Why do we love?

Does love make our life meaningful?
Or is it an escape from our loneliness and suffering?
Is love a disguise for our sexual desire?
Or a trick of biology to make us procreate?
Is it all we need or do we need it at all?

Watch this interesting presentation to find out.


If the Ottoman Empire had not collapsed

Imagine the mayhem that might have been avoided had the Ottoman Empire been saved rather than sunk. Blame, among others, Winston Churchill

WHEN a Serb gunman shot an Austrian archduke in the summer of 1914, the nations of Europe tumbled into war with all the grace of bowling pins. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, whose ally Russia declared war on Austria, whose ally Germany declared war on Russia, whose allies France and Britain declared war on Germany and Austria. By early August the continent was in flames.

Much as it wobbled like the rest, however, one of those bowling pins could not make up its mind. Which way would Turkey fall? Should the fading Ottoman Empire join the Triple Entente (Britain, France and Russia) or go with the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary)?

Turkey’s 500-year-old empire was shrinking. It had lost its territories in Africa, nearly all its Mediterranean islands and most of its Balkan lands as well as chunks of eastern Anatolia. It was debt-ridden, industrially backward and politically shaky.

Still, the sultan’s lands straddled two continents, controlling access to the Black Sea. His Arabian territories stretched beyond the holy cities of Islam to the mountains of Yemen and the Persian Gulf, where there were rumoured to lie vast caverns of the sticky black liquid soon to replace coal as the world’s chief source of power.

Confident of Turkey’s weakness, Britain, France and Russia could have clobbered the Ottomans and divided the spoils. Thankfully, wiser heads prevailed. At a secret conclave aboard a British dreadnought off the coast of Norway in late July, a far-sighted politician by the name of Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, worked with French, Russian and Turkish diplomats to forge a treaty. The Turks drove a hard bargain for, as they coyly revealed, Germany too was proffering arms and gold in exchange for an alliance.

The deal that was reached proved immensely beneficial to all concerned. From France, Turkey received generous debt relief. Russia scrapped all claims to Ottoman territory, and made a limited goodwill withdrawal from parts of Anatolia. Churchill waived further payment on two warships that British shipyards were building for Turkey. And Turkey received assurances that its vulnerable extremities would not be attacked; for an empire that for a century had been preyed upon like a carcass this was a new lease of life.

The rewards to the Triple Entente were equally big. Granted exclusive access to the Black Sea, Russia’s allies could resupply the tsar’s armies when they faltered at the start of the war. With no need to defend its Turkish frontier, Russia moved thousands of crack troops from the Caucasus to shore up its front lines. Turkey signed separate agreements recognising British control of the Suez Canal, Aden and the Trucial sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf, securing the sea lanes for Britain’s massive deployment of troops from the colonies to the Western Front. Turkey’s own army joined in a broad front against Austria-Hungary. Together, these Allied advantages are thought to have shortened the war by as much as a year; the Central Powers might not have sued for a truce as soon as America entered the war, but fought on instead.

Reprieved from collapse, the Ottoman Empire’s government pursued radical reforms. Challenged by growing nationalist tendencies from Arab, Armenian, Greek and Kurdish subjects, Sultan Mehmed V issued a historic firman or proclamation that recognised these as individual nations united under the Ottoman sovereign.

The sultan got to keep the title of caliph, commander of the Sunni Muslim faithful, which his ancestors had acquired four centuries earlier. This proved useful when the empire had to put down a rebellion of religious fanatics in central Arabia, led by a man called Ibn Saud who gained followers by claiming he would restore Islam to a purer state. But mostly the empire was seen as a tolerant place. When Nazi persecutions drove Jews from Europe in the 1930s, many took refuge there (as they had done when expelled from Spain in 1492), particularly in the province of Jerusalem.

If only

Needless to say, none of the above happened. Quite the opposite. Turkey aligned with Germany in the first world war, and the allies did attempt to invade and divide its empire. Churchill, instead of handing over the warships that ordinary Turks had paid for by subscription, had them seized for the British navy. In 1915 he ordered a catastrophic attack on Turkey; the landing at Gallipoli cost the allies 300,000 casualties. British campaigns against Turkey in Iraq and the Levant cost another million lives.

Turkey’s casualties mounted, by war’s end, to 3m-5m people, nearly a quarter of the Ottoman population. This included some 1.5m Armenians, slaughtered because Turkish officials believed they might become a fifth column for a hostile Russia. And when Britain and France grabbed the Ottomans’ Arab lands, their suppression of uprisings cost thousands more lives.

How much of today’s mayhem in the Middle East, from civil wars to terror in the name of Islam (and of restoring the caliphate) to the emergence of sectarian dictators such as Bashar al-Assad, not to mention of such a grudge-bearing Ottoman revivalist as Recep Tayyip Erdogan, might have been avoided, if only Churchill had embraced Johnny Turk instead of sinking him?

