Archive for November 21st, 2007

Which is Malaysia’s premier university? Nobody knows!

Which is the Malaysian premier university?

Nobody knows and this is a big shame as it is caused not by competition by universities to be the best but to avoid the bigger plunge in international rankings.

Is it University of Malaya?

Until two years ago, there was no dispute if University of Malaya claimed to be the nation’s premier university — a position it had occupied unchallenged for over three decades.

It was also internationally recognized as the premier university in Malaysia as reflected by the 2004 and 2005 Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) World Universities Rankings for Top 200 Universities, being positioned No. 89 and 169th slots respectively.

However, it was toppled from the pedestal by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) when UKM beat University of Malaya in the 2006 THES ranking, placed No. 185 as compared to the 192nd position for University of Malaya.

Is it UKM then?

UKM’s placing on the top of the university pole in the country lasted one short year as in the 2007 THES Top 200 Universities ranking, UKM plunged a shocking 124 places from No. 185 to No. 309, not only behind University of Malaya’s No. 246 but also Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) which is placed No. 307.

Furthermore, in the recent government ranking for public universities, both UKM and University of Malaya were ranked behind USM, the sole university to be placed on the five-star Outstanding category, with no university rated for the top-rung Excellent Category.

Is it then USM, to lay claim to be the nation’s best university? Read the rest of this entry »


Sothinathan challenging Po Kuan to a “fight” on YouTube

In his post from London on the thread “Shame of MIC MP challenging a woman DAP MP to ‘fight’ outside Chamber – first time in Parliament in 50 years”, Chong Zhemin asked whether the MIC Vice President Datuk S. Sothinathan had challenged woman DAP MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan or me to a fight.

He said that from what he saw from the video, he thought the Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environment was challenging me to a fight. Furthermore, the Chinese newspapers had all reported the next morning that Sothinathan had challenged me to a fight.

Zemin is right about the Chinese newspapers report but they were all wrong. Sothinathan did not challenge me to a fight and the challenge was directed at Po Kuan in the expanded exchange between DAP MPs with BN MPs.

There was a lot of confusion with voices coming from all directions in Parliament and the video of the parliamentary episode, which is available on YouTube, could not capture the full sequence of events. Read the rest of this entry »


RCI on Lingam Tape – refusal to announce Cabinet decisions today does not serve the cause of public confidence

I am very disturbed by the statement by Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak last evening that there would be no immediate announcement of the Cabinet’s decisions today on the terms of reference, scope of power and membership of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Tape.

Najib, who will be chairing the Cabinet meeting this morning as the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is in Singapore for the ASEAN Summit, must be reminded that it does not serve the cause of public confidence for the government to keep mum after the Cabinet decisions on the terms of reference and composition of the Royal Commission of Inquiry as it will only reinforce widespread anxieties and suspicions that “the leopard cannot change its skin” and that the Royal Commission of Inquiry would be so cribbed, cabined and confined by its terms of reference and scope of power that it would be quite useless in making significant contributions to end the 19-year crisis of confidence in the independence and integrity of the judiciary.

Malaysians expect the Cabinet to set an example of “first-world” and “first-class” mentality which does not make a mockery of the pledge of Abdullah to lead an administration characterized by openness, accountability, transparency and integrity.

If the Cabinet slams the Official Secrets Act on its decisionss on the Royal Commission of Inquiry today, refusing to announce them and to ban any reporting or disclosure of the Cabinet decisions, how is the Abdullah administration more open, accountable and transparent than the previous administrations? Instead, we seem to be going into reverse.

If the Cabinet this morning has taken decisions on the Royal Commission of Inquiry, then let Malaysians be informed about them without any delay or the Abdullah Cabinet will be setting a most undesirable example of being evasive and opaque instead of openness, accountability and transparency – completely antithetical to Abdullah’s pledge of wanting to lead a Malaysia with “First World Infrastructure, First-World Mentality”. Read the rest of this entry »


The Last Monsoon Cup

by Richard Teo

When 28th November comes, the 3rd Monsoon Cup will once again begin in the east coast state of Trengganu. The Heritage Bay Club Marina and Resort in Pulau Duyong, Trengganu will once again become the focus of international attention as it will be hosting the final of the 10 International Legs.

Once again the people of this state will be treated to an extravaganza costing about $250-$300 million. The foreign sailing fraternity will be feted and pampered by the Monsoon Cup organisers namely Patrick Lim and Khairy, the son-in-law of the P.M.

Luxurious bungalows costing few millions await to shower the foreign sailing dignitaries with comfort and luxury that only locals could only dream of.

For the next few days, the organisers will spare no effort to regale and entertain the mostly foreign participants. Sumptious food and drinks will be served while the local populace can only watch in awe as they bear witness how their oil money previously ear-marked as ‘wang Ehsan’ was to be spent. Read the rest of this entry »