UM and NUS: Common Start and Divergent Paths

October 17, 2011

UM and NUS: Common Start and Divergent Paths

Leslie Lau, Executive Editor, The Malaysian Insider (10-17-11)

 A World Bank publication has found that standards at Universiti Malaya have fallen and the institution has been kept at a disadvantage because of race-based admission quotas and political interference in university management.

In contrast, Singapore’s decision to prioritise research, keeping English as the medium of instruction and a merit-based admissions policy have all contributed to the success of the National University of Singapore’s success, according to “The Road to Academic Excellence,” which studies what contributes to a world-class research university.

The study also noted that Malaysian secondary school students are not well prepared for tertiary education. It points out that the Malaysian education system promotes rote learning, conformity and uniformity rather than fresh and creative thinking.

The study is led by two scholars — Philip Altbach and Jamil Salmi — while various chapters see contributions from various academics.

Salmi, a Moroccan education economist attached to the World Bank, also notes that “disturbing political developments, from the burning of churches to the whipping of a woman for drinking beer in public,” also cast a shadow on Malaysia’s “image as an open and tolerant society.”

The comparisons between UM and NUS is contained in a chapter entitled “The National University of Singapore and the University of Malaya: Common Roots and Different Paths.”

The chapter is authored by Hena Mukherjee, a former Universiti Malaya department head with a doctorate in education from Harvard University, and Poh Kam Wong, an NUS Business School professor.

According to the study, “at an early stage, the Singapore government realised the universities’ role in sustaining economic growth.

“In contrast, after 1970, UM’s institutional goals reflected the New Economic Policy, an affirmative action plan for ethnic Malays and indigenous groups, put in place in the wake of disastrous 1969 ethnic riots that took the lives of hundreds of people on both sides of the racial divide.,” the study found.

The authors said that apart from the student quota system, the NEP translated into more scholarships to Bumiputeras, special programmes to facilitate their entry into higher education institutions, and the use of the Malay language in place of English in the entire education system by 1983.

“In UM and in government, the policy impact spiralled upward so that Bumiputera staff members, over time, secured almost all senior management, administrative, and academic positions.

“As NUS kept pace with the demands of a growing economy that sought to become competitive internationally, with English continuing as the language of instruction and research, UM began to focus inward as proficiency in English declined in favour of the national language — Bahasa Malaysia — and the New Economic Policy’s social goals took precedence.”

The study noted however that there has been widespread recognition that the implementation of affirmative action policies in Malaysia has hurt the higher education system, sapping Malaysia’s economic competitiveness and driving some (mainly Chinese and Indians) to more meritocratic countries, such as Singapore.

In the broader study, the lead authors found that research was an important element in the making of a world-class university, as well as top-grade talent.

“We’re both convinced that serious research universities are important in almost all societies,” Altbach, who is the director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, told the New York Times last week in an interview.

Said Altbach: “Independence, luck, persistence, some kind of strategic vision, adequate resources — usually, but not always, public resources — good governance structures, good leadership, the ability to attract good students and so on. But we have found that the quality of the faculty is really crucial.”

Salmi, who co-ordinates the World Bank’s activities related to higher education, told the same newspaper of their new 390-page study, which will be released later this month, that their advice is like that supposedly given for a rabbit stew recipe: “First, catch your rabbit.” Only in this case the advice would be: “First, catch your faculty.”

“The difference between a good university and great university comes down to talent.”

33 thoughts on “UM and NUS: Common Start and Divergent Paths

  1. We started in 1905 in Singapore, and in 1962 we became two separate institutions–University of Malaya and University of Singapore (renamed National University of Singapore after 1965 Separation). Under pressure from politicians in power, University of Malaya became Universiti Malaya and it changed the medium of instruction to Bahasa Malaysia.

    Since then, UM has been heading south towards mediocrity, and out of the top 400 global universities as political interference destroyed academic standards and with the introduction of the Universities and University Colleges Act, we destroyed academic freedom in our premier University. NUS is now way ahead of us in terms of research, teaching and academic excellence.

    The Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) is a piece of retrograde legislation that severely curtails freedom of thought, movement and association amongst our young in Malaysia. This in turn has a negative impact on the intellectual development and academic autonomy of our institutions of higher learning and the leaders of tomorrow.

    Under the Act, students and student organisations are prohibited from playing a vital part in the socio-political life of our nation unless with the expressed permission of the Vice-Chancellor. Academic staff are also prohibited from making any public statement that may be perceived as being “political”.

