Monday, September 12, 2005

"Brown Nosing Academics"

In a blog that I should visit more often than I actually do, Mack of highlighted an extremely laughable picture of the manner in which some of our senior academics at our local public universities attempt to portray their political loyalties to their political masters.

The "contrived" picture above appeared in Mingguan Malaysia, the Sunday Edition of Utusan Malaysia, (Page 12, 14 August 2005). It depicts the Vice Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Dato' Seri Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Abu Shah as he speaks on the issue of UiTM achieving international standards.

Read Mack's blogpost for a full "commentary" :)


Anonymous said...

For a multi-racial country like Malaysia, the best way of ensuring national unity is through the education process. If students grow up together under a systematic national education process, they will one day end up loving the country more and respecting their counterparts better.

In other words, Malaysians have to be reminded that if they grow up under too many education systems within the national education policy, they shall end up being further polarised among ourselves.

No matter what the government does to bring about national unity in the country, it would only remain superficial and be a mere lip service if our children are still made to feel that they are being alienated by race, religion or origin.

Unfortunately, not many entrusted to ensure an impartial education policy to all Malaysians realise this fact. Some are too zealous and nationalistic in feelings that they only feel for their own kind and that only their group of people should be made to progress better in life at the expense of all other Malaysians.

As a result of this divisiveness in our education system, a case in point that has again cropped up is the university entrance debacle. Firstly, students are made to go through two examinations - matriculation and the STPM - in order to seek entrance into local universities.

Secondly, these two university entrance programmes are unequal in terms of duration and the level of difficulty. In other words, there cannot be genuine meritocracy if two benchmarks are used to gauge students' performance - no matter what explanations and reasons the authorities come up with to justify their claims that there is meritocracy in the system.

Hence, this has caused a lot of dissatisfaction among students and parents. Some feel that they are discriminated against just because they do not belong to a certain privileged class of people.

In the long run, therefore, how are these students going to feel about themselves in relation to the others who are more privileged within the nation? There is bound to be perpetual disunity in society.

All students have to go through the same entrance examination and all should have access to any of the institutions found in the country irrespective of race, religion or origin.

Thus, the education system we are practising now, in many aspects has failed to make the people feel that they are all Malaysians - aggravating further the process of national unity……...

Anonymous said...

We have seen the introduction of toll highways, privatisation, mega buildings for mega people and so on.

Talking about mega buildings for mega people, I wonder why the government has not given serious consideration to the needs of lower to middle income groups for better public transportation infrastructure.

I have been a regular to KLCC, KLIA and Puduraya. It is sad to note the vast difference in facilities offered.

Just because Puduraya has not been an international entry to tourists does not mean that (the bus terminal) should be neglected. As a rule of thumb, an aggregate number of people flocking Puduraya every year is as significant as KLIA. But do we care?

Since Puduraya is the entry point of people from the kampung and small towns in Malaysia, it does not mean that they do not deserve to have a conducive environment upon arrival and during departure.

Are these people going to be neglected forever? Don't they deserve something better? Do we roll out the red carpet for foreigners and give Malaysians from the kampung a muddy welcome?

We have a public transport in Kuala Lumpur that equals any other third world country. Filthy buses, high costs, inefficiency and non-connecting bus to train services. The water in Kuala Lumpur was once potable out of the taps, today the colour looks like it came straight out of the Klang river.

Proton has burdened the nation and the country. The reason why Proton has survived until today is perhaps because of the New Economic Policy. Attempting to pick winners from the malay entrepreneur pool is truly the work of a feudalistic Umno which has every reason to protect the upper-class malays.

Entrepreneurs are not picked at random, they are self-made. And if politicians think that they possess the same skills as businessmen, then they should be in business, not in politics.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir believes that Malaysians should be proud that their country could build their own car. But what is there to be proud about if it cannot compete on the world market?

Dr M also wondered how the Koreans were able to build cheap cars which had quality. It is because they have the determination and the will to succeed. They want to make their nation proud.

In a feudalistic society nothing is fair. When nothing is fair, the environment will not be conducive for the talented and the hardworking to produce results.

In the end, it is the ones who are closest to power - not necessarily the most qualified - who will be chosen to lead such complex organisations such a car-manufacturing outfit.

