Our Universities out of THE top 400 ranking


October 10, 2011

Our Universities: Malaysian Government not willing to invest in research, says Higher Education Minister

It will take up to eight years before Malaysian universities can hope to make the cut in the Time Higher Education (THE) top 400 ranking of global universities, Higher Education Minister Mohd Khaled Nordin says.

Malaysian universities did not participate in the THE rankings study as research – which accounts for 92.5 percent of the judging criteria – was still at the nascent stage in local higher learning institutes, he said.

“This needs time to mature. When you push research, it requires a lot of funds and you need to publish your findings and get a lot of citations,” Khaled told a press conference after the National Academic Awards ceremony at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur today.

To compete with the world’s top universities on the THE rankings, Malaysian universities would have to spend hundreds of millions of ringgit to push their research. “Singapore universities spent between S$800 and S$900 million a year on research… it’s not cheap. But we can’t just pump in all that money on research. What about our teaching and learning, which are our strengths?” Khaled added.–Joseph Sipalan@http://www.malaysiakini.com

University ranking and intellectual honesty

AB Sulaiman@http://www.malaysiakini.com
1:45PM Oct 10

COMMENT: 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.

They cite the application of the quota system, Malay-only vice-chancellors policy or practice, poor funding for research, etc. But here I am not about to collate or reiterate and summarise these reasons, plausible as they might be.

Rather, I wish to present another and more fundamental explanation that might have escaped the attention of commentators.

The reason to me is that our collective approach to higher learning is off tangent from universal practice in that it encourages and nurtures close-mindedness and not open-minded thinking.

A quick check with the visions and missions of three top ranking universities namely Harvard, Cambridge and the National University of Singapore, would amply substantiate this point.

Harvard and Cambridge are consistently among the top ten, while the NUS hovers at around the forties or higher. They are among the crème de la crème of world universities.

First, Harvard. Its webpage says:

‘Harvard strives to create knowledge, to open the minds of students to that knowledge, and to enable students to take best advantage of their educational opportunities. To these ends, the college encourages students to respect ideas and their free expression, and to rejoice in discovery and in critical thought; to pursue excellence in a spirit of productive cooperation; and to assume responsibility for the consequences of personal actions. Harvard seeks to identify and to remove restraints on students’ full participation, so that individuals may explore their capabilities and interests and may develop their full intellectual and human potential.’

Note some key governing phrases, namely ‘to respect ideas and their free expression’, ‘to rejoice in discovery and critical thought’, and ‘to assume responsibility for the consequences of personal actions’.

Cambridge University has its own mission statement as well:

‘The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence.’

This university’s core values are as follows: Freedom of thought and expression, and freedom from discrimination.

National University of Singapore (NUS)

NUS in its turn aspires to be ‘a bold and dynamic community, with a “no walls” culture and a spirit of enterprise that strives for positive influence and impact through our education, research and service’.

All three universities seem to have virtually the same vision and mission namely to make their students to think openly and even courageously.

These august institutions are aware that the human mind works best when it is free from encumbrances and pre-determined parameters, or the ‘walls’ of NUS. They know that only with this complete and total freedom can the mind explore the smallest atoms and the farthest reaches of the universe.

Their approach to learning thereby is to develop and encourage original cutting edge thinking, of daring to explore, of initiative and creativity, of developing an open mind free from conservatism, conformity, prejudice, myth and dogma.

Wrong vision

I believe our universities are not looking into education in this time-tested way. For this I’d highlight the vision and mission statement of the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Its charter says it seeks to protect the sanctity and supremacy of God, and to put theory into practice.

It also strives to promote the Malay language. I remember reading about this some time ago. A quick check on its webpage indicates this vision is basically unchanged. A closer examination of this vision indicates that this university does not teach its students to ‘respect ideas and their free expression, and to rejoice in discovery and in critical thought’ as articulated by high achieving universities like Harvard.

