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This morning, Universiti Malaya Law Professor Azmi Sharom became the new victim of the sedition dragnet when he was charged with sedition over his remarks on the Perak Constitutional crisis.

It is clear that now that the government has become so intolerant that the dragnet has included academician.

Malaysians who were already shocked with the slew of sedition charges against opposition lawmakers and angry with the unnecessary, highhanded police arrest of 155 PPS members on August 31 are now asking what has happened to this country and where the country is heading towards?
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Seputeh MP Teresa Kok wants to transfer her sedition charge from the Sessions Court to the High Court in a bid to expose what she says is selective prosecution by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

The DAP national vice-chairman said in an application to transfer her case that Gani refused to frame charges against racists and extremists who threatened public order, ridiculed other races and those from minority religions to create disharmony and riots.

She said the High Court was the appropriate forum to investigate that the charge against her amounted to selective prosecution.

She also said the matter could only be brought to the Federal Court if her trial started in the High Court.

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The sun – September 1

KUALA LUMPUR: Malays are paying the price for being kind to non-Malays, said Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said non-Malays are getting increasingly arrogant and are insulting the bumiputras, the royalty and Islam.

“We allowed them to be indebted to us without needing them to pay it back; they are now insulting Islam and the Malays under the pretence of democracy, freedom of speech, and globalisation,” he said when launching the Umno Segambut divisional meeting today.

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Yesterday’s police shocking arrest of 155 Penang Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) members was unnecessary, highhanded and deserves condemnation.

Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng, in response to the Inspector General of Police’s (IGP) earlier claim that PSS was an illegal body, had already clarified that PPS was set up by the state government and is a legal body.

If the IGP insists that PPS is illegal, he could always seek more explanations from the Penang state government.

But he chose to arrest the PPS members who were only attending a Merdeka event. Why?

It is public knowledge that PPS‘s role is to help the public during emergencies and disasters. Should the police arrest PPS members merely because the RoS has said that it is not registered under the Societies Act?

PPS was formed 4 years ago, how could it suddenly become so dangerous to warrant such highhanded police action?

The IGP said that the PPS insisted on carrying their activities and deliberately wanted to challenge the country’s law and dared police to take action…they acted like gangsters.

But such explanation is not satisfactory and acceptable.

Until it has been cleared that PPS is an illegal body and what they do are against the laws, there was no necessity and justification for Police to take such action especially when PPS’s activity yesterday was only attending a state level Merdeka event.

The arrest of Penang Exco Phee Boon Poh too was also most unnecessary and avoidable.

The IGP must know this fact – that PPS is not a gangster group or secret society. It is a body set up by the Penang state government.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has also rebutted IGP’s allegation that PPS has strayed from its original objective of serving the community

The police must cease any threats against or arrest of PPS members. Let the courts decide if PPS is legal or otherwise.

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 31 — The arrests of 200 Penang volunteer patrol unit (PPS) members during a Merdeka parade here were an insult to the celebration of the nation’s independence, said a PKR Youth critical of the detentions today.

Penang PKR Youth information chief Aidil Ibrahim said the arrests have marred what was meant to be the harmonious celebration of the nation’s Independence Day by people from all walks of life today.

“We strongly condemn the police in taking action to detain the PPS members during a Merdeka celebration,” he said.

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It was reported in today’s media that when commenting on the public university intake of medical students, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam has said the following:-

1. That the Malaysian Medical Council ( MMC) did not direct the public universities to reduce the intake of medical students

2. That a total of 1550 medical places have been allocated to 11 public university medical schools but so far only 919 students have been accepted

3. That he has requested the Education Ministry to look into ways to increase the intake of medical students in public universities.

4. That the figure of 418 places taken up this year mentioned by Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan was only the figure of those applications done through UPU (Bahagian Pengurusan Kemasukkan Pelajar). Other research universities like Universiti Malaya and Universiti Sains Malaysia carry out their own student recruitment
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On Aug 19, New Straits Times reported that Deputy Education Minister II P. Kamalanathan said that 418 places were available for a medical degree in public varsities this year, compared with 699 places last year, based on the recommendation of the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC).

He said that MMC requested for a lower intake to prevent the oversupply of doctors as there were housemen in hospitals with no work to do.

Kamalanathan said 1,163 students who achieved a 4.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) from matriculation and straight As for the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) applied for the 2014/2015 session.
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In March 28 , 2014 edition of Malaysian Nanban, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramanian was quoted as saying that Indian Malaysian parents should realise that currently there are about 37,000 doctors in the country and in the next five years that number is expected to grow by another 30,000.

“The government cannot afford to employ all these doctors in the future. There will be a glut of doctors and there will be unemployment in this field,” he was quoted as saying.

Deputy Education Minister P.Kamalanathan also recently said that for this year’ ( 2014/2015 ) public university intake, 418 places of medical programmes were offered so as to control the number of new medical graduates and avoid a flood of new doctors in the employment market.

Yet, the fact is that there have been annual reductions of places for medical studies in local public universities since 2011.

I have checked and found the following statistics:-

Academic Year Intake of new medical students

2011/2012—– 983

2012/2013—– 875

2013/2014 — 699

On March 17 this year, I had asked a parliamentary question on government’s plans to address the issue of oversupply of doctors following concern raised by Malaysian Medical Association. Health Minister Datuk Subramanian listed a few steps, including the imposition of moratorium on new medical courses by institutions of higher learning, but he did not mention at all the reduction of medical places in public universities.

So why did Subramanian fail to inform Parliament about the reduction plans at public universities? Did he intentionally fail to provide full answers to Parliament?

If the government feels that the reduction plan is necessary and correct, there is certainly no need to hide such plan from Parliament and the public.

This year’s reduction has caused more top scorers to fail to gain admission into their favored medical programmes.

On August 22, it was reported in the Chinapress Daily that a Matriculation college top scorer from Sg Siput with perfect CGPA of 4.0 and co curricular activity of 100 marks has failed to get a spot in medicine or dentistry programme in local public university. She was only offered Sains Instrumentasi.

Her father works as a construction worker while her mother takes up two jobs—as a dishwasher at a coffee shop and as an hourly cleaning maid.

What will Subramaniam advise this student to do? Take up Sains Instrumentasi?

In the next parliamentary session, I will demand government’s answers to the following questions:-

1. Is it not true that the existence of too many private medical schools is the main cause of oversupply of doctors?

2. Should not any plan to reduce production of new medical doctors start with the private medical schools?

3. Is it not true that government’s failure to build more hospitals has aggravated the problem of oversupply of new doctors?

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