    This was taken to the extreme when in 1997 under the Mahathir Administration academics at respected institutes of higher learning throughout Malaysia were prohibited from commenting on the environmental problem of the “haze”, least it have an adverse impact on tourism.

    Under Article 15(1) of the Act, no person, while he is a student of the University, shall be a member of, or shall in any manner associate with, any society, political party, trade union or any other organization, body or group of persons whatsoever, whether or not it is established under any law, whether it is in the University or outside the University, and whether it is in Malaysia or outside Malaysia, except as may be provided by or under the Constitution, or except as may be approved in advance in writing by the Vice-Chancellor.

    (2) No organization, body or group of students of the University, whether established by, under or in accordance with the constitution, or otherwise, shall have any affiliation, association or other dealing whatsoever with any society, political party, trade union or any other organization, body or group of persons whatsoever, whether or not it is established under any law, whether it is in the University or outside the University, and whether it is in Malaysia or outside Malaysia, except as may be provided by or under the Constitution, or except as may be approved in advance in writing by the Vice-Chancellor.

    (3) No person, while he is a student of the University, shall express or do anything which may be construed as expressing support, sympathy or opposition to any political party or trade union or as expressing support or sympathy with any unlawful organization, body or group of person

    (4) No organization, body or group of students of the University which is established by, under or in accordance with the Constitution, or any other organization, body or group of students of the University, shall express or do anything which may be construed as expressing support, sympathy or opposition to any political party or trade union or as expressing support or sympathy with any unlawful organization, body or group of persons.

    (5) Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.

  2. Naturally divergent. Because the land became split into 2 modern nation states peopled by people with different ideologies, different priorities, different land areas & natural resources. Survival takes on a different meaning in each context.

    Singapore could ditch Malay altogether & opt for English for ‘progress’, but Malaysia could not ditch Malay & not lose its soul in the process. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, & lose his own soul?” the good book has a good point here.

    The local institutions’ loyalty should be to local people’s needs & aspirations, not to studies commissioned by World Bank. Study World Bank’s impoverishing role in their engagement with developing nations.

    The issue is not the World Bank and its engagement with developing world. What is pertinent and relevant here is why two institutions which was one institution based in Singapore (1905-1962) are so different from each other today after they split in 1962.

    When I was a student at MU (1960-1963), academic standards were maintained. This is because then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, a graduate at Catherine, University of Cambridge, respected academic freedom. We are talking about academic standards. It is not even about the use of Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction in our universities. It is about the quality of our professors and our students in our tertiary institutions that is at issue here and the study explains the difference between NUS and UM. One word: Policy. Who makes policy, if not government (read politicians)?

    Unless we are prepared to accept reality, we cannot change. The reality is that NUS and UM are today miles apart in terms of academic excellence. Do we want to raise the academic standing of UM and other local universities or do we choose to ignore what is obvious and allow our tertiary institutions continue to deteriorate?. That is a choice we must make.

    This requires both political will and public concern. Right now, I would argue, we have neither the will nor the concern. So those parents who can afford to send the children abroad, do so while politicians in power use our tertiary institutions as apologists and propagandists for their cause which is to produce graduates who cannot think for themselves.

    What then is Academic Duty of our universities. For me, both Academic Freedom and Academic Duty are important.

    Here is a review of Academic Duty by Donald Kennedy for your reading pleasure. It is better to get a copy of it (only the paperback version is now available).

    Kennedy, Donald. (1997). Academic Duty. Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press.
    Pp. 310

    $29.95 (Cloth) ISBN 0674002237

    Reviewed by Courtney Welch
    Texas Woman’s University
    April 20, 2001

    In the 21st century, faculty and administrators in institutions of higher education are often confronted with complex situations that could lead them down the road of academic misconduct. As the Bing Professor of Environmental Sciences and the President Emeritus of Stanford University, Donald Kennedy has significant experience in the teaching and administrative world of a research university. Because of this experience he is no stranger to the institutional struggle between teaching and research as well as the complicated financial concerns between profit-making ventures and pure academic research.

    His book Academic Duty contains intensely personal insights and reflections that illuminate and identify the responsibilities that faculty and administrators need to strive toward in order to serve their university and students. Kennedy’s book emerged as the product of a challenging and productive seminar that focused on “shaping” Stanford graduate students for various academic careers.

