUHK and HKUST are deemed the best. Well, if you happen to come, do find me : P 5/16/2008 05:54:00 pm

Anonymous said... I come across many Malays here in the UK, most with scholarships from different government bodies. I don't know how they fair previously, but one thing for sure, their grades are horrifying in the university. Many of them have CARS. Just imagine, CARS. How can they afford those luxurious items?! Plus, many of them have the ability to bring their whole family here. Wife, kids, etc. I heard each of the family members are given allowance too! This is so unfair! 5/22/2008 09:04:00 pm

Anonymous said... Quote: Anonymous said... you know, actually, the main thing that sparked the issues on quota is actually because the non-bumis believe that they are smarted than bumis. which is not entirely true. there are a lot of clever bumis too. no offense though. just do not think that you race is more superior than the other races. 5/11/2008 01:13:00 PM ___________________________________ Indeed, there are Malays that are clever. We are not superior than any other races. The problem now is that, many who doesn't have the quality to receive such 'generousity' from the government actually got it.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
If the government can release the real ststistic confirmed by valid, independant party, then it will be great. -Kevin, 90, Student 6/01/2008 05:07:00 pm

Anonymous said... The main advantages of studying abroad is to get a degree that allows you to work abroad. There are many advantages of working abroad instead of coming back to Malaysia. For once, the pay abroad is so much higher than that in Malaysia. For example, a doctor in the US is paid US$140000 to US$150000 a year. The starting pays of Engineers is not less than US$60000 a year. However, if you applied for a JPA scholarship to study abroad, you are bounded to served the Malaysian Government upon graduation and the government pay you peanuts! 6/02/2008 05:13:00 pm

Anonymous said... lol. of course they will pay you peanuts because they paid for your fees you fool! a cost to study abroad for one student exceeds RM500000. govt pays for you, and you still complain? how ungrateful. and why the salaries in malaysia so low? because those stupiak chinese companies and taukehs pay low salaries to the professionals. if you complain so much about the quota in scholarships that are just privilege (not a must for govt to give scholarship), then why dont you ask your chinese tycoons first to give scholarships! like goh tong, ytl, berjaya and other big chinese-owned companies. do they give scholarships? NO! and like hell you want to abolish quota. plus the fact that you only fight about quota in scholarships. but why didnt fight about the small numbers of non-bumis in govt sectors? in the army? why? got stupid non-bumis also right? why dont those stupid non-bumis go work as armies, or as govt servants? hidup sarawak 6/26/2008 06:17:00 pm

Cibaikia said...


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
Skin color makes different. My malay fren who get 3As in Spm was offered Veterinary course in UNIMAS but my another dear fren who scored 13As get nothing,he is chinese la,a poor chinese whose father is a poor taxi driver.. 7/28/2008 08:49:00 pm

Alresalh said... Date : 14-8-2008 Subject : Scholarship for Palestinian Student Sender : Alresalah University Services Palestine www.m4serv.com We have many Palestinian students living at Palestine ( West Bank & Gaza ) seeking to studying BA & Master or PHD at the fields of ( Management Engineering Islamic Education accountant Etc . Most of the students faced a bad financial situation under the (Israeli Occupation ) Please tell me if possible to get to them a scholarship , If possible please send to us , what documents needed to apply for Palestinian Students , and what the period of applying ,What the details of the scholarship . Please reply as soon as possible Thanks H. Manager Abedelwahhab Abo Shamseyah www.m4serv.com

Alresalah Recruitment & University Services Palestine West Bank - Hebron City Alsehah Street Abo Rmaileh Complex building 2 floor Office Number 237 P.O.Box:( 111 )Hebron Email : resalahservices@hotmail.com Tel Fax : 00972-2299474 Mobile :0097059981899 8/14/2008 07:59:00 pm


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Shaukat Ali Khan said... Hello! Can some body please give me some informations about scholarsips at Malaysian universities for foreign students and how/when to apply for them. Thanks 9/12/2008 04:48:00 am

mbet07 said... Dear Tony, Im aware you posted this interesting informative post 2 years ago, and have been getting comments until last month, I hope you didnt get bored of replying to each, because i need your help in kindly referring me to organizations or programs that offer medicine scholarships in Malaysia for internationals from the middle east, IF thats possible. And whats the best university for medicine in Malaysia? Do they offer scholarships based on high GPA in collage? Or based on financial situations? 9/22/2008 06:05:00 am

Anonymous said... psd scholars? it is only a the stupidest thing i have come across in my whole life. why must those scholars think they are superb just because they are a part of this lame scholarship. i pity them for being treated unfairly. 9/26/2008 12:50:00 am

Anonymous said... stop this whole thing!!! stop this can't be more useless scholarship!!! it should be given according to qualification!!! everyone deserves to be treated the same!!! 9/26/2008 12:54:00 am

Anonymous said...


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
once you accept this jpa scholarship, you have basically lost your freedom. you are generally a dog for your sponsor. you couldn't choose not to go to the country and do the course offered. is it something to be proud of? scholars are meant to be like this? 9/26/2008 01:01:00 am

Anonymous said... hi guys, i must say that i really think the brain drain is one of the main reason why Malaysia couldnt achieve it's developed country status and this should be overcome immediately with strategic measures. The problem is due to fresh graduates not being paid correspnding to theirqualifications and experiences. I'm writing based on my point of view as a JPA scholar myself. I've been studying Mechanical Engineering in Germany for the past five years and I'm almost done with my Masters Degree here. Currently I'm doing my Masters thesis in the largest automotive consultant company in Stuttgart. As far as I know, the chances of them offering me a job to me is very high because Germany is currently having a shortage of engineers right now. Now this situation really puts me in a dillemma. Should I stay and work for a few years just to gain some experiences and enjoy the high paying salaries or should i go home and contribute to Malaysia straight away. Nontheless I will be going back to Malaysia. See guys, the decision making isnt easy as it seems. As an engineer in Germany u'll be earning between 3500 to 4000 Euros as start. Thats like five times higher than Malaysia. However you cant compare directly because the living standard here is definitely higher. On the other hand no place is better than home. But what ever my decision is, all I know is that i will be coming back to Malaysia and contribute in the pursue of our vision to become a developed country in approximately 11 years time. My point is that by being a scholar you'll have enormous responsibilities you cant even imagine of. You have to make sure your results are superb. Life is not as beautiful as you always picture them to be. With great powers come great responsibilities. Ever heard of that line before?? :) 11/02/2008 08:00:00 am

Anonymous said... To everybody here in this blog including the writers, Do you wanna knw why JPA gave little chance of scholarships to the nonMalays...It is because YOU PEOPLE AREN'T THE ORIGINS OF MALAYSIA!!! DON'T U GET IT??!! i knw even though u lived here for wat? a few hundred years?! SO


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
WHAT! The british take you all here to raise the economy..Indian n Chinese (rubber tappers/slaves/fisherman/business) so don't get ur head too big here cause ur not the origins here...why don't u go back where u belong? If u don't like it here GO ON!! GO BACK TO CHINA N INDIA!! STAY THERE N SEE HOW CAN U MANAGE TO LIVE THERE..You can't have enough food to eat when ur there... 3/21/2009 01:27:00 am

Coltz said... I dearly hope that the Anon above me is just posting a satirical piece. Sadly it's a fact that a lot of *ahem* people actually think that way. Heck, a lot of the Chinese I know ARE actually moving to China and working there, now that's a wonderful scene. 3/25/2009 07:50:00 pm

farah said... well Coltz I'm glad you freaking Chinese are out of here...the world is a better place than you people...no more black markets,no more piracy, prostitutes ...I only see that the Chinese people bring shame to this world..I'm just gonna say a quote that say non by me but the British " The only thing straight about the China men is only their hair" so....terasa laa skit cina!! memang tak sedar diri.. kalau aku ckp ni engkau semua tak faham...aish.. ape nak jadi duduk negeri org tapi tak tahu nak ckp bahasa kebangsaan...pegi mampos laaa!~ 3/31/2009 12:35:00 pm

Billgates said... Woi farah ... ingat duit JPA engko punya bapak punya duit ke? Sedarlah bahawa orang cina menyumbang 90% daripada cukai di Malaysia tau tak. Sesial cina di Malaysia pun, duit haram cina juga yang cucu cicit engko akan harapkan tau tak. 4/18/2009 10:17:00 am


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

DeePohttp://kopisejuk.blogspot.com/ said... Farah..yeah..u r bloody ungrateful bitch.... people like us (im iban if u want to know) pays the tax for u...so that u can get JPA and living luxuriously in UK... eventhough im iban (consider as bumi sarawak)...dont get any privileges like u.. bcause my religion is CHRISTIAN not a ''binti'' in between...but u have to remember....my dad pays tax too...to feed ur smelly mouth....mulut celupar! 4/22/2009 12:11:00 am


Anonymous said... hei,ingat ape???u orang melayu kena balik ke hutan dan terus menjadi warga orang utan kalau tiada cina dan india kat negara ini....u orang dah lah malas macam babi, tak ada otak pula....99% drpd melayu dipercayai belum mengalami revolusi sepenuhnya drpd orng utan...ini adalah kajian drpd OXFORD UNIVERSITY...u berani cabar i dak...saya pasti u pun tergolong dalam katergori tu...ya la...kami pun nak dah balik ni..saya nak tengok u orng buat ape la....boleh menambahkan populasi msykt saje...yg lain x guna dah...dah lah leleki melayu semua x ade kerja buat ape lagi???? 3R(Rempit,Rompak & Rogol)...polisi orng melayu bkn...teruskanlah usaha anda utk mempromosikan polisi 3R ini... 5/14/2009 02:29:00 pm

Anonymous said... hmm.. korang semua kene igt... sebelum kite dilahirkan kat dunia ni, kite tak penah pilih untuk lahir sebagai sorang bumi ke, non bumi ke, boleh pilih warna kulit ke, lahir kat utara ke, selatan ke, mane ke, semua kita tak pilih.. semua tu ditentukan oleh maha kuasa... tapi semua tu syukur jek la... tapi kalau dapat di beri peluang, pun lebih bagus..


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
so, kalau la korang ditempatkan kat tempat org lain, ape perasaan korang. pikirkan la.. no offence. 5/20/2009 05:55:00 pm

Anonymous said... Yes,yes,yes, after all not all malay are that bad, there are good maly, espically in PAS, Keadalan,they are the true muslim. 7/24/2010 04:19:00 pm

Resource: http://educationmalaysia.blogspot.com/2006/05/scholarship-quotas.html


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.



Sex education should be taught in schools

I feel it should be taught in schools, kids are curious about this subject and should have the right information about how to protect them selves. When I was in grammar school we didn't have a sex education course and I saw some of my peers become pregnant before we even entered high school. Parents are not comfortable with talking about the subject with their kids. I know first hand because i became pregnant as a teen because my mom never taught me about how to protect myself she just said don't do it. so I had no one to talk to me about the ways I could have prevent pregnancy and diseases. I believe a sexually education course would have helped me to prolong when I would engage in sexually activity. Posted By: cutie87 Challenge to a Debate

Yes, sex education should begin well before high school, as many children are at least curious about changes in their bodies long before they reach high school.

By the time children reach high school age, it may be too late to provide effective sex education. Sex education should begin in elementary school, and should include instruction on basic biology. Children begin to enter puberty younger and younger these days, which can be a horribly confusing and painful period of their life even IF they have some intellectual understanding of the basic biological changes that are occurring. It is also completely imperative that children be instructed on birth control so that they will be able to prevent not only pregnancy, but the spread of STDs. This is an important public health issue. Posted By: DeadEmanuel

Because an increasing number of children are becoming sexually active before high school, I do feel that sex education should be taught at an earlier age.

Because sex education is designed not only to make children aware of their changing bodies, but also to help them to protect themselves when they become sexually active, I do think it


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
should be taught at a younger age, so they have that information when they start considering being sexually active, instead of after the fact, when they have already put themselves in danger. Posted By: ToughEfrain26

Yes, because kids are having sex and fooling around, even during middle school.

More and more kids are experimenting in middle school and having sexual activity. Part of it is due to the media and entertainment of today's society. But, that does not mean we have to ignore it, and pretend kids are innocent at that age. It's time to let them know what's up, else they may do something unintended, and have bad consequences as a result. Posted By: TickoNest

Sex and teens

If kids do not learn about sex in at least middle school then they will be introduced to it in different, unhealthy and dangerous, ways. It could lead to even more young pregnancies, more rape cases, and many more horrible situations. Posted By: Anonymous


No. The teaching of sex in schools has led to the total corruption of children in many communities. When you teach sex, no matter how good the intention is, you create an interest and curiosity in children. Teaching sex to children is as good as advertising it. Ever since sex was taught in schools there has been an increase in teen pregnances and child sex. They better see no evil and hear no evil. Resource: http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-sex-education-be-taught-at-anytimebefore-high-school


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Should most of the economic stimulus money earmarked for schools go to increasing educators' pay?



Of course some of the money should go to teacher pay. You wouldn't believe the amount of money that goes to the educational system each year--and not for pay. Teacher insurance is high- mine is over $700 per month. Without factoring in cost of insurance, I still only make about $15 per hour. I am half-way through my Masters. They do not pay me that $15 per hour when I am off in the summers. It is important we realize teachers are not volunteers and deserve a living wage and cost of living increases. It is unfair to think differently for the ones preparing children for their futures. If my husband were to leave me, I would qualify to be on assitance from the government. That would at least say me my insurance cost. It is a shame that I would not have the money to support my family when I am a college educated professional. I don't know what planet people are on that think teachers are making a 100k per year. I will say if you have donated 20 years to your profession then your pay should reflect that. If teacher pay keeps getting neglected parents are going to start wondering where all the teachers have gone. I love what I do, but I think taxpayers and legislature should remember that we are just as important as any other job out there. Posted By: Mckinnonme Challenge to a Debate

I support stimulus money to increase educators' pay; their work is important.

I support stimulus money to increase educators' pay; their work is important. As an educator, I know they are responsible for molding today's youth into the future of tomorrow. Educators provide youth with knowledge that they will be able to use for their life. If educators were not around, there would be no doctors, lawyers, etc. For this reason they should be paid more. They are paid very little for the important duty that they provide to students. Their payment should be in conjunction with the benefit they provide. Posted By: PuzzlingDarrin48

Yes, because teachers are the most important educators in school children's lives

In my opinion, people who choose to become educators are doing more than they are paid to do. On top of teaching, they are also disciplining and babysitting students during school


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
hours. It takes a lot of patience and experience to become a good teacher. They should be rewarded with a higher salary (from economic stimulus money) than they currently earn. Posted By: FeIBuddy

I think the stimulus money should go to underfunded schools, and not to teacher salaries because we need to support our schools to improve the quality of education.

Teachers are underpaid. I am a teacher and I am underpaid. But that being said, the stimulus money should go to supporting struggling, under-achieving schools. We need more staff in our schools and more resources. We need to use the money to find innovative ways to improve our scores in math and reading, find ways to target gifted and struggling students, and bring back much needed afterschool programs. Teacher salaries need to be fixed but now is not the right time to do so. Posted By: JayceC

Most of the economic stimulus money earmarked for schools should go to increasing teachers' pay because we are losing too many teachers due to low wages.

We are losing too many teachers due to low wages and we are not attracting good, skilled teachers because the pay is so low. Low paying jobs naturally are going to go to low-skilled applicants. If you pay a good wage, better-educated applicants will be attracted to apply for teachers' jobs and stay in the jobs once they're filled. Posted By: JeffP4ri5


No, I don't think most of the economic stimulus money should go toward funding teachers' salaries, because I believe there are other programs that probably need the money more.

I think that teachers can make decent money, in the right market. I feel that there are other programs within the school systems that need the money. Maybe if we put enough money into the programs, then the teachers won't have to use their money on supplies or other things. Posted By: MundaneEdward45


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

I don't think the money earmarked for schools should go to the teachers, because I think it should benefit the students.

Forward progress is always going to be the burden of our children. Money earmarked to fund schools should fund the schools at their foundation, that is, the children. If teachers start getting paid more for doing the same amount of work, everyone would want that treatment. Reward the teachers after they have proved themselves by helping the children. Posted By: FarWilton97

I do not believe school stimulus money should go towards educators' pay, because it is more important to provide for the students.

While I believe that educators should be well paid, we are in tight economic times, and now is not the time for pay increases. Giving the students what they need should always be the number one priority in schools, and increasing teacher salaries should be secondary. Many have had to take pay freezes because of the current economy, and educators should be no different. Posted By: elliso23

I don't believe that economic stimulus money should be earmarked for increasing educators' pay, because of the many other needs in this country right now.

Economic stimulus money should not be earmarked to increase educators' pay. There are too many other needs in this country right now, and I don't believe that teachers should be singled out for raises. Teachers have always complained that they don't get paid enough. But, I feel that, with the state of our education system, many have not proven to be entitled to a raise. We don't have the extra money for that and have too many financial mountains we need to climb. We need to make sure social security and Medicaid are taken care of, along with many, many other things, before we single out any group of people for pay increases. Posted By: SilentIgnacio

The huge amount of money being given to schools should go to improve classrooms and schools, and not to increase what teachers earn.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

The teachers' salaries are good enough, as it is. However, a lot of schools out there are lacking in quality books, classrooms, and other things that any decent school should have to help the students learn. The money from the stimulus should be more focused on fixing that first. Posted By: SpiritualRobt99

As schools have other pressing needs, I oppose increasing educators' pay with the economic stimulus money.

Schools today are facing increasing expenses - books, other supporting personnel, and even the buildings themselves. Most schools require renovations that have become increasingly more expensive. Textbooks have also become very expensive. Additionally, if you increase the educators' salaries, you must also increase the supporting personnel's salaries. Everyone has many more expenses today, and just because someone is an instructor does not merit additional pay. Posted By: debs40

No, the money earmarked for schools should not go to increasing the educators pay because there are far too many other things that need the money more than the teachers

The teachers are underpaid, they go on strike about that issue almost every year and waste every ones time in the process. A little more money will not really help issues, especially with the fact that most of the money will go to pad peoples pay checks who do not need it, like sports coaches. The money would be far better spent on new books, repairs and hiring entirely new teachers to shrink class sizes down. At least that way the teachers would be working less, even if they are not paid more. Posted By: H_Baird

It should be equally divided.

First I think the money should go to those school systems who are burdened the most. We need to look at what school systems have the highest student to teacher ratio and try to balance the classrooms out. Secondly we need to look at the age of the educational


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
materials that our children are using. Then that needs to be updated. And last we need to take a look at teacher salaries. If the teachers are not getting the job done and the children are not advancing, then why should we give them more money? Posted By: SlipArnal

The economic stimulus money earmarked for school should go towards more things than just increasing educator's pay.

Some of the economic stimulus money earmarked for schools should go to increasing educators' pay, but I think a majority of the money should go towards other supplies greatly needed for the children. For example, money should go toward providing books to everyone that is in need. It should go towards improving facilities at the schools, such as sports, music, and science equipment. School buildings should be safe and accessible and should be able to provide a good learning environment. Posted By: EImerN4th

Teachers make more per hour than many professions.

Teachers work fewer than 40 hours a week for only 3/4 of the year. They have a higher hourly wage ($35 roughly) than engineers, paralegals, and many other professions. They also have far better health benefits than private sector employees. Add in tenure, which makes it hard to fire bad teachers, and they have a better employment package than the taxpayers who pay them. If we need to cut costs, we need to cut administrative pay. Posted By: Pir4And

Educators should not be paid with stimulus money; they should be paid based on their performance.

