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Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Edu MINIster:CyberCafe Stalker

Our new Lower Education MINIster, one Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, turned CyberCafe Stalker aka Enforcement officer recently. He was reported by Bernama and said to have turned up incognito at a cybercafe in Taman Shamelin Perkasa. Not being recognised by the patrons and the cybercafe operator, he was able to observe proceedings and managed to identify 3* [Star report says 2, so who is not good at counting] underaged computer gamers. He managed to identify them as primary school students by their uniforms. But the 3 students were unable to identify the MINIster and carried on gaming. It looks like the MINIster's spin doctors have plenty of work cut out for them, like ensuring their boss is featured as prominently as the Higher Education MINIster by the media, the latter recently was hogging the newsmedia with his involvement and pronouncements on the 128 previously unplaced, now placed perfect-scored STPM-soon-to-be medical students.

The cybercafe operator, unable to recognise the MINIster for who he is, was reported by an observer who was present at the proceedings, as having replied to the MINIster that he was not sure how the 3 uniformed primary school students gain entry into his premises. It was further reported by the observer that the operator when approached was overheard asking :: "Lei hai ping wai ah? Oi kau game mou?" {loosely translated : Who are you, ah please? Wanna play game?]. The operator was shocked when told who the MINIster was.

At the press conference following his unscheduled cybercafe visitation, the MINIster had the following to say, the Star reports ::
He added that he would not hesitate to conduct more spot checks on cybercafés to ensure that schoolchildren in uniform stopped frequenting such places.
“I want to give cybercafé operators this warning – follow the law or the appropriate action will be taken. I have already reported Monday’s case to Kuala Lumpur City Hall,” he said.
[Now it does look like tthe MINIster must be very free and is taking over the duties of City Hall enforcers too, this is the problem when the nation has what is described as a 'streamlined Cabinet which is even bigger than India's'. Apart from issuing wanings to cybercafe operators, what other duties of City Hall will the MINIster be assuming.]

Our too-free MINIster also has some good advice to give to errant parents ::
Hishammuddin also advised parents to make an effort to know where their children were and what they were up to.
“Sometimes we are so caught up with our lives that we do not know what our children are up to. It is unfair for parents to point fingers at my teachers and the police when they themselves sometimes do not fulfil their responsibility.[One just can't expect City hall, the teachers and polis to have all the responsibilties, parents do have their paramount responsibilities too. They just gotta know where their children are heading to after getting them into their school uniforms.]

All said, this incognito stalking by the MINIster may have been a ruse by his spin doctors for the MINIster to make the news and show how caring and responsible a MINIster he truly is.

Back to more familiar grounds, that of the much past completion date computer lab scandal[this was first exposed in July, 2003], the MINIster said that the completion of the labs will be temporarily stalled as the cost has gone up together with the price of steel. He said that the initial sum of RM7mil was not enough to complete the job and another RM12 mil are needed, this fund is awaiting approval by the Finance MINIstry. Once approved the Jasa Kapada Rakyat department would be given 3 months to complete the long drawn out project.


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