Source: The Economist (6th July 2017)

Weak Malay mindset fault of education system and media, says sociologist

by: Amin Iskandar

Weak Malay mindset fault of education system and media, says sociologist Sociologist and veteran politician Dr Syed Husin Ali says when the Malays are pushed to the wall, they will fight back and rebel. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin

A GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED education system and media are the reasons Malays are lacking in critical thinking, said sociologist and veteran politician Dr Syed Husin Ali.

Syed Husin, who was a lecturer of anthropology and sociology at Universiti Malaya for almost 30 years, said the Malays have had their minds controlled from the time they were in primary school until university.

He was responding to A. Samad Said’s statement recently that there were too few Malays who were rising up to bring about change in Malaysia.

National laureate Samad said he was disappointed with the Malays for “not seeing the truth as the truth”, adding that he was worried for his race.

“The very education system does not encourage them to question, does not encourage critical and creative thinking,” said Syed Husin.

“Apart from that, there are all sorts of laws. Not just the Universities and University Colleges Act, there are also pledges and others,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

The act, which was first drafted in 1971 and amended in 2012, limits political involvement and activities for undergraduates at all public universities.

Those found guilty of promoting political agendas risk expulsion and other penalties, including fines.

Syed Husin, the author of Orang Melayu: Masalah dan Masa Depan (The Malays: Their Problems and Future), which was published in 1979 and updated in 2008, said the mainstream media in Malaysia also played a big role in “controlling” the minds of a majority of Malaysians, especially of those living in the rural areas.

“The TV that they watch, are all government TV. Newspapers are pro-government newspapers.

“This is what forms the attitude and thinking of the Malays. This is what makes it hard for them to change,” he said.

Minority behaviour

Syed Husin said Malays have been constantly threatened with a bogeyman, resulting in them behaving like the minority even though they made up the majority race in Malaysia.

“They feel they are under siege or threatened by other races. They have been frightened with the prospect of threats by other races, especially the Chinese.

“This has reached a stage where they can even say that however bad a Malay or Muslim is, no matter how cruel, that person will still be better than a non-Malay or non-Muslim .”

The former deputy president of PKR said economic factors and social stature also contributed to the attitude of the Malays.

“A majority of Malays come from the lower class.

“When they are in the lower class, they will feel not only feel threatened, but they suffer an inferiority complex.”

Syed Husin said even though there has been a rise in the number of middle-class Malays, who are also successful businessmen, their mentality remains unchanged.

“Their minds are almost the same as before, because I think the feudalistic influence is still strong, sometimes even stronger.

“Even though many of the Malays have become city folk, their belief system and thinking are still traditional, feudal.”

However, Syed Husin is optimistic that the Malays will change if the government fails to address the economic hardships that many of them face today.

“The economy is increasingly hard on the people. Malays also have the attitude of not liking to be pushed to the wall.

“They also have the attitude of fighting back, rebelling. In this situation, change might come.”

Analysts weighing in on Samad’s comments had earlier told The Malaysian Insight that the lack of outrage among the Malays could be attributed to their “blind loyalty” to leaders.

They said while there are signs of change, with the growing reach of non-government-controlled information, this hope translating into votes lies with the younger generation of Malays.

Source: The Malaysian Insight (12 July 2017)

What you should know about Chinese schools in Malaysia

Schools considered as ‘Chinese schools’ in Malaysia share a common history but have different features. — Picture by KE Ooi

Schools considered as ‘Chinese schools’ in Malaysia share a common history but have different features. — Picture by KE OoiKUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — Not all Chinese schools in Malaysia use Mandarin as the medium of instruction. Surprised? Why are they called Chinese schools then?

That is because the term “Chinese schools” has been used indiscriminately to group together disparate types of schools with a common historical background under a very wide umbrella.

In reality, there are two broad categories for Chinese schools here: those that are private and those that are government-aided. Some of their key distinctions revolve around funding, medium of instruction and syllabus used.

According to the Education Ministry, the self-funded Chinese independent high schools are private schools while those called national-type Chinese primary schools (SJKC) or national-type secondary schools (SMJK) are public schools that receive either full or partial financial assistance from the government.

Chinese independent high schools

Chinese independent high schools may sound like an odd moniker but it can be traced back to the history of local Chinese-medium schools, which United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) chairman Datuk Vincent Lau told Malay Mail Online were first established by the migrants originating from China to provide education for their children.

Surviving a push for English-medium schools during British colonial rule as they insisted on using their mother tongue for lessons, the Chinese-medium secondary schools that refused to switch to using Bahasa Malaysia in exchange for government funding became known as Chinese independent high schools.

These schools do not receive funding from the federal government, except for one-off contributions.

