Fix The Education System and Stop Talking Politics

July 22, 2016

COMMENT: Mr. Ng, you are being very generous in praising Rural Development Minister Ismail Sabri for making a self serving remark on the quality of our graduates.

My friends and I have been discussing this matter over many years. What makes him special to deserve your praise? He just stated the obvious and what is worse he is part and parcel of the very corrupt UMNO system that sought to produce Malay graduates who are mediocre and weak so they can be cadres to serve  and perpetuate the UMNO patronage system.

There is no political will to deal with this serious national crisis. Employing foreign consultants to produce glossy reports with buzz words and worn out cliches will not help us. Ask former Minister of Education and sacked Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin what he did with the Educational Blueprint he commissioned when he was in power.

Let us not waste taxpayers money when there is no will to fix the system which has failed to produce employable graduates. So stop heaping praise on this minister who is part of this malaise. You are only compromising your integrity.–Din Merican

Fix The Education System  and Stop Talking Politics

by Scott Ng

There must be the political will to recognise the failures of the system and to address them.

It’s been a long time since a cabinet minister issued a statement that no reasonable person can find fault with. And of all people, it was Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob who surprised us this week when he said something worthy of applause.

Ismail did right in ticking off university graduates for expecting the government to hire them. As it is, we already have a bloated civil service, and continuing to spoonfeed so many school leavers and university graduates is just not a viable option.

But then again, it is because our education system spoon-feeds our children that they cannot stand on their own when they go out into the working world. Ismail was probably being too idealistic when he said that “the government provides people with an education so that they can become those who provide others with jobs.”

Our education system doesn’t place enough emphasis on leadership, let alone creative and critical thinking and soft skills like public speaking and other forms of communication. As many graduates have found, the working world is quick to disabuse them of the notion that their grades mean anything more than ink scrawls on paper.

Employers look for more than just a 4.0 GPA. They want people who are problem solvers, who are capable of leading when necessary and who can communicate effectively.

The argument around education gets very politicised on the issue of employability, especially when it comes to English proficiency, but it cannot be argued that we severely lag behind in recognising the importance of soft skills in the professional world.

There is, indeed, a lack of urgency in addressing the problems in our education system.We certainly cannot continue to spoon-feed our students. They must be taught to fish, not just to eat. Not only must the education system teach them employable skills; it must also instill in them the belief that education must continue throughout one’s lifetime. Our education system must in fact teach them how to keep on educating themselves once they leave their institutions of learning.

If the government truly wants our graduates to begin fending for themselves and to be competitive, then it must recognise that the modern world demands more than just good grades. The government must have the political will to recognise the failures of our education system and to address them.

6 thoughts on “Fix The Education System and Stop Talking Politics

  1. The media used to give reports of our locally produced public universities UNEMPLOYABLE GRADUATES and also provide information about the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS BEING APPROVED IN THE BUDGET ON A REGULAR BASIS TO RETRAIN-RETRAIN THEM TO BE MARKETABLE. The sad part is that majority of the ‘UNEMPLOYABLE’ may have had degrees in DISCIPLINES FOR WHICH THERE IS LITTLE OR NO MARKET DEMAND. Consequently most may have been appointed to civil service positions even when they may not have had expertise relevant to the posts to which they may have been appointed. This was observed during may days in Audit service from which I retired 23 years ago.


  2. Fact is Ismail Sabri says what he did for selfish/self-serving reason of UMNO/BN’s own failures. Why is the Kampung Minister talking about education and jobs when he is NOT education minister? It can only because they are failing at education and jobs for Kampung folks – their most loyal constituent..Problem is ONLY 25% of the population is now in the Kampung mostly in Sarawak and Sabah.. Why are they still failing so badly after how many decades?

  3. Quote:- “The government must have the political will to recognise the failures of our education system and to address them”

    The government certainly recognizes the failures, (hence all these expensive studies commissioned), it’s the complete absence of political will to address it that needs to be addressed.

    My view is that the problem is unsolvable because it has been left to rot for far too long, perhaps deliberately.

    First, why unsolvable?

    To solve it, if you dare to disregard the politically explosive race factor completely, the first step is to base everything, especially baseline entry-level grades to tertiary institutions admissions, purely on excellence and nothing else. Second step, appointments to the teaching faculty are based on merit and nothing else.

    So simple right? You don’t need to appoint expensive foreign consultants to tell you that. Mr. Muthu the chapathi stall owner can tell you that, and more besides. Just order a couple of chapathis for RM3.50 + GST, erhhhh, ……… may be you need to get a teh tarik too to wash it all down.

    It is a no-brainer that the above will never ever happen whether under an UMNO / BN government or any other government for the simple reason that those who will be rejected for student or faculty entry / appointment will overwhelmingly be Malay. The student population and faculty members will have conspicuously large non-Malay majorities.

    Any government that tries this will be voted out at the next GE, if we don’t have a Red Shirt / Green Shirt / Black Shirt riot first to “defend” race and religion.

    Second, why deliberately?

    We all know that the country’s political elite of all colors and hues send their children and grand children to schools and universities overseas. Cases in point, look no further than our admired / worshiped Tun Abd Razak / Tun Dr. Mahahthir’s children.

    These children upon return will be, purely by virtue of having a degree from an overseas uni, in positions of leaderships and power, commercial and political.

    So why fix the system to your and your children’s disadvantage?

  4. The question I had was, Could the Bumiputras know that NEP was to chain them in stupidity and laziness to foster corruption? TAR saw that coming. Mahathir was smart enough to know that was happening. The Royalty saw it all along. Unless of course, the only smart Bumi was the great Tunku? No, corruption frenzy got into UMNO, and the people are the last thing in the mind. Thievery of the Malaysian Treasury was paramount, the Nation purpose was to provide the Treasury and UMNO was to ransack it. But what about the common people? Are they stupid and ignorant? No they are not. They have to cari makan and avoid going to jail. But there is a small tiny percentage of patriots, Datuk Din is definitely one, but someone from Jibbys family – Azrene Ahmad wrote something quite powerful today regarding her brother Riza, and boy, that is the kind of Malaysians that make us proud!