This is a question subject to opinion, and in my opinion, educators should not receive pay increases for money designated to creating jobs. Specifically, giving an educator a raise is contrary to the intended purpose of job creation. Although President Obama said it would to "create and save" jobs, it does neither. Posted By: Asher Cummings


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

I feel the use of the economic money earkmarked for schools should be individually evaluated based on needs in the individual school districts.

I feel that the stimulus money earmarked for schools should be appropriated according to need. If an educator's pay is not at the level that it needs to be, then of course some of the stimulus money should be used in this area. However, we need to focus the majority of the money on helping those schools that have fallen behind. Test scores need to be evaluated. If schools are lagging behind, then it may not be because the school does not have good educators. It may simply be due to lack of funding for the appropriate technology such as computers and funding for extra learning programs within that school district. No child in the United States should go to a school that is lagging in modern technology. If we want our children to succeed, we have to provide an environment that stimulates learning. So overall, I think the stimulus money should be used in areas to improve schools and the learning environment. Posted By: TinHaywa

I oppose economic stimulus money being earmarked for teachers pay because I believe teachers are already paid well enough.

It is a common belief that teachers are being underpaid for the work they do. Obviously this is a question of values more than of empirical fact, but if you look at the amount teachers work teachers do compared to the reward they get its not clear that they should receive higher pay. Most teachers make somewhere between $60,000 and $100,000 year. This is above the median American income and is certainly a living wage. Add to this the fact that teachers are well respected in society in general and only work 9 months out of the year and it seems fairly clear that we don't need to be increasing their pay all that much. Posted By: VultureDer

Resource: http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-most-of-the-economic-stimulus-moneyearmarked-for-schools-go-to-increasing-educators-pay


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Serious gaps in education blueprint

September 12, 2012

The Education Ministry must undertake further consultative processes to review the findings and plans and incorporate public views that are now overlooked.
COMMENT By Ramon Navaratnam The Asli-Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) welcomes the release of the preliminary report, Malaysian Education Blueprint (2013-2025) as timely and necessary for preparing the future intellectual and social and human capital of Malaysia, in a globalised world. We recognise that there has been lot of hard work and effort in drawing public opinion and in the compilation of this report. We therefore congratulate this participatory effort especially through the town hall meetings for feedback as well as the academic and professional evaluative work. We also recognise that the five system aspirations and the 11 shifts to transform the educational system are necessary and strategic. However we note that there are also major and serious gaps in the report and therefore urge the Ministry of Education to undertake further consultative processes to review the findings and plans and to actually incorporate public views that are now overlooked. In reading this extensive blueprint we have noted a number of areas that require further work as it does not reflect a comprehensive understanding of the educational requirements and aspirations of all the Malaysian communities. If ignored this can lead to greater polarisation and national disunity due to the following issues: First, the report rightly recognises the need for strengthening language proficiency in both English and Bahasa Malaysia including new provision at the primary level with intensive remedial support for struggling students after school hours.The target of specific targeting vernacular stream students in Bahasa Malaysia is most urgent, but specific recommendations have to be spelt out to ensure proper implementation. Second, the report also rightly places emphasis on improvements of the quality of education through the effective recruitment and training of teachers. The supervisory and support systems for teachers must be addressed. In this context while the entry requirements of teachers by merit is very important nonetheless there is a no mention of the urgent need to have ethnic balance of both teaching staff especially in primary and secondary schools including headship positions and positions in education


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
departments at the Federal, state and district levels. This is very critical in ensuring the national character is maintained in all the educational streams and choices. Third, there is a major conceptual issue to the way the ethnically homogeneous environments are described and analysed. While the document rightly highlights the unparalleled degree of choice for parents, the selective use of data focusing on vernacular schools in the context of national unity is regrettable. Its almost blaming the vernacular schools as the cause of polarisation when in reality the national schools are driving many students of all races, away from the national schools. Where is the transparency? There must be a clear revelation of data across all the 20 categories of educational institutions including the composition of students in residential schools, technical and vocational schools, matriculation and through other provisions such as preschool through Kemas or secondary through MSRM institutions. The student and staff population by ethnicity is not revealed nor identified as one contributing factor separating Malay students from non-Malays especially in the secondary school system. Where then is the transparency to encourage confidence in the blueprint? In this context the root reasons for exodus of non-Malay students which are due to the imbalanced cultural and religious environment in a majority of national schools. This must be noted and addressed to win credibility and support for blueprint. In addition the document only adopts the approach of direct interaction among students from various ethnic comm unities. However it must be noted that even within homogeneous environments there can be an effective orientation towards multiculturalism which can be fostered in order to enable student interaction in multi-cultural situations. It has to be emphasised that multi-culturalism can contribute to national unity The section on Enhancement of unity in schools does not focus on how to ensure the environment of the school and the approach adopted by the school is truly appreciative of the multi religious, multi ethnic and multi-cultural reflection of Malaysian society Fourth, the document lacks substantive data and statistics such as breakdown of data across the 20 categories of schools. The release of data in the blue print has been selective and therefore not comprehensive. The earlier documents entitled Pembangunan Pendidikan (2001 -2010) and the Pelan Induk Pembangunan Pendidikan (2006-2010) provided more comprehensive charts and tables which enable the general public to appreciate the complexity of issues as well as hold the Ministry officials accountable. Fifth, the blue print misses the opportunity to ensure an inclusive educational system. There is no specific mention how vernacular schools, mission and religious schools which are currently categorised as national type, which also implies limited funding for infrastructure development can be truly incorporated as fully funded schools and national schools. A majority of students in mission schools are Malay students and therefore a review of this issue is essential. Therefore the time has come in our national education policy to bring an end this dichotomy and ensure each of the different streams achieve the national character and inclusive nature in the interests of national unity.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
This is why the objective of wave 3 with the objective working towards schools of choice for all continue to create insecurities over constitutional protections towards vernacular and religious schools. It is therefore imperative that the Blueprint takes the long-term view that the parental choices will remainhowever with no compromise to the national agenda of national language, national unity and nation building. Reveal the findings It is in this context that CPPS feels that many of the community concerns raised by ordinary citizens and parents have been censured by some professionals and foreign and local consultants. Thus we would like the Education Ministry to release the reports of the Independent Review Panel, the findings of the National Dialogues as well as the commissioned academic and Unesco reports. This will enable ordinary citizens to review these in the light of the Blueprint document. The nation is looking for freshness in addressing the strongest asset of this country namely our younger generation. We need boldness and innovation from a critical but constructive dimension to ensure that our educational policy its implementation and institutions, bring out the best in our children to develop their full potential to serve the common good of this nation We need to put into practice the slogan people first, performance now to ensure our education policy is truly transformed to enable our country to progress and not regress, due to a lack of political will to move innovatively and boldly forward The writer is the chairman of Asli-Centre of Public Policy Studies. This statement was issued on behalf of CPPS.

Resource: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2012/09/12/serious-gaps-ineducation-blueprint/


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Are the unnatural habitats found in zoos immoral?


I think that it is immoral...

i think it is immoral because the animals are trapped in a cage being gawked at when they should be out in the wilderness living their life. I find it preposterous that people will put animals in unnatural habitats just to gain of them. Posted By: KatelynMorris Challenge to a Debate

I think that the unnatural habitats in zoos are immoral, because the name "unnatural" alone tells you that it is not as intended how they should live.

The habitats are very small, and doesn't allow them to roam free as nature intended them to. Their ability to communicate with other members of the species is taken away. They are deprived of natural surroundings and all the creatures that occupy them. Being shut off in a prison, it causes unwanted anxiety for the purpose of making money. The ability to think or decision-making is severely limited due to being stuck in a small enclosure. Posted By: darkscion22

I do not believe that placing animals in small insufficient unnatural habitats is moral or humane, because they deserve to live their life as intended by nature.

Animal are living creatures and deserve to live their life the way they were intended. If polar bears enjoy arctic weather and ice caps, why is it that we think it is ok to crate them in a 70 square foot cage? Polar bears like the cold of the arctic, yet some are forced to live in the middle of the city, in 90 degree weather all summer. That is cruel, and no one should be forced to live in environments so unsuited for what they are intended. Posted By: danielleduce

Unnatural zoo habitats are immoral because they harm captive animals.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Zoo animals depend on human beings to provide for their welfare, and in return provide enjoyment to visitors and profits for the zoo. An unnatural habitat makes the life of a zoo animal unpleasant and unhealthy. It is immoral for a zoo to make a profit from an animal trapped in an unnatural enclosure that causes physical or mental distress. For some animals it's a form of torture...our society agrees that cruelty to animals is immoral, therefore unnatural zoo habitats are immoral. Posted By: C4mmyGrant

Despite the conservation efforts of zoos, I do believe that the unnatural habitats found in zoos are immoral.

Many zoos throughout the United States, are implementing conservation efforts in almost every country in order to preserve the lives of these magnificent animals. While these conservation efforts are being applied, and numerous people are able to learn about the natural habitat and wonders of these animals, zoos will never replicate the proper living environment for these animals. These animals have less space to roam around and are under constant surveillance. I believe that this creates a lot of undue stress and anxiety to the animals. This stress has lead to numerous zoo-keeper massacres which could have been prevented by keeping these wild animals in their habitat. As a result, we have lost several of these wild animals due to their natural and instinctual behavior. We need to keep these magnificent animals in their habitat in order to enjoy them to the fullest extent. Posted By: CortezM

I believe zoos are unnatural habitats and therefore immoral.

I believe zoos do not provide natural habitats for animals, and can be considered immoral. This is because these habitats do not provide the proper freedom for these animals to roam around in. They will always be surrounded by fences, no matter how large the habitat is. This can be considered a from of imprisonment, as they will always be contained. These animals cannot decide for themselves, or at least communicate to us whether or not they would want to be taken from the wild and into a place where people can stare at them. Posted By: Maximus Walton


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

There are some habitats in zoos that are not natural and are unfair to animals.

Some cages in zoos are way too small for the animals that live inside them. Also the way they are gawked at and treated at times is unnatural and in a way unfair to the animal. When you see a huge animal such as an elephant in a tiny enclosure it makes you feel sad for it because you know that it doesn't have enough space and probably isn't happy. Posted By: B3rkIffy


Not always.

Sometimes the unnatural habitats in zoos greatly benefit the animals. For animals that would otherwise not be able to survive unnatural habitats are exactly what they need. These habitats can also have great educational value which would make it more likely for people to stand up for the animal's best interest in the future because they have been educated on the importance of the animals well being. This is not to say that these habitats are automatically moral. I can certainly see times when these exhibits could be immoral but they are not immoral by definition. Posted By: skepticalphilosopher Challenge to a Debate

Unnatural habitats in zoos are not immoral; those animals are well cared for.

The only thing animals really care about is survival, because that is what they are genetically programmed to do and really all they are capable of. Zoos are usually nice to animals in this respect, because zoo inhabitants are protected, sheltered, cleaned and fed every day of the year. We humans would be lucky to have all that provided for us by someone else. Posted By: FlakyHerb64

I don't believe that zoo habitats for animals are immoral, because I don't recognize zoos as a moral issue.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Some consider zoos and their unnatural habitats to be a moral outrage against animals, but I cannot bring myself to feel that way. I recognize that it may be an issue of safety for both people and the animals, but as far as having a moral quandary about it, I don't. Posted By: BrownDustin82

Zoo habitats are not immoral because they are a teaching tool.

Zoos have always been controversial, however animals in zoos serve a greater good. Zoo animals teach people about animals in a way that seeing a movie or a picture can't. Most modern zoos are designed with the comfort and needs of the animals in mind. Also zoos are instrumental in captive breeding programs. Posted By: HumdrumMilo83

No, because the habitats in zoos are better than the ones in the wild.

Animals in zoos are better kept than if they were in the wild. Sure, not everything is perfect, and the animals do not have a huge area to roam around. But, the zookeepers do take great care of them. If an animal gets sick in a zoo, it can be cared for, unlike the wild, where it is very likely it will just die from its sickness. Posted By: R04chGrov

Overall the habitats found in zoos are not immoral because they do provide all of the necessary things the animals need for survival.

Although there are a few things that could be improved upon, overall zoos provide the animals what they need for survival. Most of the animals have never experienced a habitat outside of the zoo, therefore making the smaller conditions much more acceptable. Also, if we would not have zoos then people who can not afford to travel would not be able to see such animals as elephants and monkeys and so on. Posted By: eyeslikethat


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

No, because the zookeepers try to recreate their natural habitat the best that they can.

I don't think the habitats seen in zoos are immoral. The zookeepers try to recreate the animal's natural habitat the best way they can. I go to zoos all the time, and usually I see great habitats, with happy animals. The people that go to zoos don't know what their real habitat looks like, so how do they know what the animals are supposed to have? Posted By: ThiefShna

Artificial habitats in zoos are not immoral in the least bit.

There's a misconception about how animals are treated at zoos. Yes, in some cases there is animal abuse, but those are isolated incidents. Animals live better lives than some humans in zoos. They get food for free, and unlike circus animals, they are not pressured to perform. The conditions for animals in zoos are better than the conditions for some poor people in their homes. Posted By: RayEar

The unnatural habitats are not immoral as long as they are being handled in the appropriate manner so they do not attack.

Keeping an animal in an unnatural habitat or recreated environment is not immoral as long as the animals are treated in a safe manner. If animals are abused or malnourished while being kept in a zoo, then it is wrong. But if the animal is being treated well and feels safe, it should be allowed for them to live there, for people to see. Most people would never see a wild animal without these zoos. As long as the correct safety measures are in place, these habitats should not be considered immoral. Posted By: D35General

I don't think zoo habitats are unnatural or immoral. In fact, I believe that zoologists strive to make the best habitats possible.

I believe that most zoo habitats, while not the animals' normal environment, are created to suit the animals' needs. I do not believe keeping animals in these habitats is immoral


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
because most zoos today are trying to provide safe homes for endangered or injured animals. There is nothing immoral about that. Posted By: VividDel

The zoo providers do a good job keeping the animals in their "natural" habitat by producing another environment like the animals in the real world, in the zoo.

I believe that the unnatural habitat in the zoo is not immoral. This is because the animals are kept in a mimicked area of their real habitat; it is not like the zoos place the tigers in with the penguins in cold air and whatnot. The zoo itself is immoral because the animals teach everyone about the different environments and also the types of different animals all over the world. Posted By: N34rIyGaIv

Although Zoos may be unnatural habitats for animals, there is nothing immoral about zoos as long as they are humanely treated.

Although zoos are unnatural habitats for animals to live in, there is nothing immoral about putting them in a zoo. Animals were created for man's enjoyment and housing some of them in zoos allows for the opportunity for people to enjoy the brilliance of God's creation. The key is to provide humane treatment to the animals. Posted By: TasticBran

Resource: http://www.debate.org/opinions/are-the-unnatural-habitats-found-in-zoos-immoral


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Do you support gay marriage?



I absolutely support gay marriage and see it just like any other union. Two people who love each other should not be denied those rights. There are many people who have had a partner die, and they were denied help or any money to live on because they were not allowed to get married, and that is very unfair. I do not believe the government should interfere with this. Posted By: narcolepsycho Challenge to a Debate


Yes I definitely support gay marriage and do not think gay marriage is any different than "regular" marriage. I do not think they government should control who gets married, as long as both people are consenting adults. The ban on gay marriage stems from religious beliefs of it being between one man and one woman and religion should not hold that kind of power over a government institution. Posted By: angelalang24 Challenge to a Debate


I do support gay marriage. People have every right to love who they want to love and not be questioned by anyone. How people choose to live their lives is a personal matter and if they want to get married to someone of the same gender, let them. Let them be happy. Posted By: alyssaa


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Not at Alll

Calling two homosexuals uniting a marriage is a mockery to the institution of marriage. They cannot create a child, thus it is a sterile union. Adopting a child while in a gay couple takes away from the mother-father unit every child deserves. It's completely fine for them to misuse their organs. If you believe in evolution, which I'm assuming so cause you support gay rights, man never decided all of a sudden to put something that's for a woman into a man. It's a choice. Posted By: Anonymous

Resource: http://www.debate.org/opinions/do-you-support-gay-marriage


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Dilemmas of Sovereignty and Intervention



The Arab Spring (and its troublesome, yet still hopeful, aftermath in Egypt), intervention in Libya, nonintervention in Syria and Bahrain, drone military operations in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the influx of unwanted immigrants and walls of exclusion, and selective applications of international criminal law draw into question the most basic of all ideas of world order: the sovereignty of territorial states, and its limits. Also, at issue, are the closely related norms of international law prohibiting intervention in the internal affairs of states and affirming the fundamental right of selfdetermination as an inherent right of all peoples. These are basic rules of international order acknowledged in the United Nations Charter, taking the form of prohibiting the Organization from intervening in matters essentially within domestic jurisdiction and through affirmations of the right of self-determination. The latter is only aspirational in the Charter, but becomes obligatory as a result being posited as common Article 1 of the two human rights Covenants and being listed as one of seven principles enumerated in the authoritative Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation Among States (UN General Assembly Resolution 2625, 1970). At the same time, as Ken Booth provocatively pointed out almost 20 years ago one of the great failings over the centuries of the Westphalian framework of world order (based on treaties of peace in 1648 concluded at the end of the Thirty Years War that are treated as establishing the modern European system of territorial states premised on the juridical ideal of sovereign equality) was associated with sovereign prerogatives to possess unconditional authority in state/society relations. Booth showed that respect for sovereignty had legitimated the inner space of states as a sanctuary for the commission of what he called human wrongs, that is, non-accountable and cruel abuses of persons subject to territorial authority. Historically, the West claimed rights of intervention, often in the name of civilization, in the non-West, particularly in the decaying Ottoman Empire of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The great wakeup experience, at least rhetorically for the liberal West, was the non-response at the international level to the lethal internal persecutions in Nazi Germany during the 1930s, which were not only within a sovereign state, but within a country with a high claim to be a major embodiment of Western civilization. The responses after World War II, mainly expressed via international law, consisted of the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials of surviving German and Japanese leaders, the adoption of theGenocide Convention, and the negotiation and approval of theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), as well as the establishment of the United Nations itself. These were well-intentioned, although


