Thursday, December 14, 2006

RM100 million MUST Fiasco

There was an "urgent" call by a reader to blog on the Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST) as highlighted by Sdr Lim Kit Siang two days ago. Sorry-lah, old men Kian Ming and Tony are never going to be able to match the speed and agility of youthful Sdr Lim. ;)

Anyway, have you readers ever heard of MUST? Well maybe if you ransack the brain compartment where you store old nuggets of trivia, you might just remember it.

MUST was set up in 2002 as a brainchild of our former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohammed as a showcase of Malaysia's research and development prowess, "endorsed" by no other than Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). MUST was to create “a pool of technology experts, an essential ingredient to attaining the national objectives under Vision 2020” and aimed to have 500 students in five years and 5,000 students in 10 years.

Of course, it is coincidental that MUST was also set up as a private institution owned by the ambassador-at-large for Higher Education, Datuk Effendi Norwawi. whose private investment holding company, Kuching-based Encorp Group Sdn. Bhd. He formed a consortium with the Selangor State Government to establish MUST Ehsan Foundation to enter into the collaboration with MIT to establish the postgraduate university.

It is understood from a reliable source that the Government has funded as much as RM100 million to sponsor students to the university as well as in "fees" to MIT.

As reported by the New Straits Times, MUST is now on the brink of closure less than 5 years after commencement of operations, with less than 10 students enrolled. Unsurprisingly, research "ties" with MIT is dead.

If we can't even get an existing relationship with a top university in the world working properly, can we be at all confident that another RM500 million "collaboration" with the University of Cambridge would not suffer the same fate?


Anonymous said...

A few days from now, an announcement will be made by the Education Ministry that, in order to "enhance" the skills of the 80,000 unemployed bumi grads, free scholarships/grants will be given out to them to attend English Language classes/ICT / business programmes etc in the Malaysian University of Science & Tech, which has been "specially selected" to turn these dummies into employable grads...there goes the taxpayers' money again. And the govt-controlled media will heap praises upon the "caring" policies of the govt.

Anonymous said...

Wah lau eh! MUST is going to have 80,000 students under the special unemployed grad scheme! This means MUST will become the biggest university in the world! This record is sure hard to beat.

Anonymous said...

What was the real objective and philosophy of setting up MUST?

clk said...

Setting it up is less difficult as compared to sustaining and running it over the longer term.

After all, setting up is where large contracts are usually awarded in infra buildings...

Anonymous said...

Just looking at the faculty it is clear to me again that it is definitely not difficult to find a good qualified PhD in Malaysia. But why oh why would we want these people back home if we treat them like sh*t with the crap politics?

I mean, this is a blog about education, yet the last few subjects brought up are all due to foul political reasons. Once when I had a chance to speak to staff from several different institutions I was shocked to hear things like how they stand a chance to the grants because they know so and so in the committee. I mean, it's an advantage to have a good network but what happened to merit and quality which surely are the most important criteria?

Maybe this is the game to play in Malaysia and I do not understand why it has to be like this but I sure know it is not my type of game.


Anonymous said...

Malaysia Boleh/Can!

Why not ask those who shouted much at UMNO general assembly to run the MUST?

Many of them are capable like the Oxford graduate Khairy and Hisapmuddin.

Anonymous said...

Ask Rafidah to run MUST also a good choice because she is a good talker and could be a good lecturer. Lecturer needs to be talkative.

She also fired back Australian based frist class economist, Micheal Backman, about Malaysia's waste on several things.

Rafidah must know more than an economist.

There are many UMNOputras who could run MUST. Many of them could make millions easily. They should help MUST.

Anonymous said...

Just for those of you who might not know, MUST is/was located at Kelana Jaya, which, comprises of a shopping complex cum offices etc. looks really dubious

Anonymous said...

"There are many UMNOputras who could run MUST. Many of them could make millions easily. They should help MUST."

You must be joking! Yes, many Umnoputras would gladly run MUST - not to help MUST but to help themselves, sucking MUST dry. That's how they make their millions easily.

This had happened to MUST and the parasites had abandoned the dying host to move to new hunting ground, new lofty sounding projects.

Anonymous said...

Pardon me to say that...

We are good at initiate things...but we are not good at sustaining things.

May be the time horizon they [read: mereka yang bertanggungjawab] hold are different -- short term, quick fix, adhocism... or rather short run, quick profits, etc..

