Malaysian universities losing out to Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines

Malaysia is losing out in the unrelenting battle for international competitiveness among nations, with Malaysian universities even losing out to universities in Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines – something completely unthinkable in the first three decades of our nationhood.

For the second consecutive year, Malaysia had fallen completely out of the list of the world’s Top 200 Universities this year in the 2008 Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) – Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

The national shame of Malaysia falling completely out of the list of the world’s Top 200 Universities this year in the 2008 Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) – Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings is being compounded by the ignominy of Malaysian universities losing out not only to top universities in Singapore, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea but also to other South East Asian nations like Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines.

The 2008 THES-QS rankings should be a “wake-up” call to the Higher Education Minister and the Cabinet of the advanced crisis of higher education in Malaysia, but I have given up hope that the Barisan Nasional government is capable of “waking up”!

For the second consecutive year, there is not only not a single university in the 2008 THES-QS Top 200 Universities list, there is also not a single university in the separate ranking of Top 100 Universities for five subject areas – Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities; Life Sciences and Biomedicine; and Technology.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Malaya (UM) were in the 2006 Ranking, placed No. 185 and 192 respectively. UKM plunged to 309 last year and improved to 250 this year while UM fell to 246 last year improving slightly to 230 this year – but both remain outside the Top 200 Universities ranking.

The government named Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) as the Apex University but it has a dismal international rankings after being included once in the Top 200 Universities list – No. 111 in 2004, No. 326 in 2005, 277 in 2006, No. 307 in 2007 and No. 313 in 2008.

It is both sad and pathetic that our Apex University, the USM, at No. 313 ranking, is not only left far behind in South East Asia by Singapore (National University of Singapore No. 30 and Nanyang Technological University No. 77) but also by Thailand (Chulalongkorn University No. 166), Indonesia (University of Indonesia No. 287) and the Philippines (Ateneo de Manila University No. 254 and University of the Philippines No. 276).

Until last year, Malaysian universities were all ranked well ahead of the Indonesian universities, but in the 2008 THES-QS World Top Universities ranking, Indonesian universities are catching up with Malaysian universities in leaps and bounds.

Last year for instance, the three top Indonesian universities were all ranked behind the Malaysian universities – University of Indonesia (UI) No. 395, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) No. 369 and Gajah Mada University (UGM) No. 360, as compared to the three top Malaysian universities University of Malaya (UM) No. 246, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) No. 307 and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) No. 309.

In this year’s ranking, University of Indonesia has improved by 108 placings to be ranked as No. 287, Bandung Institute of Technology No. 315 and Gajah Mada University No. 316.
This means that in the 2008 THES-QS Ranking, University of Indonesia (No. 287) has narrowed the gap with University of Malaya (No. 230) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (No. 250), while ahead of Malaysia’s apex university, Universiti Sains Malaysia (No. 313), University Putra Malaysia (No. 320) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (No. 356).

The performance of Malaysian universities in the 2008 THES-QS Top 100 lists for the five subject areas are even more dismal, with not a single university making into the five lists for two years consecutively although Malaysia secured four of these 500 prestigious slots in 2006 – University of Malaya was ranked 49 in Social Sciences and 95 in Natural Sciences, UKM was placed No. 62 in Natural Sciences, and University Sains Malaysia placed No. 96 for Life Sciences and Biomedicine.

For the 2008 THES-QS ranking, National University of Singapore (NUS) (No. 30) is ranked among the Top 100 Universities for all the five categories while Nanyang Technological University (NTU) (No. 77) is ranked among the Top 100 universities for three categories, viz: Technology (No. 26); Life Sciences & Biomedicine (No. 78) and Social Sciences (No.89).

NUS is ranked No. 11 for Technology; No. 17 for Life Sciences and Biomedicine, No. 31 for Natural Sciences; No. 18 for Social Sciences and No. 30 for Arts & Humanities.

NTU is ranked No. 25 for Engineering & IT; No. 99 for Natural Sciences and No. 88 for Social Sciences.

Even Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University is rated among the Top 100 Universities for two categories – Technology (No. 86) and Social Sciences (No. 72); Indonesia’s Bandung Institute of Technology rated as among the Top 100 universities for Technology (No. 90) and two universities in Philippines ranked among the Top 100 Universities for Arts and Humanities – Ateneo de Manila University (No. 79) and University of the Philippines (No. 82).

After being placed in four of the 500 slots in the five Top 100 Universities for the five subjects in 2006, Malaysian universities has been conspicuously missing from
all the five listings of Top 100 Universities for the five categories for the past two years.

There are over 30 “elite of elite” universities, which are not only ranked in the Top 200 Universities list, but also ranked in every one of the five Top 100 subject list.