However, Dong Zong confirmed that state governments such as Penang, Sabah, Sarawak and Selangor do provide financial assistance. The respective school boards otherwise continue to rely on school fees and donations from the community for all expenses including teachers’ salaries and infrastructure.

SJKC and SMJK: Government-aided schools

There are also primary schools where Mandarin is used to teach all subjects. These existed before Malaysia was formed in 1963 and are now known as SJKC, where the vernacular language is allowed to continue to be used as the medium of instruction as an alternative to the Bahasa Malaysia-medium national primary schools (SK).

SK schools are located on public land and accorded the status of “government schools” which the ministry fully maintains and funds.

SJKC schools adopt the same national syllabus used by SK schools and offer the same school-leaving UPSR examination. But because they are built on private donated land, they are given the status of “government-aided schools” and receive less government funding compared to SK schools.

While the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 states that the ministry allocates teachers for both government and government-aided schools and fully pays for their salaries, funding in other aspects for these two subsets of public schools differ slightly.

Both receive government support for operational expenditure in the form of grants-in-aid based on the same criteria of individual school’s needs, but there is a limit on funding for government-aided schools’ utilities bill.

And while the government fully funds the development costs for SK schools, SJKC schools may get 80 per cent funding, sometimes more, for their renovation and construction.

Similarly for SMJK schools which were once Chinese-medium schools that opted to conform by using BM and the national syllabus in return for government aid, the amount of government funding received also depends on ownership of school land.

While SMJK schools have told Putrajaya that they should be granted full financial assistance regardless of their land status, they are currently only considered fully-aided schools if the school boards surrendered the land titles to the government. Otherwise they only receive partial financial assistance with teachers’ salaries and per capita grants paid by the government.

Syllabus and examinations

SMJK students follow the same syllabus and sit for the same examinations as their counterparts in national secondary schools (SMK) during Form Three (PT3), Form Five (SPM) and Form Six (STPM).

But SJMK schools also allocate more time for Mandarin classes with five periods per week to instil deeper awareness of the language and its roots among their majority ethnic Chinese students. In comparison, SMK schools offer only three periods of Mandarin classes a week.

At Chinese independent schools, the syllabus and textbooks are prepared by Dong Zong, which also prepares and conducts the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) for their students.

While students typically sit for the UEC examination during their Junior Three and Senior Three years — or the equivalent of Form Three and Form Six in national schools — there are also some Chinese independent schools which offer the SPM to their students too though Lau said it is not compulsory for Chinese independent schools.

Dong Zong’s records showed that 8,574 students at the Chinese independent schools registered as SPM candidates last year.

Lau said some Chinese independent school students may not take the UEC Senior Three exam after sitting for their SPM as a Senior Two student, opting instead for other pre-university courses.

The STPM exam is not offered however, as the UEC Senior Three exam is its equivalent and is widely-accepted abroad and in local private institutions as a pre-university qualifier.

The UEC examination for Junior Three is in Chinese for most schools, but some schools are also given examination papers in both Mandarin and English. UEC Senior Three candidates are given examination papers set in both Mandarin and English.

While not part of Dong Zong’s tally of Chinese independent schools, Kuantan’s SM Chong Hwa has the unique arrangement of being a private secondary school where students can sit for both the UEC examination and examinations under the national syllabus.

Dong Zong chairman Datuk Vincent Lau said the shrinking fresh intake of students is also tied to lack of space and the non-approval for new Chinese independent schools to cope with demand. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Dong Zong chairman Datuk Vincent Lau said the shrinking fresh intake of students is also tied to lack of space and the non-approval for new Chinese independent schools to cope with demand. — Picture by Choo Choy MayChinese education in numbers

There are currently 81 SMJK, including three branch schools. The branch campus of Kajang’s SMJK Yu Hua, which received government approval last December after the 3,500-capacity main campus had to turn down students, will be the latest addition when completed.

Based on Dong Zong’s data sourced from the Education Ministry, the number of SJKC schools has been shrinking while BM-medium national primary schools have been growing.

As at last December, the number of SJKC schools numbered 1,298 compared to 1,346 in 1970. In contrast, SK schools boasted 5,877 in 2016 compared to 4,277 in 1970.

The dwindling trend for vernacular schools is also reflected in the decreasing number of Tamil-language primary schools (SJKT) that recorded just 524 last year compared to 657 in 1970.

As for secondary schools, there are currently 61 Chinese independent schools, inclusive of Johor’s Foon Yew High School and its branch which both collectively have over 10,000 students. Foon Yew is set to open yet another branch in 2021.

But Lau of Dong Zong said demand remains high for enrolment in Chinese independent schools, especially in cities, where some of these schools have around 3,000 students and cannot take in more due to limited land, facilities and classrooms.

