SPLENDID LEARNING EXPERIENCE WITH A TOUCH OF RUSSIAN CULTURE

SPLENDID LEARNING EXPERIENCE WITH A TOUCH OF RUSSIAN CULTURE

Asia Pacific University’s International Relations Students Conduct Diplomatic Mission Visit to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Malaysia

Despite their differences in nationalities and cultural backgrounds, 30 students from 15 nations under the BA (Hons) International Relations programme at Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) came together for an out-of-classroom learning trip to the Russian Centre for Science and Culture, under the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Malaysia.

The multicultural visiting group comprised students from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kashmir, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia, Seychelles, Somali Land, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates and Zambia.

Alexander V. Antipov, First Secretary conducted a guest lecture for APU’s International Relations students on Russian foreign policies and the nation’s efforts in promoting Sustainable Development Goals.

Alexander V. Antipov, First Secretary and Maxim A. Salnikov, Second Secretary, Press-Attaché at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Malaysia conducted a 45-minute guest lecture that exposed the students towards Russia’s foreign policy on preserving national security, as well as the roles of Russia in Sustainable Development Goals in promoting world peace and a secure global environment.

Questions related to Russia’s interest in foreign policies as well as issues in world politics were among the topics that were actively discussed amongst the students together with the officials from the Russian Embassy.

Rizwan Rafi Togoo, Final Year Student of the BA (Hons) International Relations programme, who appreciated the learning experience, expressed,

“The diplomats at the Embassy were highly interactive; they were helpful in answering to our queries, and it was a great experience as they encouraged us to try on the Russian attire during our visit too – this is a memorable moment that I may not have experienced if I did not participate in this visit!”

Apart from having the opportunity to interact with the Russian diplomats directly, Togoo was also one of the 30 students who had the first-hand experience trying on traditional Russian folk costumes and reading about ornate religious and cultural symbols during the visit.

During their visit, the students from different cultural backgrounds had the opportunity to try on traditional Russian folk costumes as well. (second from left: Alexander V. Antipov, First Secretary, second from right: and Maxim A. Salnikov, Second Secretary, Press-Attaché)

This visit was one of the 5 to 6 visits scheduled by APU’s School of Marketing and Media to encourage the development of International Relations students’ knowledge towards cultural environments and world affairs in the era of globalization.

“At all the visits organised for our students, we always stress on the importance of global cultural awareness – through interaction with diplomats and their peers with different ideologies, we are pleased to see their horizon of thinking being broadened and this gives them an edge as future international relations advocates,”

said Dr. Devinder Kaur, Head of School of Marketing and Media, APU.

Apart from traditional costumes, students who visited the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Malaysia also had the opportunities to admire Russian traditional art pieces, souvenirs and ornaments

New Zealand Education Fair in Petaling Jaya

New Zealand Education Fair in Petaling Jaya

Malaysia, 18 July 2018: The number of Malaysian students choosing to enroll in New Zealand’s world-class institutions continues to surge, according to the latest data from Education New Zealand (ENZ). There were over 2,000 Malaysian students in New Zealand at the end of 2017 and the latest figures from ENZ show that as of June this year, there has been a 21 per cent rise in the number of first-time student visas from Malaysia compared to the same period last year. New Zealand’s eight universities, all ranked within the top three per cent worldwide by the QS World University Rankings, have driven much of the recent growth with the sector enjoying a 33 per cent increase in first-time student visas for the first half of 2018, compared to the same period last year. The Malaysian students have also been attracted to the unique education system in New Zealand that provides a wide variety of well-designed courses and programs. Beyond the curriculum, international students studying at a certain level are entitled to work part-time during the semester and up to 40 hours per week during term breaks. John Laxon, ENZ’s Regional Director for South, South East Asia & Middle East, said that Malaysia is one of ENZ’s key markets in the region with a long history of co-operation between the two countries.

“It is extremely encouraging to see more Malaysian students choosing to study in New Zealand. Malaysian students and parents recognize that New Zealand not only offers a world-class education experience, but also global industry connections that truly future-proof students’ careers. From New Zealand’s innovative teaching approaches to internationally recognized qualifications, students can expect a bright future and career after graduating from a New Zealand institution.”

