Another example of Malaysian university mediocrity

Educational and in particular university quality and excellence has increasingly become an important indicator not only of a nation’s international competitiveness but its capacity for development as a world-class developed nation.

A recent news report in the world of higher education is a sobre and sombre reminder as to how far we have lagged behind in the international stakes for university excellence and development of quality human resources.

Earlier this month, it was announced that the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia’s much anticipated US$10 billion university, has appointed Shih Choon Fong, a Singaporean as its first president.

Shih, who is president of the National University of Singapore, will assume the task of creating from scratch what Saudi Arabia hopes will become one of the world’s leading research institutions.
Ali Al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s minister of petroleum and mineral resources, who is chairman of the university’s governing board, said that Shih was “the right person” to fulfill the vision for the new institution. The university, known as Kaust, is scheduled to open in September 2009.

Was any Malaysian from the 20-odd public universities in serious running of being scouted in the extensive global search among top academic research leaders for the top job for the world’s sixth richest university even before it opens, as King Abdullah provided US$10 billion of his own money to start the new institution?

Malaysian educators should have an edge over an Singaporean as both Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are members of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Islam Hadhari concept propagated by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, but clearly these “affinities” were not enough when it is a test of excellence and meritocracy.

Malaysians would like to hear from the Prime Minister and the Higher Education Minister, Datuk Mustapha Mohamad as to what they have to say why no Malaysian was in the running for the top prestigious job for KAUST and what they propose to do to end the mediocrity of Malaysian universities in the international league of higher education.

  1. #1 by sybreon on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 8:33 am

    By suggesting what you did in the 6th paragraph, you’re suggesting that meritocracy should take a back seat to religious affiliation. If based on meritocracy, the issue of religion should not even come into the picture. In countries that practice equal opportunity employment, race/religion isn’t even a question.

  2. #2 by bystander on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 8:42 am

    denial syndrome is prevalent among UMNOputras. they will deny that our education is not of 1st class. in fact the country is going down the chute. period.

  3. #3 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 8:55 am

    There may be a sprinkiling of, let’s be frank, non-Malay academics who might have made the grade if…but only if….. But the academic environment has stifled their development and smothered their budding potential. Seriously then, no one would have even been shorlisted because none of their CVs would have stood up to the scrutiny particularly if their exposure and experience have been limited to the insipid circles of the local academia.

    Frankly, I see no hope at all, even come 2057 if BN remains in power. This matter is a non-starter. We can’t even get to the starting blocks, so let’s not kid ourselves. And I think, YB, we might as well give up baying at the moon or Mustapha – they are so imbecilic, nothing will move, nothing will change. Putting one or two outstanding non-Malay academics in the forefront (like Prof Khoo Kay Khim, for instance) is only a windrow dressing, an eye-wash if you like. The problem, obviously is the system and the rot is systemic and entire!

    I have long given up hope on the Malaysian academia. The only strand of light that can emerge is if, and only if, a PKR/DAP coalition takes over the government and revamp the nation’s processes bottom-up and top-down. The cancer has indeed reached all extremities. Does anyone disagree?

  4. #4 by budak on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 9:38 am

    you can ask yourself why UMNO’s sent their children to OZ-lan, Kiwi-land, British/Wales and Bush-land to study…

    coz Malangsial University pepur no face value… :-)

  5. #5 by Godson on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 9:52 am

    Malaysian education? Sh….t. One thing for sure, im getting my children out soon. Dont waste my time and money here in this so call bolehland.

    Uncle Kit. We will be on your side. You can count on us. We want to see the BN out this time.

  6. #6 by ngahc on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 10:05 am

    Singapore has one of the best education system in the world. This is widely recognized by many international bodies via tests and surveys. As they have no natural resources, human capital is their main competitive edge. When world’s banking giants such as UBS, Citigroup and JP Morgan encountered problems, Singapore as a “red dot” is available to help these “giants” with monies. How about Malaysia?

  7. #7 by megaman on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 10:18 am

    The sheikhs in middle east are not stupid. In fact, they are the shrewdest businessmen in the world.

    They understand what is needed to get their investments to work.
    Unlike Malaysia, throw billions into MUST then sabotaged it by screwing with the internal policies.

  8. #8 by grace on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 10:26 am

    I rember one of the states in USA, ifI am not mistaken California, came to Singapore and studied its Mathematics programmes and sylabi for secondary school with the aim of adopting it. If USA can come to Singapore to learn , itshowed that it really is of world class.
    Oh yes, we have something very special for others to learn. We have the expertise if waving keris which Hishamuddin would be the chief coach. In this field Singapore is far, far, far behind!!!

  9. #9 by megaman on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 10:33 am

    Hi Grace,

    Yes, it is true. Singapore text books for math and science are being used as a reference to create the new batch of text books for Californian school children.

    The results speak for themselves.


  10. #10 by malaysia_mana_boleh on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 10:43 am

    “Malaysian educators should have an edge over an Singaporean as both Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are members of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Islam Hadhari concept propagated by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, but clearly these “affinities” were not enough when it is a test of excellence and meritocracy.”


    YB Lim,
    R u encouraging nepotism via religion? I guess you are more Malaysian that we thought you are. :-)

  11. #11 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 10:44 am

    Lee Kuan Yew is feeling highly satisfied right now. I pity the Singaporean who has to live with his self-righteous ways but I pity Malays who can’t see that this could have been a Malay and worst that it will be a long long time maybe never even that this would happen.

