Raveentheran Suntheralingam
Raveentheran Suntheralingam
"#MajuWangsaMajuku"
1. Address the gap between what is needed and what is produced by re-assessing the suitability and effectiveness of the leadership of the current Ministry of Education. Re-align the national education strategy under the guidance of the Director General and non-political top Malaysian academics including those residing overseas. Introduce a planning and audit process led by these top academics that work closely with an implementation and review team.
2. De-emphasize the importance of examinations and make education fun by attributing scores to 30% by examination, 40% to class team work and 30% to individual work. Introduce students to Internet based virtual education based on tools like Zoom and Google Classroom. English and Malay should be mandatory, and all students should be exposed to other major Malaysian languages for inter-cultural appreciation. I can support the introduction of Jawi but only for pre-1950 Malay non-religious literature. Religious education should be done privately and outside the confines of the Government school system. Spiritual education development should be a personal choice and decoupled from the public education system.
3. Introduce teacher remuneration based on meritocracy to encourage quality teachers to join and remain in the Ministry of Education. Technology can be used to train and assess the performance of teachers by qualified assessors that are able to observe lessons online.
4. Increase the budget allocation for education. Singapore invested SGD 13 billion in 2018 in an effort to attract the best academics in the world and utilized state of the art teaching equipment. In contrast, Malaysia only allocated RM 3.9 billion in 2020.
5. Focus primary education on developing comprehension, thinking skills and the ability to express clearly and effectively. I am inclined to reduce the number of subjects taught and focus instead on in-depth learning of multiple languages, mathematics, logical thinking skills, computer skills (which requires hardware and software enablement) and creative arts. Computer skilling requires hardware and software enablement that must be led by a task force to address connectivity issues.
6. Expand the syllabus for secondary science and mathematics closer to the depth of Singapore and provide options to teach in the language of choice of the student which can be either English or Malay. Introduce a full 5 day per week schooling with 50% time on classroom activities and other 50% on outdoor and vocational activity. Replace History with Geography as part of the upper secondary syllabus. Maintain UEC and vernacular schools if they continue to produce quality students.
7. Emphasize creating quality graduates instead of focusing on churning out masses of graduates that are not employable. This means that only the smartest students obtain university entrance. This will also require realignment of the near-term education system to balance out academic education with vocational training, for example, where university graduates comprise 20% of the new workforce with certificate level graduates making up the remaining 80%. The implication of this realignment is that fewer universities and lecturers are needed thus allowing higher remuneration for quality lecturers and higher investment in university facilities. Note that there is still a huge demand for certificate level graduates and this will translate to less dependence on hiring foreigners. Career progression can be made possible through industry led ‘upskilling’ programs.
8. Introduce a policy that prohibits political appointment of Vice Chancellors. Only academics with indisputable track record and internationally recognized scholastic achievements should be appointed as Vice-Chancellors.
1. Introduce anti-hopping laws which disqualify Members of Parliament or State Assemblymen that switch political parties’ mid-stream. However, my position is that this law should not apply to re-alignment of parties into new coalitions in an effort to push the nation forward and maintain a healthy democracy.
2. Introduce laws to prohibit Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen from holding any positions in Government Linked or Government Owned companies as well as Directorships in private companies. However, I would be inclined to encourage elected representatives to be involved in community based non-profit organizations that serve the underprivileged. Elected representatives must understand that their only purpose is to introduce, amend and delete laws and also represent the interests of their constituents.
3. Introduce more severe penalties including life imprisonment for money politics and vote buying as well as mandatory public declaration of assets and tax submissions for the previous 5 years for all candidates and incumbents.
1. Establish a non-partisan multi-ethnic and multi-religious parliamentary select committee that critically defines extremism with the intent of coming up with guidelines on conduct and ideologies not acceptable to Malaysia’s pluralistic population.
2. Discontinue the current format of Biro Tata Negara and introduce social integration programs through national media and community based initiatives spearheaded by the Government that promotes appreciation of Malaysia’s pluralistic population with emphasis on multi-culturalism and national pride.