    “I have tried,” he writes, “to engage future faculty members with a vision of academic duty that includes the responsibilities to put students first and to restore the values of institutional commitment and loyalty” (p. vii). Kennedy asserted that faculty and administrators in higher education must strive toward these duties in order to maintain an ethical and educational balance of research, peer review, grants, teaching, and publication. Kennedy claimed that “within the university itself, administrative responsibility is a key ingredient in the design of the institution’s objectives.” (p. 279)

    He maintained that university faculty should not only concentrate on publishing and research but “advance the capacities and potentialities of the next generation” through effective teaching and mentoring (p. 22). According to Kennedy, the edification as well as the education of students should be “at the very core of the university’s mission and the faculty’s academic duty.” (p. 59) In his fourth chapter, entitled To Mentor, Kennedy maintained that mentoring is not just a statistical part of a faculty teaching load but an ethical duty of the highest order. He also claimed that the current climate of poor graduate training, pertaining to the many temptations within the academic arena, could be the deep- rooted cause of the continual ethical problems among university faculty.

    Kennedy is quick to qualify that academic duty, if conducted correctly, would not only be complimentary but supportive of academic freedom. He maintained that in a democratic society “liberty and duty, freedom and responsibility” are the opposite sides of the same coin (p. 2). Kennedy writes not as an outsider chastising academia, but as one who appreciates and acknowledges the distinct culture and problems of working in an academic climate.

    The strongest and most troubling elements of Kennedy’s work is the exploration of misconduct among university researchers, the misleading direction of graduate advisors, and the unethical grant-seeking activity among university professors in the culture of a research university. Kennedy expertly reconstructed informative and enlightening case studies and anecdotes that illustrated the ethical challenges and temptations that exist in higher education.

    The three most pivotal and interesting chapters in Kennedy’s work are those entitled “To Teach” (Chapter 3), “To Publish” (Chapter 7), and “To Tell the Truth” (Chapter 8). Within these chapters, Kennedy exposes the outrageous and subtle ways that research faculty and university administrators bend their ethics to the breaking point.

    Kennedy asserted that most professors are not prepared for the teaching requirements or the intense pressure of authorship at a research university. He reminded those working in an academic culture that ethical dilemmas are not limited to plagiarizing or falsifying research, but can also pertain to a professor requiring his students to buy the book he authored in order to receive more royalties.

    According to Kennedy, both situations are considered violations of “academic duty.” Kennedy staggered this reviewer by claiming that “more than 75 percent of all papers are never cited . . . and even in certain fields the percentage of non-citation is even higher.” (p. 193) His implication for the necessity of teaching ethics, especially in terms of research and publishing, to faculty and administrators in higher education is clearly conveyed and should seriously be considered.

    Kennedy’s work is spellbinding, enlightening, and highly readable. Academic Duty has only one limitation in that it only investigated ethical issues at a research university. Within his end notes, Kennedy provided a rich and dazzling list of resources that not only supported his thesis but also encouraged educational researchers to investigate the role of academic duty within theological seminaries, liberal arts colleges, and community colleges. Kennedy, in an effort to expose the research university culture, writes from both his positive and negative experiences in higher education to encourage a stronger sense of duty within this culture.

    He maintained that for a true cultural change to occur, institutions of higher education must strengthen their mission and duty to the development of the next generation. Ultimately, Kennedy concluded that,

    “the difficulty is that they (research institutions) are both successful and prestigious, and they lack the natural appetite for renovation and reform that characterizes the striving, transforming institutions. But unless they change, little else will.” (p. 287)

    Kennedy has identified many ethical problems within the research university and has “thrown down the gauntlet.” Let us hope that faculty and administrators will be encouraged by this challenge.

    On a personal note, this reviewer recommends that this book should be required reading for all faculty and administrators within their first year of employment. Overall, this reviewer contends that Donald Kennedy has made a valuable contribution to the growing literature on ethics and duty among those who work, research, and teach in higher education.

    About the Reviewer
    Courtney Welch is a graduate of Baylor University in Waco, Texas and is currently an adjunct professor in the history department at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas and a history instructor at Collin County Community College in Plano, Texas. She is pursuing a doctorate in higher education administration at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Her research interests include higher education law, student development, and curriculum development.

  3. The World Bank study suffers one weakness:

    It did NOT mention about the contribution of the KANGKUNG professors to the lowering of the standard of UM.

