Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Expression of support for Dr. Lim Teck Ghee

While this isn't directly related to the issue of education in Malaysia specifically, it is a sad reflection of the wider intellectual environment that currently exists in Malaysia. It was reported in the Star today that Dr. Lim Teck Ghee, the director of ASLI's Center for Public Policy Studies, is resigning over disagreements with ASLI's President regarding ASLI's controversial report on Bumiputra equity ownership.

I've met Dr. Lim once, over the past summer when I returned to Malaysia for my summer break. He came across as an intelligent, capable and sincere person with a conviction of wanting to make a difference in Malaysia by trying to influence public policy. He is immensely qualified having worked on a variety of development issues in the region, is extensively published (just search his name on scholar.google.com and has a breadth of international experience (his previous attachment was with the World Bank).

While I may not agree totally with the methodology of calculating bumi equity ownership in the ASLI / CPPS report, I think that this issue needs greater publicy scrutiny and debate, which did occur as a direct consequence of that report.

It is sad to see when an accomplished academic and thinker such as Dr. Lim is not given sufficient space to advance scholarship and contribute to public debate, at least not within the confines of ASLI / CPPS. I wish him well and hope that he will remain in Malaysia and continue to contribute to scholarship and public debate.

16 comments:

Malaysian China Man said...

Sad to say but Malaysia really knows how to appreciate & reward our talented Malaysian.

Instead of giving a pat in the back for making our country proud, they choose to crucify Dr Lim.

Our money wasting First Malaysian To Make Teh Tarik in Space programme are considered heroes.

Why is becoming of my beloved country ? :(

Husain Zaman said...

Thi is really tragic. Why is it that the goverment of this country cant even tolerate a viewpoint that is different from its own. All the survey said was that the equity of Bumiputera ownership is closer to 40% than the offical 19% as quoted by the goverement. For this, the report's authors have been treated like as if they commited treachery. A goverment minister said that doubting the goverment's figures was tantamount to not having trust in the trust in the goverment, which judging by the tone he used, seemed to be a crime. For God's sake when can we grow up and talk about issues in a mature and dignified manner. The goverements response was that its statistics were compiled using 60,000 companies while the ASLI's was compiled using 600, therefore naturally the goverment's were superior. This was the sort of response that would make the man on the steet ( read malay) happy, but it doesnt even take into account the main reason for the difference, ASLI's report valued the shares at market (present) value while the goverments report valued the shares at par value ( their value when they were first issued, which could be decades ago). Instead on an intelligent discussion between the two parties we have a simplistic reply and Lim Teck Ghee is made to resign. People like Lim Teck Ghee are the ones this country really needs, but once again we push them out. With his track record, Lim Teck Ghee is a far better academic than those silly VCs that run this country's public universitiest, they think he cant find a job elsewhere? Policy making at its worst and they dare talk about brain drain, how do u except a person to stay and work in Malaysia if u dont even treat like a human. This country could have been great, now I am not sure, it might even be too late. The brains fly on the wings of freedom to lands where they are able to flourish, but alas that land is not here.

Husain Zaman said...

Oh yeah just got a bit more to add, the minister was Muhyiddin ( Minister for Agriculture). Appareantly he said "As a Malay I am very angry" and he threathned to take action against ASLI. Now lets take a look at the situation from a logical point of view. The NEP was supposed to allow Malays to own 30% of equity, and if a report says now Malays own 45% of the equity LOGIC dictates that the Malays should be very happy as they are now successful and LOGIC also dictates the NEP has been a success so now we can remove it and implement policies that do away with Malay favouritism, making the whole country more competitive, improving the economy and so on. According to LOGIC Muhiyiddin and the rest of the goverment should be extremely happy. But as MALAYs they are very angry, something is not right here, something going on underneath you dont want to tell us Muhiyidinn, come on old chap I wont spread the dirty secrets. Well this is the country where wishing ur colleagues Happy Deeepavali is blasphemy, suprise me. Happy Deeepavali and Hari Raya ( I am Muslim, I am not going to hell am I?). Hilarious.

clk said...

