Yet Another Report on Reforming Higher Education!

By M Bakri Musa

It is a sure sign that local leaders are way over their heads (or refuse to make the tough decisions) when they start calling in expensive international consultants. This is the case with Higher Education Minister Mustapa Mohamad’s commissioning (together with the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department) the World Bank that resulted in its report: Malaysia and the World Economy: Building a World-Class Higher Education System.

You can be certain that the report, 18 months in the making, was not cheap. That would be just the beginning. Consultants have a knack of making themselves indispensable, so expect even greater expenses when they are called in to help implement their recommendations.

Yet for all the expertise, wealth of data, and impressive comparative statistics presented in this 285-page report, its recommendations are nothing new or original. These include, among others, granting greater autonomy, meritocracy both in admitting students and recruiting faculty, rationalizing the role of the private sector, and emphasis on science, technology, and research.

What we lack is the political will to make the tough necessary decisions to implement them. Unfortunately no foreign experts no matter how skillful their powers of persuasion are can help in this arena. My only hope is that as those recommendations now carry the World Bank’s imprimatur, the natives are more likely to listen.

World Bank’s Report

The Report is conveniently divided into two parts. The first addresses or “diagnoses” the various issues like governance and financing, quality matters, graduate unemployment, and the integration of universities with the national innovation system. It begins by “benchmarking” Malaysia against selected OECD and East Asian countries. No marks for guessing where we stand; we are not even in the same league. For example, less than half the faculty at the University of Malaya, supposedly the nation’s premier, has terminal qualifications as compared to over 98 percent at Canada’s McGill.

The only point I see in making such obviously glaring comparisons is to wake up our leaders who are smugly satisfied as they are forever comparing Malaysia with the likes of Zimbabwe.

The specific recommendations are in the second part of the report.

The Report rightly highlights the universal dilemma of quality versus quantity with the democratization of higher education. One solution, which I recommend in my book An Education System Worthy of Malaysia would be to emulate California’s tiered model. Malaysia has adopted some aspects of this by designating selected institutions as “research universities.” Designating alone is not enough and would be counterproductive unless accompanied by other changes, like much greater autonomy and considerably increased funding.

The beauty of the California system is that there are enough commonalities and clearly defined channels to enable student to switch from one system to the other. This flexibility is necessary to accommodate changes in students’ plans.

Also notable with the California system is that each campus enjoys considerable autonomy, including choosing its own students and faculty. The central office serves only administrative functions like dealing with the legislature and managing the faculty’s pension plans.

In Malaysia, the ministry micromanages every campus, right down to choosing the color of the faculty lounge drapes. I wish the Report would emphasize this point. As University of Malaya Law Professor Azmi Sharom observed, if we really love our universities, we must free them. I would further suggest that Higher Education Minister Mustapa should listen more to professors like Azmi Sharom and less to UMNO Youth leaders, or even World Bank’s experts.

Problems with International Data

The report is inundated with cross-national statistics. While it is good to compare ourselves against others, we must first however be assured that we are using the same measuring stick. This is easier said than done.

Take the apparently straightforward data on years of schooling. This seemingly objective criterion is anything but. One does not have to be particularly perceptive to note that nine years of schooling in South Korea would produce a far superior graduate as compared to someone with many more years spent at an American inner city school. Likewise with comparing nominal figures on expenditures per student; a dollar at the University of Malaya would go a long way as compared to at the University of California.

If we are not careful we could be easily misled; we would then be better off without those statistics. At least a dead clock tells the right time twice a day; a malfunctioning clock never. Likewise with data; bad data is more damaging than no data. A bad compass is worse than no compass. With the latter you would not be misled, and you learn to use your senses.

Studies done on OECD countries indicate that it is not so much the years of schooling that matter with respect to labor productivity rather the workers’ actual language and mathematical skills. Harvard’s Robert Barro shows that it is not just any education system that enhances economic development rather one that emphasizes the sciences, technology and mathematics that is crucial.

This is clearly demonstrated in Malaysia. The government’s oft stated goal of 60:40 ratio favoring students in the science stream remains just that: a goal. More important than focusing on this thus far unattainable objective would be to raise the mathematical skills and science literacy of all our students. Most American universities require all their students to take a year of science and mathematics.