If politics were left out of decision-making when tenders are called and contracts awarded, I think the citizens will have better services and facilities. One day perhaps, when government is there to govern and not play politics, we shall see a reversal of all the injustices that goes on today.

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Anonymous said...

1st thing 1st,envy is the main issue here. JUst let him show what he stands for,he respects the PM himself,it has nothing to do with so call 'bodek' or 'mengampu.' Stop the crap,look at things in a positive way,don't easily misjudge others. Maybe those who are used to misjudge others should first achieve a higher level than Dato' Seri Prof. Dr.Ibrahim Abu Shah! For those Malays who 'loves' to critisize others,stop being a typical Malay and start to change yourselves,right now! Be a better person and look at your own selves before you can say anything bad to others....UiTM di hatiku!!!!

Anonymous said...

Racism is an integral part of the Malaysian socio-political system.

Every year, there are stories of non-malay students with straight As who cannot gain admission into local universities or attain scholarships because of the racially discriminatory quota system.

Clearly, any affirmative action should be directed at the impoverished and marginalized communities such as the Orang Asli and all other communities in need - irrespective of their ethnicity. It is widely acknowledged especially by the ethnic minorities in Malaysia that the issue of racism and racial discrimination is the most critical yet unresolved problem in Malaysian society.

Today it is clear that beneath the normally tranquil surface of Malaysian society, dangerous tensions and the potential for violence still lurk.

Racism is also rampant in the Malaysian society, although many of us don't realise that some of the words we tend to use are forms of racism. And every race in Malaysia is guilty of this.

With such mindset, it is hardly surprising that violence does not erupt when racial issues are raised.

But the solution is not the ISA or banning the public from talking about it. The key once again falls to education.

Without any effort to educate the public, how else does the government hope that the attitude and mindset of Malaysians are ever going to progress beyond racism and begin to learn to accept - not tolerate - each other's differences?

We have to learn how to communicate without needing to insult each other because the differences of our skin color.

Although racial acceptance and integration takes time, steps have to be taken now, in view of the fact that racial polarisation has only worsened in recent years. The situation will only improve if we continue to lobby the government to change its policies such as the race-based Affirmative Action to a policy based on income brackets.

This is to ensure that only the most deserving people are given special privileges and it should not be provided only to the malays.

There are poor people from every race. It is illogical and unfair to continue to provide support to those in the middle and upper classes of our society over those in the lower income group.

It is also obvious that if the minorities were the only people to lobby the government, the dream of racial equality would remain as it is - a dream.

Even the government must see that good reforms are viable and necessary for the future of this country and its people.

Have we Malaysians got our priorities right?

To attract successful Malaysians from abroad, high pay and incentives were generously offered yet there were few if no takers. Instead of luring home those from abroad (most of whom left because of the unfair system which still exists), wouldn't it be better to offer scholarships to deserving cases irrespective of race, with a bond to serve upon graduation?

And if our government is prepared to offer lucrative pay and tempting incentives, why can't it liberalise its system of promotions to encourage deserving people to stay on? In a few years' time, we would have enough doctors, engineers, scientists and so on.

I can understand Barisan Nasional's reasons for continuing their self-serving policies, but by going along and not complaining, I get the impression most of us have also lost our common sense.

Anonymous said...

Human beings migrate because they seek a better habitat, a better life or better opportunities. Is there anything wrong with this?

In modern times, people often migrate for work, security and education opportunities etc.

Migrants of course have to sacrifice much, to the extent of even being separated from their friends and family, but the human spirit for achievement and self-actualisation is very strong and will overcome great odds to achieve its potential and dreams.

An example is pointing to other countries where racism is practiced - reports this occurrence even in developed countries such as the US, UK, New Zealand and Australia.

This point of comparison weakens because is confusing covert, attitudinal racism - and marginal too at that - with institutionalised discrimination in Malaysia in the form of the abused outcomes of the NEP.

The prospect of a larger community in Malaysia that cannot come to terms with meritocracy is even more confusing and daunting.

In the countries mentions, racists are the minority. In this country, while the NEP is purportedly not racist, it confuses and confounds to the point of being seemingly intractable from the dimensions of race and legitimate opportunity.