Instead it stresses its students to protect the sanctity of Islam, and to champion the rebirth or strengthening of the Malay language and culture. Now, I have nothing against the protection of Islam or any religion. Nor do I have any aversion to the vision of nurturing the health of the Malay language and culture. Only that they are far and away from open, objective and critical thinking.

Instead, this thinking puts encumbrances and limitations to the pursuit of ‘excellence in a spirit of productive cooperation; and to assume responsibility for the consequences of personal actions.’ They are in fact the symptoms of the closed or ethnocentric mind.

In a nutshell UKM does not go for truth, but instead for what the authorities want the truth to be. It does not go for intellectual honesty. No analysis is encouraged, but what is encouraged is the passive acceptance of past wisdom and prejudices. All these do not promote proper thinking, but they propagate value judgments: prejudices, doctrines and dogmas, speculations. They are discriminatory.

History written by the victors

The present issue of history text books would amply illustrate this government-sponsored ‘truth’ and its agenda of pushing for this truth to the minds of the younger generation. To the authorities, history is to be written by the victors and they have rewritten school texts to suit the government’s ‘victorious’ views.

History is to be made a compulsory subject in schools thus forcing the young to absorb and internalise these doctored views. To reiterate I have no qualms about any person championing the welfare and well-being of his race or religion, for I suppose any reasonable person would have an affinity and love for his race and religion.

But this should remain as a personal trait and remain there. To make it into an overt university vision and mission statement is too much. Why? Because by doing so the university is consciously and deliberately propagating racial and religious preferences.

Race and religion are emotive and subjective and are far and away from objective principles.It becomes understandable to state that UKM does not educate its students in intellectual honesty, but instead its antithesis i.e. intellectual deviousness and dishonesty.

It is for this that I feel no Malaysian universities are ranked among the top in the world, but instead will slide down further and further as the years go by. I think they deserve this.

I might be accused of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam for saying the above. My detractors and critics might counter by saying that surely Malaysian university education is not all that bad? For this I refer to two articles written by Susan Loone in Malaysiakini on October 6. The first is her report on a presentation made by Professor Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin, former mufti of Perlis and an outspoken critic of conservative and conformist Islam.

“Professor Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin has attributed the lack of intellectual development in the Malay community to the ‘restrictions imposed by the authorities’ on their freedom of thought and expression”, writes Loone. She continued by quoting Mohd Asri as saying that “Knowledge should not be dependent on political power as control of people’s thoughts can ‘kill’ intellectual discourse.”

Mohd Asri said if the authorities continue to “control and direct” intellectual content, the rakyat would never be able to obtain the right facts. Loone’s second article carries the headline ‘Historian: We are trapped in an intellectual coffin’.

This time according to her, a Malaysian historian (Ariffin Omar, a lecturer) bemoaned the disappearance of cultural and political freedom as reasons for the stagnation of the nation’s intellectual development. Omar said (Loone writes further) that a nation needs a healthy dose of culture, politics and knowledge if it wants a steady growth of intellectual discourse from issues ranging from mainstream to ones considered ‘sensitive’.

“But what happens here is that when you speak your mind, you are persecuted as a traitor of the nation. Why is there no maturity in politics?” he queried.

The two thinkers have bravely and frankly voiced out this glaring weakness and we owe them a vote of thanks for speaking out.

In addition we should thank Loone for her part in sharing and spreading their views to the public domain. For my part I am assuming she ‘allows’ me to virtually reproduce her work here and to thank her for it.

Decay of Intellectualism

The country is suffering from the stagnation and decay of intellectualism which in turn is reflected in the poor showing of Malaysian universities in the THE survey. We see the products and symptoms of this stagnation and decay every day, as highlighted by the following short list:

  • Incompetence instead of professionalism in the public workplace. The ratio of civil servants to the population is among the highest in the world.
  • Intellectual dishonesty instead of personal integrity. A Judge for example is under public suspicion for plagiarising a judgment. The breaking down of the rule of law and the rise in corruption are other illustrations.
  • Fracture and cleavage in between different ethnic groups. The Malays are asserting their ‘Malayness’ at the expense of the other ethnic groups.
  • Religious intolerance. The leaders are determined to implement hudud law despite the constitutional objections to such a ruling.