Malaysian data indicate that Malays have more years of schooling and fewer dropouts than non-Malays, in particular the Chinese. Yet the economic performance of Malays lags that of Chinese. The reason is obvious. The education of Malays is heavy on arts and religion; Chinese, science and technology. When Chinese students drop out, they work for their parents’ enterprises, be they mom-and-pop retail stores or roadside hawker stalls, where they learn important lessons of economics and life generally far more effectively than at school. Malay students would hang around waiting for government jobs. The only lesson they would learn in such an environment is that the world owes them a living.

There is however one comparative statistics worth noting: tuition fees differential between public and private institutions. In Malaysia it is about ten-fold whereas in America it is about a 3 to 5- fold difference. I would narrow this by increasing tuition at public universities, coupled with more generous students aid. This would generate more revenue as well as reduce the subsidy for rich students.

Timid Report

The Report soft-pedals two separate but interrelated crucial issues: one, the dangerous racial segregation of educational institutions at all levels; and two, the intrusive as well as destructive role of politics, in particular language nationalism.

The Bank advocates the giving of scholarships for students to attend private institutions as one way of making them reflect the greater Malaysian society. I would go further and make it a condition for granting of permits. I agree with the Bank that we should treat private and pubic institutions equally with regard to awarding research funds and other grants. If these institutions are doing good research and performing useful societal functions, what difference does it make whether they are public or private?

Politics underlie most if not all the problems of our education system. While it is impossible to divorce politics (institutions ultimately must respond to the political realities) nonetheless once certain objectives are agreed upon by the body politic, then let the professionals take over in implementing them.

Take the teaching of science and mathematics in English and the general need to enhance the English proficiency of our students. This decision was made at the highest political level, yet at the slightest obstacle in implementing, an otherwise sensible policy was reversed. It is such a flip-flopping that is so destructive.

The World Bank should have been more forceful in presenting its recommendations and in highlighting what ails our education system. Had the Bank done so it would have encouraged the many voices for reform from within. That might just nudge these politicians and bureaucrats to take the necessary bold steps.

  1. #1 by mendela on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 3:43 am

    “Malay students would hang around waiting for government jobs. The only lesson they would learn in such an environment is that the world owes them a living.” Dr. Bakri Musa

    All these are the by-products of NEP. Without outlaw the evil NEP, Malays will forever need a wheel chair.

  2. #2 by OCSunny on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 6:55 am

    In Malaysia, Bahasa Malaysia is important as it is the national language. English is equally important as it is one of the major global language. The other languages, Chinese, Indian, Kadasandusun, etc are also important but they are mainly of mother tongue consideration.

    Therefore, at kindergarden level the time allocation ratio of Bahasa Malaysia:English or teaching and communication maybe at 50:50. At primary level, 60:40; secondary level 50:50; pre-university level 50:50 and university level 30:70. In Chinese medium schools, I leave it to those who have gone through such schools to share their views.

    Who do you think will be the scenario of those young Malaysians after one cycle has completed?

  3. #3 by tsn on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 7:19 am

    Like it or not worldly needs must be come before godly pursue. Ever growing population and dwindling natural resources, to satisfy basic biological needs is becoming a daunting task for every living being in this planet.

    The choice is with Malays, the hard fact is they only have one choice: REPRIORITIZE theirs life priorties.

  4. #4 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 8:05 am

    The problem is not just politics in education, its politics in almost all aspect of life in Malaysia. We have gov in our face like no other. How else can you explain the police chasing down DVD peddlers in a politician sex scandal but DVD sellers at every corner? How else can you explain police crashing into people’s house without warrant, principals that think Islamization of schools is not only their right but duty?

    If you are not going to admit that politics in our personal lives is a bad idea, there will be little systematic will to change politics in education or anything else.

  5. #5 by vehir on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 8:22 am

    The lady only knows the religous beliefs of Islam. She has never or had the mind to know the culture of other races in Malaysia.

    She need to go for training. Can someone open an institute to train all these stupid HM’s who thing that once in power they can do all sort of things. We conclude this is ETHNIC CLEANSING.

    Is there any circular from the Ministry of Education against such rulings imposed in this school? Did the HM attend any course conducted by the MOE. Was she given the course by MOE to carry out such actions?

    YB Kit should make a press statement to warn such stupid HM’s who have low mentality and arrogant.