Universities in the Asia-Pacific region which are in this exclusive “elite of elites” list are:

(Ranking in Top 200 Universities in bracket)


ANU (16)
Sydney U (37)
Melbourne U (38)
Queensland U (43)
New South Wales U (45)
Monash U (47)


Tokyo U (19)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong U (26)


National University of Singapore (30)


Peking U (50)
Tsinghua U (56)

South Korea

Seoul National U (50)

Why is Malaysia not in this “elite of elites” listing and when will Malaysia have a university which will have all-round excellence as to be included in this list?

Speech at the Tawau DAP Thousand-People “Towards A New Era” dinner at Lau Gek Poh Memorial Hall, Tawau on Saturday, 15th November 2008 at 9 pm)

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 8:57 am

    Ah! But 10 years from now, we will still be better than University of Zimbabwe, university of Sudan AND university of Taliban!!!

  2. #2 by tpk203 on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 9:00 am

    We don’t care about how the world looks at us. We just want to be “syiok sendiri”! The old education system is rotting.

  3. #3 by tpk203 on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 9:01 am

    Sorry, I mean the “whole” education system.

  4. #4 by madmix on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 9:26 am

    Eh who says our unis no standard. Look at the large number of gold medals won by our Professor datuk doctors at numerous expos all over Europe. Even MIT, Oxford and Cambridge kalah!

  5. #5 by max2811 on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 9:42 am

    UMNO doesn’t care if Msian unis aren’t ranked at all. They keep putting lesser-qualified students to be tutored by under-qualified lecturers. Don’t complain too much, Mr Lim. Or you will find yourself arrested for insulting the social contract and put under ISA.

    Let the country rot. Rot until they come to the better part of the citizens for help. Till they willingly forego their grasp on the country’s coffers. Till the day they say we are all Msians from the bottom of their hearts.

  6. #6 by ktteokt on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 9:55 am

    Like I have been saying all along, it takes one community to admit “inferiority” if another community wants to achieve “superiority”! This Ketuanan stuff is bogging their heads and if they still want to maintain this type of attitude, thinking they are more “superior”, then Malaysia is DOOMED forever!

    Couldn’t they see that despite providing all these advantages to the Bumiputras, the non-Bumiputras have still thrived on and became more prosperous all these years since the implementation of the NEP? They should ask themselves how the non-Bumis did it and then turn to ask themselves again why the Bumis cannot! Like the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”. This is exactly what the Chinese have done. A famous Chinese saying, “Suffer the greatest sufferings so that one may become a man of man”.

    In fact, looking at my argument above, by maintaining the NEP and prolonging it, will be suicidal for the Bumis. Whilst the non-Bumis advance under such unfavourable conditions, the Bumis themselves would deteriorate relatively! By offering them all the perks and special concessions, they have grown to become jellyfishes and parasites and unless Malaysia is ready to close its doors to the international community, these people will never make it in the global scene! How can they compete with others in the open market when they have been provided with “handicap” all along?????

  7. #7 by Cinapek on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 10:27 am

    “Apex University” is a “shiok sendiri” label awarded much like many of the honorary doctorates dished out by the local univerisites to dubious recipients. Because they could not get genuine recognition elsewhere, they create such awards as self consolation.

    All these continous denial of the THES ranking by the relevant authorities as being relevant to Malaysia is not going to bring the rankings up. Similar to their mindset to create the matriculation as equal to the STPM as another standard for university entrance in Malaysia when they fail to compete, they created the APEX label to satisfy thier bruised egos of being ranked lower and lower year by year.

    I have an interesting observation of Gajah Mada university. In the late seventies, a bumi colleague took his HSC (the forerunner of the STPM) and his results were not good enough to be accepted by any of the local Malaysian universties, whose international standings were then unquestionable. But he got himself accepted into Gajah Mada to do medicine. If such a university could now rank near to the Malaysian universities, it speaks volumes how much their quality has fallen.

  8. #8 by kowtim on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 10:54 am

    Never Mind, we have the best UPSR, PMR, SPM and STP results every year. Last year one bloke had 21 distinctions and this year it will be 25. WHo said we are regressing. Our target is to win all the Nobel Prizes by 2020, after all we have th emost professors per capital.

  9. #9 by Godfather on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 11:17 am

    Aren’t we represented in the Top 300 ? C’mon Kit, be fair. We are ranked ahead of University Burkina Faso.

  10. #10 by monsterball on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 11:29 am

    When you have a government…putting out low class…yes man/woman chancellors….to make UMNO look smart…and not choose the smartest to be chancellors..what do you expect?
    Just look at those crooks..dressed up with false titles..with no shame at all..designed to fool the public..and belittle Malaysians.
    Such kind of mentalities…such kind of hypocrites…such blatant crooks…..keep playing race and religion politics…..everything and anything…will be mismanaged by them.
    The problem is….their race and religion politics…still alive and ruling.
    So…vote them out…or be prepared for being worst than Vietnam and Cambodia soon.

  11. #11 by monsterball on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 11:36 am

    UMNO knows they are loosing Malaysians confidences.
    So here comes few corrections and goodies….to try win back votes.
    Just look back..more than 50 years….and they are talking like Malaysia was formed…..25 years ago.
    Worst of all…they never admit their mistakes..keep denying…denying.
    If next election…UMNO still rule…then Malaysians deserve to be disunited….unhappy… and disloyal.