If they cannot sustain it, let someone else runs the institutions..

Everything they want to call the shots but make poor decision, how can?

Let the able Malaysian runs those institutions...

Why our national BRAIN GAIN program fails?

Precisely the same reasons.. Wrong people are put at the helm of decision making..

This is turberlent time....Malaysia does not really able to offer any better perks than others, let's face it..yet it limits those who are able to do right things from doing it...

50 years are a short history...there is long journey to go..

Dont let's us become like the Trojans that wept for their beloved Troys..

The Saint

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, there are only two words to describe what goes on in Malaysia: 'incompetence' and 'greed'.

Many projects failed because of incompetent people at the top (why? simple reason: because we must always have certain kind of people up there and we are scrapping the bottom of the barrel). These chosen ones don't even know that they are incompetent and have no vision, but they have the desire and unethical conscience to enrich themselves - grab the good money allocated to the projects.

On the other hand, we can see the human factor in Singapore makes the difference and contributes to success of their projects.

Compare MUST with the highly successful Singapore-MIT Alliance (SMA), which is an innovative engineering and life science educational and research collaboration among three leading research universities in the world: the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


Compare the Institute of Advanced Studies set up by the University of Malaya (as early as in 1979) with the Institute of Advanced Studies set up by Nanyang Technological University. The former, after more than 25 years of existence, should be flourishing and blooming. Is it?

In fact, its name has been changed to the Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS)! What a shame. After so much money that was pumped into it, in the year 2000, the Institute of Advanced Studies was downgraded "to new role as a centre for the administration of all postgraduate programmes at the university". Out go advanced research to become to an administration centre!

"The postgraduate programmes are conducted either by coursework only, coursework and dissertation/research report, or dissertation/thesis only." - The first sentence in Page 4 of UM IPS's "Inspiring Excellence in Education" PDF file is already grammatically wrong. How to inspire excellence in education!?


Yes, Malaysia truly Boleh - boleh turn gold to mud!

Anonymous said...

some more their masters degrees by coursework are handled by half past seven lecturers....

all teach by power point or ohp, if machine rosak, cannot teach...hehe
because these lecturers knows nothing or less than their lecturer

wat a laff!

You are very right learn from history~!

Things have gone from bad to worsetest!!!

Anonymous said...

The late former Taiwanese First Lady Soong Mei-ling once said: We live in the present, we dream of the future, and we learn eternal truths from the past.

Unfortunately our political bosses never seem to learn from the past and they keep repeating the same mistakes - perhaps that's what they want, making mud from gold and throwing baby out with the bath water.

Anonymous said...

Refer to MUST website...they are still open for students registrations


In view of the outcry and very few academic staff, why does MOHE still allow it to operate?

Anonymous said...

read this:

The final line says it all, "It is to be noted, that MUST has no affiliation with MIT."

Anonymous said...


My friend told me there are more administrative staff than students at MUST. Wow, who is in charge of HR at MUST?

Anonymous said...

MUST is now offering Foundation programs. From research postgraduate programs to foundation programs. They are going downhill.

Anonymous said...

MUST started the foundation programmes last week. Less then 20 students registered. What a joke!

Anonymous said...

Kepada Mr Anonymous (7/14/2008 dan 8/4/2008).

Kenapa tak quit dan cari kerja kat tempat lain Prof Zanuldin? Asyik kutuk, tapi masih duduk kerja situ.

Anonymous said...

But MUST is full of chinese. From 2002, when it was in full activity, most professors were chinese and only a few of other race.

The students were > 95% chinese. Can we say the chinese fucked up MUST?

Dont be quick to say the management were malay because the board members consisted of all races. Key decisions were made after consultation with the board.

Therefore, all chinese here please realize that your face f%$#^ed up MUST.

My point is, in Malaysia, all races are fu&%%ed up. All races are USELESS. That's why the country is a joke.

The problem is, like all things in Malaysia, everyone likes to point the finger at others, shamelessly.

Welcome to Bodohland, home to Bodohlanders called Malay, Chinese, and Inidans.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree with last commentator. MUST was full of chinese students and lecturer. It was like being in a chinese new village.

Now MUST is almost close down. Just like that DOng Zang chinese university issue, these people are to blame. Eat too much pork wan, meh?