“The other thing is we cannot get the permission to build more Chinese independent schools, the government does not allow, they limit you to 60. We applied but they don’t give permission,” he said, comparing this with the boom in the number of international schools approved by the government.

As such, some Chinese independent schools have resorted to demolishing some of their buildings to rebuild additional storeys to cater to demand.

How big a pie?

While the overall number of students at Chinese independent schools continued its uninterrupted upward trend of 15 years and hit a historic peak this year with 85,304 students, it accounts for only four per cent of the total recorded number of secondary school students, which is 2,099,603 as of January 2017.

SMJK schools account for over 108,000 students, and even when combined with Chinese independent schools amount to less than 10 per cent.

The number of new intakes at Chinese independent schools has however been going down in the past four years.

After a record high at 17,620 in 2013, this year saw only 14,481 enrolments, which Lau attributed to a cocktail of factors: the rural to urban migration, the subsequent imbalance between overcrowded urban schools and under-enrolled rural schools, and lower birth rates especially among the ethnic Chinese community.

According to an Education Ministry parliamentary reply in the March-April session, the number of primary school students as of January 2017 is 2,674,327. A separate reply in the same session shows that the bulk of the student are enrolled in SK schools at 2,065,279, while almost one-fifth are in SJKC schools at 527,453 and SJKT schools account for 81,483.

Based on the Department of Statistics Malaysia’s data of live births in the 2000-2015 period, the annual number of babies born in some of the preceding seven years before primary school enrolment from 2000 to 2017 are also among the lowest of the entire 15-year period.

The SK, SJKC and SJKT overall student numbers have generally been on a downward trend during the 2010-2017 period (except for a rebound for SK schools in the past two years).

Beyond the flocking of locals to international schools since the federal government removed limits in 2012 on intake of Malaysians, the Department Statistics Malaysia’s 2000-2015 data of live births may also give a hint on the explanation for the student numbers in national and national-type primary schools.

Malaysians typically enter primary schools at age seven, so students freshly enrolled in the 2010-2017 batch would generally be those born during the 2003-2010 period. The annual number of babies born during the latter period are among the lowest in the 2000-2015 period — 481,800 in 2004, 474,473 in 2005, 472,698 in 2006, 479,647 in 2007.

Future goals

Dong Zong has long been pushing Putrajaya to recognise the UEC for entry into the civil service and local public universities, with Lau saying that further discussions are required to pursue this recognition.

The government had in parliamentary replies said it is maintaining the status quo by letting the 60 Chinese independent schools here continue their operations as provided for under the Education Act 1996.

The replies indicate that the government’s steadfast refusal to recognise the UEC is because of the differing national syllabus standards and alleged contradiction with the National Education Policy which envisions a uniform syllabus and examinations delivered in BM.

The Higher Education Ministry had in a March 2016 parliamentary reply highlighted that it will deny public university entry to UEC graduates owing to several reasons including entry requirements of an SPM pass with credits in the BM subject; UEC’s BM levels not being on par with SPM standards; as well as alleged inadequate coverage of national history in the UEC syllabus.

Lau said the BM levels may differ in the two examinations, adding that Dong Zong is agreeable to having UEC students sit for the Bahasa Malaysia subject under SPM as a single subject and would want to be able to waive sitting for the entire examination.

“Maybe they have misconception about what we study, they are thinking we are studying Chinese history textbook from China or Taiwan, which is not true,” he said.

He claimed that Chinese independent schools cover a wider scope in history lessons on Europe, China and South-east Asia compared to the syllabus taught in national schools, but that they also cover Malaysian history.

The UEC is currently recognised by the Sarawak state government for entry into the state’s civil service and is recognised by local private universities such as the Selangor-owned Unisel, but is not accepted by the public universities such as Universiti Malaysia Sarawak which is under the federal government, Lau said. The Penang state government also accepts UEC graduates at its subsidiary companies.

As for Chinese primary schools, Lau said the federal government should adopt a systematic policy by either relocating under-enrolled schools or build new schools in high-demand areas such as urban areas and new townships that have predominantly ethnic Chinese population.

“Sometimes this becomes political, when it’s closer to election, the place there requests a school, the government [says] OK and they will build the school,” he said of the current ad-hoc approach.

Chinese education groups had in two memoranda in 2011 and 2012 to the prime minister said an additional 45 SJKC schools in six states needs to be built. The government has yet to approve the construction of these schools as of a December 2016 statement by Dong Zong.

Source: The Malay Mail Online (3rd July 2017)

Is ‘mamak’ a derogatory term?

by: Jahabar Sadiq

Image may contain: 3 people, indoor

My friend wondered aloud whether using the term mamak was derogatory. I replied that it wasn’t and the conversation went on for a bit.

But mamak is just a Malaysian term, and its a corruption of the word mama, which means uncle in Tamil. And it is specifically uncle on the maternal side.