  12. #12 by Godfather on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 11:43 am

    It wasn’t that long ago that life in Bolehland was so much more peaceful, without any pressure from externalities, and without any competition.

    Then your ancestors came, and everything changed. Your ancestors came from India, China, Arabia and Indonesia and they started introducing the concept of competition. Your ancestors married local lasses, and claimed to represent all the locals.

    We yearn for the old days where we could all squat under a coconut tree in the kampung, smoke our hand-rolled cheroot, discuss who would marry as No. 1, or No. 2 or No. 3 or No. 4. Now you folks want to push us into the fast lane and compete against our neighbours. Heck, this concept is so alien !

  13. #13 by pathfinder on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 12:11 pm

    We must preserved our standards. Without doubt we are glad that USM and UM is still the top two University in the country. Even with the direct competition of the local Nottingham U, University colleges. They are nowhere to be seen in the Malaysian list. But we must be very careful not to include in those other foreign Univ. Because their sylabus is not local, therefore no doubt we are still better then them. One day if they become officially better we must either nationalised them or close them down. We can’t let those Universities better than us.

  14. #14 by madmix on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 12:31 pm

    We have the best universities in the world; why? because we have the best professors. Where else in the world can you find almost every professor is held in high regard and recognized by every state and central government and accorded a datukship or tan sri title. That means they must be very good. Even Professor Stephen Hawking does not have a knighthood from QE2. Maybe we should give him one: tan Sri professor Datuk Doctor Stephen hawking. Sound good eh?

  15. #15 by pulau_sibu on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 12:53 pm

    > datukship or tan sri title

    it is quite likely datuk and tan sri are no longer good enough. all the professors have to be given boleh-nobel prize

  16. #16 by katdog on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 1:02 pm

    Education is a key cornerstone in the advancement of any society or civilization.

    Given that, what are PR’s plan’s and policies on education?

    I have seen Penang put up road signs in other languages. Hmm.. doesn’t help education in the slightest. Perak wants to build a new airport. Oh yeah and they want to rename Jalan Silibin to honour a former DAP political secretary. Hmmm.. nope, doesn’t really help education as well.

    So any direction from PR what they intend to do regarding education for the next 5 years? Or just keep blaming the federal government?

  17. #17 by paix on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 1:24 pm

    All this can be summed up in four words – garbage in garbage out.

  18. #18 by yellowkingdom on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 1:43 pm

    Not unless the government is willing to accept highly-qualified non-Bumiputera Vice-Chancellors to lead these Malaysian universities, we will ontinue to slide down the abyss of ignominy. See how shallow-minded are our government leaders and champions of communal interests react to the appointment of non-Bumi to a S’gor state development company. Unless we can accept a man for the strength of his character rather than the colour of his skin.

  19. #19 by calvin_ngan on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 1:44 pm


    Katdog, you’re right. I’ve stressed, emailed to kit and tony pua on the setting up libraries in pakatan states, university is out of pakatan’s management, so, the best thing kit can do instead of blogging over and over again is to propose ‘a library in each town’ project… only then will the people realize that pakatan is serious about education, but my advise was not taken seriously after all these years, it won’t cost much, pour in some money, as the people to donate their unwanted books… this is a step towards better education, for the poor as well when they can’t afford revision books.

    Kit, you can’t change the university’s management, the least pakatan can do is to provide well equipped libraries in every town. the people will love pakatan, only then will they realized that pakatan is not about justice, peace… its about their children’s education and future. I doubt pakatan will take up this proposal…

  20. #20 by Richardqed on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 1:53 pm

    University rankings dropping is not about a lack of libraries. If you have actually paid a visit to the libraries in these universities, you will find they are too well-equipped. It is also not about towns/states having or not having libraries or good books in them. To suggest that is totally naive, and if PR were to take up this proposal, they would be stupid.

    This is about the education system totally lacking in meritocracy. People get high marks and high grades for being mediocre.

    Do not bother trying to set up libraries. Change the bloody government, and then only do the rest.

  21. #21 by old dad on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 2:02 pm

    Whooo. Surely all our m’sia unversities can’t be that bad uncle kit. At the very least they must be the best masterbating universities in the world!! (defination; masterbation= the art of self pleasure)

  22. #22 by paperlesshomework on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 2:06 pm

    Hi there everyone …be it Kit or Tony Phua or Pakatan or BN.

    We are a small start up with a very big heart :>)

    We have spent hundreds of thousands of ringgit to develop a tool and contents that would help everyone in the country be it Malays, Indians or Chinese or Sabahans etc.

    Go to my site at and study what we are doing.

    We are giving all our contents and tools free to all schools in the country …or the world actually to help rural schools.

    Have a look and see , if any of you guys who posted a lot about education is willing to help out. Dont NATO … act!

