Archive for October 11th, 2011

Goldman Sachs says Malaysia needs tougher reforms

By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 11, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Global banking giant Goldman Sachs believes Malaysia must push through tougher reforms such as a goods and services tax (GST) and slashing subsidies if it wants to transform into a high-income nation.

Its review of Budget 2012 proposals said the recovery in private investment since the 1997 Asian financial crisis has been held back “by scepticism over the government’s transformation efforts over the years.”

“Pushing through tougher reforms is ultimately what is needed to catalyse the economic transformation process. Read the rest of this entry »


Cops fired tear gas directly at demonstrators, witness tells Bersih inquiry

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 11, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Riot police fired tear gas directly at a crowd of peaceful and “non-hostile” Bersih supporters, a witness told a public inquiry into the July 9 protests today.

Lawyer Nor Syazwani Muharam, a Bar Council representative who had monitored the rally, said that the incident occurred along Jalan Masjid Jamek where the police had told Bersih supporters to disperse and rang a warning bell three times.

“I did not see any violence by the Bersih supporters. There was no hostility from the public, I did not see any provocation from them,” she told the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry here.

Nor Syazwani said the crowd was about “one block” away from the riot police before tear gas was fired directly at them.

“Police fired directly towards the crowd,” she said. Read the rest of this entry »


Smirk faces and snide remarks?

by Uwe Dippel
Senior Lecturer
Department of Systems and Networking
College of Information Technology
Universiti Tenaga Nasional

My comment on the University Rankings

That is what I tend to see and hear around me in these days, after the annual world rankings of universities have been published.

As a reminder: the rankings published by QS saw UM rising to place 167, while all other Malaysian universities went down by around 20-30 each, with UTM falling out of the top 400 completely.

Then, on October 7th, another ranking provider, Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) saw
all Malaysian universities falling straight out of the top 400, including Universiti Malaya.

No wonder about those faces looking at me and those remarks. So, have we university lecturers just been in a state of tidur, fast asleep, and lazying about during the last years? I can’t blame the public for their initial feelings. Though the matter is not quite that straightforward and simple. Read the rest of this entry »


A philosophical comparison of the budgets

By Zairil Khir Johari | October 11, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

OCT 11 — And so it has come to this. The last push. With the general election expected soon, both Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional are preparing themselves for the final assault. Barricades have been erected, cannons lined up and guns trained on the other side. In the last week, we have witnessed the opening salvos launched by both sides.

First to the tilt was Pakatan Rakyat with a modest offering encapsulated in the title “kesejahteraan untuk semua” or “prosperity for all’. And just as it was about to gain traction the ruling Barisan Nasional descended with a no-holds-barred mega welfare budget, coincidentally called “bajet membela rakyat, mensejahtera negara”, or “defending the people and prosperity for the country”.

Without a doubt, both sides have angled the budget with an election in mind. Thus, there is no escaping the menial comparisons between the two sets of proffered “goodies” — RM500 for lower-income households compared to RM1,000 for lower-income housewives, or cash and book voucher bonuses for students compared to RM700 childcare allowances, or a restructuring of teachers’ salary schemes compared to an outright increase in teachers’ allowances. In short, most comparative discourse has been about whose sack contains bigger and better presents — Santa Najib or Santa.
Read the rest of this entry »


University ranking and intellectual honesty

By AB Sulaiman | Oct 10, 2011

The Times Higher Education World University Ranking has recently announced the results of its survey and the ranking of universities from all over the world for 2011-2012.

In the past, some of our universities have done modestly well, slotted in the low 200 -300 positions.

But for the first time, none did any better than 400 this year. We Malaysians have every right to be stumped. What has gone miserably, pathetically, pitifully wrong?

We all know that in this country, education as an institution has broken down, but surely not this badly!

Many concerned citizens like (DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, usually the first to highlight the issue to the public domain) have voiced their opinions.
Read the rest of this entry »