– Lok Wing Kong
The Malaysian Insider
March 30, 2014
Former de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said that in 30 years, Malaysia will be on a par with Singapore.
He is totally wrong in that Malaysia will never be able to catch up with Singapore. Why? It is simple. Singapore practise hyper meritocracy while Malaysia practises mediocrity.
The two countries are moving forward at different speeds. They can only be getting further apart over time.
World Bank senior economist Dr Frederico Gil Sander recently said that the low quality of Malaysia’s education was more alarming than its household debts.
The writer cannot agree with him more as the policy of mediocrity is at play.
Malaysia’s education system is based heavily on mediocrity and cannot produce talent to improve the economy. It will continue to be mired in low-skilled industries and heavily trapped in the middle-income pit.
For more than five decades, the government has been building up a low education standard system to suit mass production of graduates of one race.
The result is that from primary to tertiary education, the teachers, lecturers and professors are of mediocre quality.
Mediocre teachers produce mediocre graduates and this phenomenon has become a perpetual norm.
It will take many decades to rectify this appalling condition provided the powers-that-be has the strong political will and sincerity to do it.
There are more than 80,000 Bumiputera pupils studying in the Chinese primary schools. Many of them go on to study in the Chinese independent schools.
This shows that the Bumiputeras have lost faith in the national schools. In these Chinese independent secondary schools, after six years, many students sitting for SPM score good grades and with credit in Bahasa Melayu (BM).
The Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) of the Chinese independent schools is recognised by many foreign universities, many universities in Singapore have been admitting UEC graduates for umpteen years. Yet, the Malaysian government refuses to recognise UEC. It is ridiculous.
The government wants the Chinese independent schools to adopt the national educational syllabus in that all subjects are to be taught in BM, except Chinese language. This is not acceptable.
There is nothing to shout about if the government recognises the UEC with conditions attached. Unless it is recognised unconditionally, it is better to maintain the status quo.
Instead, the Chinese independent schools will strive and flourish and continue to maintain high standards.
It will eventually become the choice of parents, both Chinese and non-Chinese, to send their children to such schools.
National schools have become religious schools with low standards as reflected in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings. The 2013-2025 Education Blueprint will also not be able to reverse the decline.
The Malays have been favoured for decades under the New Economic Policy, yet the prime minister feels that it is not enough. Shortly after the 13th general election, he introduced the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Programme (BEEP).
Barisan Nasional or Umno wants to maintain mediocre policies in all fields of human endeavour to suit the Malays perpetually.
It also wants to maintain the exclusive policies which promote racial polarisation in the country.
The pre-independent days of racial mingling are a thing of the past. All these policies have a double-edged effect in that the Malays will be weakened and will forever need government help if they want to survive.
Many talents have been pushed to emigrate when the powers-that-be favours one race.
BN/Umno wants to rule the country perpetually by keeping the rakyat stupid with a lousy education system. The Internet has prevented it from achieving this goal.
The civil service, government-linked companies, police and defence forces are all bloated with staff with poor education and low skills. They represent more than 1.4 million people with a national population of about 29 million, one of the highest in the world.
In order to save this country and the Malay race, mediocrity and race-based polices must be discarded and the country must practise meritocracy and need-based policies instead.
English-medium schools must be brought back urgently. Otherwise, there is no hope of us achieving developed-nation status even by 2050. – March 30, 2014.