As video goes viral, should education policy be scrutinised?

— M. Lee
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 15, 2013

JAN 15 — I was extremely disappointed with the conduct of Sharifah Zohra Jabeen as seen in the video at the UUM forum that has gone viral.

As a labour market and development economist, I agreed with Bawani’s statement implying that the economic impacts of educational funding have to be properly analysed to make the right policy directions.

Many countries around the world such as Australia and United States have constantly studied the best educational strategies that will develop and educate the nation. Albeit they are already developed nations.

It is not to my intent to say that the Malaysian government is not trying to adjust and design optimal education policies. However, Sharifah Zohra Jabeen has seemingly assumed the role of a government representative by replying “if you equate Malaysia to other countries, what are you doing in Malaysia? Go to Cuba, go to Argentina, go to Libra, go everywhere.”

My question is: has she been elected as a representative of the government? Is this the stand and belief of the government and the university?

What is more appalling is for an academically trained person to provide such a statement in an academic institution. Academics provide scholastic argument by providing rigorous empirical studies and findings before deriving a conclusion. In the instance of this video, I applaud Bawani for providing relevant statistics and policy questions that should be assessed by the government. Although she is only an undergraduate student, she has demonstrated a scholarly attitude in approaching real issues.

Not only was the reply by Sharifah Zohra Jabeen condescending, it was not an intelligent answer. It is akin to sweeping problems under the carpet — presenting an attitude of superiority towards a student by claiming she has a degree and implying that government policies are perfectly fine.

I believe that education policies in Malaysia should be debated further. So many statistics have shown high unemployment among local undergraduates, students are subjected to large fees and there is an absence of effective universal student study loan and repayment schemes to ensure access to higher education by all eligible students.

It is not an issue to be shunned nor should the current education policy be treated as the “best policy”. There are issues to be debated in this arena and again I applaud Bawani for raising them.

* M. Lee is an economist in Australia. He reads The Malaysian Insider.

  1. #1 by gofortruth on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 5:09 pm

    Its a national shame to have this type of people leading our universities. No wonder our standrad has gone down the drain!

    Video 13:00 As a Muslim,I have the right…..

    She is behaving that if you have the majority,you have the right to bulldoze your When I speak you listen, listen, listen, listen. A classic UMNO product.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 5:25 pm

    It appeared in the video that Sharifah Zohra Jabeen was trying to safeguard her rice-bowl and acted subserviently as a “yes woman” to the BN government. She showed no ability to think and reason critically.

  3. #3 by digard on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 5:43 pm

    Listen, Listen, Listen!
    It is easy to lambast a person who has just made a big fool of herself. Too easy?

    Listen, Listen, Listen!
    I have personally witnessed similar events in other Malaysian universities. With one exception: no Bawani, and nobody with a courage of Bawani. Had there been, the outcome wouldn’t have been vastly different.

    Listen, Listen, Listen!
    The people I abhorred most in that video were the silly chickens who clapped their hands on demand to Sharifah Zohra Jabeen’s attacks (“Hasn’t BN done enough for you?”)
    I pity Malaysia for the level of this type of undergrads. Sharifah is a lost cause, but the students should be educated to stand for a Malaysia of the future, not cowed into self-subordination.

  4. #4 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 5:53 pm

    The times when umno knows best is over.

    Yup people.

    Now umno knows best-er!!

    So you ppl jolly well LISTEN.

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 5:55 pm

    The jeering audience needs an antidote to clear the BTN toxin in their minds.

  6. #6 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 7:29 pm

    How is it that Sharipah, an NGO rep., is allowed to hold sway and browbeat a student on UUM’s campus grounds?

    Are they all University faculty members who were tongue-tied, yes, even mesmerised on stage by Sharipah’s antics?

    Anyway, the clearest impression on my mind is: I believe Sharipah lost her way in the thickof trying to say something clever, she made such a boo-boo of herself.

    Shame on you, Pah. I am not so sure who has the least education in the video. I am not convinced at all that she who was hanging on to the microphone and berating the student is a product of a good university education at all.

  7. #7 by SENGLANG on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 7:41 pm

    LISTEN to the falling rain…..Listen to the falling rain….Listen to the falling BN… it is near far away…not far far away…. Yes Listen to the falling rain…it is not far away …falling rain falling BN is coming….LISTEN LISTEN listen…listen….listen …the rain is falling BN is falling it is not far away….listen…..listen…….listen…..falling…the regime is falling it is not far away….just listen…listen…listen

  8. #8 by Dap man on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 8:09 pm

    The unthinking response of the audience to Sharifah’s behaviour shows how easily they can be led by the nose. Our students don’t think. They are afraid to protest. Afraid to criticise.
    Sharifah was behaving as though this was an UMNO seminar but damn it, this is a university.

  9. #9 by Dap man on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 8:13 pm

    I understand this low-life Sharifah is one of the speakers at a forum at Hilton Hotel on Jan 26. And the theme for the forum is “How to make your first million”.
    Now why would any idiot pay RM 150.00 to attend this forum?