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
somewhat ambivalent, gestures of global responsibility that generated criticisms and even suspicions at the time: the Nuremberg and Tokyo standards of individual accountability for crimes were only imposed by the coalition of victors in World War II upon the losers, exempting the Allied Powers from any legal responsibility for the terror bombings of German and Japanese cities and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the Genocide Convention seemed deficient due to its failure to provide mechanisms for enforcement; the UDHR was drafted under the sway of Western liberal individualism as a hegemonic orientation, and was only endorsed in the form of a non-binding declaration, a clear signal that no expectation of enforcement existed; as well, the legitimacy of the colonial structures of foreign ruler were not questioned until challenged by a series of populist uprisings throughout the non-West that produced some bloody wars as in Indochina and Algeria.. In passing, it should be observed that the West never respected the sovereign rights of the peoples of the non-West until it was forced to do so. Whether it was European colonialism that extended its reach throughout Africa and Asia or the assertions of American hegemony over Latin America beneath the banner of the Monroe Doctrine the pattern was one based on relations of hierarchy, not equality. This was accompanied by a refusal to extend the Westphalian writ of mutual respect for sovereign rights beyond the Euro-American regional domain until the imperial order began to crumble after World War I. First, the Good Neighbor policy seemed to reaffirm sovereignty for Latin America, but only within limits set by Washington, as the Cold War era of covert and overt interventions confirm. In the Middle East and Africa various experiments with colonial halfway houses were undertaken within the framework of the League of Nations, and formalized as the Mandates System. Secondly, after World War II a variety of nationalist movements and wars of national liberation broke the back of European colonialism as an acceptable political arrangement, and the idea of the equality of sovereign states was globalized as a matter of juridical doctrine, although not geopolitically. During the last six decades the world has moved forward in pursuit of global justice, or has it? On the one side, human rights has matured beyond all expectations, and to some degree exerts a generalized moral and political force subversive of national sovereignty by validating a higher law that exists above and beyond the legal order of the state. This subversive thrust is reinforced by the development and institutionalization of international criminal law, enforcement of accountability claims against such pariah leaders as Milosevic and Saddam Hussein, as well as lesser figures in the entourage of tyrants, the establishment of the International Criminal Court, arrest warrants for the likes of el-Bashir of Sudan and Qaddafi. And, perhaps, most significantly in relation to global justice, the rise of respected transnational NGOs that have created a somewhat less selective pressure for implementation of human rights norms, but one that remains weighted toward political and civil rights that are given priority in the liberal democracies of the North, and one that gives little attention to the economic, social, cultural, and collective rights that possess primary importance to developing societies in the South. In actuality, the UDHR was correct in its integration of all forms of human rights in a single coherent legal instrument, but it became a casualty of the Cold War


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
ideological tensions between capitalism and socialism, with one side championing a liberal individualist understanding of human rights and the other side a collective conception. And yet, these various moves toward what might be called humanitarian globalization achieved at the expense of older conceptions sovereignty are too often subordinated to the realities of geopolitics. That is, the application of legal standards and the assertion of interventionary claims remain imbalanced: the West against the rest, the North against the South, the strong against the weak. Even the supposedly globally oriented human rights NGOs devote most of their attention to non-West violations when it comes to alleged infractions of international criminal law. Selective applications of law and morality tarnish the integrity of law and morality that is premised upon fidelity to principles of equality and reciprocity. This makes supposedly challenges to sovereignty suspect, but are they also worthless, or as some argue, worse than worthless? There are two contradictory modes of response. The liberal answer is to insist that progress in society almost always occurs incrementally, and doing what is possible politically is better than throwing up ones hands in frsutration, and doing nothing. So long as targets of intervention and indicted leaders are given fair trials, and are convicted on the basis of the weight of the evidence, such results should be affirmed as demonstrating an expanding global rule of law, and serving the interests of global justice. The fact that the principal states intervene at will and enjoy impunity in relation to international criminal law, remains a feature of world politics, and is even given a prominent constitutional status at the UN by granting a veto power to the five permanent members of the Security Council. The critical response argues that the prevalence of double standards contaminates law, and makes it just one more instrument of power. The authority and legitimacy of law depends on its linkage to justice, not power. To enforce prohibitions on the use of aggressive force or the commission of crimes of state only on losers and the weak is implicitly to cede the high moral and legal ground to the richest and most dangerous political actors. It makes available a humanitarian disguise for abusive behavior in a post-colonial global setting, providing pretexts for disregarding the dynamics of self-determination, which is the legal, political, and moral lynchpin of a system of sovereign states detached from the hierarchies of geopolitics. In a world beset by contradictions, there are only hard choices. There seem to be three kinds of situation that somewhat transcend this tension between liberal and critical perspectives: a severe natural disaster that cannot be addressed by national capabilities ( Asian tsunami of 2004; Haiti earthquake of 2010) acute or imminent genocide as in Rwanda (1994) where a small international effort would have seemed likely to avert the deaths of hundreds of thousands; a mandate to act issued by the UN Security Council as in Libya. In each instance, there are risks, uncertainties, and unanticipated effects; especially worrisome is the recent pattern of authorizations of force by the Security Council. Both in the Gulf War (1991), to some extent the sanctions currently imposed on Iran, and now with the Libyan intervention, the mandate to use force is stretched beyond the limits


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
specified in the language of authorization. In the Libyan case, Security Council Resolution 1973 the initial justification for intervention was justified by reference to an emergency situation endangering the lives of many Libyan civilians, but converted operationally and massively by NATO into a mandate to achieve regime change in Tripoli by dislodging the Qaddafi leadership. No effort was made to secure a broader mandate from the Security Council and nothing was done to insist that NATO operations be limited by the terms of the original UN authorization. What can be done? We have little choice but to cope as best we can with these contradictions, especially when it comes to uses of force in the course of what is labeled as a humanitarian intervention or an application of the right to protect norm. I would propose two ways to turn the abundance of information on these issues into reliable knowledge, and hopefully thereby, to engender greater wisdom with respect to the specifics of global policy and decision-making. First, acknowledge the full range of realities in international life, including the absence of equal protection of the law, that is, judging claims and deciding on responses with eyes wide open by being sensitive to the context, including its many uncertainties. With these considerations in mind adopt a posture of reluctance to use force except in extreme cases. Secondly, presume strongly against reliance on hard power resolutions of conflict situations both because the costs almost always exceed the estimates of those advocating intervention and because military power during the period of the last sixty years is rarely able to shape political outcomes in ways that are on balance beneficial for the society on whose behalf the intervention is supposedly taking place. When it comes to severe human rights abuses somewhat analogous considerations apply. In almost every instance, deference to internal dynamics seems preferable to intervention-from-without, while soft power interventions-from-below-and-without are to be encouraged as expressions of emergent global democracy. Victimization and collective acute vulnerability should not be insulated from assistance by rigid notions of sovereignty, but nor should self-determination be jeopardized by the hypocritical moral pretensions of hegemonic states. This is inevitably a delicate balance, but the alternative is to opt for extremes of passivity or activism. In effect, to the extent possible, global challenges to sovereignty should take the form of transnational soft power tactics of empathy as identities of persons around the globe become as globalized (and localized) as markets. The recent furor aroused by Freedom Flotilla II is illustrative of an emerging tension between the role of sovereign states in defining the contours of law and morality and that of popular forces mobilized on behalf of those unjustly suffering and neglected by the world of states. Ideally, the UN should act as a mediating arbiter, but the UN remains a membership organization designed to serve the diplomacy of sovereign states and the states system, and is generally hostile to the claims of global civil society however well founded. One attractive proposal to endow the UN with a more robust mediating role is to establish some form of Global Parliament, perhaps building on the experience of the European Parliament that has evolved in authority and political weight over the decades. A more relevant innovation consistent with the above analysis would be the establishment of a UN Humanitarian Emergency Peace Fund with


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
independent funding, an authorizing procedure that was not subject to a veto, and an operational discipline that ensured that the implementation of a mandate to act forcibly did not exceed its boundaries. ####
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Tags: Cold War, History, International Criminal Court, Sovereignty, Thirty Years War, United States, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, World War II


Comments Global Governance,Human Rights, International & Global Law, World Politics


A final attempt to clarify my posting of the cartoon Warfare Without Limits: A Darkening Human Horizon

17 Responses to Dilemmas of Sovereignty and Intervention


Julie Webb-PullmanJuly 16, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

This is an extremely interesting and cogent piece making several excellent points. I hope there will be a sequel outlining in more detail the objectives and functions of the proposed UN Humanitarian Emergency Peace Fund, in particular the identification of an operational discipline that can/will ensure that implementation of mandates to act forcibly does not exceed their boundaries.


Julie Webb-PullmanJuly 16, 2011 at 9:52 pm #


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further thoughts why would it be a UN fund, and not one related to the new body? Surely that would be more appropriate, and capable of avoiding the pitfalls of being part of the UN system, largely negating the last threee points?


Julie Webb-PullmanJuly 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

Ignore previous two posts (lesson one dont write hasty replies!!! Fully digest the information first!! But Im in a hurry.) However, I dont see why a Global Parliament needs to be set up under the auspices of the UN, which is the implication in your article. The idea of a GP is good, but it would never happen under the UN system precisely because of the points made in the article power, veto, and funding, plus the determination to perpetuate impunity for certain states. And it is unclear to me how a GP would answer the problem of states taking action (or failing to) against the moral or political will of their citizens how will the GP be constituted? Wont it be yet just another representative democracy with all its failings, most serious of which is its abject failure to actually represent the will of the people? And the operational discipline question remains exactly what form of operational discipline is capable of addressing the failings outlined in your piece? We threw out the League of Nations because it didnt work isnt it time to throw out the UN because it doesnt work either, and come up with something better?

Richard FalkJuly 17, 2011 at 10:40 am #

Thanks, Julie, for these comments. I agree that UN auspices are not necessarily the best to proceed with such initiatives, and further that more detail is required to make such proposals credible. I have written several articles, in collaboration with Andrew Strauss, on the global parliament idea, and there are various proposals that have been developed on the idea of a permanent or standing peace force available to address humanitarian or natural catastrophes. I think the time has come to push such global reform initiatives although for reasons you suggest the political obstacles will be quite formidable.


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deepaktripathiJuly 17, 2011 at 11:45 am #

Dear Richard, Many thanks for permitting me to post your indepth and thought-provoking article on Reflections. Clashes between sovereignty and intervention are not new. While the end of the Cold War was a cause for celebration, it is only in recent years that the risks of a world that is unipolar in a miliatary sense have become increasingly obvious; above all, the dangers of someone possessing military force of exceptional ferocity to stop caring, and instead shamelessly flaunting and employing their power for destructive purposes. The civil society in such moments naturally feels depressed, but it need not be the case. For we know that such challenging times have come in history. and exceptional military powers have had to bow down in the end. Before that moment arrives again, I fear that sacrifices will have to be made. Your proposal for a Global Parliament and a UN Humanitarian Emergency Peace Fund must be a way forward. I suspect the proposal is so revolutionary that, in the short run, at least some permanent members of the Security Council will see it as a direct challenge to them. The most serious flaw of the United Nations system, as it stands today, lies in the inability of anyone else to control that small body that represents the vestiges of World War II more than six dacades before. For the reasons mentioned above, easy and rapid change will be difficult. Perhaps with small beginnings the establishment of a UN Humanitarian Emergency Fund (under the auspices of the Human Rights Council/General Assembly) could be the answer. The beginnings, certainly in terms of the size of such a fund, will need to be humble, for many of the worlds wealthy will probably boycott it. It will be a test of wills. We already see famine and hunger spreading in Africa, but powerful nations focus on war, and their own economic crises.

rogueoperatorJuly 18, 2011 at 5:32 am #

I was mistaken in commenting on your blog as if it was your piece, deepak. When I was reading the piece, I thought you were commenting on a Falk article. Best, RO


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deepaktripathiJuly 18, 2011 at 8:18 am #

On my blog, it is labeled as Richards article right at the start. I did take it to mean you were indeed commenting on Richards piece. Anyway it is posted under his name and his article on my blog.

rogueoperatorJuly 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

Absolutely. Everything is there in black and white.


rogueoperatorJuly 18, 2011 at 5:33 am #

I was pleased in seeing the author come to the following conclusion, which I find to be sensible and humane: When it comes to severe human rights abuses somewhat analogous considerations apply. In almost every instance, deference to internal dynamics seems preferable to intervention-from-without, while soft power interventions-from-below-and-without are to be encouraged as expressions of emergent global democracy. Victimization and collective acute vulnerability should not be insulated from assistance by rigid notions of sovereignty, but nor should self-determination be jeopardized by the hypocritical moral pretensions of hegemonic states. This is inevitably a delicate balance, but the alternative is to opt for extremes of passivity or activism.


John LymanJuly 23, 2011 at 9:54 am #

Thank you again for giving me the go ahead. The article can be found at http://www.jofr.org


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Richard FalkJuly 23, 2011 at 10:31 am #

Thanks, Ray, I take your words seriously, and try my best to ignore the harsh tone of hostile comments and commentary.


monalisaJuly 24, 2011 at 3:13 am #

You made a very good and realistic outline concerning the different political willpowers executed during the past 100 years. However, I dont agree with only ONE global justice and legal united nations corpus. This because ONE is usually very likely be overthrown by political and as we yet clearly are seeing military powers. Whereas I would suggest that each continent should form its own Continent Justice and Social Corpus. And then bound togehter. At least I think with about five or seven such formed powers a more secure outcome could be expected and too much manipulation and military willpower would or could be better avoided. It would be difficult I think when the majority from seven or five such bodies have to find a solution. Nowadays we have the military power speaking and nothing is held against its devastating overthrowing of countries. Alone seeing what is done at the present with Libya: NATO bombings continue, at least SEVEN Western countries are bombing ONE country !! I cannot say this shows a development of cultural and geosocial aspects !! Not to speak where the billions of dollars of Libya are going: at the moment the rebells will be supported with weapos thus providing Western big corporations more money. Instead of trying to look after peace and proceed with the big water project in the Sahara: Greening the Sahara !! So I think about SEVEN bodies representing the seven continents would much more sufficient to overcome political and military sovereignities and secure a more global security. Not to forget: in our times there should be much much more global thinking. We could maybe learn how societies will overcome differences when looking what is really


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needed. With less poor and exploited countries the world population would not so much rise. We see that in some Western countries, i.e. Europe. More education, more social/medical networks had supported a better living status. Unfortunately this is now declining !! Anyhow, I dont think that ONE body will be able to secure a better and social more secure world without exploitation by corporate bodies supported by politicans mostly of Western origin. What we see now is the exploitation on the cost of innocent people, children being sick, millions of orphans, millions dying from hunger. Instead that all these billions of dollars spent for global way of thinking and looking what will be really needed all this money is used for destruction und murdering populations in Middle East and African countries. Figthing global climate change and giving people also in the United States more possibilities to get a decent income and new business markets to be opened/founded. There would be enough to do: the Pacific, the Atlantic are desastrous overfished, desastrous dirty. The air is polluted. Each bomb with warheads of DU-material (= depleted uranium) is adding to more pollution of radiation in the air. These particles are very tiny so they travel easily with the global winds. We are far away of seeing what is really needed on our earth: a global way of thinking as we all share the same air. We all need clean water. Only an irregular number of bodies representing the different needs of the different continents would secure a more global way of thinking. The military and political expressed Western powers are still in the state of thinking as two thousand years ago. And democracy declines accordingly. This will only add to more pollution everyqhere.

Richard FalkJuly 24, 2011 at 7:23 am #

I appreciate your thoughtful comment, and agree with the central theme suggesting that any kind of political unification would be premature and undesirable at this stage, and that a regionally organized world order would work


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better. The challenge in such a system would be two-fold: how to deal with the global projection of power by the U.S. and how to engage in global problem-solving to deal with global warming and related challenges.


pamelaJuly 26, 2011 at 5:15 am #

Under your final comment about the cartoon confusion, I posted a comment on July 12, 2011 at 5:43 am: Daily, at the U.N. we can all watch the bi-polarism of the world expressed: Identity politics and geographic economics, both, being promoted in a salad dressing of delusion, bottled, labelled, and sold as Human Rights.Its like trying to mix oil with vinegar, the delusion must be constantly shook or the ingredients will separate. Thank you for your essay, it provides historical back-drop on the very paradox I was thinking about at the time.


Dsd SdsOctober 24, 2012 at 2:15 am #

There is no dilemma in sovereignty of nations .It acts a firewall against a one world government that is hell bent to exterminate the most people it can and control the entire planet for eternity .The United Nations is the worst enemy of all of mankind on this planet . It was engineered from the start with one goal to make a One World Government .The elites like the Rothschild banking families , the Rockefeller and the top wealthy fifty families of the planet many of them Royal families own the UN lock stock and barrel. They set it up and they control it through many organizations such as the Trilateral Org the Bilderberg org Club Serra Club of Rome to name a few .The Elites of the world wish to rule the world from the UN which none of us normal peoples would ever elect into a position of power .From the UN these unelected Tzars would tell sovereign nations everything from how many children people could have to who will be the euthanasia victims because they are too old, too sick ,too troublesome or a useless eater .The proof the UN conspires in this is all over the planet One good example of the UN conspiracy is the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The UN went all over Iraq looking for hidden weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The reality is the USA in the 1990s sold Iraq all the WMDs it owned . Iraq never had any ability to make WMDs and that was just said to cover the fact that the USA sold them all the WMDs. The USA and the UN both knew the shelf life of the WMDs was short so that by ~1996 the WMD were useless as weapons. The idea that


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Husein after 10 years of sanctions could produce more was laughable among the WMDs experts and best could make be a few tons.Thats nothing like the 600 tons that were missing. The USA and UN knew the original amount of WMDs that Iraq had in 1990 was 900 tons and the UN supervised the destruction of 300 tons of it .Then Husein decided to stop the destruction of the remaining 600 tons with hiding them away or refusing to say what happened to them. In fact the reason for this could have been in the war with Kuwait in 1991 some or even most of the 600m tons of the WMDs may have been destroyed by the allied forces .Some exerts even suggest that could explain the gulf war syndrome that made many hundreds of thousands of allied soldiers sick and and many thousands die a few years to decades later after the 1991 first gulf war. If the UN had said in 2002 that there was no real possibility that Iraq had WMDs as the shelf life of them made them useless in 2002 there was no possibility for the 2003 Iraq war.The UN in this case deliberately suppressed expert advice and knowledge to tacitly allow the Iraq war to go ahead without having to give the UN say so so they UN could claim clean hands . There are many examples of how the UN conspires like in Iraq to either allow a war or block assistance to peoples who need it to save them from a tyranny .Then the UN shouts dammed if do and dammed if you dont .That is done by the UN so that eventually people will demand the UN becomes the police man of the globe and later the One World Government. If the UN does get this One World Government the elites plans for the UN is to make it a hard core communist regime .The UN like all communist regimes before it will then exterminate peoples and dissenters in the many millions .In the case of the UN save the planet false science agenda that will require the extermination of peoples in the Billions to reduce the pollution they say exists .Modern science shows that pollution events are easily reduced and controlled with modern science .However the UN employs false science to show the UN population reduction agenda is the only way forward. Give me the dilemma of the sovereign state any day and ban and dismember the UN ASAP SO I suspect your pro bias for UN filter will block my post. If it does then at least I will know your true agenda isnt as a unsuspecting victim to UN propaganda and your part of the UN agenda and I can expose you for that . If you do print the comment then get to know the unlimited growth UN dragon your feeding. It will become the UN dragon that eats you up too along with billions of others who dont see the UN dragon is not there for humanities benefit .

Resource: http://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/dilemmas-of-sovereignty-andintervention/


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Top 10 Pros and Cons What are the solutions to illegal immigration in America?
The PRO and CON statements below give a five minute introduction to the debate on Immigration.
(Read more information about our one star to five star Theoretical Credibility System.)

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Using the Term "Illegal Alien" Amnesty Deportation Mexican Border Fence Civilian Border Patrols

6. 7. 8. 9.