Uncles on the paternal side are known as sacha or chacha. And for variety, depending where you are from in Tamil Nadu, mama is also pronounced and spelled mamu. Hence the Penang variant.

So how did it become a put-down or a derogatory term. From what I know, it came about from the old days of Malacca when the Bendahara Sri Maharaja Tun Mutahir or prime minister was seen as a vain pot. He was accused of plotting against the sultan and his entire family was put to death in 1510, a year before Malacca fell to the Portuguese.

And then there’s Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is of Indian Muslim descent. A fair number of people have called him derogatory names including mamak and mamak kutty. That probably explains the reason why mamak is derogatory for some.

But Dr Mahathir isn’t mamak. His family came from Kerala and they are known as Kakas. Ignorance has resulted in more odium and contempt for the more popular Mamaks rather than the Kakas.

But you want to talk derogatory? Or dirty.

The Indians themselves, and in Malaysia that really means the southern Indians or Tamils, have also described Indian Muslims in less than friendly manner. The term they use is Thulukans, or people of Turkish descent.

There’s a long history there as Islam came by land and sea to India – that sub-continent of princeling states and people divided by language, diet, culture and united by the British (correction, India was united before that so in defence I’ll say, English language).

The Arabs always had relations with India even before Islam but a fair number of Muslims came by land from the northwest and pushed right through to the south. They were of Turkic origins. The seafaring Arabs proselytised among the coastal Indians in the east coast and somewhat in the west coast and their offsprings were just known as Arabs, not Mamak or Kaka.

But among the Indian Muslims, the term Thulukan is friendly and a sign of recognition of brotherhood and family relationships.

What term do Indian Muslims or Mamaks use to put each other down? They call each other ToppiWappa. But it is friendly, not spiteful or derogatory.

Why I’m writing this down? Because I might forget all this one day and also to underline one thing. You can call Mamaks and think it is derogatory but it is a sign of respect. And you know, the Mamaks are there 24 hours to cook delicious fare for you and your family. And there for your cigarettes, condoms and crisps.

So before you think it is bad and not politically correct, just know the Mamak doesn’t quite care. They are a courteous community focussed on family, feasts and finance.

The rest of Malaysia can’t live without them, and know them as the people you go to when in you need food, foreign exchange and friendship.

Get the picture? Oh, and maybe one day I will write about 786.

Source: Facebook Jahabar Sadiq (27th May 2017)

Apa Yang Kita Boleh Belajar Daripada Polisi Perumahan Singapura

Oleh:Tajul Rijal Annuar

Beberapa minggu lepas saya ke Singapura, melawat mak-mak saudara saya yang sakit. Sebenarnya, kesemua adik beradik Mak saya kecuali arwah Mak Long adalah warganegara Singapura. Jadi keluarga saya memang biasa sangat ke sana.

Jadi, hari ni saya nak cerita sikit pasal perumahan di Singapura. Sebenarnya, kita ni ada love-hate relationship dengan Singapura.

Pantang kalau kita dengar negara jiran kita lebih dari kita dan Singapura pun macam itu juga. Hahahah.

Walaupun saya ini nasionalis, lagilah tak berapa minat pemerintahan dinasti Lee, tetapi, ada beberapa perkara kita boleh belajar dari mereka!

Ada sesetengah bab mereka berjaya, dan kita tidak. Jadi, kita perlu belajar.

Satu perkara yang menarik dengan Singapura adalah perumahan awamnya. Kalau di Malaysia, rumah awam ini sinonim sebagai rumah kos rendah yang buruk dan tak terjaga.

Apabila ada kemampuan, tak ada yang mahu duduk di rumah awam. Tapi jika ada peluang, semua mahu memiliki rumah awam kerana harganya yang rendah.

Asas Polisi Perumahan Singapura

Di Singapura, perumahan awam di panggil flat HDB. HDB adalah singkatan kepada Housing Development Board, iaitu sebuah badan pengurusan yang membina dan menguruskan perumahan untuk rakyat Singapura.

Kita perlu tahu di Singapura, 80% penduduknya tinggal di perumahan HDB dan cuma 20% yang tinggal di perumahan persendirian (private housing). Bahasa mudahnya, 80% mereka ini tinggal di rumah awam dan 20% dari mereka tinggal di rumah mahal pemaju swasta.

Menarik, kan? Sedangkan di Malaysia, untuk mendapat rumah di bawah program kerajaan, memang kita tahu, amatlah susah sekali.

Polisi perumahan Singapura ini sebenarnya sudah berjalan lama. Tapi ianya menjadi berjaya ketika zaman mendiang Lee Kuan Yew. Pemerintah Singapura meletakkan polisi perumahan rakyat sebagai perkara utama dalam pemerintahan mereka.