It’s painful to add more into this list although it’s too easy to do so. To conclude, a friend, Paul Laine, from Finland, imparted to me a saying from his country: ‘The rotting of a fish starts from the head’. I remember this now as I see the rot in the university education producing mediocre leaders who then drag the country intellectually downhill. Thanks Paul, for your wisdom.

40 thoughts on “Our Universities out of THE top 400 ranking

  1. 8 years? to be in the TOP 400 ???

    Multiply that by at least a factor of 2: to account for the number of

    a) Kangkung Emeritus Professors

    b) Kangkung Professors

    we have in UPM, UKM, USM, MU and the other little known universities scattered around in little corners of Malaysia.

    No wonder we have Kangkung Emeritus Professors whose research found that Malaysia was NEVER colonised by the British.

    It is NOT the amount of money needed to be poured into research, it is the amount of REAL researchers/professors that we can have in our universities.

    You can throw RM 1 billion to our universities, our kangkung professors can never come out with research outputs that can withstand peer scrutiny internationally. For all you know, they might be caught plagiarising other people’s research for that RM1 billiion investment.

  2. The minister has given us the good news. But the bad news is that in the next 8years at least 25 new Universities will be extablished world wide every year adding another 200 Universities to put pressure on the list.

    I do not think that we should spend a single sen to achieve the stated goal of the Minister. Just make our universities better the ranking will take care of itself.

  3. The less we talk about our local universities, the better we feel about ourselves. The embarrassment is too great to bear.

    Imagine, Dato Din goes out to give paper in an international forum and he said he got his degree from MU. Then his friend from Harvard said, “How come I did not see the name of this university in the rankings list.”

    As Prof Syed Fareed Alatas said in a conference recently, our local universities need a major overhaul… a real major overhaul from scratch. The damage done to the universities under the 22 years of the Kutty Supremo rule destroyed our higher education system beyond repair

  4. Malaysia is so infatuated with the name University. Even small colleges in shop front premises are awarded and allowed to be called University or University College. Note that the top college in the THE ranking is called an Institute of Technology and has a small student population of slightly over 2200 students. Big things come in small package.

    Not all research have to be funded by the government. Private sectors and industries can also fund research undertaken by the universities. CalTech for example gets a lot of research funding from JPL, NASA and many other private sectors and industries.

    Whatever changes THE makes in compiling or determining the criteria of the rankings will not affect the ranking of the top 100 schools. It may change their ranking by a few notches but they will be on the list. One small change and all Malaysian universities fall out of the bottom.

  5. Whoa Dato, Frank , Bean, and many others are alumni of MU. Maybe they should take steps and exert pressure on MU to take the right actions to restore MU’s ranking in the ranks of world’s outstanding universities. I don’t mean top 40 but surely in the top 100. Restore it to its former glory

  6. “…exert pressure on MU to take the right actions to restore MU’s ranking in the ranks of world’s outstanding universities. ..”- semper fi

    Need to clear out ALL the Kangkung Emeritus Professors and the Kangkung Professors FIRST.

    They are fully responsible for the disgraceful performance of MU.

    These are the chaps who spent more time grooming their image as professors with little to show of their intellect.

    You see them in expensive batik shirts in evening dinners and gatherings and sitting in expensive swirling chairs in well-adorned offices and rows of books which were never read or read only the first page.As for their resume, articles are always co-written with some graduate students or other lecturers and their research articles don’t get a mention in international journals. Call up their resumes, and immediately you can identify the “kangkung” marker in them.

    When you converse with them, you hear them speak in broken english and bastardised Bahasa. They are pretty good at name-droppings and who they know in POLITICAL CIRCLES.

    Their favorite past time, (if they had not got one) to collect datukships and tan sri. They have longer titles in front of their names, instead of behind their names.