Terrorist Threat Economic Burden Driver's Licenses for Illegal Aliens Using State and Local Law Enforcement vs. National Only 10. Border Militarization 1. Using the Term "Illegal Alien"

PRO: "The correct terminology for the nearly 20 million persons illegally in the U.S. is illegal aliens. The term undocumented immigrants is purposely incorrect in order to sway the public in favor of special interest groups and only clouds the reality of the situation... The term illegal alien is broader and more accurate because it includes undocumented aliens and nonimmigrant visa overstayers. ...the term illegal alien, being broader in scope, is the accurate term to use. In that immigrant connotes legality, the term illegal immigrant is really an oxymoron." IllegalAliens.us "Calling an Illegal Alien an Undocumented Immigrant Is Like Calling a Burglar an Uninvited House Guest," illegalaliens.us accessed Jan. 18, 2007

CON: "The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) is concerned with the increasing use of pejorative terms to describe the estimated 11 million undocumented people living in the United States. NAHJ is particularly troubled with the growing trend of the news media to use the word 'illegals' as a noun, shorthand for 'illegal aliens.' Using the word in this way is grammatically incorrect and crosses the line by criminalizing the person, not the action they are purported to have committed. NAHJ calls on the media to never use 'illegals' in headlines... [and] to avoid 'Illegal alien.' Alternative terms are 'undocumented worker,' or 'undocumented immigrant.'" National Association of Hispanic Journalists "NAHJ Urges News Media to Stop Using Dehumanizing Terms When Covering Immigration," nahj.org accessed Jan. 19, 2007


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2. Amnesty PRO: "Whether you fine illegal aliens or stick them in English classes or make them say a hundred Hail Marys, at the end of the day, illegals would be allowed to stay and become citizens... That's amnesty. And that's a good thing for America. Amnesty won't depress wages globalization has already done that. Amnesty will not undermine the rule of law. [...] It sounds counterintuitive, but with immigration, forgiving a crime may be the best way to restore law and order. Amnesty won't necessarily add to the social-services burden. [...] Amnesty would offer millions... a fighting chance at self-sufficiency and social mobility." Nathan Thornburgh Time Magazine reporter "A Case for Amnesty," Time June 7, 2007 CON: "Do not grant amnesty to illegal aliens. Regardless of the penalties imposed, any program that grants individuals who are unlawfully present the legal permission to remain here rewards illegal behavior and is unfair to those who obey the law and go through the regulatory and administrative requirements to enter the country legally. Those who enter the United States illegally should not be rewarded with permanent legal status or other such benefits, and they should be penalized in any road to citizenship. Those who enter and remain in the country illegally are violating the law, and condoning or encouraging such violations increases the likelihood of further illegal conduct." Heritage Foundation "Immigration," MyHeritage.org accessed Oct. 3, 2007

3. Deportation PRO: "...deporting aliens is as easy as one, two, three. The next time you hear [U.S. President] George W. Bush or [U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security] Michael Chertoff say how impossible immigration enforcement is, remember this simple formula: one, go to where you know aliens are; two, arrest them; three, deport them. Dont bother asking where aliens hang out. The better question is where arent they hanging out. Go to a bus stop, a taco truck, a convenience store, the post office or an auto repair shop. No need to round them all up at once. Just arrest one or two every day at different locations around town and the message will soon get out." Joe Guzzardi English teacher at Lodi Adult School in California "Deportation: As Easy As One, Two, Three," VDare.com Aug. 19, 2007 CON: "I have listened to and understand the concerns of those who simply advocate sealing our borders and rounding up and deporting undocumented workers currently in residence here. But that's easier said than done... I have yet to hear a single proponent of this point of view offer one realistic proposal for locating, apprehending, and returning to their countries of origin over 11 million people. How do we do that? ...it would take 200,000 buses extending along a 1700 mile long line to deport 11 million people. That's assuming we had the resources to locate and


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
apprehend all 11 million, or even half that number, which we don't have and, we all know, won't ever have." John McCain U.S. Senator (R-AZ) Statement on the Senate floor Mar. 30, 2006

4. Mexican Border Fence PRO: "I'm pleased that you all are here to witness the signature of the Secure Fence Act of 2006... This bill will make our borders more secure. It is an important step toward immigration reform... The bill authorizes the construction of hundreds of miles of additional fencing along our southern border...We're modernizing the southern border of the United States so we can assure the American people we're doing our job of securing the border. By making wise use of physical barriers and deploying 21st century technology we're helping our Border Patrol agents do their job." George W. Bush U.S. President, Signing of the "Secure Fence Act of 2006" Oct. 26, 2006 CON: "It is deplorable to go ahead with this decision of the wall at the border...The wall will not solve any problem. Humanity made a huge mistake by building the Berlin Wall and I believe that today the United States is committing a grave error in building the wall on our border. It is much more useful to solve common problems and foster prosperity in both countries." Felipe Caldern President of Mexico "Mexico Urges Canada to Help Oppose Border Fence," CTV (Canadian national broadcast news) Oct. 26, 2006

5. Civilian Border Patrols PRO: "...it is now more important than ever for citizens to rise to the occasion and fill a void in National security. Minuteman Civil Defense Corps... volunteers will now patrol the border with over 100 fully armed Citizens who consider themselves members of the unorganized state militia; we have the legal right and moral obligation as per our Arizona State Constitution and Federal Constitution and our respect for American citizens. Our intent is to send a strong message to the world that we will stand defiant to invaders and protect the borders of our country."

Chris Simcox Founder and President of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
americanpatrol.com accessed Oct. 11, 200 CON: "The Border Patrol does this [patrol the border] every day, and they are qualified and very well trained to handle the situation... Ordinary Americans are not. So there's a danger that not just illegal migrants might get hurt, but that American citizens might get hurt in this situation."

Robert C. Bonner, JD, Former Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection "Border Patrol Considering Use of Volunteers, Official Says," New York Times July 21, 2005 6. Terrorist Threat PRO: "Knowledgeable Americans have come to understand that our welcoming immigration policies are easily exploited by terrorists and that porous borders and lax immigration enforcement are no longer an option. With at least 8 million illegal aliens living in the United States and nearly one million new aliens arriving each year, the potential for terrorists entering the United States undetected is high." Center for Immigration Studies "Terrorism & National Security," cis.org accessed Sep. 12, 2007 CON:"Illegal immigrants are not terrorists. They want to come legally to do the jobs Americans dont want, but our broken immigration system doesnt allow that to happen. If there were legal channels for these migrants to use, the government could concentrate on identifying the real terrorists. Instead, the government is wasting money and manpower trying to keep out the immigrant workers the U.S. economy needs. That makes the job of finding a terrorist like finding a needle in a haystack." American Immigration Law Foundation "Immigrants Arent Undermining Our Nations Security. Flawed Immigration Laws Are," ailf.org accessed Sep. 12, 2007

7. Economic Burden PRO: "The economic and social consequences of illegal immigration... are staggering... Illegal aliens have cost billions of taxpayer-funded dollars for medical services... Immigration is a net drain on the economy; corporate interests reap the benefits of cheap labor, while taxpayers pay the infrastructural cost... $60 billion dollars are earned by illegal aliens in the U.S. each year. One of Mexico's largest revenue streams (after exports and oil sales) consists of money sent home by legal immigrants and illegal aliens working in the U.S... This is a massive transfer of wealth from America - essentially from America's displaced working poor - to Mexico."


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform (CAIR) "Economic Costs of Legal and Illegal Immigration," cairco.org accessed Oct. 24, 200

CON: "[E]very empirical study of illegals' economic impact demonstrates... undocumenteds actually contribute more to public coffers in taxes than they cost in social services. Moreover, undocumented immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy through their investments and consumption of goods and services; filling of millions of essential worker positions resulting in subsidiary job creation, increased productivity and lower costs of goods and services; and unrequited contributions to Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance programs. "

Francine J. Lipman Professor of Law, Business and Economics at Chapman University "Taxing Undocumented Immigrants: Separate, Unequal and Without Representation," Tax Lawyer Spring 2006 8. Driver's Licenses for Illegal Aliens PRO: "While increasing our national security is critical, restricting driver licenses (DLs) is an inefficient way to enforce immigration laws and prevent terrorism... Furthermore, press accounts since September 11 have called attention to the fact that the hijackers had obtained DLs when, in fact, the terrorists did not need U.S.-issued DLs to board the planes on September 11; they had foreign passports that allowed them to board. In fact, denying driving licenses to large segments of the population makes everyone in the community less safe. Restricting DLs results in unsafe roads, higher insurance rates, and overwhelmed court systems... Restricting DLs results in the proliferation of false documents." Mexican American Legal Defence and Educational Fund (MALDEF) "Immigrant Access to State Drivers Licenses: A Tool Kit for Advocates," maldef.org Jan. 2004 CON: "In an increasingly security-conscious America, access to driver's licenses by people in the country illegally poses serious risks and undermines U.S. immigration law... illegal aliens often use aliases and phony documents, so the aliens identity and residence is not established as a result of the drivers license process... The argument about road safety relies on a faulty assumption that if illegal aliens are legally licensed to drive, they will all have accident insurance. But even if a state requires automobile insurance as a condition of getting a license, that does not keep an illegal alien from canceling the policy the next day. Illegal aliens generally are working in low-wage jobs and have difficulty affording insurance, and their cars are frequently older and more accident-prone. Additionally, illegal aliens often are not able to read road alerts in English." Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) "Economic Costs of Legal and Illegal Immigration," fairus.org Oct. 2005

9. Using State and Local Law Enforcement vs. National Only


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
PRO: "State and local police are badly needed to help overwhelmed federal immigration authorities apprehend and detain illegal aliens in the interior of our country. Illegal aliens outnumber federal immigration agents by 5,000 to one. Only 2,000 are active in enforcing the immigration laws in the interior of our country. This number is too small to apprehend more than a fraction of the illegal alien population now here... There doesn't appear to be much chance in the near future that the number of federal agents assigned to interior enforcement will reach anywhere near the level that would be required for the feds to do the job by themselves. More than 600,000 state and local law enforcement officers already come into contact with illegal aliens every day. Many of them, in the course of their normal duties on their regular beat, routinely observe and even stop illegal aliens for example for traffic violations. And the vast majority of these officers believe deeply in the rule of law and want to help protect the security of their country."

NumbersUSA.com "Economic Costs of Legal and Illegal Immigration," numbersusa.com accessed June 15, 200 CON : "Immigration enforcement by local police would likely negatively effect and undermine the level of trust and cooperation between local police and immigrant communities... Undoubtedly legal immigrants would avoid contact with the police for fear that they themselves or undocumented family members or friends may become subject to immigration enforcement. Enforcement of federal immigration laws would be a burden that most major police agencies would not be able to bear under current resource levels. [...] The specific immigration status of any particular person can vary greatly and whether they are in fact in violation of the complex federal immigration regulations would be very difficult if not almost impossible for the average patrol officer to determine. At this time local police agencies are ill equipped in terms of training, experience and resources to delve into the complicated area of immigration enforcement."

Major Cities Chiefs Association "Recommendations For Enforcement of Immigration Laws By Local Police Agencies," neiassociates.org June 8, 2006 10. Border Militarization PRO: "The U.S. Border Patrol simply cannot handle its mission under present restraints. Its job is to protect the American public and preserve the sanctity of our international borders. That cannot be accomplished while our borders are over run by aliens of every nationality and while bureaucrats place unreasonable restrictions on how agents operate. I urge the immediate deployment of U.S. military troops and equipment on our borders to seal them against those who would cause us harm. This could be only a temporary measure to allow us to regain control to again become a sovereign nation." David J. Stoddard Former U.S. Border Patrol Agent Testimony submitted to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources Feb. 22, 2002 CON: "I think we have to be very careful here. That's not the role of our military. That's not the role of our national guard... Let's start with the fact do we even have the capacity?...We've got 75% of


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
the equipment of national guards all across this country is in Iraq. We've got national guard members on their second, third and fourth tours in Iraq. We have stretched our military as thin as we have ever seen it in modern times. And what in the world are we talking about here sending a national guard that we may not have any capacity to send up to - or down to protect borders? That's not their role. I'll listen to the President but I've got a lot of questions about this." Chuck Hagel U.S. Senator (R-NE) ABC This Week With George Stephanopoulos May 14, 2006

Resource: http://immigration.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000842


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand. Rehabilitation vs Retribution
Yes because...No because...

Which is a better general justifying aim for punishment?\ Rehabilitation is the most valuable ideol...
Which is a better general justifying aim for punishment? Rehabilitation is the most valuable ideological justification for punishment, for it alone promotes the humanising belief in the notion that offenders can be saved and not simply punished. The rehabilitative ideal alone conveys the message that the state has an obligation to help those who fall short of the standards of behaviour it has set. These people are often those with the greatest social disadvantages that have constrained them to a life in crime in the first place. Desert (retributive) theory, on the other hand, sees punishment as an end in itself, in other words, punishment for punishments sake. This has no place in any enlightened society. The rehabilitative ideal does not ignore society and the victim. In fact it is because it places such great value on their rights that it tries so hard to change the offender and prevent his reoffending. By seeking to reducing reoffending and to reduce crime, it seeks constructively to pro mote societys right to safety, and to protect individuals from the victimisation of crime. Which is a better general justifying aim for punishment? A sanction should not merely be helpful it should treat the offending conduct as wrong. The purpose of punishment is to show disapproval for the offenders wrongdoing, and to clearly condemn his criminal actions. This is why we punish; we punish to censure (retribution), we do not punish merely to help a person change for the better (rehabilitation). We still have to punish a robber or a murderer, even if he is truly sorry and even if he would really, really never offend again and even if we could somehow tell that for certain. This is because justice, and not rehabilitation, makes sense as the justification for punishment. Why is justice and censure (retribution) so important? Because unless the criminal justice system responds to persons who have violated societys rules by communicating, through punishment, the censure of that offending conduct, the system will fail to show society that it takes its own rules (and the breach of them) seriously. There are other important reasons as well: such as to convey to victims the acknowledgement that they have been wronged. Punishment, in other words, may be justified by the aim of achieving justice and desert, and not by the aim of rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation vs Retribution
Yes because...No because...

Which approach has greater regard for the offender?\ Rehabilitation has another important value i...
Which approach has greater regard for the offender?


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
Rehabilitation has another important value it recognises the reality of social inequity. To say that some offenders need help to be rehabilitated is to accept the idea that circumstances can constrain, if not compel, and lead to criminality; it admits that we can help unfortunate persons who have been overcome by their circumstance. It rejects the idea that individuals, regardless of their position in the social order, exercise equal freedom in deciding whether to commit a crime, and should be punished equally according to their offence, irrespective of their social backgrounds. Policies that ignore these realities foster hardships that will fall primarily and disproportionately on the already disadvantaged, and deepen the resentment that many inmates find difficult to suppress upon their release back into such a society. Which approach has greater regard for the offender? Crime is not pathology, it is not the product of circumstance, and it is certainly not the product of coincidence. It is the result of choices made by the individual, and therefore the justice system must condemn those choices when they violate societys rules. To say otherwise (i.e. to say that criminals are merely the product of their unfortunate circumstances) would be an insult to ideas of free will, human autonomy and individual choice it would be to deny the possibility of human actors making good decisions in the face of hardship. Retributivism alone best recognises the offenders status as a moral agent, by asking that he take responsibility for what he has done, rather than to make excuses for it. It appeals to an inherent sense of right and wrong, and in this way is the most respectful to humanity because it recognises that persons are indeed fundamentally capable of moral deliberation, no matter what their personal circumstances are.

Rehabilitation vs Retribution
Yes because...No because...

Which is a better basis for determining sentencing?\ As a guide to the sentencing decisions of judg...
Which is a better basis for determining sentencing? As a guide to the sentencing decisions of judges, having rehabilitation as a goal provides the most flexible and sensible direction. With rehabilitation as a guide sentencers can give a penitent offender, or an offender who has learnt from his mistakes (i.e. a self-rehabilitated offender), the chance to receive a lighter sentence. On the other hand it can give offenders a different or tougher sentence to help them reform, if they are less likely to reform. Retribution, by contrast, merely advocates an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. This simplistic notion of vengeance is primitive if not barbaric, and should not be encouraged in society. Which is a better basis for determining sentencing? Retributivism advocates that more serious crimes should be punished more seriously, because the more severe the violation of our rules, the greater the censure that is needed. It means that if X, a pickpocket, would get punishment A, then Y, a robber who uses force and then rapes his victim should get a proportionately more severe punishment, punishment B. The idea is proportionality, not equivalence


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
nobody is suggesting we should rob Y and then rape him to pay him back. It is thus very different from the idea of an an eye for an eye. What matters is merely that more serious crimes are treated proportionately more seriously. Punishment A may one months probation while B may be 10 years imprisonment. By contrast, under a rehabilitative model where the goal was the reformation of the offender, the pickpocket may well get 10 years imprisonment if he looks like he is not going to reform, while the robberrapist may get one months probation if he is repentant a result that is surely ridiculous. When it comes to deciding the quantum of punishment, proportionality (retributivism) is the only consistent and fair approach.

Rehabilitation vs Retribution
Yes because...No because...

Does rehabilitation actually work?\ If we could find a medicine that would cure some offenders so...
Does rehabilitation actually work? If we could find a medicine that would cure some offenders so they would never offend again, would we really not want it? Even if it only worked for some people, is that not still worthwhile? It is no different with rehabilitative programs we should certainly support them if they can be shown to work. And indeed, the most recent studies show that they do. Such programs include cognitive-behavioural programs (say, trying to get a violent offender to think and react diff erently to potential trigger situations), pro-social modelling programmes, and some sex-offender treatment programs. The most credible research (done by a technique called meta-analysis) demonstrates that the net effect of treatment is, on average, a positive reduction of overall recidivism (reoffending) rates of between 10% and 12%, which would promote a reduction in crime that is, by penological standards, massive [see resources above] Does rehabilitation actually work? While some rehabilitative programmes work with some offenders (those who would probably change by themselves anyway), most do not. Many programs cannot overcome, or even appreciably reduce, the powerful tendency for offenders to continue in criminal behaviour. They simply do not work. Rehabilitation is therefore a false promise and the danger with such an illusory and impossible goal is that it is used as a front to justify keeping offenders locked up for longer than they deserve and sometimes even indefinitely (if we keep him here longer maybe he might change). We cannot justify passing any heavier or more onerous a sentence on a person in the name of rehabilitation if rehabilitation does not work. The question does it work? must be joined by a second question: even if it does work, how can you tell, with each individual offender, when it has worked? This provides further problems with subscribing to the rehabilitative ideal, argued below.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand. Rehabilitation vs Retribution
Yes because...No because...

Imprisonment: A special consideration.\ Rehabilitation is not only important when the court is deci...
Imprisonment: A special consideration. Rehabilitation is not only important when the court is deciding on the sentence. It is also important when it comes to actually carrying out the punishment. This is perhaps the clearest with sentences of imprisonment. The role of the criminal justice system does not end with the pronouncement of a sentence for what is to happen to the offender while he is serving his time in prison? Surely we should be trying to help him change: we should provide him with meaningful skills training, with behavioural-treatment programs, with counselling and so on. In other words, we should be trying to rehabilitate him while he is in imprison (since he is going to be there anyway), instead of just thinking that the job is done. This rehabilitation also plays a role in determining the content of punishment and the shape that it takes. Imprisonment: A special consideration The goal of rehabilitation is at its most dangerous when it is applied in the context of actually carrying out the punishment of imprisonment; that is, when it is used as a criteria for release decisions. For how can any prison staff, parole officer or even psychologist ever tell that a person has reformed or probably will not offend again? Evidence has shown that such vast discretion given to treatment staff, guided only by the grand ideal of rehabilitation, has systematically produced unfair, incorrect and even racially discriminatory results. Indeed, on what basis can they make any fair, sensible decision? The sad answer is that, since one can never tell if an offender is cured, having rehabilitation as th e goal forces the decision to be made be based on statistical risk factors like whether the person belongs to a racial group that is statistically likely to reoffend, or whether the person belongs to an economic underclass that makes him statistically likely to reoffend. Of course all this does is to double-penalise the offender for something he cannot help, such as his race or his poverty. It also leads to what is sometimes called back -end sentencing: the offender is sentenced once in court, but in rea lity he is sentenced again out-of-court because the final date of his release depends entirely on parole officers or prison staff.