  5. To me, while Azrene Ahmad wrote “THE AZIZ CHILDREN’S DOOR” about her brother Riza, there was another person – addressed as “his mother” – who was also the subject of her words:

    “To his mother, you have forsaken one child at great cost and detriment. You have utilised and mobilised government resources to wreak terror to harass us over the last ten years for standing up for what we believe to be right.

    Please do not forsake another just so that you and your husband can get off scott-free. It is time for YOU to step to the plate and do what is right.”

    Reading those words, I can form an opinion about why she addressed the woman as “his mother”.

    Azrene Ahmad’s Facebook posting in full:

    Azrene Ahmad
    22 July 2016 at 1:33pm ·


    One day a boy slept, someone came knocking at his door

    He opened it a tad bit and a voice called out from the great outdoors.

    It asked him what he wanted in exchange for some shelter and succour

    His mind warned him as did his body- do not take what is offered But his traitorous heart heard what was laid out by the door and it rocked him to the core.

    It was all he had ever wanted and so much more.

    His hand reached out and he let it in and that was the end of his solace

    Because he took the offering laid at his door.

    One day a little girl slept and a knock pounded on the door

    A voice asked if there was anything in the world she wanted more

    She answered peace, justice and all things right

    For her children to sleep safe at night

    She reached out and let it in, widening the door but never shutting it tight.

    Both got what they wanted, but paid so much more.

    Because God has determined

    You reap what you sow-

    You get what is yours and not a penny more.

    So… Thank you to all my friends and family for your concern this morning.

    For those who have been asking how i feel about all that is going on at the moment, here is my official statement:

    Riza was and still is someone we all love very much. Unfortunately, our love was not enough for him and those he chose to surround himself with. He chose, like many others before him, to have fame, wealth and adulation. He is now paying the price for it. If Malaysia is not willing to give the justice that the Malaysian people have prayed for and the justice my family have each night prayed for then the US has- in its own way that only they can justify.

    Those who know me know that i am the black sheep of the family- but that does not mean i do not love my family. People can call me heartless for what i write today but i have always stood for and done what is right, for truth and for justice even if there is a high price to pay and if it means doing the unpopular thing. I have always maintained that if Riza did indeed use and profit from stolen funds he needs to pay for what he has done. If he stood as proxy or as a trustee for what does not belong to him or any individual who asked him to be the “dutiful son”, he needs to pay for it. Nevermind the reasons justified for doing it, if it hurts the country and the people then it is wrong. A wrong must be righted.

    I am not a politician and i hope never to have anything to do with politics. If the USAG and the US have decided to cop out by leaving the term “corrupt government officials and 1MDB officials” as an open ended thing, i hope and pray for the sake of this country and what is right that the right individuals be brought to justice.

    To his mother, you have forsaken one child at great cost and detriment. You have utilised and mobilised government resources to wreak terror to harass us over the last ten years for standing up for what we believe to be right.

    Please do not forsake another just so that you and your husband can get off scott-free. It is time for YOU to step to the plate and do what is right.

    Be. A. Mother.

    To the different “officials” who have had a hand in harassing my family to this day because you were ordered to do so at the threat of job safety and the safety of your family members, one day a knock will come at your doorstep asking to collect your soul and debts. Make sure you are prepared to pay them.

    To everyone who thinks me heartless on this day, please remember this. My prayers for truth and justice- just like any other Malaysian, has been answered this day and will continue to be answered. If Riza signed his soul to the devil to own what does not rightly belong to him, consider his debt with the devil collected and more due for collection. Similarly, all family members who have signed their soul to the devil… Your time will come. My price to pay to watch the house of cards come tumbling down and to be the voice of encouragement to everyone to never be afraid to stand up for what is right so that my husband, in laws and children can sleep soundly at night in peace and safety is to painfully watch my other family members that i left behind 10 years ago pay the price for their wrongdoings.

    Consider their debt as continuing to be paid. Ask yourselves: What about your debts? Have you ALL done the necessary debt payments due to yourselves, your country and its people? I will continue to pay mine so that we can all sleep soundly from tonight.

    Much respect, love and encouragement- Azrene


    Malaysiakini also had an item on Azrene Ahmad and Riza today. A portion reads:

    Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s stepson Riza Aziz, named in the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) asset forfeiture filing for allegedly using monies stolen from government investment arm 1MDB to acquire luxury assets, is reaping what he sowed for selling his soul to the devil, wrote his estranged sister in a Facebook posting.

    “If Riza signed his soul to the devil to own what does not rightly belong to him, consider his debt with the devil collected and more due for collection,” wrote image consultant Azrene Soraya Abdul Aziz.

    Like Riza, Azrene is a stepchild to Najib, being born out of the first marriage of the PM’s present wife Rosmah Mansor and her first husband.

    However, she said that Riza was and still is someone that the family loves very much, though their love was not enough for him and those he chose to surround himself with.

    “He chose, like many others before him, to have fame, wealth and adulation,” she said.

    Azrene claimed that her brother is now paying the price for his transgressions, for even if Malaysia is not willing to give the justice people have prayed for, the US has delivered it – in ways that only they can justify.

    Riza reaps what he sowed for selling his soul, says estranged sister

  6. I propose that when a new government is formed under a new PM, Azrene Ahmad be made a senator so that she can become a cabinet minister. Any portfolio will do, but preferably de facto minister for law as she is a law graduate; may be even attorney general.

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