Asas untuk polisi perumahan HDB ini sebagaimana dikatakan mendiang Lee Kuan Yew:

“Saya inginkan masyarakat yang memiliki rumah. Saya sudah melihat perbezaan antara rumah kos rendah yang tidak dijaga dengan baik dengan rumah yang pemiliknya berbangga dengan rumahnya. Dan saya yakin, jika setiap keluarga memiliki rumah, negara kita ini akan stabil dan makmur.”

“Saya melihat pengundi terutama di kawasan bandar menentang kerajaan dan saya yakin sepatutnya penghuni rumah menjadi pemilik rumah, dan jika tidak kita tidak akan mengecap kestabilan politik.”

“Matlamat penting saya antara lainnya adalah untuk memberi ‘ekuiti’ terhadap ibu bapa kepada anak-anak lelaki yang berkhidmat di dalam program Khidmat Negara, untuk mempertahankan Singapura. Jika keluarga askar kita tidak memiliki rumah, dia akan berpendapat bahawa dia hanya berjuang mempertahankan kekayaan orang kaya sahaja. Saya percaya perasaan memiliki ini (pemilikan rumah) adalah asas penting dalam masyarakat baru kita yang tidak ada dalam sejarah yang lain.” (Nota: semua pemuda lelaki Singapura wajib menjalani Khidmat Negara).

Polisi perumahan Singapura ini adalah berteraskan aspek berikut:

1. Perumahan sebagai asas kestabilan
2. Mampu milik kepada semua
3. Sekuriti kewangan dan kecukupan ketika pencen
4. Mencapai aspirasi: kualiti dan kepelbagaian
5. Memupuk sifat kekeluargaan yang kuat dan integrasi sosial

Boleh baca lanjut di sini – LKYSchool of Public Policy.

Secara amnya, polisi perumahan Singapura bukan hanya untuk rakyat miskin tetapi untuk semua rakyat sebagai aspek penting dalam menjaga kestabilan negara.

Jenis-jenis flat HDB dan julat harga

Harga bergantung kepada lokasi dan saiz. Secara ringkas, rumah 3 bilik + 1 stor/ bilik kebal (yup, ada bilik kebal kalau kena bom!) dalam julat harga RM250K- RM400K bergantung kepada lokasi.

Gaji graduan sana sama seperti Malaysia (tidak mengambil faktor tukaran mata wang), bermula dari lingkungan SGD2500.

Dan kalau ikut gaji setempat dibandingkan dengan harga rumah mereka, memang sangat mampu untuk beli terutamanya bila kelayakan pembelian lebih diutamakan kepada pasangan berkahwin.

Atas sebab itulah saya pelik bagaimana sepupu saya muda-muda lagi boleh beli rumah.

Konsep Pembinaan Flat HDB

Singapura kan ciput je, sudah tentulah mereka tidak mampu sediakan rumah bertanah. Jadi, flat HDB mereka adalah rumah apartmen.

Biasanya flat HDB didirikan sebagai komuniti satelit yang dibina lengkap dengan kemudahan asas.

Dalam satu komuniti flat HDB, akan turut disediakan sekolah, kemudahan sukan dan riadah, kedai runcit, pusat ibadat , medan selera dan lain-lain kemudahan.

Di setiap apartmen, aras paling bawah dipanggil void space. Ianya adalah ruang komuniti. Tidak ada rumah di aras bawah.

Kalau di sana , saudara mara saya panggil tempat itu kolong. Kolong ini sengaja dibina sebagai ruang untuk komuniti berintegrasi. Ianya boleh diguna dengan izin oleh penduduk sama ada untuk tujuan perkahwinan, kematian dan keramaian.

Di sini saya bawakan gambar flat HDB yang ada.

Apa yang saya faham mengenai polisi perumahan Singapura

Setiap keluarga hanya boleh beli satu sahaja flat HDB.

Satu keluarga hanya boleh memiliki SATU SAHAJA rumah HDB. Tak boleh lebih. Nak beli rumah lain boleh? Boleh beli rumah persendirian iaitu rumah swasta.

Ada had pendapatan untuk pembelian HDB flat?

Ada. Rujuk gambar.

Ada keutamaan kepada golongan tertentu?

Ada. Keutamaan diberikan kepada mereka yang sudah berkahwin dan belum mempunyai rumah lagi.

Selain daripada itu ada banyak lagi sebab anda diberikan keutamaan dan bukan hanya disebabkan pendapatan sahaja.

Tetapi atas sebab keadaan keluarga. Ianya lebih memberikan fokus kepada keadaan keluarga pembeli. Boleh rujuk gambar.

Apa kelayakan am untuk beli rumah HDB?

Rujuk gambar. Secara am, sama sahaja macam rumah di bawah skim kerajaan.

Insentif kerajaan Singapura memudahkan pembelian rumah

Macam Malaysia mereka boleh keluarkan sebahagian CPF (di Malaysia, EPF) untuk membeli rumah. Selain itu ada beberapa diskaun lagi diberi bergantung pada pakej.

