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Thursday, May 01, 2008
SLAI or SLY?
I recently wrote a to "Unwanted Citizen", a blogger, asking him to clarify the difference between SLAB and SLAI after a comment posted in this post said that we shouldn't complain so much about the unfairness of SLAB since there was a program called SLAI that is opened to all Malaysians and not just Bumiputeras. You can read "Unwanted Citizen"'s response here.
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One distinct difference between SLAI and SLAB which was not mentioned by Unwanted Citizen is the amount of money allocated for each scheme. SLAI has a pathetically lower amount of money allocated (thus ran out very quickly), when compared with SLAB. One non-bumi student in the "5-star" university up north was offered to do her graduate studies under SLAI in the US, but a few months down the road when she was ready to leave, she was asked to do it locally, instead. Reason being the scheme did not had enough money. However, her bumi peers (whom were offered at the same time) are able to leave for UK/US because they were under SLAB. In the end (via some help from her major professor in the local university), she got a graduate assistantship from the US, cancel her SLAI contract, and left for the US.
oh yes,very sly indeed
SLAI is around and i think it should be maximised an optimized for betterment rather than continuing to just simply critisize for this and that. Its about creating more academics and we should expect these set of people to produce researches and advances in the future. It is in our aim to bring up the standards of our universities. ( which may be a very long journey but hey.. lets start )
I reckon whether it being SLAB or SLAI , they still have to go through the post graduate exams . In medicine/ surgical disciplines its either you pass or fail it. I don't think the Profs in charge of the exams ( esp in UM ) practices race biasness to guide their passing rate ( which has high casualties by the way ).
We should get these Profs ( either th Tengkus or non-tengkus ) input to answer the allegations ; only then we can say that we are on level ground of arguments.( will not make any difference though to those who is always suspicious )
slai recipient here. remember when the quota for uni was 60% bumi, and 40% BUMI and everyone else? same thing. slab is bumi only, slai is bumi and everyone else. and from what i have seen, 'everyone else' is a very small part of that figure. or maybe i should say, 'non-malay' is a very small part of that figure.
what unwantedcitizen didn't point out is that slab is for masters and phd, but slai is for phd only. as for the lower amount of money, slai is part of rmk9, so it's very possible it will be discontinued by rmk10 or as soon as the rmk9 money finishes. and then we will just have slab again. that would be a slab in the face, but at least it wouldn't be so slai.
Dear Anonymous/SLAI Receipient,
As i have mentioned, my article must be read in the context of the medical profession only.
I do not know about the SLAI program in other faculties, but as for the medical faculty, the SLAI program is indeed open to non-bumis to pursue their masters program.
thanks pots. wasn't trying to attack you. just adding on some info. it's good for me to know what's happening in the med faculty too.
I know, anonymous.
We all need one another to fill each other in.
I just hope readers get the context of my article on SLAB/SLAI.
It's really about transparency and meritocracy.
It seems that every time I come here, the whole SLAB/SLAI issue rears its ugly head again. To be honest, I'm beginning to get bored of it. Aren't there any other uncredited MIC colleges to talk about? :)
All jokes aside, it is good that more information is being shared. Perhaps this way, a better understanding of how the system works could come about. Personally, I am in support of time-limited positive discrimination; I think any such tinkering with the system should also place emphasis on financial abilities (along with meritocracy, etc), which I haven't heard too many people talk about.
And as for the 'slyness'...well, actually, it's not very sly at all. It's not fair, but then again, it's not exactly a big secret, which is something I find to be even more interesting...
I communicated with Prof PTan , Deputy Dean (Post Graduate) of UM Medical Faculty regarding the content of the referred blog. Below was his reply :
Thank you for your comments and email enquiry for information about SLAI.
SLAB, introduced in 1970, was the successor to the University Academic Staff Training Scheme (of the 1960s) to enable training of Professionals under the transfer of technology principle. In the Faculty of Medicine, this is exemplified by scholarships for Trainee Lecturers in a variety of clinical Masters programmes.
As Malaysia moves towards being an industrialised economy, the Government recognizes that it will be essential for the country’s labour market to step up from ‘transferers of technology’ to knowledge creation if Malaysia is to compete globally with any success. With this in mind, MOHE in 2006 introduced SLAI (Skim Latihan Akademik IPTA) as a specific measure to increase the country’s critical mass of researchers, i.e. PhDs, as the formation of an individual with a PhD is recognized as a baseline requirement for knowledge creation.
This is why it is very important for clinical departments including Anaesthesiology to pick up the baton (or, if you like, the Jalur Gemilang) and advertise, headhunt, enroll and mentor good students in PhD programmes. Knowledge creation is the new ‘national service’. Without a vision of its role in knowledge creation, Malaysian Anaesthesiology will cease to be a relevant contributor to medical science. As a comparison, just take a look at the creative energies of our orthopaedic surgical colleagues across the corridor.
The University of Malaya has amended its rules to facilitate entry of good students into PhD programmes. E.g. Bachelor degree holders with CGPA 3.7 and above (‘distinction’ at MBBS) can now be accepted directly into a PhD programme on the recommendation of the Dean – this is an accelerated mechanism although there are conditions attached to monitoring the output of the student. Funding mechanisms for research have also been greatly increased since UM gained the Research University status in 2006.
One should add that SLAI isn’t to do with providing a meritocracy-based higher education opportunity to SLAB.
If we see beyond comparing SLAI with SLAB in this way, we will arrive at a better understanding of their respective roles.
Three practical distinctions between SLAI and SLAB are shown in the table below.
For further enquiries about opportunities for Human Capital Development for Faculty of Medicine staff, please write officially to the Dean."
Scholarship for research degree programme (PhD) as UM is a Research University.Must meet eligibility criteria for PhD.
Stipend as a student.
Not tied to future employment contract.However, the PhD holder is free to choose his/her employment such as a post-doc fellow from any University.
Bumiputeras + Malaysian citizens
Scholarship for Professional training via degree programme i.e. Clinical Masters. Must meet eligibility criteria for Masters.
Basic salary as a trainee lecturer in the awarding Institution before completion of Degree.
Employment as a lecturer in the awarding Institution after completion of Degree.
Talk about information :) Great stuff, Dr. M. Some concrete information that can be discussed about further.
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