In a healthy development of the Malaysian press, we are beginning to see more sensible statements made by opposition leaders and other "neutral" parties being reported and published in the fourth estate.
The Star reported on Friday, Sdr Lim Kit Siang's parliamentary motion seeking to censure the Minister of Higher Education via a RM10 pay cut. I have earlier summarised the motion here earlier, or you can read the full statement at Sdr Lim's blog.
The interesting thing of note, the Member of Parliament (MP) of Kemaman, Ahmad Shaberry Cheek of UMNO said "it was unfair to censure the minister as his ministry had only been set up for two years". He argued that "[i]t is unfair to make UM as an excuse to embarrass the ministry." This is coming from the same MP who was quoted in an earlier article by New Straits Times claiming that the authorities "seem to be in a state of denial".
I'd just like to put forth the argument that two years is a long time, and is definitely more than sufficient to have tackled several of the issues outlined by Sdr Lim, if not all of them. We are not asking for the Ministry of Higher Education to turn around our entire higher education system over two years. But we do expect our Minister to have made some significant progress over the last two years. Some of the issues listed could be "corrected" over a period of 3-6 months, if the Minister had any conviction in executing his duties.
Unfortunately, as far as we can tell, there is little or no change at all in the state of higher education, today or two years ago. Instead, one may argue that the circumstances has further deteriorated with the many crises which have befallen our universities. Read Dr Terence Gomez, Professor Ramasamy, Dr Azly Rahman and wife, World University Rankings etc.
I would agree that it may be unfair to censure the minister if he has only been in his job for say, 6 months. However, with no significant progress in sight for our higher education system, I believe a "censure" is the very least that our Minister of Higher Education deserves.
Frequently travel to Malaysia (as far away as Penang - ON BUS). This way I get to talk to Malaysians, a good cross section of them. Wake up Singaporeans, there are many Malaysians up north (from IPOH to Penang) that speaks Queen's English, minus the English Accent. Most were educated in Ivy League Uni in US. They dont see the need to work in Singapore, that is why these Singaporean frogs (in the well) see themselves as gods of the English Language. Wake up Wake up, Malays in Petronas Tower can speak better than you Minister for National Development.
Truly, truly, your days are numbered.
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