  12. #12 by malaysia_mana_boleh on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 10:53 am

    Malaysian education is and will always be substandard due to 2 reasons:

    1. the unwillingness to appoint better and qualified candidate for important roles in the education system due to skin color and religion. Clearly these candidates can change and improve the education system of Malaysia but are not selected.

    2. Poor quality students are enrolled into public universities. Simply put it, when the material used is bad there is no way we can build good foundation and it is bound to collapse. Again, skin color and religion are the culprit.

    Will we be able to stop this predicament? 100% unlikely.

  13. #13 by BoycottLocalPapers on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 10:54 am

    Is Shih Choon Fong a Muslim? If not, then I wonder why Saudi Arabia prefer him to any fellow Muslim brothers from Malaysia.

    If Shih Choon Fong is not a Muslim, I doubt he would get the top job in any of the top universities in Malaysia as race and religion are very important to UMNO leaders in determining the capability of someone to lead a local university. Surprisingly, race and religion are not that important to a country like Saudi Arabia that practices the strictest form of Islam when it comes to choosing someone to lead a university.

    Will PAK LAH (Can someone good in Malay & Arabic explain why all Malaysians are allowed to call him Father God while Christians are not allowed to use the word Allah?) as the head of OIC feel offended by Saudi Arabia’s decision to give preference to a Singaporean Chinese instead of a Malay from UMNO?

  14. #14 by grace on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 10:58 am

    Mr Lim,
    I do not think the Saudis think along that line that preference isgiven to OIC members.
    I am glad theSaudis can identitify the real talents and are serious in getting the best.
    We have Prof Wang Gang Wu who had been wooed by overseas U and many more. Do you think we feel the lost? Never .
    There is a person whom I know is lecturing in a good U in USA . He is a prof in maths. Tried to apply to UM for a post. No reply. And I understand that one of the Singapore Us was clamouring for him.
    Why was he rejected? Because our local Uni are full of “talents”.

  15. #15 by malaysia_mana_boleh on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 10:58 am

    Hey isn’t our Malaysian Universities akin to Proton?

    For EXACTLY the same reasons:

    1. Capable leaders are not appointed to save face :(

    2. Material used is low quality.

  16. #16 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 11:10 am

    In 30 years, Lee Kuan Yew put a Singaporean in to head Saudi Arabian university. Do anyone believe that Badawi can do the same in 30 years? This is what he is promising this time around.

  17. #17 by budak on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 11:15 am

    BoycottLocalPapers Says:
    “Is Shih Choon Fong a Muslim? If not, then I wonder why Saudi Arabia prefer him to any fellow Muslim brothers from Malaysia.”

    Prof. Shih Profile:

    Does any of our beloved Malaysian University professors have this values…?

    “H.E. Minister Al-Naimi also said, “Professor Shih is a man of purpose, conviction and cultural sensitivity. He has shown himself to be a ‘builder of bridges’ across peoples, disciplines, institutions and cultures. With his experience in building NUS as a global research university with an entrepreneurial dimension, Professor Shih has the vital attributes to facilitate the synergy between science and technology transfer. Working with the private sector, KAUST can be an engine of innovation and economic growth, providing greater opportunities to diversify the Saudi economy. We are confident that under his leadership KAUST will become a global center of scientific research that brings benefits to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond.”

    More Info:

  18. #18 by malaysia_mana_boleh on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 11:16 am

    Badawi will put a Malaysian into Saudi Arabian university to sweep and mop the floor. Still an achievement for badawi.

  19. #19 by Jan on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 11:23 am

    In this country everything is about race and religion at the expense of meritocracy. If you are not of the right color or religion you can never progress here in public service even though you are a genius.
    This had been emphathetically shown by those in power thru their keris waving and their frantic warnings to the minority races. Even if the country go down the drain these racists wouldn’t give a damn.

  20. #21 by BoycottLocalPapers on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 11:39 am

    This decision to appoint a Singaporean Chinese to lead King Abdullah’s U is a big blow to all Arabized Malaysians as the real Arabs prefer a non-Arabized Singaporean to all Arabized Malaysians.

    Is Datuk Mustapha Mohamad or Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin bin Tun Hussein qualified to lead this University? Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin bin Tun Hussein is very anti-Americans and anti-Jews. I am sure he would be able to teach Saudi Arabians to burn the flags of USA and Israel better than Shih Choon Fong. Why the King of Arabs didn’t choose Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin bin Tun Hussein to lead the University? Is his keris too small if compared to the Arab sword?

    We have entered the age of globalization where the people of the world are unified into a single society. The real Arabs already woke up from their sleep. Why the fake Arabs of UMNO are still asleep and dreaming about the Ketuanan Melayu? Does the word “Ketuanan” have the same meaning as “KeTUHANAN”? If I am not miistaken Tuhan and Tuan have same meaning. If it does, then I lament for the future of Malaysia.

  21. #22 by UzMiNoOnist on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 11:39 am

    Hi BoycottLocalPapers.

    A little correction. When Bodohwi is called Pak Lah, he is mostly not referred as ‘Father of God’ but more like Godfather with the support of bandits and thieves from UMNO.