Nak tahu lanjut, boleh baca di http://www.hdb.gov.sg/

Sebenarnya, apa yang dibuat oleh kerajaan Singapura adalah menekankan aspek pemilikan rumah. Bagi mereka, terutama parti pemerintah, mereka boleh kalah pilihanraya jika rakyat marah tentang isu pemilikan rumah.

Polisi pemilikan rumah mereka menjaga hak rakyat untuk memilik rumah dan kerajaan sendiri yang mengawal harga rumah.

Apa yang baik daripada polisi ini?

1. Kawalan harga rumah

Rumah HDB dikawal kerajaan. Harganya terkawal. 80% penduduk Singapura tinggal di perumahan HDB.

2. Kawalan pemilikan rumah

Setiap keluarga cuma boleh ada satu sahaja rumah. Jika nak lebih beli dari pemaju swasta yang harganya mahal dan rumahnya mewah. Jadi tak timbul isu rumah dibeli oleh pelabur secara berjemaah dan menzalimi rakyat marhaeeeeeeeeennnnnn (saja tulis macam ni.)

3. Integrasi rakyat

Antara tujuan asas polisi HDB dirangka adalah untuk membina integrasi. Maksudnya dalam satu komuniti, peratusan penduduk mengikut etnik dikawal supaya setiap kaum bercampur dan seimbang. Sebenarnya, kalau dilihat dari sudut lain, ianya juga adalah cara untuk mengawal pengundi.

4. Kemudahan yang sempurna.

Flat HDB dibina mengikut konsep komuniti satelit. Maksudnya dalam satu komuniti HDB mesti lengkap segala kemudahan asas agar tidak sesak dan serabut.

Macam saya cakap tadi, rumah HDB bukan untuk orang miskin sahaja. Tujuannya untuk memberikan perumahan sempurna mampu milik kepada setiap rakyat. Sebagai contoh, rumah sepupu saya kalau di Malaysia adalah setaraf kondo! Lengkap dengan kemudahan setempat dan workmanship yang baik!

5. Menjaga aspek sosial

Salah satu aspek polisi HDB sebenarnya adalah untuk menjaga aspek sosial masyarakat. Contohnya skim 3 generasi adalah khas untuk keluarga yang ada atuk-nenek, ibu ayah dan cucu tinggal serumah.

Rumah HDB jenis ini diberi 2 buah bilik tidur utama dan bersaiz lebih besar. Kenapa? Kerana tujuannya supaya anak-anak menjaga mak ayah mereka!

Perkara Lain Yang Tidak Diambil Kira Tetapi Sangat Penting

1. Singapura ciput je saiz dia.

Ini hujah biasa. Sudah tentu Malaysia lebih besar. Singapura ini lebih sikit je dari Melaka. Sudah tentu Singapura ini ibarat bandar sahaja. Bukannya negara yang besar pun dah lebih mudah untuk membangunkan negara yang bersaiz kecil.

2. Rakyat Singapura tak ramai

Malaysia 30 juta orang bhai. Singapura dalam 5 juta lebih je.

3. GST mereka mahal. Cukai mahal.

Tak silap GST 7%. Tetapi GST mereka banyak dapat balik.

4. Banyak gile nak kena bayar. Macam-macam bayaran ada.

Tempat letak kereta di rumah sendiri pun pakai kupon parking derr.

5. Sistem pengangkutan yang bagus

Sistem pengangkutan punya superb tak payah ada kereta. Jadi tak perlu pun guna gaji guna kereta dan boleh ada simpanan lebih untuk beli rumah.

Dan banyak lagi hujah-hujah lain kita boleh hamburkan.

Apa Malaysia Boleh Belajar

Sekarang ini, masalah perumahan mampu milik betul-betul menghantui rakyat bandar. Rakyat di kampung mungkin kurang terasa sedikit.
Tetapi mereka yang duduk di bandar sangat terasa.

Bukan nak kata apa kerajaan buat sekarang tak baik. Tapi boleh diperbaiki lagi.

Harga rumah di kawasan bandar besar contohnya di Lembah Kelang kadang-kadang tak masuk akal!

Betul, kerajaan ada buat rumah-rumah skim kerajaan seperti PR1MA dan lain-lain. Tetapi jumlah yang ada adalah sedikit berbanding permintaan yang ada. Tanah pula harganya mahal dan ada tanah-tanah yang dimiliki agensi kerajaan dijual kepada pemaju untuk dimajukan.

Di Singapura, Akta Pengambilan Tanah diperkenalkan di mana kerajaan berhak mengambil tanah kerajaan yang ada untuk dimajukan menjadi rumah HDB. Jadi tanah yang ada adalah murah maka mereka boleh menjual kepada rakyat dengan harga lebih murah daripada pasaran!

