Monday, November 06, 2006

Meritocracy Charade: Here We Go Again...

Well, the UMNO Assembly season commences shortly and all the racial meritocratic charades will be played all over the media again.

As usual, the Menteri Besar of Johor himself, Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman leads the way by his annual call for the "meritocratic" system to be scrapped. Yes, he goes bonkers every year prior to the UMNO assembly as blogged last year.

As reported in Malaysiakini:
Umno Johor has suggested that the meritocracy system practised by institutions of higher learning be terminated to reduce the gap between students of different ethnic backgrounds in certain ‘strategic’ courses.

Its head Abdul Ghani Othman said the meritocracy system should only be applied among students from within the same ethnic group, in competing for places in public universities.
His argument is:
“It would not be considered extreme to say that we are currently facing a crisis in education. The gap between Malay and non-Malay (children), especially between urban and rural areas, is wide,” he reportedly said.

“Drastic measures must be taken to develop the education environment in rural areas so that the younger generation of Malays do not become victims of discrimination as a result of the implementation of meritocracy.”
If the disparity between the rural versus the urban folks is really the issue he is so concerned about, then lets address it from a rural versus urban perspective. Why must it be a Malay vs non-Malay approach? And what about all the other poor bumiputeras like the Ibans, Kadazandusuns and other minority groups?

As it is the current "managed meritocracy" system is still a distance away from the supposed cutthroat meritocratic system that many espoused. Yet if UMNO leaders such as the Johor Menteri Besar who was actually a former academic (not a very good one obviously) seek to even dismantle whatever semblance of meritocracy in the existing system, then even the optimist would ask if there's still hope in the country.

Unlike in the past, unfortunately I don't even think that he is going to get indirect verbal correction from Pak Lah, much less even a light tap on his wrists due to the political pressures which he is facing within UMNO. Will other component leaders stand up and speak?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tony, Tony, Tony. If you suggests that even Pak Lah would not administer so much as a light tap on Ghani's wrists (and I am optimistically of the same view), where would any other "leaders" of any party, UMNO or component, find even the strength to stand up, much less speak, against Ghani. You studied Biology, no? The gut is that part of the body that transports food to be digested so that there will be resultant energy distributed to every other parts of the body, including the knees. Therefore, if we have a Cabinet that has no guts, according to TDM (never mind the time, or half past whatever), every one of them, including Pak Lah, has therefore gone weak at the knees for lack of energy. So, how to stand up and speak? Ghani is not a member of the Cabinet, so he has got guts. But dont worry; he makes rascist comments like this, he becomes very popular, he gets appointed to a Cabinet post, and then he will lose his guts like the rest of them. And stop talking for being unable to stand up. And so round and round it goes. Life is fun. Be optimistic! To lose your optimism is to believe that these guys are real and permanent. TDM thought he was real and permanent too, didnt he?

Anonymous said...

Borat would say.....pain in the arseholes......

DKR said...

It's the same us versus them mentality that is getting all us MALAYSIANS no where! Why is it always Bumiputera vs Non-Bumiputera. When will the politicians learn that we are all Malaysians irrespective of religion, race or colour and if given a chance we will all work together to form a developed and meritrocratic Malaysia. Some times I get tired of writitng replies like this but the love for my country drives me on. Remarks like this are both unproductive and also very damaging for race relations in the country. Why don't we develop a meritrocratic system that does not involve race and religion but which also helps the weaker students such as the rural malys and indians? Doesn't that sound more fair to all concerned. Instead of sidelining a sizeable minority for the good of the majority, why don't we help everyone but pay special attention to the weak few. IT's always the same old story over and over again. 2020 is looming close and soon, our vision will only be a dream.

Anonymous said...

The harebrained MB only knows how to talk cock in front of the media and public. Stay within your limit as the administrator of a state and don't interfere with federal government's national issues.

ps. imitation from the Johor Sultan's urge on former TDM to steer clear from the gov.
LOL

Anonymous said...

work hard = good grades = good university
work lazy = bad grades = bad university

vs.

work lazy = bad grades = good university because gomen is of your race.

=> which one is less discriminatory?

this is a simple concept that no one seems to be able to explain to the MB.

you see, we should be simplifying the concept of discrimination for him. we shouldn't be confusing him with big words such as 'meritocracy' because, obviously, he does not have the neuronal capacity to fathom it.

ps. the term "good university" is also subjective lah.

Anonymous said...

The MB formula is that if it has not worked for 40 some years, let keep doing it forever....

From the start, Tan Siew Sin and Tunku understood that the NEP would only benefit the privillege and elite. Now that the proof is here, they want to keep sweeping it under the carpet to the destruction of all of us all because they don't want to do the hard work that their job require. How more irresponsible is that?

sham said...

Decades have passed yet the education system is still not fully developed, especially in the rural areas. Something must have gone wrong somewhere. What has the MOE done all these years?

I fully agree with the stand of this blog that it is the country's duty to see that every citizen has the right to a good, basic education. That will resolve all the issues about unfair advantage, meritocracy and such.

Anonymous said...

becos through out the years the once good system of education in this country is busy deconstructing itself. Maybe certain people or authorities feel that it is good to get the population stupid and confused perpetually so that they can control and exploit the country.

Just see the mess they did to our once proud UM. The academic quality dropped sharply as the so called numbers of professors increased exponentially. It simply doesnt make logic!

coleong said...

Let's look at what people around the world say about the Malaysian policy. Here is an article from the recent Nature magazine :

High-tech hopes and fears

Malaysia has one of the most technologically advanced societies in the world, thanks in part to its consumer-electronics industry. It outshines the rest of the Muslim world in high-tech exports, but is not resting on its laurels.

The government, led since the Malaysians received their independence in 1957 by the United Malays National Organisation, is keen to build on its successes in making semiconductor components and to develop new technologies. But government policies have driven away some of the country’s best talent and kept Malaysia isolated from international science. Too often, pleasing the Islamic Malays, who make up the majority of the population, takes precedence over rewarding scientific merit.

Historic tensions between the Malays and the Chinese minority, who have long held the economic reins, explain some of these policies. In 1969, riots followed general elections in which Chinese parties made gains. The government has faced a difficult balancing act since then.

The most controversial policy is a university quota system that favours ethnic Malays (some 60% of the population), over Chinese (25%) and Indian (7–10%). Minority students, many of whom have top grades, struggle to get into the nation’s best universities, and often end up going to the United States, Singapore or Australia. Such policies also inhibit interactions with the international community. And attempts to reverse a mainly Chinese brain drain have failed.

The government has long invested in large projects intended to benefit high-tech industry, but with little success. And ongoing privatization of government operations in various sectors, including roads, energy and technology, is slanted to help the Malays. Such ‘Malay first’ policies will fail to attract the best overseas talent and continue to leave Malaysia isolated

Anonymous said...

The rural malays lack of facilities and they also remain weak in education seem to me as a foolish reason. For decades, this reason is use to show malays remains weak.
If that is the case, then UMNO educational minister seems not be doing much thing for the last 49 years (since independence)to solve this problem. He had in his power full of resources such as trained teachers and financial resources to bulid better facilities in rural areas to uplift the level of education in rural areas for the benefit of malays. If this is not done then who is to be blame.
This lack of facilites in rural areas should not be used too often as it shows the failure of the educational minister. Billin of RM is allocated for education and the minister does not know how to use it to benefit the rural malays.
What a pity..?