3. Introduce hate speech laws that impose severe penalties on the propagation of speech and ideologies that aim to divide Malaysians along the lines of race and religion. However, this law should not intrude into defining benchmarks for core religious beliefs that contradict, for example Christianity’s affirmation that Jesus is the Son of God, and Islam’s denial of this affirmation, Hinduism’s polytheistic beliefs versus monotheistic beliefs of Abrahamic faiths etc. Strictly enforce freedom to practice religion of one’s choosing.
4. Create interest and love in arts, culture and heritage unique to Malaysia with the intention of unifying the nation and strengthening race relations.
1. Introduce mandatory open tendering processes for all Government related projects above a preset value except for projects that are bound by contractual agreements and uniqueness of vendor or service provider. Consider enhancing the tender evaluation process by the appointment of external assessors which includes private sector experts to provide inputs on technical and commercial feasibility. Adopt the Concept Request for Proposal method for large projects that allows the Government to select the most appropriate combination of contractors.
2. Introduce laws that prohibit any individual linked to a political party from being involved in any aspect of the tendering process as well as severe penalties to officers from City Councils, Ministries, Enforcement Agencies etc that fail to promptly enforce any gazetted by-laws, for example Housing Act.
3. Decouple MACC from political interference and establish a non-partisan Select Committee to ensure that unwarranted selective prosecution of opposition politicians does not happen.
4. Introduce an Oversight Committee comprising NGOs that assist refugees and migrant workers to address the issue of corruption by Immigration and the Police in relation to syndicates that illegally bring in foreign workers and their subsequent exploitation.
1. Allow full freedom of press and abolish the Official Secrets Act (OSA) on all areas other than national defense and introduce an oversight body to ensure there is no abuse of SOSMA and POTA. All detainees of SOSMA and POTA must be brought forward to a Judge within 7 days of the start of detention. Enforcement agencies are not to exercise torture or coercion techniques in efforts to extract confessions.
2. Establish a Parliamentary Select Committee to address the issue of deaths in custody and engage the participation of NGOs as active observers in all prisons and detention centers including holding areas for illegal immigrants.
3. Introduce an Oversight Committee comprising NGOs to engage with enforcement agencies to address the issue of detention, extortion and abuse of asylum seekers, illegal immigrants and foreign workers.
1. Maintain commitment to a single legal system instead of the current shift toward parallel legal systems.
2. Return power on Islamic matters back to the exclusive domain of Malaysia’s rulers with emphasis on engagement with state Islamic agencies and a re-alignment of JAKIM. Restrict Shariah only to family and inheritance laws.
3. Introduce a Judicial Oversight Committee to audit all judges in order to ensure that their judgments are not unduly influenced.
1. Re-introduce IPCMC and more stringent recruitment process for all police and enforcement agencies with preference for degree holders, and introduce severe penalties for abuse of power.
2. Encourage community based policing and re-assess the relevance of RELA and subject it to stricter monitoring by uniformed units. All RELA personnel must be adequately trained on moral and ethical issues.
3. Restrict the activities of the Special Branch exclusively to intelligence gathering of potential terror threats and subversion by extremist elements.
1. Re-address MA63 and restore Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners to Malaya as one of 3 countries instead of the current arrangement where they are only one of 14 states.
2. Return exclusive rights of the original 350 nautical mile economic zone back to Sabah and Sarawak from the existing 3 nautical miles.
3. Amend laws to allow Sabah and Sarawak to hold on to 100% of its revenue from natural resources with appropriate tax payments to the Federal government.
4. Conduct a criminal investigation on Project IC in Sabah and dismantle organization structures as well as prosecute key players involved in this population re-engineering program.
1. Introduce shorter 4 year terms and fixed election dates. The existing system which allows the Prime Minister to unilaterally decide on a General Election date makes sense for recently independent states that may struggle with issues of stability. However, Malaysia needs to move toward being a mature democracy. Its power formula must shift away from incumbent leaders. A fixed date will force the incumbent to focus on service delivery instead of taking advantage of timing of General Elections.