New Zealand has been recognized as having the world’s best education system by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2017 Educating for the Future Index. The Educating for the Future Index ranked New Zealand as the best education system overall, earning full marks for the curriculum framework for future skills, collaboration between education providers and industry, and cultural diversity and tolerance among other measures. Over the years, many initiatives have been launched to provide more opportunities for Malaysian students to study in New Zealand. This includes the FCertNZ Foundation Programme launched last year which allows for Malaysian students keen on pursuing their education in New Zealand to complete their foundation year at the KYS Business School in Melaka. They then complete the rest of their undergraduate degree at their university of choice in New Zealand. Other programmes like the New Zealand ASEAN Scholar Awards (NZAS) have also allowed Malaysian students to study in New Zealand and experience the diverse and innovative education system. Students and parents interested in learning about the world-class education opportunities in New Zealand are invited to visit the ENZ Fair in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 4 August 2018. More information can be found here.

About Education New Zealand

Education New Zealand (ENZ) is New Zealand’s government agency for international education. ENZ works to grow awareness of New Zealand as a study destination and to support New Zealand education providers and businesses to take their services and products abroad.

For more information contact: Rachel Loo Email: [email protected] Mobile: +65 9362 9355 DID: +65 6239 4104

 

studyinnewzealand.com     enz.govt.nz

Polyglots

Polyglots

It baffles me that in this day and age, we still have Malaysians who are not able to communicate in Malay.

What I find more bizarre is the fact that there are Malaysians who only speak one language. No, I am not talking about some Pak Cik in Gua Musang, Ah Soh in Junjung, Akka in Sungai Siput or Inek in Kapit. I’m talking about Channel carrying, iPhone using, and Levi’s wearing youngsters, who dwell from the urban area. How is it possible in this day and age, you are still unable to converse in Bahasa Melayu and English?

On average, a child receives 11 years (discounting the school dropouts) of education and yet, in these 11 years, they still can’t converse in Malay and English, to make matters worst some can’t even read! I don’t know how many times I snapped at the kids who come to the cafe for not being able to pronounce simple words like “Freeze”, “Fizz”, and “Grilled”.

To be completely frank, I always encounter this problem with Malay and Chinese kids, very rarely with Indian kids (and by kids, I mean adolescent). There was once, a Chinese girl was pestering her friend to place the order for her because she said that she can’t speak Malay. I almost lost it and asked the girl in Mandarin “What have you been doing in school?”, which came as a shock to them because they didn’t expect me to be able to speak in Mandarin.

I am a by-product of a vernacular school – SRJK (C) Kuang Hwa, Kuantan; most of my childhood friends are Chinese, but I dare say that all of them are able to hold a conversation in Malay and English even before we became friends. One of them, Kerwin even used to call my house and give “Salam” and burst out laughing when I answer his “Salam” because I thought it was some other Malay person on the other end of the phone. He speaks impeccable Malay, even until today.

Another good friend of mine, Fei who also went to Chinese school, and speaks very good Malay, in fact, her Malay has Sabah accent. You can really hear her Sabah accent especially when she’s angry. May not only speaks Malay, she also speaks Kelantanese Malay, and she’s not even from Kelantan – she’s a born and bred Taman Tun girl. Susan (a Selangor born, Kedah bred Malayalee girl who “believes” that she’s actually of African French descent) will go all Aloq Staq on your butt if you ever cross her, not only she speaks perfect Malay, she’s also one of the best Gamelan players I know, and a damn good Malay Gendang player to boot.

But then, on the other hand, you have the English speaking group who thinks that the Malay language is just not quite up to their standard. These are the people who will come up with statements like “Oh, I didn’t expect that you have such beautiful culture/art/literature in Malay”, “Oh, that sounds lovely, but I don’t read or speak in Malay”. Mind you, these people were not born in Buckingham Palace, most likely they are from Lucky Garden Bangsar, or Section 2 PJ. They did not grow up having tea with the Duke of Edinburgh, they grew up drinking Teh Tarik from Mahbub and Cow’s Milk Bru Coffee from Sunraj. Even with non-crispy chicken rendang and nasi lemak diet, Bahasa Melayu is still not their cup of tea.

Then you have the Malay kids who ONLY speak Malay, but it’s not really Malay, because of the ridiculous way they speak and spell the words. If you look at their phone messages, you’ll see words like “aq” for Aku, “Korunkz” for Kau orang and few other examples that I can’t bring myself to type out. They don’t think that English or any other language for that matter is important. They don’t read, they don’t write, they don’t contribute to anything except for being obsessed with their hand flapping, seizure-like dance that they call Rave.

