Guan Eng: Act against JPA ‘Little Napoleans’

By Susan Loone | May 19, 11

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has condemned the Public Services Department (JPA) for failing to provide scholarships to deserving students, a mistake being continuously repeated.

Lim said the JPA, in disbursing its scholarships recently, ‘cannot get their act together’ as they failed to differentiate between top and second highest scorers.

He added that action must be taken against the “Little Napoleans” responsible for this mess up as these mistakes affected people’s lives.

“Either get new people to do the job, or get in a new DPM (Deputy Prime Minsiter, who is also the Education Minister),” Lim (left) said in Penang during a press conference after attending state agency InvestPenang’s, board meeting.

“What’s going on? It is such a simple matter but these mistakes create a lot of pain, anxiety and anguish for people,” he lamented.

The DAP national secretary-general also questioned the capability of the government to provide a first class civil service when it is prone to committing such mistakes.

For a first class civil service to exist, he added, the government must have in place “a good system, good ethics, especially in disbursing scholarships, and good team spirit”.

However, Lim said it appears as if these three important elements do not currently exist in the country’s administration.

He was quick to add that not all civil servants were problematic, as it was always a few bad apples which spoiled the reputation of others.

Mess driving away the best

“What we have instead is a complete mess, which creates anxiety, tears and drives away top students to other countries,” he said.

“These actions give a bad name to our civil service although not all civil servants are bad or made these mistakes,” he added.

Lim was referring to complaints by several students who were denied JPA awards despite scoring above 8As for their SPM exams.

Chinese language news dailies – Oriental Daily, China Press and Sin Chew Daily – have front-paged the mismatch of JPA scholarships.

Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong complained that the best scholars had been offered only scholarships in local universities.

Meanwhile, Penang may enjoy full employment status due to its RM12.2 billion investment last year, but now faces an uphill task of overcoming a shortage of skilled workers.

The state’s good investmet portfolio is expected to generate 21,000 new jobs but the administration has to deal with various challenges such as human resource and SME (small and medium enterprise) development, said Lim.

In response to these challenges, Lim added, the state has initiated several programmes like the SME Market Advisory, Resource and Training (SMART) Centre and the Career Assistance & Training (CAT) Centre to address the worker shortage problem.

“The state government is also collaborating closely with the Penang Skills Development Corporation to address the skills shortages,” he stressed.

“Penang can lead again by not being a sweatshop but also as the smartshop of the manufacturing industry in Malaysia,” he added.

Economic tapering off forecast

On a related matter, Lim announced the state’s target of RM6.1 billion for investment this year to attract high-value, high-tech investors was 50 percent less than last year’s record of RM12.2 billion.

“The Gartner September 2010 report indicates that worldwide semiconductor revenue growth is expected to decrease from 31.5 percent last year to 4.6 percent this year…this means that the growth rate will taper off,” he said.

“At the same time, there is a need to ‘digest’ (consolidate) the record investments last year so that the workers and skills shortage engendered does not overspill and damage the industry,” he added.

Lim said according to the latest Malaysian Industrial Development Authority report , the first three months of this year saw a total of RM1.8 billion approved from 20 projects for Penang.

He added that Penang accounts for 15 percent of the total investments approved for the country, while the foreign direct investment approved amounted to RM 991 million.

“This constitutes 21 percent of the total FDI approved for Malaysia. Penang is currently placed fourth in Malaysia,” he said.

  1. #1 by pulau_sibu on Friday, 20 May 2011 - 5:13 am

    Stop wasting money for the overseas scholarship. There is no need to have the first degree overseas. Local universities are as good. Why? Because the first degree is such an elementary one. The scholarships should be saved for advanced degrees, such as the Ph.D.

    What is our SPM standard? You know and I know. There is no need to fool people around with many A. Stop the grade inflation.

    Barisan government cannot even administrate the simple scholarship properly. Tell me how can they manage this country??

  2. #2 by CK-LA on Friday, 20 May 2011 - 5:48 am

    LGE’s word usage of “mistakes” is a bit courteous, knowing real well these “Little Napoleans” were making their own discriminatory decisions. But calling for the replacement of the Education Minister is right on. Head needs to roll if your subordinates are not complying.
    With the amount of foreign investment flowing in, Penang should create its own version of Talent Corp. to attract talented Malaysians home. It will completely tip the scale of difference if the wrongs of BN’s practices can be remedied by a competent state government.

  3. #3 by baochingtian on Friday, 20 May 2011 - 7:21 am

    Wee KS asked that the affected students accept first whatever being offered to them. Mr Wee always appears to be a nice man. In the case of the secondary female student being bullied in school, arrangement was made for the parents to apologize to the victim’s parent, media along. But anything done to the school personnel, the principal, the teachers? In this case, what stern action going to be with these bunch of PSD officers as “mistakes” keep repeating year after year! May be he can only be Mr Nice afterall coz his call for nasi lemak issue also being shot down by the his boss. Thought the PM addressing tackling root cause of problem ??? Of course, this JPA issue is not a problem, it’s intended to be one.

  4. #4 by bush on Friday, 20 May 2011 - 9:47 am

    Well, just another repeat of historical event happen in Malaysia where Chinese being discriminated and our MCA so called Umno’s partner have to get it right again.(publicity news may be good for MCA to win vote)

    Very sad that most leader only look at the top scorer student who are not able to get the scholarship.

    What about those qualified student not able to get a university place or a preferred course?

    What MCA or our Wee can do about the qualified poor student not getting a place in university? Their future is doom.

    Everyone talk about 1Malaysia and emphasize on Performance. Why the 1Malaysia create 2 systems for entry requirement to University?

    Is there any clause under the institution highlighted that Malaysia should have 2 systems (one for weak group and otherwise)?

    MCA should get it right (tell the partner not to discriminate the Chinese if someone abuse or violated the institution). If they can’t do it then leave the party and join DAP to fight for the right.

  5. #5 by best4rakyat on Friday, 20 May 2011 - 9:54 am

    LGE and YBs,
    Not that these ‘little Nap’ can’t do their job but they are manipulating this awards yearly.It is not publicly publish after all and was told even some parents whose children awarded were being contacted ‘privately’ for further request of kopi o !

    It is not only today but again happen in many other state’s awards too.Shame to abuse their responsibility as in-charge and they are the one who could hinder Malaysia’s future.

    It is time to bulldoze these hidden agenda and ‘little napoleon’. No parents willing to be whistleblowers because of affecting their children in study. So PAC and MACC should have a job to go after all these.

  6. #6 by bush on Friday, 20 May 2011 - 10:35 am

    Since this problem has been going on for years. To prevent this issue from happen again, I suggest MCA should seek BN’s approval to approve the list of scholarship and university allocation by a commitee comprise of 4 major races before send out to the respective student.

    This will avoid the abuse of the “little Nap”.

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