    This project has been approved by the Ministry of Education of Malaysia…and was in the finals of one of the most prestigious contest in the world on ICT4D Stockholm Challenge 2008.

    1. Tell all schools in your area or within your jurisdiction to register their schools for free.

    2. If you can , help the schools to know how to download or install because we do have lots and lots of school which do not know how …serious

    3. If you wish to earn some good income you can too by being our affiliate see

    As for Pakatan…. want to help education… study our system

    As for BN want to help …. do so too.

    Everyone gains …no one loses. Education is beyond politics.

    So if we start young … our UNIs can have better students and better ratings.

    Alan ( hi Tony …kee Meng’s dad)
    and Looi (Kit .. remember me?)

  23. #23 by chiakchua on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 2:21 pm

    The ‘Malay supremacy’ which leads to the ‘divide and rule’ education policy has resulted all these shit!
    Its only with PR in governance with ‘Fair, Just, Equal’ Rakyat Economic Agenda that we may have some hope. UMNOputra elites are the culprit, our Malay fellow countrymen need help.

  24. #24 by BoycottLocalPapers on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 2:39 pm

    I am so very very very happy that Malaysian universities are losing out to Thailand, Indonesia, and Philippines, because I didn’t get the chance to enter local public universities.

    20 years ago, my SPM grade 1 was not good enough for local public universities while my Malay friends with Grade 2 were accepted.

    Some of my Malay classmates with Grade 1 were given scholarship to study overseas. My SPM wasn’t good enough for diploma course.

    Now, I am glad that I was rejected by local U. Working in Singapore really taught me a lot of stuff I couldn’t learn in local Universities.

  25. #25 by calvin_ngan on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 2:57 pm


    with all due respect, i believe pakatan should do what it can within its power, which is in the state government. I too want a change in government, before we can do that, we have to prove to the people pakatan can rule with care.

    True, the library in our unis are too well equipped, but why is it not occupied? coz we’re taught from young to shy away from libraries, malls appears to be the favorite destination, on top of that, public libraries in each district is poorly equipped (only in districts, it should be in every town), and the public transport deters people from going there. We need a proper borrowing system, the digital age changed the way we search for books and borrow them, do look into it.

    The state gov must do what it can within its power, university and taking over the government is currently out of the question.

  26. #26 by k1980 on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 2:58 pm

    Dontcha worry. Next year, Malaysian universities will be losing out to universities in Burkina Faso, Haiti, Somalia, East Timur and the like. They will be placed in the world’s Bottom 200 Universities where the grads can’t even string a complete sentence in simple English. And they will keep on getting gold medals from the Education Minister

  27. #27 by aje on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 2:59 pm

    To tell you the truth,Malaysian universities will NEVER EVER overtake NUS or NTU in a long time to come.You know why?It is simple.Firstly their medium of instruction is in English.Secondly entry is solely based on MERIT not race or needs.For your info ,for news I always watch Channelnews asia or SBC 5.Good luck Malaysian u.

  28. #28 by propheticsam on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 3:13 pm

    The rot starts right from primary and secondary schools.
    Twenty years ago, half of the students I taught in lower secondary managed to score at least 50 marks for a pass. Nowadays you will be lucky if 25% can manage that. Yet so many of these underachievers get selected to our locals universities. Meritocracy? That’s a laugh.
    To me the whole education system is rotten to the core. A complete overhaul from the bottom up is needed before we can hold our heads high again.
    Even if we start now it will at least be a decade before we can undo the damage done.

  29. #29 by ngahc on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 3:15 pm

    What is the point of sending our children to local u? Think carefully.

  30. #30 by oedipus on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 3:26 pm

    i hope pakatan takes over the government and overhaul the whole education system in this country. the current flip flop government changes education minister every 5 years and its no wonder why certain well thought out policies and plans are never carried onto fruition.

    i hope if EVER the pakatan takes over in the future, just assign 1 minister on a long term basis to overhaul the system. i think uncle lim, seem to have a burden on your heart for the children and future of Malaysia?

  31. #31 by Loh on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 3:42 pm

    ///Malaysia is losing out in the unrelenting battle for international competitiveness among nations, with Malaysian universities even losing out to universities in Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines – something completely unthinkable in the first three decades of our nationhood.///– Kit

    These countries did not have to be bothered to improve the standing of their universities they beat Malaysia flat. The reason is they dio not have NEP in their countries. Unless NEP is removed, there is no way the government can do the wrong thing and hope to achieve the right results.

  32. #32 by ryan123 on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 5:33 pm

    Will the UMNOputra see this as a threats? No, they would rather have a fortress to defend their own interests, rather than opting for excellency which will jeopardize their racist policies which gain them popularity votes. Why bother since kerismuddin’s son is even studying in an international school?

    After years of plunging down in ranks, the minister has changed their tone that “We will try to improve to fulfill the judging criteria of THES ranking, but THES ranking itself has too much flaws. So, do not blame if we are not doing good.”