  22. #23 by Saint on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 11:49 am

    A real concern for the Malaysian Education Minister & Education System

  23. #24 by Libra2 on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 12:25 pm

    Many here might be able to recall when Tan Siu Sin’s signature appeared on the Malaysian Dollar there was so much hue and cry why a Chinese should sign the note. Later it was replaced by the signature of Bank Negara Governor. (Correct me if I am wrong since this was a long time ago).
    Race is an issue even on a signature.
    Even a lowly national primary school head or a district officer has to be a Malay.
    If they are so petty about race and religion what hope is there for a Chinese or Indian to be accepted as an equal citizen.

  24. #25 by BoycottLocalPapers on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 12:36 pm


    UzMiNoOnist Says:

    Today at 11: 39.32 (50 minutes ago)
    Hi BoycottLocalPapers.

    A little correction. When Bodohwi is called Pak Lah, he is mostly not referred as ‘Father of God’ but more like Godfather with the support of bandits and thieves from UMNO.


    BoycottLocalPapers Says:

    Hi UzMiNoOnist,

    I think yours is probably the correct translation as Father God is a literal translation of PAK LAH while your translation conveys the actual meaning in English. Anyway, if I am a Muslim I will feel offended if someone call me PAK (AL)LAH but I wonder why this is not the case. Anyway, the meaning that you gave still does not justify why Christians are not allowed to call God Allah why all Malaysians are allowed to call the PM Father God / God Father.

  25. #26 by grace on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 12:44 pm

    Aiya, Singapore is far ahead in all fields la-economy, education, medicine and what have you!
    When Suharto is sick, Lee Kuan Yew went tio visit him. Not to be outdone, TDM quickly visited Suharto the followingday. When Tsunami hitAceh, Singaporeans were already saving lives. We are still sleeping like the leaders!!!
    Malaysia Sangat Boleh!

  26. #27 by pulau_sibu on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 12:55 pm

    I am sorry for Singapore. Singapore lost a great scholar. Who else can Singapore get now?

    I think Shih has a Malaysian mother??

    I think Shih was already a very well established US professor, at Brown. So he can go any where from the Ivy League school. If you are just an established boleh professor, you cannot go far. The point here is not Singapore versus boleh, but it is US versus boleh. Thus he was picked up by the Saudi.

  27. #28 by Cinnamon on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 1:03 pm

    Malaysia needs technical people, even the BN talks about it.

    You should take a look at SPM BM paper syllabus. You would be shocked at how many novels the students need to read!

    If the student has technical interest, why the hell force him to read that many novels. Is this one way to make people buy the novels?

    The government must streamline the people. Those who like Malay literature, let them study these novels,, for the rest give them a break.


  28. #29 by sotong on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 1:16 pm

    Middle East countries are fully awared that their sole and biggest revenue from oil will dry up soon or an alternative energy found to reduce greenhouse effect from fuel.

    With generations being made complacent living on oil revenue alone, it is just a matter of time their future generations will be left behind and suffer in a rapidly changing, globalised and competitive world.

  29. #30 by boh-liao on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 1:26 pm

    Sadly, we have a lot of katak-katak in coconut shells. They think so highly of Malaysia and even thought that Singapore is just a little red dot and not a nation. These katak-katak don’t even know what hits them.

    They should check out the following news and then ask themselves: Why did Saudi Arabia not seek advice from our PM and other ministers who are fellow Muslims? Why did Saudi Arabia not engage the services of our glocal companies? Why did Saudi Arabia regard Lee Kuan Yew’s advice and Singaporean companies’ capabilities so highly?
    Saudi Arabia wants to become one of the top ten competitive destinations in the world by 2010 and the oil-rich kingdom is keen for Singapore partners to help make it happen.

    The King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is hailed as the second Singapore, largely due to the advice Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew gave during his previous visit to Saudi Arabia in 2006.

    Fahd A. Al-Rasheed added: “From the start, the KAEC has worked with Singaporean companies from design all the way to development of the city. For example, on the master planning side, we worked with RSP to re-master plan the city and create the master plan we have today.”
    MM Lee says Saudi Arabia needs to pay attention to human capital

    Saudi Arabia must pay attention to human capital if it wants to be among the top ten globally competitive investment destinations by 2010, Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said during a visit to the kingdom’s National Competitive Center in Riyadh.
    MM Lee advises Saudi residents to make good use of oil

    Many Saudis present at the Global Competitiveness Forum in the Saudi city of Riyadh wanted Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s advice on a range of issues including what he would put into a roadmap for the kingdom.

    Hats off to Saudi Arabia for being humble while ambitious in seeking all avenues to achieve their national goals.

    In Malaysia, we have too many self-regarded smart Alecks who ruin the nation without knowing it. They should learn humility and proper vision from the people who rule Saudi Arabia.

    Another compliment paid to Singapore and their people:
    Singapore sets up new research centre with MIT

    MIT provost Prof Rafael Reif said, “Singapore is very unique to offer those kinds of facilities and laboratories. MIT does not have them. We have talent; we have personnel; we have the interest. Singapore also has the talent and personnel and laboratories, and those make a very unique set of opportunities for us to interact and carry out those projects here in Singapore.”

    There are many positive news associated with Singapore these days, while, on the other hand, Malaysia is stuck with negative, tribal news, created by narrow-minded self-enriching racists who pretend to rule the nation democratically.

  30. #31 by budak on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 1:32 pm

    just list down the bunch of BN so call leaders pepur qualification…
    you may find some funny University which may not able to find on earth… and you also find some of them not even pass SPM… :-)

    proof me wrong… :-)

  31. #32 by Plaintruth on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 2:00 pm

    How would one previal and compete in the international academic and practical science forum when the student has to take the compulsary subject of “Islamic influcence of science in Asia” in UKM?