  7. Frank,
    Over here the alumni association and alumnae are involved in planning the course of their alma mater. The alumnae are often represented on select committees when selecting a President or Dean of a school.

    Alumnae often acts as local interviewer of applicants. For example my son was the interviewer for applicants applying to Brown University in 2002/03 for Malaysia and Singapore. As interviewer their recommendation carries a lot of weight in the final selection.

    The alumni association is also a strong determinant as they have a lot of say in disboursement of scholarships and grants and fund raising. Fund raising events organized by alumnis often raise millions and many alumnae have been known to endow hundred of millions to their alma mater. There are many scholarship established in the name of Class of **** and awarded based on specific criteria.

    Deans, professors and Department Chairs are often selected by alumnis so its not a far cry to ask all MU alumnae to rally around MU and push for a return to glory.

    Me I graduate of No U so pardon my Manglish

  8. In my college, deans are selected by the faculty. We got a new dean of engineering few years back. The school select the candidates and the faculty chose among the few candidates that the school brought over. They had to present etc2 to the faculty so they get to know first hand about the candidates.

    I don’t know how the process is like in Malaysia but my uncle said it’s easier to get promoted through “membodek”. Some of his colleagues who couldn’t deal with the politics in Malaysian universities packed their bags for other countries. My uncle hates people like Nordin Kardi but people like Nordin are dime a dozen in Malaysian universities. I doubt we’ll ever be rid of them.

  9. semper fi

    In Malaysia, the kangkung professors consider alumni as a pain in the ass. They don’t like to be told what to do because they are “the professors” so that they can do all the stupid things without being seen or getting caught plagiarising their students’ research work.

    These kangkung professors prefer organise golf and dinners so that they can network to get datukships and connections to influence peddlars for more datukships and attend more social functions to display their kangkung professorships.

    That is why we are NOT even in the top 400. Let alone trying to get into the top 100.

  10. … by the way, NOT all the professors in our local Us are kangkung professors. But they are the minority.

    There are really good ones, smart and very brainy. These are the ones who don’t go out to prostitute their PhDs to influence peddlars for datukships. You see their research in well-established international journals. They are the ones who can easily identify who are the kangkung professors among their colleagues.

    You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to pick out a kangkung professor from our local universities. They all share the same attributes, lackiung in intellect with a thick address book of names of politicians and other datuks and tan sris and extremely familiar where are the homes of ministers and politicians.

    Less we think about these kangkung professors,the better we feel about ourselves as being part of ” the clever country” we want to be.

  11. I don’t know how the process is like in Malaysia but my uncle said it’s easier to get promoted through “membodek”.- didi

    In Malaysia, the first qualification is the candidate has to be an UMNO supporter. The first interview is to establish this pre-requisite. Other considerations are secondary.

  12. Zoid,

    Nobody is blaming the Malays. Let us not bring race into the picture. Education cannot be about race. It is about the development of the human mind in a rapidly changing and technology driven world so that we have citizens who can compete and excel at whatever they choose to undertake. That I submit transcends race. It is our common concern.

    Let us face it: “Average is over”, to quote Tom Friedman and Mike Mandelbaum in their book That Used to Be Us. As Tom and Mike say, ” better education should aspire to achieve: ingenuity,creativity, and the inspiration to bring something ‘extra’ to whatever the student winds up doing in the world”. They suggest that in a hyper-connected world, we have to think “of the world as one big classroom graded on a curve.” The curve keeps rising as more brainpower, computing and robotic power enter the classroom. We must be ahead of that curve all the time. There is no time for complacency.

    We have to revamp our education system in its totality, not just at the apex. This revolution in education involves everyone–teachers and educators, politicians, parents,communities, business and students.It requires a ground-up approach so that all stakeholders can claim ownership of the new system and make it work for the benefit of our nation.

