Thursday, December 15, 2005

Quick Editorial Note

Hey guys,

Just a quick editorial note as well as a reflection of the events of the past 2 months.

The furore over the Universiti Malaya (UM) plunge in the Times Higher Education Supplement rankings this year has created record amounts of traffic to this blog. I'm sure if you trawl through the archives here, you'll find sufficient articles to keep you occupied reading for hours! However, the focus on the rankings issue have probably diverted attention of the writers from other equally important (or possibly more so) education issues such as the students' rights and campus elections, which we have hardly blogged about (it will come!).

Over the last month, the interest in the UM debacle begins to taper off, and the Squatgate crisis stormed over the entire (well, almost) blogosphere. We have taken the liberty to take a breather on the issues around UM, lest it becomes stale, while catching up on other topics of note. Our education system is afterall, not just "UM" :-). However, you can be assured that both Kian Ming and myself have continued to research on the state of UM and other public institutes of higher learning, and will write about these issues when the appropriate time arises. This will ensure that the relevant authorities to continue to remain on their toes, in the task to provide educational excellence in Malaysia.

Partly due to the increased traffic however, this blog has begun to attract certain types of readers to the blog. You would occasionally find comments which have been deleted by the us in our posts, but these were largely hate-posts with undisputed racially "seditious" comments. We have practised a rather liberal policy of permitting heavily biased criticism which sometimes displays on the writers own skewed racial orientation. This is also to prevent accusations of bias and intolerance of opinions (there are quite a few against the authors here :-)) if we were to delete these messages indiscrimately.

However, of late, we find that there were quite a few long-winded racially biased (but not "extreme") rants which were just replicated and posted repeatedly on various entries on this blog, under a few rotated pseudonyms (i.e., 2-3 individuals using some 7-8 "names"). These "comments" were made irrespective of the topic of our entries, and they were just ranting for the sake of ranting. For example, the topic of the rants will always be on "NEP" or "migration", even if I'm talking about "kindergarten classes". They have now become some form of irritant, not just to the authors of this blog, but also to quite a few readers who have kindly written in to express their frustration.

Hence we have made the decision to exercise our editorial rights and powers to delete all posts which have already been posted on this blog in some earlier posts. Therefore, you might just find a few more deleted comment entries on this blog. I hope that the readers of this blog will be happy with this move, and it'll make the site a friendlier place to be. :-)

I've already spent a couple of hours identifying some of these repeat comments in the past, and deleted them off the site. We'll see how this extra moderating hassle works, and hopefully, we'll see less of the silly rants in the future. Thanks for reading and have a good holiday season!


a concerned citizen said...

It is good that both of you decided to take off some comments off some posts. As I read and read your posts about education, I feel that the comments are becoming too racially biased. While I cannot disagree that our education policy does exercise some racial discrimination to a certain extent, I don't think it should be so openly discussed and criticised here. Afterall, we have been given free secondary and primary education all our lives in Malaysia. We never had to pay a single sen (other than some small school fee which could be waived for students from low income families). We should be grateful to our government for giving us the basics. It may not be the best, but it is adequate to equip is for our later lives.

I personally have not felt this racial bias in the education system towards myself. Mainly because I had the chance to go overseas to pursue my tertiary and now postgraduate education. I was and still am funded by my father who has worked very hard to ensure that my sister and I obtain a good education overseas. He believes that the government should only help those who really need help.

I hope my children do not feel this bias as well as I believe that with my education background, I am able to find a good paying job to ensure they receive the very best.

I believe that ppl who have gone overseas for their tertiary and postgraduate education should come back to Malaysia and make a difference. If you work hard, earn enough money, you don't have to depend on the government for handouts or places at public universities. You don't even need to send your kids to public schools with "dirty toilets" and "lousy teachers". You can afford to send them to private schools.

Anonymous said...

Ok tony, agree those racially biased comments should be moderated. It is a good move as this country is multi-racial. Seeing those racist comments really hurts the eye.

Anonymous said...

To Tony and Kian Ming, I would like to suggest more coverage on several issues that I think will be of great importance in a matter of months, mainly:

1) Ragging in public U. Specifically, sleep deprivation, which is practised in many public universities during Orientation week, and is internationally recognized as a form of torture. Why? What can students do to protect themselves? Hopefully those who has underwent this can give us more insight in the form of personal experiences.

2) 'Specialization, general information of local U'. Most Malaysians, me included, only know that UM is 1st, USM is 2nd and UTM is best for engineering. I deem this as woefully inadequate knowledge for us to base on for making what is essentially the most important decision regarding our future, which is 'Which public uni should I enroll in?'

3) Contributions from seniors: Basically tips and tricks on the loopholes of higher education. Some that I've learnt are to show up early when registering for secondary credit courses so that you can hunt for the popular courses or courses that have very lenient professors. Also, rely only on professors for help during the first few weeks because the seniors will most probably give opposite 'advice'. Not all do this, but I'm willing to bet a large number will, just for the humour and 'eat finish nothing to do' factor.

4) Anything that will be beneficial to STPM students who are going to be registering for their courses in the coming March.

Anyway, this is just a suggestion. I the authors of this blog of course reserve the final say on how to best use this site and their time to focus on issues they think is important. However, I hope that EducationMalaysia can become an indispensible tool in for next year's Uni enrollment batch for reference. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Well I agree with the moves by the authors of this blog. We should leave the blog as clean as possible and to provide neccesary informations for those interested in Malaysian education system.

If i am not mistaken, we can check the IP address of the senders right? Maybe in that way we can better filter the comments by blocking certain users. Anyway i am not a pro in this internet thingy....

Anonymous said...