    Singapore practise fair and just competition in every arena…. in education, in business, in religion, in military, in government and so Singapore is light year ahead of the UMNOPUTRA controlled corrupted government. Two nations breath the same air and the drink the same water across the strait and have the similar makeup of population (Chinese, Malay, Indian) and yet it is far apart in advancement…. I wonder the UMNOPUTRA has the discriminating brain to analyse what went wrong?

    Does the political climate, social justice climate has anything to do with foreign companies investing their money building factories and bringing in technologies into the less developed countries like Thailand and Vietnam? Malaysia is lack behind in this aspect because of the foreign companies are not bodoh. They see the same discrimination policy apply towards them.

    The only way to change this corrupted governemnt is not to vote for BN.

  32. #33 by cheng on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 2:18 pm

    The middle eastern people will never put “that” in their priority. There is no such thing as “ka-ki-lang”. To them, meritocracy comes first. “I will employ the guy who help me make/save the most money!” Ask any of our taxi drivers about middle eastern tourists…

    Judge me, patriotic or not, when I say, “See how long they can stand…” You know who they are.

  33. #34 by mendela on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 2:51 pm

    Pak Lah means ‘Father of God”?

    To me, Pal Lah is Father of all Air-heads!

  34. #35 by geranamo on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 3:37 pm

    I feel what the saudis have done is very correct,you have the money and initiative you pick the best based on meritrocracy THE BEST MAN OR WOMENP for the job with a proven track record, This is how the actual world works, unlike Malaysia where we have the village idiot running the education portfolio THROUGHOUT the world in the education field the “lead by example moto” is the norm but unfortunatly here it is the very opposite but then with the leaders like ours who needs enemies!

    The chlidren of our leaders are getting their education overseas whilst, the children of commoners with good grades of non particular race are marginalised and made to fend for themselves. Every year Singapore is waiting for our cream and sponsoring their education, and what do Malaysia actually keep, the peanut brains.

  35. #36 by malaysia_mana_boleh on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 3:48 pm

    Pak Lah = sleeping old man

    Pak Lah = father of bull s-h-i-t

  36. #37 by geranamo on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 3:56 pm

    I received this mail today and no doubt off topic, may be of interest and could apply to our friend toddy adnan and would make a fitting moto for his ministry, instead of ‘MALAYSIA TRULY ASIA” SHOULD READ “Malaysian truly nesia” morally apt.

    “Dr Mnesia, Lingamnesia and Samnesia
    Dean Johns | Jan 23, 08

    You won’t remember this, as it was so long ago and you’ve had far more pressing matters on your mind, but back in November 2006 I wrote a column for Malaysiakini titled An aide memoire on amnesia.

    I’d almost forgotten about this myself until recent events in Malaysia jogged my memory of it. Looking it up, I’m reminded that I mentioned as many versions of amnesia as I could think of at the time. Including ‘cramnesia’ (forgetting all the facts we all crammed to get through school or university); ‘jamnesia’ (forgetting our vows to never again venture out in the traffic on festive-season weekends); and ‘RAMnesia’, the total memory-loss we suffer when our computers crash or die.

    But these were all incidental in leading to the point I was attempting to make, which is that the most dangerous form of amnesia is ‘scamnesia’, the tendency to forget the tricks played on us by those we unwisely trust to act in our best interests, like elected representatives, the police and other so-called civil servants and institutions including the judiciary and the press.

    And, re-reading that old piece as I did just now, I’m reminded that I also referred to ‘Saddamnesia’, an extreme form of amnesia that causes some of us to forget that we may someday pay the ultimate price for our crimes; and ‘Umnesia’, a tendency for some people to forget that they’re neither superior to nor more privileged than Malaysians of other parties, races or religions.

    I recall feeling pretty well satisfied at the time that I’d exhausted the topic of amnesia and its multifarious mutations. But recent events have prompted me to re-think the topic, and revisit if not revise it.

    One current form of amnesia that I suppose I can be forgiven for failing to foresee, as Anwar Ibrahim had yet to release the video which an investigation is now evoking examples of it, is ‘Examnesia’. The inability of the focal figure and at least one key witness in the ongoing judge- fixing inquiry to remember anything much under cross-examination.

    Examnesia evidently takes two forms. The first, ‘Dr Mnesia’, in which the witness clearly considers himself too important and confident of his immunity from blame to be bothered even trying to remember.

    Blissful ignorance

    And then there’s ‘Lingamnesia’, a species of forgetting formerly known in legal circles as ‘The I dunno, Your Honour, I was drunk at the time’ defence. Neither Dr Mnesia nor Lingamnesia would stand up in court, of course, let alone a royal commission. Which explains why the government has chosen to set up a panel without any powers to improve a system whose faults it would prefer to preserve.

    Another form of amnesia that’s causing a lot of talk right now is what I suppose by right should be called ‘Samynesia’ but which for the sake of euphony I’ll take the liberty of shortening to ‘Samnesia’. Depending who you are, you can define this syndrome either of two ways.

    If you take the Hindraf point of view, Samnesia is the condition from which Mr Samy Vellu has chronically suffered for decades, causing him to forget the welfare of his constituents in favour of cashing-in on his position and mis-managing their investment funds.