Resource: http://debatewise.org/debates/2777-rehabilitation-vs-retribution/


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Malaysia Deserves Praise for Accepting Stranded Asylum Seekers

Fr id a y , 2 1 D e c e mb e r 2 0 1 2 1 0 :1 7 a m

20 December 2012 The Malaysian Government deserves commendation for its decision to accept 40 asylum seekers who were rescued at sea, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) said today. RCOA CEO Paul Power said Malaysias intervention was in stark contrast to the mean-spirited behaviour of Singapore which last week refused entry to the Vietnamese-registered cargo ship that had rescued the asylum seekers, believed to be Rohingya people fleeing persecution in Burmas Rakhine state. In light of the difficulties faced by many people seeking refuge in the Asia-Pacific region, we are encouraged by Malaysias actions, Mr Power said. UNHCR has described the Malaysian decision to allow the asylum seekers to disembark as a vital and a genuine humanitarian gesture and we agree. A step such as this by Malaysia is exactly what is required to shift the political focu s in the region, from a focus on criminalising the movement of people who are fleeing in fear to one in which protection is provided to people who clearly need it.
Mr Power said the plight of the Rohingya people highlighted the Asia-Pacific regions failure to offer adequate protection to people who are persecuted. Rohingya people are rejected in Burma, being told that they have no right to be in their own country of birth and denied citizenship, Mr Power said. Earlier this year the world saw Bangladesh turning away Rohingya people who were trying to flee at a time of heightened violence in Rakhine state. Increasingly, Rohingya people are taking to boats to head towards South-East Asia. No one knows how many hundreds of refugees have died on the Bay of Bengal. Their deaths go largely unremarked and result in no effective political action. Mr Power said Singapores refusal had highlighted that nations heartless disregard for people in distress and allowed the world to see that Malaysia had higher humanitarian standards than its neighbour. Malaysias actions provide encouragement, at the end of a year in which there were few signs of hope for refugees in the Asia-Pacific region, Mr Power said. In the Middle East and Africa this year, nations have provided hospitality to around 900,000 people displaced by the crises in Syria, Mali and the Horn of Africa but in our region that same spirit of welcome to refugees has been largely missing. However, Malaysias humanitarian response to the desperate asylum seekers on the MV Nosco Victory is a significant step and, if other governments are prepared to act in the same spirit, this action could encourage more serious thought about how the region could work together to protect highly vulnerable people who


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
have been displaced. We encourage Malaysia, Australia and other governments in the region to use the planned regional roundtable on irregular movement by sea, to be held in Bali in March, as a forum to search for better answers for the needs of people who are forced to flee persecution and violence in the Asia Pacific region. Media contact: Andrew Williams 0488 035 535

Resource: http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/legal/general_news/malaysia_deserves_praise_for_acceptin g_stranded_asylum_seekers.html


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Should we give religious freedom of expression?

By: Pros and Cons | posted in Blog-None, Personal, Reviews |
Date: June 5th, 2010

List of the pros and the cons of religion. This include all religion: Christianity, Isam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and other.

Religion Pros Cons

Religion Pros
Here is a list of the advantages of religion Religions give people hope. Praying is good therapy, it give you less stress. Going to churches, temples, moses help your interact, build friendship with other followers. Fear of going to hell keep people in-line with society.

Religion Cons
Here is a list of the disadvantages of religion Wrongfully use to divide rather than unite humanity. Some people need a book to direct their moral values. Slow man progress, for example, stem cell research. It brainwash the worshippers. Uses fear tactics, for example, going to

Some people need structure to follow and religion could be that structure.

hell. May lead to greed, power and hypocrisy. Religious leaders use religion to enrich


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
themselves. Religion may be use to preys on peoples ignorance. Religion helps make many fast conclusions without deep examination. Devoid people of accountability for their own actions because their religion tell them it was ok to do. Every person of his or her religion believes one religion is better than another. Religions are manufacture, making people to live in illusion, escaping reality and living in a delusional world. The religion decides what is right and wrong based on the religion and not by the individual. Religion plays some part in wars and people use it to justify their fighting, hate, and intolerance. Religious leaders may engage in preaching hate and intolerance against other religious belief systems. Ask followers to donate money so they can go to heaven, this mean less money for the followers and their family. Wars over religion, single view on the


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
way things should work, dominate religion governing how people should think. Limits freethinking and freedom of speech, for example, drawing of the prophet Mohammed is considered forbidden by Muslims. Human right violations, for example, Sharia law for the Muslims, gays may put to death, freedom of speech is not allow, women and girls are not allow to go to school and so on. It creates mass delusion in which the religious people believe that they are right on moral grounds solely based on their religion or to what religious entity they are a part of. Religious leaders may act like businessmen competing in the market, advertising that their religion is genuine and certified product on the market for going to heaven and eternal life. The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of huma n weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. ~ Albert Einstein: God is a Product of Human Weakness Resource: http://www.keyframe5.com/pros-and-cons-of-religion/


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Discussion: Smokers - the biggest people being discriminated against

I am a smoker and have been since I was 15 (quite a few years now) I always said when they reach $5 I would give up but like most of us, when they go up we increase our "price" when we will quit. Look to be honest, I enjoy smoking and unless some doctor says, "Your going to die within 6 months if you don't quit." then I am likely to continue for many more years... We smokers pay through the nose for our cigarettes and so much of what we pay goes to taxes... I remember the days when you could actually have a beer and smoke in a pub at the bar, you could even sit in a restaurant and smoke... Ok I agree that smoking in restaurants should be banned as should smoking in cars with small kids... but now they are looking at banning smoking in open areas such as parks and street side cafes etc... They are saying it is bad for our health but they are making us stand in the open in the middle of winter to have a smoke... ok it's our choice to smoke but we deserve to have an area designated for us that is protected from the weather.. Why do all the non smokers get the rights? How much money is the government making from our cigraette packs? lots. More than likely responsible for upgrades to these parks and the footpaths etc that we are soon to be banned from... Now that us smokers have been relegated to the alleys and out of the way places to have our smokes, litter is increasing as there is no designated ashtrays at these sites (most of them anyway).. we are longer away from our work as we have to leave the building and walk for ever to get to an area we area allowed to smoke in, basically we are being discriminated against in a very big way, and lets be totally up front and honest about this, the government doesn't really want us to stop smoking as they are making way too much money on it... if it was as bad as they say (and I believe they only say these things and spend money on anti smoking adds etc etc to satisfy the vocal minority who will whinge about anything) then smoking would be illegal... they have the ability to make it so but they wont as long as they can get so much from the sales tax on them... I just think it is wrong that we can no longer have a smoke even in a beer garden whilst having a beer.... we are certainly paying for the right to smoke so we should have as many rights as anyone else.... I will now sit back and watch the outrageous replies from those very same vocal minority whiners who would complain that the sun is too bright in summer but not bright enough in winter lol... bring it on you complainers Reply
Whimsy Posted on: 3rd Dec 2010 02:27pm

Whimsy says: Ralphy you are 100% correct. Discrimination towards smokers is rife. Will anything be done to stop this discrimination? Probably not. Doesn't make sense to me. Smoking is legal. Our government gives heroin addicts a safe place to inject and yet they pay no tax on their illegal heroin. Reply to Whimsy
Jimbo Posted on: 9th Dec 2010 11:26am


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
Whimsy says: Ralphy you are 100% correct. Discrimination towards smokers is rife. Will anything be done to stop this discrimination? Probably not. Doesn't make sense to me. Smoking is legal. Our government gives heroin addicts a safe place to inject and yet they pay no tax on their illegal heroin.

Jimbo says: Long term smokers should get smoking aids for free!thats if the government is so concerned with our health! Reply to Jimbo
wowgirl4 Posted on: 13th Dec 2010 10:19pm

Whimsy says: Ralphy you are 100% correct. Discrimination towards smokers is rife. Will anything be done to stop this discrimination? Probably not. Doesn't make sense to me. Smoking is legal. Our government gives heroin addicts a safe place to inject and yet they pay no tax on their illegal heroin.

wowgirl4 says: Yah !! I agree give me a smoking room and and subsidised smokes like they do the junkies. Addicts we may be as smokers but they discriminate against us!! Reply to wowgirl4
trix56 Posted on: 16th Jan 2012 02:47pm

Whimsy says: Ralphy you are 100% correct. Discrimination towards smokers is rife. Will anything be done to stop this discrimination? Probably not. Doesn't make sense to me. Smoking is legal. Our government gives heroin addicts a safe place to inject and yet they pay no tax on their illegal heroin.

trix56 says: Good point! Hadn't thought of that one. Reply to trix56
Shay-Dee Posted on: 3rd Dec 2010 05:13pm

Shay-Dee says: Ok I totally agree with most of what you say. I gave up earlier this year after 29 years as a smoker. What I don't agree with, is that it does make people sick, and the ones it makes sick, it makes VERY sick. I used to think it did not affect me even until I gave up, I am a lot healthier now. I DO think the government should supply ashtrays in these "smoking areas" that are miles away from anything. They supply places for addicts to put their syringes, they supply places for addicts to get methadone when they are trying to quit, so why not ahstrays for smokers? Bet its cheaper too than what they do for addicts ... Thye can use the taxes they take from us to pay for it.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

And if passive smoking is bad for people, smokers are in for a right treat, cos they passive smoke as well when they are around other smokers Reply to Shay-Dee
Coldan Posted on: 6th Dec 2010 12:29pm

Coldan says: as you say, if it so bad, ban it make smoking illegal, but the government won't because they make too much money, I am a smoker Reply to Coldan
Bigmitch Posted on: 8th Dec 2010 10:19pm

Bigmitch says: I was raised in North Carolina, tobacco-growing state. Tobacco was grown,cut, and dried. It was manufactured with no chemicals added to it. Old-timers smoked and lived to be 100. They never had lung cancer. But, manufacturers became greedy, they started adding 10000 harmful chemicals to make people more addictive and cancer, and death. You don't see Governments controlling Cigarette Manufacurers because their product is harmful, do you...... Reply to Bigmitch
Proteus Posted on: 10th Dec 2010 12:29pm

Proteus says: Hmm...well I have to agree with most of the comments. I'm a smoker, amd am trying to quit, but not having much luck despite trying all and many so called things to stop me smoking. I would have to say though, over the past few months I have noticed the taste in the brand of cigarette I smoke has changed, and I am starting to dislike the taste of them so have changed brands, but they still taste strange. Is this another chemnical they ahve added I wonder? If the government was serious about stopping smokers, take them off the market, ban them. If they are unwilling to do this because of the revenue raised, why don't they start doing something about the harmful chemicals being added to cigarettes?? As for not being able to have a puff in public, well that's gong too far ...so lyes we are discriminated against for being smokers. Reply to Proteus
aussiewoman Posted on: 11th Dec 2010 05:46pm


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
aussiewoman says: hi im another one who gets quite angry with the way smokers get treated Its my choice I dont see why us smokers put up with all the sh that is said about us .There are a lot more harmful things that people do to themselves and others without ever touching a ciggie Reply to aussiewoman
livingzen Posted on: 12th Jan 2011 02:10pm

livingzen says: This is tricky. I am incredibly anti-smoking because my grandpa died of lung cancer and I have always found it hard to grapple with why people choose to smoke considering it tastes bad, looks bad, smells bad, costs a fortune and on top of all that is incredibly dangerous...BUT I am also a strong believer in people's rights and feel that though it's a choice I don't agree with, it's their choice. Much like I don't agree with the amount of horrific fatsugar-chemical laden food I see piled into many trolllies (my own sometimes admittedly)- it's a bad choice but it's theirs and this is both the great and the sad thing about living in a free society. I think if we are really aiming for a country free of discrimination we need to work out better ways for people to be able to make the choices they want without being discriminated against but also without their choices impacting others. I guess that would require genuine democracy and that might be asking too much... Reply to livingzen
neenie Posted on: 10th Feb 2011 02:30pm

neenie says: all too true. i have smoked for 52 years and am now 5 days off them. ireally enjoy smoking but they are just too dear now. i waited until the patches went on pbs and got them $5.60.i really hated giving the pollies so much moey with every smoke i had. Reply to neenie
Selective Posted on: 19th Feb 2011 07:39am

Selective says: I always love the smokers niggle about smoking at work right and having to conform to certain requirements to satisfy their habit which is a health risk for themselves and others not to mention a burden on the health system and a drain on the tax payer. Imagine if I was a compulsive knitter and I just needed to knit 5 mins 4 times during the course of my working day. Do you think it would be tolerated..... no way! Come on smokers..... you made a choice. You chose to smoke and now you want everybody else to pander to you. Yes the govt could do this and that. Though at the end of the day people want freedom of choice. Will a consequence is you want to smoke then yes you pay a high price for it.....being the product cost (meant to deter), health issues, employers not being supportive, non smokers being peeved. Grow up and take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Remember smoking doesn't just impact your health it


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
impacts others, so if you really want to do it with no one complaining, do it within the confines of your car and home. After all you do have a choice.

Reply to Selective
Loz Posted on: 12th Mar 2011 03:56pm

Loz says: I am a non-smoker and agree with a lot of things you say about the govt and your rights being taken away. However, I get asthmatic from cigarette smoke, and choose to keep away from smokers and their smoke. I object strongly to having to hold my breath each time I leave a shopping centre to pass through the smoke around the doorways and entrances. I agree there should be designated areas, and the govt should put some of the money they get from tobacco taxes into them. Do smokers think it is their right to litter the roads and footpaths with their butts? Why are there not smoking beer gardens? Staff could be smokers and sign a waiver as to their health issues down the track and all could be happy. Fines for litterers of butts and other refuse should be enforced and ashtrays in smoking areas. We can't stop smokers smoking, so why not allow special areas for it in public places, so non smokers don't have to inhale? Reply to Loz
gaygay55 Posted on: 17th Mar 2011 08:26pm

gaygay55 says: I like you enjoy a smoke and feel really agrieved that we have been banished. I agree about restaurants etc but we need a place to have set aside for us too. Fair is fair we have rights too.

Reply to gaygay55
trinket Posted on: 18th Mar 2011 03:37pm

trinket says: My view on smoking is: do what you want to your body, just don't inflict your habit on me and be considerate of others when you smoke in public. I don't smoke - actually I can't stand cigarette smoke, and after 2 bouts of pneumonia, my lungs can't handle smog or breathing in second hand smoke. I don't hate all smokers, but I can't stand inconsiderate smokers. Inconsiderate smokers are those that smoke in a crowd of people and don't think about others around them - a considerate smoker would at least step to the side, make sure the wind isn't blowing their smoke towards others (especially kids!), and throw their buts out in a garbage bin. Also people that smoke in bus stops - particularly covered bus stops. I hate it when people light up while sitting at a bus stop and they force


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
people who were sitting down before them, or prevent others who need to sit down, to stand up because they don't want to breath in the smoke. Growing up with a mother who smokes, I know better than to lecture someone about the health risks. Like I said, do what you want to your own body. Just be aware that there are other people out there who don't want to breath in smoke, and that some people can be quite affected by the smoke because they have medical conditions, etc. and think about them next time you want to light a cigarette when you're in public. Reply to trinket
Phoenixarizona Posted on: 18th Mar 2011 05:43pm

Phoenixarizona says: I am 100% with you mate. It's all getting beyond a joke. I agree we shouldn't smoke in our houses or cars if kids are going to breathe it in, only because they haven't made the choice to smoke. You can't smoke on a train station anymore (even out in the open). I remember once I was in a carpark at a shopping centre having a cigarette before getting in my car. The security guard said I had to put it out and go because I could be affecting the health of others. This enraged me. My reply was "how will it affect the health of others?" and he told me that there was not enough fresh air to 'dilute' my cigarette smoke. My reply was " if there is not enough air then why are you allowing 400 cars to park here? Don't you know that people die from carbon monoxide poisoning when they breathe in exhaust fumes? If there is not enough air for my one cigarette then maybe I should contact the authorities about the serious health hazard of this car park." Obviously the security guard left me alone. What makes me especially mad is the whole pub thing. The public bar was originally invented so that men could go and enjoy their brandy and cigars away from the women and children and now we have been kicked out of there. Now non smokers have realised that the outdoor regions in cafe's are nice and want to oust the smokers because our filthy little habit offends them? Are you serious? When will this stop? If the government are going to enforce us pretty much not being able to smoke anywhere then the price of cigarettes go down. Being addicted to cigarettes is the lesser of most addictions. When we smoke we don't become violent (like most drinkers). We won't rob a person in order to have a cigarette (like most heroin addicts) How about we leave the smokers alone! Phoenix Reply to Phoenixarizona
Nette Posted on: 15th Apr 2011 02:41pm

Nette says: Agree totally. Smoking is an individual choice. It is Legal in Australia, so why are smokers being made to hide where they can't be seen by passing Joe Public? Fair enough in areas with kids, but why outdoors? Reply to Nette


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
Chris Posted on: 16th May 2011 09:31pm

Chris says: I, too, am a smoker and agree wholeheartedly with Ralphy. What annoys me especially is the fact that drinking is allowed and yet not smoking. Whoever heard of a car crash being caused by smoking? Also, most airports now do not allow smoking. A few years ago when I went to the UK, Heathrow used to have a very large room dedicated to smokers but last year there were signs all over the place stating that it was illigal to smoke anywhere in the building. Goodness knows what happened to that large room which was out of the way and couldn't possibly have affected non smokers. I've noticed that you can't even smoke in the open air these days such as parks, beaches and the like. It's becoming quite ridiculous, who owns that air space? Reply to Chris
maggie Posted on: 18th May 2011 06:25pm

maggie says: Margaret says she also has smoked for 50 years, I have tried to give up constantly but all efforts failed, they are too dear, but, it is the only "bad habit: I enjoy. I do not go to the local Club anymore as we can't sit as a group of friends, the non smokers can sit in comfort inside whilst us social lepers have to sit out on the balcony in all weathers Reply to maggie
888shelley Posted on: 7th Nov 2011 02:03pm

maggie says: Margaret says she also has smoked for 50 years, I have tried to give up constantly but all efforts failed, they are too dear, but, it is the only "bad habit: I enjoy. I do not go to the local Club anymore as we can't sit as a group of friends, the non smokers can sit in comfort inside whilst us social lepers have to sit out on the balcony in all weathers

888shelley says: Hmmm... I agree wholeheartedly, we go to our local with various friends who fortunately as k us if we would like to go out for a puff and they don't smoke!! There should be smoking areas everywhere as we pay the same money for meals, drinks etc but have to exit stage left for a puff/. We are considerate of others who choose not to smoke so why can't they be a little considerate of us. I love it in Asia where if you move away from someone to enjoy your smoke they feel that you think they are not good enough to smoke with even if they are not smokers!

Resource: http://www.cafestudy.com/web/cafestudyChatTopic.show?in_session=&in_fotoId=804&in_cat =35


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand. Clip the Tip? Point/Counterpoint on Male Circumcision

Whether or not to circumcise your newborn son is probably the very first big decision youll make for him. Several decades ago, the choice would have been easy; in the 1970s, around 90% of American-born males were circumcised. Today that number has fallen to around 60%, and the practice is markedly less popular in many other countries. The debate over whether or not to circumcise can get quite fiery, and it remains a divisive and controversial issue. Every couple should research the pros and cons of circumcision and come to the decision about what is best for their baby. To aid men in thinking through the issue and in hopes of creating civildiscussion on the matter, today we present a point/counter point on circumcision.