  6. #6 by Anba on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 9:16 am

    Dear Bakri Musa,
    Thanks for a wonderful synopsis of the report done on reforming our Higher Learning Institution.
    I’m amazed that tax payers money are used for some qualitative/quantitative analysis on our own universities! What are our dean’s of our universities are doing? Are they not capable enough to conduct such a study? Or are these local university professors, who are the products of ‘spoon fed’ students who eventually climb their way up the ladder to become deans without really being scrutinized in their publishing and research abilities, unable to conduct world class research?

    There are many capable professors who are keen but perhaps they are shunned by either their deans and universities or the government, namely the past and present Education Minister, who never had specialized skills to reform the country’s educational curriculum, policies and equality in promoting a healthy educational system. I’m not sure about your back ground, but I believe you are teaching in a local university. Thank you for speaking up and sharing these news with us.

    Where can we obtain a copy of this report? I believe that to educate someone does not mean to only get a job for them, as the meaning behind the word educate is much deeper than to get a job and to improve an economy. The word “educate” with its Latin root educere or its English equivalence of “educe” means to bring out or to evoke something potential, hidden and latent. As such, to educate an individual means to bring out the best in them that lies hidden and latent. But to get to this point to bring the best out from a student is a far cry goal to acheive. First, the Malays (UMNO) needs to realize that by giving the Malays an easier path to higher education, they are actually crippling the quality of students produced from the local universities. Helping them to enter the local universities makes them become lazier and they take many economic activities for granted and rather outsource the work rather than learning and working on it. There is a Malay proverb that says ‘Melentur buloh biarlah dari rebungnya’ that translates to mean that it’s easier to bend a bamboo in it’s early of young shoot. In this context I mean that when a Malay student is ‘spoon fed’ by allowing them into local universities even though they do meet the entry requirements as posed to other ethnics, the country is actually crippling them for life. It’s because if they do not study hard when young and take the ‘tak apa’ attitude, they might exhibit the same mind set when they become adults. In essence, the governments efforts in admitting students not based on merit is actually damaging these students for life.

    Dr. Mahathir was the most appropriate PM to have discontinued to NEP, but he did not have the guts to upset the Malays too much. In essence, when the government decides to discontinue the NEP and the quota system, then you will find that many things will improve in the country. Abolishing the NEP would result in
    1. Producing quality students from the universities;
    2. The universities will be equipped with quality teachers/professors who themselves would have participated in a merit system entry into local universities and merit system in entering the universities to become a lecturer;
    3.There would be greater research and development commitments between private/government sectors with local universities; this would result in local universities making breakthroughs in technology and arts.
    4. This in return will result in local universities producing quality papers in international and reputable journals that will improve our university rankings in the world.
    5. In return, Malays, Chinese, Indians and all other races in the country will work together to make this country a great nation in the future.

    Until then, I’m hoping that you’d reply mentioning where could anyone get the report: Malaysia and the World Economy: Building a World-Class Higher Education System.

    May God bless Malaysia.

  7. #7 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 9:41 am

    Agreed. We are what we are today and we will continue to go down the slippery slope of ‘counter-excellence culture’ – all because of the useless and incompetent attitude, implementation, and governance of our civil servants and their political masters. They have no will power or they have the wrong will power.

    We are what we are today and we will continue to go down the slippery slope of ‘counter-excellence culture’ – not because we do not have reports of consultants telling us the correct paths to take. There are reports after reports. Actually it does not take a person with common sense to see what’s wrong with us and our system.

    However, our civil servants and their political masters are too concerned over their own selfish agenda and deep pockets.

    Let the rot go on!

  8. #8 by malaysianboleh on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 9:44 am

    As a malaysian i grown up here.I see things happening. The educational ration is double standard !. I meant “Double” The piority group of people think that they got the damm right,their entitlement.The government owe them their piority right to secure them a place for them to further their education.

    “Malay student is ’spoon fed’ by allowing them into local universities even though they do meet the entry requirements as posed to other ethnics”

    I am very sad as a malaysian ,i don’t have my right and i never got to offer a position in the university.

    The funding of large sum from “TAX PAYER’S” money to calling in expensive international consultants,is a mere waste of public fund .The money expenses can be of better use to build more university and improve the quality of educational infrastructure and educate the student ways to keep the environment clean.

