Archive for category Education

Latest rebuttals to the DPM and PM’s boasts of Malaysia as “world’s best democracy” and “world’s best education system”

Malaysians woke up this morning to further and latest rebuttals to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s boasts of Malaysia as the “one of the world’s best education system” and “world’s best democracy”.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s boast that Malaysia has “one of the world’s best education system” was given a bloody nose by the report that Malaysian universities again failed to make the cut to this year’s Times Higher Education (THE) top 200 global rankings while Singapore’s National University (which shared the same beginnings with University of Malaya) leapt into the top 25 universities list.

The Malay Mail Online in its report “Malaysian universities not in top 200 global rankings, Singapore’s improves” said the latest index shows a significant drop for Malaysian universities from last year’s ranking.

Muhyiddin has been Education Minister for more than five years since 2009.

He should make a Ministerial statement when Parliament resumes next Tuesday on Oct. 7 why all efforts during year tenure as Education Minister for over five years have failed to restore Malaysia’s high international standing in university academic repute and excellence in the fifties and sixties – to the extent that for five consecutive years, none of the Malaysian universities had been able to be ranked among the THE Top 200 University Rankings. Read the rest of this entry »

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Muhyiddin should relinquish his portfolio as Education Minister as he had spearheaded the BN campaign and won the Pengkalan Kubor by-election in Kelantan at the expense of his duties to the future of 500,000 UPSR pupils

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has reasons to feel very proud as he can claim chief credit for the Umno/BN victory in the Pengkalan Kubor by-election in Kelantan, winning with an even bigger majority than during the 13th general elections last May.

I don’t think there is another Cabinet Minister from outside Kelantan who had spent so many days and visited Tumpat so many times as Muhyiddin during the 13-day by-election campaign period.

But this by-election victory for BN/UMNO has come at a heavy price – Muhyiddin’s abdication of his responsibilities as Education Minister and in particular his duties and responsibilities to the future generation of Malaysians as since his return from the ASEAN Education Ministers’ Meeting in Vientianne, he headed immediately for Tumpat and his sole pre-occupation since then was to win a bigger victory for Umno/BN in Pengkalan Kubor by-election instead of personally dealing with the outrageous educational scandal in the leak of UPSR examination papers.

During this period, Muhyiddin had only time for one meeting in the Education Ministry on the leak of UPSR Science and English papers – on Sept. 15 when he chaired the special meeting to scrutinize the Standards Operating Procedures (SOPs) used for preparing the UPSR examination papers.

This special UPSR SOP meeting has become a great farce, as Muhyiddin did not appear to know at the meeting that there had been leaks of more UPSR papers including Maths and Tamil, and the UPSR pupils, their parents and the Malaysian public were not informed until Monday on Sept. 22 that the UPSR Maths and Tamil papers had leaked and UPSR pupils are required to resit for these two papers on Oct. 9. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP call for scrapping of re-sitting of UPSR English, Tamil and Maths papers as the 500,000 primary school pupils should not be made to suffer because of the incompetence and lack of professionalism of the Education Minister and his Ministry

DAP calls for the scrapping of the re-sitting of the UPSR English, Tamil and Maths papers as the 500,000 Std. 6 primary school pupils should not be made to suffer because of the shocking incompetence and lack of professionalism of the Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Ministry.

It is the height of irresponsibility and gross negligence of the first magnitude that the Education Ministry took13 days to announce the leak in the UPSR Maths and Tamil papers and the requirement for UPSR pupils to resit for these two papers on Oct. 9.

The Education director-general Datuk Dr. Khair Mohamad Yusof announced on Monday that the date was fixed after the Examinations Syndicate confirmed on Sunday that the papers sat by the UPSR pupils on Sept. 10 were leaked.

What boggles the mind is that after the disgraceful leak of the UPSR Science and English papers on Sept. 10 and 11, which were discovered on the very same day itself, it has taken the Examinations Syndicate, the Education Ministry and the Education Minister almost a fortnight to discover that the UPSR Tamil and Maths had also been leaked.