2. Make amendments to the Constitution that requires the Prime Minister, Chief Ministers and Menteri Besars to be elected by the people instead of being chosen by Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen. These elected leaders can only be removed by the judiciary and the Agong for criminal acts, corruption or treason and not by a no-confidence vote by Members of Parliament.
3. Strictly enforce Article 127 on the separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judiciary and limit the powers of the Prime Minister.
1. Conduct a financial review of the public sector and right-size the civil service accordingly with emphasis on encouraging entrepreneurship and revenue generating businesses in order to increase tax income. The Government should consider replacing pension schemes with mandatory EPF contributions. The Board of EPF must comprise business savvy professionals and qualified administrators who are active contributors to EPF in order to ensure that its investments give the highest possible returns.
2. Introduce policies to encourage entrepreneurship and emphasize re-skilling in anticipation of the disruptive effect of the Internet to traditional business models, and introduce tax incentives for Internet based businesses. The Government will have to develop programs to educate the population below the age of 40 years to prepare for an Internet driven business world.
3. Create value to the primary commodity industries in terms of innovative product development in anticipation of lower commodity prices for Oil Palm and Rubber. The Government must develop a strategic realignment plan based on future developments in biotechnology, information technology, artificial intelligence etc so that Malaysia’s natural resources can be dove tailed into a more intelligent manufacturing industry in order to produce high demand commodity products with global appeal.
4. Reduce national debt without losing national sovereignty. Conduct a cost benefit analysis on all RMK-12 projects and discontinue non-strategic initiatives.
5. Introduce programs to roll out use of sustainable energy and phase out the use of fossil fuels in order to make the nation less vulnerable to global energy dynamics whilst strictly enforcing preservation of national parks, rivers, water supplies and at-risk wildlife populations.
1. Create buy-in nationwide to stamp out corruption. However this is going to be a major challenge simply because corruption has become so acceptable these days, and that people already know that the Government itself is corrupt.
2. Introduce incentives to encourage entrepreneurship and creation of small businesses with emphasis on value added Internet based trading and services, as well as intelligent and automated manufacturing in order to create high value jobs. The Government should not be involved in business and must not compete with the private sector.
3. Re-vamp the education system to address the future direction of the nation with the intention of preparing the population for high skilled jobs.
4. Re-align the primary commodities industry and manufacturing sector for robustness to face the impact of the Internet on contemporary business practices.
1. Address Gender Based Violence issues by introducing severe penalties such as life imprisonment without parole for, i) rape of children by non-minors, ii) rape of the elderly, and iii) gang rape.
2. Introduce paternity leave of 30 days and extend maternity leave to 120 days.
3. Introduce financial assistance programs for single mothers (ie divorced or widowed) based on size of dependents and implement enforcement to spouses that default on alimony payouts.
1. Maintain free healthcare for all Malaysians. This can impose a strain on the national budget but it is critical to have a healthy skilled population that can continue to contribute to national economic development.
2. Introduce a form of Medicare that involves tax or social support incentives to families or individuals that take care of their elderly parents or disabled family members.
1. Introduce laws that prohibit acquisition and development of land traditionally occupied by indigenous communities and Orang Asli.
2. Cease religious conversion of all indigenous communities by Government supported religious authorities.
Gender
Male
Birth Date
03 Oct 1962
Home City
Wangsa Maju
Occupation
CEO & Social Activist
Education
  • University of Canterbury, New Zealand (Bachelors)
  • University of Canterbury, New Zealand (Masters)
  • University of Cambridge, England
  • South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, India
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, England
Professional Experiences
  • Ministry of Works and Development (New Zealand)
  • Unisys (New Zealand)
  • Government Computing Services (New Zealand)
  • Andersen Consulting (New Zealand)
  • KPMG (Malaysia)
  • Sime Darby Systems (Malaysia)
  • Multimedia Development Corporation (Malaysia)
  • Entelium Technologies (Malaysia)