    If you are drving along any highway and trunk road .One can easily spotted a group of road sweeper as i call it.Cleaning the rubbish on the road curb.Why is this happening? It all started form Poor educational system in the school.The basic education is vital to keep the people aware of disipline.Then come the method of education and continue reminder to carrying out the disipline consistantly.

    Is a waste of money to fund such an expensive international consultants.It won’t solve a simple proplem like this. The government must look at where we stands now.And don’t just take a big leap into a 360 degree change,in the hope to acheived another Malaysia Boleh Record in Education History !!!

  9. #9 by Anba on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 9:50 am

    Dear Malaysians,
    Hi there. I just did a search on Dr.Bakri Musa who wrote the book, “An Education System Worthy of Malaysia”. Here is a true blue Malaysian who cares about our education system and wote this book. I will buy this book immeadiately.
    Who is Dr. Bakri Musa?

    Malaysian-born Bakri Musa writes frequently on issues affecting his native land. His essays have appeared in the Far Eastern Economic Review, Asiaweek, International Herald Tribune, Education Quarterly, and The New Straits Times.
    His commentary has aired on National Public Radio’s Marketplace. His regular column Seeing It My Way appears in Malaysiakini. He has previously written The Malay Dilemma Revisited: Race Dynamics in Modern Malaysia as well as Malaysia in the Era of Globalization.
    Bakri’s day job (and frequently night time too!) is as a surgeon in private practice in Silicon Valley, California.

    Dr.Bakri’s book review by Oliver Loi as appeared in site:

    This is a highly recommended book for those who wish to know a level deeper about the Malaysian Education system than just a mere superficial observation of this issue. It provides a very accurate historical background as well as contemporary issues affecting the Malaysian Education system. I was a Malaysian government teacher myself for a number of years before I officially resigned last year. When I read Dr Bakri Musa’s book, everything that he wrote was applicable to my own experience as a government teacher. Malaysia needs more intellectuals like Dr Bakri Musa to give an honest and constructive view of what’s happening in our system. There are just too many Malaysian teachers out there who would agree with what Dr Bakri Musa had said in his book, but would be too afraid to admit out of fear. We should be able to evaluate our education system without fear I think. And fear should not be the obstacle for us to move forward.

    I bought this book in 2005 but I believe this book will continue to be of high relevance to the current state of our situation. “Terima Kasih Dr Bakri Musa. Bukumu umpama pelita lampu yang menyinari dan menerangi dunia pendidikan kita.” (Translation: Thank you Dr Bakri Musa. Your book is a lamp that enlightens our the world of our education.)

    Thank you Dr. Bakri Musa, for being a true Malaysian who is deeply interested in elevating our educational system.

    May God bless Malaysia.

  10. #10 by k1980 on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 10:04 am

    Schools in Malaysia educate the children to become high achievers; eg. to be able to create the HIGHEST pile of pirated VCDs, the LONGEST line of cows, or even the BIGGEST Ramly burger. …

  11. #11 by Godfather on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 10:49 am

    Mediocre architects and mediocre builders build mediocre buildings. Don’t ask for more than that.

  12. #12 by HJ Angus on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 11:01 am

    This latest report confirms that the authorities are only good at producing expensive reports that carry title like “World Class …..” in glossy and embossed print.

    Maybe they should all go and watch the movie as there is a most appopriate song there that has the words, “Let’s start at the very beginning…..”

  13. #13 by ablastine on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 12:23 pm

    Let us take consolation in the fact that our local universities just like our national schools are not really worth wasting time on. Why study so hard to get a piece of paper they call a degree where nobody respects or gives a damn about any more in the rest of the world given our poor ranking. Our best students with scholarships from other host countries will have no problem with quality education abroad. Of course most of these will never return as they see no future for themselves and their children. Why return to a place and face the inequitable treatment where one and family remain in perpetuality second class or third class citizen and face the inevitable pain that is to come. They will continue to perform and contribute fruitfully to the host country.