    I bet there are over 90% of kangkung professors in UM..and they are the ones who get promoted to become Heads of Dept and Deans etc.

    They get their Emeritus Professorship for their contribution to the body of knowledge in bodek-science.

    Comparing UM with NUS is like putting a rotten apple in a same basket with oranges ready for the market.

    The standard of UM today is best compared with the University of Zimbabwe.

  4. but M’sia could not ditch Malay & not lose its soul in and process. -fariyusof

    What nonsense. We have the UMNO-led government spending hundreds of millions of ringgit including UMNO Ministers and children of UMNO Ministers going overseas to get their education in ENGLISH.

    You want to have the best tertiary institution of learning to enable the young to develop the nation. You don’t go to a university worrying about your racial soul or the nation soul. The soul of the nation comes from having a proper environment of learning to bring out the best of our young minds so they can lead this nation to compete and be among the best in the world.

    No wonder, parochial minds like yours are what cause this country and our universities move backwards… retrogressive development. Losing soul??? What rubbish!!!

  5. what ‘s with the fascination of prefixes. Islam before every word ,then Malay before every word.

    Yes you can ditch any race and the Soul remains because it isn’t about the Soul;it is about the quality of education. In fact the better the quality of education ,hopefully the better the quality of the Soul for the sake of the nation’s performance in all arena’s to be relevant in the 21st century and further.

    Come on fariyusof, focus will you! Stop thinking with your emotions all the time. It clouds all judgement about everything.

  6. I read in Malaysiakini another rant from a professor from a different local public university who said all the academics in most public varsities were given an order from out of the blue to instruct in English. He lectures Malaysian architecture and says it is not right to express such knowledge in anything other than Malay, to a largely-local student pool.

    Does the report distinguish between “localized” (more to arts) and “internationalized” (more to sciences) fields? Malaysia’s language row is overheating and we surely do not want to read one more report that appears to favour one bigger language at the expense of another smaller one.

    Besides, the dilemma could stem from the relative difficulty of English in terms of grammar and orthography. Think: why do we have homophones (read, wind, present etc.), why are past tense verbs so irregular, why ‘-ough’ has so many different ways to pronounce? Why can’t the world have an easier language as a lingua franca of academics?

  7. Why do all of us sound so surprised? This information was in the public domain from day one and many Malaysian voiced this , unfortunately, only in coffee shops. God gave an opportunity to fix it, but we waited for these two guys from the UN to ’embarrass us”.

    Once and for all when we speak we say the truth, when we make a promise we must keep it and when we are placed in position of trust we must not betray it. That is the way forward fo all of us who are mortals.

  8. It is true that Malaysia is in some ways losing its “soul”. If not, Din Merican’s blog and other blogs like RPK and Azly Rahman, and the discourse among visitors, would have been mainly in Bahasa instead of English.

    We should look outside classrooms to ‘inculcate’ the national language among our young, esp Malay kids these days who indulge in “SMS shorthand” and mixed language even on formal discourse that non-Malays find hard to understand.

    Besides educating them the perils of using such rotten language, we should find other ways to keep BM alive without over-depending on schools. For example, an increasing number of channels on Astro provide BM audio feeds, not only on cartoons, but also documentaries, drama serials and movies. I’ve always thought the proliferation of non-BM content on TV may have driven the rurals nuts about the survival of their language.

  9. We allowed the politicians to put their hands into our education system and mess it up for their own gain. This has started to get worse when we had the mak kutty as education minister, and thereon our education system just deteriorated by the days.

    Our local uni grads are hopelessly lacking, even in their own field of studies, what more with other knowledge. It is the cause of our politicians.Period.

  10. Why on earth must M’sia follow Singapore’s development model, the Philippines’ or World Bank’s model?

    So that ultimately 6.5 billion people only speak the same language, read the same manuals, watch the same tv programmes, live in the same square boxes, take the same pills, … .and at the end of it all STILL have your universities ranked the world’s 400th best?

    “It is very smart, and organized. It follows a methodical system to render us useless. Man, the magical being that he is destined to be, is no longer magical. He’s an average piece of meat. There are no more dreams for man but the dreams of an animal who is being raised to become a piece of meat: trite, conventional, imbecilic.” – Castenada

    i.e. Frank, souless. A piece of meat: trite, conventional, imbecilic. Are we not yet turning into turkeys who love thanksgiving? (To borrow Arundhati Roy’s analogy)

    Cheers Kate 😉

    What is your solution, if we do not want to learn from the experience of others who have done things better than us. Isolate ourselves in a world where knowledge is power and competition is a way of life. Of course, we can be katak bawah tempurung. That is our choice.–Din Merican

  11. Comparing NUS and MU? Simple! That single English speaking Lion on the NUS crest whups the 3 lil’ Tigers on the MU one.