Weve brought together a few of our friends who have taken a side on the issue. First, we have Ryan and Amy Lee who will be arguing against circumcision. In the pro-circumcision corner, we have Jeff Trexler. And just to give fair warning, this article does discuss sex. So if youre easily scandalized like a Victorian housewife, please go ahead and skip this article. Point: Circumcision does more harm than good, carries unnecessary risks, and should not be performed routinely. Written by Ryan and Amy Lee Considering routine neonatal circumcision is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States, it is surprisingly often misunderstood. Despite medical doctors vow to uphold the Hippocratic oath, primum non nocere (above all, do no harm), circumcision seems to be the exception to their rule. Typically the burden of proof would be upon a medical intervention to prove itself worthy of possible attending risks. However, because circumcision is rooted more in tradition than medicine, many doctors and parents agree to the procedure without fully examining the logic, or lack thereof, substantiating it. As a Canadian-born intact male, I have the unique perspective of understanding the anatomical function of the foreskin firsthand, as does my wife. Based on personal experience, as well as extensive research, we have concluded that the procedure does more harm than good, carries unnecessary risks, and should not be performed routinely. Though the literature contains far more information than can be encapsulated here, we will attempt to scratch the surface of the case against circumcision and will also encourage your further consideration and research as you make choices on behalf of your children, or discuss the matter with other parents. Because an intact penis is the default, rather than attempting to extol what is simply natural, we will approach our argument against circumcision by elaborating on the logical fallacies in the pro-circumcision arguments. We recognize the proliferation of web-based arguments on both sides of this issue, so all arguments here come from peer-reviewed articles, professional medical associations, and our own personal experience. That said, one of the most compelling pieces of web-based information on this subject is the video footage available, so if you really want to see why circumcision is a bad idea, search routine infant circumcision on Google video and brace yourself. Fallacy #1: Circumcision is desirable because it promotes cleanliness and prevents disease. As an owner of an intact penis, I can confidently say that my cleaning habits are probably identical to yours and are more than sufficient to get the apparatus clean as a whistle. If our primary goal is removing peoples folds of protective, functional skin to prevent the possible accumulation of

Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

secretions, we should be going after baby girls with the scalpel. Thankfully, this idea that would horrify most everyone in the U.S., and I think the idea ofapproaching baby boys similarly should be equally horrifying. Regarding disease, the notion that circumcision is a legitimate preventative measure is simply unsubstantiated and, in fact, some research indicates that the foreskin may be protective against infection. The rate of circumcision is a mere 6% in the UK, and, in fact, the U.S. may be the only developed nation to practice routine infant circumcision. Check out this global distribution map provided by the World Health Organization. Fallacy #2: The foreskin is unnecessary and can be removed with no adverse effects. In my experience, the loudest proponents of this argument are circumcised men who, with all due respect, dont have much basis for comparison. Admittedly, I have never had a circumcised penis myself, but accounts of men circumcised as adults compare the difference in sexual sensitivity after the procedure to seeing in black and white after once seeing in color. This seems understandable given the foreskin is significantly more highly innervated than the rest of the shaft. In my experience, the foreskin itself is the source of by far the most genital sensation and pleasure. In a circumcised adult male, the amount of skin missing is about the size of a 4X6 index card (depending on overall size)-over one third of the penile skin. The foreskins anatomical function is myriad. One important function is protecting the glans the way the eyelid protects the eye; in the absence of a foreskin, the glans becomes keratinized from rubbing against clothing and is much less sensitive. Another important function that the foreskin provides an erotogenic (good feeling!) gliding sheath over the shaft, reducing loss of lubrication and decreasing the friction that can decrease pleasure for both partners . In infants the foreskin is adhered to the glans, like a fingernail, and so before it is cut off, it must be separated. One can imagine this is extremely painful and leaves the glans exposed before it is mature enough for the foreskin to separate on its own, usually during early childhood. Additionally, I have both read about and personally known individuals with complications resulting from circumcision and, though very rarely, sometime even death can result from excessive blood loss or infection. It should be noted that these cases, though rare indeed, occur with similar or greater frequency than deaths from penile cancer, which is often cited as a reason to circumcise. Perhaps we should start removing infants toes at birth too, to prevent possible ingrown toenails in old age, or the dreaded toe cancer. Just sayin. Fallacy #3: If circumcision is going to be done, it is most ethical to do it during infancy, so the person wont remember it. Ive heard many circumcised men remark that they sure are glad the procedure was done when they were babies so that they dont have to remember it. While I agree that having a piece of my penis cut off without anesthesia is a memory I would prefer to avoid, there is a better way to avoid it-leaving those kids alone! As I become more educated about circumcision and find myself discussing it with others it seems that for every man who, with bravado, claims his circumcised member is exactly to his liking, there is at least one humble fellow who admits, sometimes with great emotion, that he wishes such important decisions about his body had been left to him-he would have chosen to spare himself atraumatic experience during his first moments and live life with a complete, intact penis. I am glad that so many circumcised men are as satisfied with their penises as I am with mine. I am also glad that so many wives and partners are equally pleased. However, I know some men and women who grieve the loss of the foreskin from their relationship and wonder how things would be different. When a baby boy is born he, obviously, cant consent to the procedure and by the time his

Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

opinion can be known, it is often too late. Parents must make many choices about their children without their consent, its true, but choosing a cosmetic genital surgery is, in my mind and many others, taking that liberty way too far. If there is a chance your son wouldnt want it done to his penis, why would you take the risk? At the end of the day, if you decline to circumcise your son, he always has the option to do so himself later in life. But if you consent to the procedure, everyones hands are tied. There is no way to fully restore what has been lost. Fallacy #4: Intact penises are less cosmetically desirable. Whoa there! Again, I am relieved to know that so many men like the looks of their circumcised penises, and pleased that their partners share their appreciation, but this is a bold claim. Understandably, people with positive experiences with a penis, their own or their partners, will develop an affinity for that specific penis and may come to think that theirs is the best. Great. We want everyone to love their penis around here; taking good care of penises is really what were talking about anyway. But my wife emphatically prefers my penis just as it is: intact. And, Im not gonna lie, so do I. People like the penises that they personally have good experiences with. Fallacy #5: It is important for a boy to look like his father. Of all the fallacies, this one is the most confusing to me personally, probably because my dad is circumcised but I am not and neither are my three brothers-and nobody gives a rats. I understand that making a different choice for your son than your parents made for you may tacitly imply some level of dissatisfaction with your own experience, and heaven knows the idea that a mans penis has been compromised is a bitter pill for him to swallow. However, in the spirit of this blog, I submit to you this question: is it manlier to protect your ego or your newborn? I know lots of circumcised guys who are proud as can be of their penises but leave their sons intact. In many other cases, the babys mother would prefer the baby be left alone and it is the father who insists on the surgery, without having done any real research on the subject. Be a man, do your homework and be rational. Emotions are important, but when protecting your pride comes before your duty to protect your family, something is out of whack. For more information, please see: http://www.cirp.org/ http://www.circumcision.org/ http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org Counterpoint: Circumcision is a legitimate choice with few disadvantages and several advantages. Written by: Jeff Trexler Id like to start off by saying that Im not really pro-circumcision per se. I wouldnt try to convince someone who wasnt going to circumcise that they were making the wrong choice. Its no skin off my, um, back. What I would like to argue is that circumcising is in fact a perfectly legitimate choice. This is a stance that many anti-circumcision advocates will simply not allow. Take for example the following readers comment made in reference to a recent article in Mens Health on the subject (an article I highly recommend everyone read):


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Subjecting non-consenting individuals to any amputation of any of their normal, healthy, living body parts grossly violates their unalienable human rights. It constitutes crimes against humanity; torture, mutilation, human vivisection. Nazi doctors were convicted at Nuremberg after World War II of committing these crimes against humanity during the war. The idea that circumcision constitutes a human rights violation is positively ridiculous. I take the same stance that the American Academy of Pediatricians does: there are benefits and there are disadvantages to circumcision and everyone should do their research and come to the decision they feel is best for their child. As for me, if I have a son, I plan on circumcising him. And I dont think I should be put on trial at Nuremberg. Heres why. First let me address three of the points opponents make and then I will add my positive reasons: Traumatic for the baby? Circumcision is undoubtedly no picnic in the sun. But I dont think its abject torture for the kid either. Yes there are videos that string together shots of screaming babies as they undergo the procedure, but those are cherry picked and misleading. Who knows when these pictures were taken? The videos often show the baby with its arms restrained crucifixion style-which is rarely done anymore. And babies today are also routinely anesthetized before the procedure and given a sugar covered pacifier which helps mitigate the pain. This doesnt mean that the procedure is painless, but its not cruel and unusual punishment either. My sister-in-law works as a neonatal nurse and has seen tons of circumcisions done; she says that some babies sleep right through it. Yes, some babies do scream and cry, but babies scream and cry even when theyre not being touched at all. Furthermore, theres no evidence to show that it permanently damages kids psyches or causes any kind of psychological trauma when they grow up. If that were true, you would think that babies who had true medical emergencies as newborns, the ones that were being stuck with needles, incubated, and cut open, would grow up to be insane. The baby doesnt know whyyoure cutting him after all. But alas, this simply isnt the case. So a little snip is not going to leave them emotionally scarred; either way they dont remember it.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

The baby doesnt have a choice! So true! And the baby sadly doesnt have a choice in who its parents are, where its going to live, what its going to be fed, what religion it will be raised in, where it will go to school, and on and on and on. Parents make hundreds of choices for their children, many of which will have far greater effects on their life than circumcision will. Thats a parents job-to make decisions for their kids that they feel are in their best interest. I understand that men can choose to be circumcised later in life, but it would be more traumatic then, a fully remembered event. Best to snip it in the bud right away. The sensitivity issue. Perhaps the most fear-inducing argument the anti-circumcision people employ is the idea that a circumcised penis is not as sexually sensitive as its circumcised counterpart. Yet no study has conclusively proven that to be true. The American Academy of Pediatricians reports that in a self-reporting study, circumcised men enjoyed more varied sexual practice and less sexual dysfunction than their uncircumcised brothers. And the APA calls reports of loss of sensitivity in circumcised men merely anecdotal. Meanwhile a real study has shown the idea to be a myth. The LA Times reports: A recent controlled study published in the January issue of BJU International, the British Journal of Urology, looked at nearly 4,500 Ugandan men, ages 15 to 49, who were all sexually experienced. Researchers randomly selected half to undergo circumcision, and half to have a circumcision in 24 months. They compared the two groups at six, 12 and 24 months to measure sexual satisfaction and performance. The circumcised groups rate of sexual satisfaction remained constant, with 98.5% reporting sexual satisfaction before circumcision, and 98.4% reporting so two years after the procedure. Men who are circumcised later in life do sometimes say that it takes more friction to get things going, but find their orgasms equally or sometimes even more intense. And if you can keep the great orgasms while also lasting longer and pleasing your woman, isnt that a good thing? I doubt a lot of women are wishing their men were more sensitive than they already are.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Anti-circumcision advocates also say that sex is less pleasurable for the women because the foreskin provides natural lubrication. But again, such a theory is based on anecdotal evidence. For every story you can find online of women preferring sex with an uncircumcised penis, you can find ones which favor the alternative. (Warning! This link contains graphic language and pictures). Many women prefer the feeling of an circumcised penis; women have said that having sex with a uncircumcised man feels as though he is having sex inside his own foreskin instead of inside of her. And now for the pros: Like Father, Like Son. Im circumcised, and my son will be circumcised too. My son should look like me in that way. Some people, especially women it seems to me, dismiss this reason as baloney. While its true that my son will not see my member very often, if he does, I want them to look alike. I cant even explain why; I just do. Hygienic. The inner layer of the foreskin has glands that create a substance called smegma, which the dictionary describes as a cheese-like substance. Uncircumcised men must regularly lift and cleanse under their foreskin to prevent this build-up. Sure, doing that is no big deal for adult men (although knowing the cleanliness habits of my male friends, Im not sure it would always get done). But for little boys and old men who dont realize the importance of hygiene or can no longer clean themselves respectively, the foreskin can be problematic. Its not just a myth; my grandfather, who lives in a nursing home, developed an infection in his nether regions because he did not clean under his kangaroo pocket. And his is not an isolated case. In fact, the reason that circumcision became the norm in this country can be traced to the experiences of our GIs during World War II. 145,000 soldiers who took part in the North African campaign were beset with foreskin related ailments, including balanoposthitis (inflammation of the foreskin and glans), phimosis (a foreskin thats too tight to retract over the glans), and paraphimosis (a foreskin stuck in the retracted position). (MH) Whether or not youll ever find yourself in the trenches, circumcision keeps a mans member nice and clean. Which brings me to my next point: The Ladies Love It. Ive known a handful of women who have been with both uncircumcised and circumcised men, and they all preferred the latter, especially when it came the act of oral sex. Theres nothing erotic about anything that can be described as cheese-like. Women like how a circumcised penis looks and they perceive it as cleaner. My evidence for this claim is of course anecdotal, but scientific studies back it up as well.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Circumcision helps reduce disease. Anti-circumcision advocates would have you believe that there are no bonafide medical reasons for being circumcised. But such is not the case. Lise Johnson M.D. the director of healthy-newborn nurseries at Bostons Brigham Womens Hospital said recently, The weight of scientific evidence might be shifting in favor or circumcision. Here are the reasons backing up such a statement: A study carried up by the National Institute of Health reports that circumcision can prevent a mans acquiring of HIV by up to 64%. (NIH) Circumcised men have a reduced risk of contracting syphilis. (APA) Uncircumcised male infants have as much as a 10 times greater risk of getting a urinary tract infection than their snipped brethren do. (APA) Uncircumcised men have a 3 times greater risk of developing penile cancer. (APA) Circumcised penises reduce the rate of cervical cancer in women. (BMC) In conclusion, I truly believe that circumcision is a perfectly legitimate choice. But I encourage you to do your own research and make the choice you feel is best. As you do so, be careful when simply googling the subject. Many of the sites that come up such as circumcision.org and cirp.org look to be straightforward information sites but are in fact heavily biased on the anti-side. Its best to stick with looking at scientific studies and sources which do not have a preset agenda and bias. Thanks Lee family and Jeff! Alright, now its time for you all to weigh in. Vote in our poll. Afterwards, drop a line in the comment box and voice your opinion, but please keep it civil. Ive closed the comments on this post. The discussion isnt going anywhere and people were starting to thread jack.

Resource: http://artofmanliness.com/2009/02/22/clip-the-tip-pointcounterpoint-on-malecircumcision/


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Top 10 Pros and Cons Should performance enhancing drugs (such as steroids) be accepted in sports?
The PRO and CON statements below give a five minute introduction to the debate over performance enhancing drugs in sports.
(Read more information about our one star to five star Theoretical Expertise System.)

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Health Risk Seeking an "Unfair" Advantage Drugs vs. Technology Coercion Effectiveness of Drug Testing

6. Legalizing Performance Enhancing Drugs 7. Sportsmanship 8. Athletes as Role Models 9. Sports Fans 10. Hall of Fame Induction

Is a potential negative impact on the athlete's health a valid reason to ban performance enhancing drugs in sports?
PRO (yes) Gregory Ioannidis, PhD, LLB, LLM, Barrister and Lecturer in Law and Research Associate in Sport Law at the University of Buckingham, wrote in his Nov. 2003 article "Legal Regulation of Doping in Sport: The Case for Prosecution," published in the legal journal Obiter: "The strongest justification, perhaps, on the ban on drugs and furthermore, on the application of criminal law on doping infractions, relates to the issues of health. Many commentators have argued that interference with the individual's liberty is unacceptable and, therefore, the ban on drugs cannot be justified. However, this argument cannot rebut the fact that doping is both extremely dangerous and destructive. In particular, the 'individual liberty' argument fails to take into account the coercive nature of doping that is at its most insidious at the State level." CON (no) Lewis Kurlantzick, LLB, Zephaniah Swift Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law, wrote in his Apr. 12, 2006 article titled "Is There a Steroids Problem? The Problematic Character of the Case for Regulation," published in the New England Law Review: "Athletes are in a position to make a decision about what behavior is in their best interest, to weigh the risks and benefits according to their own values. And a paternalistic rule that attempts to prevent the athlete from harming himself runs counter to the important values of independence and personal choice. Moreover, it is likely that the feared harm is neither lifethreatening nor irreversible. Presumably, under this health rationale, if performance is enhanced by substances that cause neither short-term nor long-term harm to the athlete, these substances


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
Nov. 2003 - Gregory Ioannidis, LLM, PhD

should not be banned."

Apr. 12, 2006 - Lewis Kurlantzick, LLB

Joe Lindsey, contributing writer for Bicycling magazine, wrote in an Oct. 23, 2008 email to ProCon.org: "Adults are free to make their own choices with respect to what drugs they put in their body (although they do have to face the consequences - personal and legal - of doing so). The problem for sports doping is that some of the substances athletes use are not approved for human medical use at any level. Trenbolone, for instance, is a cattle steroid. So the school of thought that advocates legalizing doping, or holds that an athlete has the right to choose whether to endanger his health, is ignoring a completely separate ethical and legal question: should people have the right to use a substance that is not legal for human use under ANY circumstances? The answer cannot be anything other than 'No.'"

Robert Simon, PhD, Professor of Philosophy at Hamilton College, wrote in his 2003 book Fair Play: The Ethics of Sport: "If each of us ought to be free to assume risks that we think are worth taking, shouldn't athletes have the same freedom as anyone else? In particular, if athletes prefer the gains in performance allegedly provided by the use of steroids, along with the increased risk of harm to the alternative of less risk and worse performance, what gives anyone the right to interfere with their choice? After all, if we should not forbid smokers from risking their health by smoking, why should we prohibit track stars or weightlifters from taking risks with their health in pursuit of their goals?"

Oct. 23, 2008 - Joe Lindsey

2003 - Robert Simon, PhD

Steve Olivier, PhD, Professor of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Abertay Dundee, wrote in his article titled "Drugs in Sports: Justifying Paternalism on the Grounds of Harm," published in the Nov./Dec. 1996 issue of theAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine:

Jasmin Gunette, MA, Academic Programs Director of the Institute of Humane Studies at George Mason University, wrote in his article "In Defence of Steroids," published June 18, 2006 in the webzine Le Qubcois Libre: "Steroids should be legal even if they may cause health problem for some heavy users. People are smart enough to make the best possible decisions -- as they see fit -- for their own lives. And if some take too many steroids, it's their own personal problems, not a 'social' problem."