    But on the contrary, if you’re a member or supporter of the Barisan Nasional or the MIC, or both, Samnesia signifies the sad failure on some peoples’ part to remember what wonders Works Minister Samy Vellu has wrought for their benefit.

    In a desperate attempt to push the latter interpretation, Prime Minister Abdullah recently declared a public holiday in KL and Putrajaya for Thaipusam. But whether this will prove powerful enough sop to overcome disaffected Indians’ Samnesia, only the forthcoming general election will tell.

    Of course, in preparation for the general election, as big a proportion as possible of the Malaysian population is being lulled, as usual, into a state of blissful ignorance and forgetfulness that, in recognition of the tireless manipulation of the ‘mainstream’ media by (mis)information minister Zainuddin Maidin, could well be termed ‘Zamnesia’.

    And it’s timely to remind ourselves that any of us with family, friends or colleagues suffering from Zamnesia would do well to get involved with Ops Bawa Berita Balik Kampung, see , or the Newspaper Hatal campaign being waged by Helen Ang and Haris Ibrahim of The People’s Parliament.

    Perpetual domination

    However powerfully the government promotes Zamnesia, however, there’s one event it never lets the voters forget: May 13. In fact Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak was hard at work plugging it again just the other day, claiming that official crack-downs on Hindraf and other recent rallies had averted a serious risk of racial violence.

    ‘If the Malays of Kampung Baru come out then we have the spectre of a serious possibility of a racial clash in this country,” he reportedly said in an interview with AFP, adding that, “There were signs that they were preparing to come out so we had to tell them, ‘look, don’t make the situation any worse’,’

    Despite having such a clear recollection of May 13 1969, however, and being so determined to remind the opposition of the possibility of a repeat performance, Najib and many of his colleagues seem otherwise to have a very poor memories indeed.

    In fact, they appear to suffer badly from ‘haramnesia’, a tendency to forget that just as threats of bloodshed against the innocent are not ‘halal’, neither are deceit, corruption or many of the other techniques routinely employed by Barisan Nasional in its pursuit of perpetual domination.

    As a foreigner, of course I can’t participate in the elections in Malaysia. But at least I can urge anyone who’ll listen to have an attack of amnesia when it comes time to remember to vote for BN ”

    so do we keep on voting these morons back into office, and meanwhile watch the news statements we have these “begger with bowl syndrome” a disease which has a 4 to 5 year cycle, casting for votes.

  37. #38 by ktteokt on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 4:15 pm

    What meritocracy is there to talk about when they look at skin colours to decide who gains entry to universities? Reserving places in universities for bumiputras has created lots of problems since its implementation. Money has been flowing out of the nation to provide education for those who can afford to send their children overseas.

    And just what did these “lucky” bumiputras choose to study in the universities? Islamic studies! So we are churning out lots of “holy people” in Malaysia with university qualifications. And how does that benefit our nation who pledges to move forward in a modern era with science and technology as its preference?

  38. #39 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 4:55 pm

    One way BN can win the next election is to promise that:

    1) THe next First Finance Minister will be a Chinese from DAP e.g. Tony Pua

    2) The next Education Minister will be from DAP, say, Lim Guan Eng.

    3) The next Department Head of National Service will be Najib, demoted from DPM.

    4) The next State Education Officer for Johore (no insult to Johoreans; take back what is naturally yours), is Kerismuddin.

    And so the list goes on….

    But who can trust Pak LAh’s hollow promises anymore? That’s why BN must lose the next election so that PKR and DAP have a free hand to choose their Ministers based on meritocracy….brain power and not skin colour.

  39. #40 by Orangutan on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 5:02 pm

    “Ka-Ki-Lang” ? come on guys, give me a break…….. The Arabs never look to the muslems in South East Asia as ‘Ka-Ki-Lang” for your info. It is only that some groups of ppl in SEA are desperate to associate themself with the Arabs in their attempt to find an identity and cultural linkage to a past great civilisation.
    Many Arabs even know the NEP policy and have negative views on the ppl who still cannot stand on their own feet and need its support after so many years.

    To the Arabs, business is business, religion is religion. I am speaking as a person who is now living in Riyadh and has very much social and business interactions with the Gulf Arabs.

    The appointment of the NUS professor as the president of King Abdullah University only goes to show that the Saudis uphold meritocracy more than anything else. Even Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s advice was sought by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah in the planning of the King Abdullah Economic City near Jeddah. Malaysia has been perceived to have an edge over Singapore in when it comes to doing business in Middle-East because of the religious, linguistic and cultural linkage. But that has just been proven otherwise.

    By the way, Assalam Mualaikum is an acceptable greeting from a non-muslem in Saudi Arabia.

  40. #41 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 5:07 pm

    No need for 15As and 16As as in Malaysia. Why such a huge difference between S’pore & Malaysia?

    MGS, SCGS girls top O Level exams
    By Jane Ng
    THE two top students in the 2007 GCE O level examination are from Methodist Girls’ and Singapore Chinese Girls’ schools, with each scoring 9A1s and an A2.
    They are Kim Chan Xinhui of MGS and Perlyn Ler Jia Ning of SCGS.

    Seventeen top Chinese students obtained 9 A1s, according to the O level results out on Thursday.

    MGS also produced the top Malay student – Nurul Azizah Johari, who scored 8A1s and an A2.

    There were 10 top Indian students, five of whom obtained 8A1s and an A2, and five with 8A1s.

  41. #42 by megaman on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 5:32 pm

    Well, people in this blog dare to compare Malaysia with Singapore.