    See their way of diverting the responsibilities?

  33. #33 by k1980 on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 6:09 pm

    THES ranking itself has too much flaws– the main flaw being that Malaysia universities are not allowed to have 30% allocations in the top 200 rankings, as imperative under the NEP. Once that flaw is overcome, 30% x 200 = 60 Malaysian universities will be in the THES top 200. The remaining 140 places can go to the rest of the world

  34. #34 by chengho on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 8:02 pm

    You cannot get good brain to join the academic staffs .the salary packages not attractive enough to attract the best from the best
    the University have to review their salary packages ,perk,etc to attract the best from anywhere in the world.
    If you pay peanut you get monkey.

  35. #35 by ktteokt on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 8:55 pm

    What do you expect of an educational system where the Minister or Education and other ministers send their children overseas for tertiary education? If they themselves are not the least confident with the education system of Malaysia, how can they convince the people and the world at large that their educational system is tops? Remember what the saying means, “Clean up your own compound before complaining about how untidy your neighbour’s compound is”!

  36. #36 by oct on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 9:04 pm

    It doesn’t matter if our uni is not above the 200 THES list. We have lots of graduates. 60,000 unemployed graduates last year and more will be unemployed with the recession coming in. Soon, Bolehland has the most unemployed graduates. Our graduates have 25 As in their SPM. Yet they can’t even construct a good English sentence. Some of our ministers can’t even speak good English. Oops they speak England.

  37. #37 by juno on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 9:05 pm

    As long as we have entities as BiroTataNegara,Mara and Jakim preaching hatred than a weave of bonding ,the slide is inevitable!

    The Leaders in the positions they are , are more concerned about their own positions , they give lip service every time they need the votebank to secure themselves for their own benefits. Malaysia has gone down miserably with the last 2 generations of civil servants who don’t know what Nation building is .
    Corruption and misrule is the order of the day , Paklah wants to do magic in 5 months ! The religious groups have to learn about what happened in Algeria and how they were disciplined! Know more of the local scene…of the dogmas we are preoccupied with…..

  38. #38 by 2dinosaurs on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 9:48 pm

    when i read all these blogs, i admire the perseverance of u guys in M’sia. Admire your optimism that M’sia will actually change for the better. If M’sia is a stock i would have short sell it long time ago. It has nowhere to go but down. Like a bad company, it has run out of ideas, short of discipline and hard work and faces a lot of external competition and a increasing difficult external environment. The liabilities are increasing in numbers and the assets are migrating. Good luck to u guys who still believe in this stock.

  39. #39 by lasersharp on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 10:07 pm

    This is interesting and I would like to share my observation. I am a Malaysian who is now work in Singapore. In the past year, I had the chance be in touch with the local Sporeans uni students, attending recruitment days as part of my firm’s recruitment activities. I also had the chance to interview the uni students here for internship positions.

    What did I observe? I am very impress indeed. The students here, many of them from China and India (who were given scholarships by the Spore government) impressed me a great deal. The bunch of kids I interviewed are not only competent in their own respective fields, but showed excellent communications and other relevant skills. They are in touch with what is happening globally and can put up a good conversation on many matters.

    I studied in one of the top UK universities and is awed by the system in Singapore, which has produced exceptional students. We can argue the technicality and accuracy of the rankings etc, but generally they dont lie and my own observations confirmed that the Singapore unis are up there. I was even more surprised that SIM, a relatively new set up, has produced students with excellent marketable skills that fill a lot of the professional services jobs in Singapore.

    I dont know what is wrong with the Malaysian system as I do not know it well, and I wont have answers either. But gut feels tell me Msia is not doing the right thing and it is unlikely to improve anytime soon whilst our neighbour continues to strive forward. What can you do? Well send your kids here, the fees are relatively affordable………

  40. #40 by bystander on Sunday, 16 November 2008 - 10:48 pm

    you and i know that our univs and education have been going down the drain for ages except that umno because of politics has deny this fact. the main culprit for this freefall is none other than TDM. at the end of the day the nation, not chinese, not malay, not indian, is the biggest loser ie bangsa malaysia. a locally qualified bumi architect i met the other cannot even string together a complete simple english sentence without grammar and spelling mistakes. that’s how poor the state of our english is today. its not manglish. its pathetic english