Instead of challenging facts/figures with newer facts/figures, our politicians and their cronies choose the easy way out, assasinate the source.

A very sad day indeed for the brains in our country. Magazines like "Mastika" would probably be feature as future text for our fellow M'sian reading.

Anonymous said...

If you want to see the differences in maturity of our country's politicians, compare it with the parliamentary sessions of UK screened through BBC on astro...

we are still very far away...

Sophie said...

i cant count very well but i hope things can be sorted out objectively and impartially without being hijacked by politics. sigh

Anonymous said...

Completely agree with Husain Zaman, there is definitely some non-halal agenda happening behind each and everyone of Malaysians.

This is really sad, while Pak Lah voices the concern of developing more reputable scholars in the country but at the same time he eliminates them. Isn't he contradicting himself? Or the scholars he mentioned has to be a Malay? So what about all the civilised Islamic teachings he talked about?

I really can't understand, while a lot of things that he pledges are good and i am sure that he can do them, things get crooked. Has he became so weak that he no longer has the power and authority to control his subordinates? Seems to me that they are stepping on his head, especially Khairy. How can a leader, in the midst of conflict, run away to perform his umrah?

He is the weakest PM Malaysia has ever had!

Anonymous said...

If we have people like Dr.Lim Teck Ghee as VC of University Malaya I am sure we can expect a lot of improvement, since this is an Educational Blog I have to link it to education and who will dispute that he is not as qualify as any of the present VC in M'sia?

Anonymous said...

Dr Lim has a PhD from a Top 20 university while the UM vice-chancellor only has a LLM from Queen's University of Belfast (and an honorary doctorate) while the UKM vice-chancellor has a medical doctorate from UM (at the cliff of Top 200).

While good academic qualification does not make one a good vice-chancellor, it does reflect the educational quality of the candidate.

Anonymous said...

Since he will be 'jobless' in the end of this month, he should be made a VC for UTAR. Don't let a brain slips off due to some minor setback. Let him contribute in some other way.
(Fat hope?) :)

OU said...

The treatment Dr. Lim received only confirm the reasons why Malaysia failed to retain "talent" especially Malaysian-born/foreign trained regardless of ethnicity.

ASLI's report was presented to the Govt about 10 months ago as part of Badawi's call to help plan the 9MP. Why the rejection of the report now - the Govt could have refuted the report in an objective manner.

This is purely a political issue - one that has a hidden agenda. Sadly, any academic issue is secondary.

The main problem lies within BN especially UMNO.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it takes an earthquake to change the landscape. I commend Dr Lim for his stance, his principles and his visions, and I hope his is a role model for the rest of us to try to make a better change to this country.

ct khor said...

Malaysia is turn to become a country to make the "right" into "wrong" simplied based on comment by few "third class" ministers.

How can we make the country progress if the government continues to rule this country based on blindpoint and not respect for the fact and figure.

Dr Lim, we salute your stand and keep it up.

little bird said...

Obvious to all now: we are ruled by a government that only wants to hear what it desires to hear and wants to brainwash all citizens to its own agenda. Sounds like which countries in our history book?

In fact, this has always been the case. TDM is good at this.

"ASLI's report was presented to the Govt about 10 months ago as part of Badawi's call to help plan the 9MP. Why the rejection of the report now - the Govt could have refuted the report in an objective manner."

Well, as long as the report is not in the eyes of the citizens and kept confidential (that's why the government has OSA), then everything is fine. Just a report to be locked up.

However, once the report is made public, it has to be discredited at any cost - to protect the financial interest of the chosen ones.

Anonymous said...

Dr Lim, I salute your stand and keep it up. In this country only umno leaders is right, others are always wrong and are all rubbish.

Anonymous said...

i heard about his retirement benefits 1st hand...trust me he dont need to gobble up any from our taxes like our politicians do. he is so down to earth he dont drive the latest merc(which he brought back during his US posting). this is da 1st time i really read about him on the net. im awed