    For example, while most Universities welcome an objective analysis for a PhD dissertation, our kangkung Professors in the Business Admin faculty have difficulty in understanding statistical models and insist on a Subjective one. It’s probably because they have an aversion to Probability and Confidence Levels, MU has lost it’s focus a long time ago and the amount of original research is equivalent to discovering the incandescent light bulb.

    I know of a Physics graduate, who was in the dark when discussing the nature of Dark matter and energy and had difficulty expressing the Dirac equation because he couldn’t pronounce the Greek letters – and his pronunciation of anything starting with the letter F would make ladies blush. Subliminal thought process coupled with geekiness.

    However, Kathy seems to developing a predilection for focusing lately.. Maybe needs some soul from Sista Re:

  12. True, it is undeniable fact that Malaysian education system promotes rote learning, conformity and uniformity rather than fresh and creative thinking.The natural outcomes are clear: incompetents, uncompetitive, inefficiency and wastage of resources, the maintenance of absolute powers of the majority Malay as supremacy without meritocracy that corrupt absolutely.

  13. Local universities are not real universities but an extension of primary and secondary schools. It’s just to extend the time the student spends in school to delay entry into the job market. The teaching and learning is the same.
    Thanks, Semper, Universities are in the business of new knowledge creation and dissemination. Malaysian universities are supposed to be in the same business, but they do that in Malay style…resulting mediocrity and conformity…knowledge recycling. Lectures of old are being recycled by our professors.New research is sadly lacking.–Din Merican

  14. “What is your solution, if we do not want to learn from the experience of others who have done things better than us. Isolate ourselves in a world where knowledge is power and competition is a way of life. Of course, we can be katak bawah tempurung. That is our choice.”–Din Merican

    Sadly, I don’t have the solution to the world’s problems. My point is that comparison is deadly. You cannot compare an Apple to an Orange. Sg & Malaysia have different ideologies, strengths, riches, etc. Each social/human experiment is unique. Text must be read in context.

    You will always lag behind. You are ranked but cannot rank the ranker. It cannot be that all the world’s peoples & countries, diverse as they are, must follow only 1 model of development? Wear only shirt & tie, eat same cereals, sing same songs?

    Granted that thecurrent model of civilisation is humanity’s sacred cow, can Malaysia or anybody not grow at own pace in own ways? It is living & learning. Just as Singapore, China, India & Zimbabwe are.

    BTW Steve Jobs dropped out of college, so did Bill Gates, bypassing U ranking & setting own standards. So UM is said to be behind NUS. But thinking & innovation cannot be confined to University education. Outside the box.
    Sorry to say: this is crap. You move from one issue to another. Focus on NUS and MU and their differences. We are comparing one university against another, not apples and oranges. All Universities are in the business of knowledge creation and dissemination. They do research, teaching and mentoring, only that some do them better than others. Why can’t we compare Harvard and Stanford, NUS and Beijing University, or Tokyo University and Imperial College? Of course, we can. –Din Merican

  15. For every Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, there are zillions of ineducable has-beens. Neither could have made it without the hordes of engineers, software specialists and technical experts to give their ideas Life. Give it 2 generations these so-called moguls will be a footnote in history. You allusion is as lame as a dead-duck.

    We are not comparing NUS vs UM per se, but bemoaning the lack of clarity of purpose and the undignified manner in which our so called ‘brightest’ dim-wit youngsters are being ‘educated’ – in order that they contribute to society, country and what not, besides living a meaningful existence. Right now, imbecilic morons we have aplenty and cretins too.

    South Korea cultivates engineering and the technical skills so that they are now by far the most wired up nation on earth. Over here the grads we produce can’t even figure out where the jamban is. That’s not comparison, that’s embarrassment!

  16. Din,
    Regardless whether UM did it the Malay style but MU have lost the competitive spirit. In their eagerness to expand they have the young lecturers scheme where they recruit lecturers to fill in the teaching positions. However, most of the applicants to the young lecturers scheme are not interested in teaching but just to secure the scholarship and get a job upon their return.

