Category Archives: The Malaysian Insider

I never took the UPSR and I turned out just fine



I never took the UPSR and I turned out just fine
By Zan Azlee

When I was growing up, there was never any stress put on me to perform well in my exams by my parents, or anyone else for that matter.

Education and the process of learning were important and that was always instilled and drilled into my brothers and me, but exam results were never a priority.

I remember my parents going to my school on report card day and my father asking the teacher, “forget about the lessons, how does he interact with his classmates and teachers?”

Of course, they always congratulated me when I achieved good results, but they never dwelled on it if I ever didn’t do as well. And this was in primary school.
Then, in secondary school, when two major exams, the PMR and SPM, were happening, my father even made us go out and watch movies or go bowling as the exams got nearer.

The lesson my father wanted to teach my brothers and me is that exams are not important because all it does is test you for what you remember (as far as Malaysian exams go).

What is important is the fact that we actually go through the learning process sincerely and enjoy the experience and that we feel enriched because of it.

When you learn and study just because you want to get good exam results, then you have gone astray somewhere along the way.

Today, it makes me sad to see how even at the lowest level of all national examinations, the UPSR, can experience a leak and now pupils have to resit several papers. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]



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There is no real journalists’ code of ethics



There is no real journalists’ code of ethics
By Zan Azlee

Journalists’ code of ethics is something hot on many people’s lips these days because of the recent incident where a newspaper photographer was punched at a funeral service.

He was taking pictures at the funeral of a victim of the MH17 tragedy when he was assaulted by a family member. He suffered a cut nose and a damaged camera.

When news of the incident first surfaced, many people were on the photographer’s side, claiming that he was just doing his job and he became a victim of assault.

He made a police report and the media also reported it like it was. Even journalist associations started condemning the act, calling for action to be taken against the assailant.

Then the other side of the story started emerging, as it always does. Apparently, the photographer (and other journalists there) was not respecting the grieving family’s privacy.

Now, I don’t really know the exact details since I wasn’t there, neither have I spoken to the photographer, the family members or anyone at the scene.

But here’s my two cents’ worth of what I think about the journalists’ code of ethics. There is no fixed code of ethics practised by journalists. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Is it God’s calamity?



Is it God’s calamity?
By Zan Azlee

Many many years ago, when the huge tsunami struck Aceh, Penang, Kedah, Phuket, Sri Lanka and many other areas in the vicinity, something shocking came to light.

Many Muslims I knew started saying that the reason such a calamity happened was because God was angry at the sins of the people and so this was his punishment.

How can anybody think that God would commit such cruelty when all we ever learn in Islam is the fact that God is the all-merciful and that he will never forsake you?

I criticised it among my friends and family but then just decided to let it go since these Muslims weren’t really in any positions of authority and hence could be influential in society.

Then, two days ago, someone in a position of authority and could be influential in society said something that shocked me even more.

The deputy mufti of Perak, Zamri Hashim, stated that Malaysia Airlines had apparently angered God so much that all that has happened is God’s wrath.

According to the deputy mufti, the fact that the airlines serves alcohol in it’s flights and that the cabin crew dresses indecently, has exposed them to God’s wrath.

Firstly, I think it is nothing short of a miracle that the deputy mufti has such a clear telepathic link to God’s intentions. He must be an extremely enlightened person. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]



Who is the menteri besar of Selangor?


Who is the menteri besar of Selangor?
By Zan Azlee

“So have you heard that the Selangor menteri besar was recently sacked from his party?” I asked.

“Of course,” replied the young man.

“So what do you think about it?”

“Well, we need to look at the pros and cons. There must have been some good things he has done as the menteri besar.”
“What are the good things?”

“The development in the state has been good. It wouldn’t be the way it is now if it weren’t for him.”

“Oh, I see. Do you happen to know who the menteri besar is?”

“Khir Toyo, of course.”

And that had to be one of the most interesting conversations I had while shooting a vox pop interview video regarding the Selangor menteri besar debacle recently.

As most people would know (and I am saying this in a very broad assumption kind of way!), the menteri besar was sacked by PKR and is currently governing the state as an independent.

Going to the streets to find out what the people think was something that my brother, Aizyl Azlee, and I wanted to do because we thought it would be interesting to hear them speak.

We did expect a little bit of a lack of detailed understanding by the people. But we definitely didn’t expect there to be people who didn’t even know who the menteri besar was.

Out of a handful of people whom we interviewed, only about one little pinky finger of them actually knew anything about the big state debacle.

A few of them admitted that they have no idea what is going on in the local political scene. That’s quite all right for us. At least they didn’t pretend to know.

What was amusing to us was the fact that more people would rather pretend to know something and just ramble on in the conversation talking nonsense.

As of today, no significant development has been made regarding the issue. The menteri besar has the backing of the Sultan of Selangor but no one else. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Instead of becoming a superhero, I got dengue


Instead of becoming a superhero, I got dengue
By Zan Azlee

I always imagined it would be like the movies. A guy ventures somewhere and gets bitten by an insect and he falls sick for a day.

He wakes up the next day and feeling terrific. He looks in the mirror and his scrawny body has become all athletic and muscular.

He suddenly finds himself with superhuman strength and abilities that matches the insect that had bitten him and caused him to get sick.

He becomes a superhero.

What happened to me was slightly different. I was bitten by an insect – mosquito to be exact. And I was sick for a day.

But instead of waking up feeling terrific the next day with superhuman mosquito strength, I just continued to be sick.

I had an extremely high fever for two days, vomiting and body aches. It’s been a week now and I’ve been in hospital for three days.

Instead of becoming a superhero, I ended up a dengue statistic. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]