Archive for October 9th, 2008

Malaysia out of THES Top 200 Universities for second consecutive year – another fall of domino

In his press statement to announce his decision to step down as Prime Minister next March, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi spoke of the initiatives to “regain our country’s competitiveness” which are “necessary to enable our nation and our society to face the challenges that the world has in store for us”.

But in actual fact, under his five-year premiership, one domino after another of our national and international competitiveness has been collapsing one after another.

Two weeks ago, one such falling domino was Malaysia’s ranking on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2008 which plunged to No. 47 placing, a fall of ten places from No. 37 in 2007.

Another domino has collapsed today when it is revealed that for the second consecutive year, Malaysia has fallen completely out of THES-QS 2008 World Top 200 Universities – further testimony of the country’s deteriorating competitiveness. Read the rest of this entry »


Wise Decision And A Class Act

by M. Bakri Musa

Prime Minister Abdullah’s decision to resign is wise. That decision is good for him, his party, and most of all, for our nation. I am certain it was not easy for him to reach that decision but in the end he did it, “guided by my conscience” and placing “the interests of the nation above all else.”

I applaud him, especially considering the intense last minute pleas by his many well-meaning supporters. It was a decision that was not expected by many, yours truly included. This is one instance where I am only too happy to acknowledge my misjudgment of the man.

Abdullah’s plaintive admission, “I know I’ve not been doing well; it’s time for someone else to take over,” must come only after the most difficult introspection. To admit to one’s limitations is never easy, especially for a leader, as there are always supplicants and subordinates who are only too willing to filter the harsh reality. Some leaders never get it at all. Saddam Hussein went to the gallows still believing that he was Allah’s gift to the Arabs. Read the rest of this entry »


Abdullah – can he redeem his premiership by instituting three fundamental reforms?

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is a decent human being.

He was always personable and very approachable until he was cut off from the public by his gatekeepers whether fourth-storey or otherwise – and the common complaint after his first two years as Prime Minister was that he was more difficult to see than Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in the latter’s 22 years as Prime Minister!

I had two meetings with Abdullah in his first two years as Prime Minister which led to the establishment of parliamentary select committees but since then I had stopped trying to meet him for it was just impossible to get through his handlers.

I do not know whether it is possible to see Abdullah again in has last five months as Prime Minister.

In his press statement yesterday, Abdullah said that he would complete three reforms he had pledged when he became prime minister before stepping down by tabling three bills in Parliament to establish the Judicial Appointments Commission, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption and a Special Complaints Commission.

The question is whether Abdullah can redeem and salvage his five years of ineffective premiership by instituting three fundamental reforms in last five months in office?

I am surprised to read a very objective and level-headed political commentary in today’s New Straits Times, “In the end, he made a sensible decision” by Zubaidah Abu Bakar, with the very telling opening:

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