    Secondly these young lecturers are not the cream of the crop. They are just mediocre lecturers who live in the kampung melayu or Malaysian ghetto while on campus overseas. Favorite topic is berapa gaji lecturer, how much raise per year, what it takes to be a head of department and a Professor Madya and the likes.

    Thirdly the young lecturers wants to look good to the students and accommodate the students even if the students don’t perform. Grades are adjusted and standards compromised. So how do you expect the students to excel. Most ended up as civil servants or lecturers at other institution.

    I’m sure there are many graduates from MU who can write a book on life on campus and how they breeze through their university education.
    Semper Fi, we are graded on a curve; if grades are being tampered with to make sure that Malays can walk through a university degree program effortlessly (e.g. being spoonfed, in stead of being taught how to use the library), the curve is meaningless.

    The quest for pangkat and gaji is typical of our country men and women. No substance. They want something for nothing in exchange. Attitudinal change required. Stop rewarding mediocrity. Otherwise, we have Nordin Kardi (UUM) and Nordin Keling (UM) types aplenty. Look at USC and California Institute of Technology (CALTECH), which are top class.–Din Merican

  17. Why can’t the world have an easier language as a lingua franca of academics?- cl

    Go live in a cave and talk to yourself. What a stupid complaint.

  18. Singapore & Malaysia have different ideologies, strengths, riches, etc. Each social/human experiment is unique. Text must be read in context. – fariyusof

    If you are talking about Malaysia and Australia, or Malaysia and Philippines or even Thailand, I might even agree with you. But Malaysia and Singapore, different??? You go to Singapore and look around you, you almost think you are traveling to another state in Malaysia, except it is cleaner and more organised.

    Many Singaporeans have ancestral roots in Malaysia, and many of the corporate captains and government leaders were former Malaysians or relatives of Malaysians.

    The difference is neither INHERENT NOR Singapore came about from a different social and cultural environment. The difference is manufactured and by choice — Malaysian political leaders chose the easy road of LOW standards for Malaysia while Singapore leaders chose the more difficult road to achieve a higher standards of excellence for their people.

    Singapore had NO natural resource nor sizable land mass except its human capital, while Malaysian politicians corrupted the natural resources of Sabah and Sarawak and made these two states the POORER after 48 years when compared to other Peninsular states.

    The difference, if at all, is the MENTALITY of the POLITICAL LEADERS and the Govt of the two countries. Singapore leaders used more of their brains and made effort to nurture the best brains and even source good brains and talent to bring into the country.

    Malaysia? Our UMNO-led Govt leaders decided to keep their brains between their legs and chose to focus on sourcing talents for housemaids, mamak stall workers and manual labourers from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan Cambodia, and Philippines.

    If you want to be an apologist for the stupid decisions of our UMNO-led govt over the last 54 years, try to engage your brain BEFORE putting in to gear your mouth/fingers on the keyboard. What a silly argument even for an apologist.

  19. The South Koreans did it (made their universities world class).
    The Taiwanese did it.
    The Thais are doing it.

    But Malaysia has gone backwards (UM etc. have deteriorated over time).

  20. Dato Din,
    please permit me to say briefly in curt language, because people here are overly & unduly sensitive…..there is in place Akta Bahasa Malaysia (Bahasa Melayu), ie : ‘ Language ” being backed by legislation/statute, that’s well & good no doubt….
    i merely would like to put as a ” converse” ( or a transverse ? ) here. Why is that the English Language is accepted ( & respected ) the world over WITHOUT Legislation ?
    Just curtly & briefly, without earning any ‘displeasure’, it seems to me that the CONTENTS as to ” Knowledge’ is the key – A language by itself is merely the ” vehicle” called medium or the ” tool” to convey Knowledge. You may disagree, but the contents of English language carries within it almost 4-500 years of Scientific Knowledge & painstaking discoveries of physical properties, converted for ” Economic Advantage ” over human life & existence, largely for upliftment from human poverty & misery…… the enormous amount of ‘knowledge” and appropriate terminologies, scientific words, and still developing from stage to stage of human evolution……incredible….
    Just the latest example described by Pa’Semper on the technological sophistication achieved by Steve Jobs….forget mentining about Isaac Newton, Einstein or Max Plunc…. period

  21. Malaysian education system promotes rote learning, conformity and uniformity particularly to Muslim, Malay style, Daulat Tuanku, Big titles, Tan Sri, Dato, Datin, etc; rather than achievements open, fresh and creative thinking.