Here, race is a major independent variable that is legalised to manipulate business, educational and political outcomes.

At least the white masters have drawn up laws and regulations to protect the minorities who stay in their countries. Equal employment means equal employment. That they actually make laws to make life more equitable for immigrants is quite admirable.

On our end, we to bow to the brown masters. If having to pay more for your house when your bumi neighbour pays less is not having to bow to the brown masters then what is?

If expressing your feelings about the inequities in the country is constantly labeled as bumi-bashing, when instead you feel that you are the one being bashed, and then being told to shut up and put up with it is not having to bow to the brown masters, then what is?

Well maybe you feel that those who have left are no loss to the country. Generally speaking, those who have left were the ones who qualified to go to another country.

But such a paradigm is usually a reflection of one's own inabilities to come to grips with the fact that there is something systemically wrong and this has been causing people to leave the country.

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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

BUMIPUTRA are the native indigenous people of Tanah Melayu, Sabah n Sarawak. Chinese and Indians are the immigrants from the respective mainland and then granted citizenship by us, BUMIPUTRA!We allowed u guys to live and work in our land(please,embedded this in your mind)

So, we have the exclusive RIGHTS to determine how to rule and manage our beloved piece of land.
You are not happy? Go balik kampung la.

BiatCH said...

Well, I am pretty amazed! When it was mentioned that "we have the exclusive RIGHTS...", do you mean that “being unfair to others” is also included in your EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS?" I do not know... Let’s see…
1. Chinese or Indian who scored 12 1As in SPM is not given JPA scholarship?
2. Houses are cheaper for Malays?
3. Malays SUPREMACY is not to be discussed?
4. NEP for Malays? How the about minority group like the Indians, Ibans and Kadazans?
5. Many unreported issues...
So, this is what u called EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS? Or shall I say privileges? Frankly, does anyone think this is something fair? Let’s put it in this way...How if you're the one who have to strive very very hard to get good results, expecting to get better rewards…then what you get is only nothing? And you are the one who needs to pay more for houses? Or you are treated as second class citizens without any reasonable reasons? Personally, I do not think that your religion teaches you to self-impose these so-called RIGHTS? I have no idea of what sort of agreements that have been made more than 50 years ago... Some even questioned about the validity of the history... Leave behind that particular part of the history. Ask yourself! Be frank! It is RIGHT to treat others like that? Do you exactly think that being not given a deserving scholarship even though you have strived and achieved results better than the others, is described as FAIR? I feel that those who always put up the so-called RIGHTS issue is absolutely a scaredy-cat! If anyone still feels that the supremacy and rights issues should be brought up to mute people, called him or her a coward then...
As a young adult who has just stepped into the society, I do not know who has such enormous power to grant anybody, especially those who are living in the 21 century, to determine how any particular ethnic group "rule and manage their beloved piece of land!" If I were to say that Malaysia is equal to or much successful than Singapore, I must be kidding then. Singapore treasures people with great ability, and that’s why many people decided to realize their dreams in Singapore. They have achieved greatly in medical and education field. Back to your BELOVED LAND, where are you? In space? With a glamorous white awkward costume? Oh, even our universities can’t manage to make it into the world’s TOP 200. And who “rule and manage” the most? Congratulations and well done in “ruling and managing”! Got your tongue?
To add, some people are so determined to fight the HAMAS for attacking Palestine. Mass campaigns and various activities are held to voice out the cruelty and unfairness done by HAMAS. And some even decided to boycott Mc’ Donald and Starbucks. I am sure the Palestinians will be very thankful to you all. I am also against that terrorist group because clearly they have to no rights to attack other country, right! Back in our motherland, if any claim that they have the RIGHTS to be above others? What make you so different from your so-called enemy?
By the way, please do not be mistaken, I am not against any particular ethnic groups. Issues I mentioned above have been related to Malay people, but there’s nothing against Malay people anyway. I am only against the particular type of PEOPLE and systems, not RACE.
P/S : To the Malaysian who has included the “Go balik kampung lah!” sentence, shame on you because you are rude! Oh, you may not be a Malaysian! Shhu, do not try to sabotage Malaysia! Hahaha!