    Harping over the issue does very little to solve it. We know that the government will never take away the NEP. We know that the country sooner or later will be Islamized. Fighting it like what we are doing will merely delay the process. Of course when the religious bigots get what they want we will be long gone but our descendants may not as not all has another place to go to. Naturally they will suffer even
    more then now because Malaysia will have joint the ranks of the poorest of the African nations or the likes of Afgan under the Talibans. What I think will be most useful will be to establish some sort of a large foundation providing scholarships not only to the best students but to those with potential as well to study abroad so that many ore will escape the inevtable destruction of the country.

  14. #14 by bakrimusa on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 1:10 pm

    Dear Anba and All:

    Here (below) is the World Bank’s full report in pdf file. If the actual site is too long and you missed something, simply google “World Bank Malaysia education reform.” Bakri Musa

  15. #15 by k1980 on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 1:40 pm

    Reforming Higher Education? Too late…Another case of negligence by half-past six doctor at a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur

  16. #16 by tsn on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 1:58 pm

    Dr Bakri,

    Follow the same vein, Islam micromanages every aspect of life of Muslims, as far as international finance to their last piece of private hair. If you want to steer our nation to its rightful state, majority of its population (Muslims) must be set free from godly restrains & constrains. Life must be carried on by trotting along the scientifc path, strictly no wandering and detour, everything is worldly rationale and reasoning.

  17. #17 by helpless on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 2:30 pm

    Here is the cycle work.

    Ignorance Malay not tested under meritocracy system ->
    MALAY BOLEH POLICY have to lower exam passing mark ->
    More ignorance “educated” Malay graduated ->
    Young Malay generation become less hardworking ->
    Young generation unable to follow meritocracy system ->

    Here you go

    MALAY BOLEH POLICY lower down further education standard ->
    More ‘educated’ University graduate joined the society ->
    Idea of sure pass attitude planted in new generation ->

    As a result
    Thes ‘educated’ graduate is unemployed ->
    UMNO have to spoon feed with government project ->
    MALAY BOLEH POLICY have to set 30% bumi share ->

    More incompetent businessman cannot sustain in business ->
    UMNO BOLEH POLICY will utilise tax revenue inefficently to create more unproductive government project ->

    New generation of incompetence and uneducated Malays unable to compete under meritocracy system at every area. ->


    Here it come back again
    Instead of rectify the rootcause , MALAYSIA BOLEH POLICY just know to complain bumiputra is still lacking behind.

    Where is the root cause? Just wonder how stupid this ‘ educated ‘ people including our dear PM refuse to do this simple analysis!

  18. #18 by helpless on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 2:32 pm



  19. #19 by revelation on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 3:26 pm

    vote me to become education minister!!! in 3 years time i will transform our local primary and secondary teachers to be able to teach english! as it is now, our local graduates english a pathetic.

    1st thing i’ll do, i give all our english, maths and science teachers 2 english test. 1st is SPM level, and another is TESL level. whoever failed SPM level will have to go a compulsory for 2 mths crash course for basic english(with half month salary). failed again, they can teach PE lahh… whoever passed, can opt to teach primary school english/math/science subject. or can proceed to take TESL exam. incentives for those who can teach english/math/science of extra MYR1k from basic.

    passed TESL will get incentive of 1 month bonus + salary increment and qualify to teach in secondary school. failed will remain in primary school or last resort, teach PE…

    it doesn’t mean teaching PE is the lowest or demeaning job in our education system. PE is a starting point to find sports talent! looking at your sombre national sport performance in any level, it is also a high time to be serious about nurturing sports from school days! how?? simple, those PE teacher who can brought victory during intra school competition in any matches will then get to lead in division or states level in that particular sports arena. imagine out of 14 states in msia and we can have all the pool of talented PE teacher to lead our young atheletes, why do we need to hire foreign coaches or sending them for overseas training, wudn’t it be usefull if those money to build overseas sport facilities in UK or elsewhere are to be used as incentive for our own PE teachers??!

    i’m not educationist or teaching expert but if i can think of this simple solutions…the rest is the will of politicians to stop politicise educations for their own benefits.

    Uncle Kit and MB Musa…. i wonder, is there any statistic to show how many of our ministers put their kids in our national school up till university???

    and is there any statistic/report to show how many of our ministers own a Proton??

    i think we should into this findings b4 we look into other reports or start hiring expensive con-sultans?

  20. #20 by cheng on soo on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 4:28 pm

    Good consultants may give u best reports n recommendations, but if the “implementations” hv so many political obstacles, then what can the best consultants do? It is just wasting money !