    Our leaders compare Malaysia with Zimbabwe.

    What say you ?

  42. #43 by fido on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 5:42 pm

    As long as they do not get rid of their thick skin and admit that they are far far behind from world class……nothing will change…period.

    The only thing they can do is continue to lock themselves under the tempurong and trying to fool all the frogs under it to believe that under this shell is what the whole world looks like.

    Come on…wake up!! Get the best to the job, regardless of color. Dare to prove this wrong?

  43. #44 by raven77 on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 7:15 pm

    At the end of the day you must know how do your job and deliver….the Saudis know it…..the Malaysians dont…

  44. #45 by boh-liao on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 7:25 pm

    Under TDM, Malaysia built a huge, huge airport (long before Thailand built their new airport and before Singapore expanded Changi to include the new Terminal 3) with the intention to make KLIA THE hub in this region.

    If KLIA were really effective and efficient in terms of cost and service as THE hub in this region, Thailand and Singapore would not have built their new airport and terminal.

    The fact is both the new airport of Thailand and Terminal 3 of Singapore, though built later than KLIA, are much more busy (in terms of volumes of passengers and flights) than the ghostly KLIA.

    Malaysia Boleh, indeed?!

  45. #46 by DarkHorse on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 8:36 pm

    There are too many universities in Malaysia. It is fast becoming a form of disguised unemployment. The rate of unemployment should be increased to reflect the real extent of unemployment.

    With the threat of a global recession on the horizon, it may in fact serve a useful purpose i.e. keep those who would be new entrants to the labor market off the streets for a few more years.

  46. #47 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 8:54 pm

    “too many universities in Malaysia”

    In the 70s, MARA used to operate technical colleges untill someone decreed that the colleges would become universities as it was deemed inappropriate that the Bumi students were getting an inferior education to those in the Us.

    It was a politically motivated decision and since then we have had a surplus of graduates and too few technicians. Those who should be repairing and maintaining equipment are in short supply but we have produced thousands of graduates the majority of whom are below par for employment at executive level.

    Not point trying to compare with Singapore standards. I sent 4 of my children through their schools and two into their Us and that was the best thing we did for them.

    Let’s ask for something more basic of our education system. Make sure that those who qualify can enter the U and those who graduate are job ready with no need for further skills development for another 6 months.

  47. #48 by aiD_kamikuP on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 9:08 pm

    “There are too many universities in Malaysia.”

    With the country already lagging behind many of her neighbours it will not take long before Malaysia exports domestic maids with university degrees.

  48. #49 by DarkHorse on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 9:14 pm

    My Indian barber from India in the 60s had a bachelor’s degree in commerce. It would not be long before Malay, Chinese and Indian barbers have doctorate degrees.

  49. #50 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 9:55 pm

    sorry typo

    No point and not “not point”

  50. #51 by Earshot on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 10:17 pm

    The education system did not slide to mediocrity (may be even the doldrums) overnight. It would take many years after introduction and implementation of myopic reforms to bring it to this state. So we cannot squarely lay the blame on the present administration alone for this mess.
    Students who sat for Cambridge School Cert up to about early 1970s knew the high esteem their education and certificate enjoyed especially when they pursued higher education overseas. In the years after Mahathir was appointed Education Minister, he was responsible for drafting the KBSM syllabus. Since then collaboration with overseas universities for school certificate vanished. And so too went the standard of education.
    Don’t forget that he was also responsible for the quota system in higher education, decimating the number of places in higher education for deserving non-Bumis who after being denied of their rightful place resort to studying in foreign countries.
    Is it a wonder then that mediocrity now rules?

  51. #52 by ablastine on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 11:15 pm

    Don’t be so sad lah. Our good students and your able children should have no problem finding a place for themselves in this globalise world. Stay in Malaysia for what. We know that those imbeciles in charge will never change and do what is needed to get the country back into shape.

    There are so many scholarships on the offering and so many good Universities in the world to apply to. What for study in Universities in the country whose certificate or degree will probably not be worth the paper it is printed on in time to come. The nearest to us Singapore, now have top schools, universities, research institutions and plenty of scholarships and they welcome anyone with the aptitude and ability to take advantage of them. If it is of any comfort I understand a good number of the staff manning these renowned institutions are Malaysian. So we have helped Singapore at least in part to be what it is today. We on the other hand should feel some measure of gratitude to Singapore for affording so many of our children a way out of our beloved country which is fast becoming a hellhole.

  52. #53 by DarkHorse on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 11:17 pm

    Mahathir was populist in his views. The damage he did would take many years for us to un-do if that’s possible at all.

  53. #54 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 25 January 2008 - 1:05 am

    We all know how Singapore leaders pursuit quality. I remembered how my daughter got panic who the Asean scholarship board kept pestering as to why she didnot take up the offer. We decided against it because she had just completed standard 6 and we had no saudara over there. Of course that decision cost us our life savings when she enrolled overseas. Result? We never had any regret. Otherwise ‘susah mahu cari makan’ back here.
    After all these years, the so-called leaders had kept on cheating the nation; you Malaysians have only one OPTION. That is at the GE!!

  54. #55 by ChinNA on Friday, 25 January 2008 - 3:09 am

    “Two nations breath the same air and the drink the same water across the strait and have the similar makeup of population (Chinese, Malay, Indian) and yet it is far apart in advancement” – Plaintruth

    While the main races are the same, the propotion of these races in Singapore and Malaysia is different. Therein lies the difference.
    Singapore is a very ‘brutal’ country when it comes to meritocracy.

