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21 November 2011

When Umapagan Ampikaipakan first spoke about an episode on Tamil education I listened with trepidation. Will this episode be a long 20 minute rant about all the things gone wrong, all that is inadequate and all the unsatisfactory outcomes from the 523 Tamil schools in this country.

The state of Tamil schools in Malaysia, really was there any hope? But I listened as he started to build a case… “But Nova, you see it provides more than just an education”. But what else can we expect from these schools?

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21 November 2011

So when my colleagues started talking to me about the next Hear and Now… in Malaysia episode about our rivers in KL. I started thinking about my escapades along the rivers in Kuala Kubu Bahru, Sungai Pisang, Ulu Yam and all these other wonderful retreats close to Kuala Lumpur. But I also started thinking what’s there to talk about? Our rivers in the city are filthy, can it ever be anything else but gigantic monsoon drains?

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21 November 2011

Ours is a football loving nation. But after the golden age of local football in the 1970s and 1980s we’ve had very little to rejoice and plenty of disappointments. For a good 20 years the greatness of the Harimau Malaya did not exist in our psyche, locked away in a distant unfamiliar past. Lost to a generation of Malaysians who grew up with football in the 90s as the English Premier League filled our homes with heroes from a Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal… the list goes on, all but our local team.

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21 November 2011

It is that time of the year again, the season for commemorating our nation. Personally for me this time of the year now seems longer than usual. Growing up in school through the 80s and 90s it was only Merdeka Day. But I heard from speaking to people who were around to witness the formation of Malaysia that Malaysia Day was once celebrated in unison.

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21 November 2011

I was going through the Agriculture section in the ETP looking for information on mushroom farming when I stumbled upon this fact:

“Malaysia is faced with an ageing farming community, where the average age of paddy farmers is above 60 years and 40 percent of fruit farmers are above 55 years of age.”

I was stumped. I never thought about it. Rice, a staple for my three meals was mostly grown by senior citizens. I never really thought about the socio-economic issues surrounding padi farming let alone the average age of a padi farmer.

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21 November 2011

Sometime in February 2011, a watering hole somewhere in Sri Hartamas (the one with great mutton varuval), two fans of This American Life (TAL), Freakanomics Radio and those wonderful BBC Radio podcasts were discussing great stories and ideas hovering around in the expanding world of podcasts.

We loved these podcasts…

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