Haniza aims to change perception on early childhood education


Full name: Haniza Mohamed Talha (PKR)

Age: 46

Marital status: Married to engineer Shahrudin Omar, 44

Number of children: Seven. The eldest 20 years old; youngest son is five.

Education: Secondary school education at Penang Technical School. A Levels at Norfolk College, UK. Degree in architecture at Sheffield University, UK.

Hometown: Ipoh, Perak

Profession: Freelance writer and editor

ADUN of: Taman Medan (under the PJ Selatan parliamentary seat)

Contact details:; Rosli 012-340 8088 or Fariz 019-300 0147 (assistants)

TAMAN MEDAN assemblyman Haniza Mohamed Talha is a passionate advocator of early childhood education because she believes that it contributes to the children’s development.

“Early childhood education is not just about providing food, clothes and shelter for our children,” she said.

Haniza: ‘We have to change the way we teach our children and encourage their freedom of expression.’

“When I was studying in Britain, I noticed that there were a lot of things that Malaysians were missing out on. We were lacking in terms of nurturing the children’s development, like encouraging them to express their thoughts and ideas.

“We have to change the way we teach our children and encourage their freedom of expression,” said the head of Wanita PKR Selangor.

Her involvement in early childhood education began in the early 90s when she returned from Britain.

Besides helping to set up four Islamic kindergartens in Labuan, Johor and Selangor, she was involved in various NGO activities that focused on children, youth and women, as she feels these are some of the ways she can contribute to society.

Haniza lives with her family in Seri Kembangan.

StarMetro: How much time do you spend on the computer?

Haniza: It used to be five hours a day (before the general election) because of my interest in reading and work. I also like to learn new things, particularly alternative medicine, like homeopathy, energy healing and yoga. Now it's been drastically reduced to barely one hour a day.

StarMetro: Do you blog or have a website?

Haniza: I'm not into blogging yet, but I'm working on creating a website for Taman Medan which should be up by mid-April. The website will include a scorecard which lists all the promises I made during the election and whether I've fulfilled them.

StarMetro: Do you play a musical instrument, dance or sing?

Haniza: I used to be in the school band back in primary school, where I played the recorder and triangle.

StarMetro: What kind of music do you listen to?

Haniza: Just oldies – no specific genre or singer.

StarMetro: Are you into movies?

Haniza: I'm not into movies because I've lots of other things to do. I'm more into the Internet. It's quite exciting because there are so many things to learn.

StarMetro: What do you read?

Haniza: I’m currently reading The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. I like to read books on management skills, character building and leadership, as well as magazines like Time for their informative and refreshing articles. I also surf the BBC, CNBC and local media websites to read up on news.

StarMetro: Who is your favourite sports star?

Haniza: I used to like tennis players Bjorn Bjorg and Chris Evert.

StarMetro: What do you play?

Haniza: I play badminton and netball with friends once or twice a month. I also take my children to the Uniten swimming pool (which is open to public) and swim with them.

StarMetro: Coffee or tea?

Haniza: I prefer plain water, juice and milk. My coffee consumption has been drastically reduced to once a week or every other day. If I do take coffee, it'll be instant white coffee with lots of milk.

StarMetro: Got a nickname?

Haniza: Kak Niza – it's a more approachable name for the rakyat to address me. I'm not used to YB, which has a negative connotation.

StarMetro: What languages can you speak?

Haniza: Malay and English.

StarMetro: Do you smoke?

Haniza: Of course not.

StarMetro:What is the gadget you can’t do without?

Haniza: My two handphones. One line is for family and old friends; the other is for new friends and work.

StarMetro: What’s your favourite food?

Haniza: Fried koay teow with cockles and lots of bean sprouts; doesn't matter if I cook on my own or eat outside. I like baking too if there's a good oven and adequate utensils for baking. I usually bake cakes like cheesecake, moist chocolate cake, fruitcake, and muffins.

StarMetro: You have a weakness for ....

Haniza: The Internet. I have to go online every day to check e-mails and news, as well as print party statements and invitations by my constituents. I usually check from my laptop with the 3G gadget, but somebody has suggested that I get a Blackberry.

StarMetro: Do you have a cat?

Haniza: I used to have rabbits and cats, but they were killed by stray dogs. I've never had any pets since then.

StarMetro: What car do you drive and how long have you had it?

Haniza: A Toyota Avanza which I’ve had for three years.

StarMetro: What is your contribution to environmental conservation?

Haniza: I insist that my children use both sides of the paper and that they recycle paper instead of throwing them into the bin. I bring my own basket when I go to the market and try not to use plastic bags. I try to grow as many plants as possible at home and make my own compost from dried plants.

StarMetro: Name an idol (dead or alive) whom you look up to and why.

Haniza: Prophet Muhammad. He was a family man and a good leader who treated everybody equally no matter what their status. He was also kind to all and ensured that women were given their rights at a time when they were not treated with dignity.

n For more profiles on MPs and state assemblymen go to:

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