    Leaving this task to a cabal of bureaucrats in our education ministries who are working with our politicians is to court disaster: they are not interested in people who can think critically and creatively; they want average people who they can manipulate and control. They are more concerned about regime survival than good citizenship. So educating the young is everybody’s business. We must demand and expect a better deal for our younger generation and contribute towards making the deal possible. –Din Merican

  13. 1. UM used to rank well in the past. The history of how it declined so much can teach us a lot, if we seriously want to change things.

    2. Standard of English needs to be drastically improved in Malaysian public universities too. Much of the research literature is published in English, like it or not.

    I remember reading some time ago that the South Koreans were proposing English to be made the second national language.
    We don’t need to take such a drastic step but we can seriously consider what they were proposing too i.e. in the national schools of Malaysia, gradually increase the amount of teaching in English until at upper secondary level (especially Sixth Form level), most of the teaching is in English.

  14. To be among the best in the World, a university must attract the best brains in the academia (Professors & Lecturers) and the top students of the Nation supported by National leaders who aim for excellence, distinction and glory. Read report from Dr Sato from California.

    When Vice Chancellors, Professors are selected based on politics, race and religion etc then we are moving towards mediocre status.
    Quota can be given to Natives or Aborigines who are disadvantaged by their environment. We can reserved about 10% seats.
    But when students are given the same or similar environment in Pre-Uni, no preference should be given.

    Apparently results of students are altered or modified by examination syndicate to make some qualified for entry.
    App SYSTEMS are created to allow easy entry to Universities for some.
    Students are put into 2 streams in Pre-University.
    App in one stream, seats in the Universities are reserved for them.

    I see foreign Muslim students given training in our Universities when our own students/doctors are deprived.

    If National Policy does not strive for the best, we cannot be among the best.
    Many parents do not have confidence of our National Education Policy.

    English is an International Language for Science & Commerce.
    If you want to read the lates development & reserach in Science & Technology, it will be in English and not Malay.
    If Malaysia is the MOST ADVANCED NATION in the world, others will want to learn our language. We don’t have to force them.
    We can make money by teaching Malay to them FIRST
    But unfortunately Malay is a relatively under-developed language with BORROWED words from decaying Arabic, like Wilayah, masjid, hamil, jamilah etc.

    Formerly Religion is Power.
    Today Science is POWER.

    Robert Chan

    Criticisms welcome

  15. “But unfortunately Malay is a relatively under-developed language with BORROWED words from decaying Arabic, like Wilayah, masjid, hamil, jamilah etc”

    Yup,.. that’s true, but is also the same with English..is also borrowed some of the words from others. Just because it is the language of knowledge…it doesnt mean that u need to deprived others.

    Long time ago UKM was the supremo of Malay medium university with so many things, i.e. inventions, prototypes etc has been developed and patented. One of them was from my study. That’s mean language is not a barrier – and what about book written in chinese. You go to Kinokuniya – and u will see a lot of book written in Chinese – some of them are translation from English. It means what?

    Language is not a barrier for people to acquire knowledge! It is up to u whether you motivate and willing to succeed! That’s my philosophy. And in German, Netherlands, Japan – they also used their own language.

    Yup – I agree with you on several things such as deprivation of local regardless of their ethinicity when dealing with university job and promotion. That’s also need to be revamp. If this issue need to be resolved, then it should be done concurrently from the start, i.e. primary, secondary and tertiary educational system – then we will get better!

  16. A few more comments:

    1) Taking in less qualified students is not necessarily a negative thing.
    This opens up opportunities for disadvantaged minorities (such as Orang Asli). But once they are in, they should PERFORM to expected academic levels or have to leave. This is very important. (Less qualified students can be given additional tuition help in order to polish their language skills, analytical skills etc)

    2) Taking in foreign students is all part of “gaming the system”. In the worldwide rankings of universities, having a higher percentage of foreign students counts. Hence UM etc take in foreign students.