    The results are clear: incompetents, uncompetitive, inefficiency and wastage of resources and times, the maintenance of absolute powers of the majority Malay as supremacy without meritocracy that corrupt absolutely.

  22. I was a UM student 1979-82 and during my time at the Faculty of Economics & Administration, there were many eminent lecturers well respected in their fields of specialities within the academic world and also by the private sector outside and these included Prof Dr Sieh Lee Mei Ling, Prof Gregory Thong Thin Sin, Prof Siva Gnanalingan, Dr Dunston Ayadurai, Dr Fong Chan Onn, and many more…. and they all report to a dean who has only a Master of Economics from LaTrobe. I think the dean is now a Mentri Besar somewhere in a southern state… what meritocracy are you talking about Dato?

  23. conformity and uniformity particularly to Muslim, Malay style – rightways

    Are you saying conformity to Islam and Malay culture is bringing down Malaysia? So what religion and culture should Malaysian conform to? Pray tell us so we can ask government to make changes at next Parliament sitting.

  24. sorry…this idiotic Rightways….will attempt to hijack and put things in wrongways, and deliberately misconstrue to ” mislead “…..

    Real idiot ! Don;t you see many ” Melayus” nowadays well qualified from Western Universities with Phds – all done in the English Language ? and, performing brilliantly at home….

    no wonder, people here brand you as “sino-centric”….unable to discern coherently !

  25. Huh? What West!
    There are two vanities that all politicians tap into irregardless West or East. Race and Religion. The others being language,dialect and tribe, then minuscules like astrological signs and fung-shui..

    I would put it to you that your Paragon of good Governance, PRC has the most irreligious government on our blessed planet. Even as the number of Buddhists and Christians far out strip members of the CCC. Therein lies the greatness of the Fatherland (no disrespect to the Nazis)..

    Great Satan USA requires a POTUS who’s undeniably a Christian, even when he was born of a Muslim father. Not to mention Russia, whose President better pay obeisance to his Patriarch, even as he calls his country Motherland (Rodina). The West sucks.

  26. How many times must we discuss the same old subject of our education woes? If our country is really interested in progressing, the answer is staring us in the face: GO BACK TO THE WORLD CLASS EDUCATION WE ONCE HAD. Anything short of this and we shall languish in the third division.

  27. GO BACK TO THE WORLD CLASS EDUCATION WE ONCE HAD. Anything short of this and we shall languish in the third division.-Isa Manteqi

    Will NOT happen !!!! … and those Emeritus Kangkung Professors and the bulk of the Kangkung Professors will make sure of that.

    Why? Because they all will be out of a job if the universities are run on MERIT basis and if the qualification to be professors requires BRAIN-POWER.

    These kangkung professors survive in the universities because all they need to have is BODEK-POWER

    The only way to stop the rot in our universities is to get rid of ALL the Kangkung Professors, include the Emeritus Kangkung Professors, most of whom are Deans, Heads of Dept and Vice Chancellors.

  28. Isa Manteqi, you read me very well about the contextual refrence i earlier made in relation to Language vis a vis ” Knowledge ” that ought to be the criteria – not Language per se….
    But what i took exception was when someone known as Mr Know-All, he is always NOT participating like all others….but a nuisance because, to me, he is a mischief-maker….saying the same thing over & over & over, EVEN when topics discussed are different, different things of different issues….. not fair !
    But yes, i read you too, Isa, and i share your sentiments….

  29. I wish to point out that University of Malaya for the past 50 years have made major contributions in higher education ,research and national development .These achievements were made inspite of many limitations imposed by NEP , change of medium of instruction and severe budget constraint . Good students and dedicated staff made the contributions possible . Hard work is the solution for University of Malaya to become a great university with contributions from all races and loved by them.

  30. I wish to point out that University of Malaya for the past 50 years have made major contributions in higher education ,research and national development .- Ho Coy Choke

    Yes, in the late fifties, 60s and to mid-70s.

    After that??? UM’s contribution to national development was by dishing out on conveyor belts, half bake graduates taught by kangkung professors whose claim to “emeritus” makes a joke of the highly esteemed title. One “Emeritus” just exposed himself as the intellectual joke of the year, by claiming based on HIS RESEARCH, that Malaya then was NEVER colonised.

    The Brits in London pubs are toasting with three cheers to our kangkung professors with their beers eversince.

Leave a Reply to cl Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.