Tuesday, November 13, 2007

PM: I Am Worried

Malaysian universities have crashed out of the Top 200 in the world, based on the latest Times Higher Education Supplement rankings table. And hear, hear, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is disappointed.
"Three years ago, we had Universiti Sains Malaysia among the first 100 and another two universities in the top 200. Now, none of the Malaysian universities are in the top 200," Abdullah said, according to the state news agency Bernama.

"People will ask - if (foreign) students come to Malaysia, is it because it is cheap? If it is cheap, we must still have quality. We cannot accept cheap education but of low quality," he said.
It's great that the Prime Minister is beginning to see through the invisible clothing wrapped around the entire administration.

Let's take the next step, and hopefully a more drastic one at that, will you be willing to "hear the truth, however unpleasant"? And if so, will you be willing to take all necessary steps, leaving no stones unturned, in our attempt to bring back respectability to our tertiary institutions? Or will it be more of the same, where "student intake in these universities would not be based on race but the enrolment must reflect the country's ethnic diversity."

Oh, and I forgot to nitpick. The concerned Prime Minister didn't get get his facts right. 3 years ago, Universiti Malaya (UM) was in the Top 100, not Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) - even then was on faulty calculations. In addition, it was only 1 other university in the Top 200, USM at 111, and not 2 others. It's a little sad that Pak Lah didn't get some of the facts right, but well, the message was there.


Anonymous said...

It is the BN system that caused the academic quality of our local universities to go down.
AAB knows about it, so does Mustapha but all are 'playing sandiwara' It is their people and government which put the low calibre staff to steer the universities
With ' tons and tons of professors now in our universities isnt it strange that we should be declining? I would expect a good professor should publish at least 6 research papers in reputable international journals...
How many of them do it?

The only conclusion is that these professors are appointed by other system of ' merit' such who knows who? what group are you ganged in? Do you support certain political parties? Are you critical of government or university or not

I hope one day if AAB is really sincere in wanting to know, just take a small car, dress incognito and sit the whole day at the canteens in the university to watch

Anonymous said...

Above anon: Do you mean 6 papers a year or 6 papers total?

Anonymous said...

6 papers a year! sorry

Anonymous said...

Our PM can really talk and talk. And talk. No action, absolutely. It amazes me that he fail even to understand that he is the one to answer those questions, not to pose them. He is talking like he is a third party totally uninvolved with the proceedings of life in Malaysia, uninterested, detached, and trying to stand out by asking what he thinks are clever questions, and making what he thinks are clever comments. Quite unbelievable. I dont think he is a bad a person as TDM, but governing a country is entirely beyond him.

Anonymous said...

I bet he's too enamoured with his brand new wife to be able to run a country. What better way than to deny, sweep everything under the carpet and pretend nothing has happened.

Ahh, the bliss of marital life.

Anonymous said...

The 18++ A games will continue this year.

450,000 students sit for the SPM. Anyone see the problem lies behind this figure? Can Malaysia create fresh 450,000 job per year? OMG.

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Anonymous said...

Pak Lah, STOP Worrying!!! DO something, but that's only wishful thinking.

Like the Terengganu MB once said, they will spend hundreds of millions building the best facilities, even better than Harvard, but minus the professors. You know, style mesti ada, standards tiada but its OK.

Maybe the rankings should have another category - "style" of facilities. We will win hands down.

Anonymous said...

AAB's job is to lead the governing of the country. He is to delegate the different tasks to his cabinet. If shit happens the first person who is responsible is the minister in charge. Ultimately AAB has to answer to the rakyat why the minister has failed.

Unfortunately this AAB only talks. First, why does he have to talk about this - don't we have ministers in charge? Furthermore, why do we hire a prime minister to say such crap? Anyone in the street can see clearly what is wrong, and they don't have to beat around the bush and pretend things will pass and the rakyat will forget.

Be accountable, AAB, else don't waste the country for the sake of your incompetence.


Anonymous said...

Let's vote the incumbent out of office so that they don't have to worry about anything anymore. 50 years to manage the education system of malaysia and they still failed? why give them 4 more years?
let's not waste our future on incompetent politicians.

Anonymous said...

"let's not waste our future on incompetent politicians."

- Try telling that to the vast majority of Malays, Indians and the "New Village" Chinese communities. These communites have always been the strongest supporters of the BN. As opposed to the urban, internet savvy and jaded middle class non-bumis of KL and small pockets of Perak and Penang, they will always buy into BN's misinformation and continue to return them to power over and over again.