  41. #41 by waterfrontcoolie on Monday, 17 November 2008 - 8:26 am

    Chengho, at the moment, I believe the civil structure [ including that of educational institution] is okay compare with other Asean members [ except Singapore which we better leave a side, because they aren’t bothered to compete in the Asian scenario!]
    We all know there was and still is a mad scramble of PhD in every sector of our society. With even a purchased Phd, after a while you are recognised by the Bolehland. Remember the former Mayor of KL, happily geeting people to address him as Dr. and soon enough, it was found that his thesis was not accepted and he was not entitled to have his Dr.
    I was informed that this came about when two civil servants were sent to the same U in the US to do their PhDs. The senior bloke failed wgereas his junior got through. Unfortunately they were psoted to the same section with the PhD reporting to the failed bloke! Never mind that, the Boss begun to show who was the Boss!
    After an incident or two, the real PhD let go to the whole department that the Boss who proudly called himself Dr. actually didnot get through! Hence the subsequent commotion of show us your scroll!! This of course also tell us how efficient INTAN was ans still is!!
    In a nutshell, you find the political masters spinning indoctrination to bluff the society and in the process the civil service tacks along to achieve the same self-preservation motive; and of course this is [ast down the line to every fabric of our nation.
    We begun to lose our sense of morality on what is fundamentally right or wrong. Of course our situation is not helped by this changing perception of life in this modern environment.
    This brought me to a conversation I had with an ex-maly colleague over a cuppa. In the group, there was this issue of unwanton spendings by the Government on issues high-lighted here. The discussion obviously indicated that only a section of the society actually gained from such actions. He popped in to say that even the Chinese community gained through the IPP privatization efforts; by indicating that one of the chinese owned IPP was given such a lucrative term!
    He was flabbergasted when he was told only Malays thought in that manner; Chinese community didnot give a damn to this apparently Chinese-controlled company! The issue is why should the public made to pay for this arrangement by a bunch of crooks!
    From this incident, one will realize that the society has a long way to go. Certainly we will not get much result through just this blog-site. The issue is much larger than we all let to believe. Unless we can find a more subtle mean to put across this message that the competition is just not among us in Malaysia but an issue betwen Malaysia and other nations, we are on our way to ZIMBABWE very soon.

  42. #42 by taiking on Monday, 17 November 2008 - 9:37 am

    And you think they are bad. Hei MARA, the one and only official university umnoputras malaysia, was not mentioned. Is it listed? Anyway, is ranking all that important. Look, our umno government is not bothered by the whole thing – not one little bit. Not even if (this day will certainly come) our universities are ranked amongst vocational institutes of the world.

    Godfather said:

    “We yearn for the old days where we could all squat under a coconut tree in the kampung, smoke our hand-rolled cheroot, discuss who would marry as No. 1, or No. 2 or No. 3 or No. 4. Now you folks want to push us into the fast lane and compete against our neighbours. Heck, this concept is so alien!”

    Yeah. As a matter of fact, it is so alien that after half a centuary we still could neither accept it nor adapt to it.

  43. #43 by melurian on Monday, 17 November 2008 - 9:54 am

    can’t compare with thes, malaysian university are good in the eyes of malaysian rakyat and their graduates are serving well to the society, we should not compare apple and orange with durian where the caucasians deem “filthy”. how many disagree um students are good ? how many agree um medical graduates are lousy ? do you dare to challenge um alumi are garbage ?? why don you interview some um/usm/ukm graduates who maintain low-profile but doing so well in mnc companies……

    i think this article is very biasing….

  44. #44 by melurian on Monday, 17 November 2008 - 10:04 am

    it’s the student rather the institution that makes the quality, and when you come out for workforce, studying in local univ makes practical working in malaysia than those aussie and anglais who likes to nag our company/technology have no standard thus cannot work well. and to ppl who glad thai/filipina/indon univ surpassed um/usm/ukm, they should have their citizenship striped off coz they only pouring fuel to fire instead working together to improve malaysian public univ, you know how german lost ww1 in nov 11 1918??

  45. #45 by messi on Monday, 17 November 2008 - 10:12 am

    The G think that by implementing the mecticulation entry requirement will help the Bumi and produce more graduate and create more Human Capital Developmernt to the BUmiputra and at the same time penalised the non bumi (racist term)by refusing them to obtain the paper qualification. I think they misfire the target by implementing the double standard system which produce the useless graduate that need subsidies and drain our the country resources/revenue.

    The 8/3/08 election is a good indication that the useless graduate no getting their share from the Umno thus voting for opposition. So hope them to produce more useless graduate that need subsidies and drain out the country’s revenue.

    Most of the leader talking about fair distribution of wealth BUT in order term, they implement the NEP is to force all the Chinese and indian “KELUAR” from this Country. They don’t really need to shout “Keluar” term and what they need to do is to shut all the education and business door to the non bumi and they evetually will run/migrate to other country.

    To be precise, most of the chinese now producing less kid thus reduce the overall population in malaysia(another 10 years they don’t need chinese vote from MCA and MIC when the population become 15% minority) and save enough money for thier children for Oversea education and hope they will not return.

    The non bumi always get the racist remark when they try to highlight something which is not right but always get the accussation from other for being “Racist”.

    We wonder why when we hear chatting “racist” remark is a big issue in western country (during football match) But in Malaysia, they implemented the “racist” terms is acceptable to the world?

    Islam always said” We don’t take away others people right”. But in actual fact, they implement the NEP at other people expense.