  10. #10 by cseng on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 8:51 pm

  11. #11 by cseng on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 9:04 pm

    Talk east, Talk west! Talk 3, talk 4! Talkok!


    I could understand namewee, but i listen come listen go! what is the points sharifah trying to make…i think talkok is meant for her…

  12. #12 by chengho on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 9:18 pm

    come to NY babe

  13. #13 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 9:49 pm

    First, ‘ Correct, Correct, Correct’.
    Now it is ‘Listen, Listen, Listen’.

    What will be next?

    ‘Podah, Podah, Podah’ ?

    This Sharifah must consider herself a Bumiputra while the student a lowly ‘pendatang’ and should go elsewhere to another country ? Is this Sharifah a product of a BN sponsored BTN course ? Oh what a shame this mummy is.

  14. #14 by john on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 10:01 pm

    Seeing is believing !
    1) the disgrace standard of the ‘Uni ‘ AND those ‘ADULTS’ present ARE a laughing stock to the whole world,
    2) what a place of learning has turned out to be
    3) these are the fixed deposit voters that Mad’tir cum UMNO/bn have intended (but not their own children !)
    The title sum it up most appropriately – not just the University but largely on UMNO/bn.

  15. #15 by Better Malaysia on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 10:23 pm

    I doubt Sharifah (nickname “Nikki”) is not a graduate of any university, at least not the good one. She used to work as an administrative assistant back in Ipoh at an electronic factory. Wonder how she can facilitate a forum of a university.

  16. #16 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 10:38 pm

    Listen, listen, listen…RPK speaks:

    Sharipah, listen, listen,listen…

    ” And when you open your mouth you reveal that the paper you possess is…well…not worth the paper it is written on.”

    Listen, I did not insult you. RPK just did.

  17. #17 by rjbeee on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 10:52 pm

    We had Cowwoman, Ropeah, and now Sharifah..imagine they have the guts to say go to another country..If it was a non bumi by now …charged for sedition…..This running dogs must be take out soon

  18. #18 by rjbeee on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 11:03 pm

    The education Minister must be sleeping in his job for having this type of woman in Universities in this country…Well for bumis semua boleh….. What a shame….The still declare not enough…like mamak tongkang

  19. #19 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 11:22 pm

    One may judge the quality of a UNIBERSITI by its students and certainly it also reflects the types of lecturers deployed! I was made to understand that UUM has been rated amongst the bottom of local public tertiary institutions. So what can one expect when the top U is outside the top 200 Asian Us! With the ex-BTN boss as the V-C, what more can you expect from its lecturers? Some time ago, when UITM took over the running of the British based Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, the international body suspended them from conducting examination when they found out that it was conducted like a nursery school! This used to be a respected professional institution, after being NEP-IZED, it became like toilet papers! Institutions are planned to improve as they gain experience; here the process is reversed, each year the quality is designed to be LOWER than the previous year! This is their definition of progress; by churning out A’es: That is progress!

  20. #20 by raven77 on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 11:40 pm

    Mana VC…?????

    Where is the Minister of Higher Education for placing nut case VCs who churn out all these unthinking students who in turn are trained by retarded speakers like Zohra…

  21. #21 by balance88 on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 - 11:54 pm

    Bravo to Bawani. She spoke with facts and seems to be the only intelligent soul there. Sharifah just confirms to us the disgusting standard and sheer lack of quality amongst our local grads.

    What is more alarming is the response of the other students to the comments of Sharifah. They were responding to her comments positively when she was just throwing her weight around and they were literally cheering her nonsensical answer. I guess these students do not have even an ounce of intelligent cell in their head to decipher the right from wrong and the sensible from the nonsensicals. She dare not even answer Bawani point for point. She might as well also talk about the birds and the bees. Talk to her about the economy and she will probably respond with a talk on farming!

    Tertiary institutions is not only a place to learn but also a place for an exchange of ideas, comments and views and when we debate, we debate intellectually. This is a place where the next generation of leaders are nurtured. But, UUM is definitely not the place.

  22. #22 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 - 12:04 am

    Who else wants us to ‘Listen, Listen, Listen’ ?

    Why Najib, of course.

    Then there is Rosmah, Muhyiddin, Hishamuddin, Rais, Adek and Chua Soi Lek too.

    In fact the whole jing-bang BN people.

    Sharifah Zohra Jabeen is just mimicking them as she is just a brainwashed and brain-dead BN loyalist and lackey.

    Sharifah Zohra Jabeen. Is she some kind of confused pendatang a la Mahathir ?

  23. #23 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 - 12:08 am

    ‘….should education policy be scrutinised..?

    Wait till you see the new blueprint that Muhyiddin wants to announce and reveal end of January.

    They need more compliant, non-thinking, docile students.