If this is not incompetence and lack of professionalism of the first order, I do not know what would qualify to come under the rubric of these two terms. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP calls for Royal Commission of Inquiry into Education to investigate not only into frequent incidence of leaks of Malaysian examination papers in recent years but also all aspects of declining standards of primary, secondary and university education

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin must have been the most embarrassed Education Minister at the 8th ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting in Vientiane on Thursday when news broke of leaks in this year’s UPSR examination papers, causing the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister to allege that the leaks could have been purposely done to sabotage him personally and the Education Ministry.

Muhyiddin’s allegation of sabotage is most surprising but nobody will give it much credence as Muhyiddin seems to be the only person in Malaysia not to know that leaks in examination papers conducted by the Malaysian examination authority are not unusual occurrences – just as Muhyddin seemed to be the only Malaysian not to know that English is not a compulsory pass subject for SPM when he became Education Minister five years ago.

Last November, the Education Ministry announced a special task force to conduct immediate investigation into the leak of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination papers but nothing have been heard about these investigations.

So Muhyiddin’s talk about wanting to get to the bottom of the leaks in this year’s UPSR examination papers and to bring the culprits to justice must be taken with a pinch of salt for he has never been serious as Education Minister about leaks in examination papers except on this occasion, when he was made to look so foolish among his peers at the ASEAN conference of Education Ministers by this shameful episode. Read the rest of this entry »

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Our medical colleges – for better or for worse?

By Dr. Ng Swee Choon
Malaysiakini
Aug 27, 2014

COMMENT Medical colleges in the country have been hogging the headlines of late. Certain medical colleges have shamed us publicly and internationally for allegedly not paying staff salaries and not settling their contractual dues.

If the medical colleges involved do not feel ashamed, we Malaysians and Malaysian doctors feel the shame. It is certainly not our Malaysian culture to be known across the world for this.

Recently, there was also the irresponsible statement by Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan to cut down on places in public medical colleges when the problem is with private medical colleges. Private medical education is now big business.

I am writing to highlight this very important issue that medical education has now become a business, important only for the bottom line of the company owning the licence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Raising a family of true Malaysians

– Prof Dr. Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi
The Malaysian Insider
27 August 2014

In many senses, it seems funny that Malaysians, particularly the Malays, find great difficulty in the idea of a united, harmonious and happy Malaysia. I am a Malay. All my Malay friends at UTM and other universities and all my relatives and that of my wife are… racist. If I were to invite all of them to a marriage ceremony, the number would easily reach 3,000. Based on a simple sampling of 5% of this population that I engage in socialising, I have established that they know nothing about the idea of “Malaysia”. All they know is the condition of “we just have to tolerate those immigrants and make sure they don’t make us like Singapore” mind set. I have always thought that some of my friends and relatives whom I respect as very pious Muslims would be different, but they too turn out to be racist when political issues are discussed. It came as a shock to me. I thought that Islam would be one of the answers to eliminate racism, but apparently, the “Malay-view” interpretation of Islam always take precedence. Islam is NOT the problem but its racist interpretation is. I know this for a fact because of my vast reading of Islam, thousands of hadiths and many versions of Qur’anic Tafsir.

In this Merdeka celebration, the “idea” of Malaysia seems only in a dream or in a Petronas or a DiGi commercial. The idea of Malaysia does not exist in our schools, in our public universities, at our housing and our cities. But I still remain optimistic. Why? Because my family is NOT racist. My wife who is a retired teacher is not racist. My 28-year-old lecturer daughter educated at IIUM is not racist. My 26-year-old journalist daughter educated at TAR College and Taylors University is not racist. My 23-year-old son in his third year at UCSI University is not racist. My 20-year-old SEGi University daughter is not racist. And my 18-year-old Inti University son is also not racist. How did I manage to form my own small country of “Malaysia”? There are a few simple strategies that I had developed. I will save the most important one for last. Read the rest of this entry »

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Muhyiddin should present to October Parliament a Higher Education Masterplan to produce at least two world-class universities by 2020 instead of allowing Malaysian universities to become recruiting grounds for terrorists for Islamic State (IS) war in Syria and Iraq

The admission by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi that local tertiary institutions have become recruiting grounds for militants and that Dr. Mahmud Ahmad, senior lecturer with University of Malaya (UM)’s Department of Akidah and Islamic Thought, the Academy of Islamic Studies, was among five individuals wanted by the police for militant activities have catapulted Malaysian universities to unwanted national and international attention and publicity.