Tapi, apa pun, kerajaan pun janganlah ingat mereka ni pemaju perumahan. Mengira pada jumlah untung.

Keuntungan itu wajib ada tapi untuk biaya pengurusan. Bukan mengambil langkah seperti pemaju swasta pula. Itulah sebab orang tengok tak ada beza pun harga rumah PR1MA dengan rumah pemaju swasta.

Jadi, cadangannya adalah.

1. Agensi kerajaan yang memiliki tanah yang luas dilarang menjual tanah tersebut kepada pemaju swasta.

Tak kisahlah mana-mana agensi, Baitulmal ke, Zakat ke, Polis ke, atau lain-lain, ada yang memiliki tanah dan kadang-kadang di kawasan-kawasan utama.

Dari segi keuntungan, amatlah berbaloi untuk diberikan kepada swasta. Dan kenapa harga rumah mahal adalah kerana tanah itu mahal.

Tetapi jika agensi kerajaan mahu jualkan pun, perlu ditukarkan dengan nilai sama rata di kawasan penempatan utama. Boleh dapat tanah yang luas dan lebih banyak rumah boleh dibina.

Apabila tanah dapat diperolehi pada harga lebih murah, maka lebih banyak rumah dapat dibina pada harga berpatutan.

Tanah-tanah itu tadi perlu diletakkan di bawah kawal selia Kementerian Perumahan dan dibangunkan oleh SPNB sahaja.

Kesemua bank-bank tanah disatukan dan diletakkan di bawah satu badan. Contohnya, tanah milik Zakat, atau MARA, wajib diletakkan di bawah seliaan Kementerian Perumahan.

2. Kawalan ketat terhadap permohonan rumah kerajaan.

Berikan keutamaan kepada mereka yang sudah berkahwin dan mempunyai anak untuk memiliki rumah. Sebuah keluarga tidak boleh memiliki lebih daripa sebuah rumah kerajaan.

Wujudkan jabatan audit khas untuk memantau pemilikan tanah kerajaan dan pembinaan serta pemilikan rumah kerajaan.

Audit wajib ada supaya ketelusan dalam pengurusan dapat dijamin.

Tidaklah nanti berbunyi pengarah ini ada rumah sekian-sekian banyak padahal tidak layak pun. Orang sebegitu sewajarnya diikat masuk guni dan di campak ke dalam Sungai Kelang je.

3. Untuk meminimumkan kos, boleh laksanakan skim built-to-order.

Sebenarnya sekarang pun sudah ada.

Tetapi mungkin boleh ditambah baik di mana unit-unit rumah dijual dahulu sehingga 70%-80% sebelum mula dibina.

Maka kos permulaan untuk kerajaan keluarkan menjadi kurang kerana sudah dibiayai oleh bank. Aspek teknikalnya boleh dibincang dengan orang lebih pakar.

4. Mudahkan proses pembelian dan pinjaman.

Mudahkan pembelian dan tidak seketat bank. Mudahkan juga pada bahagian bayaran muka dan sebagainya.

Selain daripada langkah-langkah ini banyak lagi cadangan lain boleh dibuat contohnya, perbanyakkan rumah di kawasan yang mempunyai jaringan pengangkutan supaya pembeli tidak perlu memiliki kereta.


Ini apa yang saya lihat dan baca serta kaji. Sudah tentu keadaan di Malaysia tidak sama berbanding Singapura.

Sudah tentu kita boleh mengatakan rakyat Malaysia bukan hanya di bandar sahaja. Betul. Saya tidak naïf. Tetapi banyak penambahbaikan yang boleh dibuat jika kita melihat aspek yang boleh digunapakai di sana.

Saya fikir, jika kerajaan sendiri melalui agensi-agensi yang bernaung di bawahnya serta melalui polisi serta akta yang di kawal ketat, rumah mampu milik yang selesa boleh disediakan kepada rakyat dalam jumlah yang sesuai, dan akhirnya, saya yakin, harga pasaran hartanah juga akan jatuh.

Apabila 40%-50% rumah di Lembah Klang adalah daripada projek kerajaan, dengan harga yang mampu milik, sudah pasti permintaan kepada projek perumahan swasta yang tak masuk akal harganya akan terganggu. Ini akan memaksa pemaju untuk bersaing pula dengan harga yang ditawarkan kerajaan.

Dan jika mereka tidak bersaing pun, mereka boleh saja terus membina rumah pada harga mewah kerana segmen pasaran mereka adalah untuk golongan tersebut, tanpa menjejaskan pun permintaan rumah mampu milik oleh rakyat yang lain.

Semoga tulisan saya yang panjang ini memberi impak dan kebaikan untuk Malaysia.

Source: TheVoket (26th April 2017)