  17. You guys can talk yourself hoarse about the abyssal-dismal-insipid state of our education system and it’s irrelevant and dumbed down ‘higher’ educational institutions. Ain’t gonna change the reality one iota, as long as there is social engineering and political tinkering going on by an inbred, feudalistic, entitled, parochial, fraudulent Establishment more keen on keeping the status quo. It is not just mere mediocrity – it’s gone to the stage of idiocy and embarrassment.

    Btw, it was Richard Feynman who said that skeptical enquiry must be balanced by a deep sense of mystery of Nature/Existence, if science is to survive. All mechanistic views of ‘science’ need to be discarded by self proclaimed (pseudo)scientists, who have a very constipated idea of ‘Life’. The best ‘scientists’ are actually poets at heart. What is being created in our present education system are poor copies of Karaoke Robots.

    No amount of materiel poured into a corrupt system, can change the fundamental fact that our local grads are totally irrelevant in a modern and postmodern milieu, when they and their teachers can’t write a decent sentence in whatever language, much less English.

    An old professor of mine (yes, MU), had a very curious way of bringing us back to the state of ignorance in reality: “You Blardy Fools!”

  18. I agree with you malaun. Language should not be a barrier. I’ve stumbled upon many papers in Chinese in my line of study and have to get them translated. It took some time but still manageable.

    Some people think that Malaysians are being left behind in science and math because they are not being taught in English. But I think that has more to do with how these subjects are being taught. Too much of spoon-feeding and not much of critical thinking required. I had my education in Malaysia and it’s always “memorize this equation or memorize that formula”. My brother had his secondary education in the Netherlands and he had to derive equations and understand the concept behind those equations. Very different approaches. In my two years in UITM, I found that not many students love to do research and they’d rather pay someone else to finish their senior design project.

  19. What does this mean , Government not willing to invest in Universities. Its the people’s money not theirs. Where else should it go but to improve the conditions and life of thepeople through higher and quality education. where else should the money go?

  20. Let’s not forget the reasonably decent job being done by other universities (such as Malaysian campuses of foreign universities) in the teaching of Malaysian students and in carrying out research. Here, meritocracy is practised and students are taught critical thinking.

    One major issue is that the fees are much higher than the public universities. Another is that the M’sian students miss the experience of
    living in a foreign country.

    (Disclosure: I am a faculty member of a Malaysian campus of a foreign university)

  21. Ms Kathy is 100% correct.

    It is OUR money and elected officials should be held accountable for how they spend (or misspend) our money.

  22. Thank you Mr Phua but pls dont be so formal with me. The other challenge with foreign Uni’s are that the monies leave the coutnry dont they ? Does it contribute back into the nation ?Also the knowledge is forever with that University. So how do our local University’s become of quality and strive to become one day world standard. And WHY do our people have to pay higher for quality education. Then there is a disparity in opportunities becasue those who can aford it have all the opportunites but those who dont have these opportunites can never easily get out of the poverty trap.Poverty is a breach of Human Rights. Education can bring them out of poverty . That is what our Elders who fought for M’sias freedom from colonisation would want for the nation.Look at Gough Whitlam, He made education FREE because it is a RIGHT not a privelege. I know some will call me a dreamer but it can be done. If there is a will ,there will be a way.

  23. Dear Kathy

    There are pros and cons to private universities in Malaysia.

    Pros

    At my university, there are significant numbers of foreign students (25% of the student body, I’m told). This contributes to the local economy.

    There is a higher degree of academic freedom for faculty as compared with the public universities. This is of vital importance for good work to be done (especially in the social sciences and humanities)

    Cons

    Outflow of funds – Depends on the financial arrangements with the “mother campus”. Counter-balanced by Malaysians who study here rather than at the mother campus overseas.

    Teaching load is heavier, so a prof who is productive in research in the public university may be more time-challenged when he’she moves to the private university.

    Can contribute to brain drain problem if the credentials are “laku” overseas e.g. such as our medical degree that allows graduates to practise in the country where the mother campus is located

    * I agree with you that our public universities should be improved. But looking at the present situation, this is not very likely unless the politicians stop meddling with the administration of the public universities.