Instead of producing world-class universities in keeping with the Vision 2020 objective to achieve developed nation status, Malaysian universities have for the past decade been a national embarrassment, annually confirming the absence of world-class universities in Malaysia.

Malaysia was completely absent from the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2013-2014 for the world’s top 400 University.

For the second year running, Malaysia failed to get on the list of the 2014 Times Higher Education (THE) Top 100 Universities under 50 years old – although four Asian universities are ranked among the top 10 of the world’s young universities, two from South Korea, one from Hong Kong and one from Singapore. In Malaysia, all the public universities except for University of Malaya, are under 50 years old.

Malaysia was also excluded from the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2014 for the Top 100 Universities, although 14 universities from Asia were included – five from Japan, two from Singapore, three from South Korea, one from China, two from Hong Kong and one from Taiwan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Our varsities neutered and muted, say academics

by Sheridan Mahavera
The Malaysian Insider
4 July 2014

A culture of fear and pressure to follow the dictates of political masters built over three decades has made public universities anti-intellectual and mediocre, say academics.

They told The Malaysian Insider that while universities were supposed to be the conscience of society, they, however, have been neutered and muted.

They said political pressure to “toe the line” is a daily reality in universities, and those who are critical are harassed while those who kowtow are rewarded with plum posts.

At the same time, cronyism and racism have led to genuinely hardworking researchers being passed over for salary raises and promotions, while others less qualified, but on good terms with the top administrators, are easily elevated.

If the culture continues, the academics warn, standards in these varsities could plunge, making their degrees virtually worthless and their graduates almost unemployable. Read the rest of this entry »

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When principled men like UM’s Redzuan lose a battle, but win the war

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
30 June 2014

This is a good day for Malaysia.

Yes, most of us will be sorry that Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Redzuan Othman is being forced out of his job at Universiti Malaya.

But this is also a good day for Malaysia. Because the principled stand taken by this gentleman is another sign that there are individuals in Malaysia who will not be cowered or silenced or threatened by insecure Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians aided by supine and morally-bankrupt government officials.

Only a few days ago, Tan Sri Shamsul Abbas, the chief executive officer of Petronas, spoke with unusual candour about the pressure being exerted on the national oil company by rent-seekers. He championed meritocracy, knowing full well the attacks he would invite from those who believe it is their birthright to plunder Malaysia’s resources.

He knows that powerful forces want him out of Petronas. The easier option would have been to say that the national oil company’s resources do not belong to him and look the other way as the plundering continued.

Similarly, it would have been so easy for Redzuan to sacrifice his beliefs for personal advancement and pecuniary interests. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian Leaders’ First World Education, Third World Mentality

Review of Syed Husin Ali’s Memoirs of a Political Struggle.
by M. Bakri Musa

Syed Husin Ali: Memoirs of a Political Struggle. Strategic Information and Research Development Center, Petaling Jaya, 2013. 273 pp.

The deserved universal condemnation and merciless ridicule of the Malaysian authorities’ bungling of the MH370 tragedy did not arise in a vacuum. From leaders’ refusing to entertain questions at their press briefings to radar operators ignoring intruding beeps on their screens, this unconcealed contempt for the public, and the accompanying lackadaisical attitude, is the norm.

Our leaders may have had First World education, alas their mentality remains stubbornly stuck in Third World mode. Their bebalism and tidak apaism make the Jamaican “It’s not my job, mon!” a valid excuse by contrast.

To readers of on-line news portals, I am not stating anything new here; likewise to ordinary citizens who have had to deal with governmental agencies. However, when these general inadequacies and gross incompetence in their infinite manifestations are put in print as in books, there is satisfaction, at least to their authors, that they are being documented for posterity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Teachers’ right to support political party of their choice, say teachers, NGOs

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
4 June 2014

Teachers should not be compelled to only support Barisan Nasional as they have the right to support any political party of their choice, educationists said today.

“Teachers are just like any other citizen in the country. And like other professionals, they have political opinions too,” said Hashim Adnan, president of the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP), in response to Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s call to teachers to return to politics under BN’s fold.