    However, it is necessary to survive. So in Singapore, you try not to be on the wrong end of meritocracy spectrum.

    In Malaysia, I guess, you might not want to be on the wrong end of the colour spectrum.

  55. #56 by ChinNA on Friday, 25 January 2008 - 3:14 am

    “Two nations breath the same air and the drink the same water across the strait and have the similar makeup of population (Chinese, Malay, Indian) and yet it is far apart in advancement… I wonder the UMNOPUTRA has the discriminating brain to analyse what went wrong?” – Plaintruth.

    In my opinion, the discriminating brain of UMNOPUTRA could have guided us to this position.


  56. #57 by menarambo on Friday, 25 January 2008 - 6:48 am

    I still remember seeing an ad in the Economist magazine. It was by Nanyang Tech U. seeking to fill a dept. head position in their Engineering dept. Does our Malaysian U do that? That’s a world wide magazine, means people is willing to open up the door to attract the best people to lead their school, whereas we are still playing racial cards. There are a lot of Malaysian Phd. in US and Europe, contributing to other countries’ success. I personally know a Phd from Malaysia who is working R&D for Rolls Royce, reseaching aircraft and submarine engine, and also reseaching in a University. There are also countless Phds working in Detroit for Ford, GM and Chrysler as well, and Proton still can’t get off the ground, still a piece of junk after more than 20yrs.

    And here we still have idiots talking loud and proud and waving keris…. 2020 just 12yrs away…. looks like Malaysia going to become 4th world country instead of developed country.

  57. #58 by pulau_sibu on Friday, 25 January 2008 - 7:27 am

    Why are we comparing with Singapore?
    We should be comparing with US, Russia and China, the three countries that sent men/women to the space.
    We are already an advanced country because our man has been in space.
    We have money to pay the Russian to do the job. It was a Malay to go up to the space.
    Chinese are too selfish and incorporative. Chinese should have asked China to send one Malaysian Chinese up, ahead of the Malay. It is now too late

  58. #59 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Friday, 25 January 2008 - 9:02 am

    pulau_sibu – it is still not too late. China is targetting to send their taikonaut to the moon in the not too distant future. Maybe MCA can buy a seat for a Malaysian Chinese to visit Chang Er.

  59. #60 by Evenmind on Friday, 25 January 2008 - 2:23 pm

    Its shows the Saudis has definately got more brains than the UMNOputeras., In any field , to excel you need the best to lead , there is no need for preference for colour , race or creed., Why are the UMNOPuteras lacking in this ? because they are the product of NEP themselves., if u want to blame the brain drain, then the are the ones to blame majorily. Even the brainy nons are not given the opportunity to be leaders., the outcome : DOOM, sooner or later. MERITrocracy ensures productivity and the best economic output for any country in the world, Singapore is a good example.,such a tiny nation but giant of an economy.,

    If you are nonbumi (langit putera) in malaysia, and u have made it there, then please walk tall, because you are then much smarter than any of the ruling UMNOputera out there, becos u are there solely because of your hard work , not becos of any handout or help from the imbercile gomen.

  60. #61 by raverus on Friday, 25 January 2008 - 5:12 pm

    I guess we are never good at qualities when it comes to this situation.

    *Halal and islamic this and that doesn’t influence us to be chosen. Quality speaks!

    p.s-Proton konon islamic car but rank at the few lowest worldwide, what a joke!

  61. #62 by ablastine on Friday, 25 January 2008 - 8:48 pm

    Imagine for moment, with some stroke of luck, Shih Choon Fong is a Malaysian. So with his immense talent, sense of purpose, conviction, cultural sensitivity and builder of bridges across people, disciplines and institution, do you think, even if his aspires to, be able to ever get near to the top job in any one of our Malaysian Universities. Of course not. The reason is simple and obvious to all Malaysian. He is of the wrong race and religion. The rest counts very little if at all here. Sadly academic giants like Mr Shih, with the same if not more talent, motivation and ability and numbering in the thousands have left our shores because they know their future here is limited. These are the most precious resources – not tin or oil. Singapore single handedly with this human capital build itself up from dust to gold. Its Soverign Wealth Fund is second only to the oil rich nations and the little red dot in the planet supporting financial giants in no other that USA in their time of need. Isn’t that something to marvel at and a testimony to the importance of meritocracy and value of talent and human capital.

  62. #63 by Poor student on Friday, 25 January 2008 - 10:29 pm

    YB LIM just to tell you that one of Malaysia U with research university status only allow meager pay to hire MASTER (about RM1600/month) and PHD (about RM 1800/month) student to work as Research Assitant in state of the art project. We are proud to pay POST-DOC at RM3000-RM5000/month. Mana tak semua Malaysian Student yang lebih pandai lari to our Neighbouring country…Singapore!!!! Its really hard to conduct a research without experience reseacher and most of the time ended using more money to repair damaged equipment.