  46. #46 by i_love_malaysia on Monday, 17 November 2008 - 11:38 am

    When the Minister of Education is still undecisive after so long over what is the language to use to teach Maths and Science subjects, what do you expect the standard of our universities would be ranked??? the decision should be based on what is the best for the future of our universities and nation and not popularity!!! Popularity will keep the Minister for another term, but the bad decision will keep the universities and nation at the bottom of any world ranking!!!

  47. #47 by i_love_malaysia on Monday, 17 November 2008 - 12:09 pm

    Our local universities dont depend on THES or QS, we have our very own ways of assessing our own standards!!!

    Criteria 1, the racial composition and quota must be achieved by all means – 50%

    Criteria 2, the racial composition and quota of the academics and administrative staff must achieve the national policies by all means – 50%

    Criteria 3, the racial composition and quota of the graduates who get 1st Class, 2nd Class Upper etc. must achieve the national policies by all means -50%

    Criteria 4, the results of the examinations dont guarantee the academic performance of the graduate, as other factors will be taken into considerations e.g. interviews, race, political party involved in, religion, type of food eaten, cloths worn, language spoken and other terms and conditions which the university or the MOE may decide from time to time etc. – 50%

    The total is 200%, as long as the score is above 100% and above, a 5 star rating will be given i.e. Par Excellence!!!

  48. #48 by kcb on Monday, 17 November 2008 - 2:11 pm

    melurian, except for the different standard of “anglais” used, you sound very much like our dear Ahmat Kassim who never failed to provide us with first class entertainment.

  49. #49 by i_love_malaysia on Monday, 17 November 2008 - 4:58 pm

    Management said : Dont just feedback problem, give solution!!!

    Malaysia govt said: You feedback problem and solution, but we wont listen to your solution as you are educated in our own universities!!!

  50. #50 by Godfather on Monday, 17 November 2008 - 5:53 pm


    Your mouth is getting ahead of your brain – or whatever is left after your local university education. Sorry to compare apples with stinky durians. University of Burkina Faso is more of an “apple-to-apple” comparison.

  51. #51 by melurian on Monday, 17 November 2008 - 6:22 pm

    to all who said um/usm/ukm sux:

    1) are those samtet and stpm top scorers who became um alumni are lousy and “bad quality”?? remember that 128 top students denied entry in 2004, why don’ you at that time dissuade them from appealing and ask them to try overseas instead since um,usm,ukm are sux.
    2) are um/usm/ukm graduates now working in uh and hukl really bad that malaysians should shun them and opt for private hospital instead??
    3) just because that lim guan eng challenger was stpm top scorer and um law graduate, that does not mean she’s sux and lousy in her profession.
    4) you can question how many managers/directors in mncs out there are um/usm graduate. even most dap mps/dun are local grad anyway…

    do you know that there are some stpm students opt to south just because they cannot enter “um”? that means um is actually much better than nus/aussie univs instead.

  52. #52 by rubini on Monday, 17 November 2008 - 9:26 pm

    The rot started long time ago. We created MSC, Cyberjaya and all the good infrastructure. Where’s the local manpower? India & China don’t have such specific infrastucture, yet they have a well developed local IT, satellite, space, nuclear, pharmeceutical technology, to name a few. Good education & very high level of competition is propelling them to the forefront as next economic superpower. Malaysian can only pay these get these like we paid our Angkasawan to hitch a ride on the space craft.

  53. #53 by melurian on Monday, 17 November 2008 - 9:42 pm

    look at our VC who so straightforward without putar belit when her contract not renew:

    “‘Just because we are women and we don’t have that thing between the legs so we are not good,”

    you think nus/nsw/monash got such “integrity” VC ???

  54. #54 by jartze on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 - 4:39 am

    I have always been very disappointed with the education system in Malaysia. It doesn’t shock me at all to see the ranks of our Unis going down. In fact, I don’t even think they deserve the current rank. What’s wrong with our education?
    i) Lack of competition – skin color overs grades and ability
    ii) Too much politic involves – the headmasters are hired to ‘control’ the students, not hired for better education
    iii) Quantity overs quality – our government seems to think that the more Unis the better (by keep promoting under-qualified colleges), and the more graduated students the better (without even considering if the students are capable of facing the challenges)

    What can we expect from these kinds of systems?

    To solve the problem, we built the Laman University (sry if I get the name wrong. I couldn’t find it in google, obviously the ranking was too low). But then? More politics involve, 60% bumi, etc etc. Nothing changes. Look at the recent issue in the xin ji yuan college. Isn’t it just prove that in our country, politic always come in front of education?

    Only when the Universities in our country are completely independent from the politicians, then they can truly function as what they are created for, purely to educate the younger generation. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening in this direction, and I think it won’t happen in next 10 years.