"Athletes should be prohibited from taking performance-enhancing substances such as stimulants and steroids because these drugscan harm those who use them. Although some would argue that a person has a right to choose whether to risk harm to one's own body, the use of drugs in sports can place athletes in a situation in which June 18, 2006 - Jasmin Gunette, MA they feel coerced into takingdrugs in order to compete. In addition, society has an interest in preventing the violence associated with the use of steroids and Lincoln Allison, DLitt, founding director of otherdrugs." Warwick University's Centre for the Study of


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Nov./Dec. 1996 - Steve Olivier

Sport in Society, wrote in an Aug. 9, 2004 article titled "Faster, Stronger, Higher," and published in the Guardian: "The appendix to the orthodox view is that people must be protected from performanceenhancing drugs because they are damaging to health. Let me concede immediately that no one should ever be coerced into taking drugs, as so many sportsmen (and probably even more sportswomen) were under communist regimes. But we know that many performers know the risks and are prepared to take them. It is also true (and rarely mentioned) that often the risk is slight and that sometimes there is an overall benefit to health. (As a 57-year-old athlete, I take anti-inflammatories that are probably on the banned list.) In general, the risk to health from performance-enhancing drugs is considerably less than that from tobacco or alcohol, and we ought not to apply paternalistic moral assumptions to sport that we are not prepared to apply to the rest of life."
Aug. 9, 2004 - Lincoln Allison, DLitt

Gary S. Becker, PhD, Professor in the Departments of Economics, Graduate School of Business, and Sociology at the University of Chicago, wrote in an Aug. 27, 2006 entry titled "Doping in Sports" on the Becker-Posner blog: "[P]erformance enhancers, like steroids and other forms of doping, have a negative effect on long-term health. For then users of these enhancers are hurting themselves in the long run without on the average improving their short-term rewards from athletic competition, as long as competitors also use harmful enhancers. This is the main rationale for trying to ban steroids and other forms of doping from athletic competitions."

Aug. 27, 2006 - Gary S. Becker, PhD

Keith Burgess-Jackson, JD, PhD, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Arlington, wrote in a Dec. 5, 2004 article titled "Performance-Enhancing Drugs," posted on his website www.analphilosopher.com: "In general, I'm not a paternalist, but some of these drugs are dangerous. Ken Caminiti, the former Most Valuable Player of the National League, died recently -- in his forties. He admitted to using steroids. Lyle Alzado, a former football player, died young. He, too, had used steroids. These appear to be deadly substances. Doesn't society have an interest in protecting people from their own folly?"

Dec. 5, 2004 - Keith Burgess-Jackson, JD, PhD

Thomas H. Murray, PhD, President of the Hastings Center, wrote in a Feb. 2002 column titled "Psychology Should Be in Dialogue with Bioethics," published in Observer: "Most opponents of performance enhancing drugs in sport appealed to paternalistic reasons: Athletes will hurt themselves if they use drugs. Unfortunately, this argument has many flaws. [...] In some sports athletes run greater risks merely by participating -- careening down a snowy mountain with a couple of thin boards strapped to your feet; colliding at full speed with 300 pound goliaths with a football tucked under your arm. Prohibiting athletes from taking uncertain risks from drugs seems, at a minimum, inconsistent. In any case, paternalism misses the very point of individual liberty: Whether to accept risks should be that person's choice based on her or his balancing of risks


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and benefits, values to be pursued and evils avoided."

Feb. 2002 - Thomas H. Murray, PhD

Do athletes gain an unfair advantage by using performance enhancing drugs?

PRO (yes) David Fairchild, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne, wrote the following information in his article titled "Of Cabbages and Kings: Continuing Conversation on Performance Enhancers in Sport," from the Proceedings of the International Symposium for Olympic Research in Feb. 1992: "[T]he use of performance enhancers is cheating because it violates constitutive rules of the activity. Since such use is cheating, it is wrong and we should expect the disqualification of competitors who are caught doping. This conclusion is established through a simple and straightforward argument. Cheating is the deliberate, knowing, and voluntary violation of certain constitutive rules in order to gain a competitive advantage. Since the violation is knowing, the attempt to gain an advantage is illegitimate and unethical, and the advantage sought is thus unfair. The knowing and voluntary use of proscribed substances is an attempt to gain such an unfair advantage. Some specifiedperformance enhancers, anabolic steroids for example, are listed as proscribed substances incertain sports. The deliberate use of steroids is thus an illegitimate attempt to gain an unfairadvantage. We conclude that their use is cheating." CON (no) Bennett Foddy, DPhil, Harold T. Shapiro Postdoctoral Fellowship in Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, and Julian Savulescu, PhD, Professor and Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, made the following statements in the Aug. 1, 2005 article titled "Why We Should Allow Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sport," published by theBritish Journal of Sports Medicine: "There is no difference between elevating your blood count by altitude training, by using a hypoxic air machine, or by taking EPO[erythropoietin]. But the last is illegal. Some competitors have high PCVs [packed cell volumes] and an advantage by luck. Some can afford hypoxic air machines. Is this fair? Nature is not fair. Ian Thorpe has enormous feet which give him an advantage that no other swimmer can get, no matter how much they exercise. Some gymnasts are more flexible, and some basketball players are seven feet tall. By allowing everyone to take performance enhancing drugs, we level the playing field. We remove the effects of genetic inequality. Far from being unfair, allowing performance enhancement promotes equality."

Aug. 1, 2005 - Bennett Foddy, DPhil Julian Savulescu, PhD

Feb. 1992 - David Fairchild, PhD

Norman Fost, MD, MPH, Professor and Director


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of the Medical Ethics Program at the University of Wisconsin, was quoted as having said the following in the article titled "Steroids, Other 'Drugs', and Baseball," published by Eric Walker's website steroids-and-baseball.com (accessed Dec. 12, 2008): "There is no coherent argument to support the view that enhancing performance is unfair; if it were, we would ban coaching and training. Competition can be unfair if there is unequal access to particular enhancements, but equal access can be achieved more predictably by deregulation than by prohibition."

Michael J. Beloff, QC, English barrister (British lawyer), wrote the following information in the article titled "Drugs, Laws and Versapaks," written as chapter four in John O'Leary's bookDrugs and Doping In Sport, published in 2001: "The objects of doping control are clear. The essence of a sporting contest is that it should be fairly conducted, with the competitor's success or failure being the result of natural talents: speed, skill, endurance, tactical awareness - honed, it may be, by instruction, training and body maintenance in its widest sense. The much used Dec. 12, 2008 - Norman Fost, MD, MPH metaphor - a level playing field - derives from sport. The use of drugs violates all such notions of equality: the drug taker starts with an unfair advantage. Success becomes the product of the Robert Simon, PhD, Marjorie and Robert W. test tube, not the training track. The interests of McEwen Professor of Philosophy at Hamilton innocent athletes need protection by punishment College, wrote the following statements in his of the guilty." 2004 book Fair Play: The Ethics of Sport: "Many of us share the intuition that use of performance enhancers provides an unfair 2001 - Michael J. Beloff, QC advantage, but we need to ask whether this intuition can be supported by good arguments... One line of argument suggests an analogy with Michael Dillingham, MD, retired San Francisco differences in the equipment available to 49ers football team physician, wrote the following competitors. For example, if one player in a golf information in the Aug. 25, 2004 article titled tournament used golf balls that flew significantly "Steroids, Sports and the Ethics of Winning," further than balls used by opponents even when published by the Markula Center for Applied struck with the same force, the tournament arguably is unfair. One player is able to avoid Ethics at Santa Clara University: "Society cares because steroid use is a form of one of the major challenges of golf not because cheating. Since steroids work so well, they create of skill but simply because of use of a superior an unfair advantage for those who take them, product. Perhaps the use of steroids provides a unfair advantage. and this breaks the social contract athletes have similar implicitly agreed to: We are going to have a fair contest. There are things we can and cannot do. Even if there were a safe performance-enhancing substance, if it weren't available to everybody, using it would still be cheating." The problem with this line of argument, however, is that it is at best unclear that the golf tournament is unfair. If the ball is legal and available to other competitors, the user indeed has an advantage over players using ordinary equipment, but what makes the advantage unfair?...[T]here are all sorts of differences in equipment, background, training facilities, coaching, and diet that can affect the

Aug. 25, 2004 - Michael Dillingham, MD


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performances of athletes but are not regarded as unfair. Until we can say why the advantages provided by such performance enhancers as steroids are illegitimate, and advantages provided by other differences in background conditions are legitimate, the charge of unfairness must be dismissed as lacking adequate support."

Richard Pound, BCL, former President of the World Anti-Doping Agency, made the following statements during a Jan. 15, 2008 debate on performance enhancing drugs in sports as part of the debate series titled "Intelligence Squared US," held at the Asia Society and Museum in New York City: "Remember that athletes don't take these drugs to level the playing field, they do it to get an advantage. And if everyone else is doing what they're doing, then instead of taking 10 grams or 10 cc's or whatever it is, they'll take 20 or 30 or 40, and a vicious circle simply gets bigger. The end game will be an activity that is increasingly violent, extreme, and meaningless, practiced by a class of chemical and or genetic mutant gladiators. The use of performance-enhancing drugs is not accidental; it is planned and deliberate with the sole objective of getting an unfair advantage."

2004 - Robert Simon, PhD

Sharon Ryan, PhD, Chair of the Department of Philosophy at West Virginia University, wrote the following information in the Aug. 2008 article titled "What's So Bad About Performance Enhancing Drugs?," published by Philosophy and Football: "Due to economic circumstances or even luck, some athletes have better nutrition, 'natural' supplements, coaches, trainers, nutritionists, information, lawyers, and equipment than others do. Some athletes have more free time to train Jan. 15, 2008 - Richard Pound, BCL than others do. Some athletes are naturally smarter, faster, and stronger than others are. All athletes, whether or not they use PEDs, are not 'playing on a level playing field' and that Eric Walker, retired sports consultant for the is...unfair." Oakland A's baseball team, stated the following opinion in his website steroids-and-baseball.com (accessed Dec. 8, 2008): Aug. 2008 - Sharon Ryan, PhD "If there is an unfairness about PED use, it is that owing to their tabu status, they are not equally available to any who might want them. Those who are willing to risk detection or opprobrium can obtain whatever advantage they may or may not confer in a given sport, while those equally interested but cowed by the regulatory and acceptability climate are denied whatever those gains might or might not be..."

Dec. 8, 2008 - Eric Walker


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Is there an ethical difference between using performance enhancing drugs and using performing enhancing technologies in nutrition, training, and equipment?
PRO (yes) Timothy Noakes, MD, DSc, Discovery Health Professor of Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Cape Town, wrote in his Aug. 26, 2004 article "Tainted Glory," published in the New England Journal of Medicine: CON (no) Kenan Malik, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Department of Political, International and Policy Studies at the University of Surrey and presenter of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Radio 4 show Analysis, stated during a Jan. 4, 2004Analysis episode titled "Tainted Gold": "But scientists already help athletes win. Cyclist Chris Boardman won his Olympic Gold in Barcelona in 1992 sitting on a speciallyengineered machine. In the Rugby World Cup, England players wore body-hugging shirts specifically designed to help evade tackles. In neither case did the scientific work in the labs devalue the sporting triumph in the stadium. Why view drug use differently?

"[W]hen used by fully trained, elite athletes, [performance-enhancing] drugs can improve performance to a much greater extent than any combination of the most intensive, sophisticated, and costly nonpharmaceutical interventions known to modern sports science. Scientifically based training regimens, special diets, and complex physiological and biomechanical measurements during exercise and recovery cannot match the enhancing effects of drugs... Thus, drug use in a subgroup of It's difficult, in any case, for proponents of the athletes who -- even in the absence of drugs - are able to compete at an elite level causes current drugs policy to assume the moral high their separation into a distinct athletic ground." population, distanced from 'natural' humans by a margin determined by the potency of the Jan. 4, 2004 - Kenan Malik drug combinations that are used."
Aug. 26, 2004 - Timothy Noakes, MD, DSc

Greg Skidmore, JD, founder of and contributor to the Sports Law Blog, wrote in an Apr. 21, 2005 article titled "Performance-Enhancing Surgery and Sports," posted on his website (sportslaw.blogspot.com): "Tiger Woods used LASIK to improve his vision to 20/15 -- meaning he can see at 20 feet, what the average person can only see at 15. Mark McGwire wore specially-designed contact lenses that improved his vision to 20/10. Is this any less Spiked athletic shoes are also standard issue cheating than using a supplement or drug that today. These shoes have been proved to reduce was legal at the time (i.e., andro)? times by full seconds by virtue of the better grip, and therefore propulsion, that they afford the On the one hand, such corrective surgery can be athlete. Simply put, if you don't wear them, you distinguished from using performance-enhancing are going to lose.

Carl Thomen, PhD student in Sports Philosophy at the University of Gloucestershire, wrote in an Apr. 24, 2008 post titled "Doping and the Double Standard in Professional Sport," published on the blog Philosophy of Sport: "Technological innovations are present in all sports, and at all levels. [...] For example, swimmers are now using full-body suits made out of material that minimizes friction with the water. [...]


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
drugs and supplements. Surgical techniques, rehabilitation options, nutrition and diets, weight training, equipment: all are technologies that have made sports far different games from 50 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Is surgery that enhances vision all that different from new surgical techniques that can help prevent major damage to aging joints? How different is it to pay a doctor to fine-tune your eyes versus paying personal trainers and nutritionists to fine-tune your body? In contrast, drugs such as steroids produce unnatural levels of hormones in the body so as to move past mere 'fine-tuning.' Second, and perhaps more important, is the 'role model' difference. Professional sports (and legislative bodies) are concerned not as much with the prospect of 'cheating' in athletic competition, and more with the danger that younger athletes will follow the example of the pros. Use of performance-enhancing drugs among high school athletes has been welldocumented in the past few months, which indicates the ease in which they can be obtained. Teenagers can also walk into nutrition stores and emerge with a number of dietary supplements, not all of which are free from side effects. At this time, however, corrective eye surgery is not easy to obtain. The procedure is costly (several thousand dollars) and not all doctors will perform it on someone with good vision. In addition, most (reputable) doctors will hesitate, if not refuse, to perform a surgical procedure on a minor without parental permission." The examples above of swimmers and track athletes are particularly good ones as they both involve sports that have been the traditional bastions of those blowing the anti-doping trumpet the loudest. But isn't this remarkable, as it seems athletes can use any technology (clothes, shoes, heart-rate monitors, etc.) to help them beat their opponent, as long as this technology is put on the outside of the body. Yes, comes the immediate response, but when you take performance enhancers, you are not competing. It is some super-you; you are performing way beyond your natural capacity. People who use this line of argument are simply (and conveniently) omitting the impact of new technology. Don't swimming suits and running spikes do exactly the same thing? Anyone arguing from an 'all athletes need equal footing' perspective is going to have to go the whole way and have us all passing the baton barefoot and naked."

Apr. 24, 2008 - Carl Thomen

Sam Shuster, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Dermatology at Newcastle University, wrote in his Aug. 4, 2006 article titled "There's No Proof That Sports Drugs Enhance Performance," published in the Guardian: "The ethical argument...disappears on examination. Sport is for enjoyment and competition, and usually aims to improve; but what is the difference between increasing skill and performance by training, and taking drugs? If it is the use of personal effort rather than outside help, then what of ropes, crampons and oxygen for climbing? What of advanced training by teams of sports physiologists who wire athletes to equipment monitoring heart, muscle, brain and nerves to optimise activity; or teams of sports psychologists improving your responses and neutralising those observed in competitors? What of dieticians tampering with foods and additives - drugs by any other name - to

Apr. 21, 2005 - Greg Skidmore, JD

Robert Simon, PhD, Philosophy Professor at Hamilton College and former President of the Philosophic Society for the Study of Sport, stated in a Dec. 9, 2004 online chat sponsored by USA Today: "[S]teroid use raises more significant ethical questions than developments in equipment. When we talk about the ethics of performance


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
enhancing drugs, we have to consider such issues as what human characteristics do we want athletic competition to measure, how important are results such as winning vs. the process of competing, and should athletes at elite levels (or high school for that matter) have to take health risks to compete. I also think there are value questions about equipment, such as how far do we want the golf ball to go... but I think the questions raised by steroids are morally more fundamental." improve performance? What is more 'fair' - the use of a team of sports specialists or a simple pill? What is the difference between training at altitude and taking erythropoietin to achieve a similar effect? And why are the strips of adhesive plaster on the nose - absurdly believed to increase oxygen intake - more acceptable than a drug which reduces airway resistance?"
Aug. 4, 2006 - Sam Shuster, PhD

Dec. 9, 2004 - Robert Simon, PhD

Patient UK, a health and disease information website, wrote in a July 11, 2008 article titled "Drugs and Sport," published on its website (www.patient.co.uk): "Some would argue that the only way to get a 'level playing field' is to lift all bans on drugs and let us push human endurance to the limit. Records have tumbled with new technologies going back to spikes and starting blocks and including modern running shoes and fiberglass poles for vaulting. Should we encourage the same with pharmacological technology? This is a false argument as the banned substances are not without significant risk. It cannot even be argued that the athlete is free to make his own choice because if the opposition use drugs to gain advantage, he will have to do the same to be able to compete."