Anonymous said...

Anon said 6 reputable papers at high ranking journal a year.

Hmm it's unbearable to the young hardworking and sincrere academicians given the nature of uni politics, bully and the teaching workload. I challenge the academic staffs to publish at least 2 journal papers a year in the high ranking journal, with real research and contribution. These papers must exclude the 'tumpang sekaki' style - ala long train,students' works unless it is an obvious partnership, and also the recycle writing.

I dare you..

Anonymous said...

First the comment is meant for the PROFESSORS! not the other junior staff

That is the point! No politics! Do your sincere work! Make promotion harder! Dont entertain tumpang2 research papers. Soon these professors of local universities will learn the grindstone that is tied to the neck when holding such prestigious title

Not wat thet are doing now..." R&D" or " RIHAT AND DUDUK"

Anonymous said...

prof publish 6 intl ISI listed paper per year??? yes it is true in some univ.. for young lecturer & assoc prof BUT when they got their full prof they don't seem to bother much anymore.. BTW 'number of publication' never come to the ranking calculation, ONLY the number of citation is counted.. hey I see many of those 'publishing a lot' lecturer didn't get a good citation anyway, & it is not uncommon to see 70% of their paper with no citation.. (if you migt wonder you can see in Web of Science (ISI) or Scopus if you can).. greater publication with 'dilute' essence = teh tarik will not attract any citation... in UK a prof only have 20 to 30 journal & a book but they managed to get 200+ citations... my point is, they should take care about research quality first not number of published paper... if you research/paper got a quality in it all the citation & peer review problem will be solved... all this prof always got their way to publish 6 papers/yr by tumpang sekaki hahaha

Anonymous said...

Why worry about publications and citations?

See our space traveller - an academic at UKM, very pandai and versatile, and all ready to be promoted to a full professor and maybe to become a VC, after his elevated status.

In all interviews, we only read about his ambition to go into space,about him being a medical academic and a part time model, and also about his venture into restaurant business. Anything and everything, except his research, his publications, his role as mentor and supervisor to postgraduate students.

He painted a picture being a university academic is fun and easy. No research and publication to worry about. Truly spaced out!

Anonymous said...

Last I heard, he also wanted to shorten his contract after using up millions of RM. So typical. Probably wants to be reimbursed for his suffering and fright too, just like Malaysian scholars overseas.

Anonymous said...

Recently, I feel that ever since our new PM is in position, our government tend to care more about the superficial appearance than the essence. Look at the interview of Al-Jazeera with our information minister, ZAM and also BBC interview with the minister of external affairs - our ministers were simply too defiant, defensive and arrogant. Whenever the reporters were asking some skeptical questions, they would slam the reporters for being "ignorant" and "biased".

Well well, sending the astronaut may project the image of our country as one of those advanced and well-developed ones. There is no surprise if they promote our very dear astronaut to be the VC.

Anonymous said...

They sounded "too defiant, defensive and arrogant"..that is only if you understood what they were saying in English.

Anonymous said...

Trouble is in our country it is "the scums that collect at the top or surface"

Anonymous said...

The astronault belongs to us.

The spacecraft and technologies do not.

When is the research report coming to justify the public funds paid to the Russians?

Anonymous said...

Note that it's called "Program Angkasawan" or "Astronault Programme" and NOT "Space Programme". It pretty much tell you what the programme is about. It's all about the "astronault" (note, I use the "" because it's still questionable whether he is a true astronault or just traveller).

Anonymous said...

In fact it has been sometime since the return of our 'passenger angkasawan cum laboratory assistant' from outer space with his precious ' mickey mouse' experimental samples.

The analyses should have been completed especially with advanced automated analysers around.

So where are the results?
We the 'poor hungry rakyat' would be keen to know the breakthrough, so that we can tighten our belts further to send ' more angkasawans' to space

Anonymous said...

What do you think PM ? My grade 2 in SPM denied me an education in my school while my Bumi classmates went into Form Six with a 3rd grade result. I was denied by our own local uni because of my failed BM but I was picked up by an overseas uni because of my English and Math. Now, I'm in UK enjoying a good life as an engineer. So why our local uni have problems ? duhhh.. Maybe PM should look into those alien worker issue, where did they come from ? haha.. Quality ? please PM, if you want to change, get rid of all those rotten VCs sitting there.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agreee above.

That is what we call Malaysia is stupid!!! real stupid

Just look at neighbour country, sinagpore, top 50 with just 2 main uni.

malaysia many uni, but none in top 200.

Terima Kasih...