You also have the group of Malays who think that everyone should just speak Malay and Malay only because it is Bahasa Kebangsaan, and if you are unable to speak Malay, you should pack up your bags and move to wherever you ancestors come from. Little that they realise that the Malay language that we use now, beautiful as it is, is a language that went through evolution and adopted an influx of words from other culture that came in contact with the Malay civilisation, for example, the Indians, Chinese, Persians, Arabs and even Portuguese.

They also somehow have forgotten that the most famous arch-character in the Malay literature, Hang Tuah – The Ultimate Malay, is a polyglot. According to his Hikayat, Hang Tuah spoke at least 12 languages; Tamil, Mandarin, Siamese and Arabic being among it. Even the legendary and somewhat mystical Puteri Saadong and her adopted mother Che Siti Wan Kembang, through Ibnu Battuta’s travel log – we learned – that they were excellent horseback riders, masters in the art of silat and archery, and also polyglots who speaks Malay, Siamese, Persian, and Arabic, and on top of that they were drop dead beauties! Parameswara, Tun Perak, heck even the late Tunku Abdul Rahman were all polyglots.

So, what is the excuse of the modern-day Malays for not being polyglots?

Isn’t it sad that we’ve been calling ourselves Malaysian since 1963, but yet we still don’t have a good command of the Malay Language – even though it is the official language of the federation, a language that should be our unifier? Isn’t it sad that we’ve been calling ourselves Malaysian since 1963, yet we still can’t communicate in English, Mandarin, or Tamil properly, let alone speak in the languages of our Borneo siblings?

The irony of me writing about us speaking more Malay in English didn’t escape me, but I made a conscious decision to write this in English so that the Ultra-Malay camp doesn’t use this as yet another ammo for them to stir up some racial issue. Also, let’s face it, how many English speaking Malaysians really ever take the time to read through anything that is written in Malay.

There’s nothing wrong wanting to speak in your own mother tongue, but shouldn’t our first language be Bahasa Melayu? English, Mandarin, Tamil, Iban, Kadazan can all come second or third or fourth. No one is forcing us to abandon our mother tongue. Let’s take out the politics from this language issue and work towards a Malaysia that uses Bahasa Melayu as our first language. Plus, there’s a whole bunch of research that shows the benefits of being able to speak in multiple languages.

So, with all this new found spirit of patriotism, why don’t we all try and be better Malaysian, by learning Bahasa Melayu, and for those whose Bahasa Melayu is their first language, improve your English then try to learn Tamil or Mandarin or Iban or Malayalam or Kadazan or Telegu or Kenyah or Arabic. Let the new government sort out all the mess and the corruption left by the previous administration. We’ve done our part in changing the government, now let’s focus on ourselves and improve what we can. Let’s not just claim to be Malaysian if you don’t even have the will to learn Her language.

The great Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

So, let us all try to be polyglots, let us be that group of people where everyone can speak everyone’s languages. Let us be a country that celebrates our differences but still answer to our Mother in one language. After all, we the people are the heart of this country, let’s make Her proud of us, shall we?

Aiyo kadavule, nak suruh belajar to speak multiple languages also very ma-fan ah?

HELP University is Now Offering Full Scholarship to the Top MCKL Student!

HELP University is Now Offering Full Scholarship to the Top MCKL Student!

MCKL and HELP University recently signed a joint agreement in which HELP University will be offering bursaries and scholarships exclusively to MCKL students who have completed their pre-university studies and are planning to further their studies at HELP University in 2018.

This joint agreement includes one full scholarship for one MCKL student who achieved top grades in their A Level or AUSMAT.

Additionally, all MCKL students will automatically receive bursaries up to 30% off their tuition fees for the first academic year of studies.

Established since 1983, MCKL’s mission is to nurture a community where excellence in all its forms is celebrated; where individuals come alive to their God-given abilities and make a unique difference in the world. MCKL believes in the potential of all students to rise to their calling as stewards of God’s creation, and in nurturing them to their utmost potential.

MCKL offers pre-university programmes such as Cambridge A Level and Australian Matriculation, diploma programmes in Early Childhood Education and Social Work, the American Degree Transfer Program, and professional CAT and ACCA courses.

For more information on the courses and scholarships offered at MCKL,
please call 03-2274 1851 or visit the website.