  55. #55 by murid-murid on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 - 6:35 am

    The new vice chancellor of Universiti Malaya, Professor Datuk Dr. Ghauth Jasmon, has only 30 journal papers. How can he become a vice chancellor? If it is a good American university, he would not have had his tenure even, which means he would not be qualified for promotion to associate professor and will be fired. No wonder our ranking is below 200.
    As an academic, Prof Ghauth has contributed extensively in research and in the Engineering Profession. He researched in the areas Power Systems Analysis, Network Analysis, Voltage Stability, System Security and Neural Networks. His works have been published in 30 international journal papers, 45 conference/seminars and other publications. He has also been involved in many professional engineering activities especially in the IEE(UK) and IEEE (USA) and was formerly a Secretary General and Vice President of the Association for Engineering Education in South East Asia and the Pacific. He is currently a Fellow of the IEE, Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, Senior Member of the IEEE and an Eisenhower Fellow.

  56. #56 by murid-murid on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 - 6:44 am

    His citation report:-

    Results found:26
    Sum of the Times Cited:189
    Average Citations per Item:7.27

    my conclusion is he is quite a lousy researcher

  57. #57 by ktteokt on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 - 8:03 am

    Reserving university places by way of quota for the bumiputras is what caused the downslide in quality of our universities. By depriving non-bumis of places in local universities for so many decades, it cannot be seen that the standard of the bumiputras has improved. Neither can it be seen that the standard of the non-bumis have dropped!

    The true reason lies in whether one is hardworking enough to face challenges and not the provision of handicap of any form! So if the non-bumis have been making it all these years despite the discrimination and deprivation, it simply goes to show that the bumis themselves have fallen even further down the pit! Didn’t the government see this? Is it blind? And it had the guts to complain of brain-drain!!!!!

  58. #58 by sayaAnakMalaysia on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 - 8:57 am

    Pakatan rakyat going to face similar problem if given the chance to rule Malaysia. What PR going to do? pick the best to be the lecturers. Unfortunately, very few malays are among the best. So PR going to replace the Malays? I don’t think so unless PR just want to rule Malaysia for a short while. Don’t forget, the Malays will not vote PKR or PAS unless their personal interests are safeguarded! Without PKR and PAS, there is no way PR will become strong.The reasons Malays do not vote UMNO its because they believe Anwar’s arguments that NEP only benefits UMNO people only. The majority of the Malays want more than what UMNO are providing them! We cannot deny this.

    Forget about rhetoric NEP statements, the Malays want prove. Be realistic. PR must prove to the Malays that they are better with PR than BN. Also PR must prove to the non-Malays,equally. PR must prove the Islamic concept of PAS is ok for the non-Muslims.PR must find a solution that will be acceptable for all races.Else, forget about winning the next general election.So am I a a Malay? Pakatan Rakyat?

  59. #59 by marketer on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 - 11:30 am

    uncle Lim,

    take a look at this UPM, haha shame on d bumis……these r our future leaders?? i feel shameful to b a Malaysian.
    thank god i’m not studying in any of our national universities.. SHAME!

    watch the video here…

    goodness gracious!!

  60. #60 by marketer on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 - 11:37 am

    those kind of mentality, undergraduates?? it explains precisely why d ratings dropped drastically!!
    i don’t see anyone mengamuk like that in my own college. i stronly suggest d need of our higher education ministry to tackle attitudinal problems before anything else.. those ppl r d future parliament ‘bastards’ n ‘bloody bastards’ who will put our country to further shame…

  61. #61 by messi on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 - 1:57 pm

    The reasons Malays do not vote UMNO its because they believe Anwar’s arguments that NEP only benefits UMNO people only. The majority of the Malays want more than what UMNO are providing them! We cannot deny this.
    – quoted by anakmalaysia

    Absolutly agreed with the above statement. They want more benefit than what Umno giving to them and not for the change.

    But again, how are they able to sustain the long term subsidies which keep increasing every year due to the production of useless graduate?

    The G need to put a stop on quantities production and emphasize on quality to minimize long term subsidies that will drain all the revenue from our resources.

    Another Indonesia in the making. They have a lot of natural resources like petrol, timber..etc but now this country open up to attract Investor according to their terms.

  62. #62 by ccl on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 1:23 pm

    I am conducting a research for my thesis as part of the requirement for my Bachelor of Economics (Human Resource Economics). The title of this thesis is “Unemployment Among Graduates”.

    In my research, the respondents will include graduates who are not working yet, 3 months after their convocation.

    Any of your friend not working yet, 3 months after their convocation? If yes, can u give me their email address or email their mail address to me (chin[email protected]) Cos I need their help to be my respondent in filling up the questionnaire.

    Currently, I faced a severe problem. I can’t get any respondent who are not working yet, 3 months after their convocation. Hopefully you can help me.


    Your co-operation is much appreciated. Your response will be use for the preparation of thesis only and the information will be kept confidential. Thanks…

  63. #63 by ccl on Monday, 15 December 2008 - 9:53 am

    Either you are employed or still searching for a job, please enter the following link to filling up the questionnaire

    If i can’t get respondent, my supervisor will fail my thesis and i can’t convo on year 2009..

    wuwuwu.. i want to get respondent…i want to convo

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