  63. #64 by HB Lim on Saturday, 26 January 2008 - 4:05 am

    “If you are nonbumi (langit putera) in malaysia, and u have made it there, then please walk tall, because you are then much smarter than any of the ruling UMNOputera out there, becos u are there solely because of your hard work , not becos of any handout or help from the imbercile gomen.” – Evenmind

    Interesting choice of word this ‘langit-putra’ which conjures up an interesting thought and analogy. The Bumiputras are happy being the prince of the soil at the level of the soil. Others are more interested in occupying the space much higher than the soil level. If Mr Shih were to be here to mingle with the soil at the level of the soil, he may be soiled and even pushed beneath the soil level to be suffocated or at least stymied in development of all kinds. So, he will be better off staying away from here and be above the soil and reach for the sun. Care to expand further on this analogy as another angle of argument for the case of meritocracy?

  64. #65 by ktteokt on Saturday, 26 January 2008 - 1:00 pm

    Colour discrimination has resulted in brain-drain of talents from Malaysia but does our government ever care? They still maintain that what they are doing is right and should be continued indefinitely as expressed by our PM that the NEP is to be extended indefinitely. So we will be raising a whole bunch of “handicapped” people in the future and what can this group of useless people do for the nation? Indeed, Malaysia Boleh (Mati)!!!!

  65. #66 by Evenmind on Saturday, 26 January 2008 - 8:25 pm

    They (gomen) ,the UMNOputeras in particular are always so preoccupied in conjuring all kinds of names to gain sanction & popularity from thier own ,calling us non bumis, non this and that , to the extent the muslims kids are calling the others ,kafirs (infidels ) and what not , even in schools. When they do that we’ve to conjure something good to replace those not so good names, and to prove to them ,whatever they call us we’ll overcome any adversity and still be able to came out tops, hence the word langitputera to replace nonbumiputera.
    Some day they will learn that spoonfeeding their own kind will eventually only bring ruins uponthemselves., the saying goes , if you give a fish to someone you only feed him/her a single time.,if you give the same person a fishing rod you feed him/her for a lifetime. The langitputeras belong to the fishing rod group becos of their adversities, and the many hurdles and obstacles., some of them will become genius and will be brain drained to other countries, because our imbercile gomen may not know to appreciate them.

  66. #67 by mendela on Monday, 28 January 2008 - 12:39 pm

    Real Muslims don’t snatch bodies!

    Islam in Malaysia is being hijacked by Little Osamas!

  67. #68 by darnielng on Friday, 1 February 2008 - 8:22 pm

    The current administration & management in education will always discriminate other races from entering the local Universities. The fortunate ones will be able to afford to study overseas.

    The country only knows how to spend. Irregardless to the progress and objective. They will always think of “SPEND FIRST” coz the more they spend the better the progress.

    Look where this current and pass administration has got us. NO where. Thailand and Indonesia has taken over us in the pass 10 years.

    The problem with this country’s management is they link to deny and rule it with FEAR.

    To me i think i’m merely just a tax paper. That’s all what the current country treats the other races. When it comes to election, they will say all sort of “good things”, which will soften the people’s heart.

    Let’s hope it will not work now.

    I’m proud to be a Chinese. But it’s a disgrace why MCA calls themselves Malaysian Chinese Association when they only know how to WAX shoes and cover their own post instead of defending the rights of the Chinese. I was in the MCA for a short term and I wanted out immediately.

    I’ll support the REAL Democratic party with that shows Actions and Results for the People!

  68. #69 by akarmalaysian on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 9:08 am

    want to learn how indulge in corruption practises?malaysian government has the best lot of suckers among the top in the world to teach u that.

  69. #70 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 12 February 2008 - 10:23 pm

    It looks like Mustapha is at it again,trying to IMPROVE the quality and STANDING of local Us!! Please be sensible, only quality input will assure you quality output! Garbage-in-garbage-out!! You can’t change this formula! It is ordained in Heaven!! And unless and until you have quality input, all your manipulations will result in ZEROES! No matter how hard you try! Quality may be improved if you put fertilizer at the earliest stage, not when the ‘roots’ are ready hardened. And if the planters have no idea how to ‘apply’ the fertilizer, chances the plants will wither. If you want result start early WITH the PROPER QUALITY INPUT!!!

  70. #71 by alwaysfair on Wednesday, 16 July 2008 - 1:08 pm

    Well !!! Meritocracy was never the criteria or yardstick for election of all the top leaders, only the colour of skin matters.

    The same applies in every field not only education .

    Just look at how US choose their president compared to ours!!

    What an exercise in futility when you want to ask mediocre PM & Co about meritocracy when they don’t even understand the word???.Or if they understand you want them to sack themselves first, being so obviously mediocre???? HEHEHE

    Based on meritocracy, Mr. Lim you could be the next PM of M’sia.HEHEHE!!!

  71. #72 by alwaysfair on Wednesday, 16 July 2008 - 1:27 pm

    The govt. can only get meritocracy in enforcing the anti-sodomy law.

    In fact they are obsessed with it, it seem the bottom is most important compared to the “top.”

  72. #73 by alwaysfair on Wednesday, 16 July 2008 - 1:34 pm

    …correction….The govt can only get merits….

  73. #74 by Yee Siew Wah on Monday, 28 July 2008 - 11:02 pm

    I hope this is the right way to convey this message from another blog. Hope somebody try to ensure all the rakyat know what is going on on Bala house breakin etc… Below is the writeup from one blog.
    “Yes, I am concerned for the doctor, too. Btw, can someone tell me whether the police admit seeing Bala after the first SD? I find it very strange that when his house broken into, news report stated only the cpu was missing. Then after a few days the neighbour claimed that keys to Bala’s gate or house was handed to him by police. If that is correct then how did the police got hold of the keys?”

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