“They should be given freedom to exercise their rights,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »

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Teluk Intan and all that jazz

Azly Rahman
Malaysiakini
May 30, 2014

What is promised to our youth in this by-election that is pitching the old versus the young? What do we need to see radically changed in our society? Here are my thoughts, especially today.

I am very sad today, reading about rape cases involving minors – gang-rape, to be exact, of ten, twelve, thirty young kids destroying each other! Madness. No-nonsense parenting is key here, folks.

Just when I had finished writing this first draft for this column, I read about a two year-old girl taken away from a shopping mall and later found with her head severed and her body dumped near the Klang River. Madness.

Days earlier we read about the early morning robbery of two nuns in Seremban, of which one of them died of serious head injuries. Almost daily we still read about snatch thefts resulting in the victims injured. An endless cycle of violence we are living in. Madness.

Back to what is happening to our youth. Read the rest of this entry »

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UiTM, antara tanggungjawab sosial dan kecemerlangan

Shahrulazwad Ismail
The Malay Mail Online
May 27, 2014

26 MEI — Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) sering diperdebatkan baru-baru ini semenjak pencalonan calon parti politik DAP, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud untuk kerusi Parlimen Teluk Intan. Pada tahun lepas, Dyana yang merupakan seorang graduan Fakulti Undang-Undang UiTM telah mencadangkan agar sebuah institusi seperti UiTM dibuka kepada golongan bukan bumiputera yang berpendapatan rendah.

Sesetengah pihak menganggap Dyana mahu UiTM dimansuhkan ataupun paling tidak dibuka kepada semua kaum. Dyana turut juga membangkitkan kepincangan dalam pengambilan pelajar apabila golongan Bumiputera yang kaya diterimamasuk sebagai pelajar lantas telah mengambil hak golongan bumiputera yang miskin untuk belajar di situ.

Sekurang-kurangnya satu kesan positif yang timbul daripada isu panas ini ialah timbul kesedaran tentang peranan UiTM dikalangan rakyat walaupun diiringi dengan pelbagai kritikan, prasangka dan juga hinaan dan cacian secara terbuka di media-media. Saya yakin ramai sudah maklum serba sedikit tentang sejarah dan matlamat penubuhan institusi ini dan tidak kurang juga tentang Artikel 153 Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Pelbagai hujahan telah ditulis oleh pelbagai pihak baik dari pihak UiTM, para graduan UiTM (selain Dyana), para majikan dan tidak kurang juga golongan awam. Eloklah kita ambil kesempatan ini untuk menilai tahap kejayaan UiTM ketika ini dan mengenalpasti halatuju selanjutnya.

[Harap maklum bahawa penulis juga merupakan graduan Fakulti Undang-Undang UiTM sejak sepuluh tahun yang lepas.] Read the rest of this entry »

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How to ensure poor get their share of scholarships

– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
May 11, 2014

Since my retirement, I have been concerned with how we can solve the problem of the poor through educational mobility.

This has involved putting my money where my mouth is in a programme which helps needy families send their children to university through financing their first year.

Although Forbes, the media organisation has given recognition to me in its annual selection of Asian philanthropic heroes in 2011, I am the first to realise that my efforts at providing scholarships to the needy are modest and a drop in the ocean of need.

After much reflection, I would like to provide a practical and easy solution to the problem of too many deserving poor children having to chase and compete for too few scholarships.

My solution is a two-pronged one. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian universities not among world’s top ‘young’ institutions, global survey shows

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
MAY 01, 2014

Malaysian public universities have once again failed to measure up to higher learning institutions around the world, this time being left out of the latest ranking of the annual Times Higher Education (THE) Top 100 Universities under 50 years old.

Four Asian universities are ranked among the top 10 of the world’s young universities, including South Korea’s Pohang University of Science and Technology which took the top spot, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (3), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (4) and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (5).

Malaysia, however, failed to get on the list for the second year running. In the first rankings list in 2012, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) was ranked 98th.

This is despite Putrajaya’s claim that Malaysia has one of the best education systems in the world – better than United States, Britain and Germany. Read the rest of this entry »

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What is ‘the best interest of everyone’ by retracting invitation to opposition lawmaker?

