Archive for August 12th, 2007

Malaysia omitted fifth year in succession – Shanghai Jiao Tong U’s World Top 500 Universities Ranking 2007

Malaysia has been left out of the World’s Top 500 Universities ranking for the fifth year in succession in the “Academic Ranking of World Universities ARWU 2007” just released by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Singapore has two, Australia 17 and New Zealand five universities in the latest world university ranking, which is dominated by US universities with Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley and Cambridge occupying the top four places.

It would have been good news for Malaysia’s 50th Merdeka anniversary to demonstrate the success of the country’s universities to get out of the rut of mediocrity and return to the path of excellence and quality if Malaysia had managed to get listed among the World Top 500 Universities in the ARWU 2007 — but it is clear that all the talk of higher education reform has not borne fruit with the lack of political will to give top priority to meritocracy and academic excellence to scale the ranks of world-class universities.

The Higher Education Minister, Datuk Mustapha Mohamad should explain why no Malaysian university has been able to get ranked in the ARWU in the past five years and when he expects Malaysian universities to achieve such international recognition.

The statistics by country for the World Top 500 universities in the ARWU 2007 are: Read the rest of this entry »


Constitutional crisis (2) – PM’s assurance that CJM nominee not the Federal Court judge with over 30 outstanding judgments from High Court days?

In the modern democratic era of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance, the Malaysian public are entitled to information as to the causes of the constitutional crisis and impasse resulting from the deadlock between the Prime Minister and the Conference of Rulers over the filling of the seven-month vacancy of the Chief Judge of Malaya.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should not only provide Malaysians and in particular Members of Parliament this vital information, but also clarify and assure the nation that his nominee for the Chief Judge of Malaya and the subject of the constitutional crisis with the Conference of Rulers is not the Federal Court judge who have a backlog of at least 30 outstanding judgments accumulated from his High Court days which have yet to be written and delivered.

When Abdullah launched the National Integrity Plan (NIP) in May 2004, he said that “the integrity movement is comprehensive covering all levels or sectors of the government and society”.

There is also a section in the five-year plan, NIP Target 2008, on the enhancement of the administration of justice by the judicial bodies and institutions — a new national commitment on judicial accountability, transparency and integrity. The time has come to walk this talk.

Although the Chief Justice, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim is on public record as saying that judges with a backlog of written grounds of judgment would not be considered for promotion and there is a court directive that judges should complete writing their grounds within eight weeks of a trial if there is a notice for an appeal, it is most shocking that the newspaper report last month that there is a Federal Court judge who has “at least 30 outstanding judgments accumulated from his High Court days that include dadah trafficking and murder cases” (New Straits Times 23.7.07) had not elicited any denial, clarification or response from the Chief Justice. Read the rest of this entry »


Our education system a big failure

by Richard Teo

Make no mistake. Contrary to what our DPM said in NST on 10th August, our country’s education is one big flop. Najib would be deluding Malaysians to say that the education system was a big success and attribute this success to his father.

Tun Razak, the father of Najib was the culprit responsible for the current malaise facing the present education system. As the Education Minister, he abolished the English medium of education and introduced the Bahasa Melayu medium. In one stupendous decision his action caused the loss of one generation of English-speaking students.

Prior to the abolishment of the English medium of education we were the envy of many countries in Asia. Foreign tourists who went to the most remotest part of our country were pleasantly surprised that practically everyone they met could converse in the
Queen’s language. That was in the early fifties.

Today, even top government civil servants and the judiciary can hardly string two words of English. Is this how we define success in our education system? If this is Najib’s definition of success then either he is blind to the pathetic state of the education system or he is totally oblivious to what is happening in the country. Read the rest of this entry »