And thanks for the posting on "inter varsity grads" That answered my concern on what they were trying to do. :)

Anonymous said...

"If i am not mistaken, we can check the IP address of the senders right?"

This method wont work, because almost everyone is using dynamic ip.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, blocking IP won't work.

Actually the dynamic IP is normally assigned with the same numbers but everytime the switch / hub / servers reset, another available number is assigned.

Unless, tony decides to allow only registered users to make comments, then he can decide if he want to block a user. In that case, I believe the readership will drop significantly coz a lot of readers still prefers the convenient of posting without logging in.

erhc said...

I am not agree with "a concerned citizen" 's opinion that the racial bias in our education system should be so openly discussed and criticised here.

The racial bias policies are among the major fatcors that contribute to the drastic fall of our education quality. Without setting a ultimate but realistic time frame to rectify the bias, we cannot forsee the substantial achievement in our local education institutions.

Don't simply perceive any discussion regarding the racial bias policies as sensitive and seditious matters that will ruin national integrity. As long as we discuss the matter with open, sincere and rational mind, there will not be a threat to anybody except to those who hold a hidden agenda.

When the oversea academics and experts are worrying how to construct a competitive merit-based education system that can abstract the contribution of the best talents from all over the world, we are still far lagging behind with kind of "jangan mempersoalkanlah..." mindset. How are we going to catch up with those advanced states' development pace.

All people in Malaysia regardless of ethnic have the equal social responsibity and faith on this mother land. We all pay tax, we all obey to the rules and regulations, thus we all deserve to share the equal rights in whatever national wealth (I perceive education is the greatest wealth for a country).

Great power comes from great responsibility. Great human being comes from great education system. I don't see the reason, why all nations in this country cannot have the equal rights to enjoy the greatest education resources in our country, as we all perform our national responsibilities and we all wish to become great human with the wealth of knowledge.

erhc said...

Correction on my previous post:

The first paragraph of my previous post should sound as the following

I do not agree with "a concerned citizen" 's opinion that the racial bias in our education system should not be so openly discussed and criticised here.

I have missed a "not" word in the paragraph mentioned above and it causes the paragraph above expressing a meaning that totally opposite to my thought.

And sorry for writing a reply with so many vocabulary mistakes (if you read it carefully).

Anonymous said...

I think we have to take note of the difference between racially biased system and racist comments. They are two different thing.

I think its okay to discuss about it if we think the system is racially biased. But, if someone condemn another race, that should be forbiddened.

Anonymous said...

It is okay for "a concerned citizen" not to complain because his father can afford him overseas.

What about those who scores straight A's but cant get into local U but also does not have a father like "a concerned citizen" has?

If this group of people do not voice out here, where would they voice out?

"a concerned citizen", if your father could not afford you overseas, and you can't get into the U to take the course you prefer due to racial policies, would you have said the same thing?

Anonymous said...

"Contributions from seniors: Basically tips and tricks on the loopholes of higher education. Some that I've learnt are to show up early when registering for secondary credit courses so that you can hunt for the popular courses or courses that have very lenient professors. Also, rely only on professors for help during the first few weeks because the seniors will most probably give opposite 'advice'. Not all do this, but I'm willing to bet a large number will, just for the humour and 'eat finish nothing to do' factor."

I think this is a very subjective matter and does not work all the time. I had a friend many years back did the samething after some advice from seniors. He registered to do radiology hoping to hunt for a more popular course in medical later. Fat hopes, he end up work for 7 years as sales manager save enough, sold his car and house to persue his dreams as a doctor in a private college.

He went through a harder path, but its worthwhile for him. As he is now a qualified doctor.

Don't let obstacle prevent you from persueing your dreams.

Anonymous said...

There is simply too many dreams being dashed because of the racially biased system. I have seen many people who tried so hard yet to no avail. After all we are all just human. We do give up, eventually when opressed too often. Right now the value of money is decreasing, and education is becoming costlier than ever. So those who wants for the better, opportunity is getting lesser and lesser. Of course in real life nothing is on the fair ground playing field, but if given the chance to induce fair environment, that environment should be provided. Malaysia is an oddball, given the chance they can provide a fair and conducive environment for so many sectors, they chose the worst. Racially biased system that exhaust so much time and resources on everyone's expense. So one of you people mentioned that racially biased and racial slur is complete different issue, I concur. They are the main factor intimately tied to the downfall of education in Malaysia, where education is only the beginning.


Anonymous said...

I think Dr Kang's spirit of "never give up" attitude is exemplary, and something our youth should emulate..

He is very fortunate to have very supportive wife, and children, and I think this is somekind of motivation for him to complete his studies..

Syabas ! Kudos to Dr Kang..

But many, I think, is not lucky as
him. Many are forced to give up along the way..

I heard many touching stories for some of those who make to medic in UM.

One of my friend's brother who repeat his STPM 3 times just to improve his score from 74 points
to the full 80 points in order to get in UM.

(Note: The full score is 5As. 1A equals to 16 points)

I have known many friends who did that...including me. Back in early 90s, there are only 9 or 10 IPTA (including IIU).

In fact, there is statistics, for every 8 form six students, only 1 will make it to IPTAs.

I think our bumi brothers probably do not how hard for our non-bumi to get into their preferred course in our IPTAs.

There used to be a joke during my STPM years. "If you get 80 points, you will get medic, 78 points you will be dentist, 76 points you will be vets, and 74 points, you will end up as pharmacist.."

This is my experience around 1991.

But with more unis around in Malaysia..may be things have changed slightly better ??

How's the current situation ?


Anonymous said...

Yes, there r more public unis now but what's the difference? They're mostly for their own people anyway!