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
April 10, 2014

DAP’s Tony Pua has been ‘uninvited’ by the organisers of the Malaysia Summit Australia conference due to pressue from sponsors of the event. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 10,2014.DAP MP Tony Pua is not speaking at the Malaysia Summit Australia (MASA) in Melbourne on April 22 because the event’s main sponsors felt that “it was not in the best interest of everyone” to have him on the panel.

Among the sponsors are Shell Malaysia, Astro, Education Malaysia Australia, Ayam Brand, Malaysian Australian Alumni Council and Kelab Umno Australia.

Obviously, it is their right to decide on the speakers line-up as they are funding the annual summit that features Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir.

This is not the first time that those who are critical of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government are barred from students events. Last week, Universiti Malaya (UM) refused to allow former Bersih co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan to speak at a law convention.

Pua, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP, also revealed that he had been barred from speaking in UM on at least three occasions. Again, that is UM’s right.

These incidents reflect the mindset of the varsities, organisers and the sponsors, who are more interested in being in the good books of the ruling government than being the catalysts for students to listen and learn from those on all sides of the political divide. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chronic rent-seeking due to corrupted NEP, says Ku Li

by Joseph Sipalan
Malay Mail Online
4 April 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — “Haywire” implementation of the New Economic Policy (NEP) was the cause of the rampant cronyism and rent-seeking now ailing Malaysia, said veteran lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

The former finance minister said the practice of patronage in implementing the policy had undermined the “just and noble” philosophy that underpinned the social engineering programme that was mooted in the aftermath of the May 13, 1969 racial riots.

“The entrenchment of rent-seeking and patronage system into the fabric of Malaysian life begs the question: How did this come to pass?” he said in his keynote address at the launch of the book “Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians” last night.

“Much as this sounds like a blame game and much as this is distasteful to swallow, the answer lies in the New Economic Policy; or rather, the NEP that had gone wrong in its implementation,” he added.

Tengku Razaleigh, or Ku Li as he is popularly known, said the country has fallen victim to the machinations of politicians habitually lining their own pockets and colluding with businessmen who were uncompetitive without preferential treatment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia ranks 39 out of 44 countries in problem-solving test for 15-year-olds, says report

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
April 02, 2014

Malaysia once again fared poorly in a world student performance assessment test conducted in 2012, ending up in the bottom quarter among 44 countries – a result that reinforces the concern that the country’s education system is in tatters.

Malaysia ranked 39 with a mean score of 422 in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) first assessment on creative problem-solving, while neighbouring Singapore came out tops with a mean score of 562, said the report released yesterday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The overall mean score for all countries was 500.

Malaysia had more than half of the share of low achievers, which means the students tested lacked the skills needed in a modern workplace.

In contrast, Singapore only had 8% share of low achievers. The mean share was 21.4%.

On the other hand, Malaysia only had 0.9% share of top performers compared with Singapore’s 29.3%. Malaysia’s share was below the average percentage of 11.4%.

This showed that only one out of 10 Malaysian students, aged 15, is able to solve the most complex problems, compared with one in five in Singapore, Korea and Japan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia must stop mediocrity rot

– 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. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Form 3 exam system open to bias, abuse, says education activist

by Sheridan Mahavera
The Malaysian Insider
March 20, 2014

The new exam system that will replace the PMR for Form Three students this year is open to bias and abuse, and could jeopardise the future of children from poorer families, said an education activist today.

Mohd Noor Izzat Mohd Johari said that unlike the old system, where the Form Three exam is produced and graded by an independent body outside the school, the new one, PT3 or Form Three Assessment, will be done by the teachers of each individual schools.

Since PT3 results are used by students to apply to elite schools such as residential schools and the MARA junior science colleges, richer, more well off parents could pressure teachers into giving their children better grades.

“This is the situation that we are afraid will happen. When parents come to school and ask that teachers ‘take care’ of their kids,” said Mohd Noor Izzat who teaches art at a secondary school in Pahang.

Noor Izzat said this was a big worry for teachers after the PT3 was announced yesterday by the Education Ministry as part of its improvements to the school based assessment system (PBS). Read the rest of this entry »

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