  24. Be aware that the British Times Higher Education World University Ranking promoted English language and British influences/ traditions as the best with political and economic objectives.

    It is a shame to Malaysia cannot rank highly even Malaysian universities follow the British traditions!

  25. What ‘education’ are you guys/gals rambling about when there were 80,000+ kids who dropped out of secondary school between 2004-2009?
    We ain’t got TAFE and other vocational schools galore hereabouts, you know. The only quality places are like in Monfort schools which cater for delinquents who graduate with skills and contribute back to society. For the Malay delinquents, it’s plain lepak and bohsia before graduating to Mat and Minah Rempits. Race? Yeah, i give you race.

    So why worry about varsity rankings when we ain’t got the basics right? And the fact that 65% of varsity places are occupied by the fairer gender? The Boys have lost out due to wrong targeting of testosterone, or is it because our educators are imbeciles and the system so hopeless that there is no possibility of improvement?

    Time to peddle my nasi impit..

  26. I wish there was like button when I agree with the comment like fb! However yes CLF, we sorely need to get the basics right agreed! Thank you Mr Phua for being forthright.

  27. Thank you Mr Phua but pls dont be so formal with me. -Kathy

    In my days, if I had known Kathy then, I would go to informals with her on saturday nights in the MU’s Great Hall.

    Yes, Mr Phua Kai Lit, formals are starchy. Informals would be the way to go with Kathy.

  28. This perrenial issue about our education system had been discussed and discussed and discussed for countless nauseating times in blogs, news websites and in the mainstream media.

    In fact, I get so nauseated just thinking about it.

    We gave good ideas here not once, not twice, countless times. Do they get any hearing… do they do anything about…I remember so much of bandwith used up on this blog to talk about the english language, our universities’ standards, the kangkung professors, the politicisation of education, the poor school system, the robotisation of our students…. on and on and on.

    No, instead the political leaders and the Ministers are more concerned about hudud and worrying that Muslims are being hunted down to become Christians.

    Sheeesh!!! THEY JUST DON’T CARE. We are here on a SYOK SENDIRI MENTAL JOURNEY.

    Perhaps Mr Bean and I can start discussing about the education of Sir Lancelot

  29. Formerly Religion is Power.Today Science is POWER.- Robert Chan

    Now you are talking sense!

    I have trying to tell everybody on this blog until my fingertips had warts typing on my keyboard.

    The Imaginary Friend in the Sky of Muslims and Christians and Hindus ridiculously believed to intervene with life and death of some two-legged naked primates walking on this planet are now replaced by the Laws of Physics.

    The change and replacement is inevitable as when Man replaced spirits of the trees and fire to the divinity of the Sun and the Moon, and then replaced with a pantheon of gods of the Greeks coming down from Mount Olympus and Roman gods from Mount Jupiter and then all these gods were remolded evolved into a one god which came from the desert of the middle east.

    The next change is to a god that has no human attributes like revenge, hate, love, compassion, bully, giver of bribes and promises, with a god that is revealed as a set of mathematical equations.

    That is, a human-like god replaced by a mechanical god. Halleluia,

  30. Mechanical god? They taught you that in school?
    Some of us are so deluded that we pray to ourselves. Strangely it works – it may be the Placebo Effect or something like God in Us. Now, i’m not claiming this where God is, but this is as good an explanation we can get. The Creator is in the Created/Nature, but not part of it. No comprendo? Then it’s not my problem.

    Frank, modern science has far outstripped classical ‘observable’ science and we are now in a place where everything is Weird. Quantum mechanics and Relativity are counter intuitive and so far irreconcilable. There is a place for Theism in whatever Faith, but you are too mechanical to see it.

  31. Mechanical god? They taught you that in school?- C.L. Familiaris

    Yes… during my Science classes.

    What is the definition of “god”.

    An entity or a classification of entities (myriad of gods) that answers your call/prayer/appeal for solutions to your everyday problems. No?