Julian Savulescu, PhD, Professor and Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, and Bennett Foddy, DPhil, Harold T. Shapiro Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, wrote in their Aug. 3, 2004 article "Good Sport, Bad Sport," published in The Age: "EPO is a natural hormone that stimulates red blood cell production, raising the haematocrit (HCT) -- the percentage of the blood comprised by red blood cells... There are other legal ways to increase the number of red blood cells. Altitude training can push the HCT to dangerous, even fatal, levels. More recently, hypoxic air machines simulate altitude training. The body responds by releasing natural EPO and growing more blood cells, so that the body may absorb more oxygen with every breath... There is no difference between elevating your blood count by altitude training, by using a hypoxic air machine or by taking EPO. But the latter is illegal. Some competitors have high HCTs and an advantage by luck. Some can afford hypoxic air machines. Is this fair? Nature is not fair."
Aug. 3, 2004 - Bennett Foddy, DPhil Julian Savulescu, PhD

July 11, 2008 - Patient UK

Millard Baker, founder of the websites Steroid Report.com and Mesomorphosis.com, wrote in his July 2, 2008 article "Swimsuits and Anabolic Steroids - Where is the Level Playing Field?," posted on the website steroid.com: "LZR [Speedo's latest innovation in swimsuits] is different from THG [a designer steroid] in many

Aaron Steinberg, Editor of The CEO Report,


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ways. First, LZR is not a closely guarded secret. It is openly promoted and marketing by its creators. The athletes openly display their use of LZR to all of their competitors and the general public. Secondly, LZR has been officially approved by FINA (the international governing body of swimming) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has no problem with it! Most importantly, LZR is not an anabolic steroid - it is a swimsuit." wrote in his June 2005 article "In Defense of Steroids," published in Reasonmagazine: "If players don't get the desired performance out of diet, diagnostics, and exercise, there's always surgery. Consider Tommy John surgery, a ligament transplant invented for baseball players and named for the first pitcher to undergo the procedure. It has advanced to the point that the Chicago Cubs' Kerry Wood actually picked up velocity on his pitches after wrecking his arm and having the surgery... In short, sports technology isn't just for golf club shafts and running shoes. It's for muscles, ligaments, and organs, and it's getting more sophisticated all the time. If such technologies are available to everyone and if the health risks are low--or lower, at least, then getting pulverized by a bulky baserunner sprinting toward home plate--then why single out steroids?"
June 2005 - Aaron Steinberg

July 2, 2008 - Millard Baker

Resource: http://sportsanddrugs.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002352


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Pros and Cons of Capitalism

by Tejvan Pettinger on February 20, 2012 in economics

Capitalism is an economic system characterised by:

Lack of government intervention Means of production owned by private firms. Goods and services distributed according to price mechanism (as opposed to government price controls) Pros of Capitalism Economic freedom helps political freedom. If governments own the means of production and set prices, it invariably leads to a powerful state and creates a large bureaucracy which may extend into other areas of life. Efficiency. Firms in a capitalist based society face incentives to be efficient and produce goods which are in demand. These incentives create the pressures to cut costs and avoid waste. State owned firms often tend to be more inefficient (e.g. less willing to get rid of surplus workers and less incentives to try new innovative working practices.) Economic Growth. With firms and individuals facing incentives to be innovative and work hard this creates a climate of innovation and economic expansion. This helps to increase Real GDP and lead to improved living standards. This increased wealth, enables a higher standard of living; in theory, everyone can benefit from this increased wealth, and there is a trickle down effect from rich to poor. There are no better alternatives. As Winston Churchill, It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. A similar statement could apply to capitalism. Cons of Capitalism Monopoly Power. Private ownership of capital enables firms to gain monopoly power in product and labour markets. Firms with monopoly power can exploit their position to charge higher prices. See: Monopoly Monopsony Power. Firms with monopsony power can pay lower wages to workers. In capitalist societies, there is often great inequality between the owners of capital and those who work for firms. See: Monopsony exploitation Social Benefit Ignored. A free market will ignore extenalities. A profit maximising capitalist firm is likely to ignore negative externalities, such as pollution from production. This can harm living standards. Similarly, a free market economy will under-provide goods with positive

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externalities, such as health, public transport and education. This leads to an inefficient allocation of resources. Even supporters of capitalism will admit that government provision of certain public goods and public services is essential to maximise the potential of a capitalist society. Inherited Wealth and Wealth inequality. A capitalist society is based on legal right to private property and the ability to pass on to future generations. Capitalists argue that a capitalist society is fair because you gain the rewards of your hard work. But, often people are rich, simply because they inherit wealth or are born into a privileged class. Therefore, capitalist society not only fails to create equality of outcome, but also fails to provide equality of opportunity. Inequality creates social division. Societies which are highly unequal create resentment and social division. Diminishing Marginal utility of wealth. A capitalist society argues it is good if people can earn more leading to income and wealth inequality. However, this ignores the diminishing marginal utility of wealth. A millionaire who gets an extra million sees little increase in economic welfare, but that 1million spent on health care would provide a much bigger increase in social welfare. Boom and Bust cycles. Capitalist economies have a tendency to booms and busts with painful recessions and mass unemployment. See: Boom and bust economic cycles A Note on Different Types of Capitalism All types of capitalism implies that the economy is market based However, within the broad term of capitalism, there are different varieties which can have profoundly different outcomes. For example, unregulated capitalism sometimes termed turbo capitalism will see greater problems associated with inequality, underprovision of public services and greater inequality. A primarily capitalist society with some regulation on inequality, environment and monopoly power can create a very different outcome to a pure capitalist society. See: different types of capitalism When people talk about capitalist societies, e.g. US, there is actually significant government intervention in areas such as education, health care and transport. US government accounts for around 35% of GDP. Even a country like France, where the government spend 50% of GDP has an economy which may be considered to be primarily free market. There is no clear cut point when an economy stops being capitalist and becomes a mixed economy. Resource: http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/5002/economics/pros-and-cons-of-capitalism/


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Offline Joined:16 Jun 2011 Posts:146 Applause:11

yes there are some problems prosecuting comunism but imwant to talk abaut equality measures. It is not fair that while somebody works 1 hour for 7 dolars and the other one makes hundreds . You can think that if he is earning he is working much harder. it is true in some situations but it is also irrelevant in some situations due to surplus value. a worker works for 8 hours a day in bad circumstances and he has to give as much as labor as he can and the prices are really low. And he has to feed himself and his family too. He has to pay his rent, taxes food education... He gives labor but he does not earn much. And a doctor earns thousands of dollars in a month. He gives labor too and he gets its correspond and he pays taxes too and he feed his family too.the doctor can buy an ipad for his son but the worker can't. they both work and they both give labor. its not fair that while worker cant feed his family the doctor can buy another iphone to his daughter.If the worker didnt work than it was fair that he get paid low. but he works. in comunism society lives in a balance. But in capitalism a part of the society lives on the street and the other part has 2 houses. And we want a balanced population. we want the poor to live in a better situation. so capitalism makes an unbalanced population. but comunism makes the society come together.


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Capitalism is superior to socialism because it breeds creativity and personal responsibility. In a society where the people will never be rewarded for their work no matter what they do, no one will try hard to achieve anything. Why bother to be competitive if you will be rewarded the same way as someone not working as hard as you are? The drive to get ahead and improve one's quality of life is why there is inovation and invention in the world. Society would become stagnant without it. In a socialist society, people do not need to worry about taking care of themselves if the community will do it for them. People will not be motivated to work hard if they will be taken care of anyway. Socialism is bad for work ethic.

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Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand. Offline Joined:23 Jul 2012 Posts:11 Applause:0

I believe that socialism is better than capitalism. The economic crisis of 2008, as the host of this House points out, has revived the debate by questioning capitalism's effectiveness on the long run. The recent election of Francois Hollande as President of France serves as a testimony to Europe's slow distancing from the capitalistic ideology. I think it is necessary to point out that while capitalism clearly has its benefits, its drawbacks outweigh the temporary prosperity it brings. Capitalism has indeed inspired the United States to become the world's leading economy, but is has also resulted in virtually insurmountable debt. Whatsmore, capitalism does give everybody the chance to succeed. However, the fact remains that those who do are a small minority elite. Capitalism leads to the exploitation of the poor and the weak with a clear-cut "every man for himself" ideology. This is simply not the way it should be. Socialism is a system which inspires the "we are all in this together". Socialism takes the responsibility, the ownership and the wealth away from the elite at hands it to the poor, the economically oppressed, the people. In such a world, poverty would be inexistent and societies would adopt an egalitarian form, raising the standard of living not only for the successful, but also for a nation as a whole by increasing the access the healthier food and lifestyles not affordable under a capitalist regime. Under a socialist regime, we would not have a fast-growing economy, but a more stable one, safer on the long run.

Sources: http://politicsreport.com/comment/65982 http://www.lefigaro.fr

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Offline Joined:21 Mar 2012 Posts:116 Applause:10 FaisalObeidat wrote:

Socialism is a system which inspires the "we are all in this together". Socialism takes the responsibility, the ownership and the wealth away from the elite at hands it to the poor, the economically oppressed, the people. In such a world, poverty would be inexistent and societies would adopt an egalitarian form, raising the standard of living not only for the successful, but also for a nation as a whole by increasing the access the healthier food and lifestyles not affordable under a capitalist regime. Under a socialist regime, we would not have a fast-growing economy, but a more stable one, safer on the long run.

And we all know how well it worked out in Russia and China; eventually they came calling to the capitalists to find out what they were doing wrong. And the answer: "we are all in this together" is what they were doing wrong. People dont have motivation if they have nothing to gain by putting effort into something. Instead people need to be rewarded for their efforts. No one wants to see their own work going to pay some idle layabout. As a result socalism breeds idle layabouts! While I can agree that absolute poverty might be eliminated in such a system it is inconcievable that there would be increased access to healthier food that would not be affordable under a capitalist system. Instead no one would have the motivation to cultivate more land because they would not gain out of it. Why do you think the USSR

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ended up importing grain from the USA in the middle of the cold war? So much for self sufficient socialism!

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Firstly, I'd like to point out that the cause of 2008's economic collapse was not capitalism. It was central banks like the federal reserve driving down interest rates, printing billions in fiat money, and flooding the economy with cheap credit. Notice that central banks are not an essential feature of capitalism. In fact, in The Communist Manifesto, Marx lists a central bank as one of the necessities of a communist nations. Government debt cannot be blaimed on capitalism, and the reason private debt was so large was because, as I said before, central banks flooded the economy with easy credit while simultaneously lowering interest rates. A few points on wealth distribution: first, mobility is overlooked . It's not the same people who remain the wealthiest for all time. In fact, many of the wealthiest people today were once fairly poor. Second, for economic progress, there must be capital accumulation. someone must have a large stock of capital in order for ambitious projects to be completed. Without exceedingly wealthy people, this would never happen! Finally, a note about the poor. In pre-capitalistic eras, the most powerful man alive, the king or pharaoh or emperor, lived in a stone castle with no plumbing, no electricity, no heating, no television, no car. This was the most powerful man in the world and by today's standards, his living


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
conditions would be considered atrocious. Thanks to capitalism, even the poor have cars, televisions, and many have heating, homes with plumbing. In precapitalistic eras, the average man lived on between one and three dollars per day. Insanely small amount. This spikes hugely (along with population) at the advent of capitaluism. To say that capitalism hurts the poor is like saying that the telephone makes long distance communication harder. Additionally, through buying and selling and division of labor, capitalism in simultaneously competition and cooperation. People compete to cooperate. All interaction in a capitalist system is voluntary, so to say that someone is exploited is absurd. If you take wealth from the rich, first you destroy the capital base, and second: who wants to be rich if big brother takes your money and gives it to the poor? Why on earth would Steve Jobs be motivated to create the iPad if the state was going to take his money and give it to the poor? And how would poverty become nonexistent? By gutting the capital base you kill any chance of significant economic progress, destroy any incentive for success, and look where it gets you! As Alastair pointed out, China! Russia! This has never worked in the history of time. Socialism will give you the most unstable, most horribly ravaged economy imaginable. There is one argument against socialism that shows why it can never succeed: economic calculation. You have no prices under socialism, so how are you supposed to rationally allocate resources? Let's say there is a sudden demand for batteries in an economy. In capitalism, people buy batteries, they become scarcer, the price goes up, new producers try to get in on it, they become less scarce, and prices fall to normal levels. consumers have their batteries, producers made a profit. But in Socialism, what happens? Let's say the government listens and orders the production of more batteries. Then what? Do they distribute them? How evenly will they be distributed? How many batteries will they make? What if some people want more batteries than are distibuted to them? What if some don't want any? No government can solve these problems without a price system. It just doesn't work. Period.

Resource: http://idebate.org/discussions/debatabase-discussions/philosophical-political-theory/housebelieves-capitalism-better-s


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Wednesday, May 9, 2012



I strongly agree with this motion because each of us must be given an equal chance to taste the best education in this country. Each of the students has the right to enjoy the best knowledge. However, we have to change our mindset first. We must understand that getting an A does not guarantee success as positive characters can greatly affect a persons achievements in life. If we teach both subjects in Malay, they may understand the subject. However, their critical thinking skills will be reduced as they are so comfortable with the first language that the absence of English language will keep the mind idle. An idle mind cannot breed thinkers in our country. The saddest part is the subjects are taught in English in universities locally and globally. The worst part is the vacancies for critical jobs in the government sector are rather very limited. The graduates have no choice but to look for vacancies at international or national companies. Who controls these international companies? Who runs these international companies? We have to answer these questions before we make any decision before we start teaching Math and Science in Malay. Now let me talk about Science. Who controls the findings of many things in this world? Malaysians? Singaporeans? Canadians? Australians? Americans? Europeans? I bet you know the answer. These findings are basically written in English. If we use English to teach Science, we can equip our students with a lot of latest findings as long as Science is concerned. I dont like to miss the bus. How about you? Do you like it? If you like it, keep your denial mode. If you dont like it, do something about it. Another challenge that we have to deal with is the teachers. Let us play with these critical questions. Are the teachers ready to bring changes? Are the teachers ready to get out of the comfort zone? Are the teachers positive enough to face the unexpected challenges? Are the teachers ready to learn again, or to start from zero? Are the teachers ready to criticize themselves? How many teachers love the language? How many teachers still believe that this language is a language of the sickening and bleeding past? I do hope that all of us will sit down and discuss this matter from heart to heart for the sake of our children. Organize an open debate about this. If the poor is not given a chance to learn Science and Math in English, as they grow up, they will be governed by fear as English will be


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

more horrifying than GHOST. If the rich is given the best education, the conflicts between the poor and the rich will be deeper and bloodier than ever. I believe that Malay Language is a language that is meant to unite us while English is a language that helps us to stay relevant, competitive, adaptable, rational, critical, important, sharp, intelligent, wise, positive and etc. in order to survive successfully in this world if we were to consider this world as our stage. We dont have a choice but to like things that we dislike in order to create a versatile human capital. Based on my own experiences, English is language that helps me to stay ahead of others as the ability to use this language helps me to understand the chronology of many important events that happen yesterday, today and events that may happen in the future. I am an Iban. If I were to expect others to use and respect my language, the Ibans must first get the world to recognize the Ibans. The Ibans must do well in politic, economy and social in order to get the world to respect the Iban language. The same thing goes to other languages. We have to earn the respect and recognition. We cannot force the world to respect our language if we have nothing to share with the world. Take Japanese language for example. Why is this language being offered in many schools and universities? The main reason is because there are so many great qualities that Japanese people have that the world have no choice but to learn from them. The Japanese mindset is like this. They can make anything out of nothing. If you teach them to make something, they can make that something into everything. For example, they learn how to make engine from the Americans. Gradually, they come up with their own engine which is better than the American engine and their products have made this world a beautiful place through their great and beautiful creations. That kind of mindset can help us Malaysians to be on par or perhaps better than the other developing and developed countries. One of the most effective ways is by mastering the English language. The first benefit of learning English language is this language can enhance your critical thinking skills. As English is considered as your second language, you have no choice but to work hard to understand the grammar and learn how to use it correctly and effectively. The pain and struggle that you have to go though while understanding the vocabulary will help you to be a critical thinker as you dont actually realize that you are making your mind shaper than before. The second benefit is it helps you to be the world or international player. The ability to master English language helps you to be more marketable as you are bilingual. These international companies will definitely look for you as they believe that if you understand the medium of instruction used in the company, mistakes especially in terms of communication breakdown can be reduced because you, your colleagues and your employer speak the same language. No matter how excellent your result is, if you dont speak their language, you will always miss the opportunities.

Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

The third benefit of being able to speak and write good English is you will gain respect from people around you. This respect comes naturally especially to those who can really speak and write good English. If you speak good English, it shows that you have the ability to ask a lot of deadly and critical questions. English is a language that can help you to get out of the prison of fear. English is the language that can help make a better you. We must never hate the English for what they have done in the past because we can never change the past. We should also prevent ourselves from digging the past as digging the past is equal to digging our graveyard. We should learn and master their language in order to create a greater understanding and respect between us. We, Malaysians have to EARN that RESPECT and RECOGNITION. The fourth benefit of acquiring English language is you will be able to improve yourself psychologically, physically, mentally andspiritually because these developed countries particularly the English speaking countries spend a lot of money on research. The findings of this research will greatly benefit us if we speak their language. This research is meant to make our lives better than yesterday. For example, the hot item called I-pad or I-phone. This product is the result of years of research by the late Steve Jobs and his friends. Who is using this technology? All of us. This brilliant product will inspire other production companies to work harder but they have to master the language in order to understand everything they need to know about the technology. The secret is of course has to be revealed through English language. Let me give you another example. Most of the reading materials are written in English. If I were to use new strategies to teach English, I can look for the information easily online. I can pick any strategy that I want. However, if I cant speak and write good English, my teaching strategy will remain stagnant, irrelevant, backdated, traditional, chalk and talk, boring and etc. Having the ability to use the language effectively helps each of us to be more independent and knowledgeable. There is a lot ofself-help books and e-books online. If you understand the language, you can master a lot of skills that you thought was impossible before. Furthermore, the videos uploaded in the YouTube can be a very useful assistance to help you understand a particular subject. It is not wrong to love our language. However, we have to be realistic about how the world looks at us. We must know where we stand in this world. We must know our ranking. If we believe that we have given so much to this world, I dont mind if Math and Science are taught in Malay. However, if we believe that we have not shared enough with the rest of the world and we believe that we are still a student who has to learn a lot, then Math and Science should be taught in English. Thank you for reading. (Originally written by: Mani ak Jack 9/5/2012)
Resource: http://howtoteachenglisheffectively.blogspot.com/2012/05/math-and-science-should-betaught-in.html


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.

Keep English for maths and science

Jason LKH 5:07PM Mar 10, 2009

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Language march: Tear gas fired. I am very disturbed by the coalition against the teaching of science and maths in English (GMP) which wants to put an end to the language switch just after eight years of implementation. I would like to put forth a few points. Firstly, would teaching mathematics and science in English erode the spirit of the national language as enshrined in the federal constitution? Lets consider Singapore. Singapores national language as enshrined in its constitution is Bahasa Melayu. But all subjects are taught in English and each major ethnic group is required to take up their mother tongue language. So we have not come to their level yet. Currently in Malaysia, all subjects except for science and mathematics are taught in Bahasa Malaysia, so what is the fuss? By coming forth to protest in the name of the national language rather than raise concerns of the accessibility of rural schools to resources that would empower both teachers and students to teach and study these subjects in English is definitely off tangent. Let me digress to point out the weaknesses in the implementation of this policy so far: 1. The ministry implemented the policy cross-sectionally meaning, all of a sudden, students who had been studying mathematics and science (M&S) in their mother tongue had to adapt to the language switch. I was one of them, starting with Mandarin (in primary school), followed by Bahasa Malaysia (in secondary school) and finally English (for STPM). All the transitions I experienced were tiring. What the ministry should have done was implement the teaching of maths and science in English starting from primary school or secondary school, instead of injecting it at different transition points. 2. I had firsthand experience with freshly-graduated maths and science teacher struggling to teach the subjects in English because of their formal training in Bahasa Malaysia. This compared to the veterans who were trained in English but taught in Bahasa Malaysia initially. Unfortunately, most of them are retiring in a few years time. If five years were to be given to train and produce teachers to teach maths and science in English prior to the policys implementation, the teachers would had been able to effectively teach the subjects in English.


Swinburne Debate Tournament 2013 To debaters: Define all the words/terms you dont understand.
3. Prior to implementing this new policy, rural schools were already facing problems with teaching and resources. The hurried implementation certainly made things more difficult for them. One may argue, Look at Japan, Germany, Korea, China, Indonesia. They could teach the subjects in their national language, why cant we? As pointed out by AB Sulaiman, the Malay language is insufficiently mature to handle all the technical terms used today in the scientific world. If we were to continue our pursuit to study match and science in Bahasa Malaysia, will there be sufficient and efficient resources to translate scientific journals out there into Bahasa Malaysia so that all students can benefit from the pool of scientific knowledge to discover new things to be on par with international standards? As Francis Collins in his book The Language of God, which embodied the wisdom of Woodrow Wilson, said, I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow. How can we go global\ if we are not able to translate scripts to Bahasa Malaysia? On another note, I am currently studying at the National University of Singapore. I have met students from China, India, Germany, Japan and Indonesia. Guess what? Most of them can articulate their points in English for both subjects and they are able to study the subjects in English, despite their solid training in their mother tongue languages. Will we be able to produce students who are capable of this if science and maths were to be taught in Bahasa Malaysia? I hope so! Well, there are many Malaysian students abroad who are living testimony to this, but not without a cost for we had to play our part to adapt to the English language. English is certainly the way forward. I would like to encourage both the government and the opposition (I was surprised to know some members of the opposition are for the abolishment of the policy) to remain resilient in maintaining the policy. A batch of students trained in English for the subjects will be emerging in five years time and well then see the fruits of this new policy a tri or bi-lingual student, prepared to face an increasingly, if not globalised world, putting an end to a vicious cycle of damage to our education system. May God give strength and wisdom to our leaders to refine this policy for the future of Malaysia in this fast-paced world. Comments

Resource: http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/99921