  24. #24 by john on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 - 12:30 am

    OMG ! we have camrecorders now. This must be the norm of what’s going on in our ‘Unis’ . Definitely not one off case as the result of past over 55years UMNO/bn warlords, in control.
    Also, OMG we have the F word for such deserved IDIOTS in order to maintain our sound of mind here.

  25. #25 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 - 12:49 am

    ‘Animals have problems too’.

    ‘Which UMNO politician does not have problems?’

    Who said the above? Cowgirls.

  26. #26 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 - 1:10 am

    Audience warmed towards/clapped Sharifah. All I can say is that Sharifah shows what works in our politics: –
    (1) SPIN works eg, “we allow you to speak” and “when I speak, you listen”. But was Bavani allowed to speak? Her facts/figures were responded by irrelevant digression. Sharifah said: “Did I give her respect? I came up to her, shook hands with her and gave her respect as another woman” which is of course, a spin because shaking her hand first was not giving respect but a sugar coated ruse to take away her microphone in order to silence her with condescension that her elder knew better. (2) DEMAGOGUERY seems to work with audience (Listen, listen etc 11 times.. Go to Cuba, go to Argentina, go to Libya, go everywhere”) better when collided against rationality. This explains crystal clear why we are where we are today – because politicians can get votes by appealing to emotions from spin and demagoguery! When Bavani tried to rationalise with facts and figures, she was cut off midway. Where the other one (Bank Islam’s chief economist Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin) could complete but not in favour of powers-that-be, he was suspended. The message is truth has no place here– spin has- and if you know what’s good for you, you’d spin for the right side!

  27. #27 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 - 1:34 am

    Bank Islam says it is internal bank policy that its employees cannot participate in political activities. What a spin! Your staff is chief economist who made a presentation in an international seminar and politics & elections results are an integral part of economic, banking, country and sovereign risk analysis, for crying out loud! If he had predicted a 2/3 win for BN would he be suspended for participating in politics? His career would be safe – no suspension may be likely promotion- but his professionalism and by extension the Bank’s image will be in suspension! Looks like its not only in tertiary academia or main stream media thrive on spin but the whole system and whatever institution including banking within the reach of ruling party/government’s power.

  28. #28 by chengho on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 - 2:15 am

    Freedom of expression and academic freedom too . Don’t like it go to Singapore , Australia and NY .

  29. #29 by cseng on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 - 8:00 am

    If shake down the listen, listen, & listen, what else do hear from sharifah’s talkok, typical umno way of speech and answer!. When i talkok you listen, is compulsory! No question because i m the best!, i got degree you don’t… disgusting!

  30. #30 by deepers1 on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 - 8:02 am

    This is an inherent problem based on a sense of entitlement and wanton power. The moderator itself, is not worth talking about. She is a mere product of the system. The demoralizing and disappointing turn was when the students started cheering on the moderator’s tirade till the end. Now, that is where it gets blatantly evident on how devastatingly dangerous a system has manifested itself and influenced society, and in this case, a place of higher learning. How could the students themselves not see the repulsive bullying that went on and on? There is still fear amongst the majority, fear of retribution to voice and take the risks to create change for a progressive and just society. Or is it just fear? Did the fact that she was Indian fuel the prejudice among the students? We will never know..They were initially cheering for her! We can speculate and draw theories but it certainly shows we still have a long way to go. Unless more and more people like Bavani start to take a stance, and we can all shed our fears and stand against injustice and prejudice, there will be no change in sight in a country well endowed to potentially be a prosperous nation, not just economically, but in all aspects of equality and human dignity.

  31. #31 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 - 8:08 am

    As much as Sharifah was abhorent, it was not that which struck me – what struck me was how such a big idiot was put into such the powerful position. She was STUPID above anything else – regardless of her views. Why she should choose to explode in front of that students who could be handled much better – she obviously have deep psychotic unmet frustration that the poor student is unwitting victim of. Yet she holds such powerful position – unqualified people put in over-powerful position – its how corruption get started and abuse of institution, systems and even persons themselves.

    And the prove was actually there that day – she had a supporters in the hall and poss-forum, clearly some spoke out for her whether they believe it or not..Her disease spreads and THAT may be the bigger cost.

  32. #32 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 - 8:32 am

    1 mamak woman representing 1 mamak party (chengho’s party).

  33. #33 by jus legitimum on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 - 6:35 pm

    #9 Dap man,why not we go to Hilton on 26 Jan to give this ‘talk big’ woman a showdown and expose her idiocy.Chengho is most probably a beneficiary of the NEP that spent taxpayers’ money and nurtured and sustained morons living in cities like NY,London and the likes.

  34. #34 by chengho on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 - 9:50 pm

    Imagine if Zohra belong to Pakatan , what say you

  35. #35 by tak tahan on Thursday, 17 January 2013 - 10:03 am

    I’m pretty sure chengho is squatting under Rambutan tree with cintarambutan right here in Bolehland.Ny,London and the likes have no place for NEP retard like chengho.And this another NEP cum BTN retard Zohra would surely have no place in Pakatan.No need to imagine.It’s understood well.

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