    The Imaginary Friend in the Sky of the Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Hindus and etc don’t actually answer to your problems… perhaps (I only guess) hear but not listen.

    The mechanical god answers. It is omnipresent and exists in MANY manifestations ( a concept learnt from Hinduism)… in your living room, and wherever you go.

    —- You have a problem of going to the supermarket from your house: What answers your silent prayer? Hey, its your car.

    —-You want to communicate with someone on Dato Din’s blog? What answers your silent prayer? Hey, its your computer/notebook/Ipad

    —–You want to talk to your children studying overseas because the pariah UMNO Malays discriminate against your children because of race. What answers your silent prayer? Hey, its your telephone/hand phone

    —- You want to watch Manchester vs Liverpool football live but played in UK. What answers your silent prayer? Hey, it is your television.

    Now, the Laws of Physics and from which all the sciences are derived exist BEFORE man came into existence and BEFORE man invented the existence of his Imaginary Friend in the Sky. The Laws of Physics made LIFE to exist.

    By the way, if there the Laws of Physics don’t allow gravity to exist , life as we know cannot exist on earth.

    You see, the Laws of Physics predates your Imaginary Friend in the Sky.

    And the Laws of Physics gave the two-legged naked ape the intelligence to discover and invent the wonders of technology you see around you in the modern world.

    It is the mechanical god that make makes the universe exists. Without the Laws of Physics, nothing exists, not even your Imaginary Friend in the Sky.

  32. to many people their God is the $$$.- didi

    I call them “DEVIL WORSHIPPERS”. The $$$$ will kill them finally. And usually that is the case.

    That does not mean $$$ is bad. The DEVIL is good if you can make use of the Devil of frighten OTHER people.

    The $$$ should be treated like ALCOHOL.. To be appreciated in MODERATION. Wiithout it, is no good. Too much, is also no good.

  33. modern science has far outstripped classical ‘observable’ science and we are now in a place where everything is Weird. Quantum mechanics and Relativity are counter intuitive and so far irreconcilable.-C.L. Familiaris

    Weird?? So is the Imaginary Friend in the Sky of Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Hindus.

    Nobody knows what it is: a HE, SHE, or IT? But considered as MALE, as FATHER, has a sexual organ. Why not call ‘IT” instead of “HE”

    Lives in Heaven? Now, where the hell is that? Everybody points upward… and expects the “soul” or their dead body lying 6 ft underground to rise up and fly upwards, and in some religions, travel on a CLOUD ( for goodness sake!) to somewhere up there. CLOUD?? Jesus/Nabi Isa brought up to Heaven by Allah on a CLOUD??? That entity made of contaminated water vapours that give us rain???

    As I said, the God of the Abrahamaic faiths live in a VIRTUAL world. The virtual world can only exist in the spaces between the ears.

  34. didi, when I say too much $$$ is no good is because when a person has too much money, he/she becomes a prisoner of his/her own wealth.

    That is why you see homes like prisons, in PJ/KL, you see rich and middle class people’s houses GRILLED, WORSE THAN PRISONS, and you have bodyguards, CCTV around the homes and inside the house. Too much money and you lose that kind of freedom which a poor man has.

  35. Virtual world between the ears?
    Yup, that’s what i said. So you are getting the gist of it?
    That my friend is called ‘Existentialism’, which may or may not be Theistic, depending on one’s own constitution and upbringing.
    The Mechanical god of Classical physics is dying, and that’s why we have Virtuality – where observations don’t count as Logic/Reason anymore. Just look up the Double Slit experiment for Quantum Mechanics.

    Many of us seek ‘Truth’, and for those who are not blinkered by socio-cultural, educational prejudices we have no problem with your assumption of the ‘Death of God’ – the only proviso is that this God is the Mechanical God you so described. The God who is Within and Without us continues to exist, for that is the Imago Dei of humanness. Even then we are not describing a ‘Physical’ Anthropomorphic Being, but the meaning of Being.

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