  21. #21 by revelation on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 5:18 pm

    frm my experience working with consultants that is so called “the cream of the cream of the crops”, oh yes, they are very good in microsoft office presentation tools. very impressive graph, wordings and the numbers are simply mind boggling!!

    i recall half joke, half truth email to me years back about NASA looking for a solution for ink pen that can work in the zero gravity space. so they hired AC consultants and after years of research and millions of dollars spent, they finally created such a pen. The Russian had a similar problem but instead of spending millions, they used a 2B pencils which only cost few cents…

    i agree with Cheng OS above, its not just the reports but the implementations. in my opinion Uncle Kit, this govt should get the likes of bank CEO/COO characteristic to implement such policy and politician should wash their hands off. i was from bank before and 1 day delay in project implementation translates to millions revenue lost to competitor and somebody will get the boot for sure!! everything is accountable for, all the right questions were being asked to all those involved, no stone left unturned.

    i guess there are just too much individual interest at stake if such practice being done in govt.

  22. #22 by ablastine on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 7:17 pm

    Talking about banks revelation. If they are as good as you say they are why are all the Big ones in US including the Citigroup in so much trouble with the subprime problem?

  23. #23 by Justice_Democracy on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 8:53 pm

    Everyone, before you all make any changes, can you all help out those Chinese students who studying in Chinese Independent High School? This is because they all are holding a certificate, namely UEC, which is recognized by a lot of famous university in the world, for example National University of Singapore(world rank 22), Australia universities, Uk universities and united States Universities. See, so many famous university accept their certificate, but our dear government don’t accept?

    For example, in Johor Bahru, there is a very famous Chinese Independent School, name Foon Yew High School. Every year they have around 1000 students graduate, but nevertheless, they all not accepted by local universities, which means that they have to find expensive private colleges or go oversea. How fair is it to Chinese Independent School? Furthermore, Chinese Independent Schools always facing some monetary problem, for example, they need to pay large amount of money to cover most of the expensive and those money mostly come from Chinese in Malaysia and the school fee for this high school is around RM100 per month. Our dearest government didn’t provide any subsidies to them and every year have so many teenagers cannot study in local universities. For those who are rich then will be fine, but what about those who cannot get scholarship? What about those who unable to afford the expensive colleges/universities fees? Ask them to eat grass in order to save money? Ridiculous! So, I suggest that we solve this urgent problem instead…

  24. #24 by chgchksg128 on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 10:07 pm
    no hope for Malaysia if they can not solve the education problems….
    DAP should think of how to win the elction rather than every time only to deny two-third majority

  25. #25 by hiro on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 10:10 pm

    First thing to solve is press freedom. We need to mobilise the minds of all Malaysians if we are to overcome the scourge of NEP.

  26. #26 by bystander on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 - 10:57 pm

    i agree with anba dr musa writes some very interesting articles and books. pls ask him this question ” is he in favour of doing away with special malay rights ie ketuanan melayu?” from the above article one gets the impression that he is for meritocracy and doing away with NEP. but he is NOT unless he has changed his mind since. i consider dr musa a hypocrite until such time he openly declares that he is against special malay rights

  27. #27 by ChinNA on Thursday, 17 January 2008 - 5:32 am

    The are questions about the value of consultants. In my experience, the main value of consultants are to tell you EXPLICITLY what you already know but you are afraid to say it.

    Some even say that a consultant is someone who looks at your watch and tells you the time.

    However, sometimes we need that. It acts a catalyst of change. Consultants are only catalysts, the correct chemicals still needs to be in place before the reaction can happen.

    As in chemistry, some reactions needs a catalyst and others don’t. What is the right answer for Malaysia? Comments, anyone?

  28. #28 by ChinNA on Thursday, 17 January 2008 - 5:42 am

    About Chinese independent schools. They are good, in fact, really fantastic. Back in 1980s, the only problem is graduate’s command of English.

    Back in my days in NUS, these students went on to be very successful in their studies, coping much better that some of those who have STPM.

    What does this mean to Malaysia? Another avenue for brain drain. Perhaps it is for the better or perhaps not. Depends on how you look at it whether you use a national perspective or a personal perspective.

    This state of reality is had to accept but we must.

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